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Applying to the Master of Health Science Program

Background for Admission

The Master of Health Science (MHS) program expects applicants to have knowledge and/or experience related to the healthcare field. Applicants usually meet this requirement with substantial undergraduate coursework in health science or a closely-related discipline. Closely-related disciplines include public health, biology, nursing, education, psychology, and other areas broadly related to health.  Applicants with a history of coursework or occupational experience that is health related will have priority over those applicants who do not have such a background.

We understand that people have changes in career interests.  Potential applicants who are not certain whether they have the required background to apply to the program should meet with Sarah Toevs, Director of the Master of Health Science program. To book an appointment with Dr. Toevs, go to:

International Students

We welcome students from around the world and value the diversity that international students bring to
our program.  If you are an international student interested in applying to our program, please review the information on our International Students Web page.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines have changed.  Applicants must submit all required materials and complete all required application tasks by:

  • March 1 . . . .  for the fall term
  • October 1 . . . for the spring term

How to Apply

Applying to pursue the Master of Health Science degree consists of several steps.

Please note that the Master of Health Science program does not require applicants to take the GRE (Graduate Records Examinations).

1. Make an appointment to meet with the MHS Program Director, Dr. Sarah Toevs.

If you live outside of southwestern Idaho, you may make an appointment for a phone interview in lieu of an in-person interview.  To book an appointment with Dr. Toevs, go to:

The purpose of meeting with the Program Director is twofold:  She will have the opportunity to learn about you and to discuss your interest in the program, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the program.  This interview not only will help the Program Director determine if you are a good fit for the program but also will help you determine if the program is a good fit for you.

You will enter the date of your interview when you fill out your Graduate College application.

2. Complete the Graduate Admission Application form.

All applicants for graduate programs must apply to the Graduate College of Boise State University. Applicants the Graduate College does not accept are eliminated from consideration for the Master of Health Science program. You will complete your application form online at

When you fill out the application form, you will enter the term for which you are applying.  Keep in mind the deadlines for submitting application materials:

  • March 1 to begin classes in the fall
  • October 1 to begin classes in the spring

As you fill out the application form, you will respond to questions about your undergraduate coursework in epidemiology and statistics, the date of your interview with the MHS Program Director, and your understanding of the MHS program’s academic expectations for your work if you are accepted into the program.

When filling out the form, make sure you list all schools of higher education you have attended.

Transcripts.  When you apply, you must submit official transcripts from each post-high school institution you have attended.  Each institution must send your transcript directly to Graduate Admissions.  You do not need to submit a transcript for coursework completed at  Boise State; the Graduate College already has access to it.

Application Fee. You must submit a non-refundable application fee at the time you apply to the Graduate College. Consult the Graduate College Web site for the most recent fee information:

Admissions Criteria.  The Graduate College requires the following:

  • Successful applicants to the Graduate College must have either a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4-point scale) or a GPA of at least 3.00 for the most recent 60 credits completed.
  • International students must submit Official TOEFL or IELTS results. Both test English language proficiency. International students also must provide documentation to demonstrate they have adequate financial resources to cover one year of living expenses, tuition, and fees.

Changing Your Program.  When you fill out the Graduate Admission Application form, you will select the Graduate Certificate of Health Services Leadership or the Master of Health Science emphasis for which you wish to apply. After you submit your application, you cannot change your program selection yourself.  Contact the Graduate College if you need to make a change.    Email:  or call 208-426-3903

Applying for both a certificate and a degree.  If you wish to apply for both a certificate and a Master of Health Science degree, you must submit separate applications.  You will not be charged a second application fee.

3. Upload required documentation.

After you submit your Graduate Admission Application form, a link for “Health Sciences” will appear in the left-hand menu on your screen.

To complete your application, you will upload the following documents:

  • A current copy of your resume.
  • A formal statement of at least 250 words explaining your educational and career background and future objectives as well as how these objectives correspond to the Master of Health Science program.

4. Complete the MHS Program one-hour writing assessment.

Writing is an important predictor of student success. The required MHS program writing assessment allows the Selection Committee to evaluate an individual’s ability to develop and communicate an argument or position statement. To book your one-hour writing assessment, go to:

You do not have to complete the one-hour writing assessment if:

  • you have completed a post-graduate (master or doctoral) degree.
  • you are a US resident who has taken the GRE within the last three years and you received a score of 4.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing portion of the GRE.
  • you are an International applicant who has taken the TOEFL or IELTS and who meets standards established by International Student Admissions.  See

5. Arrange for three recommendations.

A recommendation provider is an individual who will complete and submit a recommendation on your behalf. Use the “Recommendations” link in the left-hand menu of the Graduate College application site to enter the names and contact information for three recommendation providers. At least one recommendation provider should be one of your former professors (although this may not be possible if you are returning to college after many years). Other suitable references include employment supervisors and volunteer coordinators.

You must enter the recommendation provider name, email, and contact information for all recommendation providers.  You also must indicate if they will submit their recommendations electronically or on paper.

After you enter complete contact information for each recommendation provider, the application system will send an email to the recommendation providers who will submit their recommendations online. The email will provide instructions for submitting their recommendations electronically. Their recommendations will be included in your application.

If a recommendation provider is unable to complete the recommendation electronically, please ask the recommendation provider to mail the recommendation to:

Master of Health Science Program
Department of Community and Environmental Health
Boise State University
1910 University Dr.
Boise, ID 83725-1835

When we receive the recommendation, we will upload it to the application system where it will be included in your application.

How the online recommendation process works:

  • You will click the “Recommendation Provider List” button and enter the name and contact information for each recommendation provider.  Be sure to click Save.
  • After you have saved the recommendation provider information, the application system will send an email to the recommendation providers you indicated will complete their recommendations online.  The email will include an access code and instructions for the provider to upload a recommendation to the application system.
  • You can view the status of your online recommendations each time you log in to your application account.

If someone you have asked to be a recommendation provider is unable to provide a recommendation, you may add a new recommendation provider.  Be sure to include the provider’s name, email address, and contact information.

Monitor Your Application

For the MHS Selection Committee to consider you for admission, your application must be complete by the deadline for the term for which you are applying. A complete application includes:

  • your current resume
  • your formal statement of your background and objectives
  • three letters of recommendation
  • transcripts from every post-secondary institution (colleges, universities, training schools) you have attended
  • proof of English proficiency

To find out if the Graduate College has received the recommendations you requested, log in to the application system to check your application.  Log in to to check on transcripts and test scores.

Review of Applications

The Master of Health Science program accepts students both fall and spring terms.  Review of applications begins immediately following the application deadline (see “Application Deadlines” above).

The MHS Selection Committee will give priority to applications completed by the deadline. Applications completed after the deadline will be considered if there are open positions in the program.

The MHS Selection Committee submits its recommendations to the Graduate College for approval and processing.

Decision Notification

The Dean of the Graduate College reviews the MHS Selection Committee’s recommendations.  The Graduate College notifies students if they have been or have not been accepted into the MHS program.

Please note that selection of candidates and processing by the Graduate College can take two to four weeks following the application deadline.


If you have questions that have not been answered here or if you need clarification on any point, please contact