Certificate in Public Health Fundamentals and Principles

The University at Albany School of Public Health offers a fully online Certificate program in Public Health Fundamentals and Principles (CPH-FP). The Certificate is aimed at preparing students for the continuously changing challenges in public health and can be used as a first look at public health or to further enhance one's understanding of the complexities of the field. Previous public health experience is not required, although many students in the program may be working in public health settings.. Building upon the School’s relationship with the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and local health departments, the program acknowledges the emerging need for creative educational modalities in health. 

Program Overview

  • Fully online coursework, no in-person class requirements
  • Part-time study
  • Coursework offered year-round (spring, summer, and fall semesters)
  • Multi-disciplinary, competency-based coursework
  • Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health

The program includes 18 credit hours, comprised of the 6 core courses from the MPH program.*  Students may transfer a maximum of one course (3 credits) completed outside the School of Public Health toward the certificate.  Students must submit the Request for Transfer of Credit to a Masters Degree or Graduate Certificate Program form to receive approval. 

Each student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and submit an application for certificate completion within four years of admission to obtain the certificate.

*Students who have completed the certificate may apply these courses to a higher degree at the School as long as they have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher while pursuing the Certificate; have completed the courses within five years of application to the higher degree program; have fulfilled the admission requirements of the desired degree program; and the courses are relevant to the desired degree program. All of the courses required for the Certificate in Public Health Fundamentals and Principles are transferrable to the MPH program.

Course Descriptions

EPI 500 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology 1 (3 credits)
Introduction to epidemiology for students majoring in any aspect of public health; covers the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation, including describing the patterns of illness in populations and research designs for investigating the etiology of disease.  Introduces quantitative measures to determine risk, association and procedures for standardization of rate.

EPI 503 Principles of Public Health (3 credits)
This course introduces the students to the basic principles of public health and their application to the development of activities that benefit the health status of populations.  The skills of epidemiology, biostatistics, health care planning and policy development, health care administration, and community organization are applied to the assessment of public health needs and the development of prevention and control initiatives.

EPI 551 Principles of Statistical Inference I (3 credits)
An introduction to the descriptive statistics, measures of central tendency and variability, probability distributions, sampling estimation, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing.  Computing will be introduced and used throughout the course.

HPM 500 Health Care Organization, Delivery and Financing (3 credits)
Introduction to healthcare policy and services; arrangements for organizing, delivering, paying for, and financing health care are examined with attention to their rationale, implementation, and effectiveness. Government interventions to ensure access, cost containment and quality are assessed and policy alternatives are considered.

HPM 525 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the role of social, cultural, psychological, and behavioral factors in determining the health of populations.  Students will gain understanding of the significance of social, cultural, psychological and behavioral factors in relation to health status and well-being; learn to analyze public health problems in terms of the social, psychological, cultural, economic, and demographic factors that contribute to or protect from vulnerability to disease, disability and death; and improve their ability to apply social science theory, research, and principles to the critical analysis of the appropriateness of public health interventions.

EHS 590 Introduction to Environmental Health (3 credits)
Basic concepts of the modes of transmission of environmental stressors from source or reservoir to host and methods of reducing their impact on human population; basic concepts, methods and premises of environmental risk management.

Tuition Assistance

Students who are registered for a minimum of 6 credits can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), listing the University at Albany code 002835, to apply for aid.  The Office of Financial Aid will only send financial aid award notices to students who have been accepted for admission and who are registered for 6 or more credits. 

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid directly at 518-442-3202 with questions regarding eligibility or how to accept the award.

PHLOT (Public Health Leaders of Tomorrow)   

Limited funding for tuition assistance is available to local county health department and New York State Department of Health employees enrolled in the Certificate in Public Health Fundamentals and Principles only through the Public Health Management Leaders of Tomorrow (PHLOT) program. Students must submit a Tuition Request Form, proof of employment and documentation of reimbursement first pursued through their employers to be considered.