Public Health is the science and practice of disease prevention and evidence-based approaches to ensure the well-being of populations. As a practice, people with Public Health jobs address health at the population level, rather than the individual level. It is like thinking of the forest of wellness, rather than the tree. Public Health is a naturally interdisciplinary field that developed from essentially blending the emerging needs of social work and nursing. As such, public health workers examine the challenges to wellness that large communities present, from multiple perspectives, including societal, social, political, and economic.
What are the tasks of a Public Health Professional?
Public health professionals may do research on standardized testing, or work with an environmental organization to determine how air quality is affecting residents’ health in a neighborhood or city. They might help determine how much money a clinic should charge for service so that patients can have reliable health access, or work with the government to help stop a disease from spreading from one country to another. Public health educators work to teach other public health professionals, and public health nurses offer community-wide medical care or advice. The health and wellness of humanity, in all forms, is a pretty big job and is needed everywhere. Learning public health concepts can infuse with almost any other work.
What is A Public Health Certificate?
Certificates are often of most interest to people who want to acquire a specialized set of skills and may or may not choose to continue in a degree in Public Health. They generally consist of 3 to 6 required courses, and focus on the basics or fundamentals of the field. Many of the certificates in the top 40 focus on required courses in some combination of the core competencies. These core concepts include epidemiology, health education, biostatistics, social and environmental health, and healthcare management.
Clearly, without obtaining your entire Master’s in Public Health, a certificate program can only cover the basics, like an overview of the deeper concepts. Some of the certificate programs we featured below require introductory courses in each of these five, or pick two focus areas and require intro and secondary courses in the that concept. What many professionals choose to do with an online public health certificate is to supplement a non MPH degree, like a nursing degree, a medical degree, a social work degree, or even a finance or accounting degree, if they are working in a healthcare setting. Truthfully, the concepts that public health workers learn about could benefit anyone who works with the public.
Scoring the Top 40 Public Health Certificate Programs
We thought about asking Casey Kasem to count down these top 40 online certificate programs in public health, but we were too late to ask (rest in peace). Instead, MPH Online has ranked the top 40 online certificate programs in public health by their school’s credentials overall. Each program is offered fully online except for number 8, University of Washington, which requires some on campus coursework. The colleges and universities that host these programs are ranked by three metrics, each evenly weighted one-third:
- Reputation (overall CollegeConsensus.com consensus score)
- Cost (from the department of education Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)
- Student Success (based on graduate salary from the department of education scorecard data)
Each, except for four, of these programs are offered by schools that are accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH), the most respected accrediting body in the field of Public Health. Those still seeking accreditation include Walden University, Capella University, Clarkson College, and MidAmerica Nazarene University.
1. University of Illinois – Chicago
The University of Illinois has three branches, Chicago, Urbana–Champaign, and Springfield. Each of these campuses are highly ranked and student-focused. While as autonomous entities, they each serve students separately, these three campuses combine their efforts to create the University of Illinois System Online Course Catalog. The programs and courses that make up this catalog are available fully online from the three campuses, are fully accredited and held to the same quality standards as the campus-based programs. Faculty from each school teach the online sections of the courses, including School of Public Health Faculty from the Chicago campus. Students who are enrolled in online programming with the University of Illinois system Online may take full advantage of the student support resources offered.
The University of Illinois Online Catalog offers an Advanced Community Public Health Practice Certificate program. This program based from the Chicago campus, and is specifically designed for students with a bachelor’s degree, who are already working within the discipline of Public Health. The program will advance students knowledge and capabilities in assessing and addressing health issues affecting communities. The certificate program is offered entirely online and overviews the skills and information students would be getting in an MPH program. Community health science topics promoted in this 12 semester hour, online program include health education and health promotion, programmatic planning and implementation, public health research methods, and the skills of policy and advocacy.
Advanced Community Public Health Practice Certificate
2. University of Texas
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health (UT Health) was founded in 1972 by the UT System Board of Regents. The Texas Medical Building is the home to UT Health, which is situated in Houston, Texas. Six schools are beneath the UT Health umbrella, making it the largest medical center on the globe. They are known for being the first to undertake large milestones in the medical field, including the life flight, and employing the Tissue Plasminogen Activator. Their building encompasses 4.57 million square feet, and their research expenditures have grown beyond $222.7 million.
The University of Texas offers an online option for their Public Health Certificate Program, which is geared towards practitioners who are already engaged in the field, and those who are considering achieving a graduate degree in public health. Five courses are required to achieve this certificate, all of which leverage the foundations of the discipline. This program was intended for a one year completion, and can be achieved by taking two classes in the Fall semester, two in the Spring, and one in the summer. The credits can later be applied towards an MPH degree at the University of Texas.
Public Health Certificate
3. University of North Carolina
The University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health has shown their commitments to research, scholarship, education and practice, all of which are steeped in their drive to end health inequities across the globe. They are consistently ranked by the US News and World Report as one of the top public health schools in the country. They first opened their doors in 1936 in connection to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine. In 1940, public health was approved as its own discipline. This unique school now includes seven distinct departments, and was renamed Gillings in 2008, in honor of a large gift from Dennis and Joan Gillings.
The University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health offers many online certificate programs, which include the Certificate in Core Public Health Concepts, and the Certificate in Public Health Leadership. The Certificate in Core Public Health Concepts is comprised of 15 interdepartmental credit hours that encompass topics such as epidemiology, health policy, biostatistics, environmental health, and health behavior. No residencies or campus visits are required for this online program. The Certificate in Public Health Leadership includes 11 credit hours geared towards leadership development that can be applied individually, and on an organizational level. This program requires one on-campus visit.
4. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is most often referred to as Virginia Tech, and was founded as a land-grant school in 1872. In 1896 they developed a motto, “Ut Prosim,” which is latin for “That I May Serve.” Service has remained a key player in their vision and mission, on many levels, from public health to The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. They are one of three public universities in the country that have active “civilian” lifestyle on campus, as well as Corps of Cadets, which are known as the keepers of tradition. Their main campus is located in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Virginia Tech’s Public Health Program offers a Graduate Certificate in Public Health through the department of Population Health Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. This fully online program is comprised of 18 credit hours of core coursework that is also included in the Virginia Tech Master’s of Public Health degree program at Virginia Tech. This course of study is effective for students who have achieved an undergraduate degree in a similar field, and want to deepen their competency, for students who are interested in sitting for the Certified Public Health Exam, as well as students who are interested in ultimately transferring into the MPH degree program.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
5. Clarkson College
Clarkson College has always had their finger on the pulse of healthcare. They initially opened their doors as a nursing school in 1888, and was the first of its kind in their home state of Nebraska. Their commitment to service has always been paramount to their mission. In 1917, half of the WWI nurses that were sent to France for service were Clarkson students. Over the years, they have continued to grow in their program offerings, while also building an entirely new campus in Omaha, Nebraska. They are connected to the episcopal church, as well as Nebraska Medicine. Many of their program offerings are online, making it possible for adult and professional learners to participate in high quality health sciences education.
Among Clarkson College’s public health offerings is the online Certificate in Public Health that was designed to teach students the ins and out of health and wellness promotion on a local and far reaching level. This includes 21 credit hours of study that dive into topics such as research, population health sciences, and public policy. Issues that are tackled in the coursework include health promotion, disease prevention, social and behavioral implications of disease prevention, and new and emerging issues that impact public health. Students can study on a full time or part time basis, depending on their other life commitments and timeline. Classes may be taken year round.
Certificate in Public Health
6. Yale University
Yale University’s School of Public Health was established in 1915, making it among the eight oldest of public health schools in the country. Institutionally, they are renowned for their many health contributions, which include an impact on polio and cancer, as well as environmental sanitation. They have also tackled some of the larger societal problems such as the issues that surround aging, and cardiovascular diseases. They currently engage in interdisciplinary partnerships across Yale’s School of Medicine and beyond. Yale’s School of Public Health has been known for their small class sizes, including their online programming, which also speaks to their competitive admission standards.
Yale’s School of Public Health has an exciting Climate Change and Health Initiative that includes a fully online certificate program. This unique and appropos program is in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program is designed to be completed in 20 weeks, and includes three six week program classes such as: Climate Adaptation, Introduction to Climate Change and Health, and Climate Change and Health: Communication and Behavior Change. Many of the skills that will be built in this program include effective communication strategies as well as climate adaptation innovations. The coursework includes one weekly lecture, weekly online office hours that are live with an instructor, and small group discussions.
Online Certificate Program
7. Clemson University
Clemson University is located in the town of Clemson, South Carolina, and was established in 1889. They are known for being the second largest university in the state based on student enrollment, and still they maintain a 16:1 student to faculty ratio. The US News and World Report ranks Clemson as 21 within the “National” ranking for best public university. They are classified as doctoral top tier research university, with the highest level of research activity. The entire university is made of seven distinct colleges, one of which is the College of Health Sciences, and the home to their public health programming.
Clemson University’s Public Health Sciences Department offers their own undergraduate public health certificate that is administered entirely online. This program is specifically for undergraduate students who are enrolled at Clemson University, who are majoring in a field other than health sciences. The program was designed to give students from a variety of disciplines a leg up when applying for graduate programs in public health. Much of this coursework is also applicable for students who are interested in pursuing medical school. This program is made up of nine credit hours, which include three certificate courses. The majority of online courses are offered in the summer, and therefore can be completed during those sessions.
Undergraduate Public Health Certificate
8. University of Washington
One of the most notable points about this University of Washington’s School of Public Health is that is is the only public health centered institution in the Northwest. This unique school is located on the University of Washington’s main campus in Seattle, Washington. The US News and World Report ranked this school as sixth among all public health schools in the country in 2014. Founded in July of 1970, their inaugural departments included Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, and Health Services, and they have continued to grow with the most recent addition of the School of Global Health. They offer extensive online and distance learning opportunities in this growing field.
The University of Washington’s School of Public Health offers a online/ hybrid Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice Program that is offered in connection with their Online Executive MPH Program. This course of study provides students with the foundations of public health practice, over the course of two academic quarters, and is 18 credits in length. Students have the benefits of online learning with the limited face-to-face learning that allows for classroom interaction, and in depth faculty relationships. There will be two multi-day residencies in downtown Seattle throughout the program, in late September-early October, and January. Students will have many opportunities to gain competencies in community based-participatory health promotion.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice
9. MidAmerica Nazarene University
The MidAmerica Nazarene University is a private Christian centered institution that is known for fostering service oriented learning from a Christian lens. They were established in 1966 by the Church of Nazarene, and are one of 8 liberal arts institutions with the same orientation. Their main campus is located in Olathe, Kansas on a 105 acre campus. They are a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Service is a large part of their mission, and subsequently, their motto is to learn, to serve, to be. MidAmerica Nazarene has many opportunities to approach the medical field from many angles, including nursing and public health, both of which have many offerings.
MidAmerica Nazarene University offers a Public Health Certificate program that can be accomplished online. The program is 18 credit hours in length, and can be completed in nine months time. Students will be provided the fundamentals of the public health discipline that engage philosophical orientations, history, and scope of public health practice. This unique program was designed for registered nurses who hold MSN degrees. Though students have the option of completing the program entirely online engage a hybrid format and combine their online learning with in person coursework. One of the perks of the program is their high quality engaged advising opportunities, as well as their service oriented learning.
Public Health Certificate
10. University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is the home of their own College of Public Health, which is one of eleven distinct colleges within the larger university. Originally established in 1999, the College of Public Health came out of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, with roots also in the Graduate Program in Health and Hospital Administration, both of which were originally located within the University of Iowa’s College of Medicine. There are five departments within the college that include: Community and Behavioral Health, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health. In 2012, the US News and World Report ranked The University of Iowa’s College of Public Health as number 16 under “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”
The University of Iowa offers a Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health that can be completed online. This program was specifically designed for those already engaged in public health practice, as the university is committed to improving public health workforce capacity in the surrounding states. The program consists of 18 credit hours, which include coursework that is foundational to the discipline, as well as classes that engage topics such as global environmental health and an intro to the US Healthcare System, as well as Epidemiology. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree and 2.75 GPA in their previous academic education.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
11. Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is the home of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, which was established in 1916. Their mission centers protection of health and saving as many lives as possible. They have made immense and groundbreaking accomplishments including the eradication of smallpox, reduced the spread of HIV, made water safer to drink globally, and improved the survival rates of children, among many other milestones. New research is always emerging from this institution that continues to build experts in the fields of public health, while taking some of the world’s largest health related problems. They are considered the largest school of public health in the world.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health offers several public health certificate programs, many of which can be completed entirely online. Each program offers specific training and foundational knowledge in a given topic from human rights to global health, and Health Finance and Management to Public Health Informatics. These programs appeal to both Johns Hopkins Students, as well as community members and professionals working in the fields of public health. Certificate programs vary in length, but they must be completed within a three year period. Non-degree students may achieve their certificate on a part-time basis, and degree seeking students will be working towards their certificate along side of their degree coursework.
Global Health Certificate
12. Capella University
Capella University is an entirely online institution that reaches students across the country and the globe, with a home base in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Established in 1993, they originally offered graduate programs exclusively, but have since branched out to provide undergraduate and certificate program as well as graduate students. They have two distinct methods of teaching, which include a self-paced program structure, and a more guided interactive learning path. They are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Capella offers over 25 certificate programs, close to 150 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and they enroll upwards of 35,000 students per year.
Through Capella University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences you will find a Graduate Certificate in Public Health, that is achieved entirely online. The entire program is made up of five core courses that open doors to topics that are foundations for the discipline including Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and environmental skills. This certificate can be an opportunity to deepen skills, or put credits towards a masters or doctoral program upon completion. Capella provides opportunities for students to engage in immersive learning experiences through their virtual simulated health care environment, which trains students for real life experiences they may encounter in the field.
Public Health Graduate Certificate
13. Walden University
Walden University was established in 1970 by a husband and wife team from New York City, who wanted to create a school where working teachers could pursue doctoral education. Currently, Walden’s classes are primarily delivered online, and their headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are part of a large global network comprised of 80 universities throughout the world. They are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and are also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This university is made up of five distinct colleges, one of which is the College of Health Sciences that is the home to public health scholarship.
Walden University offers a graduate certificate program in Public Health that can be achieved entirely online. Students will learn the foundations of public health from a career perspective, while gaining credits that can be applied to graduate education if desired. The key principles of biostatistics, epidemiology, public health administration, environmental health, and social/ and behavioral health will be explored. This course of study is geared towards health professionals who can continue to work while accomplishing the program. Up to 15 credits can be transferred. Students are eligible to receive a $1,000 grant if they begin the program in May 2018.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
14. University of Nebraska Medical Center
The University of Nebraska Medical Center was initially established in 1881 with the name Omaha Medical College, and in 1902 they joined the University of Nebraska. Their campus is located in Omaha, Nebraska, and is made up four distinct colleges including: The College of Medicine, The College of Public Health, the College of Dentistry, the College of Allied Health Professionals, The College of Pharmacy, and the College of Nursing. In 2017 they created a Global Center for Health Security, which brought experts together to research and build a transformative response to infectious diseases and biodefense research. In 2014, they made a name for themselves by treating ebola patients in the biocontainment unit.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health offers an opportunity to earn a Certificate in Public Health entirely online, with no requirements of residencies or campus visits. This program is committed to training new generations to be leaders in all aspects of the public health field including environmental health, biostatistics, behavioral health, global health, epidemiology, and administration. The program can be completed with 18 credit hours of coursework, which include three elective credit hours. Upon completion of the program, students may be able to the apply their earned credits to a graduate degree program in public health.
Certificate in Public Health
15. University of Florida
The University of Florida Health, also known as UF Health is considered the most extensive academic health center in the Southeast region of the country. Within their center includes hospitals, physician practices, colleges, institutes, physician practices, and programming throughout the state. In 2015 they US News and World Report named UF Health one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation. Though they serve the entire state, they have two academic hospitals located in both Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville campus houses three colleges, including the UF Proton Therapy Institute, the UF Health North Hospitals, and the UF Health Jacksonville. The Gainesville location is called UF Health Shands Hospital.
The University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions offers a fully online Certificate in Public Health. This is a 15 credit hour course of study intended to expand career opportunities for students, or help them further an academic path that may eventually lead to a graduate degree if students decide to continue their studies. Professionals in the field of health, including physicians, nurses, and nutritionists can benefit from this program, by deepening their knowledge base of public health, while continuing to work in the field. The program is made up of five graduate level courses, and is conducted on the UF elearning platform called Canvas. They are also now offering Public Health Certificates with the following concentrations: Community Health Management, HIV/ AIDS, Veterinary Public Health, Food Safety, and Public Health Foundations.
Online Certificate of Public Health program
16. University of Maryland
The University of Maryland School of Public Health was established in 2007, and was built on University if Maryland’s legacy of excellence in research and scholarship dating back to 1856. Located in College Park, Maryland, their campus is home to the five departments that comprise the School of Public Health including the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, Department of Family Science, The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The Department of Kinesiology, The Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, and the Department of Health Administration. The US News and World Report ranked them 22nd among all public health schools in 2015.
The University of Maryland School of Public Health offers a certificate program in the Principles of Public Health which is delivered in an entirely online format. The program is designed for working adult professionals who require the flexibility to be academically successful while continuing to go about their personal and professional lives. The program is comprised of the foundations of field including biostatistics, epidemiology, health systems, behavioral health, and environmental health. Students who have obtained their certificate are eligible to participate in the National Board of Public Health Examiners Exam, which will enable them to become certified in Public Health (CPH).
Certificate in the Principles of Public Health
17. Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago Medical School is called the Stritch School of Medicine, and is located in the Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. This private medical school was established in 1909 with private Catholic and Jesuit traditions. The Medical Center includes Foster G. McGraw Hospital and the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, as well as the Loyola Center for Health and Fitness. Loyola online offers three online graduate programs through the Stritch School of Medicine, including a Master’s of Arts Program in Bioethics and Health Policy, and they also offer certificate programs and a hybrid doctoral program. The online programming allows students to continue working while participating in flexible academic coursework.
The Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences offers a fully online Public Health Certificate Program with the intention to train providers to effectively support constituents who experience injustice related to the current changes in healthcare. The program engages students in a discourse around racial and economic justice paramount to understanding the complexities of public health and all of its aspects. Their work is rooted in Jesuit traditions, which supports the vision and commitments the institution has made to the diverse surrounding communities, and the students that participate in all of their programming, and ongoing promotion of social justice.
Public Health Certificate
18. George Washington University
George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health has comprehensive academic offerings in all aspects of public health. Included are 30 degree options, many of which are tailored to the needs of students. The US News and World Report ranked them number 14 in their list of best public health graduate programs. Established in 1997, they are located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood in Washington DC. They are known for their racial and ethnic diversity across their public health programs, as they foster an environment of equity for all. Over 1,000 graduate students are enrolled and close to 180 undergraduate students. They are fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Earth.
George Washington University offers an online Graduate Public Health Certificate Program, designed to give students the foundational competencies of the entire public health discipline. The program was designed for students who want to engage with the principles of public health without having to commit to an entire graduate program. This is also a great program for students who already professionals in the public health field and are interested in taking the certifying examination in public health. Students may be drawn to the program if they are interested in the field of public health but are unsure of the particular discipline they want to focus on. The program consists of 15 credit hours that can later be applied to an MPH program.
Public Health graduate certificate
19. New York University
New York University College of Global and Public Health has the motto Reinventing the Public Health Paradigm, which aptly expresses their approach to the public health discipline. New York University has been granting Public Health degrees for over 40 years, however, their College of Global and Public Health is still pretty new. They take a global approach when unpacking the public health discipline, and many students choose to study abroad to learn about health issues local to cities and communities around the world. The public health school is divided into distinct departments, which include Bioethics, Biostatistics, Global Health, Epidemiology, public health nutrition, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Public Health Policy and Management.
New York University College of Global Public Health offers an Advanced Certificate in Public Health that is comprised of graduate classes and delivered entirely online. Students that complete the program will have everything all of the foundations of the discipline under their belt and be able to apply it to the Master’s in Public Health Program if they decide to take it to the next step. Students may also qualify to take the Certified Public Health(CPH) Exam. The program was designed for public health practitioners who are working on the local, state, and federal levels, as well as non-profit and community settings. The program is 15 credit hours in length, and is made up of five core courses.
Advanced Certificate in Public Health
20. University of Miami
The University of Miami, located in Coral Gables, Florida, is a highly regarded private research university. They were founded in 1925 and have seen many changes over the years, leading to the preeminent institution they are today. The U, as it is called by the campus community, prioritizes research in all areas of study. They show this by earning $346.6 million per year in sponsored research grants. These grants serve to allow for graduate and doctoral students the creative freedom that has made The U a sought after place to study. The Miller School of Medicine also receives a great deal of research funding. More than $200 million per year in external grants goes to the research that may chance medicine and public health as we know it.
The Miller School at University of Miami offers graduate Public Health Certificate for bachelor’s degree holders who are interested in serving their communities through this lens. The certificate curriculum includes 5 courses, or 16 credits, and can be completed in 2 semesters. The Public Health certificate program offers students a foundation in public health training, and includes the main focus areas of Public Health. Interested students who are engaged in other disciplines may find this program particularly helpful. Earned certificate credit may be used towards completion of the MPH or MSPH degree programs at the University of Miami, if the student wished to pursue that in the future.
Public Health Graduate Certificate
21. Michigan State University
Michigan State University is a public research university located in East Lansing, Michigan. It was originally founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan in 1855, and is now often ranked among the top 100 research institutions in the world. As pioneers of many great research feats including streamlining much of the hospitality industry as we know it today, MSU was also one of the first colleges to fully admit women to study in 1870. The College of Human Medicine is responsible for overseeing public health students. The unique college is sectioned off into seven distinct campuses located around the state. Each campus is affiliated with local hospitals and other medical facilities professionals in the area, an innovative approach to learning that sets MSU apart.
The College of Human medicine at MSU offers a Core Disciplines of Public Health Graduate Certificate to students who already hold a bachelor’s degree. The certificate program, which is offered entirely online, is perfect for students with a variety of backgrounds, including medical and nursing professionals, community health and social workers, and even accountants who work in healthcare industry. The curriculum focuses on the core public health disciplines including health policy and management, social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, and biostatistics. The 6 course, 18 credit hour certificate is applicable to an MPH degree at MSU, and can be completed in 2 semesters.
Core Disciplines of Public Health Graduate Certificate
22. University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is a public research university in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. While it may seem strange to have a main campus in two different cities, the Twin Cities of Minnesota operate almost as one and are only 3 miles apart. They were founded in 1851 and are the flagship campus of the University of Minnesota System. U of M is considered to be a “Public Ivy” school. This means that it is one of the top public universities that provides a university experience comparable to that of schools in the Ivy League. The School of Public Health at U of M is no exception to this reputation of excellence, often ranking among the top 10 public health schools in the nation.
The Public Health Certificate in Core Concepts (PHCert-CC) from Minnesota’s School of Public Health is designed professionals in the public health field who already hold a bachelor’s degree. Ideally, applicants are working in a health service or human service organization and seek an advanced curriculum credential in public health core concepts. This certificate program is identical to the core content taught in the School of Public Health to students seeking the degree of Master of Public Health. As such, these courses are applicable to the MPH degree at U of M. The program provides training that allows public health workers and others professionals the ability to respond to public health needs in the core areas of public health. All courses required for this program are available in online and in-person formats.
Public Health Core Concepts Certificates
23. Boston University
Boston University, most commonly referred to as BU, is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established in 1839 as a religious and theological university that has since been absorbed into the current, nonsectarian university as their School of Theology. With five campuses beyond Boston, including Sydney, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Washington, D.C., student have the opportunity to engage with their studies in a variety of settings. The BU School of Public Health often ranks in the top 10 among public health graduate schools in the country. Founded in 1976, the BUSPH is housed in the lovely Talbot Building near the medical campus in the South End neighborhood of Boston. They offer advanced certificates, master’s and doctoral studies in Public Health, with many online and hybrid options available.
The Graduate Certificate in Public Health from BUSPH allows students to grasp the core concepts of the public health discipline, on a full- or part-time basis.The Graduate Certificate is comprised of four required courses totaling 16 credits of coursework. These courses include Health Systems, Law, and Policy, Quantitative Methods for Public Health, Leadership and Management for Public Health, and Individual, Community, and Population Health. These courses are the four most designed to provide key foundational knowledge in public health, of the areas typically covered in an MPH degree. The goal of focusing on these four is to enhance students’ professional preparation by highlighting interdisciplinary connections.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
24. University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut was founded in 1881 in Storrs, Connecticut. It is a public land grant, National Sea Grant, and National Space Grant research university and has developed the nickname UConn by those who are familiar. Early on it was known as Storrs Agricultural School, and took on the job of educating local farmers and their families. UConn is considered to be a “Public Ivy” school. This means that it is one of the top public universities that provides a university experience comparable to that of schools in the Ivy League. In the past 140 years, UConn has developed a reputation of excellence, developing nationally and internationally recognized programs of research in key areas contributing to global public health initiatives through the University of Connecticut Health Center and the located in the John Dempsey UConn John Dempsey Hospital.
The UConn Health Center is responsible for educating public health students in graduate study. They offer a Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Public Health. The certificate program is offered entirely online and is a four-course, 12-credit option. A student may enroll in a certificate program on either a part-time or a full-time basis, but after initial enrollment, students must complete the requirements for the certificate within three years. Of the four required courses, two are required, and two are selected by the student. The required courses are Epidemiology and Biostatistics I and II. Students may select two courses from the topics of Environment, Administration, Social and Behavioral Health, and issues of Law. Completing the GRE is not a requirement for enrollment in this program.
Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Public Health
25. Drexel University
Drexel University was established in 1891, and is situated in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They have been a front running institution on education praxis for adult learners, including on technological tools to support learning. They have been providing online education for close to 20 years, and currently offer over 140 online certificate programs and degrees that utilize the same resources and curricula that make up on campus coursework, ensuring that online students are receiving the same quality education. Students also have access to an enrollment counselor and an academic advisor, as well as around the clock tech support. Drexel also makes a point of fostering peer community, so students walk away from the experience with colleagues.
Drexel University offers four online concentrations for the public health discipline including the Certificate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Certificate of Global Health, the Certificate in maternal and child health, and the certificate in LGBT health. Each unique discipline engages critical topics that enable students to be leaders in the important issues that make up public health in our country and throughout the world. The online format of these programs make it possible for students to continuing working full time while achieving their certificate in the topic of their choice. Students engage with world class faculty who are experts in their niche.
Certificate in Biostatistics, Certificate in Global Health
26. University of New England
The University of New England (UNE) is a private school with its flagship campus in Biddeford, Maine, and two additional locations in Portland, Maine, and Tangier, Morocco. They were founded in 1831, with the original name Westbrook Seminary. They are the largest private institution of higher education in the state of Maine, as well as the largest educator of healthcare professionals in the state. One of the exciting draws to the University of New England is their extensive online school, which offers full degree and certificate programs entirely online, and caters to working professionals, adult learners, and traditional students alike.
The University of New England is offers an entirely online Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health (GCPH) that is made up of 18 credit hours. The coursework for the program is made up of the core classes for the MPH program, which means that students who decide to pursue a Master’s in Public Health, can transfer all of their classes towards their MPH. The program can be completed in one years time. Students can tailor the program to fulfill their interests. The program is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
27. University of North Texas
The University of North Texas has its own state of the art Health Science Center (UNTHSC), which is a graduate level division of the University of North Texas System. It was founded in 1970 and is made up of five distinct colleges. The campus sits on 33 acres in what is known as the Cultural District of Fort Worth, Texas. They offer a myriad of health related degree including Public Health, Osteopathic Medicine, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Biomedical Sciences, and Physician Assistant Studies. They are also a hotbed of research and home to the TECH Fort Worth Laboratories, a biochemistry non-profit incubator.
The University of North Texas Health Science Center offers a Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health that is available online. This 15 credit hour program is geared towards working professionals who want to deepen their working knowledge of public health, and also for students who want to get their feet wet before committing to the MPH program. The program is made up of the core courses for the MPH program, so if students choose to pursue their Master’s in Public Health, they can apply the courses from their certificate education to their MPH. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree and be able to submit the academic transcripts from every institution they’ve attended.
28. Oregon State University
Oregon State University is made up of two different campuses,11 Colleges, and over 200 academic programs. They have more research funding than any other university in the state. They were founded in 1868 with the flagship campus situated in the town of Corvallis, Oregon, and an additional campus in the town of Bend, Oregon. They also have a comprehensive online school that offers degree granting and certificate programming, which includes over 900 courses. In 2015 their undergraduate online programs were ranked fifth in the country. OSU has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a high level research institution.
Oregon State University offer a Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health that is administered through their ECampus, and is entirely online. This 20 hour program was designed for working professionals as well as continuing education students. One of the perks of the program is that students may apply any quarter for admission, though it is recommended that they leave one month for the application to be processes, so they can enter at the start of the next quarter. Applicants must have a 3.0 or above GPA in their previous academic education in order to qualify for the program, to ensure they can handle the rigor of graduate level work.
Public Health Graduate Certificate
29. University of Missouri
The University of Missouri, which is often referred to as Mizzou, was founded in 1839, making it the first postsecondary school west of the Mississippi River. Their campus is located just south of downtown Columbia, Missouri on a 1,262 acre campus.In 2011 the on campus Center for Distance and Independent Study merged with MU Direct: Continuing and Distance Education to create Mizzou Online, which provides online coursework for 18 of colleges made up by the University of Missouri. They offer over 100 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs online. Mizzou Online also runs a K-12 distance learning school called the University of Missouri High School.
The University of Missouri- Mizzou Online offers a fully online Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health through their School of Health Professions and Master’s in Public Health Program. The program is requires completion of 12 credit hours, and can be completed in one year if students choose to take two classes per semester. The program’s coursework dive into topics such as Environmental Health, Emergency Preparedness, Principles of Public Health, Public Health Promotion and Epidemiology. Many students enter the program with the intention carving out the career path of a Biostatistician, Policy Analyst, Community Health Worker, Researcher, or Social and Community Service Coordinator.
Online Graduate Certificate
30. Benedictine University
Benedictine University is located within the Chicago metropolitan area, in nearby Lisle, a suburb of Chicago. It was originally founded in 1887 in the Pilsen community on the West Side of Chicago. It is a private Roman Catholic university, affiliated with the Benedictine Order, named for St. Benedict who is credited with inspiring western monasticism. The university also has two branch campuses outside of Chicago. One is called Benedictine University at Springfield in Springfield, Illinois, and the other is Benedictine University at Mesa in Mesa, Arizona. It was a men’s college from its founding until 1968. Now, Benedictine offers 17 Master’s degrees from four colleges.
Benedictine University Master of Public Health Certificate in Epidemiology that can be completed entirely online. Students who are interested in work in the field of epidemiology will do well to attain professional skills in methods of research, epidemiology, biostatistics, and applied epidemiology. All of these are the focus of this certificate program. If the student meets degree admission requirements, hours earned in certificate programs are transferable to the MPH degree program. Students will also learn how to collect original data and perform study design, and how to effectively work in the field in applied epidemiology. MPH students who complete the Certificate in Epidemiology will graduate as successful public health practitioners. They will also have a strong foundation to compete in today’s job market, with a specialized skill set in epidemiology in the field.
Applied Epidemiology Certificate
31. Temple University
Temple University is a public research university located in the Cecil B. Moore neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1884 by a baptist who lead the Grace Baptist Church by day, and ran a tutoring program for low-income Philadelphians in the temple of the church by night. Later these “night owl” students became the inspiration for Temple’s mascot, Hooter the Owl, and the building inspired the name for the school. By 1907, the institution became a university. Temple’s Health Sciences Campus is located in North Philadelphia, and is home to Temple University Hospital, and College of Public Health, as well as a few other focus areas.
The Temple College of Public Health offers a Public Health Law Research Certificate which can be completed entirely online on a part-time basis in two years or less. The field of Public Health Law Research is defined as the scientific study of the effects of laws and legal practices on health. This certificate program is a four-course program, and is available either as an independent program or as a supplement to a student’s primary graduate degree at TU. Students will be able to take advantage of the presence of Temple’s Center for Public Health Law Research and the resources therein. The certificate is a collaborative effort of the College of Public Health and the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. The required courses for completion include Multivariate Biostatistics, which also has a prerequisite of an intro level biostatistics course prior to enrolling.
Public Health Law Research Certificate
32. University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst, often called UMass Amherst or simply UMass, is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts. The university was founded in 1863 with a Morrill Land-Grant, although it did not begin enrolling students until 1867. UMass employs over 1,300 faculty members who serve more than 30,000 students each year, making it the largest public university in New England. The university and its researchers proudly boast its categorization as a Research University with Highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences is one of 10 colleges and was founded in 1938. It is frequently ranked in the top 25 in the nation for Public Health Education.
The UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences offers a Graduate Certificate in Public Health Ethics that is designed for public health professionals who are interested in gaining a greater understanding of ethical inquiry in public health. The certificate program is not a degree program, but rather complements any graduate degree program where professionals engage with the public, especially in health and education settings, or with vulnerable populations. The program is offered entirely online and requires 18 credits. Of the six courses required for completion, students must complete three mandatory courses, two electives, and a final project. As a non-degree program, the certificate is not eligible for financial aid, but UMass offers institutional and non-institutional options for scholarships for public health students.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health Ethics
33. University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, also known as USF, is an public research university in Tampa, Florida. USF is also engaged with the State University System of Florida as a member institution. The university was founded in 1956 and is the fourth-largest public university in the state of Florida. They enroll over 48,000 students and employ over 6,000 academic faculty and staff. In a ranking compiled by the National Science Foundation, USF ranks 43rd in the United States for total research spending among all universities, public and private. USF was the first independent state university conceived, planned, and built during the 20th century and at the time of its founding was the southernmost university in the state university system.
USF Health is the grouping of six health-focused colleges at USF, including the College of Medicine, the College of Public Health and others. The College of Public Health offers a Public Health Generalist Certificate program that can be completed entirely online. The program is geared to working professionals who are doctors or nurses exploring public health, or public health professionals seeking additional graduate-level credentials. Other students in the program include those who are unsure about a specific concentration area in public health and students who are not seeking an MPH degree but do want a focused program of study. There are four required courses for to complete the program and the only prerequisite is college algebra.
12 online options
34. SUNY Albany
The State University of New York at Albany, also known as SUNY Albany, is a public research university with three campuses in upstate New York. The university was founded in 1844, and is a part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The three campuses include an uptown and downtown campus in Albany, and one in the city of Guilderland, and a Health Sciences Campus in the City of Rensselaer, just across the Hudson River. From the time of its founding in 1844 until the group of schools forming the SUNY (State Universities of New York) in 1948, Albany was a public school for educators. In 1968 it began offering other programs and eventually gained university status that same year.
The SUNY Albany Health Sciences Campus offers the School of Public Health and the Public Health Fundamentals and Principles Certificate Program. This program is offered entirely online and is geared towards preparing students for the ever-evolving challenges in the field of public health. This in-depth certificate program builds on the university relationships with the New York State Department of Health and local, upstate health departments and the curriculum is inspired by these entities. As such, the program acknowledges the growing need for creative educational models in health practices. The program course requirements include 18 graduate course credits, all of which are six of the core courses in Master of Public Health program.
Public Health Fundamentals and Principles Certificate Program
35. Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University Bloomington is a public research university located in Bloomington, Indiana. The more than 40,000 students enrolled often refer to it as IU Bloomington, or simply IU. It is the flagship institution of the Indiana University system and its largest university in the state. Like several schools on this list, including University of Minnesota and University of Connecticut, IU is considered a “Public Ivy” school. This means that it is one of the top public universities that provides a university experience comparable to that of schools in the Ivy League. They offer a free-standing, School of Public Health that was established in 2012. It was accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health in June 2015. Not housed within a medical center, the resources are specifically tailored to students focusing on issues of Public Health.
The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington offers a Graduate Certificate Public Health that is entirely online. The online Graduate Certificate in Public Health requires a minimum of 15 credit hours, including a 3 credit hour required practicum at the end of the program. The flexibility of an online program enables working professionals from within and without the discipline to earn a Certificate in Public Health. The required practicum allows students to use the skills they learn in the program and apply them in their own communities. This both builds critical professional connections as well as applies an important feature of public health education which is to utilize resources that come from the community they are located. The resource in this case is the public health worker themself.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
36. CUNY School of Public Health
The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy is also called the CUNY School of Public Health, or CUNY SPH. It is a research and professional college within the CUNY system located in the City of New York. The building where CUNY SPH is housed is at 55 West 125th Street in Manhattan. Of the programs they offer, 7 are master’s degree programs, 4 are doctoral programs, and one is an advanced graduate certificate. They also sponsor faculty memberships in at least 7 of CUNY’s research centers and institutes. CUNY SPH employs a core group of over 45 full-time faculty who are sometimes joined by additional qualified faculty members drawn from throughout the CUNY system.
The one advanced graduate certificate CUNY School of Public Health offers can be completed entirely online and is 15 credit hours. Of these, the coursework consists of the 5 public health core areas of study, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Health, Environmental Health, and Health Policy and Management. The coursework is designed to be completed within one year and all of the required courses are available in the Fall and Spring semesters. This program was developed to address the labor demand in the public health workforce. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to think critically about the health challenges of different populations of people, and gain a deeper understanding of multiple factors that lead to these challenges.
Public Health Advanced Certificate
37. Penn State College of Medicine
The Pennsylvania State University, or Penn State, is a state-related, is a land-grant, doctoral university with campuses in several cities in Pennsylvania. The university was founded in 1855, and has a mission of teaching, research, and public service. It also has a more recent instructional mission of undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through on-campus means as well as online delivery. Its University Park campus is the school’s flagship campus, and is located within the Borough of State College and College Township, in the upper part of the state. Penn State has been an innovator in non-traditional education, starting one of the first comprehensive distance learning programs in the country. This eventually evolved into one of the first comprehensive online colleges when public access to the internet became more common. They continue to innovate, providing the best and most effective education to their students.
The Penn State College of Medicine and the Department of Public Health Sciences offers a Graduate Certificate in Public Health. The curriculum for this certificate is offered entirely online, and consists of 12 credits or four courses. Each of these is designed to provide students with foundational graduate-level coursework in public health. The courses required to complete the program are Behavioral Health Intervention Strategies, Principles of Biostatistics, Principles of Epidemiology, and Health Services Organization and Delivery. Upon completion of the program, students may apply the credits to an MPH degree, or be poised to apply their knowledge and skills to solving public health problems in another professional area.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
38. Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University, also known as NSU, is a private nonprofit university located in Davie, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The university consists of 18 colleges and schools and these offer 175 programs. They also provide professional degrees in osteopathic medicine, allied health, pharmacy, law, business, optometry, allopathic medicine, occupational therapy, dentistry, physical therapy, education, and nursing. NSU enrolls over 24,000 students and has a full-time faculty of 1,500, 85% of whom have terminal degrees. The Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, or the KPCOM, is a dynamic research and educational college within NSU, that also houses all student work in the field of public health.
Within the KPCOM, students can choose to earn a Graduate Certificate in Public Health entirely online. The program is designed to teach students the basic knowledge applicable to the fundamental practice and principles of public health. It is a competency-based program and requires 15 credit hours of coursework, which are the same as graduate-level public health courses in the MPH program. All student work is presented using online WebCT (Blackboard Learning Systems) technology that Nova Southeastern has relied on for years for web-based education. The required courses for completion include Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences Applied to Health, and Health Policy, Planning, and Management. Students must complete the coursework within 2 years of enrollment and each course must be successfully completed with a grade of B to be eligible for the certificate.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
39. University of Nevada-Las Vegas
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is an public research university located near Las Vegas in a suburb called Paradise, Nevada. It was founded in 1957 as an extension of the University of Nevada, Reno. The main campus is about a mile and a half from the Las Vegas Strip, with other campuses scattered in the area. The University offers several academic options that are the only ones in the state, including the UNLV College of Dental Medicine Dental School and the William S. Boyd School of Law, is also the only law school in the state. UNLV is classified a research-intensive university by the Carnegie Foundation.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas offers a Certificate in Public Health that can be completed entirely online. Each of the six required courses are developed by public health leaders in the field, and feature cutting-edge research experiences and international industry. The program can be completed in 2 semesters at a full-time pace. All courses successfully completed for the Certificate can count towards an MPH degree at UNLV as well. Because of the proximity to local laboratory research facilities, students are offered the opportunity for research at the Environmental Health Laboratory, CCSD/UNLV Pollen Monitoring Program Laboratory, Urban Air Quality Laboratory, or the Emerging Diseases Laboratory, if they live within the Las Vegas metropolitan area.
Certificate in Public Health
40. University of North Florida
The University of North Florida is a public university in Jacksonville, Florida. They are a member institution of the State University System of Florida, and is located on a campus surrounded by a natural preserve on Jacksonville’s Southside. UNF was founded in 1969 and was originally planned to be an upper division college for juniors and seniors, although it began admitting underclassmen in 1984. UNF offers 5 colleges with 28 graduate degree programs available. As a commitment to the environment, the Social Sciences building became the first facility to be LEED-certified in northeast Florida in 2006. It was the first of 10 “green” buildings on the campus.
UNF offers a Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Informatics through the online graduate school. The program was developed by an interdisciplinary faculty group at UNF who were responding to a great community need for professionals trained in this field of Public Health. UNF employs a cohort model for online education, allowing students to complete the program with the support of their peers. The program consists of 12 credit hours for completion which most students complete in 1 or two semesters. The main focus of the program is to expose students to modern health IT, which includes data security, systems design, data acquisition and analysis, and decision processing. The UNF graduate inter-professional certificate in health informatics places an educational emphasis on ITS security, electronic medical data generated and stored in healthcare organizations, and applications.
Graduate Certificate in Public Health