Public Health Certificate

Certificate in Public Health for Tulane Students

Tulane School of Medicine (SOM) students may apply for the Public Health Certificate (PHC) from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPH).  The PHC is not available to students who are not current Tulane SOM students.

The required curriculum for the public health certificate will expose Tulane SOM students to the core concepts of public health and provide a foundation of public health knowledge and potential future study.


Eligibility and application:

To be eligible to apply for the public health certificate program, you must

  • have a bachelor’s degree, 
  • be accepted into Tulane’s SOM, 
  • be in good standing in Tulane’s SOM, and 
  • complete an application that includes a public-health-centered interest statement and permission to copy your SOM application file (to provide copies of the undergraduate transcript, MCAT scores, and letters of recommendation).  Contact Rachael Ruiz ( for an application to the public health certificate program.

If you complete the MD/MPH combined degree program, you are NOT eligible to also receive this public health certificate.



The public health certificate is awarded concurrently with your SOM graduation.  To graduate from the certificate program, you must graduate from Tulane’s School of Medicine, and must successfully complete 15 semester credits of coursework as listed below, plus the comprehensive exam.  You must maintain a B average in all courses in the curriculum, and you must pass the comprehensive exam.

The comprehensive exam will test your knowledge of the material covered in the core courses (which form the required curriculum for the public health certificate).  For more information visit

Course Number

Course Title

Credit Hours

BIOS 6030

Introductory Biostatistics


GEHS 6030

Survey of Environmental Health


EPID 6030

Epidemiologic Methods I


GHSD 6030

Principles of Health Systems Administration and Management


GCHB 6030

Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health


SPHL 7950-03

Culminating Experience--Exam (Part A only)





No course substitutions, course waivers, or transfer credits from other schools of public health will be accepted.  To be eligible for the public health certificate, you must complete all 15 required credit hours at Tulane University, before you graduate from SOM. 

It is expected that you will complete the 15 credits of coursework over approximately one or two academic years.  You may not enroll in public health coursework while completing T3/T4 clinical rotations.


Curriculum scheduling: 

Public health certificate students may take public health classes during the following terms:

Spring T1 year
2 or 3 SPHTM classes/6-9 hours (on W/F afternoons, online, or in evenings)

Summer after T1 year
June session: 2 SPHTM classes/6 hours
July session: 2 SPHTM classes/6 hours

Fall T2 year
2 or 3 SPHTM classes/6-9 hours (on W/F afternoons, online, or in evenings)

Spring T2 year
2 or 3 SPHTM classes/6-9 hours (on W/F afternoons, online, or in evenings)
You may opt to use a month (or two) of SOM vacation time in the summer between T3 and T4 years to complete public health courses during SPH’s June and July sessions.  However, please note that public health certificate students are not excused from SOM clinical requirements to complete public health courses, nor are they excused from public health classes to attend to SOM clinical obligations.

All core courses are offered every fall, spring, and summer.  Some core classes are offered in the June session, some are offered in the July session, and some (most often GHSD 6030 and EPID 6030) require both summer sessions to complete.  There is no “standing” summer course schedule, so a course that is offered in the June session one summer may be offered in the July session the next summer: actual summer course offerings for the upcoming summer are generally posted on the Registrar’s Class Schedule page in mid to late March (

Online curriculum: 
All core courses are offered in an online format every fall and spring, and some core courses are offered in an online format during summer terms.  However, public health certificate students should note the following:

  • Enrollment in online courses is limited: class size is restricted, and priority for online enrollment may be given to graduating students and to students in degree-seeking programs.  You are not guaranteed enrollment in online sections.
  • EPID 6030 and BIOS 6030 are never offered in an online format during summer terms.  In addition, online sections of EPID 6030 and BIOS 6030 in the fall and spring require students to take exams in person, so are not truly “distance learning” classes.  If you register for online EPID 6030 or BIOS 6030, you must be prepared to adjust your schedule to take exams in person.
  • GCHB 6030 is often not offered in an online format during the summer.


Program costs and financial aid:

No program scholarships are available for the public health certificate program.

Public health certificate students are billed SPH tuition, academic services fees, and technology support services fees  as they enroll in public health classes.

Current SPH tuition and fee rates are posted on the SPH website:

The SPH Academic Calendar lists drop and refund dates:

The Tulane University Health Sciences Center (TUHSC) Office of Financial Aid serves both School of Public Health and School of Medicine students.  Financial aid is available for eligible students to help cover the costs of the public health certificate for students officially registered in the certificate program.

Financial aid is available to those enrolled at least half-time (defined as a minimum of 5 credit hours) to cover living expenses during summer school sessions for students registered in the public health certificate program. 

Please note that you are responsible for determining your financial aid eligibility, as well as the financial consequences of adding and dropping public health hours (e.g., students who take fewer than 5 hours during the summer must pay for all tuition, fees, and living expenses out of pocket.  Students who enroll in summer classes and accept financial aid but later drop courses and complete fewer than 5 hours will be required to return all their financial aid.  Students who accept financial aid for public health classes during the fall and spring semesters but then drop those public health classes will be required to return the financial aid).

Students must complete a Summer Financial Aid Addendum and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming academic year. 

The recommended financial aid application deadline is April 15th.  Students can submit applications after this deadline.  Please consult for additional information, FAQs, and helpful hints.




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