Graduate Education: Department Contacts

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Student Questions:

Where do I go to find out more information on a Graduate Program?
Begin with the USU Graduate Education Website. It can provide you with the best initial overview of the Programs offered, as well as information on Program requirements, Deadlines, and Faculty. From the USU Graduate Education Programs/Departments section of the website, you can link directly to the Program/Department's own website for more comprehensive information.

If I have other questions, whom do I need to contact?

For Program specific questions, please contact the Department or Program of interest directly. For questions concerning the application process, you may contact the Graduate Education Office (GEO) by phone (800) 772-1747 or e-mail

Where do I go for information on the USU School of Medicine or the Graduate School of Nursing?

The USU School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing have separate admissions processes and admission offices at USU.
The USU School of Medicine is located at Uniformed Services University, Admissions Office, Room A1041, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4712. For information on the USU School of Medicine you can visit their website at You can also contact the admissions office at their toll free number 1-800-772-1743 or via email at or

The USU Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) is located at Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Building E, Room 1045, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4712. For information you can visit their website at You can also contact the GSN admissions office via telephone at 301-295-9004 or via email at

Where can I find out about the minimum GRE scores for my prospective Program? What was the average GRE score from last year?

Many Programs do not have a minimum score; they are interested in the "whole student," and will compare your other strengths against any testing weakness, and vice versa. Consider contacting the Program or Department directly to inquire about specific GRE score minimums. Each Program is re-evaluating scoring criteria based on the revised GRE scales. The Graduate Education Office will not accept scores from two years or older.

Does USU offer a waiver of GRE scores?

Occasionally a Program will waive the requirement for GRE scores. A waiver may be granted if an individual already has a PhD, MD or DO. If you would like to request a waiver, please indicate on your online application. Be sure to submit as much of your supplemental materials as possible (including transcripts) before requesting a waiver. Email to ensure your request is submitted to the director of the Program in which you are interested. The outcome of your waiver request will be mailed to you.

Please note that GRE waivers are NOT granted for applicants to the Medical and Clinical Psychology Programs.

How many people were accepted to my Program last year? How many from my country?

Admissions statistics for the various Programs within the SOM Graduate Programs vary from year to year. General information on the University as a whole can be obtained from the USU Fingertip Fact Sheet. For more Program-specific admissions information, please contact the Graduate Education Office (GEO) by phone: 800-772-1747 or e-mail:

Do you offer pre-screening of Military applicants?

Military applicants are able to request a Letter of Competitiveness. Email and attach a scanned copy of your credentials. Completion of the online application is not required when requesting a Letter of Competitiveness. For a Program Director to properly evaluate your request, please send transcripts for all academic institutions attended and current GRE scores (Except for Clinical and Medical Psychology).

Does the USU Graduate Education Office offer tours or information sessions?

Only on special occasions are tours offered. USU is located on a military base and only authorized personnel are allowed access. Applicants can arrange to visit the campus on an individual basis. Contact your Program of interest. Selected applicants are invited to participate in the USU Open House for prospective Students held each year in late Winter. Tours are offered during the Open House.

May I apply online?

Yes. In fact, the USU SOM Graduate Programs now requires that applications be submitted online. Applying online is simple and fast: simply click here. The online application page includes detailed information on the application process. Please read the instructions carefully before applying.

May I submit credentials online?

Not at this time. Please complete the online application and mail in originals of all supporting documents to the Graduate Education Office.

Financial Aid Questions:

What is the cost of tuition?

Currently, tuition and fees are waived for students. Civilian students do not incur any service obligation to the United States government after the completion of their graduate studies. Students may be required to purchase text books.

Does USU SOM Graduate Programs offer stipends for graduate students?

The University offers stipends on a competitive basis to civilian doctoral students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For academic year 2011-2012, USU-supported stipends will be $27,000 for entering students and $28,000 after Advancement to Candidacy. University support for the stipend is for the first 3 years. Subsequent support is obtained from research grants and fellowships. Stipends for International students are also available through the HJF Endowment for Graduate Education. Doctoral Programs occasionally admit civilian students without stipend support. Masters degree students are not eligible to receive stipend support.

In addition to the USU stipend, three Deans Special Fellowships are available on a competitive basis to recognize the outstanding scholarship and academic credentials of selected students. The stipend for this Fellowship will is $5,000/year above the standard stipend for the duration of the 3 years of USU-stipend support.

Does USU SOM Graduate Programs offer additional financial support?

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HMJ) annually provides support for senior graduate fellowships. The three, 1-year Fellowships are competitively awarded to outstanding USU civilian graduate student doctoral candidates in the USU School of Medicine Graduate Programs.

The Emma L. Bockman Award was created through the HMJ Foundation to encourage and support scholarly endeavors of USU students. In her memory, the Emma L. Bockman Memorial Award has been established to keep her academic ideals and quest for knowledge alive. The recipient of the graduate student award is selected competitively primarily based upon the applicant's research efforts, but also academic performance and community service.

Graduate student support is also competitively available from many other sources, such as the NIH, the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation, various private foundations such as the American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, etc. Check with the USU Office of Research and/or the Graduate Education Office for various opportunities to compete for extramural funding. Since the USU SOM is federally funded, graduate students are also often eligible for federally-funded fellowships.

Application Questions:

Do all the USU Graduate Programs use the same application form?

Yes, all of the USU Graduate Programs use the same application form. Applying online is now required. You can access the online application here. Some Departments require supplemental application forms. Please read the application instructions carefully for this information.

May I apply to more than one Program?

When you complete your online application, you will be able to apply to up to two Programs at a time. All supplementary materials submitted (statement of purpose, transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation) will be automatically available to both Programs.

Is there an application fee?


How do I submit my supplemental materials?

All supplemental materials, including original letters of recommendation, transcripts and test scores, must be mailed into the USU Graduate Education Office. Official transcripts can be sent directly from the University or returned to you in a sealed envelope, signed across the flap, and mailed to the Graduate Education Office. If you have multiple transcripts, it is preferable to send these items together.

To what address should I send my supplementary materials?

Please send all materials to the following address:

Uniformed Services University
Graduate Education Office
Building A, Room A1045
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799

Do all of my application materials need to be received by the deadline?

Yes. Please be sure to submit all application materials by December 1. Once your application is complete, we will send you a letter in the mail. If you do not receive a letter, it is your responsibility to call or email and confirm that all materials have arrived in our office. Programs will not review incomplete application packets.

How do I know if my application materials have been received?

Once all materials arrive, we will send you a letter in the mail confirming that your application has been received and processed. If you do not receive a letter, it is your responsibility to call or email and confirm all materials have arrived in our office. Programs will not review incomplete application packets. If you have questions regarding the status of your application, please contact us. Our e-mail address is graduateprogram@usuhs.eduand our phone number is (800) 772-1747. We are in the office on Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

What should I say in my Personal Statement?

In general, your personal statement should be approximately 500 words and should state your goals and objectives for graduate study overall and at USU specifically. The personal statement allows you to highlight areas of your background or interests that may not be clear in other sections of your application. Therefore, it is very important to write a clear and concise statement that expresses your interest in the Program, your goals for graduate study, and experiences that enhance your chances of success in the Program. You may address special features of the Program that made it the right fit for you, or you may address specific topics of interest to you and your experience related to these topics. You may wish to address aspects of your personal, academic, and work-related experiences that would make effective contributions to the Program or would showcase your knowledge and interest in your chosen area of study.

Whom should I ask to write my recommendation letters?

Your recommendation letters should be written by an authority on your academic and/or professional experience. These individuals may be professors, advisors, supervisors, etc.

How do I report my GRE or TOEFL scores?

You must request that ETS (Educational Testing Services) send your GRE or TOEFL scores to USU Graduate Education Office. To request scores, use the USU Institution code, 5824. It is not necessary to specify any other code. We are not able to accept copies or unofficial score reports. You may contact ETS at this link in regard to sending GRE scores and at this link regarding sending TOEFL scores. Testing service websites are and respectively. From the time you request your scores to be sent to USU, it takes about a month for them to be received and then processed in the admissions office. Please plan ahead!

Do I need transcripts from every school I've attended?

YES! You do need to request official transcripts from every institution you have attended beyond secondary school, even if you did not receive a degree. Examples of such institutions include junior and community colleges, study abroad institutions, and online degree Programs. How do I know if the documents I have submitted are official?

Documents, such as letters of recommendation and transcripts, are official if they arrive at the USU Graduate Education Office in a sealed envelope with either the recommender or the registrar's signature across the seal of the envelope.

TOEFL and GRE scores are only considered official if they arrive directly from ETS. Score reports received from the applicant are not considered official.
If you have questions about the documents you have submitted you can send an email to graduateprogram@usuhs.eduor call the USU Graduate Education Office at (800) 772-1747.

Will I be notified when the USU Graduate Education Office receives my materials?

You will receive, via mail, an Application Verification letter once the USU Graduate Education Office has processed your application form. The verification letter will often contain information regarding missing supplemental materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, test scores, or transcripts). You can check the status of your supplemental materials by sending an email to graduateprogram@usuhs.eduor calling the USU Graduate Education Office at (800) 772-1747.

What is the process once the application has been submitted online to the USU Graduate Education Office?

Once the USU Graduate Education Office has received your application, we match any documents that might have arrived before the application and include them in your file. As your materials are received (via mail), they are updated in our computer system. Once your application is complete in the USU Graduate Education Office (GEO), the application is sent to each Program/Department for review. Once the Department Program Admissions Committee has reviewed your file, they will send a recommendation to the Graduate Education Office. An official decision letter will be mailed to every applicant by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education.

How can I request an interview?

Please contact your individual Program/Department for information on interviews.

Can I check on the status of my application while I'm waiting for a decision?

Yes. Once you have applied online, you can check the status of your application by emailing graduateprogram@usuhs.eduor by calling (800) 772-1747. It is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that all your application materials arrive in our office.

When will I know the decision on my application?

Application review dates vary greatly by department/Program. The majority of the USU Graduate Education decisions are sent out in the mid-March to late May time frame. For a more exact report time, though, you should contact your Program directly.

International Applicant Questions:

The online application requires a social security number, but I do not have one? What do I do?

If you are an international application without a social security number, please email or call the USU Graduate Education Office at graduateprogram@usuhs.eduor (800) 772-1747. Our office will issue you a temporary identification number to use on the online application.

Are international students eligible for financial aid and/or stipend support?

Please see above.

How do I get a student visa for study in the United States?

When an international student is accepted at USU, the Graduate Education Office (GEO) will create an I-20 form and mail it to the student. When the student receives the I-20, he/she must schedule an appointment for interview at the US embassy in the country where the student resides. It is the student's responsibility to keep GEO/USU informed of the status and progress of the visa application.

What should I do if I have a visa already?

Please contact SEVIS at 1-800-892-4829.

Admitted Student Questions:

How much will my books cost?

The cost of text books varies by Program. Please contact each individual Program for specifics. Click here for Program contact information.

How much is my tuition?

Please see above.

How much financial aid will I receive?

Please see above.

How do I confirm my intent to enroll?

Your official letter of admission from the USU Graduate Education Office should include instructions about accepting the offer. Typically the process will involve emailing graduateprogram@usuhs.eduwith your acceptance.

Once I confirm my intended enrollment at USU, what do I do next?

We strongly suggest that you visit the Current Students page to learn more about being a student at USU. Please feel free to review the Graduate Student Handbook. In addition, please visit your Program's specific website for further information:

The Washington DC metro area is a challenging place to find suitable and affordable housing, so start your search early by consulting various online rental websites:

How do I apply for a deferral and when will I be notified of a decision?

If you have been officially accepted into one the USU degree Programs and would like a deferral, please contact the Graduate Education Office ( and your Program/Department for a decision on your deferral request. Please note that not all Programs/Departments allow deferrals. We recommend you talk over your decision to defer admission with the Program/Department prior to making a final decision. If the Program/Department approves your deferral, you will receive confirmation from the USU Graduate Education Office.

Transfer Student Questions:

How do I apply to a USU Graduate Program as a transfer student and how many of my credits will transfer?

Transfer students must follow the same application process as all other applicants. To apply online, follow this link. Our online application page includes detailed information on the application process.

For some degree Programs it is possible to transfer credits. However, the Program/Department and the USU Graduate Education Office will make the final determination as to which credits are acceptable for transfer credit. Please contact your Program Director for specific questions about transfer credits.

Reactivation Questions:

I applied a year ago and would like to do so again. How do I re-activate my application?

You will need complete and submit a new online application. However, old files are kept for one year after you last applied, so it will be possible for us to add the transcripts you previously submitted to your new application file. Just remember to indicate within the online application that you have previously applied and email our office at if you would like any materials from your previous application to be added to your new application.

I applied more than a year ago and would like to do so again. How do I reapply?

If it has been more than one year since you last applied, you will need to follow the guidelines for the normal application process.

Non-Degree Student Questions:

How do I take a class at USU without being admitted to, and enrolled in, a degree Program?

At this time you cannot take classes without being officially enrolled in a degree Program.