Applicant Checklist and Deadlines

phs-photos-2016-026The PhD Program in Biological Sciences in Public Health (BPH), which is based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, is administered through the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA.

APPLICATION: You are required to complete the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Admissions Application to apply to the Ph.D. Program in Biological Sciences in Public Health, located at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: Application information and instructions are available at

Program Number: 8500
Program Name: Biological Sciences in Public Health

Name/Number: BPH/85


APPLICATION DEADLINE: December 1, 2022.  Please note that we request that all of your materials are received by December 1 as our committee reviews all applications immediately after the deadline.  Late materials will not be considered. We do not have rolling admissions, so there is no advantage to submitting application materials early.
[NOTE: the next application cycle will open in the fall of 2022.]

INTERVIEW DATES: For those invited, in-person interviews will take place from February 9th – February 10th, 2023.   Please make note of these dates as we only offer one interview opportunity.

FEE: $105 U.S. – Payable to GSAS-Harvard University. This fee must accompany the application for admission; applications will not be processed without the full fee. Application fee waivers can be requested directly through the GSAS online application.

REQUIREMENTS: Matriculants are required to have at minimum a bachelor’s degree.

GRE TESTS: GRE General Test scores will not be considered when applications are reviewed.


If English is not your native language, there are only three acceptable ways to demonstrate English proficiency: 1) Hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction; 2) Score at least 100 on the TOEFL iBT Test; 3) Score at least 7.5 on the IELTS test. Please note that GSAS does not accept scores from the TOEFL ITP Plus examination.

TOEFL TEST: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

When requesting TOEFL score reports, be sure to indicate the receiving institution as Harvard University, Graduate Division, Arts & Sciences code R-3451.

More information can be found on the GSAS Application instruction website.

IELTS TEST: IELTS Academic Test (International English Language Testing System)

For those students planning to submit IELTS scores, please note that we will only accept official IELTS Academic scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center via the E-Delivery service. Scores from the IELTS General Training module are not accepted. At the time of test-taking, please specify Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as a score recipient. We do not accept IELTS paper test Report Forms nor do we verify Test Report Forms (TRFs).

More information can be found on the GSAS Application instruction website.

RECOMMENDATIONS: 3 recommendations are required.  It is suggested that you communicate to recommenders you listed on the application so that they submit their recommendations before the deadline.

The statement of purpose is a particularly important part of the application. We suggest that applicants take time to familiarize themselves with program faculty to assess compatibility with their scientific interests and align their purpose and goals with the program.  A well-crafted statement should address the following:

  1. Your motivation in seeking doctoral-level training in the BPH Program
  2. Specific aspects of the BPH Program that motivated you to apply
  3. A description of any past research experience
  4. Your current research interests
  5. The BPH faculty members who most closely match your interests and reasons why you would like to work with them
  6. Your current career aspirations
  7. If applicable, a brief description of any hardships, adversity or extenuating circumstances that you feel provide important context for other components of your application

The PhD Program in Biological Sciences begins in July 2023.