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Certificate Programs
Health and Human Rights

Sponsoring department
Environmental Health Sciences

Educational Objectives:

The Certificate Program in Health and Human Rights is designed to:    

 •   Increase understanding and foster positive attitudes among health professionals regarding the key linkages among human rights ideals, legal guarantees of human rights, and the promotion and protection of public health.

 •   Elaborate and explain details regarding the vital roles of health professionals in promoting human rights, especially the right to health, and building a “culture” of  human rights.

•   Build familiarity with international human rights standards, instruments, and the numerous state-based and international laws related to human rights, especially those that impact upon the health of populations and individuals.

 •   Introduce the skills needed to investigate, analyze, and document abuses of human rights as they relate to health and public health practice.

Intended Audience:

The Certificate Program in Health and Human Rights is open to all enrolled graduate degree or nursing degree program candidates from any academic unit within the Johns Hopkins University.

Admissions Criteria:

This program is open to any student with prior admission to a Johns Hopkins University graduate or nursing degree program. Interested students must submit a letter to one of the faculty sponsors to request admission. This letter must outline planned courses and an estimated timetable for completion. Please note course choices can be modified if a student’s needs change. Students will need prior approval of their faculty adviser to pursue the Certificate.

All students pursuing the Certificate should contact the Department’s Academic Programs Administrator to inform the Department of their intent to pursue the certificate so that arrangements can be made to meet with a program director and discuss course options. This notice must be submitted in writing as soon as possible, but no later than the first week of the term in which the final course is to be taken.

Program Requirements:

Total course credits required for the Certificate are 18 and must include successful completion of all course work and active participation in the Term II Seminar on Health and Human Rights or the Winter Institute course, “Special Topics in Health and Human Rights.”

Requirements for Successful Completion:

•   A minimum of 18 units of coursework

•   GPA of 2.5 or better in Certificate coursework

•   Active participation in required seminars

For more information, please contact the Faculty Sponsor, Robert S. Lawrence, 410-614-4590,, or the Faculty Co-Sponsor, David Stein, 410-614-4590,

Course of Study

Required Courses

Course NumberCourse NameTerm
180.636Human Rights and Health Seminar                    
180.600Special Topics in Health and Human Rights: Public Health Implications of Health as a Human Right                    
Winter          Institute
340.639Assessing the Epidemiological Impact of Human Rights Violations4
Ethics Requirements: at least one of the three courses in ethics: (Course times and dates do change: please email the faculty sponsors regarding course conflicts.)
Course NumberCourse NameTerm
221.616Ethics of Public Health Practice in Developing Countries4
306.625Ethical Issues in Health Policy2
306.665Research Ethics and Integrity: U.S. and International Issues3
Elective Courses: total of at least six units. Includes at least one of the first two electives below:
Course NumberCourse NameTerm
TBDHuman Rights for Public Health PractitionersTBD
306.650Public Health and the Law3
Additional Elective Courses: 
Course NumberCourse NameTerm
180.629Environmental and Occupational Health Law and Policy3
221.639Refugee Health Care1                            OR                      2             
301.614Health Disparities & Cultural CompetencySummer           Institute
301.615Seminar in Health Disparities2
301.627Understanding and Preventing Violence4
308.610The Political Economy of Social Inequalities and Its Consequences for Health and Quality of Life3
340.705Advanced Seminar in Social Epidemiology3
380.756Poverty, Economic Development, and Health4
410.611Health, Poverty, and Public Policy in the U.S.                
(Note: Every other year)
Courses offered online require students to establish an eLearning account and to complete the free
"Introduction to Online Learning" course prior to the term in which the course is taken.
For instructions go to: