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Epidemiology for Public Health Professionals


The timely detection, investigation, control, and prevention of outbreaks and major long-term public health problems require a well-trained and competent epidemiology workforce as a key component of a national public health infrastructure. The Epidemiology Workforce in State and Local Health Departments - United States, 2010 Weekly March 30, 2012/61(12);205-208

Epidemiology is an integral component of public health practice. The discipline aims to provide the basis to prevent disease and to promote the health of populations through the study of the occurrence and distribution of health-related states or events, including the study of determinants influencing such states. Professional epidemiologic methods, defined as the application of epidemiologic methods to public health practice, entail the combination of analytical methods and applied epidemiology oriented to problem solving in public health. The principal areas of professional epidemiology include epidemiologic assessment of public health data, health situation and trend analyses, public health surveillance and health program impact assessment. These areas are closely linked to the essential public health function and services. This certificate program is intended to provide the concepts, methods and tools needed for the assessment of health situations and trends of population groups.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of the core courses in this certificate program, individuals will have gained specialized knowledge and skills on the application of epidemiologic concepts and methods to public health problems, as follows:

With regard to the usual functions of public health agencies, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the Problem Solving Framework for measuring the severity of priority health problems,
  2. Recognize the role of routine and public health information systems in epidemiologic assessments,
  3. Identify tools and measurements used to monitor the quality of performance of public health information systems,
  4. Identify the main indicators for measuring the burden of diseases at global, national and local levels
  5. Design health situation analyses: epidemiological profiles and community health status assessments,
  6. Interpret measures of health burden, association and effectiveness,
  7. Describe the framework of the public health surveillance cycle and sources of information,
  8. Design, implement and evaluate disease surveillance systems,
  9. Communicate epidemiological information and synthesis to policy makers, professionals, and lay audiences.


The certificate program is open to Bloomberg School students, with the exception of MAS students; graduate students in other divisions of Johns Hopkins University; and to non-students.

The certificate is designed for junior and mid-level public health professionals interested in expanding their knowledge of epidemiologic methods as related to public health issues and their ability to address public health problems. It is also designed for masters and doctoral students enrolled at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and in other university divisions, including the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. JHSPH MAS students are not eligible to apply until they have completed their primary degree program. 

The certificate program can be completed entirely with a combination of online and on-campus courses. 

Admissions Process

Applicants should review the How to Apply page for information about application deadlines, eligibility and special instructions. The certificate program's review committee will review the applications and notify each applicant of their admissions decision. 

Requirements for Successful Completion

All required and elective courses must be taken for a letter grade; a minimum grade of C is required in all certificate coursework and students must maintain a 2.75 or better overall GPA for all certificate coursework. 

Students must successfully complete the core courses, demonstrated by full attendance and participation in all course activities and assignments.  The student should review the section of the website that addresses completion before completing certificate program requirements. The student's transcript will 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 of Study

The certificate program requires a minimum of 21 term credits comprised of required courses and core elective courses. The certificate curriculum consists of four required courses in epidemiologic methods, and at least two of three core elective courses. Certificate students may take additional elective courses focusing on application of epidemiologic methods to substantive areas, such as infectious diseases and biostatistics methods. Students should check the course catalog to confirm when courses are offered.

REQUIRED CORE COURSES: Students must complete the following required courses:

Course NumberCourse NameTerm credit unitsTerm offered onlineTerm offered on campus

Introduction to Online Learning

All students are required to complete this free course before taking other online courses

01,2,3,4, Summer-

Academic and Research Ethics at JHSPH

All students taking the certificate for academic credit are required to complete this free online course during their first term of study

Students must select either 340.601, 340.721 or 340.751
340.601Principles of Epidemiology5-S,SI
340.721Epidemiologic Inference in Public Health53, SI1
340.751Epidemiologic Methods I5-1
Students must select either 340.602 OR 340.722 OR 340.752
340.602Intermediate Epidemiology3SI-
340.722Epidemiologic Inference in Public II42-
340.752Epidemiologic Methods II5-2
Students must select either (340.767 AND 340.768) OR 340.769
340.767Professional Epidemiologic Methods: Topics and Methods for Health Situation Analysis 2-SI
340.768Professional Epidemiologic Methods: Decision Making in Health Situation Analysis2-SI
340.769Professional Epidemiology Methods4-3
Students must select either (340.765 AND 340.766) OR 340.770
340.765Professional Epidemiologic Methods: Epidemiologic Intelligence and Population Health2SI-
340.766Professional Epidemiologic Methods: Public Health Surveillance2-SI
340.770Public Health Surveillance33, SI2

REQUIRED ELECTIVE COURSES: Students must select at least two of the following elective courses to complete the certificate program with a total of 21 credits. Elective substitutions are possible, but require approval in advance from Dr. Carlos Castillo-Salgado. Only one elective course may be substituted. 

Course NumberCourse NameTerm credit units Term offered onlineTerm offered on campus
Students may select either 340.606 or 340.686
340.606.01Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis4-3
340.686.11Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis2-SI
Students may select either 340.653 or 340.693
340.653.01Epidemiologic Inference in Outbreak Investigations3-4
340.693.11Investigation of Outbreaks2-SI
Student may either select 320.717 or 340.727
340.717.01Health Survey Research4-2
340.727.11Introduction to Health Survey Research23SI

SI=Summer Institute

Contact Information

Certificate Program Contact
Name: Ayesha Khan, Department of Epidemiology

Phone: 410-955-7158

Faculty Sponsor
Name: Carlos Castillo Salgado, MD, DrPH, JD

Faculty Co-Sponsor
Moyses Szklo, MD, MPH, DrPH

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.