Public Health Three-Year Cohort Program FAQ
Please see below for answers to the following question areas:
What is the cost of the three-year program? Is it cheaper than a four-year degree?
The cost of attendance for the three-year degree program is similar to the cost of a four-year program, since students will be attending the same number of semesters (8 total). However, please note the additional costs associated with studying abroad described in the Study Abroad section.
Can I use financial aid for summer study?
Yes. Students admitted to the three-year public health cohort program can use their financial aid and merit awards to cover summer tuition and living expenses, provided you have met the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, have submitted a Summer Aid Application, and are enrolled at least half time (6 credits). Merit awards are capped at tuition and do not cover living expenses. If you need additional financial aid to cover living expenses, you will need to complete a 2013-2014 FAFSA when it becomes available on January 1, 2013 (for Summer 2013).
If I have received a grant or scholarship (e.g. Frederick Douglass Scholarship), am I eligible to apply to this program?
Yes, your awards/grants/scholarships do not preclude you from applying to the three-year public health cohort program.
Can I apply for merit awards or scholarships as part of a three-year program?
Yes. Students in the three-year public health cohort program will still have the opportunity to apply for merit awards and scholarships. Eligibility will vary for each award. Students should work closely with their faculty director and academic advisor to identify opportunities and discuss eligibility and applications.
Is study abroad mandatory?
Yes. Students enrolled in the three-year public health cohort program will study abroad as a group for one semester (fall semester of their second year) likely in one of the following locations: India, Kenya or England. Prior to departure, students will take an Introduction to Study Abroad course to prepare them for the study abroad experience. There will also be a non-academic piece, ‘AU Experience’.
Students may opt to study abroad for a second semester on their own to one of the locations offered by the AU Abroad program. Students opting to study abroad for a second semester will work closely with their faculty director and academic advisor to identify the study abroad experience that works best with their academic curriculum.
The estimated study abroad costs associated with each cohort location are provided below. These costs include such items as airfare, housing, passport fees, meals, academic supplies, and local transportation. These costs are in addition to AU tuition and fees.
Nairobi, Kenya: $7,400
Manipal, India: $8,250
London, England: $10,500
Can I live in another dorm that is not part of the living-learning community?
No. Students in the three-year public health cohort program will be required to live in a living-learning community for the first year of the program. After the first year, students are free to live wherever they choose, on or off campus.
Do I have to live on campus all three years?
No. Students are only required to live on campus for the first year and summer of the program. Students interested in continuing the cohort living experience can form a Residential Community Cluster (RCC), which will continue the link between the academic, social, and/or extracurricular elements of the university. See the RCC website for more information.
I am already enrolled as a full-time AU student. Can I apply to be in the three-year program?
No. Students are selected for the three-year program at the time of admission and can only enter the program in the freshman year.
Is the Three-Year Public Health Cohort program application timeline different from the standard AU admissions deadline?
No. The three-year public health cohort application deadline is the same as the standard AU applications deadline.
Can I do a three-year program and still be part of the University Honors Program?
Yes. Students in the three-year public health cohort program can also be in the University Honors Program. In most cases, you will be able to fulfill your academic program and Honors requirements concurrently. However, instead of living in the Honors program living-learning community (LLC), you will live in the LLC for your three-year program.
Can I do the three-year program and still be part of University College?
No. The University College program is an experience for students in the traditional four-year degree. However, the three-year program is similar to University College and includes a similar Living-Learning experience. Students in the three-year program will be housed in the same dorm as the University College, but on a different floor.
Can I apply AP or IB credits toward a three-year program?
Yes. AP or IB credits can be used to satisfy some AU requirements. Please check with your academic advisor to find out what credits will count towards your program.
Can I do a double major or a minor with the three-year program?
Yes, the three-year public health program is flexible enough to offer the opportunity to earn a double major or a minor. Students should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure that they can fulfill the degree requirements for a double major or minor within the three-year period.
Can I complete the premedical program while being in the three-year program?
Yes, some of the classes required to apply to medical school are also required for a BA in public health, and you will be able to take the rest of the classes required for medical school as electives.
What if I decide I do not like the program? Can I transition to a traditional four-year degree program?
Yes. Students who decide that the three-year program is not for them can transition into a four-year degree program. The easiest transition will be into the four-year public health degree program. However, if a student would like to change majors they can move to a new degree program. The best time to do this will be before the start of the second year. Please understand that there may be financial aid implications. Also, students will need to work closely with their academic advisor to determine which of their already earned credits will count towards the new degree program.
Will I have time to do research in the three years of the program?
Yes, you will be able to participate in a variety of additional activities, including research, while fulfilling requirements for the three-year degree program.
Are there jobs available on campus for three-year students?
Yes, there are a variety of on-campus job opportunities for all AU students.
How much time will I have off during the summer?
Although the rigorous plan of study will require students to take courses year-round, students will have approximately three weeks off during the summer: one week between the end of the spring term and beginning of summer session, and approximately two weeks between the end of the summer session and beginning of fall term.
What will the community service component be like?
Students in the three-year public health cohort program will enroll in a modified section of PUBH-110 Introduction to Public Health which includes a service learning component. In addition to the four credit hours for this course, students will have an additional one credit of service learning to extend the experience into the following semester. The service learning will include working in groups.
As a cohort, will I be taking all my classes with others in the Three-Year Public Health Cohort program?
No, you will only be taking certain classes together and many of your courses will be taken with other students enrolled in a variety of other programs across the university.
If I completed all requirements within 3 years, can I choose to study beyond the 3 years of the BA program?
Yes, it is possible for students to continue their education; however, you will not be eligible for financial aid beyond the three years (i.e. 120 credits) of the program.?
Would graduate admissions consider a three-year degree as prestigious as a four-year degree?
There are two ways to think about how graduate programs will look at your three-year degree. On the one hand, the degree itself is the same, so you will be evaluated by graduate programs using the same criteria as a student graduating in four years (GPAs, GREs, essays, letters of recommendation, etc.). On the other hand, the fact that you graduated in three years will be a testament to your drive and work ethic, and should be noted positively in your assessment by graduate programs. The weight of this, however, will depend on the graduate program itself and the committee reading your application. Study abroad programs, internships, and merit awards also factor importantly in your prospects for getting into a good graduate program.
To learn more about the Three-Year Public Health Cohort Program, please email Blake Bennett at email@example.com or call 202-885-6873.