Certificate of Public Health Sciences

Description of Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health is designed to provide students with core knowledge and skills in the design, conduct and interpretation of public health research. Students will learn to develop and implement research studies in areas such as chronic and infectious diseases, and behavioral science. Students will gain knowledge of methodological tools (e.g., R Programming, SAS), approaches (e.g., Lean, advanced biostatistical modeling), and applicable ethical and regulatory standards for public health research. Students will also gain a foundation in biostatistical software and analyses. Graduates will be able to conduct basic public health research and incorporate public health knowledge and training to improve practice in their primary field of expertise.

The primary audience is UVA health services research professionals, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals. The certificate program will be available to non-degree seeking students only. The certificate will be offered on a part-time basis only. Students enrolling in 6 credit hours per semester will complete the program in one year (two semesters). Students enrolling in 3 credit hours per semester will complete the program in two years (four semesters). All certificate course requirements must be completed within five years of matriculation in the certificate program.


All students must apply to the certificate program. The following admissions requirements will apply to all applicants:

  • Completion of online application form.
  • Health professional degree (e.g., BSN, Pharm D, MD, OT, PT) from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent.
  • Official undergraduate transcripts.
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience in current or closely related role.
  • Resume or CV; and
  • For residents and physicians currently in training, a letter of endorsement of their participation in the certificate program from their training program director.

Students who did not earn their undergraduate degree in the U.S. must submit proof of English proficiency. International students must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic exam meeting the following minimum requirements:

  • TOEFL minimum total score of 90 on computer-based portion; section minimums of 22 in speaking, 22 in writing, 23 in reading, and 23 in listening.
  • IELTS minimum score of 6.5 in each band.

Curriculum Requirements

The curriculum will provide specific background and education in key facets of public health research (e.g., study design, data analysis, human subject research). Students will learn methods for measuring population health and designing epidemiological studies. Core coursework will guide students through the selection and application of appropriate statistical analyses. Students will also develop the necessary knowledge and skills to interpret the finding of leading public health scholarship, tools, and models.

Program Requirements

PHS students meet at the Corner by UVA after class.

PHS students meet at the Corner by UVA after class. (Photo taken by Meghan Adams.)

Total Number of Credit Hours: 12 credit hours

Core Courses: 7 credit hours

  • PHS 7000 — Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • PHS 7010 — Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • PHS 7840 — Human Subjects Research: Methodology, Ethics, and Regulation (1 credit)

Research Methods: 3 credit hours
Students will select one course from the following list of courses:

  • PHS 7120 — Comparative Effectiveness and Clinical Outcomes (3 credits)
  • PHS 7310 — Clinical Trials Methodology (3 credits)
  • PHS 7365 — Lean for Healthcare (3 credits)

Restricted Electives: 2 credit hours
Students will select one course from the following list of courses:

  • PHS 7050 — Public Health Law, Ethics and Policy (2 credits)
  • PHS 7170 — SAS and Data Management in Population Health (2 credits)
  • PHS 7470 — Management and Quality in Healthcare Organizations (2 credits)
  • PHS 8960 — Independent Research (2 credits)

TO APPLY for the PHS Certificate Program: click here for Application Management

For more information please contact:

PHS students hold a meeting in UVA's Health Sciences Library.

UVA’s Health Sciences Library is a quiet place for a PHS group session. (Photo taken by Abby Sacks.)

Director of Admissions and Registrar
Department of Public Health Sciences
Tel: 434-924-8646