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Public Health, Professional Certificate

Online Public Health Graduate Certificate at UNMC. Education to improve the public's health.

Program Description

This online public health professional certificate program provides coursework at the graduate level. The program is designed to serve students seeking to fill the demand in the public health field and advance their careers.

The format of the online public health program allows flexibility for students who are practicing professionals and wish to attain a professional credential, students who aren't sure whether or not to pursue a master's degree, and non-traditional students who have other academic credentials but need formal education in public health.

The curriculum gives students the skills and knowledge needed for careers in public health.

This professional certificate is designed to meet the needs of those who currently work in public health as well as those who wish to embark on a career in public health.

Students who have successfully completed the professional certificate in Public Health program may be able to apply their coursework to a Master of Public Health degree.

Emphasis in the program is placed on learning in the areas of:

  • Health Behavior
  • Environmental Health
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Administration
  • Global Health

Certified Public Health Exam

This program includes the core courses needed for students to be eligible to sit for the Certified Public Health (CPH) exam. Students may need to meet other CPH eligibility requirements to sit for the exam.

Special Accreditation

Council on Education for Public Health accreditation logoIn addition to the Higher Learning Commission accreditation carried by all University of Nebraska campuses, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health is also accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes CEPH as the accrediting body for schools and programs of public health. 


Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Students may be required to write papers, complete projects, conduct research, and communicate with professors. Students may work independently on assignments and with coworkers on group projects, do case presentations, take quizzes and exams, just as students on campus are required to do.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$560.00$25.00$30.00$4.00$619.00
3 credit hour$1,680.00$75.00$90.00$12.00$1,857.00


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$560.00$25.00$30.00$4.00$619.00
3 credit hour$1,680.00$75.00$90.00$12.00$1,857.00

Note: The per credit hour 'technology fee' is referred to as a 'Distributive Learning fee' by the UNMC College of Public Health. In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $150.00 COPH Technology Fee each semester they enroll in courses. Students are also required to complete a background check. The fee for the background check is $35.00.

Students in this online public health program will complete 18 credit hours of graduate-level coursework.

The program focuses on providing a strong foundation in the five key domains of public health: health administration, health behavior, environmental health, epidemiology and biostatistics.

The plan of study consists of the following courses:

  • CPH 501 Health Behavior
  • CPH 502 Health Services Administration
  • CPH 503 Public Health Environment and Society
  • CPH 504 Epidemiology in Public Health
  • CPH 506 Biostatistics I 

Plus a choice of one of the following courses:

  • CPH 500 Foundations of Public Health, OR
  • CPH 507 Global Applications in Public Health
Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

Foundations of Public Health

CPH 500
This is an introductory survey course, which will ensure that all public health students, within their first full year of study, are exposed to the fundamental concepts and theories that provide the basis for the body of knowledge in the field of public health. This course will prepare students to work in public health with a sound theoretical, conceptual, and historical basis for their work.

Health Behavior

CPH 501
The purpose of this course is to study the theoretical foundations of health behavior. Students will develop an understanding of the determinants of health behavior, the models and theories that provide a framework for predicting health behavior, and the strategies employed to bring about behavioral changes for health and disease prevention in individuals and groups.

Health Services Administration

CPH 502
This is a survey course designed to be an introduction to the management of health services organizations and systems in the United States. Specifically, this course will introduce students to the types of health services organizations and health systems in the United States, the context surrounding the administration of these organizations and delivery of health care services, and the skills needed to manage a health services organization within this setting.

Public Health Environment and Society

CPH 503
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to environmental factors, including biological, physical, and chemical factors, which affect the health of a community. The main focus of the course will be the effects of exposures that have been associated with human health and environmental problems in the Midwest, specifically water and air pollutants related to animal feeding operations, arsenic in ground water, pesticides, herbicides, lead, and radiation. The effects of global warming, ergonomic problems in the meat packing industry, and occupational and environmental problems in health care will also be discussed.

Epidemiology in Public Health

CPH 504
The objective of the course is to understand the application of survey and research methodology in epidemiology, especially in the community setting. Theoretical aspects will be taught as an integral part of understanding the techniques of study design and community survey. Concepts to be covered include measure of disease occurrence, measures of disease risk, study design, assessment of alternative explanations for data-based findings, and methods of testing or limiting alternatives. Students will be expected to address an epidemiological question of interest to them, first developing the hypothesis and conducting a literature search, then developing a study design and writing, in several stages, a brief proposal for the study.

Biostatistics I

CPH 506

Prerequisite: Undergraduate or graduate statistics course or permission of instructor.

This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to understand and apply biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. The major topics to be covered include types of data, descriptive statistics and plots, theoretical distributions, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and one-way analysis of variance. A brief introduction to correlation and univariate linear regression will also be given. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in the design and analysis of biomedical or public health studies.

Elective Courses

Global Applications in Public Health

CPH 507

Prerequisites: Instructor permission is required.

The course provides a survey of the field of global health, including health conditions, resources, and programs. The course deals with the application of the principles of public health to health problems of countries around the world, and global forces that affect health. Topics covered include global health policy, including tobacco control policies, comparative health systems, climate change, and environmental health; the global impact of infectious and chronic diseases; infant mortality; women’s health; cultural issues in global health; global occupational health issues; and human rights and ethics in global health. The course is intended for graduate students in public health, health professionals and health professions students who seek an understanding of global public health issues.

University of Nebraska online programs have the same quality instructional faculty as on campus; individuals from a variety of backgrounds, who embody the combined qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience.


Chandran Achutan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Leslie Elliott, MPH, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Shawn Gibbs, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Terry T-K Huang, Ph.D., MPH, Professor and Chair

Michael McCaskill, Assitant Professor

Preethy Nayar, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professsor

Risto Rautianinen, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Kendra Schmid, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Nizar Wehbi, MD, MPH, MBA, Assistant Professor


Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in this program the student must:


  1. Provide official transcripts reflecting an earned bachelor’s degree, with a 3.0 or higher grade point average for the last 60 undergraduate or the last 18 graduate/post-baccalaureate credit hours completed.
  2. Present official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores if primary language is not English or undergraduate degree is from a college or university outside of the United States.


Application Checklist

  1. Complete an online application for admission and submit your $75.00 non-refundable application fee
    • Select "Certificate in Public Health" as your program on the application
  2. Complete the UNMC College of Public Health Application Packet
    • CoPH Application Cover Sheet
    • Official transcripts
    • Two letters of reference

Download the UNMC Certificate of Public Health application instructions > >

Application Deadlines

All materials must be received by the application deadline to be considered for admission.

Fall Semester July 1
Spring Semester  November 1 



Online Worldwide Educational Representative

Program Contact
Phone: 402.552.9867


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