The University of Pennsylvania

Public Health Certificate Program

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PHCP Training

PHCP training includes formal coursework, the PHCP seminar series, and a public health project.

Formal Coursework

PHCP students will take public health courses in addition to their doctoral coursework. Students will complete most of the formal coursework during the first and second years of graduate school. In some cases, this may result in a student taking four courses plus a lab rotation in one or more semesters. However, students in the program may also take one public health course per semester in years three through five if necessary and with appropriate permission. Students in PHCP should expect to graduate on time.

Required Courses:
  • Intro. to Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (PUBH 502)
  • Biostatistics:
    • Students can fulfill their biostatistics requirement through BIOM 611. Students interested in doing an analytic public health project are encouraged to take additional biostatistics courses as necessary.
Elective Courses (choose three CUs):
  • Introduction to Public Health (PUBH 500)
    • An introductory course is strongly recommended for PHCP students who have no prior experience and/or coursework in public health.
  • Environmental and Occupational Health (PUBH 503)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health (PUBH 504)
  • Public Health Policy and Health Administration (PUBH 505)
  • Public Health Law, Ethics, and Policy (PUBH 507)
  • Issues in Global Health (PUBH 519)
  • Alternative MPH electives with the advice of PHCP faculty directors
    • Note:  Other public health courses across the University may be counted as electives, to be determined on a case-by-case basis with the permission of PHCP faculty directors
  • Independent Study in Public Health (PUBH 599)
    • Up to one CU, with a primary focus on the PHCP Public Health Project

PHCP Seminar Series:

A seminal part of the PHCP program is the bi-weekly seminar series that brings in speakers from Penn and elsewhere to talk about their research and careers linking biomedical research and public health.  This is also the forum in which PHCP students present progress reports and their final presentation on their public health project. Attendance is required for all PHCP students. In recognition of attendance and participation, students will receive credit for one semester (1 CU) of PUBH 590 during their fourth or fifth year.

Public Health Project:

PHCP students are expected to complete a short-term public health research project or independent study. Ideally, this project will focus on a question related to their PhD thesis, but that is not a requirement. Students can choose a public health advisor from the MPH faculty or they can substitute an alternative advisor with the permission of PHCP faculty directors.  As discussed above, students will present their final project at the PHCP seminar series.