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Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice

Offered through the UW Online Executive MPH program, the Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice introduces students to the core disciplines of public health practice over two quarters.

The certificate program is delivered in a blended format, combining the convenience of online learning with the benefits of face-to-face classroom interaction. You’ll take your courses mostly online, supplemented by one multi-day session in downtown Seattle in September/October.


Students take 18 credits over two quarters, with a culminating capstone project.

Autumn Quarter

Winter Quarter

Who Should Apply

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice is designed for working professionals and graduate students enrolled in other UW degree programs who are seeking graduate-level education in public health practice. 

For professionals thinking about pursuing the Online Executive MPH degree, enrolling in the certificate is a good way to experience a portion of the program. You enroll as a graduate nonmatriculated (GNM) student, and GNM status allows you to apply up to 12 credits toward the 63-credit Online Executive MPH if you later apply to the degree and are accepted.

This certificate program is not appropriate for international GNM students expecting an F-1 visa status.


The Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice costs $912 per credit, or about $16,416. This estimate does not factor in other required quarterly fees, such as registration and technology fees, or textbooks. The Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice is not eligible for financial aid.


Application Deadline

The application deadline is March 31, but rolling admissions begin April 1 until the cohort is full. Applicants will be notified of an admissions decision six to eight weeks after applying.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 graded semester credits or the last 90 graded quarter credits (students with less than a 3.0 GPA will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Two or more years of professional experience, preferably related to public health
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English

Applicants must also be able to attend one multi-day session (held in September/October) at our location in downtown Seattle. See on-site dates for the 2018-2019 school year; dates for the 2019-2020 school year are TBD.

Application Materials

  • Unofficial transcripts: Download or scan transcripts from every college or university where you have earned a degree or taken relevant coursework. (Current UW graduate students only need to submit transcripts of graduate work done at the UW or other universities.)
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of purpose: In a narrative statement of about 700–1,000 words, provide your reasons for seeking a certificate in public health practice and how the certificate fits into your long-term career goals.
  • Personal statement (optional): We welcome students with diverse experiences who can contribute to the intellectual and social enrichment of the certificate program. If you wish, you may provide a personal statement describing your personal history, family background and other influences on your intellectual development. The statement should include cultural and educational opportunities (or lack thereof), socioeconomic and health disadvantages you may have had to overcome, and how these experiences have shaped you and informed your academic and research interests and your personal and career goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation (for GNM applicants only): Consider asking current or former employers or supervisors to write recommendation letters for you. Make sure the people you choose can speak to your potential for leadership in public health. You will enter the email addresses of your references in the Graduate School application, and they will be sent instructions for submitting their letters online. Letters of recommendation are not required for applicants already enrolled in a UW graduate degree program. ​

How to Apply

If you want to enroll in the certificate as a GNM student: 

  1. Start your online application to the UW Graduate School.  Application Type is Graduate Non-Matriculated. Program Name is Health Services (MPH - Executive Degree Program).
  2. Upload required documents.
  3. Designate the people who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you. 
  4. Pay the nonrefundable application fee and submit your application.

If you are currently a UW graduate student: 

  1. Gather transcripts of UW and other graduate coursework. 
  2. Prepare your resume/curriculum vitae and statement of purpose.
  3. Send the transcripts, resume/CV and statement of purpose as a single PDF to

How to Register

For those accepted into the certificate program as a GNM student:

  1. Become familiar with the UW registration guidelines outlined for GNM students. Here is where you will find the below forms and information specific to GNM registration at UW. 
  2. Complete the GNM Student Registration Form for the courses you intend to register for, obtaining add codes as needed from the student services counselor at Calculate fees on the form.
  3. Fill out and email the GNM Student Registration Approval Form to your faculty for signatures first. Then send the signed forms to the student services counselor at for the departmental signature.
  4. To complete registration, email both the GNM Student Registration Form and the fully signed GNM Student Registration Approval Form to the Continuum College registration office at or call 206-543-2310.   


Contact the marketing and student recruitment specialist at or 206-685-4506.