PhD in Epidemiology and Clinical Research

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Can I submit World Education Services (WES) transcripts?

A:  Credential evaluations by WES/other international credential service providers do not fulfill the official transcript requirement.  We recommend that applicants use the resources within the graduate application.  For additional information and guidance, please see the Stanford Graduate Admissions webpage for international applicants

Q:  Can my letters of recommendation arrive after the deadline?

A:  The deadline is provided to you as a final deadline.  All letters must be received, and all applications must be filed through Stanford Graduate Admissions by 11:59 pm on the deadline.  

The exception to this rule is official GRE scores from ETS.  The scores can take up to two weeks to match in the system, and we will process and review your application without official ETS scores ONLY IF you have included self-reported GRE scores in your application.

Q:  Do I need to identify and connect with an epidemiology mentor before or during my application?

A:  No.  Advisors will be assigned to accepted students before the start of the first quarter.  The PhD program is directed by a faculty director and overseen by a faculty committee. Upon admission, each student in the PhD program will be assigned an academic advisor from the group of core faculty in epidemiology. This person will work with the student to craft an individually tailored curriculum that meets their unique goals and interests.  In addition, the student may have a primary research mentor outside of the department. 

Q:  Is there a place in the application for me to submit a writing sample?

A:  We discourage our applicants from including writing samples as they will likely not be read due to the large volume of applications we receive.  If you feel that your writing sample is an essential part of your application, please include a LINK to the writing sample in your CV.

Q:  Do I need to know statistical programs before starting the PhD program?

A:  While it is helpful to have statistical programming experience, it is not required.

Q:  What classes are required to have been taken at the time of application?

A:  While not required, it is strongly encouraged that applicants have, or plan to have at the time of matriculation, mathematical skills at the level of multivariate calculus.

Q:  What is included in an offer of admission to the program?

A:  The offer of admission includes a stipend, health and dental insurance, and graduate tuition.  The stipend and benefits for each academic year are set sometime in early March of the year before.

Q:  Can I complete the program remotely?

A: The PhD Epidemiology & Clinical Research program is full-time (10 units/quarter), and all students are required to be on campus for in-person courses.  

Q:  Can I visit your department and schedule a meeting?

A:  Unfortunately, we are not able to arrange department visits until interview season.  However, all applicants are welcome to visit the Stanford campus anytime.  The campus tour schedule can be found here.    

Q:  What are the minimum GPA and GRE/TOEFL scores for your program?

A:  There are no minimum GPA or GRE General Test scores to be considered for admission to our program.  GRE details and TOEFL minimum requirements are provided by Stanford University on the Graduate Admissions webpage.

Q: Can I submit IELTS instead of TOEFL?

A:  Stanford requires TOEFL scores for all applicants whose first language is not English (with some limited exceptions).  Stanford does not accept IELTS scores.  Please see the Stanford Graduate Admissions FAQ page related to GRE and TOEFL for further guidance.  

Q:  Can I get my application fee waived?

A:  Fee waivers are offered through the School of Medicine PhD programs.  We recommend that you view the fee waiver information on the Graduate Admissions website to see if you are eligible.  Fee waiver requests must be submitted 21 days before the application deadline.

Q:  How long should my statement of purpose be, and what should it include?

A:  Your statement of purpose should not exceed two pages in length, single-spaced.  Make sure to set your computer to Western European or other English-language settings.  We cannot guarantee the ability to access your statement if submitted in other fonts.  Please include your areas of interest related to epidemiology and any potential projects you may have in mind.

Q:  Can my recommenders mail in their letters of recommendation?

A:  All recommendation letters must be submitted using the online application system.  As part of the online application, you will be required to submit the names and contact information, including email addresses, of your recommenders.  Recommenders will receive an email with instructions on how to proceed.  Letters of recommendation should NOT be emailed or faxed.


Program Contacts

For program information and general inquiries:
Epi Admissions
Alway Building
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, California 94305
(650) 723-5456