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Certificate Programs FAQs

Where can I find information about a certificate program?

Each certificate program is listed under Certificate Programs. Click on the certificate’s link for information about the certificate’s educational objectives, eligibility, courses, and requirements.

What is the advantage of earning a certificate?

Certificate programs are comprised of academic courses that provide focused academic training in an area of public health. The number of credits is less than a degree program and the courses are taken on a part-time basis spread over up to three years. Certificate programs taken for credit will appear on the student’s transcript.

Who is eligible to apply to a certificate program?

Eligibility varies from certificate to certificate. Some certificate programs are only available to currently enrolled graduate degree students and post-doctoral trainees at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and other Johns Hopkins divisions. Many are also available to non-degree students and three certificates are only offered to non-degree students. A non-degree student is anyone not currently enrolled in a Johns Hopkins degree or post-doctoral program.

Eligible non-degree students must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have a strong record of academic performance. A certificate program may have additional eligibility requirements for non-degree and degree students.

How many credits are required to earn a certificate?

The number of term credits required varies by certificate program. All require at least 18 term credits and most require between 18 and 21 term credits. A term credit is equivalent to two-thirds of a semester credit; 18 term credits is equivalent to 12 semester credits.

Can certificates be earned part-time?

Non-degree students earn the certificate part-time. Degree students and post-doctoral trainees earn the certificate concurrently with their degree or training program. Non-Bloomberg students must earn the certificate within three years of being accepted into the certificate program. Bloomberg students must earn the certificate within three years of beginning the first certificate course.

Can certificates be earned without coming to Baltimore?

Two certificates can be earned completely online: Global Health and Public Health Informatics. The Training Certificates in Public Health, Public Health Practice, and Quantitative Methods in Public Health are available to non-degree students only and can be earned through a combination of online and institute courses.

How long does it take to earn a certificate?

The 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 be enrolled in a certificate course during consecutive terms, although all courses must be completed within three years. Full-time degree students may take up to 22 term credits per term; however, most certificate students take no more than two or three certificate courses per term.

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 of time. 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. Hopkins degree students and post-doctoral trainees must take all courses for credit. Some certificate programs are also offered not-for-credit for non-degree students.

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.

What is the minimum GPA for certificate programs?

The minimum GPA and/or minimum course grade requirement is listed in each certificate’s description.

What is the application process for Bloomberg degree and post-doctoral students?

Currently enrolled Bloomberg graduate and post-doctoral students do not formally apply to a certificate program. Some certificate programs require and all encourage Bloomberg students to solicit course selection advice from a certificate sponsor before beginning certificate courses. Bloomberg students should also discuss the certificate courses with their academic advisor.

Bloomberg post-doctoral students may not take more than 16 term credits without special permission. Once a Bloomberg post-doctoral student has reached the 16 term credit limit, his/her academic advisor and the certificate faculty sponsor must provide written permission for him/her to complete the certificate courses. The permission form is available from the Registrar and must be submitted to the Registrar before the post-doctoral student can register for the remaining certificate courses.

What is the application process for non-Bloomberg students?

Anyone who meets the eligibility criteria for the certificate and is not a currently enrolled Bloomberg graduate degree or post-doctoral student must apply online to the certificate program. All certificates require the application to include at least one letter of recommendation, a narrative outlining the applicant’s background and goals vis-à-vis the certificate (personal statement), a CV, and official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. Transcripts from non-US institutions must be approved by a credentialing agency. Degree students and post-doctoral trainees must also include a brief statement from their academic advisor granting permission to earn the certificate. Any additional requirements and the certificate application deadlines are listed in the certificate’s description.

How are applicants informed of the admissions decision?

Currently enrolled Bloomberg graduate and post-doctoral students are automatically accepted into certificate programs offered to them. All others must apply (see above). Applications must be complete before they are reviewed by the certificate program. The certificate program will notify the applicant of the admissions decision and request an email accepting or rejecting the offer. The accepted applicant must also accept or reject the offer in Apply Yourself. Non-degree students who have been accepted into a certificate program offered for-credit and not-for-credit must finalize the decision to take the certificate for-credit or not-for-crediting when they accept the offer in Apply Yourself. Only those admitted to the certificate program are eligible to earn the certificate.

How do I plan my course schedule?

Those interested in earning a certificate should draft a course schedule before applying to determine the feasibility of earning the certificate. Before commencing the certificate program, each student should also 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 of time. Degree students should also consult with their degree program’s academic advisor.

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. Links to the course catalog are also provided in each certificate program description.

Where are the courses offered?

Bloomberg courses are offered on the school’s East Baltimore campus, online, and/or in condensed-format face-to-face institute courses. Summer Institute courses are taught in June and July on the East Baltimore campus, Fall Institute courses are taught in Barcelona, Spain, and Winter Institute courses are taught in January in Baltimore or Washington, DC. Some certificates include courses taught by other Johns Hopkins divisions (schools). 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. The first two terms correspond to the fall semester and the third and fourth terms to the spring semester. The summer term is July-August. Most on-campus Bloomberg courses are taught during the work week (Monday-Friday) between 8:30 and 5:00. The term and venue for each course and the time for each on-campus course are found in the course catalog. The academic calendar includes dates for each term.

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.

How do I register for online courses?

Registration for online courses is the same as for on-campus courses. Students wishing to take an online course must first complete the non-credit/free Introduction to Online Learning course to learn how to access online courses and ensure that they have the needed software and hardware.

What is the tuition?

Currently enrolled full-time Hopkins graduate students and post-doctoral trainees are not charged additional tuition for the certificate courses taken concurrently with their degree or training program.

Tuition for non-degree students and part-time degree students is based on the number of credits to be taken. Tuition typically increases three to five percent each year. Tuition for not-for-credit certificates is one-half of that charged per credit for part-time students.

Are there other costs?

Applicants pay the Application fee when they apply to a certificate program. Unlike degree students, certificate students do not pay the following: enrollment deposit and matriculation and activity fees. All students are responsible for purchasing required books and other course materials.

Is Financial Aid available for non-degree students?

Financial aid information is available through the Financial Aid Office. Individuals eligible for Title IV Federal Student Aid and who take at least six term credits per term may be eligible for federal student loan assistance. There are no scholarships available for certificate programs.

When do I pay for certificate courses?

Johns Hopkins full-time degree students and post-doctoral trainees do not pay additional tuition for certificate courses taken concurrently with their degree program. Non-degree students pay per credit when they register for courses.

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?

A Bloomberg degree program may agree to accept up to 16 term credits of courses taken prior to enrolling in the degree program if the courses are applicable to the degree program and were taken within five years of matriculating into the degree program. The decision rests with the degree program.