Admission Information

If you are seeking admission to the Ph.D. in Health Sciences program, you must first be admitted to the Graduate School. Northern Illinois University's Graduate Catalog specifies the requirements for admission to the Graduate School including such criteria as:

  • Required GPA such as 3.20 or higher on a 4.00 scale for applicants who have completed 15 or more semester hours of graduate study.
  • For international, non-immigrant, students: submission of official English translations of academic records from all college and universities attended. Must also meet language test requirements (IELTS score of 6.5, TOEFL score at least 80 or PTE Academic score of 53). The score must be for an examination administered no more than 24 months prior to the beginning of the academic term for which admission is sought.

It is your responsibility to know and meet the criteria necessary for admission to the Graduate School.

If you have earned a graduate degree with at least a GPA of 3.50 from an accredited institution, you may be exempt from taking and/or turning in GRE scores. To request to have your GRE scores waived, please submit the GRE waiver form to the College of Health and Human Sciences after you apply.

You should also have:

  • Obtained an entry level graduate degree from the health sciences or related fields (applications from individuals with non-health science backgrounds such as sociology, history and biology will be considered)
  • Coursework or work experience in the following areas: medical terminology, research methods and health care systems

You are required to submit:

  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from sources qualified to assess the applicant on the criteria included in the personal statement. (Please note that the Graduate School only requires two letters of recommendation; however, your application to the Ph.D. in Health Sciences program will be incomplete until three letters are received.)
  • A statement of purpose. This statement has no word limit and should include a thorough discussion of:
    • How the doctoral program will interface with your career goals
    • Potential area(s) or research interest you would like to pursue
    • How the interprofessional (interdisciplinary) focus of the program supports your career goals
    • Research experience


Apply to the Graduate School. The priority consideration deadline for applications is February 1. The program will continue to accept applications after the February 1 deadline if there is additional space to accommodate new admissions. However, the program cannot assure late applicants full considerations, particularly for offers of funding. The Graduate School's final application deadline for the fall semester is July 15.

For admission approval, a CHHS faculty member must be identified. Review the list of faculty and research interests to identify those who may serve as potential mentors. If a faculty member agrees, send that update to us.

Interview Process

If you have submitted a completed application and meet the minimum requirements, you may be invited for an interview. If you reside a distance from Northern Illinois University's main campus in DeKalb, Illinois, you may elect to hold your interview through audio/visual distance technologies such as Skype or Teams.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to postpone the interview due to certain factors (i.e. inclement weather) or to conduct the interview of any or all applicants using distance technologies. Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Resource Center or a representative of the College of Health and Human Sciences to request accommodations and ensure access to the interview.

Contact Us

Ph.D. in Health Sciences
Wirtz Hall 323
815-753-6169 (fax)

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