Department & Programs
The Department of Public Health (DPH) at National Taiwan University was founded in 1972 as the pioneer of its kind in Taiwan. Unlike the developmental process commonly seen in other departments in which an undergraduate program is first formed and then a graduate program eventually follows, the DPH was set-up two decades after the Graduate Institute of Public Health, which was established in 1951 by renaming and reorganizing the Institute of Tropical Medicine, founded during the Japanese Colonial Period. In essence, the department and the institute were deemed a two-in-one organization in the first two decades after the inception of the DPH. In 1993, the DPH and two other institutes were separated from CPH of Medicine to become the first College of Public Health (CPH) in the nation, with a matrix organizational structure of One College-One Department-Multiple Institutes. In 2005, a new CPH building was inaugurated and triggered a DPH-centered institutional reorganization.
The dismantled old Department of Public Health building
The inauguration of new College building
Initially, faculty members of the CPH were appointed separately to either the department or to one of the institutes. In 2005, as a way of encouraging all faculty members of the CPH to participate in undergraduate instruction, CPH adopted the policy of “merging CPH with the department”, inaugurating a new epoch in DPH development. Under this policy, the CPH is now in charge of making the overall plans for the DPH and the DPH chairman, in turn, serves also as the vice dean and is responsible for coordinating and carrying out DPH instruction and administration policies. An immediate benefit of this new policy was that all faculty members of the CPH were able to contribute to DPH teaching and student affairs by implementing a “two-phase mentor” system. The DPH also made use of the “joint appointment” to enlist all faculty members of the CPH in the running of the department. After the new system had been in place for three years, a further commingling of “discipline-division” was introduced into the system beginning in 2008. Based on disciplines, the whole college has been reorganized into three divisions: the Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Preventive Medicine; the Division of Health Policy and Medical Organization Management; and the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health. Each faculty member belongs to the Division which encompasses his or her specialized track and can be elected as representative of the Division to participate in the running of DPH affairs. In 2010, the six institutes of the CPH were consolidated into four, and the main affiliation of all faculty members was moved to the DPH with each faculty member being assigned an adjunct appointment in the institute of their specialty. By reforming the organization and expanding the faculty, the DPH will continue to devote itself to improving basic education in public health for the new era.
- To cultivate students with the requisite knowledge and skills of a public health professional.
- To guide ambitious people into pursuing a career in a public health related area.
- To cultivate professionals in public health with expert knowledge, practical ability, and a global perspective, so as to promote health for all.
The DPH has cultivated numerous talented experts in public health since its inception. Our alumni are widely distributed throughout various circles. They contribute abundantly in the areas of health administration, environmental health organization, and public health education in research institutes, non-profit organizations and the commercial R&D departments of various industries, where they hold positions as professional staff members, research experts, instructors and managers. At the DPH, we continuously perform self-evaluation and strive to strengthen our contribution to worldwide public health, both through research and by providing quality teaching that prepares our students to be talented experts versed in public health theory and practice.
Since the realm of public health covers a vast range of activities, the research topics undertaken by students and professors of CPH of Public Health are abundant. Conferences and academic speeches regularly organized by colleges and departments are many and well attended. CPH professors and students also attend conferences organized by the Taiwan Public Health Association and other related societies each year where they present their most recent papers and research achievements. The quality of public health research has been substantially improved due to such efforts. Every summer vacation, we organize a “Public Health Service Team” to serve the various communities and conduct a survey of hygiene and health care.
Many students take part in a community service project for a period of seven days during the summer. The project provides an excellent opportunity for students to interact with local communities and to work on practical problems in public health. Students in their junior year are also encouraged to apply for NSC research projects and take courses of study on special topics in public health, in order to hone research skills and develop logical thinking.