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Certificate Programs

Mental Health Policy, Economics and Services


The certificate introduces current issues in mental health policy including economic evaluation of mental and substance disorders and their treatments; access to mental health care treatments and utilization patterns; and mental health care financing, insurance, and delivery system issues in the US.  The certificate program also strives to orient mental health policy, economics, and services training within the broader context of ongoing national health care debates.  It is open to Johns Hopkins University graduate students interested in policy, advocacy and research careers within the field of mental health and junior and mid-level public health professionals interested in expanding their knowledge base and expertise in mental health services and economics and related policy issues.

Educational Objectives

Students completing the certificate will gain specialized knowledge of policy issues and economics relevant to mental disorders and mental health services.  They will be able to:

  1. Describe the types, organization and financing of service systems for the mentally ill in the US; strengths and weaknesses of these service systems; and historical and recent trends in the mental health care delivery system
  2. Discuss the major legal and political developments in mental health care in the US over the last century and their impact on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health illnesses and associated disabilities and co-morbidities
  3. Interpret and provide input into the conduct of program evaluations, including economic evaluation of mental health interventions, and the design and implementation of mental health services and policy
  4. Use economic theory to predict changes in delivery of, access to, and quality of mental health services in response to changes in national and local policies and incentives
  5. Interpret and provide input into the conduct of health systems research related to mental health interventions, services, and policy  


The certificate is open to masters and doctoral students currently enrolled in any division of The Johns Hopkins University.  It is also offered to non-degree students with at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and a strong record of successful academic performance.

Admissions Process

Bloomberg School of Public Health masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students are not required to submit a formal application through the Admissions Office.  They are, however, encouraged to contact a certificate faculty sponsor to discuss electives.

All others (non-Bloomberg masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students and non-degree students) apply to the program using the school's online application. Applications must be submitted in September of the year during which they will begin certificate courses.  The certificate application includes official transcripts from all post-secondary schools, a CV or resume, a statement of purpose vis-à-vis the certificate, and one letter of recommendation.  Transcripts from non-US institutions must be approved by an external credentialing agency.  The application  does not require scores from the GRE, TOEFL, or ILETS.  Degree students must include a brief written statement from their academic advisor giving approval to take the certificate courses.  The certificate program will review the applications and notify each applicant of its admissions decision.  Only those approved by the certificate admission committee may earn the certificate.

Course of Study

The certificate requires a minimum of 21 credits, including five required courses and at least two elective courses.  The certificate courses are listed in the table below.

Students should check the course catalog to confirm when the course is offered.  The term and time may change from what is listed in the table below and some courses are only offered every other year.  Students should also check for pre-requisites and if instructor consent is required.

The free, non-credit Introduction to Online Learning course must be completed before enrolling in online coursees.  It is offered five times each year.

Requirements for Successful Completion

All certificate courses must be taken for a letter grade.  Students must earn a B or better in each required and core course and a C or better in elective courses.  Requirements must be completed within a three-year period.

The student must submit a Notification of Completion to the certificate's administrative contact after completing all of the certificate requirements.  The student's transcript will not indicate that the certificate was earned until the Notification of Completion has been submitted, verified by the certificate program, and processed by the Registrar.

Course No.Course TitleNo. CreditsOnline TermCampus Term
Required Courses:  Students must complete the following required courses
308.602Role of Government in Health Policy3-4
313.790Economic Evaluation I32-
330.606Economics of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders3-4
330.664Introduction to Mental Health Services3-4, FI
330.667Mental Health and the Law3-2
Elective Courses:  Students must complete at least two of the following elective courses
300.651Introduction to the US Healthcare System442


Health Policy I: Social and Econommic Determinants of Health3-1
300.712Health Policy II: Public health Policy Formulation3-2
309.716Advanced Methods in Health Services Research: Analysis3-1
313.641Health Economics I332

Health Economics II

330.603Psychiatric Epidemiology332
330.607Prevention of Mental disorders:  Public Health Interventions334
330.628Principles of Public Mental Health Delivery in the Commmunity Context3-3

FI= Course is offered in the Fall Institute held in Barcelona, Spain

Sponsoring Department
Department of Mental Health

Contact Information

Faculty Sponsor
Ramin Nojtabai, MD

Name Bill Eaton, PhD

Administrative Contact
Patricia Scott


Gainful Employment Program Information

In accordance with US Department of Education regulations, the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health is required to disclose graduation rate data, median loan debt data, and other select information for all Title IV eligible gainful employment programs. To see the most recent data available for this gainful employment program, please view the attached disclosure.

Note: Fewer than 10 students graduated from this program in the 2012-13 academic year. Therefore, in accordance with US Department of Education guidelines on student privacy, the on-time completion rate and median loan debt data are not published.  The restrictions imposed by the current US Department of Education online disclosure form limit the number of jobs related to this program that can be displayed in this disclosure: the job(s) listed here represent only a sample of the jobs related to the program.

  1. The certificate is offered to students in graduate-level degree and post-doctoral training programs at the Johns Hopkins University and medical professionals (non-degree students who hold at least an undergraduate degree) interested in mental health services, economics, and related policy issues.
  2. The certificate program length is flexible; it varies from student to student, however, the certificate must be completed within three years.  Students do not need to be enrolled in a certificate course during consecutive terms.  The number of certificate course credits taken may range from zero to 22 per term.  Degree students earn the certificate simultaneously with their degree program and determine the number of credits taken each term with advisor approval.  Full-time degree students are able to complete the certificate within one academic year.
  3. Tuition, application fee, and book costs are subject to change from one academic year to another academic year.
  4. Completion rates will be tracked beginning in academic year 2012-2013.
  5. The Council of Public Health Education which accredits schools of public health does not require schools to track job placement rates for certificate programs.