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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Public Health

Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Dr. Wenke Hwang, Lead Certificate Chair and Professor in Charge
Penn State College of Medicine
Department of Public Health Sciences
Telephone: 717-531-7070


The purpose of the graduate certificate in Public Health is to provide students with foundational graduate-level course work in public health. The four-course, 12-credit curriculum can be completed in two semesters. All course work will be at the 500 or 800 level. Certificate course work may be transferable to the Penn State Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate degree program should a student wish to continue public health training at the graduate level. Upon completion of the Public Health certificate, students will be able to: 1. Demonstrate their knowledge in core areas of public health, which include biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences. 2. Apply their knowledge and skills to solving public health problems.

Entrance Requirements:

Applicants must apply for admission to the certificate program via the Graduate School application for admission. Admission requirements are stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. International applicants must satisfy the English proficiency requirement. Applicants must submit the following items with their applicant for admission to the Public Health certificate program:

Upon approval, certificate program students will enroll in course work on a nondegree basis. Note that admission as a nondegree graduate student neither guarantees nor implies subsequent admission to a degree program. Nondegree students are not eligible to receive fellowships or graduate assistantships. Students must complete each course with a grade of B or better in order to receive the certificate. All courses in the certificate program may be applied to the M.P.H. degree program. Students must earn a grade of B or better for a course to be applied to the M.P.H. degree program. Certificate program students who wish to have the certificate courses applied to the M.P.H. degree program must formally apply and be admitted to the Penn State M.P.H. degree program. Admission into the Penn State M.P.H. degree program is a separate step and is not guaranteed. Students who are interested in the Penn State M.P.H. degree program should contact the program at 717-531-1502 or, or visit Once a certificate program student is admitted to the Penn State M.P.H. degree program and enrolls on a degree basis, certificate courses completed with a B or better may be applied toward the M.P.H. degree. 

PHS 504(3), PHS 520(3), PHS 550(3), PHS 571(3)

Effective Semester: Spring 2018 
Expiration Semester: Spring 2023


Last Revised by the Department: Spring 2018


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