How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) as well as to the University of Iowa Admissions Office.   Please review the detailed instructions and requirements below to ensure that all application materials are submitted properly.


Applicants who wish to be considered for funding should apply by January 15. Applications received after this date will be considered as space and resources are available.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must have earned a Bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college of university. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in health, business, economic, social science, or related areas who are interested in research in health services and policy are encouraged to apply to the Ph.D. program. A graduate degree in administration, public health, or health planning is excellent preparation, as is experience in a health care setting.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on undergraduate course work and 3.25 on graduate course work is preferred.
  • GRE scores are not required, but are optional for fall 2021 applicants.
  • TOEFL (or IELTS) scores are required for international students except permanent residents or those who have earned a degree from an accredited institution in the US, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom. The minimum recommended scores are: paper 600, computer 250, and internet 100. The minimum recommended IELTS score is 7.0.
  • Relevant work, research and/or volunteer experience is considered.
  • Interview. Upon review by the Admissions Committee qualified applicants are invited for a Skype interview beginning in January. Interviews are required before acceptance into the Ph.D. program.

How to Apply

A complete application to the University of Iowa Ph.D. in Health Services and Policy Program is comprised of two parts: 1) an application and supporting documents submitted to SOPHAS and 2) an application and supporting documents submitted to the University of Iowa Office of Graduate Admissions.


  • Application
  • Official transcripts showing all previous undergraduate and graduate work with grades and degrees.
    • A note for International Students: International transcripts should be evaluated by World Education Service (WES) and submitted to SOPHAS. Transcripts do not need to be sent separately to the University of Iowa unless requested.
  • GRE scores are not required, but are optional for fall 2021 applicants.
  • Three letters of recommendation. These letters are submitted by your letter writers through SOPHAS. Detailed instructions on how these letters are submitted can be found here.
  • Personal Statement– In your personal statement, please describe your interest in health services research, how you envision the department supporting your interest, and any potential career objectives. If you have considered the program’s three focal areas, please rank order your interest in them. Visit the HMP website for detailed information on the three Focus Areas: Health Economics, Health Policy, and Health Management and Organizational.
  • Resume or CV.
  • International applicants must provide their TOEFL scores.

2) Set up UI account and pay supplemental University of Iowa fee

  • Once you have submitted all your materials to SOPHAS and your transcripts have been verified, you will receive an email from the department letting you know when to expect an email from the University of Iowa which will provide you with detailed instructions on setting up a University of Iowa account and paying the supplemental University of Iowa fee. Your application will be reviewed once this step is complete.
  • All students (except those whose previous degree was conferred at the University of Iowa), will need to send their final transcript (showing degree conferral) to the Office of Graduate admissions.