Accelerated Study Program with Spelman College

The University of Michigan School of Public Health and Spelman College have partnered to offer an accelerated study program to students at Spelman College. University of Michigan undergraduate students are also eligible to apply for this program. 

This program provides an accelerated path to a Master of Science degree in one of three Michigan Public Health programs: Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, or Nutritional Sciences. Students who complete and graduate from this program will receive a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. 

  • Learn more about Environmental Health Sciences: Watch Dr. Na'Taki Osborne Jelks of Spelman College and Dr. Simone Charles of Michigan Public Health discuss their environmental health research and ways students can get involved. 
  • Learn more about Biostatistics: Watch Dr. Bhikhari Tharu of Spelman College and Dr. Kelley Kidwell of Michigan Public Health discuss their journeys in the fields of mathematics and biostatistics, as well as student opportunities.
  • Learn more about Nutritional Sciences: Watch Dr. Anna Powolny Ventura of Spelman College and Dr. Dave Bridges of Michigan Public Health discuss their journeys in the field of nutrition and answer questions from students.

In recent years, interest in public education has grown, and at the same time, the need for public health leaders is now more important than ever. This program was created to help support a diverse, highly skilled public health workforce that broadly reflects the communities it serves. 

If you have questions about this program, please reach out to Dr. Rosalind Gregory-Bass at Spelman College ( or Michigan Public Health at

Who Should Consider the Accelerated Study Program? 

Whether you come from a science, math, business, health, or social science background, public health can be a great fit for your interests and aspirations. Students who complete our accelerated program will have opportunities to pursue careers in one of three areas: biostatistics, environmental health sciences, or nutritional sciences. 

Understanding the Accelerated Study Experience

This accelerated program is designed for students to receive a bachelor’s degree and Master of Science degree after a combined 5 years of study. Students will study for three years in their undergraduate program (either at Spelman College or the University of Michigan) and complete graduate studies for two years at Michigan Public Health. 

This overall program experience involves two phases. Students must complete the criteria outlined in phase 1 and apply to the accelerated study program before being accepted into phase 2. 

Phase One: Years 1-3 (undergraduate studies at Spelman or the University of Michigan)

During a student’s first three years of study, their activities will focus on their undergraduate experience and requirements. During this time, students will complete approximately 80 percent of the credits needed for a bachelor’s degree at their home institution (either Spelman College or the University of Michigan). During these three years, it is ideal for students to take all classes except for their electives. They will also complete prerequisites for their preferred Michigan Public Health master’s program:

  • Department of Biostatistics prerequisites
    • Three semesters of calculus, including multivariable calculus
    • One course in matrix or linear algebra 
    • One course in statistics or biostatistics 
  • Department of Environmental Health Sciences prerequisites
    • General Biology and/or Physiology  
    • General Chemistry 
    • Organic Chemistry 
    • General Physics 
    • Calculus 
  • Department of Nutritional Sciences prerequisites
    • Biology 
    • General Chemistry
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Human Physiology

At the end of year 3, students will apply to join the accelerated study program and enter phase 2. 

Phase Two: Years 4-5 (graduate studies at Michigan Public Health)

Once accepted into the program, a student’s fourth and fifth years of study will focus predominantly on their graduate experience and requirements. Students will take graduate-level courses at Michigan Public Health. These classes will count toward both the master’s degree and the undergraduate degree (at Spelman or the University of Michigan) to fulfill the remaining elective credits required for completion of the students’ bachelor’s degrees. After year 4, students will receive their bachelor’s from Spelman College or the University of Michigan, as appropriate, and after year 5 they will receive their Master of Science from Michigan Public Health. 

Mapping Out the Program Year-by-Year

 Year 1: Learn and Plan (at undergraduate institution) 
  • Students will learn more about the accelerated study program by attending webinars and other introductory recruitment activities.
  • Students may meet with advisors at both their home institution and Michigan Public Health to explore their interest in the program and discuss course requirements.  
Year 2: Explore and Pursue (at undergraduate institution) 
  • Students will continue to work with advisors at their home institution and Michigan Public Health to fulfill course requirements and prerequisites. 
  • Spelman College students may meet with Michigan Public Health faculty at Spelman College.
  • Students may get to know the Michigan Public Health community through opportunities such as attending research meetings, guest lecturing, taking part in symposia, and more.   
 Year 3: Continue and Prepare (at undergraduate institution) 
  • Students will continue to plan and complete the course schedules they develop with academic advisors.
  • Spelman College students may meet with Michigan Public Health faculty  at Spelman College.
  • Students will prepare to transition into phase 2 of the program by applying to Michigan Public Health by January 15. (Because the student will not yet have their bachelor’s degree, they will apply to be a Non-Candidate for Degree [NCFD] student.) 
  • Students may apply to a summer program at Michigan Public Health, such as the Big Data Summer Institute, Future Public Health Leaders Program, Summer Enrichment Program, or Summer Research Opportunity Program.
 Year 4: Complete and Begin (at Michigan Public Health)
  • Students accepted into the program will complete graduate-level courses in their chosen field of study (Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, or Nutritional Sciences). These courses will both count toward their master’s degree and fulfill the remaining undergraduate elective credit requirements at Spelman College.  
  • Students will transition from an NCFD student to a graduate student by formally applying to enter the University of Michigan graduate program by January 15. 
  • At the end of this year, students will earn their bachelor’s degree from their home institution. 
 Year 5: Build and Emerge (at Michigan Public Health)
  • Students will build on prior knowledge and experiences by completing courses that fulfill their remaining master’s degree requirements.
  • Students will emerge from the accelerated study program prepared to pursue further graduate studies or professional positions in their chosen field with a master’s degree from Michigan Public Health.

Application Requirements and Where to Begin

 Applicants should have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3 (4.0 point scale).

Applications consist of the following requirements:

  • Statements of interest and qualifications
  • Current resume
  • Three academic letters of recommendation, including at least two letters of recommendation from the student’s undergraduate institution 
  • Official transcripts submitted directly from previous institutions attended

Students who are interested in this program should begin by emailing for more information about the program and application process.


At Michigan Public Health, one of our priorities is to ensure our students have access to a world-class, affordable education. Our school provides over $24 million in scholarships and tuition assistance to enrolled students each year and we continually strive to increase the support available to our students. Significant merit and need-based aid is available for students who qualify and all enrolled students are considered for scholarship funding. 


If you have questions about this program, you are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Rosalind Gregory-Bass ( at Spelman College or to Michigan Public Health at

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