PhD in Health Policy and Management

PhD in Health Policy and Management admission requirements

Admission to the Health Policy and Management PhD program at the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is based on completion of a baccalaureate degree, although it is anticipated that many applicants will have completed a post-baccalaureate degree in public health or other health-related discipline.

Application, admission, and degree-granting requirements and regulations shall be applied equitably to all individuals, applicants and students regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin.

Application criteria and requirements

In addition to completing the SOPHAS application, you are also required to submit the following supporting documentation directly to SOPHAS.

GRE scores are not required for admission, however, if you plan to attend the PhD program as a full-time funded student, you are strongly encouraged to submit them with your application, since some funding sources require current GRE scores (less than five years old) in order for students to be eligible.  Applicants must submit GRE scores to SOPHAS using the following designation DI Code 0167.

The admission committee does not list expected minimum scores.

Provide an essay of approximately 750 words describing your past education, experience, and current professional career objectives. You are encouraged to comment on any or all of the following: plans you have to use your education and training; the needs and/or challenges you perceive as important in your field of study; and, any personal qualities, characteristics, and skills you believe will enable you to be successful in your chosen field of study.

For each position on the résumé or CV, provide the job title, employing agency, dates employed, and responsibilities held. Indicate any additional strengths or skills such as fluency in foreign languages, research experience, teaching experience, community service, and demonstration of leadership skills. Include professional certifications, honors, and awards.

Official post-secondary transcripts from all U.S. institutions attended must be sent directly from the institutions to SOPHAS. This includes previous study at Indiana University.

It is strongly recommended that all transcripts be submitted no later than 15 days before the application deadline to allow SOPHAS adequate time to verify transcripts. Please note it can take up to four weeks for transcripts to be verified.

Transcripts must be sent from institution in the institution's sealed envelope directly to SOPHAS.

For regular mail, please send your transcript to:
P.O. Box 9111
Watertown, MA 02471-9111

For overnight delivery ONLY:
c/o Liaison International
311 Arsenal Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617-612-2090

World Education Services (WES): ICAP course-by-course evaluation for all post-secondary foreign institutions attended. Please note: U.S. applicants who studied at foreign institutions as part of a study abroad experience at their U.S. college or university, do not need to provide a WES evaluation of their study abroad coursework.

International applicants

Applicants who have attended post-secondary institutions outside of the U.S. are also required to submit the following supporting documentation to SOPHAS with their application:

World Education Services (WES) ICAP evaluation of foreign academic credentials

The Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health requires all applicants with foreign academic credentials to provide a World Education Services (WES) ICAP course-by-course evaluation of those credentials. Applicants should submit their transcripts to WES at least one month in advance of the application deadline to ensure that the evaluation is completed in time.

Through special arrangements with SOPHAS, WES will deliver its credential evaluation report directly to SOPHAS by secure electronic transmission. This expedites the delivery of the evaluation report—as well as images of the applicant’s verified transcripts—to SOPHAS and allows SOPHAS to process the report most efficiently.

Visit WES for more information

U.S. applicants who have attended post-secondary institutions outside of the U.S. as part of a study-abroad program at a U.S. college or university, do not need to provide a WES evaluation of their foreign coursework as long as it is noted on their U.S. transcript.

Please note: Upon admission to IUPUI, international students will be required to provide the Indiana University Office of International Affairs with original transcripts from all universities attended in the US and abroad.

Three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess your academic work; clinical, public health, or professional experiences; or, leadership potential in public health. These letters should be from professional sources who can provide an unbiased, current and critical assessment of your abilities, skills, strengths and weaknesses related to successfully completing a doctoral program.

Examples of sources that are not acceptable include co-workers, colleagues, classmates, family acquaintances, or relatives.

  • Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically through the online application. The online application asks applicants to supply email addresses for their referees.
  • Upon submission of the application, the system automatically sends recommendation forms to the referees.
  • After completing the form, referees should return them to the IUPUI Graduate Office via email. They have the option of attaching a letter if they wish.

The applicants are invited to interview at the discretion of the admission committee.

In-person interview: Applicants will be invited to participate in an in-person interview with several members of the admission committee. Alternative arrangements can be made for applicants unable to be interviewed onsite.

Completion of an on-site essay: Applicants participating in the interview process may be asked to write a short essay on a specific topic assigned to them using Microsoft Word. The purpose of this step is to allow the admissions committee to assess the applicant's English writing skills.

The PhD in Epidemiology admissions committee conducts interviews using Skype video conferencing for applicants who are unable to travel to Indianapolis for the interview. Skype is a free software application that allows users to connect through the internet to communicate. Note that applicants will need access to a webcam and microphone for the interview.

Applicants whose native language is not English or whose academic study was done exclusively at non-English speaking institutions, must prove English proficiency by providing either official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. Scores must be less than two years old.

The preferred minimum English language test scores for admission to the Fairbanks School of Public Health are:

  • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum score of 92
  • Computer-based TOEFL: minimum score of 263
  • Paper-based TOEFL: minimum score of 620
  • IELTS (total band score): minimum score of 7


SOPHAS applicants

SOPHAS applicants should use the following designations:

  • TOEFL scores to SOPHAS using the following designation DI Code 5688.
  • IELTS scores can be uploaded electronically to SOPHAS and official copy sent to IUPUI School Code 1325.

English language test waiver

The English Language test requirement may be waived if an applicant has earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from the U.S. or other English-speaking country.

See more information

Review of applications

Completed applications will be carefully reviewed by the Health Policy and Management PhD admissions committee after the program deadline. The admissions committee will determine each applicant’s acceptance or non-acceptance to the Health Policy and Management PhD program by using the following selection criteria:

  • Scientific leadership potential: Assessed by the applicant’s résumé/CV, personal statement, and personal interview.
  • Ability to engage in advanced graduate work: Assessed by the applicant’s personal interview, evaluation of letters of recommendation, overall grade point average in prior graduate work, and scores from the GRE or other graduate entrance exams.
  • Learning goals and objectives: Assessed by the applicant’s personal statement and personal interview.

Apply now

You may apply to our Health Policy and Management PhD program online via SOPHAS, the centralized Schools of Public Health Application Service.

Remember to designate the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health as one of your school choices, along with your desired program.

We'll notify you by email once your application has been received. If you have questions about the application process or about the PhD in Health Policy and Management program, contact Shawne Mathis at

Note: All applications must be verified by SOPHAS prior to the deadline to be guaranteed review by the PhD Health Policy and Management admissions committee. Applications that are not verified by the deadline are not guaranteed review. Applications take four to five weeks to be verified by SOPHAS. We recommend submitting your application to SOPHAS no later than one month prior to the deadline.

Upon offer of admission, applicants will need to complete the IU Graduate CAS, a required secondary application, by using the invitation code and link provided with the admission offer. The IU Graduate CAS application resembles the SOPHAS application. To apply, unofficial transcripts earned at bachelor's, master's, or doctorate-granting institutions must be uploaded.