Public health works to improve the health of people and the communities where they grow, live, work, play, and age. Instead of treating individual patients, public health scientists and practitioners prevent disease before it starts. We work in and with communities to foster health and well-being for everyone.  

The undergraduate certificate in Public Health at UWM is designed for any individual interested in applying public health concepts, methods, approaches, and skills in their current or future career. If you want to make a difference in the health and well-being of communities, this certificate is for you!

Students in the certificate program take courses from faculty and instructors in the UWM Zilber School of Public Health—the only accredited school of public health in Wisconsin. Our faculty and instructors are experts in their fields and enjoy sharing their knowledge and passion about public health with our students.


Graduates of the certificate program will be able to:

  • Explain the core values and functions of public health in society.
  • Respect the dignity of individuals and communities across cultures.
  • Explain basic methods and tools of public health data collection and analysis.
  • Locate, use, evaluate, and synthesize public health information.
  • Describe key determinants of health.
  • Outline screening, prevention, and control of infectious and chronic diseases in populations.
  • Outline evidence-based public health approaches for health promotion.
  • Explain policy approaches to solving population health issues.
  • Communicate public health information.

Working with a public health advisor, certificate students can select electives to gain further expertise in environmental health, public health methods, social inequities in health, or design and evaluation of public health programs.


Students must declare their intent to pursue this certificate. The Zilber School academic advisors provide vital information and guidance to help students make informed decisions about their elective courses. Students are encouraged to meet with a Public Health advisor at least once each semester. To schedule an advising appointment, contact Zilber School of Public Health undergraduate advising.

The curriculum consists of three required core courses (9 credits) and three elective courses (9 credits) for 18 credits total.1

Core courses (9 credits)
PH 101Introduction to Public Health3
PH 304Foundations of Epidemiology 13
Select one of the following:3
Exploring Global Environmental Health
Introduction to Global Health 2
Select three (3) courses 39
Public Health from Cells to Society I
Public Health from Cells to Society II
Health and Disease: Concepts and Contexts
Climate Change, the Environment and Human Health
Adolescent Health & Development
Introduction to Health Disparities
Foundations for Action in Public Health
Environmental Health and Disease
Public Health Research Methods I
Topics in Public Health:
Comparative Health Systems: A Social Determinants Approach
True Lies: Consuming and Communicating Quantitative Information
Strategies for Action in Public Health
Program Implementation & Evaluation for a Healthy Society
Public Health Research Methods II
Public Health Research Using Social Media
Independent Study 4
Other Study Abroad public health courses approved by Zilber School academic advisor
Other public health courses approved by Zilber School academic advisor
Total Credits18

Prereq=KIN 270(C), SOCIOL 261(C), or comparable QLB statistics course(C).


Equivalent to NURS 110.


Some courses have additional prerequisite(s) – please discuss with your Public Health Advisor.


A maximum of 3 credits in PH 699: Independent Study may be applied to the Public Health Certificate.

Continuation and Exit Requirements

To obtain the certificate, the student must complete, with a minimum grade point average of 2.500, at least 18 credits in approved Public Health Certificate courses, of which 12 must be earned in residence at UWM. A maximum of 3 credits of PH 699: Independent Study may count toward Certificate requirements. Certificate courses may not be taken on a credit/no credit basis.

Transfer Credit

Credits earned at other accredited institutions within the last three years that are shown to be equivalent to courses in the Certificate program may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the program requirements, subject to review by the Zilber School academic advisor and/or Undergraduate Program Director.

Students currently enrolled at UWM who have fulfilled some of the program’s requirements prior to the approval of this program may count those courses toward completion of the Certificate requirements.

Awarding the Certificate

Students currently involved in baccalaureate studies who successfully complete the requirements of the program will be awarded the Certificate at the time of graduation. Non-degree students or those who already have a bachelor’s degree will receive the Certificate upon completion of the program requirements. Awarding of the certificate program will be noted on the student's official transcript.


The Public Health Certificate is available to all UWM students seeking a bachelor’s degree who have a current overall GPA of 2.0, to students who previously received a bachelor’s degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university, and to those who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but want to gain skills and knowledge in public health. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid and must meet University admission requirements.