Ponce Health Sciences University

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Coordinates: 17°59′36″N 66°37′11″W / 17.993406°N 66.619778°W / 17.993406; -66.619778

Ponce Health Sciences University
The Ponce Health Sciences University logo.jpg
TypePrivate For profit
President and CEODavid Lenihan[2]
StudentsOver 1,000 (2019)[3]

The Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU), formerly Ponce School of Medicine & Health Sciences, is a private, for-profit university in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It awards graduate degrees in Medicine (MD), Clinical Psychology (PsyD and PhD), Biomedical Sciences (PhD), Medical Sciences (MS), and Public Health (MPH and DrPH). The University has 360 students in its medical school and, as of 11 February 2019, was authorized to increased the student body at the medical school to 600 which, when fully in place, will make it the largest private medical school in Puerto Rico and one of the largest under the American flag.[4]


Research Building at Ponce Health Sciences University.

In January 1980 a group of lay and professional leaders in southern Puerto Rico established the Ponce Medical School Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, for the purpose of providing continuity to the Medical Education Program (MD Program) originally developed by the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1977. In July 1980, the Council of Higher Education of Puerto Rico (CHE-PR) authorized the Foundation to operate a medical school under the name Ponce School of Medicine. In 1981, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited the school to grant the Doctor of Medicine degree.

In 1983, the institution applied for funds under the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS) and the Research Center in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program. A Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (PhD) was initiated in 1988, and in 1992 the Council of Higher Education of Puerto Rico (CHE-PR) accredited the PhD Program and authorized PHSU to award a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Biomedical Sciences.

In January 1995, the academic institution moved to a new campus with additional facilities. A Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (PsyD Program) was begun in 1999 which was later expanded to offer a PhD in Psychology, Professional Certificate in Couples and Family Therapy, and Postgraduate Certificate in Neuroscience of Learning.

In August 2002 a Master's of Public Health (MPH) program was started with specialization in Epidemiology, Environmental Health, and General Public Health. A DrPH in Epidemiology is also offered. On 5 September 2014, the Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences was acquired by Arist Corporation, which itself is an investment of global media, services and education company Bertelsmann.[5][6]


The Ponce Research Institute (PRI) at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) performs research in the basic, behavioral, public health, and clinical sciences. Research areas include non-communicable diseases (cancer, women's health, gastrointestinal disorders), health disparities, infectious diseases (HIV, dengue), neurosciences and behavioral sciences, genetics, and community health outreach (obesity, smoking).

In 2002, an academic partnership was established with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, with involvement of the National Cancer Institute.[7][8]

A grant awarded to the Oregon Health & Science University Neuro-Oncology Blood Brain Barrier Program has given many PHSU students the opportunity to participate in research and clinical fellowships.[9]

On 4 December 2014, Andreas Charalambous, executive dean of the University of Nicosia Medical School (UNMS), and David Lenihan, president and CEO of PHSU, signed an agreement to promote academic cooperation and collaboration in research.[10]

Licenses and accreditation[edit]

The Ponce Health Sciences University is accredited by the following entities:

Notable alumni and members[edit]


  1. ^ "History ~ Ponce Health Sciences University".
  2. ^ "About ~ Ponce Health Sciences University".
  3. ^ Institución ponceña: Apuesta al futuro como meca universitaria en Medicina: El proyecto de expansión les permitirá ampliar los programas de Sicología y Salud Pública, además de agregar grados de maestría y doctorado en Enfermería. Jason Rodríguez Grafal. Ponce, Puerto Rico: La Perla del Sur. Year 36. Issue 1840. Page 3. 6 March 2019. Accessed 6 March 2019.
  4. ^ Puerto Rico’s Ponce Health Sciences University to Build New Campus and Aims to Expand Enrollments: Ponce Health Sciences University has broken ground on the construction of a $80MM campus/medical research facility, which will be the largest of its kind in Puerto Rico. Ponce, Puerto Rico. PRUnderground. 11 February 2019. Accessed 21 September 2019.
  5. ^ "History ~ Ponce Health Sciences University".
  6. ^ "Bertelsmann — Arist Education System".
  7. ^ "Ponce Health Sciences University - Moffitt Cancer Center Partnership". Moffitt Cancer Center. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  8. ^ "WELCOME to the PHSU-MCC Partnership". Moffitt Cancer Center. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Opportunities for OHSU Mentors". Neuro-Oncology Blood-Brain Barrier Program at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Medical School signs agreement with Ponce Health Sciences University of Puerto Rico". University of Nicosia Medical School. Retrieved 16 December 2014.

External links[edit]