Have questions about whether the Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH) program is a good fit for you? Check out answers to these common questions.

Before you apply

Once you're in


What is TRIUMPH?

TRIUMPH is a program for UW School of Medicine and Public Health medical students that provides unique and challenging educational experiences for students committed to providing health care for underserved, urban populations. TRIUMPH integrates clinical, community and public health skill development in urban Milwaukee. It includes two-week immersion courses in both the second and third years as well as an 2½-year longitudinal experience beginning in the spring semester of the second year of medical school. Students engage in a longitudinal community health improvement project with a Milwaukee-based community organization or clinic.

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How do I apply to TRIUMPH?

Students apply to TRIUMPH using fluid review. Students will be asked to provide a current resume/CV, a letter of recommendation and up to three essays explaining their commitment to serving the underserved. Decisions regarding applications are made by February of the first year to allow students time to plan for moving to Milwaukee.

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When can I apply to TRIUMPH?

Students can apply late fall of their first year of medical school.

Students who plan to apply are expected to take PHS 712, Leadership in Medicine and Public Health, before entering the program. This course teaches students the fundamentals of public health and how it intersects with medicine. Students should take this course in the fall of their first or second year of medical school.

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Do I need a minimum GPA to participate in TRIUMPH?

TRIUMPH requires additional course work above and beyond the standard medical school curriculum. There is no minimum GPA requirement for TRIUMPH, however, students applying to the program must maintain good academic standing at the medical school prior to applying and during the course of the TRIUMPH program.

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I’m interested in other programs within the School of Medicine and Public Health. How does TRIUMPH relate to these programs?

TRIUMPH is designed to fit within the broader programming of the School of Medicine and Public Health. Students in TRIUMPH have the same opportunity as their non-TRIUMPH peers to participate in other degree programs offered by the school. TRIUMPH students can complete a Master of Public Health degree, global health fellowship or Medical Scientist Training Program in between phases two and three of medical school. TRIUMPH works closely with school staff in Madison to ensure that students in the MPH track do not duplicate program requirements and see that credits and requirements of each program are aligned.

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I’m planning to pursue the MD-MPH dual-degree program. Should I still join TRIUMPH?

Absolutely. We work with the MPH program to allow students to complete their master of public health degree between phases two and three of medical school. Project hours and presentations that are completed as part of the master of public health core curriculum can be counted in fulfillment of TRIUMPH requirements.

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I already have an MPH, should I still join TRIUMPH?

Students who have completed a master in public health are welcome to join TRIUMPH. TRIUMPH graduates approximately 20 percent of our students with a master of public health degree. The TRIUMPH program can complement a master in public health degree by allowing you to put the skills you learned in your master in public health classroom into practice in a large urban environment.

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What requirements will I need to complete for TRIUMPH?

During the course of the program, students must remain in good academic standing with the School of Medicine and Public Health. Students will complete eight elective credits in public health, at least 160 hours of a public health project and final project presentations. Final presentations consist of a scholarly poster (third year) and oral presentation (fourth year).

Fall of first year

As preparation, students should take PHS 712, Leadership in Medicine and Public Health, prior to beginning the TRIUMPH program. Students will be introduced to core public health concepts that prepare them to take on the additional community work involved in TRIUMPH. Students are encouraged to attend an informational session about TRIUMPH during their first year to hear from current students about the program and assess whether the program fits with their career goals. 

Second, third and fourth years 

Students take four, two-credit courses as part of their TRIUMPH experience. The Community and Public Health Enrichment Experience is a two-week intensive course held in early August, the fall prior to the second year. The experience course is followed by a longitudinal course that takes place every other Tuesday for the remainder of the second and third years. Fourth-year students participate in a leadership skills course in October. This intensive course is also followed by a longitudinal course that takes place every other Tuesday.

The longitudinal project component of the course begins during fall of the second year and continues until the student graduates from medical school for a total 30-month project commitment.

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What is an appropriate focus for the TRIUMPH community health improvement project?

TRIUMPH projects can accommodate a wide variety of interest areas. Students have completed projects in public health planning, project implementation and evaluation. Students have had a broad range of project focus areas. TRIUMPH places high value on projects that are led by and meet the needs of our community partners, so project focuses have varied in response to the needs of our partnering organizations.

Students in TRIUMPH have also adapted their projects to fulfill requirements of both the master of public health and global health programs.

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When should I complete the project?

Students and community partners meet at a project fair during the Community and Public Health Enrichment Experience, prior to beginning of the longitudinal curriculum, to discuss potential projects and partnerships. Subsequently, TRIUMPH students spend 160 hours completing a community health improvement project in Milwaukee. Eighty hours are completed by the end of the third year and another 80 hours are completed in the fourth year. The longitudinal nature of TRIUMPH projects allows students to work closely with community organizations to plan and implement multiple phases. Community organizations that are willing to serve as mentors may also elect to partner with a Master of Public Health Program student and create a 3½-year project that meets the requirements of both TRIUMPH and the Master of Public Program.

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