Certificate Program

The Certificate in Public Health Sciences

The Office of Graduate Medical Education and the Department of Public Health Sciences (DPHS) co-sponsor the Certificate in Public Health Sciences for Resident and Fellow Physicians.

Official University of Virginia Certificates are awarded upon completion of four graduate-level courses specifically designed for the program.  Certificate courses cover a wide range of topics including Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Management, Health Policy, and Patient Quality & Safety.

The certificate program is supported by the Health Sciences Center administration and provides the opportunity to attend special, intense two-week courses, such as Epidemiology and Biostatistics, which are taught by DPHS faculty.

The certificate courses are Public Health Sciences courses that are officially recorded on university transcripts, and these courses cover the same material as regular semester-long courses on the same topics. Attendance at all class sessions, therefore, is required. It is understood that residents and fellows will have no clinical responsibilities (including continuity clinic) during the two-week course period.

The academic credits earned can later be applied to the two graduate degree programs offered by the Department of Public Health Sciences: Master of Public Health and Master of Science in Clinical Research.

Certificate courses are offered during two-week special terms in July/August and in January of each year.  Required courses are “Fundamentals of Epidemiology” (July/August) and “Introduction to Biostatistics” (January).

Courses are generally taken in a sequence that begins in the summer and includes the following January term and subsequent summer term.  Other sequences are possible.  The fourth course should be completed in a summer term.

All residents and fellows who meet eligibility requirements (see below) may apply to take courses in the Certificate Program. Should the demand for courses exceed the funding available, a lottery system will be used to determine those eligible for enrollment.

Eligibility Requirements

There are several important eligibility requirements.

First, residents and fellows cannot register without the permission of their program directors. When program directors grant permission to take the courses, it is understood that residents and fellows will have no clinical responsibilities (including continuity clinic) during the two-week course period so that they can attend all class sessions.

The Medical Center will fund the in-state portion of tuition for those selected for enrollment.  In general, in-state residence status is granted to those who have been living in Virginia for at least 12 months, and in addition have either filed Virginia state income tax returns or possess a Virginia driver’s license. For a fuller description of in-state residency status, please visit http://www.virginia.edu/provost/vastatus/faq.html.  Should a trainee not meet those requirements, they can elect to pay the difference between the in-state and the out-of-state cost for those courses.

Finally, the initial step in registration is to complete the pre-registration form and send it electronically to Robin Goodwin in the GME office: rlg6j@virginia.edu. Once the GME Office has confirmed an applicant’s selection for enrollment, the student should contact Tracey Brookman, Academic Program Administrator for the Department of Public Health Sciences, to finalize official registration.

January 2017 Courses

In January of 2017, we offered the following courses:

January 3-13

  • Introduction to Biostatistics, 8AM – Noon
  • Special Topic:  Trans & Reg:  US FDA & Clin Sci 1:00-5:00PM

Summer 2017 Courses

In Summer 2017, we will offer the following courses:

July 3-14

  • Intro to Biostats   8:00am- Noon, Faculty: Beth Horton
  • LEAN   1:00-5:00pm, Faculty:  Wendy Novicoff

July 17-28

  • Fundamental of Epi    8:00am-Noon, Faculty: Jean Eby
  • Clinical Ethics, 1:00-5:00pm, Faculty: Mary Faith Marshall
  • Quality Management in Health Care Organizations, 1:00 – 5:00pm, Faculty: Armando Bolmey & R. Ed. Howell


For more information please contact:

Office of Graduate Medical Education
Office Location: Education Resource Center
1220 Lee Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 2401
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday
Phone: (434) 243-6297 Diane Farineau, Director
Fax: (434) 244-9438

Director of Master of Public Health Program
Department of Public Health Sciences
Tel: 434-924-3487
Email: rg3r@virginia.edu

Tracey Brookman
Academic Programs Administrator
Department of Public Health Sciences
Tel: 434-924-8646
Email: tlc5q@virginia.edu



R. Edward Howell, former Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, University of Virginia Medical Center (2nd from right) and Susan Kirk, MD, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education (far right) met with students to launch the Certificate Program.