Program Details

Minimum Credit Hours

Application Cycle
Consultation with the Director of Graduate Admissions will be required in order to be considered for admission in any semester other than Fall.

Application Priority Deadline

November 14th, 2023

Application Deadline
December 12, 2023

Expected Duration
4-5 Years

Learning Environment

Admissions Information

Who Should Apply
Applicants with an undergraduate degree interested in engaging in rigorous training in research methodology with substantive knowledge to provide the academic foundation and research experience to become creative and independent researchers. A Master’s degree or experience in health policy or health services research is preferred but not required.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program looks for students with an outstanding academic record, innovative thinking, and evidence of a focus in research interests on health services research and health policy.

Prior Degree Required
Master’s degree or relevant experience preferred but not required.

Required Prerequisites

Undergraduate G.P.A.
An average grade of B (cumulative GPA 3.0) or better is required. Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.4.

Letters of Recommendation Required
3 (academic and/or professional; academic preferred)

Department will contact selected applicants for interviews.

Visit Opportunities
Learn about opportunities to connect with faculty, staff, and current students virtually and in person.

How To Apply

I. Complete UNC Graduate School application
The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC Chapel Hill programs.

More Information

1. Application Fee

The UNC Graduate School application fee is $95. Information on UNC Graduate School Fee Waiver Requests

2. Faculty Interest(s)/mentor(s)

You are asked to list faculty with whom you’d like to work; this information can be helpful to the admissions committee.

3. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

4. Area(s) of interest

Please select your primary and secondary concentration areas via the Areas of Interest/Specialization drop-down box within your application. Please note that this selection is essential in facilitating a match with an advisor, so careful consideration of a concentration is strongly encouraged. Referring to the research approach and required courses in each concentration is strongly encouraged before making a selection. Selecting more than two concentration areas is not required or encouraged.

5. Educational history

Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.

We advise that you order two copies of your transcript(s) to be sent to you. If you are admitted and choose to enroll, UNC will require official transcript(s) showing degree(s) awarded.

6. Community standards

You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

7. Upload your personal statement.

Upload a brief essay (up to 4 pages in length) that addresses the issues listed below. Use this statement to provide the Admissions Committee with detailed information relevant to your application that is not otherwise available.

  • Why do you wish to study health policy and/or health services research?
  • Please describe any previous research experience you have had.
  • Which of our concentration areas is the closest match for your research approach and interests? Describe how the selected concentration focus will fit into your projected career plans. (Please see Plans for Graduate Study Page requirements below)
  • Discuss the way in which your past education, research and/or work experience(s) will contribute to your proposed studies at UNC.
  • Explain how your academic background, strengths, and lived experiences might: (1) contribute to health services/ health policy research and/ or (2) distinguish you from other applicants. Indicate faculty members in the Department who most closely match your interests. Be specific about the areas of overlap in interest.

8. Upload your resume or CV.

9. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf.

3 Letters of Recommendations are required. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

10. Report test scores, if applicable.

GRE scores are neither required nor typically recommended for applicants.

International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores. Code 5816 routes to UNC. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be no more than two years old.

11. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

Applicants should preview all documents uploaded into the application system to ensure that all documents are legible for committee review.

12. Track your progress.

You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.

II. Application Review Process

More Information

1. Department reviews application and recommends a decision.

Time-to-decision varies. Departments make recommendations to the UNC Graduate School for admitting and denying applicants. Final decisions are rendered by the UNC Graduate School.

2. UNC Graduate School reviews department recommendation and renders a final decision:

The UNC Graduate School reviews all admissions recommendations made by programs. Once final decisions have been made, the UNC Graduate School will send the applicant an email instructing them to login to their application portal to see the decision letter.

III. Costs and Funding

More Information

When estimating costs, please visit the UNC Cashier’s Office and use the Graduate and Professional Program Tuition and Fees link. Please note that the tuition and fees of graduate programs at Gillings vary from other graduate programs at UNC.

Gillings departments and concentrations consider both domestic and international applicants for funding. Please see below for helpful tips and resources:

1. Applicants will be reviewed for eligibility for UNC Graduate School scholarships and fellowships. Departments and concentrations will decide which applicants to nominate. No additional application is required.

2. Please refer to our School’s Costs and Funding page and/or UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) website.

3. Apply for FEDERAL financial aid by March 1 (please verify this date via FAFSA). If you have been admitted and completed the FAFSA form by their deadline, the UNC Office of Scholarship and Student Aid will create a financial aid package for you.

4. Funding offers through the department, such as research assistantships, are possible but not guaranteed.

5. Students positions at Gillings are posted here. The UNC Graduate School also provides resources for funding, including a listserv for incoming and current students, here.

During and After The Program

For more information on our curriculum and graduate school/career outcomes, please see our Student Handbook.



Gillings Admissions

Kim Sieler
Academic Coordinator

Justin Trogdon
Director of Graduate Admissions

BSPH, MSPH and Resident MHA:
Academic Coordinator: Yolonda N. Childs

Doctoral and Executive MHA:
Academic Coordinator: Kim Sieler

Assistant to Chair: Stephanie Forman
Looking for someone else?
MPH@UNC (MPH Online) Only:
Program Coordinator, John Sugg

Mailing Address
135 Dauer Drive
1101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7411
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411