Below are answers to questions that students frequently ask when considering whether to apply to the PhD program in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research (P-SHOR).

If you have APPLICATION specific questions that are not addressed below, please email

If you have PROGRAM specific questions that are not addressed below, please email

Questions About the Application:

When is the application deadline for the PhD in PHSR?

The application deadline for the PhD in PHSR program is JANUARY 10, 2023. Please note that the University is closed and admissions staff are not available from December 23, 2022-January 4, 2023, thus you are encouraged to submit your materials as soon as you are able.

Can I have the application fee waived?

If you are experiencing hardship and would like to request a fee waiver, please email to request a waiver.

When is the best time to apply?

The deadline to submit your application with supporting materials is January 10, 2023. However, if able, you are encouraged to submit your application early to ensure all your materials are ready for review.

Am I required to submit official transcripts?

Due to the difficulties ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may submit unofficial transcripts for consideration in admissions. If you are offered admission to our program, you will be required to submit official transcripts before an official offer is made. If the academic transcript is not in English, you will be required to include a translated copy from either your University or a service (examples of such services include or in your application.

How many letters of recommendation are required?

Two (2) letters of recommendation are required for consideration for the PhD program.

Can I change information in a letter of recommendation to someone else?

You may not edit information in your letter(s) of recommendation after submission. If you need to update recommender information, you must reach out to so that we may enable you to add new recommender information.

What if my letters of recommendation are not in by the submission deadline?

Two (2) letters of recommendation should be received by the deadline. If you are having trouble securing letters, please reach out to us at to inform us of circumstances.

Should I submit the GRE score if I have one?

We are NOT reviewing GRE scores this year as part of the application review and admissions process. You may submit your scores at your discretion, but the admissions committee will not review GRE scores.

Should I declare a major or track on my application?

You should speak to your general interests in the field of PHSR and areas of interest within PHSR (e.g., pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics, comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research, and/or pharmaceutical policy). You are not committing to a major or specialization in your application, but speaking to your interests within the field.

Should I identify an advisor in my application?

You are not expected nor encouraged to identify an advisor in your application, as our training program centers on engagement with many faculty in the first year. However, you are encouraged to note faculty in the department who are engaged in the type of research in which you are interested.

Can I go back to my application to update materials?

You may not edit your application after submission. If you would like to update any materials, you must reach out to for further information.

When are the interviews and are they required?

All admissions interviews will be virtual. If selected to move on to the next phase of the admissions process, you will be contacted via email to schedule the interview. It is required that you attend the interview. The application deadline is January 10, 2023. Admissions interviews are scheduled for January 31, 2023 and February 8, 2023. Competitive applications that are completed online by December 6, 2022 will be considered for the first interview date on January 31, 2023. Please note that the University is closed and admissions staff are not available between December 23, 2022 and January 4, 2023.

Do you offer conditional acceptances?

Unfortunately, the program does not offer conditional acceptances. No exceptions are made.

When will I hear back regarding an admissions decision?

Most candidates will receive notification between mid-February and mid-March (or earlier) of the final admissions committee decision. 

How many students are typically admitted each year?

The precise number of students admitted varies from year to year. Generally, four to six students are admitted.

Do you admit students in the Spring semester?

Unfortunately, students are admitted in the Fall semester only. No exceptions are made.

I am an international applicant. Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS?

The policy regarding language requirements states, "Applicants whose native language or language of the home is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam." Exemptions from the English Language Proficiency Requirement are granted for those individuals who have received a degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or other nationally recognized university in a country where their education was conducted in English (see the list of approved countries on the Graduate School website under "Exemptions from English Language Proficiency Requirement"). Students who receive an exemption are not required to submit an English proficiency exam.

Is there any special information for international applicants?

International applicants are encouraged to have studied for at least one year in the United States and preferably have received an undergraduate (BA, BS) or graduate (MA, MS) degree from a U.S. institution of higher learning before applying to the program. Additional information for international applicants may be found through the Graduate School.

If offered admission to the PhD program am I able to request a deferral?

Deferrals are granted on a limited case-by-case basis after review by the graduate program director and admissions committee. If you are experiencing an issue outside of your control and need to request a one-year deferral (we do not allow semester deferrals), please email Dr. Danya Qato, graduate program director, at to request the deferral. Each request will be reviewed by the graduate program director and admissions committee in order to render a decision.

Questions About the GRE Exam:

My GRE scores have expired. Can I send you my old report?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges our applicants may have experienced during the pandemic in accessing test centers, the PHSR Admissions Committee will not be considering GRE scores for the incoming class of Fall 2023.

Do I need to take the GRE exam if I have been out of school for several years?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges our applicants may have experienced during the pandemic in accessing test centers, the PHSR Admissions Committee will not be considering GRE scores for the incoming class of Fall 2023. Applicants who wish to submit their GRE scores may still do so, but they will not be reviewed by the committee. All applicants, regardless of GRE submission, will be given a full and fair review. Please reach out to if you have any questions.

Questions About the Program and Financial Aid:

Is the program online?

No. The PhD in PHSR program is in-person. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, some courses may continue to be conducted online.

Do you offer an MS degree?

Yes. Students who are interested in pursuing a master's degree should apply to the School's MS in PHSR program.

Is there funding available for graduate students in the program?

Yes! Full-time graduate students enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research PhD Program are fully funded. Financial support, usually in the form of teaching and research assistantships, is provided for students accepted into the program. This support includes an annual stipend of $32,250/$33,325 (post-candidacy), tuition remission, health insurance, and student fees. The total support is valued at over $46,000.