Graduate Certificates in Clinical Epidemiology

Jun 15, 2021

Some public health schools offer students the opportunity to earn graduate certificates in clinical epidemiology. These programs are designed to provide working medical professionals with more specialized knowledge in clinical epidemiology. They are also suitable for students who want to gain knowledge in this field without completing an entire master's degree or Ph.D. program.

Information About Graduate Certificates in Clinical Epidemiology

Certificate programs in clinical epidemiology can generally be completed in a year if students are continuously taking courses. Some schools offer classes in the evening to make scheduling easier for working professionals. Five courses that are commonly found in these programs are discussed below.

Clinical Epidemiology

Students are commonly required to take a course that provides them with an overview of epidemiology, with some courses also introducing clinical epidemiology specifically. Students learn about the role of epidemiology in public health and various methods of research, including clinical research. Some topics that may be covered include disease prevention strategies, trial design, and test evaluation.


Biostatistics courses in a clinical epidemiology certificate program are often introductory in nature, providing students with an overview of the field of biostatistics, as this is the primary means of research used in clinical settings. Topics that could be covered include probability distribution, statistical methods of analysis, contingency tables, and using SAS software. Some programs also include elective biostatistics' courses that cover more advanced topics.

Clinical Trials

Courses focused on clinical trials provide students with a detailed overview of all the steps that are necessary for a researcher to properly design and conduct clinical trials in epidemiologic research. Some topics that may be covered include recruitment, data collection and analysis, and research reporting. In some programs, students can get experience creating a clinical trial proposal and have it critiqued by their peers.

Advanced Research Methods

Students also typically take a course that builds on the research methods covered in their introductory epidemiology course. Students can gain a more in-depth understanding on of epidemiology's place within the field of public health or learn to conduct research with large databases and improve their SAS software skills. Some topics that may be covered in this course include data management and research design.

Ethics in Public Health

An ethics course covers a number of contemporary issues in the field of public health and will likely encourage students to engage in debate. Students learn about various theories of ethics and how they can be applied to different real-life ethical dilemmas. Topics up for discussion could include genetic screening, mandatory vaccinations, and quarantine.

Admission Standards for Graduate Certificate Programs in Clinical Epidemiology

Generally, graduate certificate programs in clinical epidemiology are designed for individuals who already have a bachelor's degree. Some applicants may already be working in the medical field with an M.D. or other type of professional degree. When applying, students will need to submit an application form, letters of recommendation, transcripts, a personal statement, and GRE results.

Students can complete graduate certificates in clinical epidemiology to gain insight into this field or to further specialize their professional medical knowledge and be eligible for a greater variety of careers.

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