Penn State launches new certificate to address public health worker shortage

January 25, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is looking to help address the rising demand for public health workers with a new online, graduate-level certificate that emphasizes the skills needed to improve the public’s health and well-being.

The curriculum in the new graduate certificate in public health focuses on biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences to train professionals to develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities.

The 12-credit certificate is being offered online through Penn State World Campus, the University’s top-ranked online school. The courses will be taught by faculty from the Department of Public Health Sciences in the Penn State College of Medicine.

Applications are now being accepted, and the first courses will be offered in the summer of 2017.

The certificate comes as the demand for formally trained public health workers is expected to grow over the next decade. According to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, 38 percent of public health government employees plan to leave their jobs by 2020. Furthermore, only 17 percent of the public health workforce has a degree in the field, which underscores the need for professionals who have the training to address the complex issues the country and world are facing.

“We hope to infuse the public health workforce with new talent who bring innovative approaches and ideas that will help us overcome our biggest public health barriers,” said Farah Kauffman, deputy director of the master of public health program. “Whether you’re new to the field of public health or have years of experience, our certificate provides the tools needed to make a positive impact on society.”

Penn State also offers an accredited master of public health degree in residence at the College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Credits from the certificate may be applied to the master’s degree upon application and admission to the program. The master’s degree is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about the new certificate.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 16, 2017