Public Health Certificate

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Public Health Certificate

The Certificate in Public Health program is intended for public health practitioners and individuals wishing to increase their basic public health knowledge or considering a graduate degree in the field.

The five courses in this non-degree program cover the core content of the disciplines that are basic to public health. Classes are available at all campuses, via ITV at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, and online.

A certificate is awarded to students who pass all five courses. The certificate program is designed to be completed in one year.

Certificate Planner

Public Health Disciplines

The five core disciplines of public health as defined by the Council on Education in Public Health are

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Health Services Administration
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Each of the classes in the Public Health Certificate Program introduces students to the different areas of public health.

PHM 2610 Fundamentals of Epidemiology

3 credits
This course introduces students to principles and concepts in epidemiology through lectures, discussions, assigned readings, and exercises. Students are given the opportunity to acquire an understanding of epidemiologic principles and concepts, the vocabulary of epidemiology, methods of epidemiologic investigation, and the design, interpretation, and evaluation of epidemiologic research. The emphasis is on public health practice of epidemiology, and this course serves as the core epidemiology course for most MPH students.

PH 1690 Foundations of Biostatistics

4 credits
This course is designed as the first biostatistics course for students who have not previously taken a course in Biostatistics; this course is a designated core course for MPH students. This course introduces the development and application of statistical reasoning and methods in addressing, analyzing and solving problems in public health. Computer applications are included.

PHWM 2120 Man’s Impact on the Environment or PHM 2110 Overview of Environmental Health

3 credits
The major goals of this course are to develop a general awareness of how the man-made and natural ecosystem interact to affect health and the quality of life, review relevant principles from the natural sciences, and discuss issues influencing the solutions to environmental health problems. This will be accomplished through lectures, videos, class discussions, group activities, written assignments and examinations.

PHM 3715 Introduction to Management and Policy Sciences

3 credits
This course surveys theory and practice in the management and policy sciences applied to the field of public health. Topics include: public health in the US health system/ legal bases of public health; public policy institutions and decision-making processes; methods of policy analysis, public sector institutions, management and decision-making; and private sector health care institutions, management and decision making.

PHM 1110 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Community Health

3 credits
This course focuses on health problems and issues and public health methods that have a major social or behavioral component. It is intended for the student with little background in the behavioral sciences. The course will enable students to describe one or two core theoretical perspectives from each of the social science disciplines of psychology, sociology, and anthropology, and their application to public health. The course will cover the major social and behavioral science models used in health promotion and disease prevention. The course will also cover existing social inequalities in health status related to race, social class, and gender, and the critical intersection between social risk factors, behavioral risk factors, and the development and implementation of public health interventions. The problems considered in this course will vary from year to year, but include topics with social and behavioral risks.

Public Health Certificate

Students can complete the certificate program in one year by taking two classes in both spring and fall semesters and one class during the summer semester. Students earning a grade of C or higher in all five courses will receive a certificate stating that they have completed the core courses in public health. Transcripts will indicate the classes taken and the award of a certificate.

The credits earned in the certificate program may be applied toward an MPH degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health.  This applies only if the applicant gains admission to the MPH program within 5 years of completing the certificate.

Contact Info

For assistance with the application process and additional information, please contact