Applying for the MS or PhD

How to Apply

At the University of Michigan, our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is central to our mission as an educational institution to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment, for we believe that diversity is key to individual flourishing, educational excellence and the advancement of knowledge.  -  President Mark S. Schlissel

Please review the Rackham Graduate School’s Overview of the Application Process and Rackham’s Checklist for Completing your Application.

Deadlines to Apply: 

  • PhD applications are due December 1.
  • MS applications are due January 15. MS applications may be submitted through May 31.

Application Checklist:

Academic Statement of Purpose

The HILS Academic Statement of Purpose should address these prompts specifically. Please note: the essay prompts for MS and PhD applicants are different.

Academic Statement of Purpose (PhD)

First, briefly list:

  • Primary research area or questions (1-2 sentences)
  • Potential advisors (2-3 DLHS faculty)

Then address the following questions in 4-6 pages (double-spaced):

  • Please describe your understanding of a learning health system, and why you are interested in studying the science underlying these;
  • Describe prior research experiences, courses, or projects that have prepared you for doctoral study.
  • Explain in some detail the research areas in which you hope to contribute:
    • Specify at least one area, discipline, or method that you would like to learn in depth;
    • Describe one other area, discipline, or method that would round out the breadth of your knowledge and why it would be a valuable part of your education.
  • Explain why you identified the potential advisors you did. Have you contacted them?
  • Give an example of a research project you are excited about: one you have conducted, one you would like to conduct, or one that you have read about.

Academic Statement of Purpose (MS)

First, briefly list:

  • Primary research area or questions (1-2 sentences)

  • Potential advisors (2-3 DLHS faculty)

Then address the following questions in 4-6 pages (double-spaced):

  • Please describe your understanding of a learning health system, and why you are interested in studying the science and practice underlying these, noting particularly how you might be interested in using knowledge about learning health systems in practice;

  • Describe prior research experiences, courses, or projects that have prepared you for graduate study, and any experience you have had in clinical practice and/or informatics;

  • Explain in some detail the areas in which you are interested in practicing:

    • Specify at least one clinical area that you would like to learn in depth;

    • Describe another area, discipline, or method that would round out the breadth of your knowledge and why it would be a valuable part of your education.

  • Explain why you identified the potential advisors you did. Have you contacted them?

  • Give an example of an improvement project in a health related setting that you are excited about: one you have conducted, one you would like to conduct, or one that you have read
    about.

Transcripts

One set of official academic records/transcripts should be mailed from your undergraduate and postgraduate institutions directly to the Rackham Graduate School.

You may upload unofficial, electronic transcripts within the online application allowing expedited the review of the application. Upload the front and back of the transcript.

GRE Scores

A Graduate Record Examination (general examination only) taken within the past five years is required. Choose "University of Michigan" from the drop-down menu when registering for the GRE. The University of Michigan institutional code is 1839. 

The GRE is optional for applicants who already hold a terminal degree (JD, MD, PhD, and equivalent) from a US university. However, these applicants are encouraged to submit results for the GRE as their credentials will be evaluated for admission and funding alongside those of applicants who have submitted test scores.

Evidence of English language proficiency for non-native speakers

Applicants (MS and PhD) whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide official score reports for the following:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (preferred). Score earned within the past two years of 600 or higher on the paper-based test or 100 or higher on the Internet-based test (iBT). Request the University of Michigan to receive your scores (institution code 1839).

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Minimum score of 7.0.

  • Michigan MELAB test

Applicants who have earned or will earn a Bachelor's or Master's degree are exempt from taking an English proficiency examination only if one of the following criteria is met:

  • You are a native speaker of English.

  • You completed all four years of your undergraduate education at an institution in the United States and earned a degree from that institution.

  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree in one of the following countries, Australia, English-speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom.

  • You completed all of your graduate education, a minimum of two years duration, and earned a graduate degree in one of the following countries, the United States, Australia, English-speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the United Kingdom. Graduate education includes Master's, Ph.D., and professional degrees. Graduate degrees that are exclusively research-based are excluded.

  • You are a current U-M student.

Being a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking an English proficiency exam; if the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exception above or submit English proficiency exam.

Rackham Graduate School’s Overview of the Application Process and Rackham’s Checklist for Completing your Application.