Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP)
The Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP) is designed for undergraduate students to increase interest in and knowledge of public health and biomedical science careers. SPHSP is a partnership between Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University School of Nursing, and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Together they represent the broad spectrum of public health practice. SPHSP grant funding was awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of the Director, Office of Minority Health, and Health Equity (OMHHE).
The program is designed for undergraduates going into their junior or senior year and recent baccalaureate degree students who are undecided about their career goals and who have a minimum GPA of 2.7. This is a rigorous program which includes Public Health course work at Columbia University; hands-on field experience and immersion in a diverse, economically disadvantaged urban environment; seminars and lectures with public health leaders; and mentoring by faculty members, ensuring students' exposure to the breadth and importance of public health as a career option.
The Summer 2013 SPHSP is a ten-week summer program that begins May 27, 2013 and ends August 2, 2013. Program offerings include:
- Orientation: There will be two weeks of orientation, the first week will take place at the CDC in Atlanta, GA. The second week will be at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. During orientation, scholars will be introduced to their mentors, their field placement sites and the field of public health.
- GRE Preparation Course: Students will participate in a GRE Preparation course provided by Kaplan
- Field Experience/Mentoring: Scholars will be paired with health professional mentors of various health disciplines in a public health setting. Each of the selected students will be interviewed by the Program Coordinator to determine the most appropriate placement. Students will work under the guidance and supervision of their mentors, 3 days a week for eight weeks, gaining direct exposure to the practice of public health.
- Field Trips: Scholars will have the opportunity to go on supervised field trips once a week to various communities throughout the New York City metropolitan area to observe public health interventions and programs in operation.
- Academic Enrichment: Scholars will attend 3 lectured base courses one day a week for eight weeks. The courses are: 1) Introduction to Public Health, 2) Introduction to Epidemiology and 3) Health Disparities and Cultural Competence. The courses will be facilitated by Columbia University Medical Center faculty from all four health science schools. Scholars will work in small groups with their Teaching Assistants to discuss practical application of class work. Students will work on current health problem or issues using “real” case studies.
- Stipend: Stipend will be provided to all program participants.
- Travel: Each scholar will be provided with round trip travel.
- Housing: Housing will be provided to all students.
- Six students will be offered internships at the prestigious CDC. These students will attend one week of orientation at the CDC and will stay in Atlanta for the remainder of the summer. The SPHSP Program Coordinator will check in with students regularly and visit them once during the summer.
- Students who will have completed at least two years of college at the beginning of the program, including rising juniors and seniors
- Recent college graduates (after April 2012) who have not been accepted into a graduate program
- Students with an Associate degree must provide proof of acceptance into a four-year institution
- African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, people with disabilities, and economically-disadvantaged individuals are encouraged to apply.
- Minimum GPA of 2.7
ONLINE APPLICATION GUIDELINES
Please click here to complete an online application for the Summer of 2013. All applications must be received no later than February 8th, 5 PM Eastern Standard Time.
* Some individuals have indicated that the above link does not work on their computer. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the application, please try to copy and paste this URL directly into your web browser: https://sphsp.cumc.columbia.edu:4443
- Letter of Recommendation - submitted by an academic advisor or course instructor. Only one letter will be accepted.
- Resume or Curriculum Vita
- Unofficial Transcript(s) - to be submitted for any college/university attended. Please note that Official Transcript(s) are required for students ultimately accepted into SPHSP.
- IRS 1040 or 1040A form from parent/guardian(s) - only required for students identifying as 'low-income'.
Office of Diversity
College of Physician and Surgeons
630 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
(212) 305-4157 (office)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
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: Michigan FPHLP indicates that I can apply to more than one program while Columbia SPHSP indicates that I should only choose one. Will there be a negative consequence if I apply to all programs?
A: No. While Columbia SPHSP indicates preference towards applying to only one program, there is no repercussion of applying to multiple programs.
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 April 1st.
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: 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?
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 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: 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.
Q: Does the program cost any money?
A: No. Accepted students will be given a stipend to attend, the 2013 stipend amount will be $3000. In addition, air/ground travel and housing costs will be covered. Students will also be given a small daily meal allowance to cover basic food expenses.
Q: I have attended more than one college, should I send all my transcripts?
Q: What is considered 'low-income'?
A: Low-income is defined as 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Q: I am unable to arrive in New York City/Columbia University by May 27th, 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: Is there an interview in the selection process?
A: Yes. However, only the top 100 candidates are selected for a phone interview. No in-person interviews will be conducted.
Q: The academic calendar for my college/university extends beyond May 27th. 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.
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