Health Policy - Certificate



Health Policy - Certificate




The mission of the Health Policy certificate is to train public health, health services, law, medical, public policy and other students and professionals seeking careers in health policy. Graduates with this certificate understand the substance of health policy. Our students develop in-depth policy analysis skills to us in various practice settings, including both federal and state levels of government, private-sector health policy consulting, and not-for-profit advocacy.

The Health Policy certificate is a chance for those students seeking a solid foundation in the substance of health policy and the skills of health policy analysis but who do not wish to undertake the full MPH. The Health Policy Graduate Certificate also includes elective course offerings to fit the student’s personal and professional goals. When deciding to undertake the Health Policy Certificate, the student will meet often with an advisor to craft a personalized course of study.

It is not just students who are already enrolled in the Milken School of Public Health (SPH) who choose to pursue a certificate in Health Policy. The certificate program in Health Policy is also available to GW law students (the JD/MPH and LLM/MPH programs), lawyers seeking to develop expertise in all facets of health policy and practice, and to GW medical students (the MD/MPH and PA/MPH programs) who wish to enhance their clinical training with a thorough understanding of health policy.

Graduates of this Health Policy certificate program will gain:

  • a core understanding of the wide-ranging issues that dominate the modern health policy debate at all levels of government.
  • basic skills in health policy analysis, and the ability to conduct original policy analysis and research.
  • familiarity with the policy-making processes that control the development and implementation of health policy.
  • strong data management skills including creating Stata datasets, reading various types of raw data, creating variables, and processing data.
  • the ability to synthesize complex information for policymakers.
  • the ability to apply the skills of health policy analysis in a workplace setting.
Admissions Requirements

Combining a master’s degree from the Milken School of Public Health with the Health Policy Graduate Certificate uniquely positions graduates for careers that require both breadth and depth of knowledge and skills in public health services.

The Health Policy graduate certificate program is open to applicants with a master’s degree or higher who wish to gain knowledge and skills in public health or health services. Applicants without master’s degrees may be eligible depending upon their professional experience in public health. The Health Policy graduate certificate can be tailored to each student’s professional goals.  An advisor is assigned to each student to develop the unique program of study. 

Admissions requirements and application procedures for the graduate certificate program are identical to those of the master’s degree programs. Please see our Admissions page for to learn more.

Graduation Requirements
  • Graduate Credit Requirement: 18 graduate credits are required.
  • Course Selections: The Program Director/Advisor must pre-approve all course selections and course sequencing by developing a “program of study” prior to the student’s initial registration. Graduate certificate students meet with their advisor each semester before registration. All changes in this program of study must be pre-approved by the Program Director/Advisor
  • Grade Point Requirement: A 3.0 (B average) overall grade point average or higher is required.
  • Time Limit Requirement: The certificate must be completed within two years.
  • Transfer Credit Policy:: Up to four relevant graduate credits that have not been applied to a previous  degree may be transferred to the certificate program. Credits must have been earned from an accredited institution in the last three years with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • Online Course Policy: Graduate Certificate students may take selected courses for credit online, which may be completed prior to beginning residential coursework or at the same time as residential coursework.
  • Transfer to a Degree Program:  SPH Graduate Certificate students can transfer as many credits as meet program requirements, to the MPH degree (up to 18 credits for some Certificate programs). Graduate Certificate students wishing to transfer to a degree program may apply to do so via the online change of concentration petition after completion of 3 or more courses and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. A grade of B or better is required for a course to be eligible to transfer. Students interested in applying to an MPH degree program should meet with Departmental Advisors regarding program-specific admission requirements.


Certificate Requirements

PUBH 6002 | Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6012 | Fundamentals of Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6310 | Statistical Analysis in Health Policy (2 credits) 
PUBH 6315 | Introduction to Health Policy Analysis (2 credits) 
PUBH 6320 | Advanced Health Policy Research and Analysis Methods (3 credits)

Elective Courses in Health Policy (5 credits)


Non-Academic Requirements

Professional Enhancement

Students in the certificate program must participate in 8 hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, or symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.

Students submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the Office of Student Records which is required documentation to be cleared for graduation.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module in Social and Behavioral Research.  This online training module for Social and Behavioral Researchers will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.

Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Past Program Guides