Frequently Asked Questions

I’m interested in both Global Health and Epidemiology and Translational Sciences. Which PhD program is right for me?

Your methodological interests and future career goals may lead you towards either the Global Health Sciences or the Epidemiology and Translational Science doctoral program at UCSF. See how the programs compare.

Can I apply to the PhD program without GRE scores?

GRE scores will be accepted, but are not mandatory. If you have taken the GRE and want to self-report your scores, you may email a copy of your score report to [email protected]. You do not need to send official GRE score reports to UCSF through the GRE system.

If I am a non-native English speaker, is there any way to get the TOEFL/IELTS score requirement waived?

The TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived if you either have completed at least one year of full-time academic coursework in residence at an accredited U.S. university, OR have completed your bachelor's or graduate degree from an accredited English-speaking university, and have maintained a GPA greater than 3.0. In either case, you may submit an official transcript from the university in lieu of TOEFL/IELTS scores.

What should I include in my statement of purpose?

The statement of purpose is an opportunity to share what you are passionate about in global health research and why you are interested in the PhD program at UCSF. In no more than two pages, you should address your reasons for applying to the program, describe why you chose the field of global health for your doctorate, and describe your professional and academic goals. The statement is also a chance for the admissions committee to hear your voice and get to know you beyond your academic transcripts.

Do I need to identify a faculty advisor at UCSF who can support my research interests in order to apply?

Connecting with a UCSF faculty member who can support your doctoral work or serve as a research advisor will strengthen your application, but is not required. In your application, you will be asked to submit the names of UCSF faculty you have contacted or wish to contact, and you will be required to describe your research aims. It is essential that you are aware of the type of global health research conducted at UCSF when drafting your application.

How do I find research projects at UCSF that fall within my area of research interest?

Please see the Research Homes section for specific global health research groups at UCSF. You may search for additional research projects and faculty at UCSF using the following databases:

How do you evaluate my transcripts?

When you are applying to the program, please upload unofficial transcripts to your online application, where you will find instructions. If you have transcripts from institutions outside of the United States, please also upload an unofficial copy of your World Education Services (WES) course-by-course credential evaluation; this is required for ANY institution outside the U.S., even if English was the language of instruction. You will not need to send your official WES report until you receive an offer of admission.

If you receive an offer of admission to the program, you must submit official transcripts for each institution from which you received a degree, and each transcript must show the final date of the degree conferred. If you are sending transcripts from any institution outside the United States, you must have an accompanying official course-by-course credential evaluation from World Education Services (WES), even if the transcripts and language of instruction are English. The WES evaluation must indicate that you earned a degree. The program prefers to receive electronic transcripts submitted to [email protected], but please send a message to this address if your institution does not send transcripts electronically and you need to arrange delivery by mail.

Are there additional requirements for international applicants?

Applicants from outside the U.S. must be eligible to obtain an F-1 visa and demonstrate they have financial support to attend the program and live in the U.S. If you are invited to interview, the I-20 form (required to obtain your student visa) cannot be issued until the UCSF International Students and Scholars Office has documented and verified your ability to cover the costs of study.

Can I get an application fee waiver?

U.S. citizens or permanent residents may qualify to have the application fee waived if you participate in specific programs or can demonstrate financial need. To request the waiver, select the "application fee waiver" option in the payment area of the online application. Please see fee waiver information to determine your eligibility for this exemption.

When will I hear about admission?

Most applicants will be informed of their acceptance/denial/waitlist status within three months of the application deadline.

Can I change my area of research interest after enrolling in the program?

Any change will require prior approval from your current faculty research advisor, new faculty research advisor, and PhD program director. Changing your program of research may lengthen the duration of the program.

Can I take classes at other Bay Area universities while I am at UCSF?

The UCSF Office of the Registrar runs several programs that allow graduate students to take courses on another campus while remaining registered on the home campus. This provides the opportunity for contact with fields of study not available on the home campus. You pay fees only to the home campus, and grades for courses taken at the host campus are reported to the Office of the Registrar for inclusion on your UCSF transcript. For more information, see: Intercampus Exchange, SF Consortium, Stanford Exchange.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact IGHS Admissions at [email protected].