Student Programs

group of CUPS participants standing on stairs

CUPS Program Participants

CDC’s Office of Health Equity (OHE) supports internship and fellowship opportunities for qualified undergraduate and graduate students to gain meaningful experiences in public health settings. The CDC John R. Lewis Undergraduate Public Health Scholars [Lewis Scholars; formerly CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (CUPS)] Program and the Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases (Ferguson) Fellowship provide students, particularly those from populations that are underrepresented in public health professions, with career-building public health experiences.

CDC established the CUPS Program in 2011 to increase the knowledge, skills, and interest in public health careers among diverse students through internship programs. The program aims to equip the future public health workforce early on with the competencies needed to effectively address ongoing and emerging health inequities. The program introduces undergraduate students to topics in minority health and health equity and supports their career development. In March 2022, Congress announced the program would be renamed the CDC John R. Lewis Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program, as tribute to the legacy of Congressman John Lewis, a fervent supporter of CDC and lifelong champion of health equity.

CDC established the Ferguson Fellowship in 1989 to support public health research and professional development in the areas of infectious diseases and health disparities, with a special focus on increasing knowledge and interest in public health research careers among graduate students from underrepresented populations.