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Department of Health Services Administration

Certificate in Principles Public Health

Advance Your Career Through Public Health Knowledge

Online Program.


Program Overview

The University of Maryland School of Public Health offers a post-baccalaureate Certificate in Principles of Public Health administered by the Department of Health Services Administration. This online 15 credit, five course program is designed to provide working professionals with a foundation in the core principles of public health including

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

The exceptional foundation in the Principles of Public Health will raise your career trajectory, increasing your:

  • Marketable expertise
  • Professional flexibility and mobility
  • Core public health competencies
  • Career advancement readiness

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.

Instruction is delivered by University of Maryland School of Public Health faculty and experts from prominent public health organizations. The University of Maryland School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Application is through SOPHAS. No GREs are required.


The Certificate provides you with a rigorous, multi-disciplinary foundation in the five core areas of public health. The curriculum has the same content, quality and high standards as the traditional on-site curriculum. These core courses enable you to advance your understanding of the science of public health. This curriculum reflects the broad range of knowledge and skill-based competencies germane to public health practice in the 21st century.

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.

1. Foundations of Epidemiology

Introduction to the discipline of epidemiology and its applications to health issues and practices. Basic epidemiologic concepts and methods will be covered. (3 credits)

2. Biostatistics

Basic statistical concepts and procedures for Public Health. Focuses on applications, hands-on-experience, and interpretations of statistical findings. (3 credits)

3. Health Behavior

The psychological, social psychological, and sociological theories of health behavior. The relation of health knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behavior to preventive, illness, sick-role, and health utilization behaviors. (3 credits)

4. Introduction to Health Systems

Management and leadership skills for effective public health planning, organization, management and administration. Emphasis is on the role of institutions in learning and behavioral change process, organizational theory, administration management, and coordinating provision of community health services. (3 credits)

5. Foundations of Environmental Health

Overview of the chemical, physical and biological hazards present in our living and working environment and their effects on human health. Topics include: exposure assessment, industrial hygiene and safety, pesticides, community and indoor pollution, food-borne diseases, solid and hazardous wastes, water resources, risk assessment, ecological issues and environmental laws. (3 credits)

Applying to the Certificate in Principles of Public Health

All applicants must apply through SOPHAS (, the Schools of Public Health Application Service. To meet a stated deadline, applicants must submit the completed SOPHAS application and the University of Maryland, College Park supplemental application, have all supporting documents received by SOPHAS, and pay the required application fees no later than 11:59pm Eastern Time on the stated date. Applications deadlines are March 15 for summer 2014 semester and May 1 for fall 2014 semester.

Applications must include:

  1. The SOPHAS application form
  2. Official transcripts from all academic institutions from which you earned credit
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Statement of Purpose and Objectives
  5. CV/Resume
Please note: GREs or similar tests are NOT required for this Certificate.

For More Information

For a personal consultation about your career plans and how the Certificate in Principles of Public Health can empower you to meet your goals, please contact:

Sharon P. Simson, PhD, MSHA
Research Professor and Certificate Program Director
Health Services Administration
University of Maryland School of Public Health
College Park, MD 2072 301-405-2469



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