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Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


Since 1922, the Mailman School has been at the forefront of public health research, education, and community collaboration. Addressing everything from chronic disease to HIV/AIDS to healthcare policy, the School tackles today’s pressing public health issues, translating research into action.

The Mailman Difference

Around the world, increasingly complex challenges affect the health of current and future generations, including the climate crisis, humanitarian emergencies, urbanization, aging populations, and increasing health inequities.

Public health professionals work to protect and improve the health of people everywhere by advancing new knowledge, informing and influencing public policy, developing and implementing solutions, and promoting healthy behaviors.

Since our School’s founding in 1922, we have educated generations of public health leaders, advanced groundbreaking discoveries, and delivered innovative solutions to protect and improve the health of people everywhere. We weave together education, science, and social justice to address health disparities and advance health equity around the world.

Our world-class educational programs integrate an innovative skills-based curriculum, research collaborations, and hands-on field experience to prepare students for leadership roles in a range of industries and sectors, in professional practice, or in research and academia. Campus activities and events, support services, and a nurturing environment help students flourish and excel.

Our stellar faculty work across disciplines – biology, sociology, statistics, history, policy, and many more – to take public health from theory to practice through innovative research and programs around the globe. With a creative, entrepreneurial, and ambitious spirit, we advance discovery and solutions to tackle the biggest health challenges of the 21st century. Our research portfolio is among the largest at schools of public health, and we are home to dozens of research programs and labs, including ICAP, the Center for Infection and Immunity, and the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center.

Dynamic, diverse New York City and world-renowned Columbia University provide boundless opportunities for personal and professional growth. We work with diverse populations throughout the City’s five boroughs and in our local Washington Heights neighborhood on complex health issues, including HIV/AIDS education, prevention and care, smoking cessation initiatives, and programs to stem the growing asthma epidemic in our urban environment.

The most important difference? Our community. Inclusive, collaborative, and diverse, our culture is essential to our work, our students’ experience, and where they go from here.

A Strategic Vision for the 21st Century

In May 2008, Columbia University announced the appointment of Dr. Linda P. Fried as dean of the Mailman School. A national leader in the field of geriatric health and epidemiology, Dean Fried previously led Johns Hopkins' Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Program in Epidemiology of Aging.

From the outset, Dean Fried has engaged faculty, students, alumni, and key stakeholders to identify the role the Mailman School should play in addressing future public health challenges. Under this new strategic plan, the School will continue to focus on areas where it has traditionally excelled, such as HIV and other infectious diseases, mental health, reproductive health, and environmental health, and will build on the School's strong legacy of work in global and urban health, children's health, and food policy.

The plan also calls for building research strength and expertise in areas of critical importance in the 21st century, such as chronic disease prevention, climate and health, systems science, and ensuring the health of an aging society by taking a life course approach to the prevention of disease and disability. All of these initiatives require focus, multi-level analysis, new health system models, and interdisciplinary collaboration and leadership.

The School's educational mission has also been a cornerstone of Dean Fried's tenure. In the last few years, Dean Fried has led an intensive schoolwide effort that involved more than 150 members of the faculty, plus students, alumni, and employers, to reshape the School's MPH curriculum. The new programs, the Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH, provide the broad systemic understanding, critical thinking skills, and leadership training needed to tackle today’s complex public health challenges.


Central to public health—and the Mailman School’s mission—is ensuring equal access to conditions that ensure health and well-being for all. There is extensive evidence that a history of cumulative systemic disadvantage has resulted in significant harm, racialized disparities, and poor health for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color [BIPOC] in the US and throughout the world. We have a fundamental duty as public health educators, researchers, scientists, and practitioners to contribute to the dismantling of systemic racism that exists throughout the United States that allows this toxic situation to fester.

We recognize that we are falling short of our mission, especially as the U.S. history of racism is embedded within the field of public health and within our academic institutions. Even with Columbia Mailman’s longstanding dedication and leadership in advancing scientific understanding of the drivers of health inequity, applying this understanding to improving health for all, and making it a cornerstone of our students’ education; we recognize the need for a deeper commitment to undoing systemic racism, first within our own institution and then beyond the walls of our School.

Forging a Path FORWARD

In summer 2020, Dean Linda Fried and the senior leadership team launched Columbia Public Health FORWARD (Fighting Oppression, Racism and White Supremacy through Action, Research, and Discourse) to accelerate the transformation of our school into an antiracist, multicultural, and fully inclusive institution in all aspects of its culture and operations, as well as into a global leader in dismantling the toxic structures that continue to support racism and health inequities. Our goal is both to transform ourselves and our world and to provide a model and roadmap for other academic institutions to follow suit.

Through FORWARD, we will take the concrete actions needed to realize our goals by building:

  • An anti-racist institutional culture and environment
  • A strong pipeline of BIPOC students into Columbia Mailman and then into the field of public health beyond the School.
  • New cohorts of BIPOC faculty and staff who are fully supported and have the resources needed to launch their careers
  • A broad program of authentic, active, and ongoing engagements with local, marginalized communities
  • A more robust school-wide health equities, systemic racism, and structural violence research effort


Mailman School of Public Health Accreditation

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education that accredits schools of public health. CEPH’s mission assures “quality in public health education and training to achieve excellence in practice, research, and service, through collaboration with organization and community partners.”

As a member of the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health, the Mailman School of Public Health was reaccredited in 2010 and has begun the next process for re-accreditation.

In addition, the Department of Health Policy and Management is a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. The management programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).


CEPH’s accreditation procedure requires the Mailman School to undergo an extensive self-study that provides a qualitative and quantitative assessment of how well the School achieves its mission, goals, and objectives and meets the accreditation criteria, as well as a candid assessment of strengths and weaknesses in terms of the School’s performance against the accreditation criteria. The self-study process engaged individuals from across the Mailman School and our key constituent groups.

An external committee organized by CEPH is reviewing the self-study and conducting a site visit. The site visit team consisted of public health academics, practitioners, and accreditation specialists who met with the School’s senior leadership, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners, as well as the senior leadership of CUMC and the University. A link to the 2016-2017 self-study can be found here.

Columbia University in the city of New York accreditation

Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-284-5000 (MSCHE). Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, MSCHE is one of six regional higher education accrediting agencies in the United States working to define, maintain, and promote educational excellence across higher education institutions.

Campus Features


  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy & Management
  • Population & Family Health
  • Sociomedical Sciences


  • Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center
  • CII: Center for Infection and Immunity
  • ICAP

    Alumni Statistics


    The Application Process

    Start the application process early. We recommend allowing sufficient time -- before the semester in which you intend to enroll -- to gather recommendations, transcripts, and other materials.

    Eight-Step Process

    1. Choose a Program of Study
      The Mailman School offers MPH, MS, MHA*, Ph.D., and DrPH degrees.
    2. Identify a Department of Interest
      Browse the Department pages and use the Degree Finder to identify the area of study that's right for you. Some departments have different admission requirements for their programs.
    3. Identify Certificate(s) of Interest
      If you are applying to the two-year Columbia MPH program, you can identify a Certificate choice. You can also defer that decision until your first semester. While most certificates are open to students from all departments, some limit entry to students from specific departments.
    4. Check Deadlines
    5. Gather Application Components
    6. Check Financial Aid Information
    7. Apply Now
    8. Talk to Us. Certain programs and departments may conduct telephone outreach to applicants in order to provide and obtain additional information. If we get in touch, we will use the phone number you provided in your application.

    *Students applying for the MHA degree may also apply through HAMPCAS.

    Scholarships and Funding

    The Financial Aid Office is dedicated to identifying the best sources of financial support for Mailman School students. Financial aid packages can include a combination of institutional funds, loans, and student employment opportunities.

    Awards are based on the expected student contribution and the standard student budget, which is created each academic year to account for variable costs. Students should evaluate the standard budget when planning for the upcoming academic year.

    When calculating the student budget, special accommodations may be made for students with additional expenses like child care or a computer purchase. Students should set up a meeting with a Financial Aid Officer to discuss this. Note: It is very uncommon for financial aid to make accommodations for anything other than rent expenses, a one-time purchase of a computer, or child care.

    Develop a Budget

    There are five steps involved in developing your in-school budget:

    1. Identify your financial goals (i.e., what you need vs. what you want)
    2. Calculate your non-loan financial resources (i.e., grants, jobs)
    3. Estimate your education expenses (i.e., tuition/fees, books, supplies, etc.)
    4. Estimate your living expenses (renting vs. housing)
    5. Do the math. A deficit, if any, represents the amount you may need to borrow.

    For any related questions or information on waiving your health insurance fee, please contact Student Health Services.


    It is important that you build up some form of liquid savings that can be used prior to arriving on campus. This will help you cover initial costs such as the first month's rent, security deposits, moving expenses, etc., while waiting for your financial aid to deposit into your student account.

    All students who enroll in a degree program must arrive in New York City with at least one month of living expenses (preferably two), as the federal loan disbursement process does not take place until two weeks into the start of every semester.

    Funding Options

    The Mailman School offers students and families a single, simple approach to meeting the cost of attendance. The plan is a combination of federal, institutional, and private sources of funds that provide options for part-time, full-time, and international students and families.

    The following types of assistance may be available to students:

    Student Loans

    Columbia University students have a wide range of financial assistance options from federal, state, institutional, and private sources. The rates for both the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan for 2020-2021 are 4.30% and 5.30%, respectively. The Department of Education determines new annual rates after July 1st of the new fiscal year. To learn more about obtaining a loan, including a detailed description of each of these funding sources, please see the University's overview on Graduate Financial Aid.

    Students applying for the Graduate Plus Loan should log in to complete the required forms and manage their accounts.

    Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants

    Scholarships, fellowships, and grants are awarded based on need or merit. Amounts and availability vary by school.

    Student Employment Opportunities

    Mailman School students can access school-related employment through one or more of the following:

    1. Work-Study: Students certified by the Financial Aid Office as eligible for federally funded work-study can choose from a variety of part-time employment positions. Jobs are available in many offices throughout the University. Learn more.
    2. Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA): Departments offer these positions in which students gain valuable experience working part-time on faculty-run research projects and receive a stipend and/or tuition assistance on a limited basis. These positions are not available to first year Master's students.
    3. Teaching Assistantship (TA): Some departments have limited teaching assistantship positions available to students with substantial preparation in their area of study. TAs provide part-time assistance to faculty members in instruction, grading, and course administration and receive a stipend and/or tuition assistance. These positions are specifically offered to Doctoral students and second-year Master's students.

    Institutional and Supplemental Aid

    Note: Almost every state has at least one grant or scholarship available to residents, and many have a long list of student aid programs. Eligibility is usually restricted to state residents attending a college in-state.

    International Students

    Funding options are available for international students.



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