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CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (CUPS) Program

Participants of CUPS program orientation

Learn about programs that provide valuable exposure to a wide range of public health opportunities and see what past program participants have to say about their experience.

CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) supports internship opportunities for qualified undergraduate and graduate students to gain meaningful experiences in public health settings.

What is CUPS?

OMHHE sponsors the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (CUPS) program, consisting of six internship opportunities taking place at five partner institutions that offer a public health workplace experience to increase student interest in minority health. CUPS enrolls a diverse and talented group of students and provides them with an opportunity to turn knowledge into real world application.

CUPS participants sitting at round table

The CUPS Program offers many opportunities to gain meaningful experience in a public health setting.

Students: application deadline is January 31, 2018. Apply on the school’s website.

Why Does CUPS Matter?

The CUPS program prepares a diverse body of students to ensure a more diverse workforce in the future. Minorities are projected to comprise 57% of the population in 2060. It will become increasingly important that the public health workforce has experience in minority health topics. Over 60% of CUPS students are accepted into public health schools or take positions in public health. During their internships, students are placed in a variety of public health settings including community organizations, health departments, university-based programs, and federal agencies. Students display a variety of skills and knowledge including focus on epidemiology, fundamentals of public health, minority health and health disparities, working with special populations, and biostatistics and statistical software.

The following is a description of the opportunities at each institution:

  • Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP) at Columbia University Medical Center
    The Summer Public Health Scholars Program is a 10-week summer training program for undergraduates in their junior and senior year and recent baccalaureate degree students. At the conclusion of the program, interns deliver an oral presentation and submit a final paper on a public health challenge or intervention.
  • Maternal Child Health Careers / Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP) at Kennedy Krieger Institute
    The MCHC/RISE-UP Program is a 10-week summer public health leadership program designed for undergraduates in their junior and senior year and recent baccalaureate degree students (within 12 months). MCHC/RISE-UP is a national consortium of institutions including the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI), Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, University of Southern California, California State University-LA, and University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities. Three tracks are offered: (1) clinical (KKI only), (2) research, and (3) community engagement and advocacy.
  • Project: IMHOTEP at Morehouse College
    Project: IMHOTEP is an 11-week summer program designed for undergraduates in their junior and senior year and recent baccalaureate degree students. Throughout the program, interns participate in a wide variety of seminars, workshops, and other educational opportunities and must complete a required number of community service hours.
  • Future Public Health Leaders Program (FPHLP) at University of Michigan School of Public Health
    The Future Public Health Leaders Program is a 10-week summer program designed for undergraduates in their junior and senior year and recent baccalaureate degree students. The participants explore public health through seminars, workshops, and engagement in a community-based research project.
  • UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program at Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles
    The UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program is an 8-week residential summer training program that will expose undergraduate students to the field of public health. The program will increase the diversity of the public health workforce, improve the representation of underserved and underrepresented groups in public health, and solidify the public health pipeline, all of which will ultimately raise the quality of public health service.

For Graduate Students

  • Dr. James A. Ferguson, Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program (Ferguson Fellows) at Kennedy Krieger Institute
    The Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship is a 9-week summer program for students currently enrolled full-time in a medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or public health graduate program who are interested in participating in infectious diseases and health disparities research. Ferguson Fellows are encouraged and supported to submit their research to national meetings and for publication.
Marcus R. Andrews, MPH

Marcus R. Andrews, MPH

Genesis R. Bojorquez, MSNc, RN

Genesis R. Bojorquez MSNc, RN

The Future of Public Health

Learn about former students and what the CUPS experience means to them.  

Marcus R. Andrews, MPH

School(s) Attended: George Washington University (undergraduate and graduate)
CUPS Program:  Project IMHOTEP, 2015
Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, 2015; Master of Public Health, 2017

“The CUPS program provided me with additional skill sets to contribute to the field of public health and health disparities. While working with Dr. Tiffany Powell-Wiley at the National Institutes of Health, our research used epidemiologic methods and geographic information systems (GIS) to understand the socioeconomic, psychosocial, and environmental factors that promote weight gain and cardiovascular risk factors among multi-ethnic populations.”

Genesis R. Bojorquez MSNc, RN

School(s) Attended: San Diego State University, 2015; University of San Diego, 2017
CUPS Program: Project IMHOTEP, 2015
Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Science, Nursing; Master of Science in Nursing, Executive Nurse; PhD (c)

“The CUPS program has set a trajectory for me both professionally and academically. CUPS provided me with the motivation and resources to succeed in the graduate school application process, and the internship solidified my interest in public health research. My entire CUPS experience was phenomenal and I formed life-long relationships with my mentors and other interns.”

Learn more about former CUPS participants on OMHHE’s student highlights page.

Other CDC-Sponsored Student Opportunities

  • Page last reviewed: December 11, 2017
  • Page last updated: December 11, 2017
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