Preventive Medicine Residency Program

Important News

In July 2014, our program was awarded grant funding by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This funding will allow us to enhance our training curriculum and increase the number of funded residency positions in the program. We have 4 positions available starting next July. It also enables us to fund most, if not all, of the MPH tuition for enrolled residents. For more information, please read the article, “USC Plans Expansion of Preventive Medicine Residency Program” at the following link:

About Our Program

Our program is a two-year residency in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health.    The curriculum combines academic training with practicum experiences in a variety of public health and preventive medicine settings.  Our unique location and flexible program design allow a wide range of training opportunities that can be adapted to the needs of individual residents.

Residents complete a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree through the Arnold School of Public Health (ASPH). The MPH program includes the core courses of biostatistics, epidemiology, health services policy and management, environmental health sciences, and health promotion, education, and behavior.  For more information on the MPH program, e-mail Student Services at the Arnold School of Public Health or call 803-777-5031.

Residents apply their academic training during a number of residency practicum rotations.  Our location within the state capital enables residents to gain experience with health policy and public health practice at both the state and regional levels. Clinical rotations include training in occupational medicine, addiction medicine, clinical preventive medicine and primary care.  During these rotations, residents develop their clinical skills and learn about health care service and quality improvement. Several of these practice sites also provide experience in caring for vulnerable populations. In addition to these practicum experiences, we encourage residents to pursue elective rotation opportunities locally and with outside agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, and National Institutes of Health. 

Residents are expected to participate in research during their training. Opportunities for research collaboration exist within the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, other departments in the School of Medicine, the Arnold School of Public Health, and other schools within the University of South Carolina. 


Eligibility Criteria

  • Before entering the program, applicants must have completed training in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited PGY-1 clinical year (12 months) with a minimum of 11 months of direct patient care.
  • Acceptance into the program is contingent upon acceptance by the Arnold School of Public Health -- go to for Admissions information. Foreign Medical Graduates will need to have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for their ASPH application.  If you are a Foreign Medical Graduate, see note below.
  • Applicants must also be eligible for limited licensure in South Carolina and have passed USMLE steps 1 through 3. (see South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners).

How to Apply:

Residency applications will be accepted through ERAS at
Unless an applicant already has a Master of Public Health (MPH) or equivalent degree, a separate application must be also be made to the Arnold School of Public Health for the general MPH degree program (after notification from residency coordinator).   
Applicants for the general MPH program may submit MCAT scores in lieu of GRE scores. Apply online at the USC Graduate School, not through SOPHAS, using the general application for graduate school and their supplemental application for Arnold School of Public Health.  For more information, call (803) 777-5031.

Special Note to Foreign Medical Graduates 

Special Note to Foreign Medical Graduates [Except those who already have a graduate degree in Public Health]

All applicants must be admitted to the Arnold School of Public Health (ASPH).  For admission they require that applicants have taken the MCAT or GRE exam. Your residency application is not considered complete until we have received a copy of your personal GRE or MCAT score report. 

Our Preventive Medicine Residency Program has a rolling admissions policy.  Because of the time involved, we may have filled our positions before we receive your GRE scores and can consider your application. It may take several weeks for scores to be reported to the University of South Carolina Graduate School.  It is important to list your social security number (if you have one) when you take the GRE. This will insure that your scores are matched to your application file in a timely manner.

MBBS Foreign Medical Graduates

Please note that the Arnold School of Public Health General MPH program does not accept a MBBS as a doctoral degree so you would need to apply to one of the regular MPH programs (go to Degrees Offered).  They also require that you take the GRE General test. 

For more information contact:

Lisa Cole
Preventive Medicine Residency Coordinator
Family and Preventive Medicine
3209 Colonial Drive  
Columbia, SC 29203

phone:  (803) 434-7399
fax: (803) 434-7529

E-mail >Lisa Cole if you have any questions or call: 803-434-7399.

Related Links

Preventive Medicine - national organizations and career information

Life in Columbia, SC