Frequently Asked Questions about our PhD in Health Policy

Q. I have questions about the program (structure, focus, research opportunities, etc.) Who should I contact?

Please contact Dr. Corinna Haberland -  For questions related to the application process, please email the HRP education program manager at

Q. Do I need to identify and connect with a mentor before or during my application?

No, advisors will be assigned to accepted students shortly before the start of their first quarter.

Q:  Can my letters of recommendation arrive after the deadline?

The deadline is provided to you as a final deadline.  All letters must be received, and all applications must be filed through Stanford Graduate Admissions by 11:59 pm on the deadline.  

Q:  Can I submit my World Education Services (WES) transcripts?

Credential evaluations submitted by WES/other international credential service providers do not fulfill the official transcript requirement.  We recommend that you use the options within the application.  You can also find more information and guidance at the Stanford Graduate Admissions page for international applicants.

Q:  What is included in the offer of admission?

The offer of admission includes stipend, health insurance and graduate tuition.  The stipend and benefits for each academic year are set in early March of the year before.

Q:  I am not a citizen or permanent resident of the US, am I still eligible for admission and funding?

Though circumstances may be different from one student to another, we anticipate being able to provide and/or help students obtain financial support for the first four years of the program.  However, non-US citizens and non-US Permanent Residents are ineligible for our largest pool of funds, and prospects for funding their studies through our programs are therefore significantly more limited.  Applicants who are not US citizens or Permanent Residents are strongly encouraged to apply for other funding, such as the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program and external fellowships.

Q:  What are the minimum GPA and GRE/TOEFL scores for your program?

There are no minimum GPA or GRE General Test scores to be considered for admission to our program.  GRE details and TOEFL minimum requirements are provide by Stanford University on the Graduate Admissions webpage.

Q:  Can I get my application fee waived?

Fee waivers are offered through the School of Medicine PhD programs.  We recommend that you review the fee waiver information on the Graduate Admissions website to see if you are eligible.  Fee waiver requests must be submitted 21 days before the application deadline.

Q:  Can I submit IELTS instead of TOEFL?

Stanford requires TOEFL scores for all applicants whose first language is not English (with some limited exceptions).  Stanford does not accept IELTS.  Please see the Stanford Graduate Admissions FAQ page related to GRE and TOEFL for further guidance.

Q:  How long should my statement of purpose be and what should it include?

Your statement of purpose should not exceed two pages in length, single-spaced. Make sure to set your computer to Western European or another English-language setting.  We cannot guarantee the ability to access your statement if submitted in other fonts. Please make sure to include which track you are applying for and please include policy area(s) of interest.

Q:  Can my recommenders mail in their letters of recommendation?

All recommendations must be submitted using the online application system.  As part of the online application, you will be required to submit the names and contact information, including email addresses, of your recommenders.  Recommenders will receive an email with instructions on how to proceed.  Letters of recommendation should not be emailed or faxed.


Q. I was unable to get a GRE test date early enough to guarantee that my scores will be submitted by the application deadline. Can they be submitted after that date?

We understand that sometimes scheduling conflicts can result in later-than-desirable GRE test dates. As long as the GRE exam is taken before the application deadline, scores will be accepted up to 3 weeks after the deadline date.

Q:  I requested that my official GRE scores be sent, but I don't see them when I log into my application, should I be concerned?

Official scores from ETS can only match up to submitted applications in the system.  Additionally, the matching process only happens once a week so matching can take up to 2 weeks after an applicant has submitted her/his application.  We encourage applicants to self-report GRE scores in the application so that scores are still available to application reviewers during the score matching process.

Q. I have questions about the program (structure, focus, research opportunities, etc.) Whom should I contact?

Please contact Dr. Corinna Haberland -  For questions related to the application process, please email the HRP education program manager at