Public Health Informatics is an emergent area that has been defined as the systematic application of information and computer science and technology to public health practice and research. Public Health Informatics is distinguished from other healthcare informatics specialties in its focus on population /community health, prevention orientation and the role of government agencies in public health practice.

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health Informatics (PHI) program is offered by the Gillings School of Global Public Health (SPH) as an 11-credit hour specialized educational option to prepare graduates for a variety of public health informatician roles.

Combining the existing strength of the SPH curriculum and the informatics curriculum at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS), it will offer focused education with emphasis on public health information systems, information management and manipulation as well as evidence-based public health policy.

The PHI certificate is envisioned as either complementary to a graduate degree from SPH, SILS and other UNC programs or as post-Baccalaureate advanced specialization training for members of current public health workforce.

Interested students should contact Bill Gentry, PHI certificate administrator, at wgentry@email.unc.edu.


Certificate in Public Health Informatics Course Details
NOTE: At least 6 of the 11 credit hours must be from SPH courses.
Public Health Informatics Core CoursesCredits
INSL 582: Systems Analysis3
BIOS 669: Working with Data in Public Health Research
HPM 760: Healthcare Quality and Information Management
INSL 523: Introduction to Database Concepts and Applications
Public Health Informatics Practicum: Students will be required to pick or include a PHI-related work arrangement for their certificate practicum.2
Electives: Choose ONE from the lists below
School of Public Health (SPH)
BIOS 664: Sample Survey Methodology3
BIOS 668: Design of Public Health Studies3
BIOS 669: Working with Data in a Public Health Research Setting*3
ENVR 468: Temporal GIS and Space/Time Geostatistics for the Environment and Public Health 3
EPID 750: Fundamentals of Public Health Surveillance 3
EPID 766: Epidemiology Research with Healthcare Databases3
HPM 620: Implementing Health Informatics Initiatives 3
HPM 760: Healthcare Quality and Information Management*3
PUBH 784: Project Management Strategy and Application 3
School of Information and Library Science (SILS)3
INLS 523: Introduction to Database Concepts and Applications (INLS 161 pre-req or test)*3
INLS 767: Information Assurance3
INLS 718: User Interface Design (INLS 582 pre-req)3
INLS 725: Electronic Health Records3
* If not taken to satisfy the data management core course requirement.

Admission Requirements

  • Currently enrolled in a UNC graduate degree in a health related field; applicants must be already accepted into a UNC graduate residential program.
  • Completion of the application for the Graduate Certificate Program with academic program advisor’s permission.
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Basic computer skills.
  • Personal statement from the applicant (one page, reason for applying and how the certificate education fits into future research / work plans).
  • Personal interview with program administrator.

For more information or to apply, contact Bill Gentry, program administrator, at wgentry@email.unc.edu.

BSPH, MSPH and Resident MHA:
Academic Coordinator: Yolonda N. Childs

Doctoral and Executive MHA:
Academic Coordinator: Kim Sieler

Assistant to Chair: Stephanie Forman
Looking for someone else?

Mailing Address
135 Dauer Drive
1101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7411
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411