PHD HSR Application

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PhD in Health Policy Application

The application for the 2023-2024 academic year is now closed.

To Our Prospective Students and Trainees:

Stanford Health Policy reaffirms its commitment to perform individualized, holistic review of each applicant to its graduate programs. We recognize that students may have faced significant challenges during the period of disruption over the past few years. We will take individual circumstances into account during application review. Importantly, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Credit/No Credit and other grading options during this unprecedented time, whether they are made by institutions or by individual students. Our goal remains to form graduate student cohorts that are excellent and encompass a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences that enrich the graduate educational experience. 

The Application for the 2023-2024 academic year is now closed.

How to Apply

Applications and supporting documents (see below) must be submitted through Stanford’s Office of Graduate Admissions by December 1, 2022. Applications will open through the Office of Graduate Admissions in mid-to-late September.

(Please note that 12/1/2022 is the FINAL DEADLINE. All applications AND all reference letters should be received electronically in the application no later than 11:59 pm on 12/1/2022 so please plan accordingly.)

Applications are evaluated based on the applicant's commitment to and aptitude for a career in health policy research as demonstrated via transcripts, and described in a statement of purpose, relevant work and research experience, and letters of recommendation. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is NOT required (submitting scores is optional) for the 2022-2023 application cycle. Please note that this may change in future years.

Applicants from non-English speaking countries should provide evidence of competence in English on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

(For further information on Stanford University TOEFL requirements and exemptions, please see this page

We welcome applicants with diverse backgrounds.

Required Supporting Documents (to be submitted on Stanford’s central application form):

  • Statement of Purpose that includes the specialization track (Decision Sciences, Evaluative Methods, or Health Economics) and policy area(s) of interest 
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official TOEFL scores (if necessary) – click here for more info
  • Unofficial transcripts for all college/university degrees and courses
  • CV with relevant work and research experience

***Note: This is a very quantitatively based program, and a strong mathematical foundation is necessary for success.  While not a formal requirement, it is strongly encouraged that applicants have, or plan to have at the time of matriculation, mathematical skill at the level of multivariate calculus, and one course each in linear algebra, analysis, probability, and statistics***

Applicant interviews, if offered, will be held in late January to mid-February.

Additional notes:

Application Fee Waivers:

Applicants who need assistance with the application fee are encouraged to apply for a fee waiver through the School of Medicine. 

Applications for fee waivers WILL NOT affect applicants’ chances for admission. 

The fee waiver program gives preference to low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applicants who are part of a group that the NIH considers to be in need of a special recruitment and retention plan to diversify the biomedical sciences workforce are invited to apply, as well as any additional applicants for whom the application fee would be a substantial burden. Applying to more than one fee waiver option will not increase your opportunity of receiving a fee waiver. 

For a complete list of fee waiver options and eligibility requirements, please visit the Graduate Diversity website:

Please note that fee waiver requests are required to be submitted 15 business days prior to the program application deadline so please plan accordingly.


Please make sure that you upload an unofficial transcript for every school attended into your application. 

If admitted, you must provide official transcripts (direct from the institution) to Stanford Graduate Admissions/University Registrar for review and verification. Instructions will be provided to admitted students. Any offer of admission is contingent upon authentication of official transcripts submitted directly to Graduate Admissions.

GRE Scores:

GRE Scores are NOT required for the 2022-2023 application cycle (please note that this may change in future years.)

If you decide to submit your GRE scores, please make sure that you route your optional GRE scores (and TOEFL scores if applicable) directly to Stanford from ETS.  Our university code is 4704. Department code is not required. Please do add your self-report scores to the application, but GRE and TOEFL scores are not considered official until received electronically from ETS.

It is in your best interest to start your application as early as possible.  This will allow for timely notification to your reference letter writers.

Additional Information about Graduate Applications at Stanford:

Additional information regarding Stanford policies and procedures for graduate applications can be found on the Stanford Graduate Admissions website

Additional Information for International Applicants: 

Additional information for international applicants can be found at the following link: 

Application Status Inquiries:

Applicants are able to view their status on their Apply Web status page by logging back into their application. The department administrative staff will do their best to keep the application checklists updated.

The selection of PhD students admitted to the Health Policy Program is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, and past experiences and accomplishments.

MSTP inquiries:

Students interested in pursuing both a PhD in Health Policy and MD in the School of Medicine may apply through the Stanford MSTP (MD-PhD) application process ( To apply for a PhD in Health Policy, please indicate MD-PhD in your Stanford supplementary application, and in the research essays that you would like to be considered for this program (separate PhD application not required).  Applications for this field will be specifically reviewed by faculty within Stanford Health Policy in addition to MSTP faculty. For questions and notification regarding the application process, please contact the MSTP office.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Applications:

Knight-Hennessy Scholars develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation.  

To be considered, you must apply separately for the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship and to the PhD Health Policy Program. Please note, the Knight-Hennessy Program has earlier deadlines than the PhD program.