What Types of Certificate Programs are Available in Public Health?

Certificate programs in public health are of two types. One is a post-baccalaureate certificate introducing the field of public health to a student who has no prior experience or education in this field. This is usually a 15 credit program, often offered online, consisting of a core of courses such as health systems, policy and management, epidemiology, biostatistics and environmental health. These courses can be applied to the Masters in Public Health, should the certificate holder decide to enter a graduate program and work for a formal degree.

Resource: Top 20 Best Online MPH Degree Programs 2016

The second type of certificate program offers a set of courses allowing graduate students or health professionals to specialize in a public health concentration. These are also usually 15 credits in length and can be completed within a year. Graduate programs in Public Health generally allow students to add a certificate toward their degree.

There are numerous certificate programs offered by schools of public health covering every known corner of the field. The following 60 certificates, culled from program descriptions of leading universities, are grouped under five categories as follows.

1. Public Health Administration

All aspects of public health management, including planning, policy, decision making, economics, finances and informatics, are grouped in this category. The following are some of the certificate titles.

• Community-Based Public Health
• Public Health Management and Policy
• Public Health Leadership
• Health Systems Leadership and Management
• Operational Excellence
• Interdisciplinary Health Communication
• Health Finance and Management
• Public Health Economics
• Public Health Informatics
• Public Health Geographic Informatics Systems
• Leaders in Sustainability
• Emergency Management and Continuity Planning
• Public Health Preparedness
• Bioethics and Public Health Policy
• Health Systems Engineering
• Evaluation of Public Health Programs
• Public Security
• Mental Health Policy, Economics and Services

2. Epidemiology/Biostatistics

The various research approaches to improve public health are grouped together in this category.

• Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Prevention and Control
• Clinical Epidemiology
• Clinical Research Methods
• Clinical Trials
• Demographic Methods
• Field Epidemiology
• Quantitative Methods/Biostatistics
• Infectious Diseases and Public Health
• Health Disparities Research
• Community-Based Participatory Research and Practice
• Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
• Population and Health
• Public Health Genetics
• Public Mental Health Research
• Quality, Patient Safety, and Outcomes Research
• Risk Science and Human Health
• Risk Sciences and Public Policy
• Vaccine Science and Policy

3. Health Promotion

This category covers the health needs and delivery of services to individuals and groups.

• Adolescent Health
• Maternal and Child Health
• Gerontology
• Long Term Care
• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals' Health and Wellness
• Health Disparities and Health Inequality
• Health Education
• Health Equity
• Injury and Violence Prevention
• Injury Science
• Training Certificate for American Indian Health Professionals

4. Environmental Health

These certificates look at the environmental and occupational hazards that affect human lives.

• Environmental and Occupational Health
• Environmental Health and Safety
• Environmental Health Risk Assessment
• Environmental Health Science and Policy
• Environmental Public Health
• Food Studies
• Food System, Environment and Public Health
• Human Sciences and Toxicology

5. World Health

The following are some of the certificate programs that focus on international public health.

• Global Health
• Global Tobacco Control
• Health and Human Rights
• Humanitarian Assistance
• Tropical Medicine

Public Health is an ever-expanding field and is continuously being challenged to meet the needs of a society that's shifting in demographics and types of illnesses, and is facing increasing environmental threats. Public health students and professionals can stay abreast of new developments by accessing the variety of certificate programs available to them.

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