FAQs

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?

Public health is an extraordinarily diverse and exciting profession. Epidemiology and biostatistics make up the scientific 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.

Are there jobs in Public Health?

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.

What backgrounds do MPH students at UF have?

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.

What Public Health programs does UF offer?

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree offers six concentrations: biostatisticsenvironmental 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.

Do you offer any undergraduate programs in public health?

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.

What PhD programs do you offer?

If you are interested in a career in public health academics and/or research, we have several PhD programs:

PhD in Biostatistics

PhD in Public Health, Environmental Health concentration

PhD in Epidemiology

PhD in Public Health, Health Services Research concentration

PhD in Public Health, One Health concentration

PhD in Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration

Who are the faculty?

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.

What is included in the Master of Public Health curriculum?

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.

Do you have a distance-learning program?

Yes! We offer an online MPH degreeand an online certificate in public health.

How many credits are required for an MPH?

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 credits can I transfer into the MPH program from another institution?

A maximum of nine semester hours of graduate-level (5000 – 7999) course work with a grade of A, B+, or B, may be transferred from an institution approved by the Graduate School and the MPH program.

What is special about UF’s public health programs?

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.

What is unique about the College of Public Health and Health Professions?

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).

How does the University of Florida compare to other universities?

With an enrollment of over 50,000 students, the University of Florida is the largest university in the South, and it is one of the five largest universities in the United States. The university ranks among the nation’s 51 leading research universities as categorized by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, and it holds membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, thus being ranked among the top 60 U.S. research institutions.

Three institutions — the University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, and the University of Florida — offer more academic programs on a single campus than any of the other approximately 3,000 colleges and universities. The University of Florida has 16 colleges and over 60 interdisciplinary research and education centers, bureaus, and institutes. The Graduate School coordinates programs in approximately 90 academic departments leading to over 100 master’s degrees and 60 doctoral degrees.

What other resources set the college apart?

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 are the criteria for admission into the MPH program?

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

Due to COVID-19, the College of Public Health & Health Professions will be temporarily waiving the GRE/MCAT requirements. Applicants to the Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 semesters will not be required to submit GRE and/or MCAT scores. If you are looking to apply to a future semester (Fall 2021 and beyond), please contact Katherine Pizarro-Gutierrez for GRE requirements.

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 http://graduateschool.ufl.edu/admission/additional-requirements-for-international-applicants.

The full list of admissions criteria can be found here.

What are the application procedures?

View detailed application procedures at our Application Instructions page.

What is the application deadline?

Visit our Application page for a list of deadlines.

Is the GRE required?

Due to COVID-19, the College of Public Health & Health Professions will be temporarily waiving the GRE/MCAT requirements. Applicants to the Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 semesters will not be required to submit GRE and/or MCAT scores. If you are looking to apply to a future semester (Fall 2021 and beyond), please contact Katherine Pizarro-Gutierrez for GRE requirements.

GRE scores are not required for the Graduate Certificate in Public Health program.

I am an international applicant – where can I go to find VISA and other pertinent information?

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.

Do you provide financial assistance to international students?

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.

Don’t see your specific question listed here? Please fill out a contact form on our Contact Us page.