The application for the Master of Science in Population Health Sciences is open to current or recent undergraduates looking to prepare for careers in population health or research, as well as current professionals—including clinicians—who want to broaden their quantitative and methodological skills. Successful applicants generally will demonstrate a passion for improving population health, an aptitude for learning high-level analytic research methods, and academic or professional achievements that show leadership skills, ethics, determination, resilience, and creativity.

Application Deadlines

The 2023-2024 application for the MS in Population Health Sciences is now open.

Early Admission - deadline is November 30, 2023
Duke Population Health Sciences now offers a unique admission opportunity for well-qualified students who apply early. Students who are accepted and matriculate into the program receive additional benefits to maximize success:

  • Top priority for department tuition support
  • Connection with a faculty member
  • Participate in the Summer Institute at no cost
  • Receive a decision in early January

Priority AdmissionApply to the Graduate School by January 15, 2024

Note: Those applying by our January deadline receive priority consideration for department tuition support.

Final Admissions Deadline: February 28, 2024

Application Requirements

Below is a list of documents and information the Duke Graduate School requires: 

Application FAQs

The Population Health Sciences master’s program is open to current or recent undergraduates looking to build quantitative expertise and current professionals—including clinicians—who want to broaden their quantitative and methodological skills. Given the multidisciplinary nature of the field, prospective students with a strong interest in the social sciences, analytics, or health care, may find this degree adds to their knowledge, skills, and career preparation. While prior education and other academic markers are important, above all, we are seeking well-rounded applicants of any age and background who are passionate about using high-level research methods to discover opportunities to improve population health. We're interested in candidates who demonstrate professionalism, leadership skills, ethics, determination, resilience, and creativity, across all domains of life.

The Master of Science in Population Health Sciences is a quantitatively and methodologically rigorous program; students will take courses that rely on basic knowledge of statistics and mathematics. While the program does not mandate specific prerequisite classes, successful students will likely have completed at least one course in introductory statistics (or possess equivalent work experience) and at least one college-level math course (calculus or higher, e.g. linear algebra). Familiarity with computers and software is helpful.

Our current student’s backgrounds and career goals reflect the transdisciplinary nature of population health. Their undergraduate majors include sciences, such as biology and psychology, languages, philosophy, statistics, and music. Some are clinicians—pharmacists or physicians, while others have worked in public health or research. Most have worked after completing their bachelor’s degree, though some started the program immediately following graduation. The common factor among them is a desire to improve the health of populations.

When the admissions committee reviews personal statements, they are primarily looking for a commitment to population health. You should also describe previous relevant experience, and where you envision your future in the field. The specifics of these are up to you. 

The Duke Graduate School annually sets tuition and fee rates and provides estimates for the cost of attendance. Population Health Sciences master’s program is designed as a four-semester, full-time program.

The department awards tuition support in varying amounts based on financial need and merit. Students are automatically considered for scholarships based on their Graduate School application; no additional application is required.

The Duke Graduate School Financial Aid Office works with students to arrange for federal financial aid and student loans. Students apply for financial aid through the Graduate School. Financial aid, which is offered in the form of loans and federal work-study, is available to citizens and eligible non-citizens (green card holders).

Additionally, many of our students work on research projects with department faculty. These research assistant positions do not provide tuition remission but offer hourly compensation. Currently about 80% of our students receive some level of tuition support, and virtually all work as research assistants. 

The School of Medicine and the Department of Population Health Sciences hold as a central tenet that diversity and inclusion are key drivers of institutional excellence and amplify our capacity for innovation and solving complex problems. The department takes seriously its responsibility to recruit and retain students that exemplify a diversity of backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives. We strongly encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented minorities, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with disabilities. Duke offers the following resources in that regard: