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UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program

The UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the field of public health through hands-on training, structured workshops, group events, volunteering opportunities, and leadership and professional development. Located in Los Angeles, the program offers scholars the opportunity to train at UCLA, to explore public health in one of the most diverse counties in the US, and to experience the city’s vibrant culture. We work with community-based organizations, health systems, and government agencies to offer field placement opportunities for scholars that focus on health equity.  

Scholars are placed at these partnering organizations throughout Los Angeles where they are exposed to the spectrum of public health practice and provided with professional mentors. To supplement field work, scholars attend workshops, develop leadership and professional skills, and receive mentoring from graduate students and faculty. Scholars become a part of a motivated community invested in creating healthy futures for all.

How COVID-19 has impacted the Public Health Scholars Training Program: Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, our regular UCLA Public Health Scholars programming has been halted for the summer of 2020.  Despite this, we look forward to accepting new applications next year and will hold a program that has both virtual and in person options (as long as in person options are safe and allowed by UCLA and CDC).  

Program Details

  • Cohort of 40-50 students participate in an 8-week in-residence summer training program (June 20 - August 13, 2021)
  • Scholars are matched with partnering organizations, where the scholars contribute to public health work 3 days per week
  • Scholars attend structured educational programming two days per week designed to build public health skills and learn about professional opportunities
  • Scholars receive a $3,000 stipend, housing, funding to cover some meals, and metro pass or funding for gas
  • Scholars attend a paid trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia with Public Health Scholars from other programs across the nation
  • Scholars that do not live in California will receive funds for travel to and from the program in Los Angeles (if we are approved to host an in-person program).

Program Eligibility Criteria* 

  • Interest in exploring a career in the field of public health
  • By the start of the program,
  1. be enrolled in a four-year institution (community college transfers eligible) and have completed at least two years of undergraduate education 
  2. OR graduated Spring term 2020 or after and have not officially enrolled in a graduate program.
  • Ability to be present in LA and participate in program activities from June 20 - August 13, 2021
  • Willingness to attend social and volunteer events on evenings and occasional weekends (virtually and in-person).
  • Willingness to stay engaged with program for alumni tracking, professional development opportunities, maintaining contact with cohort, and participate in recruitment for the 2022 cohort
  • Successful submission of all application materials
  • There is no GPA requirement 

* additional criteria outlined in application

Application Process

Step 1: Program Applications

  • Applications Open November 1, 2020 and close January 31, 2021

Step 2: Online group interviews

  • March 2, 2021: Applicants are notified if they have been selected or not for an online group interview
  • March 8 – 12, 2021: Online group interviews

Step 3: Acceptance notifications and program enrollment

  • March 19, 2021: Applicants are notified if they have been accepted to the program, waitlisted, or not admitted
  • March 25, 2021: Deadline for accepting offer to participate in the program
  • March 26, 2021: Waitlisted applicants are notified if accepted to the program
  • March 31, 2021: Enrollment Process Begins

Community Partners

We partner with community-based organizations, health systems, and government agencies located throughout Los Angeles to address the need to 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 services. If your organization is interested in partnering with us to host undergraduate students, please complete this online registration form.

This national program is made possible through the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Minority Health and Health Equity and The California Endowment.

Hear from the UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program’s Inaugural Cohort