Pitt Public Health
Certificates

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

At Pitt Public Health, we offer 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. The certificate programs are also open to public health professionals already working in the field as 15-credit stand-alone graduate certificates.

All applicants must adhere to school-wide admission requirements, and must apply through SOPHAS if not already enrolled as a Pitt Public Health 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.

Admissions

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

Jennifer Jones, MPH
jrj25@pitt.edu

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.

Curriculum

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
Electives:
  • 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.

Admissions

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

Penny Weiss
412-383-7297
pweiss@pitt.edu

Faculty Contact

James Peterson, PhD
jimmyp@pitt.edu

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 6 credit (approximately 400 hours) applied evaluation internship experience under the supervision of the certificate program director 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 must choose one of the following courses:
  • BCHS 2561 Demographic Techniques
  • BCHS 3002 Health Survey Methods
  • BCHS 3007 Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods
  • BCHS 3055 Community Development and Focus Groups, Preparation, Facilitation, and Application
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

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

Miriam Fagan
412-624-3107
mpfagan@pitt.edu

Faculty Contacts

Edmund M. Ricci, PhD
emricci@pitt.edu

Beth Nolan, PhD
nolanbeth@gmail.com

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 global health problems. Through the completion of the certificate, students are well able to navigate the field and ready to pursue their goals in global health.

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. There is an exception to this rule for students who are enrolled in the Peace Corps Master’s International track. Students in these three programs are permitted to have overlap for PUBHLT 2025 only.

Required courses
  • PUBHLT 2025 Concepts and Methods in Global Health (2 credits)
  • PUBHLT 2024 Global Health Seminar (1 credit)
  • 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)
Co-curriculars
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 Program Requirements

Admissions

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...

Staff Contact

Alexandra Tambellini
412-624-6904
amt88@pitt.edu

Faculty Contact

Joanne Russell, MPPM
joanner@pitt.edu

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.

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 Health and Medical Care Organization
  • PUBHLT 2014 Public Health Overview
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

Admissions

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
412-624-3625
jld115@pitt.edu

Faculty Contact

Wesley Rohrer
wmrun@pitt.edu

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

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Health Equity

This innovative certificate addresses the systemic root causes of health disparities, focusing specifically on racial and ethnic health disparities. The certificate trains students to assess the complexity of these problems among groups as diverse as African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Alaskan Natives. The program provides students with an academic foundation for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities through conducting community based interventions, mobilizing communities where disparities exist, advocating for healthy public policy and for culturally tailoring interventions that are appropriate to each specific population.

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

Admissions

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

Miriam Fagan 412-624-3107
mpfagan@pitt.edu

Faculty Contact

Patricia Documet, MD, DrPH
pdocumet@pitt.edu

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.

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 2135 Health Policy 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 xxxx Applied Project

Admissions

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
412-624-3625
jld115@pitt.edu

Faculty Contact

Mark Roberts, MD, MPP
mroberts@pitt.edu

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

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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.

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
  • PUBHLT 2019 Public Health Special Studies
  • PUBHLT 2020 Advanced Topics in LGBT Research
  • PUBHLT 2021 LGBT Program Development and Evaluation
Electives (5 credits required):
Courses selected in consultation with certificate director/advisor.

Thesis/Research
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 Research on Health and Sexual Orientation.

Admissions

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

Miriam Fagan
412-624-3107
mpfagan@pitt.edu

Faculty Contacts

Nina Markovic, PhD
ninam@pitt.edu

Ron Stall, PhD
rstall@pitt.edu

Anthony Silvestre, PhD
tonys@pitt.edu

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

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 Public Health Genetics
At least two of the following four courses are required to achieve competency in the basic science of genetics:
  • HUGEN 2022 Human Population Genetics  
  • HUGEN 2031 Chromosomes and Human Diseases
  • HUGEN 2034 Introduction to Human Biochemical and Molecular Genetics  
  • HUGEN 2040 Molecular Genetics of Human Inherited Disease 
A maximum of 3 credits may come from the following courses:
  • HUGEN 2026 Special Studies in Human Genetics - Practicum (1-3 credits)
  • HUGEN 2027 Human Genetics Journal Club (1 credit) (may be taken more than once)
  • HUGEN 2047 Clinical Genetics Case Conference (1 credit) (may be taken more than once)
All students receiving the certificate must give one presentation at the Human Genetics Journal Club, regardless of whether they register for the journal club course for credit.

Other courses must be approved by the director of graduate studies for 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. These six credits will consist of the Public Health Genetics course and at least 3 additional credits of work that is specifically focused on ethics or public health genetics (as opposed to the basic science of genetics), such as a practicum, a biomedical ethics course, or the Clinical Genetics Case Conference course.

Competencies

Graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the role that genetics plays in the development of disease
  • Identify the limits of his/her genetic expertise and make appropriate referrals to those with more genetic expertise
  • Identify interactions among genes, environmental factors, and behaviors and their effects on public health
  • Evaluate how genetic principles/technologies apply to diagnosis, screening, and interventions for disease prevention and health promotion programs, and how they intersect with other public health disciplines.

Admissions

The standards for admission are essentially equivalent to those for the MPH, i.e. an adequate background in mathematics, biology, and social science to successfully complete the required coursework for the certificate. 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
412-624-3066
nce1@pitt.edu

Faculty Contact

Candace M. Kammerer, PhD
cmk3@pitt.edu

This program is managed by the Department of Human Genetics.

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