1. Apply

When can I apply and what are the deadlines?
  • AHBR offers rolling admissions, which means that you can apply to start the program in the Summer, Fall, or Spring. Deadlines are as follows:
    • Summer – April 15
    • Fall – June 15
    • Spring – November 15
Do you offer non-degree or certificate options?
  • Yes. As a non-degree seeking student, you are eligible to enroll in up to 6 credit hours of AHBR coursework before applying to any AHBR program.
  • AHBR also offers a15 credit hour graduate certificate program with two different concentrations to choose from.
Do I need to contact a faculty member prior to applying if I am interested in mentored research?
  • No. Once accepted into the AHBR program, students will meet with the program director to discuss their research interests to determine best mentor-mentee fit. The program director can make introductions and help identify potential mentored research opportunities for accepted students. Students typically interview with 2-3 different mentors before making their selection.
  • Having an understanding of the various research topics and skills you are interested in pursuing is helpful.
  • Acceptance by a particular mentor is not required to be accepted into the program.
Can I schedule a campus visit before applying?
  • Absolutely. You may start by reaching out to to schedule your campus visit. We can make arrangements for you to meet with the program leaders, current students and alumni, tour the campus, and possibly allow for you to sit in a class if interested.

2. Transcripts and Standardized Tests

Do you require the GRE for admission?
  • GRE test scores are not required in the application for the AHBR programs.
Is an official transcript required for the application?
  • Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts during the application review process. Once an applicant receives their offer of admission, an official transcript must be provided in order to matriculate into the AHBR program.
What is the minimum GPA requirement for admission?
  • There is no specific minimum GPA requirement. Admission to any AHBR program is based on the strength of the entire application during our review process.
What is the minimum TOEFL and IELTS score requirement for international students?
  • TOEFL minimum is 90
  • IELTS minimum is 6.5
Do you accept the Duolingo English Test for admission?
  • No. We do not accept these test scores for our admission process.

3. Letters of Recommendation

Who should I get letters of recommendation from?
  • Recommenders should include faculty members, supervisors or senior work colleagues. Please do not use family, friends or other students.
  • Seek out those who you have a professional relationship with who can speak to your work ethic, communication skills, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, and readiness for graduate work.
Can I submit my application before all of my letters of recommendation are in?
  • Yes, but the letters of recommendation must be received by the application deadline or before the end of any grace period provided. Note, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all letters of recommendation are received by the deadlines.
Can recommendation letters be sent via email?
  • No. All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommender through the online recommendation site. Recommendation providers are sent an email requesting a recommendation. From this email, they are given instructions on how to submit letters into the application system.
What if I can only get 2 letters of recommendation by the deadline?
  • Submit your application and communicate with program staff that you will not be able to get all 3 required letters by the deadline. A grace period may be granted.
How do I resend a letter of recommendation?
  • Log into your application account. Select the application, and then click “Open Application”. Select the recommendations page link, choose your recommender’s name, and click “Send Reminder.”
How do I change my recommender?
  • Log into your application account. Select the application, and then click “Open Application”. Select the recommendations page link, choose the recommender’s name you wish to remove, and click “Exclude”. Then you will be able to add your new recommender.

4. Personal Statement

Are there certain formatting requirements for the personal statement?
  • No. We do not have set formatting requirements for the statement of purpose document. Usually, personal statements are 1-2 pages in length.
What should I include in my personal statement?
  • This is your opportunity to explain why you are a good candidate for the program and how the program could help you reach your future career goals or give you more exposure to research to narrow down your interests for the future.
  • Share a little about your background, research or health topics of interest, and why you are passionate about studying them
  • Clearly state your future career goals
  • Describe how the AHBR program will help you reach your career goals
  • Include any relevant experiences that will contribute to your success in this graduate program
  • If necessary, explain any major areas of weakness within your application and how you have (or plan to) overcome any particular obstacles

5. Review Period

Once my application has been submitted, when should I expect to receive an admission decision?
  • The admissions review committee meets regularly and you should receive an admission decision within 10 business days once all application materials have been received.
How will I know when a decision has been made?
  • You will receive an email notification stating that a decision has been made. The email will provide instructions to log into your SLATE application to view the decision letter.

6. Financial Support

What are my financial support options?
  • AHBR students are expected to be self-supporting, but all applicants are automatically considered for program scholarships during the application review process. Any scholarship awards will be specified in your admission letter.
  • Master’s students, both full-time and part-time, may be eligible for government financial aid loans. Visit the Office of Student Financial Planning website for more information and to start your financial aid application.
  • Talk to your program manager about potential part-time work opportunities that may be available to students. AHBR classes are held in the evenings making it practical for students to work part-time and participate in mentored research during the day.
Does the AHBR program provide student health care options?
  • Yes. All full-time students are eligible for the student health plan and AHBR will cover 100% of the costs by providing a health fee remission to their student account.
  • Part-time students may choose to opt-in to the student health plan, but will be required to pay for it out-of-pocket.
How can I apply for AHBR scholarships?
  • All admitted applicants will be notified of any scholarships awarded to them in their admission decision letters. There is no separate application process.
Does AHBR offer any fellowships or assistantships?
  • Yes. AHBR offers limited Graduate Assistantships. We recommend admitted full-time students speak to AHBR about their interest in working part-time while in the program and they will share potential opportunities available. Discussing work opportunities early in the application and acceptance process is recommended.


1. Mentored Research

What is Mentored Research?
  • The AHBR program provides an opportunity for students to participate in mentored clinical research, where students train under a research mentor at Washington University School of Medicine.
  • The mentored research component allows students to gain hands-on clinical research experience and exposure to various research principles, evaluation methodology, and project management. Students may participate in activities such as project management including IRB applications, participant recruitment, data collection, data management, data analysis, manuscript writing, and team meeting discussions. Mentored research prepares individuals who might be interested in a variety of health careers as well as those taking a step toward a medical or doctorate degree.
What is Clinical Research?
  • Unlike laboratory research, clinical research involves people who volunteer to participate in research studies to help us better understand the effects of medical care or other interventions and health. Clinical research allows us to better understand human behavior and therefore develop new, innovative ways to prevent and treat illness in people.
Can students earn course credit when participating in Mentored Research?
  • Yes. Students can earn elective course credit for up to three semesters (9 credit hours total) of mentored research experience.
Is Mentored Research required for those pursuing the AHBR program?
  • Mentored research is optional for students in either concentration of the MS in AHBR.
Where does Mentored Research take place?
  • Mentored Research can take place anywhere on the WashU Danforth or WashU Medical School campus, depending on the location of your mentor’s research lab. Some labs may offer hybrid/remote research opportunities, though most will require at least some in-person responsibilities.
How do you determine who your mentor will be for the mentored research component?
  • Once a student is accepted into the AHBR program, they will meet with the AHBR program director to discuss their research interests and needs. The program director will then help identify 2-3 potential mentor options, for which the student will interview with to determine who they feel is the best match.

2. Program Curriculum and Structure

Can I complete the master’s degree in one year?
  • Yes. Students who enroll in the program at full-time status, may complete the program in one calendar year, or 3 semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Can I enroll as a part-time student?
  • Yes. Students may enroll in AHBR with part-time status, which is equivalent to enrolling in 1-6 credit hours per semester. This option is recommended for those who may be working full-time during the day.
How long does it take to complete the Graduate Certificate program?
  • The graduate certificate requires 15 credit hours of coursework. Completion time can vary depending on how many credit hours the student enrolls in each term, but is most often completed within 1-2 years.
When are classes offered?
  • All AHBR courses are offered in the evenings between 4-7pm Monday-Thursday, with occasional short course options available on Saturdays. This allows AHBR students to work during the day or participate in mentored research while pursuing the program.
How large is the class size?
  • AHBR classes range in size from approximately 5-20 students. The smaller class size enriches the overall course experience through meaningful class discussion, greater participation in class exercises/activities, stronger connections with peers, and an opportunity to get to know your instructors.
Do I get to select my own courses for the master’s degree program?
  • Depending on their chosen program concentration, AHBR students are required to complete 12-15 credit hours of core coursework. Students have an opportunity to select the remaining 15-18 credit hours of course electives. This flexibility allows students to tailor their program of study based on their own research interests or area of focus.

3. The AHBR Scholar

Who are AHBR students?
  • AHBR students come from a variety of backgrounds with undergraduate degrees in biology, psychology, pre-med/pre-health, neuroscience, public health, sociology, or the health sciences. Some students choose the AHBR program to gain foundational research skills that will prepare them for an advanced degree program (i.e. MD, PhD, PA, PsyD). Others are seeking a career in healthcare research and/or are working full-time as a clinical research coordinator, research assistant, nurse manager, health educator, and various other roles in healthcare including both clinical settings and non-profit and community organizations.
What is a gap year?
  • A gap year is an opportunity for students to learn new skills before moving on to a more advanced degree. It provides students an opportunity to demonstrate maturity and gain experience that will help strengthen their application. Some students will use this time to boost their GPA with a science-based master’s degree program, gain research experience, volunteer or work in a healthcare setting, continue to build professional relationships for stronger letters of recommendation, or study/improve their MCAT or GRE scores. A gap year can extend into two, three, or even four years depending on what skills or experience is needed for each individual.
What does a career look like for AHBR graduates?
  • The AHBR program can open many doors for those interested in a career in healthcare. Below is a list of career paths many AHBR graduates take, but by no means is this list complete.
    • Go on to apply for MD, PhD, PA, PsyD programs
    • Clinical Research Coordinator
    • Lab Manager
    • Project Coordinator/Manager
    • Data Manager
    • Data Analyst
    • IRB Compliance Manager
    • Research Participant Recruiter
    • Medical Records Administrator
    • Health Educator
    • Health Coach
    • Health or Medical Journalists/Health Communication Specialist
    • Occupational Health Specialist
    • Corporate and Foundation Relations (charitable giving campaigns)
    • Patient Advocate
    • Nutritionist/Dietician
As a full-time WashU employee, how many credits may I enroll in while pursuing the AHBR program?
  • AHBR students who are also working full-time may enroll in up to 6 credit hours per semester.
As a full-time WashU employee, at what point am I eligible for the Employee HR Tuition Benefit?
  • In most cases, WashU employees who have been working full-time for at least one full year are eligible for the HR Tuition Benefit. Please contact your department’s HR representative to verify eligibility. Typically, students can save 50% on tuition with the tuition benefit.