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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 at the Bloomberg School of Public Health or other Johns Hopkins divisions. Many others are open to those unaffiliated with Johns Hopkins.

Those not currently enrolled in a Johns Hopkins degree 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 program?

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

Is VISA Sponsorship Provided for International Students Applying to Certificate Programs?

Certificate programs completed outside the Summer Institutes do NOT qualify for visa sponsorship.  Most international students are advised to consider certificate programs that can be completed online from their country of residence.  Legal Permanent Residents and non-immigrants who are otherwise physically present in the US and in a status that allows for study may be eligible to pursue a certificate program in person at the Bloomberg School. 

How do I apply if I am a graduate degree student enrolled in a combined program at another Johns Hopkins University division other than JHSPH (i.e. School of Medicine, Carey Business School, etc.)?

All students in a combined degree program must follow the instructions for applying as "graduate degree students at other Johns Hopkins University divisions" for certificates if their primary division is not JHSPH.  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 program 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 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 non-degree student?

The certificate program will inform each applicant of its admission decision. Accepted students will also receive an email with instructions for registering.  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?

Please read this page that addresses certificate program completion for complete information about notifying the School that you have completed your certificate program. 

Is the certificate included on the transcript?

After reviewing the Notification of Completion form and verifying that the certificate program was successfully completed, the certificate program will notify the Registrar for inclusion on the student’s transcript. 

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; if you are planning to apply to a JHSPH degree program upon completion of a certificate program, it's a good idea to contact the degree program first, to verify how many completed academic credits the program will accept. 

Upon completion of a certificate program, will I be considered a JHSPH alum and have access to alumni privileges?

Only those students who successfuly complete a degree program at JHSPH are considered alumni. Individuals who complete a certificate program will receive a certificate diploma suitable for framing and display, and a JHSPH transcript indicating that they have completed the certificate program.