PhD Application Checklist


We welcome students who have training and work experience in diverse fields. In recent years, we have accepted students with training in fields including anthropology, community health, engineering, geography, nutrition, physiology, policy, psychology, public health, sociology, social work, and health professions including medicine, nursing, and physician assistants. The faculty consider multiple factors when evaluating applications: A well written statement that describes your research experience and interests is essential for evaluating your fit with our program. Please contact us at so we can explore how your interests fit with our program. Strong letters of recommendation from people who can speak to your potential for success in our PhD program provide additional background on your academic aptitude and preparation. GREs are not required, but you may submit your scores if you believe they will strengthen your application.

Statement of Purpose

Please use the following guidelines for your statement of purpose. The statement should be 2-3 pages, double spaced. Your essay should describe your: (1) research interests and plans for graduate study; (2) how you see your research interests fitting into our program; (3) academic or professional research experiences including publications, theses, and research in progress; (4) academic and professional experiences in your proposed or related fields, including non-course education, teaching or other relevant employment, or other scholarly activities.

Writing Sample

Please submit a brief writing sample that showcases your current skills in writing and analytical thinking. It is more important that your writing sample reflect your best work than that the topic match your planned area of study in our PhD program. Examples could include a class paper, a selection from a thesis, a lead or sole authored paper, an op-ed style essay, a policy brief, or other sample.

Letters of Recommendation

When you complete your application online, you will be asked to supply contact information for three references who will be writing your letters of recommendation. It is strongly recommended that you contact your references early to give them 6-8 weeks to prepare your letter. Most applicants submit three professional or academic references.

Other Supporting Documents

You will also need to supply the following supporting documents:

  1. A current resume or CV.
  2. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded with your application. Please also request official transcripts to be sent to CU Denver Graduate Admissions. Instructions to submit official transcripts may be found on the graduate school website.
  3. GRE scores are no longer required. But if you have GRE scores and believe they will strengthen your application, then you may have them sent to GRE code 4875..