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Health and Epidemiology Advanced Learning (HEAL)

About HEAL

To begin a career in epidemiology and public health, you often need both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, which typically takes at least six years of higher education. Admission to the master’s program usually also requires a strong score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

The Health and Epidemiology Advanced Learning (HEAL) program allows you to skip the GRE exam before entering into your fifth year as a master’s candidate at the University of Rochester. When accepted to the HEAL program as an undergraduate, you’re also given conditional admission to the MS program in epidemiology offered through the Department of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine and Dentistry (part of Rochester’s campus).

The program provides you with advising by renowned faculty mentors, extensive research and professional development opportunities, and access to premier research facilities as both an undergraduate and graduate student. Additionally, HEAL students receive a 40 percent tuition scholarship during their full-time graduate work.

As an undergraduate in the HEAL program, you are expected to major in one of the following:

As a graduate student, you will complete your Master of Science in epidemiology.

Public Health Sciences (PHS)

The Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center is dedicated to improving health and health care among diverse populations through research, learning, and community partnerships.

The master of science in epidemiology is uniquely positioned to provide the methodologies and skills needed to carry out research and public health programs to

  • Identify correlates of disease that may be targets of primary prevention
  • Evaluate the consequences of changes in health care delivery on populations
  • Accommodate the growing need to integrate and analyze large-scale information

Our program focuses on epidemiologic and Biostatistical methods and teaches you the tools and skills to address future public health and information challenges.

Applying to HEAL

First-Year Applicants

First-year applicants can apply through the Common Application or Coalition for College Application by indicating their interest in HEAL on their application and  completing the Combined Degree Program writing prompt provided on the application.

Transfer Applicants

Transfer applicants can apply through the Common Application or Coalition for College Application by indicating their interest in HEAL on their application, at which point a supplemental prompt will populate. The application with the completed Combined Degree Program writing prompt must be submitted by March 15 (only for transfers beginning fall semester) in order to be considered.

HEAL Finalist Interviews

You will be notified of your finalist/non-finalist status in mid-January.

Finalists must interview with members of the Department of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spring 2021 HEAL finalist event will be held virtually.

The HEAL finalist event will take place in mid-February. Your final HEAL decision will be sent shortly afterward.

If you are not selected as a finalist, you can still have your application reviewed for general admission to the College without HEAL.

If you are admitted to the College through early decision, you will receive your admit letter in mid-December, but your HEAL application will follow the regular decision process described here.

Accepting our early decision offer cannot be contingent upon your admission to HEAL.

Program Perks

Students in the HEAL program receive the following perks:

  • A conditional guarantee of admission to the University’s MS program in epidemiology offered through the Department of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine and Dentistry (part of Rochester’s campus)
  • Exemption from the GRE
  • 40 percent tuition scholarship while completing full-time graduate work in public health sciences
  • Focused early mentoring by renowned faculty
  • Extensive research and professional development opportunities
  • Access to premier research facilities as both an undergraduate and graduate student

Is HEAL For You?

You might be a good fit for HEAL if you:

  • Express an interest in, and knowledge of, public health programs at the University of Rochester
  • Take challenging classes (honors, AP, college-level, etc.)
  • Do well academically (strong HEAL applicants typically have a 3.7 unweighted GPA and rank in the top 15 percent of their graduating class)
  • Participate in extracurricular activities relevant to public health (e.g., Science Olympiad Disease Detectives, Science/Math Bowl, volunteering in the community)
  • Believe that your standardized test results help reinforce the strength of your overall application to HEAL (in which case, you should submit your test scores; learn more about our Testing Policy)

Public Health Sciences Student and Faculty Perspectives