Graduate Study

Graduate Research Emphasis

UC Merced was established in the San Joaquin Valley in part to address the health disparities that exist in the region. The Public Health faculty at UC Merced are building a vibrant and collegial intellectual community, marked by outstanding scholarship and participation in interdisciplinary communities of inquiry. Our goal is to foster scholarly excellence in Public Health, with a specific focus on three topical areas: prevention sciences, environmental health, and health services.
UC Merced currently has a number of graduate students pursuing the Public Health track through the Social Science Graduate Emphasis.*  Graduate studies in the Public Health track focus on preventing chronic and infectious diseases by working with the communities in the region. The course of study in Prevention Sciences and Population Health will prepare students to work with the diverse communities in the San Joaquin Valley to identify solutions to the challenges facing the people of the region.
* UC Merced is currently developing a standalone PhD program in Public Health. Once approved, pending CCGA and WASC approval, students admitted through the Social Science Graduate Emphasis will be transferred to the Public Health Graduate Program.
For inquiries please contact our Graduate Group Chairman, Professor Paul Brown, at

Current Graduate Students

Graduate students training with Public Health faculty are enrolled in diverse UC Merced degree programs and have a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, and interests. Read about them on their student homepages.

How to Apply

The application deadline for Fall 2017 admission is January 15, 2017.
Our graduate program is a mentor based system, meaning that you will work with a faculty member during your first two years on a research project of mutual interest. To be admitted, you must meet the requirements of the Graduate Division and have a faculty member who is interested in working with you. This faculty member will be your mentor during the first two years.
If you are interested in applying, take the following steps:
Step 1 - Have a look at the faculty descriptions and their websites, particularly their research and teaching interests. See which faculty have interests that match your interests. 
Step 2 - Contact the faculty members whose research interests coincide with your own. You can contact more than one faculty member.
Step 3 - Apply for admission through UC Merced's Graduate Divison. Details and online application forms are available on the  Graduate Division website.
Step 4 - When you submit your application, make sure to indicate in your application that:

  • You wish to apply for Public Health through the Social Science Graduate Group.


  • In your cover letter, indicate the faculty member or faculty members who you are interested in working with.

If you have any questions, please contact our Graduate Group Chairman, Professor Paul Brown, at