Study Abroad

Studying abroad helps you to gain a unique perspective on the field of Public Health Science—a field which is crucial to many of the challenges our society and our world face today. During your study abroad semester you could study epidemiology, health care systems of other countries, and the social/cultural aspects of health care delivery in developing countries. The combination of the PHS major and a study abroad experience will give you a huge advantage when seeking employment because you will have a unique comparative perspective on how we do things in the U.S. Your curiosity about other parts of the world will be a big plus for you in your future job search! – International Programs Office (IPO)

Where have other Public Health Science (PHS) majors studied?

Public Health majors have studied abroad in places such as India, Australia, Thailand, Spain and New Zealand. For more information on Public Health study abroad programs, review the IPO handout "Study Abroad Programs for Public Health.”

When should I study abroad?

Students have gone abroad during their sophomore or junior years, and even the first semester of their senior year.

Will all my exchange credits count toward my public health major requirements?

You must get the courses pre-approved by the Program Director, Dr. DiFulvio, before you go abroad. Although there are only a handful of study abroad programs dedicated to public health, there are many programs have courses that can go toward general education requirements, foundations and collateral field areas of the public health science major.

Are there scholarships available to study abroad?

Yes, there are both need-based and merit-based scholarships available for study abroad. Information on many of these scholarships can be found on the International Programs Office (IPO) website under the “Finances & Scholarships” link. The Gilman Pell Grant is one of the more popular scholarships for public health students (see below).

Gilman Scholarship: If you currently receive the Pell Grant, you are eligible to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. This is a federal scholarship with awards averaging $3,000 and can be used in any country. You must be an undergraduate in good standing, a U.S. citizen, and be applying to or accepted to a UMass-approved undergraduate study abroad program. You must be nominated by a Study Abroad Advisor in IPO. For more information go to and also to the International Programs Office (IPO) website and click on “Finances & Scholarships” link.