Certificate in Public Health Surveillance and Preparedness

The School of Public Health’s  Certificate in Public Health Surveillance and Preparedness program offers formal training in public health preparedness with a focus on bioterrorism and infectious disease from a public health perspective. The certificate also provides students with a basic knowledge of the Incident Command System (ICS) processes, preparing students to work productively as a member of health emergency response team. The certificate is offered in a fully online format,  which enables the Certificate to build upon the School of Public Health’s goals of providing public health education to working professionals and upgrading the skills of the public health workforce. The Certificate’s close association with the Center for Public Health Preparedness provides access to a rich database of training and education resources for both students and faculty.

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 15 credit hours, comprised of 5 specialized courses*

  • 6 credits of  MPH core, which may be applied towards the masters program
  • 9 credits specialized credits

*Course waivers can be obtained only through prior approval and there is a transfer credit limit of one course (3 credits). To obtain the degree, each student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and file an application for Certificate completion within four years of admission.

**Students who are enrolled in a School of Public Health degree program and who would like to pursue the Certificate degree can do so if they fulfill the above-mentioned requirements for degree completion.

***Non-matriculated students can take a maximum of two Certificate courses before being admitted into the Certificate.

Course Descriptions

EPI 500 Basic Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (3 credits) OR EPI 501 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (3 credits)
EPI 500: Introduction to epidemiology for students majoring in any aspect of public health other than epidemiology; covers the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigations 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 rates.  Other topics include bias, confounding, causality, ethics, and screening.
EPI 501: 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 rates.

EPI 605 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3 credits) OR EPI 625 Zoonosis (3 credits)
EPI 605: This course reviews infectious disease principles and the use of epidemiologic methods in the assessment of selected communicable diseases of national and international importance. Emphasis will also be given to methods of transmission, the role of surveillance, and methods of control and prevention. Specific disease examples to be covered will include: tuberculosis, legionellosis, measles, Lyme disease, and syphilis with examples of nosocomial, foodborne, and enteric infections. Case studies and literature examples will be used extensively to give students an appreciation for the application of epidemiologic principles to this field. Prerequisites: None, but previous courses in biology and introductory epidemiology would be useful (check with faculty if in doubt).
EPI 625: An overview of zoonotic infectious diseases (those diseases in common between animals and humans); including rabies, potential bioterrorist agents (anthrax, plague, Q fever, tularemia), newly emerging diseases (West Nile virus, leishmaniasis, vCJD), vector-borne diseases (lyme disease), and diseases with zoonotic potential (foot and mouth disease, chronic wasting disease); addressing the epidemiologic, field, and laboratory methods of investigation; and assessment of surveillance, prevention, control and treatment including relative cost/benefit of various approaches.

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. Prerequisite: College level biology course or permission of instructor.

SPH 539 Topics in Public Health Preparedness (3 credits): This course provides an overview on a variety of public health topics with a focus on skill and knowledge building in the area of public health preparedness.

SPH 589 Emergency Preparedness: The Public Health Perspective (3 credits): Preparedness planning has been an essential but often overlooked aspect of public health. Events of this decade have clarified the need for preparedness training around issues such as bioterrorism and have emphasized a new role for public health workers in community response activities. This course will serve as an introduction to the knowledge, skills and competencies needed by public health staff in being prepared for these new concerns. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor or EPI 501 and EHS 590.