Graduate Certificate in Public Health

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Graduate Certificate in Public Health

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The Graduate Certificate in Public Health curriculum of 12 credits provides students with foundational graduate-level coursework in public health.

Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate in Public Health, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their knowledge in the five core areas of public health - biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health services administration and social and behavioral sciences
  • Apply their knowledge and skills to solving public health problems

Completion of the certificate is excellent preparation for continuing in the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

All students must submit an application through The Graduate School.

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The certificate is made up of four core public health courses, for a total of 12 credits. Students must complete each course with a grade of B or better in order to receive the certificate.

Courses are:

  • PHS 504: Behavioral Health Intervention Strategies (3 credits)
  • PHS 520: Principles of Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • PHS 550: Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • PHS 571: Health Services Organization and Delivery (3 credits) 

See full course descriptions on LionPath.

Certificate coursework may be transferable to the Penn State Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program. Certificate program students who wish to have their certificate courses transferred toward the Penn State MPH degree must formally apply and be admitted to the Penn State MPH degree program. Admissions as a certificate student neither guarantees nor implies subsequent admission to a degree program.

Non-Degree Student Status

All certificate candidates are considered non-degree students. Up to 12 Penn State course credits acquired as a non-degree certificate candidate may be applied toward fulfillment of graduate degree requirements.

Please see details about requirements and access for non-degree students.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the certificate program, an applicant must hold either:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution; or
  • a postsecondary degree that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.

International Applicants

International applicants must have a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.

This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

Additionally, all international applicants must meet the Graduate School’s English proficiency requirements.

How to Apply

Complete the application and submit materials online to the Graduate Certificate in Public Health at the Hershey campus via the The Graduate School at Penn State.

In addition to the application, you must submit:

  • Uploaded copy of transcripts from all colleges/universities who granted a degree
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of purpose or rationale for seeking the graduate certificate

Do not send transcripts or other material directly to the program.

Key Dates

The deadline to apply is:

  • Nov. 1 for spring semester admission
  • April 1 for summer semester admission
  • July 1 for fall semester admission

Contact Us

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health is a program of the Penn State College of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences.

If you have questions about this program, please email or call 717-531-1502.

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