Frequently Asked Questions

What criteria make an application competitive?

How competitive is the application process? (i.e. what is the comparison between number of applicants vs. the number of spots available?)

Typically the department receives between 90 and 120 applications per year. Acceptance and enrollment in the program ranges between 22-30 new students per year. This total includes all degree and program areas.

What is the typical GRE and/or TOEFL score for acceptance?

Applicants who receive admissions offers typically score in the 65th percentile or higher on all three sections of the GRE. Particular scrutiny is given to the quantitative score.  Applicants with exceptional qualifications or experience and lower scores will still be considered for admission.  The total record of achievement is taken into consideration.

What is the typical GPA for acceptance?

A minimum 3.0 grade point average for the last 90 credits of coursework is required by the UW Graduate School. The department is able to request a waiver of this minimum if an applicant has exceptional qualifications or experience. The average GPA of accepted applicants is approximately 3.6.

Which aspect of the application is emphasized most during the selection?

All aspects of the application are reviewed holistically by the committee. This includes review of GRE, GPA, satisfaction of prerequisites, letters of recommendation, and the goal statement. There is no prescreening based upon GRE and GPA only.  The goals statement should reflect an understanding of and enthusiasm for the discipline, potential post-graduate professional goals, and interests that reflect a "fit" with our faculty research interests and available research funding.

Application Deadlines and Procedures

What is the application deadline?

Domestic Application Deadline: December 1
To ensure priority consideration, domestic applicants should complete their application file with the Department and the Graduate School by December 1. Domestic applications completed after December 1 may be reviewed on a space-available basis, but consideration of late applications is not guaranteed. Applicants whose files are completed on time are assured consideration for departmental financial support, if requested.

International Application Deadline: December 1
The department's international application deadline for autumn quarter is December 1. You must submit all materials required by the department and the Office of Graduate Admissions by December 1 to be considered for autumn quarter admission. Submitting an application by this date allows the UW to process documents in time to meet Immigration and Naturalization Service deadlines.

What institution and department codes should I use when requesting that ETS send my GRE and/or TOEFL scores?

The institution code for the University of Washington is 4854. A department code is unnecessary, as scores are received and processed into a central database. When submitting TOEFL scores, you can use 50 (public health) as the department code.

Can the GRE, TOEFL, prerequisites, or fee be waived?

Can the GRE requirement be waived?

No. Official GRE scores must be submitted unless you have earned a doctoral level degree (MD, DO, PhD) from an accredited U.S. institution.

Can the TOEFL requirement be waived?

No. Official TOEFL scores must be submitted by all international applicants. This is a university requirement and cannot be waived by the department.

This requirement can be waived by the University if an applicant can demonstrate English proficiency with an alternative method described by Graduate School Memorandum 8.

Can the application fee be waived?

A limited number of need-based application fee waivers within the UW Graduate School Application are available for U.S. citizens, Permanent Residents and Immigrants only.

If short on credits in prerequisite subject areas, is it possible to be accepted contingent upon completion of the missing credits? How common is it to complete such credits when enrolled in the program?

Students are encouraged to complete as much of the required prerequisite coursework as possible before applying. However, students who are missing a few of the basic requirements yet feel that they have a strong enough background in the area will still be reviewed by the admissions committee. The committee may recommend acceptance based upon completion of certain coursework once admitted.

Common International Applicant Questions

Is the TSE required for admission?

No. We do not require the TSE for admission to our programs. International doctoral students who will be required to TA can either submit official TSE scores or take the SPEAK test administered at the University of Washington after enrolling.

Can the TOEFL requirement be waived?

No. Official TOEFL scores must be submitted by all international applicants. This is a University requirement and cannot be waived by the department.

Can the application fee be waived?

No. The application fee is a university requirement and cannot be waived by the department. The department is not permitted to process or consider an application until the application fee has been paid.

Distance Learning and Other Programs

Do you offer distance learning courses or graduate programs?

Although the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health does not offer graduate programs or courses through distance learning, the Department of Health Services in the School of Public Health offers a three-year, part-time Extended MPH Degree Program. The program requirements are partially completed through distance learning. The program is designed for mid-career public and community health professionals with three or more years experience in public health or a related health care field.

What is the Risk Analysis Emphasis?

The Department established the Institute for Risk Analysis and Risk Communication (IRARC) in 1996 to provide a supportive infrastructure for risk-related activities within the department, throughout the school, and across the University. Our graduates increasingly find themselves in employment situations where they are required to perform risk analysis or risk assessment. Risk Emphasis directs our students to the basic courses that will provide knowledge for pursuing risk-related careers. Note:  The Risk Emphasis is not  UW certificate program.  The courses required to obtain a Risk Analysis Emphasis (in conjunction with an MS or PhD) are:

ClassCreditsQuarter OfferedClass Title
ENV H 5773/4ARisk Assessment for Environmental Health Hazards
ENV H 5524WEnvironmental Chemistry of Pollution
ENV H 5563AQuantitative Occupational Exposure Analysis
ENV H 5743SpProbabilistic Exposure Analysis
ENV H 5931, max. 6WCurrent Topics in Risk Assessment

Course requirements are subject to change. Contact Dr. Elaine Faustman if you are interested in Risk Emphasis.