Graduate application

Admissions requirements
Application procedures
Application materials

Admission Requirements

Typically the Department of Epidemiology receives more than 250 applications for approximately 40 openings. Therefore, the Department is unable to offer admission to a large percentage of applicants, even those who are seemingly well-qualified.

A competitive applicant to the Department of Epidemiology will generally have strong biological and quantitative preparation, although no specific courses are required. Some background in the social sciences is also desirable. Although not required, prior coursework in probability and logic is strongly recommended. In addition, applicants should have some relevant biomedical research experience or other evidence of a commitment to research. This can be paid or volunteer experience or coursework.

Many factors are considered in evaluating an individual’s application, but most successful applicants will have verbal and quantitative GRE scores at or above the 70th percentile (approximately 560 verbal and 660 quantitative). and an undergraduate GPA at or above 3.0.

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Application Procedure

Step 1: Decide Which Degree is for You.

Step 2: Review Application Deadlines

  • UNC Graduate School Deadline
    • Though the department makes admission decisions, some financial awards are given through the Graduate School. For full consideration for these awards, the deadline is 2nd Tuesday in December.
  • Epid Deadlines
    • All applications received by the 2nd Tuesday in January will be reviewed by the admissions committee. We must receive all materials by this deadline. We urge you to apply by January 1.
    • Most decisions are made between February 1 and April 1. The Graduate School will mail the official decision letter no later than April 1.
    • You may apply only for fall admission.
  • Financial Aid Information
    • Applications with all required materials received by the 2nd Tuesday in December will receive full consideration for Graduate School fellowships. Applications received after that date will be considered for departmental funding, as available.
    • For more information on financial aid, please refer to the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid
    • The School of Public Health and Epidemiology offer financial assistance, guidance and awards for financing your education as well. Information on Departmental funding options can be found in our Awards and Funding section.

Step 3: Collect Application Materials and Review Admission Requirements

Step 4: Review Special Instructions

  • Applicants are expected to apply online. Please contact the Graduate School if you have problems with the online application.

Step 5: Complete an Application

  • PhD and MSCR applications are processed centrally through the UNC Graduate School and are available online.
    • You must create an account to begin the process
  • Once the fee is paid, the application is processed and the application is available to Epidemology the next business day.

Step 6: Manage Your Application

  • After the application has been submitted and the fee paid, you may track the progress of your application and verify the receipt of your application materials.
  • Please allow adequate time for the application materials to be processed.

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Application Materials

The following are items required to complete your application:

  • Application Fee
    • Visit the Graduate School’s web page for fee information.
    • Each application submitted requires payment of a non-refundable application fee either paid online by credit card, or by check or money order made payable to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Transcripts
    • One unofficial transcript of all post-secondary work is uploaded within the Graduate School’s online application. You will be required to send official transcripts only if offered admission.
    • A transcript is needed even if credits earned at one institution appear on another institution’s transcript as credits transferred.
    • If you are currently enrolled in school, you should wait to submit your application until current term grades and/or awarding of degree are posted so that a final transcript can be uploaded within your application. If final transcripts will not be available until after the application deadline, you can upload a current transcript, but you must submit an updated transcript to as soon as possible.
    • International applicants must also submit a certified English translation of transcripts not issued in English.
  • Faculty mentors: In your online application, you are not required to list faculty with whom you would like to work, but it can be helpful to the Admissions Committee. However, you should not solicit faculty to support your application. The Admissions Committee judges applications on their merit and does not base their decision on support from an individual faculty member.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
    • Applicants will be asked for Recommenders’ email addresses within the online application.
    • Letters of recommendation will arrive electronically and be automatically linked to your application.
  • Department of Epidemiology Statement of Purpose/Interest
    • Uploaded within the online application.
  • CV/Resume
    • Uploaded within the online application.
  • GRE Scores
    • PhD and MSCR applicants send recent GRE scores to the University Code 5816 from the Educational Testing Services
    • GRE scores more than five (5) years will not be accepted.
    • See “Note on GRE test scores” below.
  • NC residents need to complete the North Carolina Residency Application, for tuition purposes.

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Additional Materials for International Applicants Only

  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores
    • PhD and MSCR applicants send recent TOEFL or IELTS scores to University Code 5816 from the Educational Testing Services
    • ETS will not report scores over two (2) years old.
    • See “Note on TOEFL and IELTS test scores” below
  • International Student Data Form and Financial Certification
    • Within the Graduate School’s online application, international applicants are directed to complete the International Student Data form, and then upload this form along with copies of supporting bank documentation and immigration documents.
    • Please do not mail in forms or supporting documents.

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Note on GRE test scores:

  • Many factors are considered in evaluating an individual’s application, but most successful applicants will have verbal and quantitative GRE scores at or above the 70th percentile.
  • Applicants who have completed a prior doctoral degree from a U.S. institution may waive the GRE.
  • Applicants who are currently enrolled in an MD program may substitute MCAT scores for GRE scores.
  • All other applicants must submit GRE scores for the general test (verbal, quantitative, writing).
  • Subject tests are not required

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Note on TOEFL or IELTS test scores:

  • On the paper-based TOEFL exam, the Graduate School recommends a minimum score of 550 with a minimum score of 50 on each subsection.
  • On the internet-based TOEFL exam, the Graduate School recommends a minimum score of 79.
  • On the IELTS exam, the Graduate School recommends a minimum total score of 7.
  • An exception to this requirement is made for applicants from Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-except Quebec, England, Ghana, Ireland, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobego, Uganda, and Wales.
  • An exception to this requirement is made for applicants who have received a degree from an accredited U.S. university.
  • An exception to this requirement is made for applicants who have received a degree from an accredited university where English is verified as the SOLE language of instruction.

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