Applications for the 2019/2020 academic year are now closed. Our applications for the 2020/2021 academic year will open in the Fall of 2019.
1. Apply online.
We do not accept paper applications. The online application is available via The Graduate School admissions portal. Please indicate the application is for the Health Sciences Integrated PhD Program (program code H01PH). If you plan to apply for the Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Track, you must indicate that you are applying for summer quarter. Coursework for this track begins in July. The application fee is $95, which must be paid by credit card.
The online application includes the following sections:
Statement of purpose: In no more than 750 words, outline your background, education, research interests, research experience and identify potential faculty with whom you’d like to work. Please note that you do not need to know what type of research you’ll pursue; courses during your first year will give you an opportunity to explore many types of research before you have to select your dissertation project.
- Academic background: List all post-secondary institutions you’ve attended (community colleges, studies abroad and current registrations in degree or non-degree programs); leave the GPA section blank if the institution does not use a 4.0 GPA system.
- Transcripts: Upload a scanned copy of all your transcripts, following The Graduate School guidelines.
- Curriculum vitae (CV): We encourage applicants to list and link to all research papers.
- Writing sample: Include a research paper (30-page maximum); papers submitted by mail or email will not be considered.
- Diversity statement (optional): Applicants may choose to explain how they would contribute to the diversity of the community of scholars at Northwestern University.
All supporting documents must be submitted in PDF format with the online application.
2. Submit all required supplementary information.
Other required information includes:
- Official test scores: Have testing agencies send GRE scores from the past five years directly to The Graduate School. Northwestern University's ETS code is 1565 (no department code needed). The online application also provides fields where you can self-report your GRE scores. The subject test is not required.
- Three letters of recommendation: These letters are confidential and must be submitted online. No special forms or templates are needed. We prefer to see letters from professors or instructors who are familiar with your work at an advanced level and can speak to your potential for success as a doctoral student. Letters from employers are also accepted.
- Certification of proficiency in English (if applicable): All applicants whose native language is not English must certify their proficiency in the English language in one of two ways:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score: Tests must have been taken within two years of the intended quarter of entry. TOEFL scores must be 600 or higher on the paper-based exam, 250 or higher on the computer-based exam or 100 or higher on the Internet-based exam. IELTS scores must be 7.0 or higher. We do not require the Test of Spoken English.
- Or, an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English: This degree must be awarded before the student enrolls in doctoral classes in the upcoming quarter at Northwestern. This satisfies the English proficiency requirement, but applicants should still include any TOEFL or IELTS scores in the online application, even if test scores have expired.
3. Attend an interview.
Interviews take place in the final two weeks of January. An applicant cannot request an interview. We will reach out to arrange an interview if we are strongly considering an applicant or need more information. Selected applicants from outside the United States may be interviewed by phone or Skype.
We evaluate applicants for admission based on the entire application package. Our goal is to identify and offer admission to those individuals with potential for success in graduate school and beyond. To this end, we carefully examine each applicant's academic achievement and research experiences.
The evaluation necessarily begins with numerical qualifications such as undergraduate and master’s GPAs, GRE scores and TOEFL scores for foreign students. No minimum scores are required, but entering classes typically have an average GPA of 3.5 (ranging from 3.0 to 4.0) and average Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning GRE scores in the 75th percentile. The admissions committee also looks closely for success in previous coursework.
We place great emphasis on quality research experience, strong letters of support from research and/or academic mentors and colleagues and a personal statement that indicates an appreciation of the research enterprise and a dedication to graduate training. Successful applicants are able to communicate a clear understanding of their own research experiences both in writing (personal statement included with application) and orally (during interviews).
Admission offers will come on a rolling basis throughout February and March. All applicants will be notified by March 15. After enrollment, you will be required to mail one official copy of each transcript to The Graduate School Admission Office. All transcripts should be sent in sealed, unopened envelopes, directly from the issuing institution.