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Certificate Programs

Public Health Training Certificate for American Indian Health Professionals


The overarching purpose of this public health certificate program is to promote participants’ capacity to address American Indian population health disparities through multidisciplinary public health approaches and culturally competent strategies. The certificate program examines four quadrants of influence: physical, behavioral, political, and spiritual/emotional, which, in balance, comprise the sphere of public health for American Indian communities.

The certificate is offered for credit to graduate students and post-doctoral trainees (including residents and fellows) at The Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health.  It is also open to other health care professionals interested in the health of American Indians.  The certificate can be earned over a three year period through condensed format courses taught in January, June, and July in Baltimore.

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health offers additoinal training opportunities which are not-for-credit.

Educational Objectives

Environmental, Cultural, and Political Context

Students completing the certificate will be able to:

  1. Discuss how tribal sovereignty status impacts health policy and management
  2. Understand the potential interface of tribal, federal, and private sectors in health system development
  3. Discuss and provide examples of inter-relationships between the environment and the public’s health
  4. Describe the unique impact of mental, social, and emotional health status on tribal community well-being
  5. Describe the components of effective community education and health communication campaigns

Public Health Research Skills

Those completing the certificate will be able to employ public health theory and logic frameworks and apply basic statistical, demographic, and epidemiologic techniques to:

  1. Critique published public health research
  2. Identify available disease, behavioral, and mental health surveillance data from American Indian communities
  3. Identify how community based participatory research can be used to promote American Indian health
  4. Understand how to identify health priority needs utilizing community based participatory research methods and to evaluate intervention impacts using health surveillance data from American Indian communities
  5. Work with epidemiologists and other researchers to design community based interventions and other data collection efforts appropriate for American Indian communities
  6. Recognize good data management practices
  7. Understand the importance of research ethics and the composition and function of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), with specific emphasis on IRB’s role in tribal environments


The certificate is designed for masters and doctoral students and post-doctoral trainees (including medical residents or fellows) currently enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, and Nursing, and Public Health. 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 achievement.

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health also offers not-for-credit  training opportunities to American Indian health professionals, paraprofessionals, people working within American Indian communities, and current degree candidates at the School who are interested in expanding their public health expertise and skill sets related to American Indian health. The certificate may be taken for credit or for non-credit.

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 email a ertificate faculty sponsors for advice selecting electives.

All others (JHU School of Medicine and Nursing masters, doctoral and post-doctoral students, School of Medicine residents and fellows, and non-degree students) apply to the program using the school's online application. Applications are accepted throught the year. The certificate application includes official transcripts from all post-secondary schools, a CV or resume, a statement of purpose vis-à-vis the certificate, one letter of recommendation. Transcripts from non-US institutions must be approved by a 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 admissions committee may earn the certificate.

Course of Study

The certificate requires a minimum of 18 term credits. Students must complete all of the required courses and select at least one elective course. The certificate courses are listed in the table below.

Because the Summer and Winter Institute courses are taught every other year and the location of some elective courses is subject to change, it is imperative that the student maintain close contact with the certificate's administrative contact for course information.

Requirements for Successful Completion

Students must successfully complete the 7 core courses and 1 elective. Successful completion is demonstrated by full attendance and participation in all course activities and assignments. Credit students must take the courses for a letter grade and achieve a C grade or higher on all certificate courses. Non-credit students will audit the courses and must receive a “Pass” for each certificate course. Students are encouraged to complete the 8 courses within a 3-year period and are required to complete all coursework and assignments within 4 years.

The student must submit a Notification of Completion to  the certificate's administrarive contact after completing all of the certificate requirements. The student's transcript witll 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. CreditsInstituteOffered
Required Courses: Students must complete all of the following courses
221.666Introduction to American Indian Health Research Ethics2SIOdd Years
221.667An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Health of American Indians3WIEven Years
221.668Using Mass Media for Health Promotion in American Indian Communities2WIEven Years
221.670Collecting Analyzing and Using Public Health Data in American Indian Communities3SIOdd Years
221.671Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods2SIEven Years
221.672Introduction to Data Management Using American Indian Health Data2SIEven Years
221.673Mental Health Care and Delivery in American Indian Communities2WIOdd Years
Electives: One required
221.665Early Childhood Research with Tribal Communities2S1Odd Years
221.725Community-Based Participatory Research and Indigenous Peoples2SIOdd Years

SI = Course is offered in the Summer Institute held in June and/or July in Baltimore

WI = Course is offered in the Winter Institute held in January in Baltimore.

Sponsoring Department
International Health

Contact Information

Faculty Sponsor: Mathuram Santosham

Faculty Co-Sponsor
Allison Barlow

Administrative Contact
Nicole Pare

Phone 410-955-6931


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 Johns Hopkins University graduate and post-doctoral students (including physicians completing residency or fellowship programs) who are interested in adolescent health.
  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.