The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) is a health science university of the U.S. federal government. The primary mission of the school is to prepare graduates for service to the U.S. at home and abroad in the medical corps as medical professionals, nurses, and physicians.
The university consists of the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, a medical school, which includes a full health sciences graduate education program, the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing, and a postgraduate dental college. The university’s campus is located in Bethesda, Maryland. USUHS was established in 1972 under legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Felix Edward Hébert of Louisiana. It graduated its first class in 1980.
The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences falls under the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.
The university is a federal service postgraduate academy, similar to the federal military undergraduateacademies such as the United States Military Academy, Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy Students are members of the uniformed services of the United States and receive a free education in exchange for a service commitment after graduation.
Students pay no tuition or fees and receive the full salary and benefits of a uniformed military officer throughout their time at the university. In return, all military students incur an active duty commitment proportionate to their time at USUHS. Medical students have a minimum of a seven-year active duty service commitment and a six-year inactive ready reserve commitment following their internship and residency after graduation.
Students in the graduate programs are a mix of both civilians and uniformed officers of various ranks. They also pay no tuition or fees. Civilian students may receive stipends and uniformed graduate students continue to receive their active duty pay and benefits while attending school at USUHS. The Graduate School of Nursing students are all active duty uniformed military nurses or nurses in federal civilian service. Neither pay tuition or fees at USUHS and both uniformed graduate students and nursing students maintain their rankand continue to receive their regular salaries while students at the university.
The postgraduate dental college offers a Master of Science in Oral Biology degree to students enrolled in selected graduate dental education programs of the Air Force and Navy. USUHS is one of many federal service graduate-level professional schools such as the Naval Postgraduate School, which has several Master of Science and Ph.D. programs.
Typically, the first year class is composed of 63 Army students, 51 Air Force students, 51 Navy students, and two Public Health Servicestudents. The Class of 2010 increased the Public Health Service student number to six. Students attending this institution receive free tuition, as well as reimbursement for all fees. They also receive salaries and benefits as junior officers. Textbooks are issued to the students at the beginning of each semester.
The curriculum at the School of Medicine begins with 1.5 years of basic sciences organized into organ-system based modules called “Molecules to Military Medicine”. Additional courses include Parasitology, Combat Medical Skills, Military Medical History, Officer Professional Development, Military Applied Physiology, Epidemiology, and several other courses. The clerkship year begins in January of the second year, and is followed by the USMLE Step 1. After Step 1, students participate in an integrated advanced didactic module, “Bench to Bedside and Beyond”, and then begin fourth year clerkships/subinternships. These clerkships are done at various military hospitals across the country.
The graduate programs in biomedical sciences and public health in the School of Medicine are open to civilian and military applicants. Civilian students may apply to most of these programs. The faculty is composed of a mix of military and civilian professors. There is no tuition, stipends are guaranteed for three years, and no military service is required after graduation for civilian students. There also is no undergraduate teaching.
The graduate program at USUHS currently has approximately 170 full-time graduate students.
USUHS currently offers the Ph.D. in emerging infectious diseases, medical and clinical psychology, molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, pathology, Environmental Health Sciences and Medical Zoology.