The goal of our Total Worker Health® certificate program is to train students from diverse disciplines to work effectively together to protect and promote workers’ health. Our graduates emerge with a common language to discuss the key determinants of health encountered at work. As Total Worker Health (TWH) practitioners, they will be equipped to act on these determinants by planning, implementing and evaluating comprehensive workplace interventions as part of an interdisciplinary team.


This is a 3-course, 9-credit certificate:

Critical issues in work, worker and workplace health (ENVR795/HBEH785)
No prerequisite
This course prepares students to contribute as members of an interdisciplinary team to protect and promote workers’ health. Students will learn that work is a social determinant of health and explore the context in which worker health protection/promotion practitioners work. Students will be able to summarize key regulations and policies that impact work and worker health. They also will be able to describe how the risks and benefits of work are changing alongside major shifts in demographics and the labor force. Students will hear from panels of worker health protection/promotion practitioners and explore the different approaches each discipline takes to addressing common worker health problems to better understand how to address worker safety, health and well-being as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Essential methods for evaluating worker and workplace health (HBEH786)
No prerequisite, but recommended to complete ENVR795/HBEH785 first
Students in this course develop skills for deploying a comprehensive, multi-level assessment of worker and workplace health. Students draw on the evidence base to articulate a plan for engaging employees in assessments; describe how to conduct individual worker assessments ethically and legally; conduct several types of individual and organizational assessments; use available administrative data (e.g. OSHA injury and illness records, sick leave data) and practice communicating findings from these data sources to multiple stakeholders in the worksite (e.g., frontline workers, top administration, managers).

Planning, implementing and evaluating TWH interventions (HBEH787)
Corequisite: ENVR795/HBEH785
Students in this course apply the Comprehensive Planning-Implementation-Evaluation Framework to recommend a TWH intervention to address the needs of a specific group of workers. They learn to use multiple data sources to identify a priority worker health/safety issue; identify and adapt evidence-based worker-health interventions; and write an implementation and evaluation plan for their TWH intervention. We emphasize how to engage workers in all stages of the planning process.

Trainees also must attend four NORA Interdisciplinary Seminars. Seminars span a range of worker-health protection and promotion topics and disciplines, are archived online and occur quarterly.

Course Schedule

Fall 2024

  • ENVR 795/HBEH 785: Tuesdays, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • HBEH 787: Fridays: 8:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Spring 2025

  • HBEH 786: Thursdays: 3:30-6:30 p.m.


This program is open to
1) degree-seeking, matriculated students in the graduate and professional schools at UNC-CH and
2) working professionals who have completed a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and who wish to enroll for continuing education.

To be eligible for tuition support, a trainee must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien (green card holder).


Log in to https://applynow.unc.edu/apply/, start a Certificate application, and then select Total Worker Health from the drop down menu.


Tuition assistance is available. Eligibility for tuition assistance is based on several factors: strength of your application; need (students with full tuition coverage from other sources are not eligible); funding from other federal training grants; and status as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien (green card holder).

Awards for degree-seeking matriculated students will be applied to tuition at the Public Health MPH rate (see Graduate Program Tuition and Fees.  (Click here for Graduate Program Tuition and Fees) . Awards for continuing education students enrolled via the Friday Center will be applied at the Graduate Non-Degree-Seeking rate (Click here for Non-Degree Studies Tuition and Fees). Awardees will receive up to 3 credit hours of tuition assistance for each certificate course they complete and up to the federally allowable amount in fees coverage for each semester they are enrolled in certificate courses. This assistance will be disbursed in the semester of course enrollment.

Contact us

General inquiry: TWHCertificate@unc.edu

Certificate Director, Dr. Laura Linnan: linnan@email.unc.edu

Certificate Program Manager, Ms. Maija Leff: maija_leff@med.unc.edu

Total Worker Health® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Participation by the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center does not imply endorsement by HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.