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Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health Genetics - Application and Materials

UW Graduate School Application and Fee Waiver

The application opens annually on September 1.

  • Start your UW Graduate School Application and create a login ID and password.
  • For question 1 on the Program Information page, select “Graduate”
  • For question 2 on the Program Information page select “Public Health – Public Health Genetics (PHD)”

Retain your login ID and password, as you will need them to:

  • Save a partially completed application
  • Pay the application fee ($85 payable by debit or credit card)
  • Monitor the submission of recommendations and test scores (if applicable)
  • Check the status of your application

Once you have submitted the application and paid the fee, you will be unable to make further changes to your application with the exception of letters of recommendation, contact information and transcript updates.

Application Fee and Fee Waiver

The application fee is $85 USD, payable online by debit or credit card. Qualified applicants can request a fee waiver through the Graduate School following the process outlined on the Graduate School’s website

Application Materials

The materials listed below are submitted or reported electronically through the UW Graduate School Application system.

*The GRE is not required.

Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose should include a description of your past experiences and your educational and professional background, including your interest and experience in genetics; the program's core knowledge areas of most interest to you; and your educational objectives and career goals. The admissions committee will use your essay to evaluate your writing, thinking, and editing skills, as well as to understand your academic priorities and your ability to think across disciplines.

Please respond in 500 words or less, single-spaced, uploaded in pdf format.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Upload a PDF of your résumé or curriculum vitae. Your submission should include the following information, as applicable:

  • Academic history (including institution, degree, dates of attendance)
  • Professional experience (including employer, position/title, full-time/part-time status, and dates of employment)
  • Volunteer experience (including organization, role, total number of hours, and dates of participation)
  • Public Health and/or genetics related experience
  • Research experience, either as a student, volunteer or professionally
  • Involvement with community, and/or diversity-related activities
  • Honors, awards, publications, and presentations

Extenuating Circumstances (optional)

If there are extenuating circumstances, not addressed in other sections of your application, related to your academic transcript, resume, or other facets of your application that you would like the admissions committee to consider, please describe them and focus on how you managed and resolved the issue(s).

Please limit your response to 200 words or less, single-spaced, uploaded in pdf format.

Personal History Statement (optional)

The Personal History Statement is meant to give you the opportunity to provide a narrative about your lived experiences, obstacles you may have overcome, and how these have guided you towards public health. This statement should not be the same as your Statement of Purpose. Your Personal History Statement can include information about who you are as a person; your family or cultural background; socioeconomic conditions; and experiences growing up, including successes, challenges, and moments of learning and growth. This question is not intended to ask you to share personal information you are not comfortable providing.

Maximum word limit: 500 words or less, single-spaced, uploaded in pdf format.

Recommendations (three)

Enter the names and contact information for three recommenders into the UW Graduate School Application. These individuals will be sent an email prompt with instructions for submitting their recommendation online.

Please provide a combination of academic and professional letters of recommendation. The most effective and impactful recommendations come from individuals who know you well and who are able to provide insight into your academic competence, ability to engage in graduate study, potential for future success in the public health genetics field, or work experience and professional demeanor. Please refrain from requesting recommendations from family members, clergy, or friends.

Applicants may submit their application prior to their letters of recommendation being submitted.

Instructions to recommenders: Please comment on applicant’s professionalism, communication skills (both verbal and written), and likeliness to succeed in a graduate program; along with other comments you would like the admissions committee to consider. No specific format is required.


In the Report Prior Schools section of the UW Graduate School Application, list all schools (colleges, universities and institutions) where you have earned collegiate-level credit.

In the Submit Transcripts section of the application, upload a transcript for each school listed.

Each transcript should be complete, legible and include the following: name of the institution, name of the student, dates of attendance, courses taken, grades/marks/credits earned and be organized by term (quarters, semesters or trimesters).

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • All transcripts should be submitted through UW Graduate School Application. Please do not mail (or email) transcripts to the Institute for Public Health Genetics unless specifically directed to do so.
  • The following types of documents can be accepted:
    • Unofficial transcript from the school, often a PDF
    • Official transcript that the applicant scans and uploads into UW Graduate School Application
  • Degree audits cannot be accepted in place of a transcript as they are not a comprehensive summary of the coursework a student has attempted.
  • Applicants should not submit transcripts that they have typed out themselves. Any documentation that is submitted should originate from the degree-granting institution.
  • Foreign transcripts: if not in English, must be accompanied by an English translation.
  • Certificate coursework: You only need to provide a transcript for certificate coursework if you earned academic credit in the process of earning the certificate. If you earned continuing education units (CEUs), a transcript does not need to be submitted.
  • Study abroad (credits earned at a school outside the U.S.): Please refer to instructions for foreign transcripts.
  • Study abroad (credits earned at a school inside the U.S.): Transcripts that fall into this category should be submitted as any other domestic transcripts.
  • Transcripts from a clearinghouse or automated service may not be accessible when submitted through UW Graduate School Application. As such, it is best to avoid using these services, if possible.
  • In order to submit electronic transcripts, the applicant should have them sent to themselves and then upload them into UW Graduate School Application.

Please note: The IPHG admissions committee retains the right to require that official transcripts be submitted for review at any time; during the application process or after admissions decisions have been made.

Applicants admitted to the program who accept the offer of admission will be required to submit official transcripts from all degree granting institutions to the Graduate School.

English Language Proficiency Requirement for Non-Native English Speaker

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of citizenship) must demonstrate proficiency with the English language. (See UW Memo 8 for Graduate School policies.)

Non-native English speakers will indicate how they will fulfill the requirement in the application. The options are:

Note: If submitting test scores, the IPHG Admissions Committee has a strong preference for TOEFL scores. Applicants should note that using Duolingo to fulfill the English Language Proficiency requirements does not qualify for on campus employment as a teaching assistant (TA). Applicants should only submit Duolingo if they have no access to the TOEFL or IELTS and are strongly encouraged to contact our office prior to applying.

Additional information:

  • If fulfilling the requirement via U.S. Degree or a degree from a specific country in Memo 8no additional documentation is required as we’ll use transcripts submitted with the application to verify that the requirement has been fulfilled.
  • If using a medium of instruction document, we will accept a notation directly on the transcript or a separate document issued by the institution. If submitting a separate document, include it with your transcripts when they are uploaded into the application.
  • For additional questions or assistance with reporting official test scores, please review the UW Graduate School Admissions FAQ.