UAB sees spike in applications to school of Public Health

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 11:02 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - For many of us, the pandemic sparked a lot of uncertainty and anxiety.

But for some, it sparked interest in public health.

Now, UAB is seeing a sharp increase in people wanting to learn more about public health careers. Enrollment in the School of Public Health at UAB rose 61% in 2020 compared to the year before.

Dr. Erika Austin, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for UAB’s School of Public Health, said the pandemic has not only made many ungraduate students aware of the importance of public health, but it’s also influenced health care professionals to enroll in order to better prepare themselves in future public health situations.

She said right now, our country is short about 200,000 public health workers.

“My hope is that the growth that we’ve seen here at UAB, which they’re seeing at other universities and other schools and programs of public health as well, hopefully will start to fill some of those gaps,” said Dr. Austin.  “And there will be the support available for those jobs at state and local health departments.”

UAB has also seen a 92% increase in enrollment in the school’s graduate programs in epidemiology.

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