Students gain a foundation in the core principles of public health, including epidemiology, health systems, biostatistics, environmental health, and health behavior, in this online 15-credit program designed for working professionals.

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The post-baccalaureate Certificate in Principles of Public Health is a 15 credit, five-course online program that provides a foundation in the core principles of public health.  You do not have to take leave time from work and can complete the certificate program in as little as eight months.  You will benefit from the flexibility and accessibility of on-line courses that fit in with your personal and professional responsibilities.  Easy to use web-based technology enables you to learn in an engaging, interactive environment.  Intensive advising/mentoring enhances your learning experience and attainment of your career objectives. The Department of Health Services Administration administers this program.

For more information, visit the Department of Health Services Administration and the Office of Extended Studies for more complete details.


Competency Course

1. Identify the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations.
2. Identify basic theories, concepts and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.
3. Describe the merits of social and behavioral science interventions and policies.
4. Apply ethical principles to public health program planning, implementation and evaluation.
5. Specify multiple targets and levels of intervention for social and behavioral science programs and/or policies.

HLTH 665 Health Behavior I

6. Describe basic concepts of probability, random variation, and commonly used statistical probability distributions.
7. Describe and apply appropriate descriptive statistical methods for summarizing public health data.
8. Apply differential and inferential statistical methods that are appropriate to the different study designs used in public health research.
9. Critically review and summarize statistical analyses presented in public health literature.
10. Draw appropriate inferences based on statistical analysis used in public health research.

EPIB 650 Biostatistics I

11. Explain the importance of epidemiology for informing scientific, ethical, economic, and political discussion of health issues.
12. Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place.
13. Apply the basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology.
14. Identify key sources of data for epidemiological purposes.
15. Calculate basic epidemiology measures.
16. Identify the principles and limitations of public health screening programs.
17. Evaluate strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports.
18. Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data.
19. Explain criteria for causality.

EPIB 610 Foundations of Epidemiology
20. Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing, and delivery of health services and public health system in the U.S. HLSA 601 Introduction to Health Systems

21. Specify approaches for assessing, preventing, and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.
22. Describe the direct and indirect human, ecological and safety effects of major environmental and occupational hazards.
23. Describe genetic, physiologic, and psychosocial factors that affect susceptibility to adverse health outcomes following exposure to environmental hazards.
24. Explain the general mechanisms of toxicity in eliciting a toxic response to various environmental exposures.
25. Understand appropriate measures of environmental exposures.
26. Discuss ethical considerations of environmental health.
27. Demonstrate knowledge of major sources of data and information in the environment.

MIEH 600 Foundations of Environmental Health


The Certificate in Principles of Public Health is a 15 credit, five-course program.

  1. Foundations of Epidemiology (3 credits)
  2. Biostatistics (3 credits)
  3. Health Behavior  (3 credits)
  4. Introduction to Health Systems (3 credits)
  5. Foundations of Environmental Health (3 credits)

Credits for these courses can be transferred to the Master of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health Practice and Policy program at the University of Maryland if you should decide to apply and are accepted.

Certificate students are eligible to take the National Board of Public Health Examiners exam to become Certified in Public Health (CPH) after completing all the core principles of public health courses.