Public Health Certificate



Public Health - Certificate



The mission of the Public Health graduate certificate is to give students a basic, yet robust understanding of all of the aspects of public health. The graduate certificate in Public Health consists of the core curriculum for the Masters of Public Health degree and is intended for those people who:

  1. are interested in learning more about the field of public health without committing to a full degree
  2. are currently public health professionals and want to be eligible to take the certifying examination in public health; or
  3. are interested in a degree in public health but are not sure what specific area of expertise they might want to pursue.

The certificate program is 15 credits and can be applied to an MPH should a student decide to pursue a degree program. The Public Health graduate certificate program can be completed in-person or online to allow students maximum flexibility while maintaining personal and professional commitments. Online courses are taught in 10-week online modules across the calendar year (four modules per year); residential courses are taught in 14-week modules on campus. The certificate must be completed within two years of matriculation. 

Admissions Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university.
  • International students must provide certified, translated transcripts showing the equivalency to the U.S. bachelor's degree. World Education Services (WES) is the preferred provider of such translations.
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended.
  • A 1,500-word (maximum) letter of interest stating your reasons for wanting the certificate and including a description of your relevant work experience.
  • A resume.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Standardized Test Requirements

  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required to apply for the certificate program.
  • International students must submit a TOEFL score when English is not the native language. A minimum score of 100 is required on the internet-based test. IELTS is also acceptable. An overall score of 7.0, with no individual score below a 6.0, is needed for admissions. 

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

  • Graduate Credit Requirement: 15 graduate credits are required.
  • Course Selection:  Graduate certificate students meet with their advisor each semester before registration. 
  • 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 to a Degree Program: SPH Graduate Certificate students in this 15-credit Public Health Certificate program can transfer as many credits as meet program requirements, to the MPH degree.  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.


  • 15 credit certificate programs are not currently eligible for Title IV funding.  Contact [email protected] for questions about funding.
Required Courses

PUBH 6002| Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6007 | Social and Behavioral Science Methods (2 credits)
PUBH 6009 | Fundamentals of Program Evaluation (2 credits)
PUBH 6011 | Principles of Environmental Health Sciences (3 credits)
PUBH 6012 | Fundamentals of Health Policy: Public Health & Healthcare (2 credits)

Total Credits: 15

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 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.

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
Past Program Guides

PH Certificate Program Guide, 2023-24

PH Certificate Program Guide, 2022-23

PH Certificate Program Guide, 2021-22

PH Certificate Program Guide, 2020-21

PH Certificate Program Guide, 2019-20