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Certificate Programs FAQs

What is the advantage of earning a certificate?

Certificates provide focused academic training with fewer course requirements than the typical degree. Perhaps you aren’t ready to undertake a degree program or need public health knowledge outside your primary area of interest. A certificate can fill these needs.

Who is eligible to apply to a certificate program?

Eligibility requirements vary. You should review the information for your certificate of interest carefully.

Some certificate programs are available only to currently enrolled graduate degree students and postdoctoral trainees at the Bloomberg School of Public Health or other Johns Hopkins division. Many others are open to those unaffiliated with Johns Hopkins.

Those not currently enrolled in a Johns Hopkins degree or postdoctoral program are called non-degree students. To be eligible, these students must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have a strong academic record.

How do I apply to a certificate?

Detailed instructions are provided in the How to Apply section of this website.

Where are courses offered?

Bloomberg courses are offered on the School’s East Baltimore campus, online, and/or in condensed, face-to-face Institutes.

Some certificates include courses taught by other Johns Hopkins divisions. Non-Bloomberg courses are easily identified in the certificate description; their course numbers are preceded by initials indicating the school or program.

When are courses taught?

The Bloomberg academic year consists of five eight-week terms: two in the fall, two in the spring and one in the summer. Most on-campus Bloomberg courses are taught during the work week (Monday-Friday) between 8:30 and 5:00. The term, venue and time for each course may be found in the course catalog.

Can certificates be earned part-time?

Non-degree students may earn certificates part-time. Degree students and post-doctoral trainees earn the certificate concurrently with their degree or training program.

How long does it take to earn a certificate?

Certificate program length varies by the number of required term credits, when courses are offered and each student’s schedule.

Students do not need to enroll in a certificate course consecutive terms, but must complete the program within three years.

Each student should consult with the certificate’s faculty sponsor(s) or administrative contact to identify electives and plan a schedule that is most appropriate for the student’s interests, background, and availability. Degree students should also consult with their degree program’s academic advisor.

Can certificates be taken for-credit or not-for-credit?

All certificate programs are offered for-credit and a few additionally offer not-for-credit courses. Hopkins degree students and post-doctoral trainees must take all courses for credit. Non-degree students may choose not-for-credit when this is an option.

Can certificate courses be taken pass/fail?

All required or core certificate courses must be taken for a letter grade unless the course is only offered pass/fail. The certificate program determines if elective courses may be taken pass/fail. Certificate courses cannot be audited.

Where can I find information about a course?

Each Bloomberg course is described in the course catalog. The description includes an overview of the course, its learning objectives, number of credits, location, time, instructors, methods of evaluation, pre-requisites, etc.

How do I register for courses if I am a Hopkins graduate student or post-doctoral trainee?

School of Medicine post-doctoral trainees must come to the Bloomberg Office of Records and Registration to register using a paper registration form. All other Hopkins graduate students and post-doctoral trainees register interdivisionally through their school’s registration system.

How do I register for courses if I am a non-degree student?

The certificate program will inform each applicant of its admission decision. The student will also receive email instructions for registering.
[link to new How to Apply page within Certificates]

Students wishing to take an online course must first complete the non-credit/free Introduction to Online Learning.

How many credits are required to earn a certificate?

This varies by certificate. All require at least 18 term credits and most require between 18 and 21 term credits.

What is a Notification of Completion?

All certificate students must complete a Notification of Completion form after successfully completing all certificate requirements. The completed form should be submitted to the certificate’s administrative contact as soon as possible after the requirements are completed. The certificate program will verify that the certificate requirements were successfully completed within three years. Those completing the certificate will receive a paper certificate suitable for framing.

Is the certificate included on the transcript?

After reviewing the Notification of Completion form and verifying that the certificate was taken for-credit and successfully completed, the certificate program will notify the Registrar for inclusion on the student’s transcript. Non-degree students taking the certificate not-for-credit do not generate a transcript; however, the Continuing Education and Student Services office will provide, upon request, a report of the courses taken and the grades earned.

Can courses taken before being accepted into the certificate program be counted toward the certificate?

Up to six term credits for courses taken before being admitted to the certificate program may be applied toward the certificate. These courses must be required or elective certificate courses and the student must have taken them within three years of completing the certificate and earned at least the minimum grade required by the certificate program.

Can certificate courses be counted toward a Bloomberg degree?

Up to 16 term credits taken as a non-degree student may later be applied to a Bloomberg School degree program. The courses must be applicable to the degree and completed no more than five years before matriculating to the degree program. The process is not automatic and the final decision rests with the degree program.