In about the same time it takes to earn your degree, earn an additional cutting-edge certificate. Pitt Public Health offers nine unique certificates that allow students to enhance their degrees and increase job opportunities. Degree-seeking students can earn the certificates through concurrent enrollment, often without adding any additional time to their degree program.

Certificate programs are also open to public health professionals already working in the field as 15-credit stand-alone graduate certificates. Applicants must adhere to school-wide admission requirements, and must apply through SOPHAS if not already enrolled as a degree-seeking student.

Community-Based Participatory Research and Practice

Community-based participatory research and practice (CBPRP) has emerged as a core discipline in behavioral and social science departments within schools of public health. CBPRP is a collaborative process of research and practice that includes both researchers and community representatives. Communities are generally defined as those that share a unit of identity (e.g. social ties, geographical locations). The CBPRP process involves engaging community members, using local knowledge in the understanding of health problems, and a long-term commitment to partnership. CBPRP is oriented towards holistic interventions informed by social ecology modeling, a widely recognized approach that not only targets knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of individuals, but also includes social factors such as family and friendship ties, community norms, and the structure of community services.

Students in the CBPRP certificate program will be able to ...

  1. demonstrate and practice the basic tenets of community-based participatory research and practice,
  2. identify methods for assessing community concerns and needs vis-à-vis specific health issues and assessing community resources, and potential community partners for address specific health issues in a community, and
  3. develop strategies to work collaboratively with community members.

Academic Requirements

As part of the 15 credit certificate program, students must take three courses and complete a six credit internship.

Required Courses

  • BCHS 2554 Introduction to Community Health
  • BCHS 2135 Leadership
  • BCHS 2608 Introduction to Community-Based Participatory Research
  • BCHS 2609 Translating Research to Policy and Practice
  • BCHS 2610 Concept Mapping: A Participatory Research Method
  • BCHS 2503 Practicum

The internship matches students with a local community agency and together the student, the agency, and the certificate program field coordinator identify community public health needs and work with community members to address identified needs.


Requirements: The standards for admission are equivalent to those for the BCHS MPH degree.
Decisions: All applicants are reviewed and decisions are made by the CBPR certificate admissions and advisory committee and the MPH admissions committee.

How to Apply...

Staff Contact
Paul Markgraf

This program is managed by the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences.

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Environmental Health Risk Assessment

Risk assessment, a process developed in 1983 by the National Academy of Sciences, provides the framework for most current studies of environmental health concerns. From determining the potential hazards of brown-fields to deciding between alternate remediation end-states of former nuclear weapons development sites to evaluating the potential harm from toxic occupational environments, the process of risk assessment has become one of the most useful approaches for assessing and addressing environmental public health problems.

The Certificate in Environmental Health Risk Assessment provides concentrated graduate education in this well-defined area of environmental health. Students in this certificate program will be able to ...

  • specify/measure the magnitude, duration, and route of human exposure to selected hazardous environmental/occupational agents, and
  • describe methods for quantifying dose and specify how this knowledge can be used to estimate probability of developing environmental/occupational disease outcomes.


Academic Requirements

Students must complete 15 credits, with 11 credits in core courses and at least four credits of electives. The choice of electives allows the extension of the student's risk assessment knowledge to his/her area of interest.

Required Courses

  • EOH 2181 Risk Assessment Practicum
  • EOH 2175 Principles of Toxicology
  • EOH 2504 Principles of Environmental Exposure
  • EOH 2122 Transport and Fate of Environmental Agents


  • EOH 2180 Introduction to Risk Sciences
  • BCHS 2572 Risk Communication
  • EPIDEM 2110 Principles of Epidemiology
  • EOH 2309 Environmental Health Chemistry

Student Performance and Progress

A certificate program coordinator will be assigned by the EOH department chair to oversee the RACP and to assist students with their progress through the program.

There will be no essay or final writing assignment other than that required in the courses. The criteria for evaluation of student class work performance and the procedures for dismissal will be the same for students in this program as for all other Pitt Public Health students.


Candidates must meet the general Pitt Public Health admission requirements. Candidates must have a baccalaureate degree with a QPA of at least 3.0 with coursework in the basic sciences. GRE scores, with performance level of at least 1,000, combined verbal and quantitative, and at least 3.5 analytic writing score must be submitted.

How to Apply...

Staff Contact
Bryanna Snyder

Faculty Contact
James Peterson, PhD

This program is managed by the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

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Evaluation of Public Health Promotion and Health Education Programs

This certificate program is designed to link the University and community in practical applied evaluation initiatives at the community level. The academic component of the certificate program is designed to provide students with a range of skills and tools to enable them to participate in various types of evaluation projects in the public health arena. The practicum experience provides an opportunity to work on an evaluation project as part of an interdisciplinary team managed by an expert in the field of program evaluation.

Academic Requirements

A total of 15 credits is required, including a 3 credit (approximately 400 hours) applied evaluation internship experience under the supervision of the certificate program director and in collaboration with a community preceptor.

Required Courses

  • BCHS 2525 Introduction to Applied Research
  • BCHS 2558 Health Program Evaluation
  • BCHS 2503 Practicum

Master’s students choose six credits of electives from a list within and outside of the department, that includes, but is not limited to...

  • BCHS 3002 Health Survey Methods
  • BCHS 3007 Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods
  • BCHS 3055 Community Development and Focus Groups, Preparation, Facilitation, and Application

Additional elective options are updated each year.

Doctoral students must choose one of the following courses:

  • BCHS 3003 Seminar in Advanced Evaluation Techniques
  • BCHS 2511 Independent Study (with approval of the certificate director)


Admissions decisions will be made by the MPH program director and committee in conjunction with the director and co-director of the certificate program.
How to Apply

Staff Contact
Paul Markgraf

Faculty Contact
Thistle I. Elias, DrPH, MPA

This program is managed by the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences.

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Global Health

Global health refers to health issues that transcend national boundaries. The field faces unprecedented challenges brought on by issues such as shifting immigration patterns, climate change, conflict, and global commerce. The Certificate in Global Health prepares students for occupations in public health, health care, and affiliated fields that increasingly demand interdisciplinary and international thinking skills and competence in responding to challenges brought on by this dynamic global environment.

The University of Pittsburgh has a history of research discoveries that have improved the health of populations around the globe. This tradition endures through Pitt's world-class faculty who continue to build upon the legacy of individuals such as Jonas Salk, William Hammond, and Peter Safar, and through Pitt's outstanding student body who continually embraces the field of global health and truly makes a difference on a worldwide scale.The 15-credit Certificate in Global Health features specially designed courses and co-curricular activities that prepare students to meet the challenges of today's complex health problems and work in settings that increasingly demand interdisciplinary and global thinking skills.

Academic Requirements

The certificate core courses cannot overlap with any other departmental requirement. Overlap is permitted for the remaining required courses and these may also fulfill departmental requirements.

Required courses

  • PUBHLT 2025 Concepts and Methods in Global Health (2 credits)
  • PUBHLT 2027 Transforming Global Health Education Into Action (2 credits)
  • One course from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs is required from the list of approved classes (3 credits)

In addition, students are able to engage in the various co-curricular opportunities offered throughout the academic year. These co-curriculars consist of events such as symposia, film and video programs, workshops, and lectures. Content covers a range of issues relevant to global health, such as policy analysis, ethics, human rights, epidemiologic trends, and evaluation of global health programs.

Global Health Certificate Handbook
Global Health Certificate Checklist


The requirements for admission to the Global Health Certificate are equivalent to those for an MPH degree. Applications must be submitted through SOPHAS. Admission decisions are made by the program director.

How to Apply...

Faculty Contact
Joanne Russell, MPPM

This program is managed by the Center for Global Health.

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Health Care Systems Engineering

Offered jointly by the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and Pitt Public Health, this program provides students with specific competencies and analytical tools required for effective problem solving relevant to quality improvement and process engineering in the health care industry. Students are equipped to serve as quality champions and agents of change in addressing the challenges health care faces in the twenty-first century. Engineering students gain knowledge of health care operations, the organizational culture, and the strategic issues facing the industry. Health care management students will learn engineering principles, models, and tools within a systems approach to analysis, problem-solving, and project implementation.

This certificate is intended for individuals pursuing careers in the management, redesign, and improvement of the health care industry. Designed for master’s students in the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Department of Industrial Engineering, this program provides a rigorous and multidisciplinary education as a complement to the core curriculum of both programs. With a focus on innovation, effectiveness, and efficiency in health care and public health, the certificate nurtures well-educated professionals and leaders in their disciplines. Students in this certificate program will be able to...

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the structures, performance, quality, policy and environmental context of health and health care to formulated solutions for health policy problems,
  2. Design and implement projects, including collecting, analyzing, interpreting data and offering sound evidence-based recommendations, and
  3. Summarize and present health care engineering-related research orally and in writing.

Health Equity

Designed to increase the cultural competency of public health and other professionals, this innovative 15-credit health equity graduate certificate program addresses the systemic root causes of health disparities. The certificate provides students with an academic foundation for achieving health equity through...

  • assessing the complexity of inequities among diverse groups of marginalized populations,
  • mobilizing communities where disparities exist,
  • developing culturally tailored interventions, and
  • advocating for healthy public policy.

While racial and ethnic health disparities are examples of the consequences of social and economic disadvantages, disparities may also be related to sexual orientation, religion, gender, native language, age, and disability status. Whether pursuing personal interests or strengthening their career toolbox, students in the health equity certificate program will learn to...

  1. identify and critically discuss a problem in minority health/health disparities using state-of-the-art literature,
  2. access the historical or ongoing determinants of an identified health equity issue using quantitative and/or qualitative methods,
  3. design and/or evaluate an intervention to address an identified health equity issue, as part of a multidisciplinary team, and
  4. evaluate the impact or potential impact of policy measures on overall health, health care access, and quality of care for populations experiencing health disparities.

Academic Requirements

Prior to entering the certificate program, students from each affiliated department must fulfill a series of prerequisites that provide a foundation in health care financing, organization, and reimbursement, as well as basic engineering principles. Once these are fulfilled, students will take a series of core methods and projects courses, coupled with practical, hands-on project experiences in health care organizations.

Required prerequisite courses
  • IE 2000 Fundamental of Industrial Engineering
  • IE 2001 Operations Research
  • IE 2005 Probability and Statistics
  • BIOST 2041 Introduction to Statistical Methods I
  • BIOST 2042 Introduction to Statistical Methods II
  • HPM 2105 Introduction to the U.S. Health Care Delivery System I
  • HPM 2106 Health Systems Leadership and Professional Development II
  • PUBHLT 2033 Foundations in Public Health
Required courses
  • IE 2101 Lean/ Six Sigma
  • IE 2076 Total Quality Management
  • HPM 2017 Quantitative Methods in Health Care
  • HPM 2207 Quality Assessment
  • HPM 2220 Cost Effectiveness Analysis
Other requirements
  • One elective in HPM or IE
  • Seminar
  • Capstone project


Requirements for admission to the certificate program are identical those for the MS in industrial engineering or the MHA. MHA applicants can also apply for the certificate through the online centralized application service, SOPHAS. Students already enrolled at Pitt Public Health may apply by contacting the Office of Student Affairs at stuaff@pitt.edu. Students already enrolled in the Department of Industrial Engineering should contact the graduate program administrator at gradie@pitt.edu.

Certificate admission may be initiated at any time after the applicant has been admitted to either the MHA or the MS program. HPM students must complete a brief application for the IE department available here.

How to Apply...

Admissions decisions are made by the program directors in both the Department of Health Policy & Management and the Department of Industrial Engineering.

Staff Contact
Jessica Dornin

Faculty Contact
Wesley Rohrer, PhD

This program is managed by the Department of Health Policy and Management.

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Academic Requirements

The 15-credit certificate comprises 10 credits of required courses and five credits of approved electives.

Required courses
  • BCHS 2524 Overview of Health Equity
  • BCHS 2526 Health Equity Research: Methods and Interventions*
  • BCHS 2528 Integrative Seminar in Health Equity
  • BCHS 2554 Introduction to Community Health
    * Students enrolled in the certificate are encouraged to substitute a methods course in their own discipline to satisfy this required course.


Created to complement students’ primary graduate degree curriculum at Pitt Public Health, the Graduate Certificate in Health Equity is also open to Pitt graduate students in other fields (medicine, nursing, social work, public policy, etc.), and to others interested in health equity. Applicants must submit a statement explaining how they would apply the experience gained in the certificate to their career and to the field of health equity. Applications are reviewed by the certificate program admissions committee.

How to Apply...

Staff Contact
Paul Markgraf

Faculty Contact
Tiffany L. Gary-Webb, PhD

This program is managed by the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and the Center for Health Equity.

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Health Systems Leadership Management

Individuals who are on a career path to become a leader of a health care organization will benefit from having focused training that enhances their competencies in the domains of transformation, execution, and interpersonal skills. Students enrolled in this certificate program will complete foundational coursework in healthcare finance, health policy analysis, quality assessment, and the strategic management of healthcare organizations. As an integrative experience, each certificate student will engage in an applied research project with a team of faculty who will support the student during the conceptualization, design, analysis, and interpretation of results. The certificate prepares students for employment in roles such as medical director, quality officer, and department chief.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals’ Health and Wellness

LGBT health and wellness focuses on a public health perspective on social, cultural, and individual factors that influence the health and well-being of LGBT communities. There are conceptual and practical skills necessary to identify, analyze, and address health issues of the LGBT communities. These skills include the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs to improve health levels among LGBT populations as well as the conduct of intervention research, epidemiological research, and policy analysis to enhance the health and well-being of individuals related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity/presentation. This 15-credit certificate program offers students an opportunity to learn from and work with leading faculty and researchers in the field of LGBT health.

Students in this certificate program will be able to...

  1. identify principal health disparities among LGBT populations to justify proposed possible public health interventions to address disparities,
  2. apply specific theory as guides in designing research or programmatic activities to address disparities that exist among LGBT populations,
  3. demonstrate understanding of health and wellness policies that affect LGBT populations, such as: demonstrating how provision of health and wellness services to LGBT populations results in overall lower health care costs in a larger community; demonstrating an understanding of efficacy and effectiveness data guide policy decisions; understanding the process of effecting change or influencing policy decision making, etc.,
  4. demonstrate knowledge and skills needed to develop a fund-able grant application addressing specific research methods required for studies involving LGB and/or T populations (such as approaches to select appropriate samples for research questions involving LGBT individuals; measures and methods of data collection tailored for LGBT populations and unique sub populations; and an understanding of strengths and weaknesses of various means of data collection, such as: chart review, self-administered written questionnaires, interview administered questionnaires, computer assisted questionnaires, and online/web-based questionnaires, telephone interviewing, applying ethical principles to LGBT health related research and intervention programs with a specific focus on recruitment and confidentiality of disparate sub-populations and responsibility to the community as regards sharing of data with community for future program planning), and
  5. apply ethical principles to LGBT health related research and intervention programs with a specific focus on recruitment and confidentiality of disparate sub-populations and responsibility to the community as regards sharing of data with community for future program planning.

Students will also be familiar with basic public health knowledge in areas other than their own specialty and know how to access resources and information in these content areas:

  • surveillance and epidemiology
  • communication
  • psychosocial effects of discrimination
  • information technology
  • individual and family support services

Academic Requirements

Required courses
  • HPM 2012 Financial Management Foundation Health Care and Public Health or HPM 2014 Applications and Issues in Financial Management of Health Care Institutions
  • HPM 2001 Health Policy and Management in Public Health or HPM 2064 Health Policy Analysis
  • HPM 2207 Quality Assessment or HPM 2017 Quantitative Methods
  • HPM 2150 Strategic Management
  • HPM 2700 Seminar in Health Systems Leadership
  • HPM 2275 Applied Project


Applicants must submit a brief statement addressing interest in health systems leadership and management, previous experience, areas of interest, and the relation of the certificate to career goals.

The admission requirements for applicants are based on completion of at least an advanced health care provider degree (e.g., MD, RN, PharmD, PT, OT), job experience and career plans.

Applications are reviewed by the Department of Health Policy and Management's admissions committee. Admissions decisions are made by the program director.
How to Apply...

Staff Contact
Jessica Dornin

Faculty Contact
Mark Roberts, MD

This program is managed by the Department of Health Policy and Management.

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Academic Requirements

The certificate program is designed for post-baccalaureate and graduate students who have an interest in LGBT communities and are seeking to develop skills necessary to effectively address health issues of the LGBT communities. Core course work topics include historical development of LGBT health focus area, a systems overview of conditions of greater prevalence among LGBT populations, review of theories of personal and community based health interventions, cultural competency skill development related to LGBT health care delivery, and development of critical thinking skills. Members of the Center of LGBT Health Research provide multidisciplinary and collaborative opportunities within the academic medical center and the local community. Faculty members also work collaboratively with faculty at other universities and leaders in LGBT healthcare across the nation, which can provide additional research and learning opportunities for students.

Required Courses

  • PUBHLT 2018 Overview of LGBT Health Disparities (2 credits, offered each fall term)
  • BCHS 3503 Prevention Science: Translating Knowledge to Practice (3 credits)
  • PUBHLT 2020 Advanced Topics in LGBT Research (3 credits, offered each spring term)

A minimum of seven credits in elective courses must be completed. Approved electives are listed below. Other electives may be taken with the approval of one of the certificate directors.

  • BCHS 2520 Theories of Health Behavior and Health Education
  • BCHS 2522 Public Health Program Planning
  • BCHS 2525 Introduction to Applied Research
  • BCHS 2558 Health Program Evaluation
  • BCHS 3002 Health Survey Methods
  • BCHS 2598/BIOST 2030 Social Inequalities in Health
  • EPIDEM 2160 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
  • EPIDEM 2173 Culture and Diversity in Epidemiological Research
  • EPIDEM 2400 Behavioral Factors in Disease
  • EPIDEM 2710 Epidemiology of Women's Health
  • HPM 2002 Law and the Public's Health
  • HPM 2010 Organization Studies: Theory/ Applications in Health Care
  • HPM 2135 Health Policy
  • HPM 2142 Managing Health of Populations
  • IDM 2008 Public Health Education Methods
  • IDM 2032 Human Diversity and Public Health
  • IDM 2034 Control and Prevention of HIV/AIDS, STDs
  • IDM 2161 Methods Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • PUBHLT 2019 Directed Study/Thesis Project on LGBT Public Health Issues (Advisor must be selected when registering for course)

Completion of a written thesis or project related to LGBT health and wellness and oral presentation of the thesis or project for peers and members of the Center for LGBT Health Research or at approved scientific meeting.


Post-baccalaureate or graduate students may apply for the program, including currently matriculated students, non-degree post-baccalaureate students who may take the certificate for academic credit (for example, public health professionals with degrees in other fields), and students from other graduate programs at the University.

The program has admissions standards equivalent to those for a master's degree at Pitt Public Health. Matriculated students must meet all departmental and school wide requirements for admission.

Applications are reviewed throughout the year. If the committee recommends admission and the assistant dean approves, the applicant receives an official letter of the offer of admission. Applicants denied admission receive a letter from the program directors with suggestions to improve qualifications should they choose to reapply.

How to Apply...

Staff Contact
Paul Markgraf

Faculty Contact
James Egan, PhD

This program is supported by the Departments of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Epidemiology, and Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and is managed by the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences.

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Public Health Genetics

Advances in genetics are occurring at a pace that challenges our collective ability to respond to the many social, legal, ethical, and public health policy implications generated by this revolution of knowledge. Consequently, there is a compelling need to prepare future public health professionals in the biology, technology, applications, responsibilities, and issues of genetics information, which will play an increasing role in our understanding of health and disease. All areas of public health can be improved and expanded by examining the role of genetics in public health issues.

The purpose of the Certificate in Public Health Genetics is to provide graduates with a basic grounding in public health genetics that will enable them to function as public health professionals at the cutting edge of this important new area. Students enrolled in this certificate program are trained to incorporate knowledge of how genes, together with the environment and behavior, influence health and apply this insight into their area of practice or research. Students will be able to...
  1. demonstrate basic knowledge of the role that genetics plays in the development of disease
  2. identify the limits of his/her genetic expertise
  3. identify ethical and medical limitations to genetic testing, including uses that don't benefit the individual
  4. identify the role of cultural, social, behavioral, environmental, and genetic actors in the development and prevention of genetic-related diseases

Academic Requirements

The curriculum consists of 15 credits, of which at least 12 must be traditional classroom courses. The remaining three credits can be seminar, project, or practicum work, as described below.

Required Course

HUGEN 2049 3 credits Introduction to Public Health Genetics

At least six credits from the following five courses are required to achieve competency in the basic science of genetics:

HUGEN 2010 1 credit Bioinformatic Resources for Geneticists
HUGEN 2022 2 credits Human Population Genetics
HUGEN 2031 3 credits Chromosomes and Human Disease
HUGEN 2034 3 credits Biochemical and Molecular Genetics of Complex Disease
HUGEN 2040 3 credits Molecular Basis of Human Inherited Disease

A maximum of three credits may come from the following courses:

HUGEN 2052 1 credit  Ethical Issues in Clinical and Public Health Genetics
HUGEN 2050 1-3 credits Human Genetics Journal Club and Peer Review
HUGEN 2047 1 credit Clinical Genetics Case Conference

Additional courses permitted for the certificate include the following:

  • All other Human Genetics courses
  • EPIDEM 2601, 2 credits, Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory
  • BCHS 2572, 3 credits, Risk Communication

In addition, all students receiving the certificate must give a presentation in a public health genetics course.

Other courses may be permitted, but must be pre-approved by the director of the MPH in the Department of Human Genetics.

Students enrolled in Human Genetics degree programs other than the MPH in Public Health Genetics may receive the certificate, with the stipulation that the certificate curriculum must include at least six credits of coursework that is not part of the coursework for their degree and three credits of project or practicum work. The requirements for current Human Genetics students include...

  • Six additional credits of coursework not already required by the student's degree program
    Three of these credits must be HUGEN 2049: Introduction to Public Health Genetics and the additional three can come from the approved list of additional courses above or otherwise must be approved by the director of graduate studies for the Department of Human Genetics.
  • Three credits of a project or practicum work
    A paper (10 double-spaced page minimum, plus references) describing the project or practicum is required to receive a grade for these credit hours. Writing guidelines will be provided.
  • Students must give a presentation in a public health genetics course on a topic decided by the course instructor.


The program is open to currently matriculated Pitt Public Health students and also to non-degree students who hold at least a bachelor’s degree. The standards for admission are the same as those for the MPH, i.e. an adequate background in mathematics, biology, and social science to successfully complete the required coursework for the certificate. Applicants who are not enrolled in degree programs in Pitt Public Health must demonstrate prior public health experience in the form of academic work or appropriate job experience. In addition, applicants must demonstrate prior public health experience in the form of academic work or appropriate job experience.

Admissions decisions for the certificate program will be made by the Human Genetics MPH admissions committee.
How to Apply...

Staff Contact
Noel Harrie

Faculty Contact
Candace M. Kammerer, PhD

This program is managed by the Department of Human Genetics.

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