CUMC Schools Prepare to Welcome New Students for 2014–15

August 1, 2014

More than 1,100 future dentists, doctors, nurses, public health workers, physical and occupational therapists, and scientists are set to begin classes at the schools of Columbia University Medical Center in August and September. The incoming classes include more than 100 students who will pursue a new master’s degree in health care administration at the Mailman School of Public Health.

White coat ceremonies will be held for incoming dental and medical students as part of orientation activities for the College of Dental Medicine and the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The College of Dental Medicine expects to enroll 80 students—43 males and 37 females—into its Class of 2018. Class of 2018 students are from 16 states and four foreign countries. They attended 58 colleges. The Class of 2018 includes 20 percent underrepresented minorities.

During orientation week, new dental students will attend welcoming events, discuss ethics and professionalism in dentistry, learn about financial aid, attend a Broadway show, and receive an overview of anatomy courses. The class will participate in a white coat ceremony Aug. 11, after attending a luncheon hosted by Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent, dean of the College of Dental Medicine. Classes for new dental students start Aug. 18.

The white coat ceremony for more than 150 incoming medical students will follow the dental school ceremony on Aug.11. The white coat ceremony was created at P&S 21 years ago by Columbia neurologist Arnold P. Gold. The ceremony, which celebrates a student’s transition to the profession and promotes a commitment to humanistic practice, is now a tradition in nearly all U.S. medical schools and in schools in other countries. Dental and nursing schools and programs in health-related professions also have adopted white coat ceremonies.

The P&S Class of 2018 includes 10 students enrolled in the Columbia-Bassett Program, a track begun in 2010 to allow students to combine traditional medical education in New York City with hospital-based outpatient and inpatient clinical education at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, N.Y. The first class of Columbia-Bassett students graduated this year, and 10 students have enrolled in the program every year since 2010.

The new medical school class also includes five students who graduated from the medical center’s pipeline programs, designed to increase the number of medical students from underrepresented minority or low-income communities; they are among 38 students—24 percent of the class—who are members of underrepresented minorities.

For the second year, four students who have PhD degrees will participate in the PhD-to-MD program, an accelerated three-year program for scientists who wish to become physician-scientists.

Members of the Class of 2018 represent 29 states, three foreign countries, and one U.S. commonwealth. Nearly half are women. The students were chosen from among more 7,500 applications submitted.

During P&S's orientation for new students, class members will learn about the school’s honor code and other university policies, have an orientation to gross anatomy, meet their advisory deans, and take a boat cruise along the Hudson River. Classes for the new students start Aug. 18.

Columbia Nursing will welcome new classes of PhD, DNP, certificate, and master’s degree candidates in September. In May, the school welcomed 270 students, the school’s largest incoming class, into the combined BS/MS degree program. The 48 students entering the school in September will include 27 master’s of science students, six students pursuing PhDs, and four students pursuing a DNP (doctor of nursing practice) degree.

Orientation for new nursing students is Aug. 27, and classes begin Sept. 2.

The Mailman School of Public Health offers several master’s and doctorate degrees. The 2014 entering class will enroll more than 650 new students who represent 40 states and more than 35 countries. They were chosen from nearly 3,000 applications submitted. Most of the new students—about two-thirds—will pursue an MPH degree. Another 80 students will pursue master of science degrees in biostatistics, epidemiology, or sociomedical sciences. This fall’s class is one of the largest MS classes to enroll at Mailman.

Five departments at Mailman expect to enroll 36 doctoral students, who will pursue PhD or DrPH degrees.

Mailman has offered MPH degrees for many years, but the Columbia MPH degree was introduced in 2012 as part of a new curriculum that provides the broad systemic understanding, critical thinking skills, and leadership training needed to tackle modern public health challenges.

Mailman’s newest degree—the MHA, master of healthcare administration—is administered by the school’s Department of Health Policy and Management. The degree provides students with an interdisciplinary education about management, organizational leadership, health care policy, and health systems. The program anticipates that graduates will fill entry and mid-level managerial roles in health care organizations.

A week-long orientation for new Mailman students begins Aug. 25. Orientation week is designed to prepare new students for their academic and co-curricular experiences at the Mailman School. Students are introduced to faculty, staff, peers, and future colleagues through activities that include department and financial aid information sessions, keynote lectures, skill-building workshops that range from cultural competency to applied basic math in public health, and a host of socials exploring New York City that extends throughout September.

Through Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the medical center campus offers degrees in the Coordinated Doctoral Programs in Biomedical Sciences. PhD degrees are offered in five divisions, ranging from an integrated program in cellular, molecular, and biomedical studies to neurobiology & behavior to biomedical informatics. This fall, 58 new PhD students are expected to enroll in biomedical sciences doctoral programs.

Among other degree programs offered at CUMC, 69 students are expected to enroll in the doctoral degree program in physical therapy. Around 55 students are expected to start pursuing master’s or EdD degrees in occupational therapy. The doctorate, an EdD in movement science with a specialization in occupational therapy, is a program offered with the movement science/kinesiology program at Teachers College at Columbia.