Public Health Certificate and Diploma Program Information

Public health certificate programs tend to be offered at the graduate level and are designed for those currently working in the healthcare profession, such as nurses, physicians, and veterinarians. Program curriculum aims to expand a student's knowledge of health policies, community education, and public health issues, including infectious diseases, environmental hazards, and access to quality healthcare.

Essential Information

Prospective public health workers may also consider enrolling in a graduate diploma program, which provides graduate-level specialization to individuals who have already completed a bachelor's degree. Successful graduates possess a high degree of professionalism, strong communication skills, leadership ability, and a sense of public service. These programs consist of just a few courses and may be available online.

  • Prerequisites: Master's degree; letter(s) of recommendation; work experience and/or internships may be considered.
  • Online Availability: Classes may be offered online.
  • Program Length: Variable, but relatively short.

Public Health Certification

Students in graduate-level certificate or diploma programs may delve into the complex attributes of good health, including the environmental, social, individual, and biological factors. Given the multidisciplinary nature of the public health field, program curriculum may also include advocacy, social sustainability, and public policy. Courses may include:

  • Promoting health and wellness
  • Communication
  • Public speaking
  • Public health practice
  • Community health
  • Environmental health

Popular Career Options

Public health is a diverse field that includes specialization in areas such as maternal and child health, biostatistics, nutrition, leadership, and environmental sciences. Many public health workers deal with developing policy, promoting community wellness, education, research, and management. Career options for those with a graduate-level certificate or diploma include:

  • Public health social worker
  • Health educator
  • Health services manager
  • Community wellness administrator
  • Researcher

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Social workers in the healthcare field earned a median annual salary of $51,930 as of May 2014, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Job openings for social workers in general were expected to increase by 19% from 2012-2022, which is a faster-than-average rate. Health educators should also see many job opportunities in the 2012-2022 decade: the BLS projected job growth of 19% in this field. Health educators earned a median of $50,430 as of 2014. As a third option, health services managers earned a median salary of $92,810 in 2014, per the BLS. Job growth in the health services management field was expected to be 23% from 2012-2022.

Continuing Education

Some universities and colleges may apply credits from a graduate diploma program toward the completion of a graduate degree in public health. Options include the Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Public Health, Doctor of Public Health, and Master of Health Services Administration.

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