Below are a few of our frequently asked questions. If you do not see an answer to your question here, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Public Health sciences?

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. Environmental health is another exciting concentration. Here, you 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.

Are there jobs in Public Health?

Yes! The needs in public health are screaming from your newspapers and televisions everyday: Avian flu, toxic spills, the epidemic of obesity, and many more health problems. What you don’t hear quite as much about is the growing need for public health professionals. As the baby-boomers are aging, they are also retiring. The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) estimates that, by 2020, 250,000 more public health workers will be needed to protect and promote the health of the US population. Many positions in every area of public health are available now, waiting for well-trained, competent individuals to fill them.

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 the University of Florida offer?

Visit our Public Health Programs website for more information.

Our public health programs in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida have been developing rapidly during the past few years. You can study for a graduate Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree in one of six concentrations – biostatisticsenvironmental health, epidemiology, population health management, public health practice, and social and behavioral sciences. If you have a doctoral-level professional degree already, you may qualify for a 42-credit accelerated program in any of the above concentrations.

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 Clinical and Health Psychology, Health Services Research, and Rehabilitation Science PhD programs in our college, and collaborative 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 masters 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 with video captures of classroom lectures and a virtual internet-based classroom for discussions, assignments, and tests. 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 combined 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.

1. Department of Health Services and Research, Management and Policy

2. Department of Epidemiology

3. Department of Biostatistics

4. Department of Global and Environmental Health

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.

Do you have a distance-learning program?

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

What is unique about our college?

The College of Public Health and Health Professions is unique. 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 US 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 19 colleges and schools 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 are available?

The college is in a rich health science environment at the University of Florida. In addition to our college, the Health Science 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 UF 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 required to complete a Graduate Certificate in Public Health?

Certificate students must complete 15 credits, maintaining a 3.0 GPA and having no grades lower than a C.  Students must pass a written final exam in their last semester of coursework that demonstrates their confidence in applying the public health competencies covered in their course work.

What curriculum options are available in a Graduate Certificate in Public Health?

UF offers one Graduate Certificate in Public Health, but has several curriculum options, or emphases, available within the Graduate Certificate.  The Graduate Certificate in Public Health Foundations consists of the five Public Health Core classes and gives an introduction to key public health concepts.  This option is excellent for a person interested in exploring public health curriculum before applying to the full MPH program, or for someone interested in studying public health before taking the CPH exam.  Other emphases are available in specific areas of interest, with curriculum consisting of at least two Public Health Core courses and other elective courses specific to the emphasis.  To see all of the available emphases, please visit our graduate certificate page. Applicants to the campus certificate program also have the opportunity to design a specialty certificate based on personal interest and available coursework.  Accepted applicants for the specialty certificate will work with the academic advisor to design a unique plan of study.

How will my certificate be awarded?

All students that complete the Graduate Certificate in Public Health will have “Completed Graduate Certificate in Public Health” noted on their official transcripts.  The UF Registrar will mail a paper certificate to the student’s home address 8-12 weeks after graduation.  A student’s specific certificate emphasis will not be listed on the transcript or certificate, although students may list “Graduate Certificate in Public Health with emphasis in _________” on a CV or resume.

What are the criteria for admission into the Graduate Certificate in Public Health?

The following criteria must be met to be considered for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Public Health:

  1. Completed certificate application submitted online to the University Graduate Admissions office.
  2. Completed Departmental Application
    3. An upper-division undergraduate GPA of at least a 2.5, calculated after the first 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.
    4. US-awarded, regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree, or foreign equivalent
    5. Demonstrated graduate-level writing ability
    6. A professional statement that matches the philosophy and focus of the program
    7. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for international applicants

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, please read UF’s additional requirements for international applicants.

What are the application procedures?

View detailed application procedures at the Application Instructions page.

What is the application deadline?

Deadlines are posted at the Critical Dates page.  Admission decisions are generally issued within 4 weeks of receiving a completed application.

Are GRE scores required?

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

What additional information is required for international applicants?

International applicants must supply TOEFL/IELTS scores, official transcripts in the native language with certified English translation, and an official degree certificate in addition to the regular UF and Departmental Application.

Do you provide financial assistance to international students?

International students should contact the University of Florida Financial Aid office for any available financial aid. Students may also contact the 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.

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