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University of South Florida

College of Public Health

Tampa, FL


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University of South Florida


10 Reasons Students Should Attend the USF COPH

The latest poll results are in. Here are the top 10 reasons why the #USFCOPHRocks!

First, the College of Public Health likes being first.

A jewel in the crown of the USF, the COPH was founded in statute by the Florida Legislature in 1984 as the first school of public health in the state. The college is a nationally recognized leader in online education, maternal and child health, social marketing and global infectious disease research.

Second, COPH is the #1 public health program in the state of Florida.

A founding member of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, the COPH is ranked by "US News and World Report" at #1 in the state of Florida, #2 in the southeast, and #16 nationally among Council on Education for Public Health accredited schools.

Third, COPH students travel the world.

More than 100 students annually travel abroad to 20+ countries, including Cuba, India, Japan, London, Panama, Belize, Uganda, Malaysia and Ecuador. Returned Peace Corps volunteers can be a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow at the USF COPH.

Fourth, public health students ROCK!

USF COPH students annually dedicate 2400+ volunteer and 38k internship hours to making life better at home and around the world!

Fifth, location, location, location.

Enjoy the outdoors year-round. The region offers plenty of sunshine, arts and entertainment, professional sports, and an annual average temperature of 73 degrees! The COPH is geographically located in a region that is ripe for examining tropical, neglected and emerging diseases. From West Nile to Zika to Chikungunya, COPH researchers work tirelessly to improve the health of the population in Tampa and around the world.

Sixth, COPH leads the way in online education.

The college's online MPH degree is ranked #1 in the country by Master's Program Guide (2018). COPH's relationship with distance-based education began in 1993 delivering graduate courses to 33 health departments across Florida. It's the college's mandate to ensure the workforce is applying the most current skills. Currently, more than 5,000 students are enrolled in online courses.

Seventh, COPH leads the nation with the most public health certified faculty and staff.

At the national level, Dean Donna Petersen championed the need for public health practitioners to be credentialed. This effort resulted in the Certified in Public Health designation--a first for public health! The exam is a graduation requirement for all COPH master's and doctoral students. 

Eighth, undergraduates are a rising force in the COPH.

COPH ranks in the top five best online bachelor’s in public health degrees, according to College Choice (2017) and is ranked #1 among nation's best for veterans, according to "College Factual's" Top 10 Veteran-Friendly Public Health Schools (2016).

With established study abroad programs to London, Japan, Panama and Cuba, plus research opportunities with faculty, it's no wonder why students say the #USFCOPHRocks!

Ninth, the COPH is a global resource with more than 10 centers and institutes addressing areas of public health importance.

Established centers focus on global health, maternal and child health, occupational health, violence prevention, behavioral health, biological threats, infectious disease, and environmental health and risk assessment. WHO's Collaborating Centre for Onchocerciasis Diagnostics is the newest center.

Tenth, USF is a high impact, global research university dedicated to student success.

Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the Top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as “Emerging Preeminent,” placing USF in an elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Join the herd and unite with Bulls who are passionately solving problems and creating conditions that allow every person the universal right to health and well-being.

Apply to the USF College of Public Health today!

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Doctor of Public Health (Dr PH)
Master of Health Administration (MHA)
Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 136
Doctoral Degrees 6

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? Yes
Terminal master's degree available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required for some
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline May 1st May 1st No
Spring deadline June 15th June 15th No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE General Test
Master's Degree Requirements Minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper-level course work, 3 professional letters of recommendation, resume/curriculum vitae
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test
Doctoral Degree Requirements Minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper-level course work, goal statement, three professional letters of recommendation, resume/curriculum vitae, writing sample

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 550
TOEFL IBT score: 79

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards November 15
Types of financial support available Fellowships
Research Assistantships
Institutionally-sponsored Loans
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 8.02%
Black or African American 15.29%
White or Caucasian 54%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.38%
Asian 6.02%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races Not Reported
Unknown 4.39%


Male (27%)
Female (72%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 60
Part-time - 34
Male (54)
Female (40)


Focus of faculty research: Not reported
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year:

Location & Contact

Address 13201 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
MDC 56
Tampa, FL  33612
United States
Contact Dr. Donna J. Petersen
Phone: 813-974-3623
Fax: 813-974-7390