Certificate in Public Health

Public health is a dynamic, multi-disciplinary field focused on the prevention of disease and disability and the promotion of health in communities and populations. If you are interested in public health consider enriching your experience and expertise with the training available through our Certificate in Public Health Program.  Career opportunities combining public health and research, practice and clinical medicine are vast.  Persons with public health training are needed in a variety of settings including the public and private sector, nonprofit organizations and local, state, and federal health departments.

The post-baccalaureate Certificate in Public Health Program offers graduate training in the five foundational areas of public health – biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences.  

Our 12 credit hour certificate is ideal if you are seeking training in the basic skills and concepts of public health to enhance your current degree program and/or expand your job opportunities.  It can be completed full-time in 1 semester or part-time over 2 years.  The certificate curriculum is the same as the core content taught in the MPH degree programs therefore the certificate can be used as an entry point for the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.  

Students who complete our public health the certificate may be eligible to take the Public Health Certificate Exam (CPH) if you meet either of two additional eligibility criteria: minimum of five years of public health experience OR possession of a relevant graduate degree.

The application of public health is broad, as outlined by the CDC’s 10 Essential Health Services.

The 10 Essential Public Health Services

 10 Essential Public Health Services

  1. Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
  2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
  3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
  4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
  7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
  8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
  10. Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.

Learning Objectives

• Define, assess and report on the health status of populations, determinants of health and illness and factors contributing to health promotion and disease prevention;
• Identify and interpret appropriate data sources for investigating a health problem;
• Describe the direct and indirect human, ecologic and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents;
• Identify the main components and issues in the US health care and public health systems;
• Describe the role of program planning, budgeting, management, and evaluation in the development and operation of organizational initiatives;
• Identify basic concepts and models from social and behavioral sciences that are used in public health research and practice;
• Assess the scientific basis of public health and disease prevention programs; and
• Understand basic epidemiologic and statistical methods used in the scientific literature.

Who Should Apply?

UTMB graduate, medical and health professions students, fellows and faculty members seeking to enhance their current degree program with public health knowledge. Degree-seeking students can earn the certificate through concurrent enrollment, often without adding any additional time to their degree program.

Public health workers desiring formal graduate training but are unable to commit to the MPH degree.

Public and private sector employees working with the public health system and wishing to increase their understanding of public health.

Persons considering a graduate degree in public health.  

Admissions Criteria


PHS 6330 Introduction to Epidemiology (3 credit hours)
This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of epidemiology. The historical development of epidemiologic research, theories of disease causation, epidemics and their prevention, measures of disease frequency, risk and other measures of effect, point and interval estimation, various epidemiologic study designs, confounding and effect modification, and an introduction to stratified analysis are covered in the lectures. Case studies that illustrate the application of epidemiologic principles to substantive issues of health and illness are discussed during the class.

PHS 6347 Applied Statistical Methods (3 credit hours)
This course introduces the general concepts of biostatistcal analysis, as used in the biomedical, public health and social sciences. The course will examine how a wide variety of problems can be described and analyzed using the language of statistics. Specific topics to be covered include: probability and distributions, data types, graphical representation of data, and the connection of probability to statistics and statistical inference; study designs such as cohort, case-control, and randomized control trials, equivalence testing, one vs. two sided tests, and sampling; parametric bivariate statistics such as t-test and chi-squared tests, and their appropriate application, as well as non-parametric alternatives; and parametric multivariate statistics such as anova, the regression framework including linear, logistic and Cox regression.

PHS 6015 Foundations in Public Health (6 credit hours)
This course introduces students to basic content and skills from the public health related disciplines of environmental health sciences, social and behavioral sciences and health policy and management.  Students will practice application of the core content and skills in case based exercises to identify and address public health problems.  Emphasis is on the three core functions of public health: assessment of public health problems, development of interventions and policy solutions, and assurance of service delivery and workforce performance. 

Course credits from other schools cannot be transferred into the certificate program and no course waivers are allowed.


Certificate Completion

The public health certificate requires the successful completion of 12 credits.  Students must complete all courses with a grade of C or better and a final cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.  Students have up to 3 years to complete the certificate.
Students interested in continuing their study and obtaining the Master or Public Health degree (MPH) may apply all of the course credits of the certificate program to the MPH degree upon successful application and admission to the MPH program.  To receive credit, certificate courses must be completed within 5 years of matriculation to the MPH program.

Tuition and Fees

The 2015-2016 cost for the certificate including 12 credit hours tuition and fees is approximately $2,900 for a Texas Resident and $7,600 for a non-Texas resident.  Part-time tuition and fees will vary depending on schedule.  
Contact Information:
For additional information or assistance with the application process, please contact Shannon Carroll
 Education Coordinator.
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