Virginia Commonwealth University


Admission Criteria
Admission to the program, which is open to students with clear career goals in the health related sciences, is limited and competitive. Therefore, education and work experience in a health related field is encouraged. Applicants to the program must meet the following admission criteria:
1. Have an earned master's degree in an academic or allied health related field from an accredited college or university. The master's degree should be in one of our departmental areas for choice of specialty track.
2. Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3 on their master's level work. Applicants must also have completed a graduate-level course in statistics with a grade of "B" or better.
3. Have earned a minimum combined score in the 85th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE); or a minimum score in the 85th percentile on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Tests must have been taken within the past five years.
4. When applicable, have a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 600 (score of 250 on computerized exam).
5. Demonstrate a record of professional competency and success.
6. Articulate clear professional/educational goals and written communication skills through the submission of a written essay.
Enrollment in the program is open to qualified persons without regard to age, race, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. Admission requirements are in compliance with all applicable federal and state statutes, orders and regulations, and University guidelines.
Before submitting an application, the applicant and his or her employer and family should recognize the demanding nature of the program. An individual MUST attend on¬campus sessions at the beginning an end of each semester and will need that time away from work. Completion of the Ph.D. Program will require commitment, hard work, and the ability to manage time effectively.

Application Procedures

Application deadline is March 15th of each year.

To apply to the program, prospective students should access the VCU Graduate School website, then click on the "Apply Now" option. Applicants should choose the online option. VCU's self-managed graduate application process requires the applicant to collect and submit all supporting materials. Supporting materials that should be mailed directly to the Graduate School (P.O. Box 843051, Richmond, VA 23284-3051) include:
 • A $65 nonrefundable application fee, submitted by check or money order and made payable to VCU. Applications cannot be processed until this fee has been received.
 • Application submittal signature page (printed from online site).
 • Application for Virginia in-state tuition (if applicable).
 • Official transcripts for all degrees received from an accredited college or university. Transcripts must be received in sealed envelopes signed across the seals by official university or college registrars. Prospective graduate students who have studied outside of the United States must provide an external credential evaluation as part of the admissions process. For those seeking graduate admission to VCU, a NACES-accredited external evaluation of your foreign credentials will be required with your application. This report must be received sealed and unopened. (For more information, see
 • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogy Test (MAT) scores taken within the last five years.
Supporting materials that should be mailed directly the Doctoral Program in Health Related Sciences (c/o Monica L. White, Program Coordinator, Box 980233, Richmond, VA 23298-0233) include:
 • Three letters of recommendation, two of which are from sources qualified to assess the candidate's academic potential.
 • A curriculum vitae.
 • A written essay that discusses career goals and research interests and the manner in which this doctoral program will enhance those goals.

Materials sent to the Graduate School for processing will be forwarded to the Program Coordinator. Once received, the application is reviewed for completeness. Applicants with incomplete files will be contacted regarding the missing materials. Once all materials are received, the completed application is reviewed by faculty from the discipline in which the student is applying. Applicants will be notified by the Program Director and the Dean of the Graduate School regarding the admission decision and the deadline for their acceptance of the offer.

You must notify the Graduate School of your admission offer decision according to the directions noted in their offer letter.  Failure to do so will impact semester registration and financial aid distribution.

Course Transfer or Waiver
Course Transfer: A maximum of 25% of the program coursework other than research may be transferred from another VCU program or outside institution and applied toward the Ph.D. course requirements. Courses taken as requirements for a previously earned degrees are not transferable.
Course Waiver: Students may also request waiver of a required course if an equivalent course was previously taken and successfully completed. If approved, another course of equal or greater credit must be substituted for the waived course in order to fulfill the requisite credit hours needed for degree completion.
Transfer and waiver credit is given at the discretion of the Program Director after review of the course syllabus and consultation with appropriate faculty members, and is subject to University approval.

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