Certificate in Public Health Leadership (PUBL)

Public Health Leadership Program

This is a 9 credit hour program of graduate study covering the core content taught in the PHLP program. Beneficial to public health professionals aiming to develop and broaden their leadership skills and potential. The curriculum is designed to provide leadership development directed at the individual, team, organizational and community levels within the context of public health and healthcare. Students will master competencies that will enable them to have a greater influence and effectiveness within their organizations. Students will be able successfully complete this program online. Online certificates are available to any interested student NOT currently enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill. After viewing the GPS overview, see our Public Health Leadership Certificate partner page for additional information.


Applications will open 8/03/2021 and close on 3/23/2022

General Information

Minimum Credit Hours


Expected Duration

1 yr

Learning Environment


Application Cycle

Summer See application details page for more info.

Application Deadline 1

March 23, 2022 See application details page for more info.

Applicant Information

Who Should Apply

Experienced public health practitioners who have assumed greater administrative and management responsibilities and seek additional training in leadership skills; Public health nurses and other public health specialists who want to broaden their knowledge and education to encompass leadership skills; Public health and other healthcare professionals who want to learn how to improve their team leadership skills; Health or social service related professionals who may not need a full MPH, but wish to enhance their professional knowledge of how to be an effective leader in public health organizations; Those wishing to pursue an MPH and expecting to use these credits towards that goal

Enrolled Student Demographics

  • Total Enrollment 1620
  • Female 72%, Male 28%
  • Underrepresented Minority Students 16.3%
  • International 11%

Program Costs & Funding

Admissions Information

Prior Degree Required

Most students have a BA or higher. Applicants with an Bachelor's degree or certification in their field and equivalent, related experience may be considered.

Standardized Test(s) Accepted

None required

Standardized Test Scores

School-wide: On average, incoming students had 77th percentile verbal and 65th percentile quantitative. Standardized test scores are one of many factors we consider in making admissions decisions. If you have concerns about your scores, please talk with us.

Undergrad G.P.A.

School-wide: Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.5

Letters of Recommendation Required

Not required

Faculty-Student Match Required

Not required

Interviews Required

Not required

Work Experience Required

Yes Priority is given to those with at least five years of work experience in a health or social science related field.

Visit Opportunities

Learn about opportunities to come to UNC Gillings to meet faculty, staff, and current students. If you are unable to come to campus – don’t worry – our representatives attend a variety of recruitment events around the United States as well as host virtual fairs and webinars.

During the Program

Required Courses

For a detailed description of all the requirements for this degree program please click here for the Student Handbook.

Comprehensive Exam Type(s)

No comprehensive exams

Capstone, Thesis or Dissertation

None required

Practicum, Internships & Fieldwork

Not required

Global Options Available

The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health strives to integrate global content and approaches across the School’s courses, programs and degrees. We believe that every student should emerge from our School with an understanding of global health issues. Some courses are focused largely on global issues, others are designed so that global and local issues are intertwined and some still are evolving. Learn more about these options.

NOTE: Certificate students don’t have opportunity for global study outside courses comprising program.

After the Program

Employment Opportunities

Local health department and NGO staff and management and other leadership activities; contract research and other health organizations; project and administrative management

Example Job Responsibilities

Manage staff; continuous quality improvement and other change initiatives; other assurance and leadership activities; strategic planning

  1. Complete online application
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    • Application Deadline: March 23, 2022
    • Fee: 45
    • Step Link

    (The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC-Chapel Hill programs.)


      See program details in GPS for requirements such as prequisites, prior degree, work experience, any test score waivers, as well as a tuition estimate and program overview.

    2. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

    3. Educational history

      • Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.
    4. Community standards

      You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

    5. Upload your personal statement.

      • Upload a document that answers the following questions (no more than 2 pages).
        • Describe your leadership experience and career goals.
        • How do you believe this program will help you meet your career goals?
        • How do you anticipate applying what you learn in the Public Health Leadership Certificate program to your future work?
    6. Upload your resume or CV.

    7. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

        • Not required
    8. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

    9. Pay the Graduate School application fee.

    10. Track your progress.

      • You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.
  2. FYI: application review process
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    1. SPH application review:

      • Interview
        • No interview required.
      • You will be notified via email regarding program decision.

The Gillings Program Search is a tool for exploring academic programs at the School. It is a prospectus for the current year to be used in consultation with an academic adviser and does not constitute the complete degree or program requirements for graduation or program completion.

Public Health Leadership Program
Credit Hours: