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Washington State University

Graduate Certificate in Public Health

Certificate Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health provides advanced education in skills and topics relevant to the growing field of public health. Trained public health professionals, including nurses, are needed to serve diverse populations in our state and region, particularly in rural and resource poor areas. The Certificate in Public Health addresses this growing demand and will provide a timely response to the emerging societal need for specialized, interprofessional education in public health. There is also a critical need for continuing education in public health for health professionals (1-3).

The certificate will use distance delivery and a flexible curriculum to meet the needs of interdisciplinary and interprofessional students, and it will include coursework that can be applied to future graduate studies at WSU. The certificate will prepare graduates to:

  • Understand the core functions and essential services of public health
  • Apply public health concepts, tools, and methods to address public health challenges

General Public Health Nurse

Currently, there is no certification specific to public health nursing at the generalist level. However, nurses with a baccalaureate degree and at least five years of public health experience can obtain the Certification in Public Health (CPH).  See more information on the CPH.

Admission Criteria for Public Health Certificate

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Admitted to the MN program, any WSU graduate health program, or for graduate certificate
  • A minimum 3.00 grade point average in undergraduate work (exceptions may be made based on substantial evidence of extra-scholastic qualifications)
  • Successful completion of a basic statistics course
  • Favorable recommendations regarding practice and potential for graduate work in nursing
  • RN license to practice nursing in Washington state or state of residency (for nursing students)
  • Written goal statement congruent with program’s philosophy and focus
  • Complete a written interview


CourseTitleCreditsSemester Offered
NURS 584Health Care Law, Policy and Analysis3Spring
NURS 554Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Health Professions3Spring
NURS 471 or 492Foundations of Occupational and Environmental Health Practice

Note: Nurs 492 Disaster Preparedness for Health Professions may substitute for NURS 471
3471 fall semesters, 492 summer semesters
NURS 564*


NURS 566*
Health Promotion
Community Analysis & Grant Development

(*Need 1 of the above 2 courses)

(Other WSU graduate (500-level) courses will be considered based on student interests (e.g., health management, advanced biostatistics)


NURS 597
Advanced Topics in Nursing 1Fall, spring, summer
Total Credits12-13



Tami Kelley