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Unprecedented Times Lead to Increased Interest in Public Health

The Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has seen an increase in applications for the 2020 to 2021 academic year, with a 56 percent increase in applicants compared to 2019 to 2020.

Also notable is that 84 students began their graduate education in public health this past August—approximately twice the number of students enrolled when compared to Fall 2019.

“Interest in public health training has risen nationwide, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the doubling of our Fall 2020 class size is unprecedented in the history of our program,” said David J. Lee, interim chair and professor of the Department of Public Health Sciences.

The composition of the Fall 2020 class—23 percent of which are first-generation college students—includes students admitted to the following programs:

  • 4+1 Bachelor of Science in Public Health/Master of Public Health
  • Accelerated Master of Public Health
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Public Health
  • Dual Degree Programs Public Health and Medicine, Public Administration, and International Administration
  • Master of Science Programs in Biostatistics, Climate and Health, and Prevention Science and Community Health
  • Doctorate Programs in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Prevention Science and Community Health

Out of the 84 students, eight hold doctoral degrees, 12 hold master’s degrees, and 64 hold bachelor’s degrees.

The Department of Public Health Sciences launched a pilot scholarship program this semester for students enrolled in the Master of Public Health and Master of Science in Public Health programs, providing scholarships to a larger population of students. This semester, 67 percent of our incoming students received up to 25 percent in tuition scholarship awards. Students in the Master of Science in Climate and Health and Prevention Science and Community Health programs also received scholarship awards.

The new class—which consists of 65 percent females and 35 percent males—includes 49 percent of students who are from Florida, 32 percent who are from out-state-state, and 19 percent who are international. Students are Asian/Asian Indian (18 percent), Black/Black African American (20 percent), White (43 percent), Hispanic, (35 percent), and Other (6 percent).

“We as a department are also excited to welcome such a diverse class of students, which will not only enhance the learning experience for all but also align with the growing diversity of our nation,” added Dr. Lee, who is also chair of Graduate Studies at the Miller School of Medicine.

Written by Amanda Torres
Published on September 9, 2020