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.

10 Essential Public Health Services
Our 15 credit hour certificate is ideal for individuals interested in learning the basic skills and concepts of public health to enhance a current degree program and/or to expand job opportunities. It can be completed in two semesters by enrolling in 9 credit hours in the fall and enrolling in 6 credit hours in the spring. The curriculum is similar to the core curriculum taught in the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree programs; therefore, the certificate can be used as an entry point for the MPH degree. Course credits will transfer to the MPH program if completed within 5 years of acceptance to the MPH program.

Who Should Get the Certificate?
  • UTMB students, fellows, and faculty seeking to enhance their 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 professionals who desire formal graduate training but are unable to commit to the MPH program.
  • Public and private sector employees who work with the public health system and want to increase their understanding of public health.
  • Individuals considering a graduate degree in public health.

Tuition & Fees

The cost of the certificate program is equivalent to the tuition & fees for enrolling in 15 credit hours in UTMB's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Information regarding tuition & fees can be found here.



The certificate program requires the completion of the five courses listed below for a total of 15 credit hours. Credits cannot be transferred from other schools, and courses cannot be waived. All courses are residential. 

Students must complete all courses within 3 years of admission, and must obtain a grade of C or better in each course. To earn the certificate, the student's average grade point average (GPA) on the required courses must be at least 3.0.

PHS 6330

Introduction to Epidemiology

(FALL only; 3 cr.)

PHS 6324

Public Health Applications

(FALL only; 3 cr.)

PHS 6335

Foundations in Public Health

(FALL only; 3 cr.)

PHS 6347

Applied Statistical Methods

(SPRING only; 3 cr.)

PHS 6335

Health Policy & Management

(SPRING only; 3 cr.)


Applications for the Certificate in Public Health are due by May 1st for the fall semester and by October 1st for the spring semester. 

Applicants affiliated with UTMB (students, faculty, staff, fellows, etc.) must apply here: https://www.utmb.edu/OnlineApp/.

All external applicants must applying using SOPHAS Express

Application Requirements:

  1. Unofficial transcripts - Applicants must have completed a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree (or the foreign equivalent) at a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  3. Letter of Recommendation - Only one letter of recommendation is required for applicants to the certificate program. It is highly recommended that the letter come from an individual who can speak to the applicant's academic abilities.
  4. Personal Statement - This essay must describe the applicant's past education, work/volunteer experiences, and career objectives. Applicants are encouraged to describe their interest in the certificate program, area(s) of research/professional interest, interest in UTMB, and how the certificate will apply to their career goals.

Test scores, such as the GRE, are not required for the certificate program.

Once admission into the certificate program is offered by UTMB and accepted by the applicant, new students will be required to submit official transcripts. 


Preventive Medicine Graduate Programs
University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77555-1110

p. (409) 772-6635

Cara Pennel, DrPH, MPH

Cara Pennel, DrPH, MPH
Director, Public Health Graduate Program

(409) 772-2288

Leslie Stalnaker, MPH
Coordinator II, Public Health Graduate Program

(409) 772-5271