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Public Health Training Certificate for American Indian Health Professionals


The overarching purpose of this public health certificate program is to promote participants’ capacity to address American Indian population health disparities through multidisciplinary public health approaches and culturally competent strategies. The certificate program examines four quadrants of influence: physical, behavioral, political, and spiritual/emotional, which, in balance, comprise the sphere of public health for American Indian communities.

The certificate program is offered for credit to graduate students at The Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health. It is also open to other health care professionals interested in the health of American Indians. The certificate can be earned over a three-year period through condensed format courses taught in January, June, and July in Baltimore.

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health offers additional training opportunities that are not-for-credit.

Educational Objectives

Environmental, Cultural, and Political Context

Students completing the certificate program will be able to:

  1. Discuss how tribal sovereignty status impacts health policy and management
  2. Understand the potential interface of tribal, federal, and private sectors in health system development
  3. Discuss and provide examples of inter-relationships between the environment and the public’s health
  4. Describe the unique impact of mental, social, and emotional health status on tribal community well-being
  5. Describe the components of effective community education and health communication campaigns
  6. Understand factors affecting early child development unique to tribal communities

Public Health Research Skills

Those completing the certificate will be able to employ public health theory and logic frameworks and apply basic statistical, demographic, and epidemiologic techniques to:

  1. Critique published public health research
  2. Identify available disease, behavioral, and mental health surveillance data from American Indian communities
  3. Identify how community based participatory research can be used to promote American Indian health
  4. Understand how to identify health priority needs utilizing community based participatory research methods and to evaluate intervention impacts using health surveillance data from American Indian communities
  5. Work with epidemiologists and other researchers to design community based interventions and other data collection efforts appropriate for American Indian communities
  6. Recognize good data management practices
  7. Understand the importance of research ethics and the composition and function of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), with specific emphasis on IRB’s role in tribal environments


The certificate program is designed for all Johns Hopkins University students, with the exception of JHSPH MAS students, who are not eligible to apply until they have completed their 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 achievement.

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health also offers not-for-credit training opportunities to American Indian health professionals, paraprofessionals, people working within American Indian communities, and current degree candidates at the School who are interested in expanding their public health expertise and skill sets related to American Indian health. An Award of Proficiency in American Indian Public Health may be taken not for credit; click here for more information on this Award.

Admissions Process

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

The certificate program will review the applications and notify each applicant of its admissions decision.

Requirements for Successful Completion

This certificate requires a minimum of 18 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 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 some courses are only offered every other year.  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.


1, 2, 3, 4,



Academic and Research Ethics at JHSPH

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


1, 2, 3, 4, SI, WI


Required Courses: Students must complete all three of the following courses
221.666*Introduction to American Indian Health Research Ethics2-SI of odd years
221.667An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Health of American Indians3-WI
221.670*Collecting Analyzing and Using Public Health Data in American Indian Communities3-SI of odd years
Electives:  Must take at least 10 credits
221.664**Prevention of Unintentional Injuries in American Indian Communities2-WI of even years
221.671**Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods2-SI of even years
221.672**Introduction to Data Management Using American Indian Health Data2-SI of even years
221.673*Mental Health Care and Delivery in American Indian Communities2-WI of odd years
221.665*Early Childhood Research with Tribal Communities2-SI of odd years
221.668Mass Media for Health Promotion in Native Communities2- -
221.669**American Indian Health Policy2-SI of even years
221.725*Community-Based Participatory Research and Indigenous Peoples2--

*Offered every other year (odd years)

**Offered every other year (even years)

SI = Course is offered in the Summer Institute held in June and/or July in Baltimore

WI = Course is offered in the Winter Institute held in January in Baltimore.

Contact Information

Sponsoring Department
International Health

Program Contact
Olivia Trujillo

Faculty Sponsor
Allison Barlow

Faculty Co-Sponsor
 Kristen Speakman