Applications Now Open!
Fall 2022: 
Oct. 1, 2021-March 1, 2022

How to Apply

SDSU’s online Advanced Public Health Certificate program will help you acquire the advanced public health knowledge you’ll need to enter graduate school and take on high-level roles in the workplace.


About the program

SDSU’s Advanced Public Health Certificate is a five-course graduate-level program that’s designed for professionals currently working in the field of public health. If you’re interested in taking on more responsibilities at work, or you’re in line for a promotion, this program will give you an opportunity to understand core public health principles at a higher level.

Estimated Cost Estimated Cost
Completion Time Min. Completion Time
2-3 Semesters
Course Format Course Format

The program can also prepare you for admission to graduate-level public health programs, including SDSU’s Online Master of Public Health (MPH) Program. The online courses cover a range of topics that are essential to any master’s program in public health, including epidemiology, behavioral sciences, and healthcare administration. If you’re interested in applying to SDSU’s MPH program, you can transfer nine (9) units earned in the Advanced Certificate into the master’s program, giving you a unique opportunity to earn your Master’s in Public Health more quickly so that you can get back to doing what you do best — improving the health of your community.

Request Info

Program is perfect for

SDSU’s Advanced Public Health Certificate program is for people who are passionate about keeping their communities healthy and want to take their professional career to the next level. This program provides you with a unique opportunity to get a feel for the academic rigors of a graduate-level curriculum without committing to an entire MPH program.

If you complete the program and you’re still interested in continuing your education, you can apply all of your coursework towards earning an MPH from SDSU. If not, you’ve still earned a valuable Advanced Certificate that can help you attain higher-level employment opportunities.

While SDSU’s School of Public Health accepts students from a wide range of backgrounds, most students entering the Advanced Certificate Program hold bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry, health science, nursing, social work, or other health-related fields of study.

Many students are professionals who currently work in a variety of fields across public health and its related disciplines, including:

Healthcare Administration and Management
Occupational Safety and Compliance
Health Education and Counseling
Civil and Safety Engineering
Youth and Career Counseling
Project and Program Management
Registered/Practical Nursing
Chemical and Physical Science
Health and Medical Research
Business Analysis
Data Analysis and Mathematics
Healthcare-Related IT
Human Resources

This intensive certificate program is also held entirely online, which makes it ideal for working professionals and potential students who don’t have the time or the means to attend in-person courses on a college campus.

What you can learn

This five-course program is designed to act as a foundation for a graduate-level curriculum. You’ll cover a broad range of topics that are essential to your success as a leader in public health, including:

Behavioral Sciences
Social Sciences
Environmental Health Factors
Healthcare Administration

Your curriculum is designed by SDSU’s School of Public Health, a global leader in health-related research and academics. Your courses are delivered by the same expert faculty who teach courses in SDSU’s on-campus program. Through their professional experience and academic expertise, you’ll be able to participate in a graduate-level program that matches the intensity of any in-person public health certificate program.

If you’re interested in earning a Master’s in Public Health from San Diego State University, you’ll be able to transfer up to nine (9) units into SDSU’s MPH program. You can also petition for the other 6 units to transfer, which the School of Public Health can approve.

Learn More


Labor Analysis
Master’s in Public Health Graduates

Job Postings
Job Postings
Last 12 months

Projected Growth
Projected Growth
Over 10 years

Salary Range
Salary Range

Source: BLS & Burning Glass Technologies, 2020

Many students who have earned their bachelor’s degree in public health are interested in continuing their education in a graduate-level MPH program, but they may be hesitant to make an investment that’s both time consuming and costly.

While employment numbers and salary figures for graduates with bachelor’s in public health are favorable, those numbers look even better for students who earn their MPH. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nationwide number of people employed with a MPH is expected to grow by nearly 15% over the decade, compared to just 10.6% growth for individuals with a bachelor’s degree. Currently, the average salary for those with a MPH is more than $77,000, compared to an average salary of $69,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Salary Ranges for Top 5 Jobs

Master of Public Health

Healthcare Administrators and Managers


Health Education and Counseling


Mental and Behavioral Counseling


Civil and Safety Engineering


Project and Program Managers


With SDSU’s Advanced Certificate in Public Health, you can make an informed decision on whether you’d like to enroll in an MPH , while building knowledge that you can apply to your current job.

Request Info

Why Should You Choose Us?


SDSU’s School of Public Health (SPH) is one of five CEPH-accredited schools of public health in California. Through partnerships with the UC San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, and other health organizations, the SPH has a reputation as a leader in public health research. The SPH also provides assistance to healthcare organizations, governmental agencies, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, multinational organizations, and our own academic community on matters of public health.


With SDSU’s Advanced Certificate in Public Health Program, you’ll have a chance to prepare for a master’s program by taking five graduate-level courses. These five courses are part of SDSU’s MPH program. If you’re interested in enrolling in SDSU’s graduate program, you’ll be able to apply nine (9) advanced certificate course units toward the MPH program.


If you’re not enrolling in a graduate program, you’ll still be able to use the Advanced Certificate in Public Health to help you take your current career to the next level. You’ll acquire the advanced public health knowledge you need to take on leadership roles in your organization — whether those entail taking on administrative roles, creating healthcare policies with lasting community effects, or implementing large-scale public health strategies.


In order to earn your Advanced Certificate in Public Health, you’ll need to complete the following five courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better and a GPA of 3.0 or better:

PH 601: Epidemiology (3 Units)

Distribution and determinants of diseases; role of epidemiology in public health. Descriptive, analytic, and experimental epidemiology.

PH 602: Biostatistics (3 Units)

Statistical reasoning applied to public health; probability, hypothesis testing, regression and correlation, analysis of variance, measurement theory and modeling.

PH 603: Behavioral and Social Science in Public Health (3 Units)

Role of psychological, social and environmental variables in health and illness. Multifactorial psychosocial model of disease susceptibility.

PH 604: Environmental Determinants of Human Health (3 Units)

Environmental determinants and their influence on human health. Biological, physical, and chemical factors which affect the health of a community.

PH 605: Health Services Administration (3 Units)

Characteristics of utilization of health care, financing and system structure, types of providers, non-financial resources, and assessment and regulation.


Admission Requirements

Below is a list of general admission requirements for the Advanced Certificate in Public Health program.

We understand that every student's academic journey is unique, and we encourage you to contact one of our Student Service Representatives to find out what you'll need to successfully apply to the program.

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, health science, nursing, social work, or other health-related field. If you hold a bachelor’s degree in another subject, your admission should be approved by the Director of the School of Public Health.
  • Have earned a GPA of 2.85+ in your bachelor’s program.
  • If you’re an international applicant, you’ll need to submit one of the following as proof of English proficiency:
    • TOEFL with a minimum score of 80 iBT/ 550 PBT: Score should be sent electronically from Educational Testing Service (ETS) using the SDSU institution code: 4682. Test score should be from within the past two years.
    • IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 or higher: Score report should be sent directly to the SDSU Graduate Admissions Office. Test score should be from within the past two years.
    • Official transcripts indicating English as the principle language of instruction.

You may submit your application prior to entering the program, or before you complete nine semester units of coursework towards your Advanced Certificate in Public Health.

Application Instructions

Applying for SDSU’s Advanced Public Health Certificate is a two-part process. You’ll need to submit two applications: a Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) Application and an SDSU Application via Cal State Apply.

  1. SOPHAS Application
    • Personal Statement (approximately 1500 word limit) should address all of the following items:
      • Describe those experiences that have shaped your interest in public health. Comment on your current orientation or preferences in the public health field.
      • Describe the one academic experience that has meant the most to you in your educational career.
      • Outline your professional goals, both immediate and long term.
      • Discuss why you are interested in attending the School of Public Health at San Diego State University, the strengths you bring with you, and those areas in which you would like to increase your expertise and personal growth.

        Note: Your Personal Statement should be submitted with your SOPHAS application only. While there is a space in the Cal State Apply application (see below) for a Personal Statement, you do not need to submit another Personal Statement for the SDSU Graduate Application; instead, simply indicate in the space provided for the Personal Statement that you have submitted it with the SOPHAS application.
    • TOEFL: If your medium of instruction was in a language other than English, TOEFL score should be submitted to Code 5688 SOPHAS, Massachusetts. Minimum acceptable scores for the TOEFL are 80 iBT, 550 paper based, and 6.5 for the IELTS. If you’re submitting an IELTS, you should upload a copy of the score report in the “Applicant Upload Documents” section of the SOPHAS application.
    • One Copy of Official Transcripts (sent directly by the institutions) from all colleges and universities you have attended should be sent to SOPHAS at the following address:

      Standard delivery:
      P.O. Box 9111
      Watertown, MA 02471

      For overnight delivery only:
      SOPHAS c/o Liaison International
      311 Arsenal Street
      Watertown, MA 02472
    • Three Letters of Recommendation are required. Two should be academic references from professors who have taught you in class. The third letter can be another academic reference or a professional reference (employer, volunteer work, etc.). Letters of recommendation should be submitted to SOPHAS directly. Please see the SOPHAS application instructions for details.

      Note: Letters of recommendation are to be submitted with your SOPHAS application only. On the Cal State Apply application (see below), you will need to list your recommenders in the space provided, but you do not need to submit your letters of recommendation for the SDSU Graduate Application.
    • Your Résumé or CV should be uploaded as part of the SOPHAS application.
  2. SDSU Application
    • Official Transcripts: SSend one official transcript (in sealed envelopes) from all postsecondary institutions attended to:

      Graduate Admissions
      Enrollment Services
      San Diego State University
      5500 Campanile Drive
      San Diego, CA 92182-7416

      Note: Please do not send transcripts before submitting the Cal State Apply application, as this may result in processing delays. Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance.
    • International applicants, please see additional requirements for international transcripts and diploma/degree certificate.
    • Proof of English Proficiency

After submitting the online Cal State Apply application, check your application status via SDSU WebPortal. Please check back frequently to make sure all of the required materials required have been received — you’re responsible for ensuring that all supporting materials are submitted by the deadline.


Total Units: 15
Total Cost to Complete Program: $8,430

 Back to Top >

Contact Information