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Admission

The HS&P program is open to students with a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds.  Students with an MPH in health management and policy or an MPA in health administration are particularly well prepared for the program. Master’s degrees in other areas of public health or in other disciplines are also good preparation. 

Doctoral students are admitted in the fall of each academic year; off-cycle admissions are rare.  Review of applications begins on February 1st and those submitting complete files by that date will be notified of admission decisions by the end of February. Applications are accepted up to April 1st, and those applicants will be notified of admission decisions by the end of April.

For admission to the Health Systems and Policy PhD Program, prospective students must apply directly through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) system, the centralized application service for CEPH accredited schools and programs of public health.

Apply to the Health Systems and Policy PhD program here*.
*Please note that on the SOPHAS website, the program will be listed as Health Policy and Management PhD. This is the SOPHAS standard title, which we cannot change. 

Through SOPHAS, you will need to submit the follwing items with your application:

  • One transcript (official or unofficial) from each college attended. (International students must submit a WES Evaluation through SOPHAS. Click here for more infortmation.)
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  Applicants whose GRE scores are more than five years old are strongly encouraged to retake the exam.  The GRE code in SOPHAS is 1045.
  • TOEFL scores (official or unofficial) if required.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for success in the doctoral program. At least one letter should be from a current or former graduate program professor.
  • Personal statement (approximately 500 words) addressing areas of research interests, including any shared interests with current faculty; career goals; relevant experiences in teaching, researching, publishing, and/or volunteering; and how the HS&P program connects to academic and professional goals. 
  • One academic or policy-oriented writing sample.  Some examples might be a paper written for a graduate course, a published academic journal article, or a professional paper.  Please note that papers should have a single author (i.e. do not submit papers with multiple authors). 
  • Curriculum vitae or resume.
Once accepted, you will need to submit one official transcript (in its unopened envelope) from each post-secondary institution attended to:
Portland State University
Oregon MPH Program OMPH-SCH
PO Box 751
Portland OR 97207 
Click here for FAQs about SOPHAS.