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On-line Capstone Certificate in Leadership for Population Health Improvement

Communities are facing complex and multi-faceted public health problems such as high rates of obesity, low access to health care services, and underage alcohol misuse, to name just a few. Because of scrutiny of the cost of healthcare, many facets of the healthcare system are rapidly changing. Tackling complex issues will require more effective leadership in public health agencies and other organizations whose policies, programs, and practices significantly influence population health and well-being.

The Capstone Certificate Program, designed for non-degree seeking students, engages participants to build upon their professional training and experience by providing new knowledge, skills, and cutting-edge strategies for population health improvement. Upon completion of this certificate program, participants will be prepared to identify opportunities for policy and system change and exercise stronger leadership skills, including planning, communication, collaboration, and negotiation.

The Capstone Certificate in Leadership for Population Health Improvement is designed for students who are interested in strengthening their capacity to contribute to population health improvement. The program is designed to be taken over a one-year period, but can be extended to two years or more. The certificate is well-suited for participants with academic backgrounds in medicine, nursing, law, allied health, social work, pharmacy, business, public affairs and health systems engineering, specifically exposing leaders in other sectors to public health. Returning post-master’s and post-doctoral students seeking professional development to complement their existing degrees may also consider this certificate. The Certificate Program is also an ideal introduction to population health during a "gap" year.

Admissions Requirements:

Students who wish to complete the Certificate must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or equivalent.
  • Provide evidence of strong academic performance comparable to a “B” grade point average or above in undergraduate or graduate course work.
  • Some professional experience is preferred but not required.

The Curriculum:

The curriculum consists of four, three-credit courses. The courses are offered on an annual basis as follows:

  • Summer: Population Health Sciences 879: Politics of Health Policy Syllabus
  • Fall: Population Health Sciences 785: Health Systems, Management and Policy (Fall semester) Syllabus
  • Spring I: Population Health Sciences 780: Public Health Principles and Practice (Spring semester; first 8 weeks) Syllabus
  • Spring II: Population Health Sciences 714: Leadership for Population Health Improvement (Spring semester; last 8 weeks) Syllabus

Upon completion of the Leadership Certificate, some students may wish to pursue an MPH degree. Since the courses comprising the Certificate are drawn from the existing core and elective courses from the UW-Madison MPH program, it may be possible for students to transfer the certificate coursework into a MPH program. Entrance into and successful completion of the Certificate Program; however, does not guarantee admission to an MPH Program.

To Apply:

Step 1:

Applicants must complete the online application through the Division of Continuing Studies.

Step 2:

Submit the following materials to the MPH Program in the Department of Population Health Sciences:

  • Resume’ or CV
  • Official transcripts
  • A personal statement that provides information about how the Certificate will enhance the student’s professional capacity and activities

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

For more information contact:

Barbara Duerst
Director of Public Health Education and Training,
Department of Population Health Sciences
Phone: 608-263-4215