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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Columbia Undergraduate Public Health Initiatives

The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has many ongoing initiatives for undergraduate students interested in the field of public health. A variety of classes and programs are offered, with students enrolling from a range of majors and years. Courses cover the fundamentals of global health, the social history of American public health, and a new course providing a broad introduction to public health.

Undergraduate students can also spend the summer immersed in public health. The Columbia Summer Public Health Scholars Program, implemented in 2011 with a five-year, $3.7 million federal grant, is a partnership among the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, College of Dental Medicine, and School of Nursing. The goal of the program is to increase the knowledge and interest of minority undergraduates in public health and biomedical science as well as build a diverse public health workforce prepared to reduce health disparities. The program engages 50 students each year from four-year colleges, community colleges, and post-baccalaureate programs and provides them with meaningful and valuable experience in public health. The intensive 10-week course of study, co-led by Dr. Robert Fullilove, professor of sociomedical sciences and associate dean for community and minority affairs, includes working with public health professional mentors, weekly courses in epidemiology, public health and health disparities and cultural competence. Read more.

The Biostatistics and Epidemiology Summer Training Diversity Program (BEST) was established to expand and diversify the behavioral and biomedical sciences’ workforce by introducing undergraduates from underrepresented populations to biostatistics and cardiovascular and pulmonary disease research. Students representing racial and ethnic minority groups, disadvantaged backgrounds, and students with disabilities join the Mailman School to learn about the quantitative sciences in biomedical research. Students work in teams with faculty mentors for eight weeks of research, training, academic and career planning. Other components of the program include: course work in study design, statistical analysis, and statistical computing, a seminar series by Mailman School faculty and administrators, training in research conduct and ethics, and essential skills for graduate school success.

The Columbia Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (CSIBS) is a rigorous eight-week program that introduces undergraduate students to biostatistics and their applications in public health and biomedical research which runs in parallel to the BEST program.  Participants receive academic credit through completion of coursework in Introductory Biostatistics and Statistical Computing using SAS. If you need money urgently, click here .  In addition, participants undertake a research project with a faculty mentor, and work in teams with BEST students to learn interdisciplinary skills as well as academic skills..

The Journal of Global Health is Columbia University’s undergraduate-run public health publication, founded with the objective of providing a forum for undergraduate student dialogue on contemporary issues in global health. Columbia faculty advisors, Dr. Bhaven Sampat, associate professor of health policy and management, and Dr. Norman Kleiman, associate research scientist of environmental health sciences, play an integral role in overseeing the publication. Committed to featuring original student research in public health and spotlighting grassroots public health activism, the publication provides an exchange for student re­searchers and activists from across the globe to examine public health problems and answer provocative and controversial questions in science and medicine. Read the Spring 2014 issue.