Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Apply to Graduate Program

Persons seeking admission to the Prevention Science Graduate Program must submit their application by December 1. Sign up for our live webinar to be held on Thursday, November 2 at 11 am PST. Washington State University actively subscribes to a policy of equal educational and employment opportunity.

Priority is given to applicants whose prior academic record and other supporting materials show a strong potential for graduate work. Supporting materials may include indications of strong commitment to Prevention Science, demonstrated ability to write clearly, research experience, relevant volunteer and employment experiences, and/or cross-cultural background or other indications of social insight.

Admissions Procedures

Persons desiring information about the Doctoral Program in Prevention Science should contact thePrevention Science Program Graduate Coordinator and watch the informational webinar that describes the goals, structure, and opportunities that applicants may find helpful. Additional information about the program is available on the Prevention Science Homepage and Program Objectives and Requirements page. This program is available to students who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a prevention science-related discipline or have significant prevention science experience.

Overview of the application requirements and review process:

We use a holistic review approach in the admissions process, which means that we evaluate each applicant according to all materials submitted. Because each applicant is unique, the materials submitted may  include different sources of evidence to support each applicant’s qualifications. We assess  applications based on the evidence applicants provide about their academic and scholarly potential, alignment with the program, examples of relevant non-traditional learning, leadership/outreach/community involvement, and/or professional products. This approach allows the admissions committee to consider the “whole” applicant, rather than disproportionately consider any one factor alone.

Only completed applications will be evaluated. An application is not complete until the following information and items are on file with WSU Graduate School:

  • Application form
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • In the section of the online application entitled “Statement of Purpose” please provide a maximum-1000 word written statement detailing your: 1) reasons for applying; 2) research interests; 3) relevant research and professional experiences; and 4) career goals. The statement is where to describe examples of relevant non-traditional learning, leadership/outreach/community involvement, and/or professional products. In your statement, list the faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working. When listing faculty members, note their location, and only list faculty members at the location to which you are applying. The Prevention Science program is offered at the Pullman, Spokane, and Vancouver campuses.
  • A writing sample which could include student-driven research sample (e.g., publication, presentation, class assignment, research paper, research or policy report, poster). You may also choose to create a new writing sample, such as a research paper or literature review of an area of your interest.
  • Supporting materials. The following are examples of acceptable supporting materials that provide evidence for potential success in graduate study:
    • Analysis, presentation, report, or campaign produced for a work assignment.
    • Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.) scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytic aptitude tests. For students applying to enter the program for the next academic year, we are not requiring GRE scores. If they are submitted, they will be considered during the application review processin context with additional materials that the student elects to submit for consideration.

If you are a WSU employee working at a research and extension center or at a county extension office, and you plan to take your classes from your WSU place of employment, you can choose faculty members from any of the three campuses.

Admission to the graduate program in Prevention Science is determined by the Prevention Science Graduate Committee. Decisions are based on careful appraisal of the material submitted in the application process. Following is a list of considerations when making the selection for admittance to the program.

  • An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale is required by the Graduate School.
  • Admittance to the Prevention Science Graduate program is competitive. Students admitted to the program typically have GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0.
  • The Graduate Committee considers letters of recommendation, the letter of intent, and other information relevant to the applicant’s chances of successfully completing the Ph.D. program.
  • Performance in an advanced degree program elsewhere may be taken into account by the Graduate Committee.
  • The minimum undergraduate GPA requirement applies even in situations where an applicant with a lower GPA has been admitted to another graduate program, and/or has completed an advanced degree elsewhere. However, performance in an advanced degree program elsewhere may be taken into account by the Graduate Committee.
  • Substantive course work in prevention science related areas is strongly recommended (e.g., communication, educational psychology, human development, nursing, psychology, sociology), but an undergraduate major in one of these areas is not required. Transcripts will be reviewed carefully, and the committee will make recommendations regarding coursework necessary prior to admission. The department requires the prospective student to have had a least one undergraduate course in research methodology. A course in basic statistics is highly recommended.
  • International Applicants: The recommendation to admit an international applicant into the Prevention Science Graduate Program is contingent upon clearing requirements administered by the Office of International Programs. These requirements include verification of financial support, visa status, and English proficiency (applicants from countries in which English is not the native language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL]). Final clearance must be received from the Office of International Programs before a recommendation can be made to the Graduate School.