Undergraduate Research

The Program in Public Health curriculum focuses on multidisciplinary approaches to public health practice and research, exploring both quantitative and qualitative aspects of public health at all levels of analysis. Undergraduates explore topic areas including epidemiology, genetics, health informatics; chronic and infectious diseases; environmental and global health sciences, social and behavioral health sciences; and health policy and administration. The program places emphasis on learning through research on critical issues including vector biology, exposure assessment, air and water pollution, natural disasters and emergency health response; toxicology and environmental microbiology, occupational health and industrial ecology, community and neighborhood health assessments, risk mapping and health disparities, maternal and child health, comprehensive and alternative medicine, health promotion and communication, and international health.

Public Health education is most firmly embedded in knowledge systems through research and practice. Public Health students enroll in PH 198 Directed Studies and PH 199 Individual Research to engage in groups (PH 198) or individual (PH 199) research working directly with faculty on public health topics in a research laboratory or in the field. Through a collaboration with the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Program also offers opportunities for students to enroll in PH 194 Clinical and Translational Science Preparatory course series that trains students to work with faculty members in clinical and healthcare settings.

General Requirements

Students must be in good academic standing to participate in research. Students need to review the Program Standards & Policies and will be required to fulfill regulatory requirements if required for the project and by faculty sponsor. A summary of other requirements are listed in the matrix below:

Research Requirements PH194A PH194B PH194C PH194D PH198 PH199
GPA - Minimum 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0    
Completion of Bio 97, 98, and 99 x x x x    
Completion of General Chemistry x x x x    
Completion of/co-req. - Bio Sci 194S x x x x    
In-Person Interview x          
Completion of lower division writing requirement x x x x x x
Public Health Science Majors only, until major restriction is lifted x          
Completion of PH 194 A   x x x    
Completion of PH 194 B     x x    
Completion of PH 194 C       x    
Upper division standing x x x x x x
One year commitment x x x      
Good academic standing (UCI GPA of at least a 2.0 & not on probation) x x x x x x
Regulatory requirements - clinical   x x x    
Regulatory requirements that are work-unit/lab-specific (SOS if required)   x x x x x
CV or Resume x       x x
Statement of Research Interest x       x x
Consent of Instructor x x x x x x
Must be taken for P/NP         x
Research Requirements PH194A PH194B PH194C PH194D PH198 PH199

Course Prerequisites:

Students who would like to enroll must meet the following course requirements:

Public Health 194A-B-C Public Health 196A-B-C
  1. GPA - Minimum 3.0
  2. Completion of Lower Division Writing
  3. Completion of Bio 93, 94, 97, 98, and 99
  4. Completion of General Chemistry
  1. GPA - Minimum 3.0
  2. Completion of Lower Division Writing

All students who would like to enroll in either PH 194A-B-C or PH 196A-B-C must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Bio 194S during Fall quarter. In addition, students must commit to doing the series for the one entire academic year; a student cannot be planning to graduate after the Fall or Winter Quarter the year they will be taking the course series.

How to Get Involved in Public Health Research (PH 198/199)

Have you taken a class taught by one of the faculty that inspired you? Are there articles published by the faculty that you can read to learn more about the topic or subject that you find interesting? Would you like to gain experience and training opportunities on how to think about real-world problems?

Engaging in research provides you with many opportunities how to think critically and apply classroom concepts into real world situations. If you are interested public health research, a good place to start is to do some research of your own and to read about the research interests of the faculty A summary of Faculty research summaries can be found right here: UG Faculty Research

Once you have determined that you want to engage in research, you may consider enrolling in PH 198/199.

Note: Some faculty have specific instructor perquisites for PH 198/199 research.

How to Enroll in PH 198/199 Research

  1. Make sure that you have satisfied both the general requirements listed above AND the specific instructor prerequisites listed in the "UG Faculty Research " document.
  2. Students interested in PH 198/199 research should submit an application that includes the following information:
    • CV or Resume
    • Statement of Research Interest (or abstract) on why you want to do this work (not to exceed 1-page)
    • Name of the instructor with whom you want to do your research
    • Quarter you want to start your research (usually 1 quarter in advance)

    All PH 198/199 research applications considered for review must be sent electronically to phuao@uci.edu, Subject Heading: PH 198 or PH 199. You will be contacted by phone or by email if your application will be considered for further review by the faculty.
  3. Meeting with the Faculty Sponsor: Once you meet with the faculty sponsor and agree on a research project and number of units, the faculty will notify the Student Affairs Office to authorize your enrollment in PH 198 or PH 199 the following quarter.
  4. Regulatory Requirements. Regulatory requirements may vary depending on the needs of the research project. The faculty sponsor will identify these requirements which must be completed before participating or engaging in any research. Regulatory forms for PH 198/199 may be downloaded here.
  5. Submit completed regulatory forms and requirements to Public Health Student Affairs, Anteater Instruction and Research Building (AIRB), Suite 2010, for verification. Once verified, you will be given an authorization code to enroll in PH 198 or PH 199.

PH 194 Research Series

PH 194 is a three course series where students will have the unique opportunity to participate in clinical research on multiple studies. Students prepare for research in healthcare settings while enrolled PH 194A, a lecture course focusing on the principles of clinical and translational research. This course is offered in the Fall quarter and is a prerequisite for PH 194B&C (offered Winter and Spring quarters) when students actually participate in the healthcare settings. PH194B students will be paired with research faculty and will rotate in various clinical labs assigned by the Course Coordinator while PH194C students will be focusing on a specific research project with a faculty member.

Prerequisites for PH 194B: PH194A, Fulfillment of Regulatory Requirements, and Consent of Instructor.
Prerequisites for 194C: PH194A&B, Fulfillment of Regulatory Requirements, and Consent of the Instructor.

Regulatory Requirements:

Students must complete and pass these requirements before participating or engaging in any research. Regulatory forms for PH 194 may be downloaded here. Submit completed regulatory forms and requirements to the Public Health Student Affairs Office, Anteater Instruction and Research Building (AIRB), Suite 2010, Zot 3957 for verification. Once verified, you will be given an authorization code to enroll in PH 194B or PH 194C.

PH 194 Research Enrollment

If you meet the course requirements, please send the attached application along with your unofficial transcript to kmunoz@uci.edu by the deadline assigned every academic year.

Download: PH 194 - Application Submission Instructions & Checklist

Program Standards and Policies

The Program in Public Health is committed and supports an environment of learning, academic honesty, and integrity. These principles and program standards, set forth by the University and by UC policy, are expected of all students and personnel who engage in research activities.

Information regarding these program standards and policies can be found at the following links below:

General Research Policies
Offsite Research Policies
Protection of Human Subjects in Research
Research with Animal Subjects
UCI Academic Senate Policy on Academic Honesty
UCI Research Administration-Integrity in Research
UC Research Policies and Guidance

Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Resources

Campus-wide Honors Program
Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)
Institute for Clinical and Translational Science
Public Health Association at UCI
Scholarship Opportunities Program
Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)
UC Learning Center
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)


Contact Information

Karen Munoz
Email: kmunoz@uci.edu

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