Online Certificates: FAQs
- I have never taken an online course, what is it like? Do I have to be online at a certain time?
- How many hours a week do the courses take?
- How many courses can I take each semester?
- Which courses do I have to take to complete the certificate?
- Can I transfer in a course to the certificate program?
- Can I use the credits earned from a certificate towards an MPH or other graduate-level degree?
- Can I enroll in other courses outside of the program curriculum, while enrolled in the certificate program?
- Can the Field Epidemiology (FEPI) certificate courses be transferred into the Applied Epidemiology concentration and Gillings MPH, if I decide to apply for an MPH after completing the certificate?
- Can I enroll in the certificate or take certificate courses if I am currently a UNC degree student?
- Can I waive my application fee if I am a full-time UNC University employee?
- Can I get financial aid?
- Do students have access to online library materials?
- Will I be able to ask questions?
- I complete the certificate program, can I put some credentials (initials) after my name indicating my training?
- Will the Certificate be listed on my transcript?
- How do I get technical assistance?
No, our online certificate courses are asynchronous, meaning you do not need to be online at a certain time. There are, however, specific activities that must be completed by a certain time. Each course consists of a mix of readings, assignments and participation through a discussion forum, and audio/visual tutorials.
Obviously, this varies from student to student. These are demanding graduate-level courses. The average number of hours per week/per course is 10-12. For some it is more and for others less.
We recommend students take only one course per semester. These are demanding graduate-level courses. These programs are designed for working professionals with full-time jobs and family responsibilities. Most courses take 10-12 hours of course work per week/per course. However, students can request to take more than one course per semester.
Please see the individual certificate program webpages for information about required courses and electives for the different programs.
Yes, students are allowed to transfer in one course (3 credits) towards a certificate program in PHLP, provided it was taken within five years and you received a grade of “B” or better. You will need to complete the course exemption paperwork for approval by our course instructor. You must complete the course exemption before enrolling in your final course.
All credits earned from these certificate programs may be transferrable towards an MPH degree at UNC Gillings. However, we strongly recommend that you check with any concentration that you are interested in before beginning a certificate program to verify if any of these credits will be counted towards an MPH degree.
No, you cannot enroll in other courses while you are enrolled in the certificate program.
The Gillings MPH is currently being reorganized as a single schoolwide degree with multiple concentrations. The decision as to which FEPI courses can be transferred into the MPH will vary for each concentration and can best be determined by contacting the Faculty Leads/Student Services staff for the MPH concentration that you apply to.
It is expected that all the FEPI certificate courses will be accepted for partial or full transfer credit or course exemption in the Applied Epidemiology concentration. It is also expected that all but the EPID 600 course will accepted for transfer into the Leadership in Practice concentration. As with other concentrations the final decision on course transfers will require direct contact with concentration faculty and staff during the MPH application process.
Unfortunately, you cannot be dually enrolled in a degree or continuing education program and a certificate program at the same time. You must complete or withdraw from your other program before beginning a certificate program.
Unfortunately, there is no financial aid for most certificate programs at this time. Here are a few URLs that you may be able to get information regarding scholarships and loans (please note that the following sites you’re are directed to are not UNC sites):
The UNC-CH libraries license and provide access to many electronic databases and journals for the use of UNC-CH faculty, staff, and students. Most electronic resources are accessible both on campus and from off-campus locations. The resources are accessible from on-campus computers without a login and password.
All courses have a faculty member and teaching assistants that are very accessible via discussion boards, phone or email.
The short answer to this question is no. UNC does not confer a degree on certificate graduates, but rather a Certificate. You should put this on your resume/CV as part of your education and training, since it is a program you have completed and training/expertise you’ve developed. In general credentials or initials after one’s name are reserved for nationally-recognized and standardized academic programs. Nationally, certificate programs vary widely in the type of training, number of hours, whether graduate credit is offered, etc., therefore there are no universally recognized and accepted initials which are appropriate to signify the completion of a certificate program
Yes, after you complete the program, your transcripts will indicate not just your completed course work but also that you have earned this certificate. It is an impressive accomplishment of which you should be very proud. We are pleased that UNC will similarly acknowledge your accomplishment on your transcripts. Transcripts can be ordered online by current students and alumni of the University. Online transcript ordering is convenient, can be done from any location 24/7, and provides emails to inform students/alumni on the status of their request.
Technical assistance is available through the University’s ATN department at 919-962-HELP or go to help.unc.edu to use live chat support or to submit a support request online. You can also go through the course faculty and teaching assistants.