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Mental Health Policy, Economics and Services


The certificate introduces current issues in mental health policy including economic evaluation of mental and substance disorders and their treatments; access to mental health care treatments and utilization patterns; and mental health care financing, insurance, and delivery system issues in the U.S The certificate program also strives to orient mental health policy, economics, and services training within the broader context of ongoing national health care debates.

It is open to Johns Hopkins University graduate students interested in policy, advocacy and research careers within the field of mental health and junior and mid-level public health professionals interested in expanding their knowledge base and expertise in mental health services and economics and related policy issues.

Educational Objectives

Students completing the certificate will gain specialized knowledge of policy issues and economics relevant to mental disorders and mental health services. They will be able to:

  1. Describe the types, organization and financing of service systems for the mentally ill in the US; strengths and weaknesses of these service systems; and historical and recent trends in the mental health care delivery system
  2. Discuss the major legal and political developments in mental health care in the US over the last century and their impact on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health illnesses and associated disabilities and co-morbidities
  3. Interpret and provide input into the conduct of program evaluations, including economic evaluation of mental health interventions, and the design and implementation of mental health services and policy
  4. Use economic theory to predict changes in delivery of, access to, and quality of mental health services in response to changes in national and local policies and incentives
  5. Interpret and provide input into the conduct of health systems research related to mental health interventions, services, and policy

Course Requirements

Students should carefully review the certificate program page on the JHU e-catalogue site for full explanation of program requirements and courses.


The certificate is open to masters and doctoral students currently enrolled in any division of The Johns Hopkins University, with the exception of JHSPH MAS students, who are not eligible to apply until they have completed their primary degree program. It is also offered to non-degree students with at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and a strong record of successful academic performance.


Applying to the certificate program as a JHU graduate student

Students already enrolled in a graduate program at JHU are not required to submit the School's electronic admissions application, but must email Certificate Program Contact prior to starting coursework.

Start terms: It is possible to begin the certificate program only in term 1.

Applying to the certificate program as a non-degree student

Students who are not currently enrolled in a graduate program at JHU are required to apply to certificate programs using SOPHAS Express. All non-degree applicants should review the general Certificates Admissions page for instructions on how to apply to a certificate program and application deadlines. 

Start terms: It is possible to begin the certificate program only in term 1.

TOEFL/IELTS: Not required.

Prerequisites or special requirements: None

Requirements for Successful Completion

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.

Contact Information

Sponsoring Department
Department of Mental Health

Certificate Program Contact
Name: Patricia Scott

Faculty Sponsor
Name: Ramin Mojtabai, MD