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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


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.

Admissions Process

Applicants should review the How to Apply page for information about eligibility and special instructions. 

Requirements for Successful Completion

The certificate requires a minimum of 19 term credits. 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. The certificate program length is flexible; it varies from student to student, however, the certificate must be completed within three years.  

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

Students should check the course catalog to confirm when the courses are offered. The term and time may change from what is listed in the table below and students should also check for pre-requisites and whether instructor consent is required.

Course No.Course TitleNo. CreditsOnline TermCampus Term

Introduction to Online Learning

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

01,2,2,4, Summer-

Academic and Research Ethics at JHSPH

All students are required to complete this free online course during their first term of study.

01,2,3,4, Summer-
Required Courses: Students must complete the following required courses (300.651 AND 330.664 AND 330.667 AND EITHER 313.630 OR 313.790)
300.651Introduction to the US Healthcare System441
313.630Economic Evaluation I (students should take EITHER 313.630 OR 313.790)3-2
313.790Introduction to Economic Evaluation (students should take EITHER 313.630 OR 313.790)34-
330.664Introduction to Mental Health Services3-1
330.667Mental Health and the Law3-3
Elective Courses:  Students must complete at least two of the following elective courses
300.712Formulating Policy: Strategies and Systems of Policymaking in the 21st Century3-2
309.716Advanced Methods in Health Services Research: Analysis3-1
313.641Introduction to Health Economics 33-

Health Economics II

330.603Psychiatric Epidemiology3-2
330.607Prevention of Mental Disorders: Public Health Interventions344
330.628Gaps and Opportunities in Public Mental Health: A Systems Approach3-2

Contact Information

Sponsoring Department
Department of Mental Health

Certificate Program Contact
Name: Patricia Scott

Faculty Sponsor
Name: Ramin Mojtabai, MD

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 this disclosure.