Below are a few of our frequently asked questions. If you do not see an answer to your question here, please contact us.
- What is Public Health?
- Are there jobs in Public Health?
- What backgrounds do MPH students at the University of Florida have?
- What Public Health programs does the University of Florida offer?
- Do you offer any undergraduate programs in Public Health?
- What PhD programs do you offer?
- Who are the faculty? Do they hold office hours?
- Will I be able to contact faculty as an online student?
- Can I assist faculty with research?
- What is included in the Master of Public Health curriculum?
- Do you have a distance-learning program?
- How many credits are required for an MPH?
- How many classes do I have to take each semester?
- How many credits can I transfer into the MPH program from another institution?
- What is special about UF’s public health programs?
- What is unique about the College of Public Health and Health Professions?
- How does the University of Florida compare to other universities?
- What other resources set the College apart?
- What is the average class size?
- Are courses mostly project or exam based?
- Will the MPH program help me find an internship?
- What are the criteria for admission into the MPH program?
- What are the application procedures?
- When is the application deadline?
- Do letters of recommendation have to be from faculty?
- Is the GRE required?
- I am an international applicant – where can I go to find VISA and other pertinent information?
- Do you provide financial assistance to international students?
What is Public Health?
Public health is an extraordinarily diverse and exciting profession. Epidemiology and biostatistics make up the quantitative foundations of public health. Epidemiologists study the frequency, distribution, and determinants of diseases, while biostatisticians provide the analytic tools to continually advance our research capabilities. Concentrating on either of these areas will prepare you for an ever-changing career in public health research. If community action and behavior change interest you, social and behavioral sciences offer the models and the tools to work with community groups to improve health. Our complex system of governmental agencies devoted to protecting and promoting the health of the public is the focus of health management and policy. If you see yourself pursuing a career in administration, human resource management, or financial management in public health agencies, or in policy development and analysis, this concentration is for you. Students in environmental health will learn how to assess a myriad of toxic chemicals and biological threats in our surroundings and to protect the population from their ill effects. Please see the concentration options page for more information.
Yes! The Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health estimates that by 2020, 250,000 more public health workers will be needed to protect and promote the health of the U.S. population. Many positions in every area of public health are available now, waiting for well-trained, competent individuals to fill them. Please see the concentration options and careers in public health pages to learn more about job opportunities. Learn what some of our past students have gone on to do by checking out our Alumni Spotlight.
One of the greatest strengths of public health is that it is based on many sciences and its students and practitioners come from a variety of backgrounds. In our classes, you will study with doctors, nurses, social workers, historians, psychologists, anthropologists, journalists, lawyers, and many others. Our students come to UF not only from Florida, but also from across the United States, and around the world. When you join us, an exciting mix of students will enrich every one of your public health courses.
The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree offers six concentrations: biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, population health management, public health practice, and social and behavioral sciences.
For UF professional students, we have combination programs of study with the colleges of Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine. PhD/MPH programs are also available with the college’s Clinical and Health Psychology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science PhD programs, and combination degree programs can be developed on an individual basis with other PhD and master’s programs throughout the university.
If you are already in the public health workforce, or you would like to move in that direction, but a master’s degree is more than you need, consider our Certificate in Public Health. This 15-credit option includes the foundation course in each of the five public health science concentrations, thus providing a broad overview of the skills and knowledge of the public health disciplines. The certificate is available on campus to graduate students and working professionals, and it is now available online to individuals outside the university. Should you decide to enter the MPH program, graduate credits earned for the certificate can be applied to the degree.
Yes! If you are an undergraduate student at UF with a public health career in your future, you do not have to wait until graduation to begin your MPH program. The combination bachelor’s to master’s degree program will allow you to take the five foundation courses in your senior year and then complete your MPH in the following 18 months, a semester less than the standard graduate program.
If you are interested in a career in public health academics and/or research, we have several PhD programs:
Our faculty members bring rich educational backgrounds and field experiences to their teaching and mentoring roles. All of them have been trained at excellent institutions, and each of them is actively involved in cutting-edge research on critical public health problems.
Office hours for faculty will be included on their syllabi each semester.
Will I be able to contact faculty as an online student?
Yes! Contact information for each faculty member will be included on their syllabi, as well as on their department web page.
Can I assist faculty with research?
Faculty do occasionally have grant-funded positions or other opportunities for student involvement in research. It is incumbent on the student to be in contact with the faculty to explore possible opportunities.
The standard MPH program requires a minimum of 48 semester credits of study at the master’s level.
The campus curriculum includes:
- One course in each of the five core areas of public health (15 credits)
- Core courses in an area of concentration (15-21 credits)
- Elective courses relevant to the chosen concentration and individual career goals (up to 12 credits)
- Applied Practice Experience (3 credits)
- Integrative Learning Experience (3 credits)
The online curriculum differs slightly. For the up-to-date curriculum options, visit the online MPH page.
MPH students are required to successfully complete 48 credit hours for graduation. The accelerated program for individuals with terminal (usually doctoral) degrees requires 42 credits.
How many classes do I have to take each semester?
For traditional full-time campus based students, the expectation is that students will take 9-12 credits per semester. However, we have several students who only attend part-time and take less than 9 credits a semester, based on their individual circumstances. Additionally, online student course loads vary by student preference and whether they are receiving financial aid to pay tuition.
A maximum of nine semester hours of graduate-level (5000 – 7999) course work with a grade of A, A-, B+, or B, may be transferred from an institution approved by the Graduate School and the MPH program.
There are many public health options for you to consider. But graduate studies are not limited to a series of courses and requirements. In the College of Public Health and Health Professions, we believe that our students should have opportunities to explore public health from every angle. We have a seminar series in contemporary public health issues, which features state-of-the-art presentations by experts in important and emerging topics. Our students are involved in the Gainesville community and surrounding counties in a variety of volunteer efforts, such as immunization registries and shelters for people who are homeless. All MPH students complete an internship in which they have opportunities to work in the field to integrate the knowledge and skills gained through classroom-based courses. Many students also earn practicum credits throughout their studies for projects conducted in the state and local health departments, the Suwannee River Area Health Education Center, and other public health agencies.
In addition to covering the full range of public health issues and methods, we are built on a long-standing commitment to individuals with chronic diseases and disabilities. Applying public health principles to preventing the initial occurrence of these conditions and the health problems that arise from them is a major challenge and part of our unique vision. This aspect of our vision fits well with the special public health issues of Florida. We are committed to understanding and addressing the unique issues associated with our multi-ethnic and aging populations, and the geographic and environmental vulnerabilities of our beautiful state. A hallmark of our approach is collaboration among the public health disciplines and the disciplines of other health professions within and outside our college in teaching, research, and service.
The College of Public Health and Health Professions is an accredited school of public health by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
The college is in a rich health science environment at the University of Florida. In addition to our college, the academic health center includes colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine, all of which have faculty with whom we collaborate actively on research and teaching. We work closely with researchers in the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology, the Emerging Pathogens Institute, and the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience.
Another valuable resource is the Health Science Center Libraries, which make up one of the most extensive library systems in the Southeast. In addition, the entire university is located on one campus in Gainesville. Access to excellent academic, research, and service programs in the Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and many other departments and colleges on the campus provide endless opportunities to learn and collaborate.
What is the average class size/enrollment?
For public health core courses, the class size can be as large as 50 students since all MPH students will take those courses. However, concentration courses and electives generally have much lower enrollment – anywhere from 10-40 students per class and most averaging around 25 students. In addition to this, half-way through the program every student is assigned an individual faculty mentor to support their research interests, internship, and Capstone project development.
Are courses mostly project or exam based?
There are a variety of assessments used by faculty to gauge student learning, including both exams and projects. To see samples of assignments and assessments, please take a look at past course syllabi here.
Will the MPH program help me find an internship?
Our internship coordinator will be available for consultations regarding internship requirements and possible recommendations for internship opportunities. It is the student’s responsibility, however, to contact, interview with and solidify the proposed internship plan.
The following criteria must be met to be considered for admission to the MPH program:
- A completed graduate application submitted online to the UF Graduate Admissions office
- An upper-division undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 calculated after the first 50 hours of undergraduate coursework
- A U.S.-equivalent bachelor’s degree
- English language proficiency scores for international applicants
- A professional statement that matches the philosophy and focus of the program
- Three letters of recommendation
Please note: The GRE is not required for admission to the MPH program. Submitted scores will not be reviewed or considered during the admissions process.
International students whose native language is English or who have attended a college or university in the United States for at least one year as a full-time student are not required to submit TOEFL scores. For a list of countries whose citizens are exempt from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) requirement that most non-US applicants must meet, go to the UF Graduate Application Instructions for International Students.
The full list of admissions criteria can be found here.
View detailed application procedures at our Application Instructions page.
Visit our Application page for a list of deadlines.
Do letters of recommendation have to be from faculty?
It is preferable that letters of recommendation come from degree-holding faculty with whom you’ve taken a class. However, in absence of these references, faculty or professionals with whom you’ve worked with on research, volunteer experiences, or other health-related activities would be acceptable. Employers are also acceptable as a last resort.
The GRE is not required for admission to the MPH program. Submitted scores will not be reviewed or considered during the admissions process.
After official notice of admission to the university, contact the UF International Center to begin your I-20 process. Do not leave your country before obtaining a student visa and do not come to the United States with a B (tourist) visa.
International students should contact the UF Financial Aid office for any available financial aid. Students may also contact the University student employment office for information about campus employment. At this time scholarships are not available for international students through the College of Public Health and Health Professions.