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Why University of Wisconsin?

Integrated School Model
The University of Wisconsin Medical School became the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 2005, signaling the plan to develop a revolutionary new model that unites public health and medicine. The Vision with this model has been to create a superior education, research, and community engagement enterprise that integrates biomedical sciences, care of individual patients, and the health of diverse populations. This new integrated approach seeks to serve as a national model. A Guiding Principle with this model was that we would not establish an independent, free-standing school of public health, and then attempt to build bridges between it and our Medical School. We also dismiss preconceived notions about public health and medicine, fields that historically have functioned independently, and will use our new integrated model to solve our most pressing health issues.
Interdisciplinary Approach
Our degree programs are for those wanting to become excellent, well-rounded health practitioners and/or researchers! Our degrees are appropriate regardless of your health interests; our students explore the fields of epidemiology, public health, health policy, social and behavioral health, health services research, biostatistics, environmental health, and more! We take pride in preparing our students in a very holistic way about the various aspects of public and population health. In this way, they have a more complete understanding of various public health issues and how to initiate prevention efforts effectively or conduct quality research.
Degree Flexibility
Our degree programs can be tailored to your specific health interests due to the flexibility of our degrees. All students complete a set of core courses, but beyond these required courses students are afforded great latitude in course selection towards electives related to their own specific interests. Our programs also offer a variety of concentration areas and dual degree options to further enhance your educational goals and provide degree specialization.
Receive Personal Attention
Upon entry to our graduate/professional programs, students are matched with a faculty advisor. He/She helps students hone their interests, assists with identifying field experience and research projects, provides support for career development, and links students to the greater campus community. We are proud of the sense of community we have built by offering smaller degree programs. Our faculty, staff, and community colleagues are committed to serving students, and are friendly and accessible. Students have the benefit of daily dialogues and personalized training from renowned faculty. In addition, seminars and integrated discussion groups allow for increased interaction with core faculty and community lecturers. Finally, the work of students is valued as evidenced by their entries in the annual department poster session, participation in public health symposia, authorship of publications, and involvement in community/research projects.
World-class University Resources
Regardless of your interest in research or practice, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has a wealth of resources at your disposal. University of Wisconsin-Madison ranks as one of the most prolific research universities in the world, placing second among American public universities for research expenditures. In addition, our campus boasts literally dozens of centers or institutes on a multitude of research/outreach topics including one in our very own department -- the Population Health Institute. Our interdisciplinary focus allows students the flexibility to work with world-class projects/faculty in the department, but also with a wide array of exciting projects/faculty across campus and within the community. Finally, the Health Sciences Learning Center is one of the nation's premier facilities of its type and is the site of classroom instruction and clinical skills training for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and UW School of Nursing. It also houses the Ebling Library as well as academic and administrative offices – including the Center for Global Health and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
Learning Beyond the Classroom
Students have the advantage of learning from people who “practice” public health. A number of faculty in the department have been identified in state and community public health agencies and actively contribute their knowledge and skills to our degree programs and our students. These faculty members often serve as guest lecturers, discussion group leaders, and preceptors. The field experience requirement of the MPH program helps students gain additional hands-on experience and provides them the opportunity to serve and benefit the community by applying their classroom knowledge to real world public health issues. There are also researchers in the department who lead efforts on campus in the creation, consolidation, and translation of new and existing knowledge into community-based practice to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes. Finally, all students are encouraged to translate what they have learned in the classroom into presentations or posters and to present their professional work at conferences.
Madison as a City
The campus rolls along Lake Mendota, with wooded hills and the busy city streets of downtown Madison. Madison is small enough to navigate easily, but with cultural resources and amenities that rival those of cities many times its size. As the state capital of Wisconsin, Madison provides a vibrant downtown area and also a wealth of recreational resources – such as the five area lakes, over 200 parks, and numerous biking trails. The city’s location in south central Wisconsin also makes for convenient access to Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Madison also continues to be on everyone’s short-list as one of the top communities in which to live, work, play, and raise a family. Check on a sampling of the accolades Madison has recently received. Also, feel free to check out the Guide to Graduate Student Life -- a comprehensive guide created for students by students all about Madison and the university campus.