General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 41
  • Students: 15
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: All MS students are automatically considered based on their Graduate School application. Some merit-based scholarships are available for MS students. All MS students are automatically considered based on their Graduate School application.
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadlines: Early admission: November 30; Priority deadline: January 15; Final deadline: February 28
Application Info


Asheley Skinner
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Population Health Sciences
Duke University
Box 104023
Durham, NC

Phone: (919) 668-6360



Program Description

The Department of Population Health Sciences offers a Master of Science in Population Health Sciences that provide a solid methodological and analytical foundation across broad population health sciences concepts, including basic study design, determinants of health, health disparities, implementation and evaluation, and policies and systems.

Our faculty research spans the areas of:

  • Health Measurement Bioethics
  • Implementation Science
  • Clinical Decision Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Economics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Research

The MS program consists of coursework, collaborative research projects, and hands-on experience. Students take advanced classes in applied analytic methods, foundational courses in population health sciences, research methods, and study design, along with four electives. Real-world experience comes from a year-long capstone project during which students complete an internship and write a master’s paper. The program requires professional development seminars on topics including leadership and professional adaptability, networking and communication techniques, having a professional presence, and US employer expectations. Broadly, we expect that students entering the MS in Population Health Sciences should have a background or strong interest in the social sciences, quantitative sciences, and health care. 

While prior education and other academic markers are important, above all, we are seeking well-rounded students who are passionate about using rigorous research methods to discover opportunities to improve population health, and we welcome students of any age and background who possess this quality. We're interested in candidates who demonstrate professionalism, leadership skills, determination, resilience, and creativity, across all domains of life. Each applicant is considered on the merit of their entire application, and no single factor (e.g., GRE scores) will automatically eliminate a candidate from consideration. 

The Master of Science in Population Health Sciences is a quantitatively and methodologically rigorous program; students will take courses that rely on a basic knowledge of statistics and mathematics.

We do not have any specific prerequisites, but we strongly recommend that applicants demonstrate familiarity with these topics through coursework, professional experience, or other means:

  • At least one course in introductory statistics, or equivalent work experience. If you have not completed this at the time of your application, we strongly encourage you to take a course at an institution of your choice prior to matriculation. This will prepare you for success in the MS program. 


  • At least one college-level math course, calculus or higher (e.g., calculus, linear algebra) 

General comfort with computers and software will facilitate success in courses emphasizing software-enabled analytic methods, and familiarity with health care would also be beneficial.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadlines: Early admission: November 30; Priority deadline: January 15; Final deadline: February 28

The early application deadline is November 30, 2023. All applications received by November 30 will receive an admissions decision by January 2024. The priority deadline is January 15, 2024, though all applications received by February 28, 2024 are guaranteed review. Applications received after February 28, 2024 will be reviewed on a space-available basis through May 31, 2024.

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (See department guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Master of Science candidates will participate in an interview with a combination of faculty and staff members, and are completed virtually. 

Writing Sample
None required

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance (M.S.)