SPHSP Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Q: I do not know anything about health and I am not a health-related major. Can I apply?
A: Yes. Individuals from all disciplines and areas of study are encouraged to apply. 

Q: How does the recommendation section of the online application work? 
A: Once a student fills in and submits their recommender information, an email will automatically be sent to the recommender's email address. Many students have indicated issues with this feature. Most of them have been due to 1) The student forgot to press the 'Submit' button and/or (2) The email went into the recommender's Spam folder.  

Q: Do I have to send my immunization records and health insurance information with the application?
A: No. Health-related documentation is only required from those accepted into the program. Please do not include this with your application materials.

Q: The 1040 or 1040A form can be rather lengthy. Can I only submit the first two or three pages of it with the summary of income and dependents? 
A: Yes.

Q: When would I find out if I was selected?
A: Those invited for phone interviews will be contacted via email. All selection decisions would be posted via the online application no later than March 14th.  

Q: Can I transfer the coursework from the Columbia Summer Public Health Scholars Program to my college/university?
A: No. These courses are not credit bearing and cannot be transferred. 

Q: Do I need to have health insurance to participate in this program?
A: Yes, health insurance is a requirement for all participants. However, if selected for the program, you can purchase Aetna health insurance through Columbia University Medical Center. The Summer 2012 rate was $700.63 for 10 weeks. Some financial assistance is available if needed and/or it can be taken directly from the student's stipend.

Q: Does the program cost any money?
A: No. Accepted students will be given a stipend to attend, the 2013 stipend amount will be $3500. In addition, air/ground travel and housing costs will be covered. 

Q: I have attended more than one college, should I send all my transcripts?
A: Yes.

Q: My college only offers paper transcripts, can I mail it in?
A: No. Paper transcripts can be scanned into PDF format and uploaded to the online application.  

Q: What is considered 'low-income'?
A: Low-income is defined as 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Q: I am unable to start the program by May 30th. Can I come later?
A: Accomodations will be made on a case-by-case basis after students have been accepted into the program. When accepted, a student can contact the Office of Diversity directly to make different arrangements. Please be prepared to explain the nature of your scheduling conflict so we may best assess your needs.

Q: I am an international student, can I apply for the program?
A: No. Only U.S. Permanent Residents and Citizens are eligible for this program. 

Q: I am from a U.S. territory, can I apply?
A: Yes. Residents from U.S. Territories are encouraged to apply as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements. 

Q: The academic calendar for my college/university extends beyond May 30th. Can I still participate in SPHSP?
A: Yes. In the past SPHSP has proctored final exams for students in order to facilitate their involvement in the program. However, accomodations will not be discussed until a student is selected for the program. 

Q: Are eligibility requirements flexible?
A: No. Eligibility requirements are inflexible and cannot be negotiated.