PhD in Health Equity Sciences Admissions Requirements


Eligibility Checklist

To apply to the PhD program, you must have:

  • A Master of Public Health or health related master’s degree you completed at an accredited university
  • A minimum graduate cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0
  • Proof of English language proficiency for all non-native speakers of English, regardless of citizenship, as required by the NMSU Graduate School
  • Evidence of completing one graduate level course (3 credit hours) in statistics or biostatistics

*Note:  Preference will be given to applicants who have submitted a thesis during their master’s coursework, have completed a comparable extended project or publication, documented research experience or relevant work experience

We do not require GRE scores for any of our graduate degree applications.


The deadline for Fall 2024 admission is 11:59 p.m. MST, December 15, 2023.  Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered but preference will be given to those meeting the deadline of December 15, 2023.

How To Apply

You will complete the PhD application online. Applying to the HES PhD program is a two-step process.

  1. Completion and submission of the online application: All items are submitted in the Graduate School online application portal. You will complete and upload all components of your application via the NMSU Graduate School website:

All PhD applicants will be charged a $40 application fee by the NMSU Graduate School.

We highly recommend that you save a copy of each document you upload for your records. You cannot access application materials once you have submitted your online application.

We will not review incomplete applications.

Completion of an online interview: After an initial round of reviews, we will invite some applicants to complete an interview (in-person or online). These interviews will take place early in spring 2024.

For online interviews, you will need access to a computer, tablet, or mobile device with a working camera and microphone, as well as a reliable internet connection.


Create your applicant profile at

 Question 1: Select “2023-2024 Graduate Admission Application" for your application type.

Question 2: Select “NMSU-Las Cruces” for campus

Question 3:  Select Enrollment Status that applies to you

Question 4: Select "Doctorate" for the degree.

Question 5:  Select “Health Equity Sciences (PhD) in Public Health Sciences” for your degree along with your intended concentration (see Concentrations listed below)

Question 6: Select "Fall 2023" to indicate the semester and year you wish to enter.

Answer questions in remaining sections accordingly.


In your online application profile, report ALL colleges and universities attended regardless of whether you received a degree.           

List schools in chronological order, entering the most recent first and the earliest last.


Upload an unofficial transcript for each college or university you have attended regardless of whether or not you earned a degree there. Current and former New Mexico State University students must include an NMSU transcript. Please ensure that the scanned file can be opened after you upload it to your application.

If you are offered admission to the PhD program, you will be asked to provide an official final degree transcript to the NMSU Graduate School (use NMSU Institution Code: 4531).

The official transcripts must be sent directly from each institution to NMSU Graduate School in order for you to be able to register for classesIt is your responsibility to request official transcripts for each school you list.


All non-native speakers of English, regardless of citizenship, must show proof of English language proficiency as established by the NMSU Graduate School:

An international doctoral student must:

  • hold at minimum a master’s degree in a health related field or its equivalent
  • be able to demonstrate English proficiency, both written and oral by submitting an official TOEFL or IELTS score report.
    • TOEFL 79 IBT; 550 PBT
    • IELTS 6.5
    • Duolingo 105
  • Self-report your scores in your online application and request to have official English proficiency scores sent to the NMSU Graduate School (NMSU Institution Code: 4531).

English proficiency requirements are only waived if an international applicant:

  • Has received a university degree in the U.S. or from one of the countries listed at the following website:
  • Has attended a U.S. college/university as a full-time student for a minimum of one academic year resulting in 30 academic credits
  • Is a native speaker of English
  • Completed high school in the United States and (a) attended the high school for at least two full semesters and (b) scored in at least the 75th percentile in English on the ACT.

Note:  Given their visa requirements, international graduate applicants must apply by February 15 for admission in the following Fall semester.



Submit a copy of your current Curriculum Vitae by uploading a PDF file. Include all completed degrees and 

significant employment for the past five years, listing the most recent employment first. List employment that is over five years old if you feel it is relevant.

In addition, list:

  • graduate-level coursework (3 hr) in statistics or biostatistics
  • research and scholarly inquiry experience (e.g. research team membership), including experiences outside of paid employment
  • all scholastic or related honors (awards, prizes, honors, scholarships, membership in academic societies (ex. Sigma Theta Tau, Phi Beta Kappa), etc.)
  • recent significant community activities, describing any leadership responsibilities
  • membership in professional organizations, describing significant participation or leadership activities during the last 5 years (e.g., abstract or peer review, conference planning committees, workgroups, formal leadership roles)
  • ALL published work; give complete references, including journal name, volume, page numbers; book publisher and year of publication
    • For work in which you are not the first/senior author, please briefly state what your contribution was to the publication (e.g., conducted data collection and analysis, contributed to study design and was part of manuscript writing group, primary responsibility for introduction section, etc).
  • Other significant scholarly work (ex. unpublished theses, conference posters or papers, presented at local, regional, national or international conferences, other professional writings such as blogs)

Save your CV as a PDF document to upload to your online application.


Indicate the concentration you would like to pursue in your doctoral training from the following:

  • Socio-Cultural and Behavioral Sciences
  • Applied Biostatistics
  • Health Administration and Policy
  • Health Across the Lifespan
  • Environmental and Occupational Health


Briefly indicate, in one to two sentences, the specific research focus in which you are interested and list two program faculty who may serve as a potential research mentor for you should you be admitted to the PhD program.

Here you can identify faculty members whose practice, research, and scholarly expertise match your area of research interest. To see a faculty member's full bio and contact information, click on the link to their biography. This information may be useful as you consider possible mentors.         

  • After reviewing their bio, you should directly contact the faculty member as early as possible prior to submitting an application regarding your research interests to determine if they are a possible mentoring match via email. If it is not a good fit for your particular research interest, ask if they can offer recommendations for other faculty members who are a better fit.

If you have any difficulties reaching faculty or questions about finding a faculty match for your research interests, contact the Graduate Program Manager, Leah Henderson at or at 575-646-4300 .


You will write and upload a 3-part essay regarding your Goal Statement and Research Interests to your application. This essay should be two pages long. If applicable, cite references on a third page. 

Format your paper as one document using the headings that follow (Parts 1 to 3). Use no smaller than 10 point Arial/Calibri font and 1-inch margins.

These essays should be solely your own work without any outside help, including editors, writing coaches, friends, family, or companies that facilitate graduate school applications. "Outside help" includes proofreading, editing, or suggested changes made by someone other than yourself.


  • Describe previous education and other significant experiences that have contributed to your professional development and your interest in pursuing a research doctorate (PhD in Health Equity Sciences [HES]).
  • Specify how doctoral training in HES at NMSU will facilitate your career goals.
  • Provide a balanced assessment of your personal characteristics that will contribute to successful completion of the doctoral degree.
  • Describe potential issues you have identified that may affect your transition to full time doctoral study and your planned approach to addressing these issues.


The PhD in Health Equity Sciences is a research-intensive program centered on the generation of knowledge in advancing health equity.

  • First, please describe your area of research interest and your motivation to pursue research in this area.
  • Next, describe the significance of your research area of interest to a) public health, and b) in relation to established national or global research priorities.
  • Describe how your research interests (research focus, population, methods, etc.) are aligned to principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and social transformation


  • List the name of faculty members you have contacted and determined are a good mentoring match and explain:
    1. why these individuals are potential faculty mentors, and
    2. how your scholarly interests would be facilitated by working with these faculty members.

Save this as a PDF document and upload to Statement of Goals and Research Interests in your application.


Letters of recommendations should come from references you have had contact with within the past five years.

Choose individuals qualified to speak to your current skills and research potential to write your letters. 

Designate your recommenders through the online application portal. They will receive an email requesting that they complete an online form and upload a letter of recommendation on their institution’s letterhead.

You must have three letters of recommendation speaking to your research potential, such as:

  1. a research supervisor’s recommendation
  2. an academic or professional recommendation

Talk with your recommenders ahead of time to make sure they are willing to serve as a reference for you. 

The most helpful letters of recommendation to the admissions committee are ones that are personalized and speak to your individual strengths and capacity for doctoral study, with specific examples. Letters are not helpful if they only speak to your personal characteristics or clinical competence.  


If you attended a college or university outside of the U.S., upload an officially translated transcript to your application.

You must also upload a detailed credential/transcript evaluation for each non-U.S. post-secondary institution attended, which shows both U.S. credential equivalency and equivalent credits and grades for each course. You will upload these into the Credential/Transcript Evaluation section of your online application.  Common examples are WES or SpanTran.

For approved credential/transcript evaluation services, visit the PhD International Applicants web page:


Once you have completed each section as outlined above, you will pay the application fee to the NMSU Graduate School and formally submit your application.