This 15-credit Public Health Certificate has a flexible curriculum that allows students to select courses that will build a foundation in public health with a focus on the prevention and education about HIV/AIDS in the community. This online certificate program is specifically designed for someone that wants to increase their knowledge of public health as it applies to HIV/AIDS, particularly in the rural south.

Successful completion of this certificate will be denoted on a student’s transcript by “Completed Graduate Certificate in Public Health.” A paper certificate with the same notation will be mailed to the students home 8-12 weeks after final grades are posted.

Features of the Graduate Certificate in Public Health

  • can be completed in 3-5 semesters depending on starting semester and course availability
  • consists of 5 courses of 3 credits each
  • requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA and have no grades lower than a “C”
  • requires a final exam covering the 10 Essential Services of Public Health
  • courses in this certificate program may be transferred into the University of Florida’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program upon admission with a B or better grade, provided that the courses were completed less than 7 years prior.



HIV/AIDS Certificate Course Plan (Option 1) HIV/AIDS Certificate Course Plan (Option 2)
HIV/AIDS Certificate Course Plan (Option 3)

Applicants will choose their specific plan of study and course schedule when completing the departmental application. Course schedules are listed at

Course Descriptions and Syllabi

PHC 6001 – Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health (3)
Overview of epidemiology methods used in research studies that address disease patterns in community and clinic-based populations. Includes distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specific populations and application to control of health problems. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6009 – Epidemiology and Biology of HIV/AIDS (3)
This course is intended to serve as a broad introduction to the study of HIV/AIDS. Epidemiology refers to the distribution of disease within a population, and is concerned with the causes and risk factors that influence health and its outcomes. The biology of HIV infection refers to the physiologic processes and cellular processes involved in HIV infection and its treatment. The overall goal of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the biological process by which HIV causes infection and AIDS, and to provide skills in finding current epidemiological data on HIV/AIDS and interpreting it. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6447 – Ecology of HIV/AIDS in the Rural South (3)
The causal factors, responses, and outcomes associated with HIV/AIDS in the rural south are complex and steeped within a culture that poses unique barriers to both prevention and the provision of services. The overall goal of this course is to use an ecological framework to explore and understand multilevel factors associated with (1) risk and protective behaviors; (2) testing and disclosure of HIV status; (3) availability and sources of social support; (4) need for and use of medical, psychological, and social services; and (5) the development and use of culturally appropriate interventions. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

Pick 2 of the following courses:

HSA 6114 – Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System (3)
Definitions and distribution of health and illness, historical context for development of the US health care system, current organization of the health care system, ability of the system to meet population needs, policy environment that influences access to care, and trends that could impact the system in the future. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6002 – Epidemiology of Infectious Disease (3)
Epidemiology, prevention, and control of infectious diseases impacting local, national, and global community health; epidemiology methods used in disease surveillance and measures used in slowing or preventing spread of disease. –Prerequisite: PHC 6001 and PHC 6050. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6052 — Introduction to Biostatistical Methods (3)
Introduction to the concepts and methods of biostatistical data analysis. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, standard probability distributions, sampling distributions, point and confidence interval estimation, hypothesis testing, power and sample size estimation, one- and two-sample parametric and non-parametric methods for analyzing continuous or discrete data, and simple linear regression. SAS statistical software for data management, statistical analysis and power calculations. Required core course for students in biostatistics, environmental health, and epidemiology concentrations. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6050 – Statistical Methods for Health Science I (3)
Appropriate use of data summarization and presentation of basic statistical methods, including ANOVA, nonparametric methods, inference on discrete data, inference on survival data, and regression methods for continuous, binary, and survival data. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6195 – Health Information for Diverse Populations: Theory & Methods (3)
Social and behavioral science (SBS) is a core area in public health. A critical skill for SBS students is the ability to develop and to communicate health information that is appropriate for specific audiences, including high-risk populations, and can effectively increase knowledge AND change attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. This is an introductory course; as such, we will be examining basic concepts and social scientific research in persuasive communication to gain an understanding of how individuals process and respond to public health information. The overall aims of the course are to: (a) survey the critical components of health information using relevant theories and research; (b) introduce qualitative and quantitative methods of gathering target populations’ health attitudes and perceptions and designing population-specific health information; and (c) practice developing health information products. Each class will consist of theoretical and methodological lectures/discussions as well as presentations of relevant research. The success of the course will depend heavily upon active class participation. That said, students are strongly encouraged to present their thoughts and ideas; ask critical questions; and listen and respond respectfully to the ideas and inquiries of others.  Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6410 – Psychological, Behavioral, and Social Issues in Public Health (3)
Health behavior from an ecological perspective; includes primary, secondary and tertiary prevention across a variety of settings; incorporates behavioral science theory and methods. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6251 – Assessment and Surveillance in Public Health (3)
Knowledge, skills, and methods for conducting community health assessments to identify factors that affect the health of a population. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to: Create a comprehensive plan for conducting a community assessment; Develop partnerships with community members, organizations, and stakeholders; Determine appropriate assessment methods; Develop instruments for data collection, both quantitative and qualitative; Report findings from an assessment; and Communicate findings to stakeholders. – Prerequisite: PHC 6410. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

*There are currently several courses in this program with the same PHC 6937 course number as these courses are classified as “Special Topics” courses with UF. They will be assigned new course numbers in the future.

  • An admission to the Graduate Certificate in Public Health is not an admission to the UF Graduate School.
  • Credits from other universities cannot be transferred into this certificate program.

 For more information, please contact Katherine Pizarro at