About the Graduate Certificate in Population Health

The Graduate Certificate in Population Health provides a valuable credential for those seeking to join the public health workforce or expand current knowledge and skills. It’s also the perfect introduction to further study in Public Health, as all credits can be applied to the Master of Public Health (MPH) program. The certificate is a total of 12 credit hours and can be completed in a single year. Courses can be taken in any order.

Benefits of the Graduate Certificate:

There is a flexible admission schedule - begin your study in fall or spring. Choose classes that are offered in-person or fully-online, to suit your needs. Credits earned are transferrable into the MPH program.  

Courses offered in Spring

CPH 650 (Public Health Systems Administration) – 3 credit hours [This is the one and only required course]

This course introduces students to foundational concepts of health policy, the US health care and public health systems, and areas of management that are critical to the design, development and evaluation of health policy.

CPH 603 (Data Analysis) – 3 credit hours

This course covers topics relating to applications of biostatistics in public health. It provides a conceptual introduction to statistical methods commonly used in public health practice. Topics include data visualization, summary statistics, statistical testing, estimation, confounding, and an introduction to regression (linear, logistic, proportional hazards).

CPH 672 (Evidence Based Public Health) – 3 credit hours

This course provides the student with knowledge and skills in understanding and practicing evidence-based public health: applying scientific reasoning, systematic use of data and information systems, and appropriate public health theories to the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective programs and policies in public health. The course will emphasize online data, tools, and other resources that support the evidence-based decision making process.

Courses offered in Fall

CPH 605 (Epidemiology) – 3 credit hours

In this course students are taught the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigations, research methodology, and statistical integration. Major topics include etiologic factors of disease and injury, the distribution of health problems within populations, levels of prevention, and the concept of risk. The design of retrospective, cross-sectional, and prospective studies are examined to illustrate odds ratio, relative risk, life tables, and person-years.

CPH 621(Understanding & Communicating Environmental Health) – 3 credit hours

Public health practitioners and researchers require knowledge of how exposure to environmental and occupational contaminants can adversely affect the health of both current and future generations. Public health professionals also require skills to communicate clearly with multiple stakeholders about opportunities to assess, control, and/or prevent complex environmental health hazards. In this course, students will develop foundational environmental health concepts and build cultural competencies for effective stakeholder communication.

CPH 643 (Measuring Health Behavior) – 3 credit hours

This course focuses on measurement, the key component of research. Topics include types of measurement; units of measurement; theory and measurement; reliability and validity; survey development; how and where to find "good" measures of health behaviors; quantitative and qualitative approaches; and cultural considerations in measurement. The course relies upon the socioecological framework, acknowledging that health behaviors (as well as their determinants, consequences, and correlates) can and should be measured at all levels of society (e.g., individual, relational, community, and societal). The goal of the course is to train the student in how to measure health behaviors both responsibly and effectively.


All application materials specific to the Graduate Certificate in Population Health must be received at least one month before the start date of the semester that coursework begins.  As part of the application, applicants must upload the following:

  1. Transcripts. Note that official transcripts are required for undergraduate and graduate work from universities other than the University of Kentucky. A GPA of 3.0 is required for admission.
  2. Personal Statement.  Briefly describe (a) your reason(s) for interest in the Graduate Certificate in Population Health, (b) your career goals in relation to Population Health and (c) the specific topic in Population Health in which you are most interested and why.
  3. Resume. Include prior education and work experience.

No more than six hours previously completed at UK can be counted towards the total number of hours required to complete the Graduate Certificate in Population Health.

How to Apply

Students not currently enrolled in a graduate program at UK must apply for admission to both the UK Graduate School and the Graduate Certificate in Population Health program. Application deadlines, information, and forms for the UK Graduate School are found on the Graduate School website. Students already enrolled in a graduate degree program at UK may apply at any time. Requests to include previously completed courses should be made on the program application. No more than six hours previously completed at UK can be counted towards the total number of hours required to complete the Graduate Certificate in Population Health. All application materials specific to the Graduate Certificate in Population Health must be received at least one month before the start date of the semester that coursework begins.


Certificate Application