Population Health

Required coursework

Completion of the certificate will require earning 15 credits in courses numbered 500 and above. The distribution is four (4) core classes, which includes a culminating capstone experience, and completion of a sufficient number of elective courses to obtain the 15 total credits required to earn the certificate. Nine (9) of the 15 credits required to earn a certificate must be earned in graded courses.

Students will be required to complete a minimum of 15 credits to earn the certificate, a total that will break down as follows:

  • G H 576, Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (2 credits);
  • LAW B 595, International Humanitarian Law (4 credits);
  • Either IPM 516, Community Resilience (3 credits) or PUBPOL 533, Economics of International Development (4 credits);
  • A capstone or equivalent unifying experience (1 to 3 credits); and,
  • Elective courses needed to reach 15 credits.

Descriptions of required courses

G H 576 Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (2 credits)
Covers the principles of planning, implementing, and evaluating health programs for refugees and internally displaced persons during complex humanitarian emergencies in resource poor countries. Topics include rapid assessment; surveys; surveillance; nutrition; camp management; epidemiology of infectious diseases; water and sanitation; and vaccination campaigns during international relief operations for complex humanitarian emergencies. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: A.

LAW B 595 International Humanitarian Law (3 to 5 credits)
Investigates International Humanitarian Law (sometimes called the Law of Armed Conflict), the field concerned with rules developed by nations to protect victims of armed conflict, including the Geneva Conventions. Case studies include the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as developments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Offered: Sp.

IPM 516 Community Resilience (3 credits)
Applies a resilience lens to stressed communities. Students apply resilience concepts to real world communities and infrastructures impacted by real events, and gain practice in supporting policies, programs, and projects that enhance overall resilience. Offered: Sp.

PUBPOL 533 Economics of International Development (4 credits)
Economics of International Development critically examines the validity and reliability of most common economic development indicators of poverty, growth and inequality, and provides an overview of, and basic literacy around, international macroeconomic topics including debt, aid, trade and financial markets. Offered: W.

Required capstone

All certificate participants will complete a culminating capstone project, which will require registration for a one-, two- or three-credit independent study course (e.g., G H 600, EPI 600, PUBPOL 600, and so forth) within their degree program. Students will identify a topic, project or practice site, and a faculty mentor from their degree program, and will submit a brief proposal to the certificate’s program coordinator for review and approval. Capstones will be offered on a credit/no credit basis through the student’s degree program.

Capstones should have an international focus, although they can be completed in a domestic setting if appropriate. The capstone for the certificate must be separate from a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation, although students can use the same faculty advisor. The number of credits will be determined by the student:

  1. In consultation with their faculty advisor, certificate faculty director and certificate program coordinator to assess necessary work load to complete the student’s proposed project; and,
  2. By assessing the number of available credits remaining to complete the certificate once the student’s desired elective(s) are identified or completed.

The capstone project will act as the culmination of students’ learning experience in the certificate program, allowing them to distill the knowledge and skills they acquired through their course work and apply it to a real-world project. Capstone projects will be evaluated by certificate-affiliated faculty during a final oral presentation.

Examples of potential capstone projects include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Analysis of data collected before, during or after a disaster.
  • Literature review or evidence synthesis on best practices associated with preparation for or response to a humanitarian emergency.
  • A case study that analyzes one or multiple aspects of the response to a specific humanitarian crisis.
  • A field study that seeks to measure the efficacy of a particular intervention during or after a disaster.
  • A comparative study of a humanitarian crisis in two different settings that reveals lessons learned.
  • A community-engaged project to strengthen resilience in an at-risk population.

Student projects will be required to demonstrate a student time commitment equivalent to the hour expectations per academic credit. This means a one-credit capstone would require 30 hours of total time to complete, a two-credit capstone would require 60 hours and a three-credit capstone would require 90 hours.

Elective courses

Students will complete additional elective courses to reach the minimum of 15 credits required to be awarded the certificate. The current list of courses that would satisfy the elective requirement can be found on the following page.

Alternative courses may be suggested and accepted as satisfying the certificate requirements on a case-by-case basis by the certificate program coordinator. We have specifically selected a broad range of possible electives to allow certificate students to customize their learning experience to their exact area of interest. Please note that courses already taken cannot retroactively be used as an alternate elective course.

We anticipate that students will complete electives within their respective degree programs. However, the range of electives that we will accept will allow students to take advantage of the university’s general approach to allowing enrollment in courses outside of their degree program as long as they have met any course prerequisites and there is space available in the class. Our certificate program coordinator will offer support to any student interested in securing access to an elective course that is outside of their degree program.