Online Summer Course Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next Online Summer Course?

Two identical iterations of the course will be offered during the summer of 2022: June 13 – 17 and July 18 – 22. If the museum is not open for in-person camps this summer, we will offer four identical online courses: June 13 – 17, June 27 – July 1, July 18 – 22, and July 25 – 29.​

What will I learn in the Online Summer Course?

The Online Summer Course teaches participants the fundamentals of CDC’s work: the field of public health and the science of epidemiology. Public health is a vast field that covers many aspects of keeping populations of people healthy. It includes, but is not limited to, research, data collection, data analysis, and health education. Epidemiology, the systematic study of diseases in populations, is one of the sciences used at CDC to help improve the public’s health.

I want to be a doctor. Will I learn about medicine during the course?

The course mirrors CDC’s work, and since CDC is not a clinical medical facility, the course does not have a medical treatment focus. While the course may include the pathology of some diseases, most of the time is spent focused on the collection and analysis of data and the use of that data to improve people’s health.

Who can apply?

The Online Summer Course is open to motivated students who will be high-school juniors or seniors during the 2022-2023 school year. In other words, the applicant must currently be a sophomore or junior.

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2022 summer programing are now closed. An “Application Status” email will be sent on May 6, 2022. This email will notify you if you have been offered a confirmed slot, a wait list slot, or if you were not offered a slot. Be sure to add cdcm_phacademy@cdc.gov to your e-mail address book so that notifications do not go to your spam folder.

All application components must be mailed in. Why can’t I email them?

All components of your application, including your teacher recommendation form, must be physically mailed in all together. Nothing can be emailed in because your application contains personal identifiable information (PII). You need to place pages in order with no staples, folds, or double-sided printing in a 9 x 12 (or similar size) envelope and address it to:

CDC Museum Public Health Academy
1600 Clifton Road NE MS H19-M
Atlanta, GA 30329

I am not a US citizen. Can I apply?

Yes. Students from anywhere in the world may apply and take this course but should note that all synchronous classes will be offered in Eastern Time.

What happens after I apply?

Once your application is received you will receive two emails. The first, a notification email, will be within 48 hours of course staff receiving your application and entering it into the evaluation process; this email is a confirmation that course staff received your application. The second, a status of application email, will be sent to all applicants on May 6, 2022; this second email will notify you if you have been offered a spot in the online course. Be sure to add cdcm_phacademy@cdc.gov to your e-mail address book so that notifications do not go to your spam folder.

How many slots are available?

Each course has fifty spots available.

I think my son/daughter would really enjoy this course. How can I sign him/her up?

Due to the popularity of CDC Museum Public Health Academy programs, including the Online Summer Course, we expect there will be more interested students than we can accommodate. For this reason, we have an application process for interested students.

To ensure that the course is an enjoyable experience for all participants, please discuss the course with your son/daughter and refrain from applying on his/her behalf. We urge you and your son/daughter to read the information on this site and complete the application together.

Can I reserve a spot until I mail in my application?

Because this is a competitive process, we cannot reserve spaces. Once the application deadline is reached, each application will be reviewed.

How are participants selected?

Applicants are selected based on the Application Essay Questions submitted and the teacher/counselor Recommendation Form. A panel of three current or retired CDC employees will read each application and use a rubric to score applications based on completion, proper grammar, well thought-out responses, and teacher recommendations. We are seeking a diverse and eager-to-learn group of students!

How will I know if I was selected?

All applicants are notified via e-mail when their completed applications have been received. Be sure to add cdcm_phacademy@cdc.gov to your e-mail address book so that notifications will not go to your spam folder.

Once the application deadline date (April 1, 2022) for the course has passed, applications are reviewed, and all applicants will receive notification e-mails indicating if they were given a slot in the course or not by May 6, 2022. If for any reason you do not receive a response by May 6, 2022, contact the course staff by e-mail – cdcm_phacademy@cdc.gov. Note that CDC Museum is not open on weekends, and the quickest way to get a response is by email.

If you any reason you do not receive a response by May 6th, contact the course staff by e-mail at cdcm_phacademy@cdc.gov. Note that CDC Museum is not open on weekends, and the quickest way to get a response is by email.

How much does it cost?

The Online Summer Course is tuition-free.

What will I need for the course?

Course participants will need access to an internet-connected computer.

What type of lessons and assignments can I expect?

The course consists of asynchronous lessons, synchronous lessons and discussion, and assignments students complete after the daily synchronous lesson. During asynchronous lessons which students read online content, watch videos, and complete knowledge self-checks. Synchronous lessons take place at a set time each day and include a discussion with a museum educator, a CDC expert, and fellow students. Daily assignments include short quizzes, readings, and case studies in public health topics.

What is the time commitment?

During the five-day course participants can expect to spend 4-5 hours on the course each day.

Science is not my best subject. May I still apply?

Yes! The field of public health is full of professionals with a diverse range of expertise — and not all are scientists! You only need to be eager to learn to apply for a course slot.

Who will be taking the Online Summer Course?

Fifty high-school juniors and seniors will be selected for each 5-day course. Attendees can be across the world. This is a wonderful opportunity to make online friends from other schools!

Page last reviewed: April 5, 2022