The Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University was recently ranked one of the top public health graduate programs in the nation by GraduatePrograms.com, a graduate school guide created by and for students.
At 12th place, the JPHCOPH graduate program was ranked ahead of the public health graduate programs at several universities with prestigious reputations in health fields, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan and the University of California-Berkeley.
The guide ranks graduate programs in the country solely on ratings and reviews from current or recent graduate students posted on graduateprograms.com. Program rankings, compiled using data gathered between Sept. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2015, encompass reviews posted by more than 70,000 students participating in more than 1,600 graduate programs, in all subject areas, nationwide.
"We're especially honored to be recognized by a student organization as one of the top public health graduate programs in the country, as our college has always been committed to a student-centered approach," said Greg Evans, dean and professor of environmental health sciences in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health.
The rankings were determined by assigning 15 ranking categories to each graduate program at each graduate school. Rankings cover a variety of student topics such as academic competitiveness, career support, financial aid and quality of network.
Authorized by the university system Board of Regents as the Jiann-Ping Hsu School of Public Health in January 2004, it was upgraded to a college effective Jan. 1, 2006.
Today, the college encompasses departments of biostatics, community health, environmental health, epidemiology and health policy. The graduate degrees it confers include Doctor of Public Health, Master of Public Health and Master of Healthcare Administration.
"We will continue investing the necessary resources to build an outstanding College of Public Health that will be recognized for high quality teaching, research and service," Evans said.
After developing its graduate programs, the college launched an undergraduate program, leading to the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, in fall 2013.
The college focuses on empowering rural communities and underserved populations to address public health issues effectively, eliminate disparities and improve health outcomes, notes a university press release. A commitment to applied research and the establishment of partnerships to build healthier communities are part of its mission.
The college was named in honor of Dr. Jiann-Ping Hsu, biostatistician and researcher, who died in 2004. Her husband, Dr. Karl Peace, endowed the college and founded its Center for Biostatistics.
"This is very good news, indeed!" Peace said of the GraduatePrograms.com ranking. "Several years ago in an interview with Georgia Trend about the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, I stated that we will know that we have arrived when students begin to prefer JPHCOPH over schools such as Harvard, John Hopkins, University of Michigan and University of California at Berkeley."
Johns Hopkins' program was ranked 13th, Michigan's 15th and Berkeley's 16th in the ratings based on student perceptions. Harvard was not listed in the top 25. Columbia University's program, which Peace also mentioned, was 24th. The University of Iowa's program ranks at the top, followed by Tulane University in the second position, on the GraduatePrograms.com list.
While acknowledging that the rating was based on a poll of the programs' own graduates, Peace said it will have public relations value.
"No doubt the P.R. emanating from this ranking will influence new students to attend" the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Peace said.