May 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Health Core Concepts Graduate Certificate

Contact: Ellyn Mulcahy

The certificate program in Public Health  Core Concepts is designed to give individuals, both working professionals and graduate students on campus with no formal public health education, a strong foundation of knowledge in the five core concept areas in public health: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences. The courses required for the certificate are the same ones required in the core concept areas for the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program currently offered at Kansas State University. These five areas meet the Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH) program accreditation standards. The following are the basic or core competencies in each of the five discipline areas:

  • Biostatistics: collection, storage, retrieval, analysis, and interpretation of health data; design and analysis of health-related surveys and experiments; and concepts and practice of statistical data analysis.
  • Epidemiology: distributions and determinants of disease, disabilities, and death in human populations; the characteristics and dynamics of human populations; and the natural history of disease and the biologic basis of health.
  • Environmental Health Sciences: environmental factors including, biological, physical, and chemical factors that affect the health of a community.
  • Health Services Administration: planning, organization, administration, management, evaluation, and policy analysis of health programs.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences: concepts and methods of social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and the solution of public health problems.

Enrolling in the Certificate Program

To apply for admission to the certificate program:

  • Students must have completed an undergraduate degree and be making satisfactory progress in or completed a graduate degree as documented by an
    official transcript or other appropriate documentation
  • Students must be concurrently enrolled in a graduate program at K-State OR be admitted in the graduate program as a non-degree student
  • Students must submit a narrative letter that describes their interest and experience in public health and objectives for completing the
  • Students must submit a letter of recommendation from their major professor or employer (if already completed graduate degree)

After review of the application documents by the Director of the Master of Public Health Program, the Director may:

  1. Admit the student to the certificate program
  2. Conditionally admit the student to the certificate program and indicate which pre-requisite courses must be completed prior to
    enrollment in some or all of the certificate program courses
  3. Reject the student for the certificate program

If at a later time the student applies to the MPH Program at Kansas State University and is admitted, the full fifteen hours in the graduate
certificate may be applied to the MPH degree.

Graduate students working toward advanced degrees may use any or all of the certificate courses in a program of study with the approval of the student’s
supervisory committee. All students are required to fill out an enrollment form to maintain tracking of progress by the Master of Public Health Program
Office. Completed forms should be signed, dated, and returned to the Program Director via campus mail or in person at 103 Trotter Hall. The Program
Office will verify grades achieved prior to the expected date of graduation.

Required Courses (15 credit hours)

Coursework can be taken in a distance learning format or in the traditional on-campus classroom setting. The certificate program in public health core concept requires a total of 15 credit hours taken from the following six courses: 


All courses applied toward the certificate must be completed with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Program Administration

The Director of the Master of Public Health degree program serves as the administrator of the Graduate Certificate in Public Health Core Concepts.

Send all documentation to

Dr. Ellyn R. Mulcahy
Director, Master of Public Health Program
103 Trotter Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

More information about the MPH Program can be found at: