This certificate is an 18-credit program that provides training in the core public health content areas, that form part of ESU's accredited MPH program. The program is designed for professionals with a minimum of a bachelor's degree who wish to gain an educational foundation in public health. Courses begin every fall, spring & summer term.

The certificate content areas include:

  • Scientific foundations of Public Health;
  • Public Health Administration;
  • Applied Statistical skills used in Public Health practice;
  • Environmental Health; and
  • A 150-hour fieldwork experience where students work on a special project at their worksite under the supervision and mentorship of an ESU faculty member

Hands-On Training

The certificate program at ESU culminates with a three-credit fieldwork experience where students select a specific project at their worksite to apply public health core content. This experience is designed to reinforce hands-on public health practice skills under the supervision of ESU faculty. Students may wish to employ their research/ statistical skills, epidemiology skills, public health administration skills, and/or public health theory and population-based practice to a particular problem area where the outcome of their work can lead to enhancing the quality of human health to residents of Pennsylvania. As a result of the fieldwork experience students may author a professional conference paper or a manuscript for publication.

Certificate Program Mission

The mission of ESU's Certificate Program is to provide working professionals with a foundation in public health. The certificate program targets Pennsylvania Bachelor's level employees working in public health and/or public welfare who do not have formal educational training in public health. This certificate provides core public health content for those working to enhance the quality of human health through the practice of population-based public health interventions that are responsive to the dynamic, ecologically based, interdependent nature of human systems and the environment.

Our Program Goals

To provide a distance education, weekend instructional program that enhances public health education practice and strengthens the capacity of the existing Pennsylvania public health and public welfare workforce. To provide a foundation in public health content to those who are self-motivated, work collaboratively, apply ethical principles to their work, exercise initiative, have critical thinking skills and wish to further expand their leadership in public health services.

Public Health Certificate Courses

HLTH 538 Public Health Administration

This course is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive background in public health legislation, organization, and programming. Emphasis is placed on the dynamic nature of public health within the total physical, social, economic and political context. (3 credits) Summer.

HLTH 560 Scientific Foundations of Health Behavior

This course is designed to familiarize students with the health sciences related to health education and promotion, and to provide experiences in the use of the literature related to the health sciences. The primary focus of the course is on human behavior as it influences health and is influenced by health education and promotion programs. (3 credits) Spring/Summer.

HLTH 561 Epidemiology

This course is a study of the principles and methods of epidemiological investigations for human health problems. The incidence and prevalence of both infectious and non-infectious health problems are covered. Emphasis of this course is on student application of the principles of epidemiology. (3 credits) Summer/Fall.

HLTH 562 The Physical Environment and Community Health

This course reviews traditional and evolving public health concerns related to the physical environment. Major areas of concern are: solid waste, housing, water, air, accidents, good sanitation, overpopulation, and global concerns. (3 credits) Spring.

HLTH 563 Public Health Measurement Sciences

This purpose of this course is to develop applied statistical skills commonly used in public health measurement science. Students will develop statistical literacy, including the use of SPSS to solve research questions and hypotheses testing commonly found in public health practice and public health administration. (3 credits) Summer/Fall.

HLTH 586 Field Experience

This course provides an opportunity for the student to apply course content to a specific project at the worksite under the supervision of a faculty member. (3 credits) Spring/Summer/Fall. 

Contact Us

Application Procedures

Students should apply through the Graduate College to the Public Health Certificate program. Questions may be directed to Kevin Quintero, Associate Director of Extended Learning at

Contact Information

Campus Address
Zimbar-Liljenstein Hall
(570) 422-3588
Title of Department Leader
Director Graduate & Extended Studies
Dr. William Bajor