Applying to the Commissioned Corps
FAQs




What comprises the Commissioned Corps’ application system?
The system is comprised of initial screening of all candidates by the Corps’ call center. Successfully screened candidates will then progress to the e-Learning Management System (LMS) where they will receive additional information about the entire process, complete a questionnaire, and learn about the next steps. Successful LMS candidates will then receive and complete essential commissioning materials to complete and return to the Corps. These materials are reviewed before a professional appointment board evaluates the application packet to assess the fitness, suitability, and qualification of candidates for appointment to the Corps.

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Who can begin the Commissioned Corps application process?
Throughout the year the Corps evaluates the needs of the Service and the agencies in which Corps officers serve. Based on these evaluations, the Corps determines which type of discipline-specific applications will be recruited. The application process is then opened for these types of applications on specific dates during the year. Communications regarding application opening dates will be announced via the Corps’ social media sites and website (www.usphs.gov)

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How do I apply?
Visit the Applying to the Commissioned Corps section under How to Apply. You may also refer to the 7 Steps to Become a Commissioned Corps Officer Infographic [PDF] for a detailed description of the applying and commissioning process.

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What is required in order to apply?
Generally, a complete application packet consists of the following (additional items may be required):

  1. Application (PHS-50)
  2. Reference Forms (PHS-1813)
  3. Updated Resume or curriculum vitae
  4. Personal Statement
  5. Official Transcripts
  6. OF 306 and Credit release
  7. Height/weight worksheet
  8. Supplemental Medical History Record (PHS-6379)
  9. NCLEX results (nurses only)
  10. Professional License (as applicable)
  11. Prior military documentation (as applicable)

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How long does the application process take?
There are many factors which can affect the timeline. At this time we are encouraging candidates to begin the application process at least 6 months from their available start date to accommodate all variables in the commissioning process.

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Should I apply to the Commissioned Corps or to the agency or program where I wish to work?
Applying for a call to active duty as a Commissioned Corps officer of the U.S. Public Health Service involves two processes. You must apply for a Corps commission and you must apply for jobs at agencies or with programs where Corps officers serve. You should pursue both processes simultaneously. Visit Applying to the Commissioned Corps for a step-by-step guide of the Corps’ application process.

The USPHS will process your application for a Corps commission. Your actual job offer, however, will come from the agency or program to which you applied for a position.

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Do I meet the entry criteria for joining the Commissioned Corps?
Candidates for the Commissioned Corps must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be less than 44 years, 0 months and 0 days of age
  • Be "medically qualified" and meet height and weight standards (see below)
  • Have a current, unrestricted professional license (if applicable)
  • Have a qualifying degree or a higher degree from an accredited institution (varies depending on occupation)
  • Be “professionally boarded”
  • Meet Suitability Requirements

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What does "medically qualified" mean?
All candidates to the Commissioned Corps must undergo a physical examination and be found medically qualified prior to an appointment. The commissioned officer is expected to be physically qualified to perform the duties of his/her rank and profession in various climates and work assignments without endangering his/her health or the health of others. For career service, the officer must be physically capable of assuming any assignment in his/her profession whether such an assignment is likely to occur in the foreseeable future.

The falsification or other nondisclosure of material information on the part of the applicant may result in the immediate closeout of the application or separation of the officer from active duty without benefits. The determination of material nondisclosure is made by the USPHS and this decision is final.

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Page Last Modified on 2/3/2014