West Virginia Health Sciences Service Program

The Health Sciences Service Program is a loan repayment program (not a financial aid scholarship) for health professions students interested in practicing in underserved communities in West Virginia. The program makes approximately 15 awards each academic year to students enrolled in West Virginia healthcare education degree programs.

  • $30,000 for medical and dental students.

  • $15,000 for students training to become nurse educators, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, clinical psychologists, public health practitioners, and clinical social workers.

Awards are made based on a competitive application process and the recommendations of an advisory committee. Funds are provided to participants once they begin practicing and provide documentation regarding their educational loan balances.

Learn more about how the Health Sciences Service Program can help you achieve your career goals.


Eligible Students

  • Fourth-year medical students who are entering primary care or emergency medicine residency programs in West Virginia. Primary care residencies include family medicine, geriatrics, general internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, preventive medicine or psychiatry;

  • Students in the final year of a graduate or doctoral program for nurse educators, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, or occupational therapy;

  • Students who are in the final year of a graduate program for physician assistants or public health;

  • Students in the final year of a doctoral program in dentistry, pharmacy or physical therapy;

  • Students in the final year of a graduate social work program, leading to a career as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker; or,

  • Students in the final year of a doctoral clinical psychology program who intend to enter a clinical internship in West Virginia.

Service Obligation Information for All Disciplines

The service obligation is either two years of full-time (a minimum of 40 hours per week) or four years of half-time (a minimum of 20 hours per week) employment at an eligible practice site. All service sites must be within West Virginia. Participants are responsible for securing a practice site within six months of completing their training. Ineligible service obligation sites include emergency rooms (except for Emergency Medicine trained physicians), hospital inpatient positions, and walk-in clinics.

The penalty for not fulfilling the service obligation is repayment of the award with 15 percent interest. Interest begins accruing from the date of default if training or the service obligation is not completed.

For information on what services sites qualify for each discipline, please see the Eligible Sites for Health Sciences Service Program Service Obligations pdf below.

Eligible Sites for Health Sciences Service Program Service Obligations PDF icon

Discipline Specific Eligible Sites for Service Obligation:

Service sites vary by profession. Please use the pdfs listed below in consultation with the Eligible Sites document above in locating an eligible service site:

Geographically Eligible Areas for the Service Obligation PDF icon
Sites That Typically Qualify For the Service Obligation PDF icon
Comprehensive Behavioral Health Programs PDF icon
State Acute-Care Psychiatric Hospitals PDF icon
Veterans Health Facilities PDF icon


The application process is competitive, so please be sure to thoroughly and accurately complete the information requested. Your application, at least two recommendation forms, and the Certification of Educational Status must be postmarked by October 15, 2019.

For application materials, see the documents below:
Health Sciences Service Program Application Packet PDF icon
Health Sciences Service Program Application PDF icon
Recommendation Form PDF icon
Certification of Educational Status Form PDF icon


Eligibility for Other Financial Incentives

Students who receive a Health Sciences Service award also may qualify for other financial incentives for practice in rural or underserved areas of West Virginia (see West Virginia Recruitment Programs in the resources section below). In some cases, the service obligations can be met concurrently. However, federal law prohibits concurrent service of a Health Sciences Service Program obligation with some federal programs' service obligations, such as the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program.



West Virginia Recruitment Programs PDF icon


For more information, contact:

Laura Boone
Senior Director for Health Sciences
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
1018 Kanawha Blvd. East, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 558-0530; Fax: (304) 558-0532
E-mail: laura.boone@wvhepc.edu