In about the same time it takes to earn your degree, earn an additional cutting-edge certificate. 

We offer nine unique certificates that allow you to enhance your degrees and increase your job opportunities. Degree-seeking students can earn the certificates through concurrent enrollment, often without adding any additional time to their program.

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

Minimize Community-Based Participatory Research and Practice

Learn to conduct research focused on the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of specific populations and use community understanding of health problems to tailor interventions and education to those communities. 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 including faculty of the Center for LGBT Health Research.

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

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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

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New student crowd at 2015 Orientation