Summer Health Professions Education Program: Public Health

SHPEP 2018

Photos by Julie Walter

Program dates: May 13-June 21, 2024

SHPEP at UF Health

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a FREE summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions.

SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development for freshman and sophomore students and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools.

UF SHPEP 2024 will be offered in a hybrid delivery format. During the first two weeks of the program, all events, workshops, and instruction will be held virtually. All programming during the remaining four weeks will take place in-person on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, FL, during which participants will be provided on-campus housing and meals.


Application deadlines

Eligibility requirements

  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Be a new participant to SHPEP (have not previously participated in the program)
  • Be a college freshman or sophomore at the time of application (possess 60 credits or less, excluding AP credits)

Additional considerations

  • Identifies as a first-generation health professional (i.e., applicant’s legal guardian(s) did not receive graduate degrees in a health profession).  
  • Identifies as a first-generation college student (i.e., applicant’s legal guardian(s) did not receive undergraduate degrees).
  • A University of Florida Pell Grant recipient, Promise Student, or Machen Florida Opportunity Scholar.  
  • Comes from an economically and/or educationally disadvantaged background. 
  • Demonstrates a desire to work as a health professional in underserved communities.
  • Identifies as a non-traditional student with less than 60 credits.  


With 12 SHPEP program sites across the nation, what makes UF exceptional?

The UF Health Science Center is the country’s only academic health center with six health-related colleges located on a single, contiguous campus. Highlights include:

UF SHPEP Mass Casualty/Disaster Drill Simulation through UF Health

We stress the importance of interprofessional training in a unique way specific to the University of Florida SHPEP site. Scholars are given the opportunity to participate in a disaster drill/mass casualty simulation with all six health colleges. Health professionals in emergency medicine, pharmacy, county first-responders, and various faculty members and students in the colleges come together to give the UF SHPEP scholars a hands-on learning experience with emergency situations.

 *WARNING* Fake but realistic wounds and make-up used during this simulation.


Students selected to attend UF SHPEP receive an opportunity to gain academic enrichment while also being immersed in the UF experience, including:


shpep 2018

Photos by Julie Walter, Jesse S. Jones and Mindy C. Miller


Rachel Powers
SHPEP Program Coordinator
Phone: 352-294-8628

Find SHPEP at UF Health on Facebook and Instagram


Can I participate in SHPEP if I am a junior or senior in college, or if I have already graduated from college?

No. SHPEP is exclusively for current freshman and sophomore college students.

I am a freshman and have not received my grades yet. Can I submit my high school transcript?

High school transcripts are not accepted. If you are a freshman and you have not received your first semester grades, please allow them to be finalized before you submit your transcripts.

Can the recommendation be submitted by a previous employer or high school teacher?

If a recommendation cannot be submitted by a pre-health advisor or college professor within your major, the National Program Office will accept one from an employer who is within a health professions field, or from a science high school teacher.

I am applying online and I see medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and public health as my career path choices. I am interested in another career in health, what do I do?

While students choose from four main concentrations — Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Public Health — selected students will be given the opportunity to learn hands on about veterinary medicine, nursing, physician assistant and a number of health professions such as clinical and health psychology; speech, language and hearing sciences; health administration; occupational therapy; and physical therapy. It is at the student’s discretion which concentration they choose when applying.

Am I able to participate in SHPEP and attend classes over the summer?

SHPEP is a full-time commitment with pre-planned days of curriculum, activities and rotations. Students’ full participation is required during the course of the program dates. Should summer courses be offered following the program, the student is free to enroll and attend, however during the program, attending classes may not be an option.

Will meals be provided during my time at UF SHPEP?

Meal plan is provided to all scholars to use at the University of Florida’s dining locations on campus.

I don’t have health insurance. Is there a UF health insurance option for successful applicants?

If a scholar does not have insurance, a limited insurance plan will be purchased by the UF SHPEP program for that scholar.

Will I have free time to explore Gainesville?

Scholars have a full menu of extracurricular activities to enjoy. Possible adventures include touring UF museums, attending talent shows or social gatherings with professional students, kayaking, playing disc golf or volleyball, swimming, tubing, bowling, and going to movies or outdoor concerts.

Is housing provided? Where will I live during UF SHPEP?

Scholars stay in dormitories located in the center of campus free of charge.

Should I bring a car? How will I get around?

Dorms are a 10-minute walk from the UF Health Science Center. Scholars also have free access to the campus and city buses.

Will I receive aid with travel expenses to Gainesville?

Travel expenses will be compensated.

What is the stipend amount?

Scholars will receive a $1,000 stipend.

Is there a cost for attending UF SHPEP?

No. Students will be provided with housing, meals and a stipend for the six weeks.

Who should I pick to write reference letters for me?

This should be someone who knows your academic and personal character. Ideally, a pre-health advisor and/or a college professor. If none of these persons know you well enough, a high school science teacher or a local health professional who knows you well is acceptable.

For more answers concerning admissions and all things SHPEP, go to