Public Health Graduate Certificate in GIS

Available Online!

UNTHSC can offer online courses to the majority of U.S. States as listed on the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Institutions Page.


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Complete your certificate with just 5 online classes. Each class lasts 8 weeks, so you can complete the certificate typically in one year. Selected courses are offered each semester (including summer), both online and in-person. Upon completion of the Certificate, students earning a grade of B or better in each course who are admitted to the MPH program may apply all fifteen credit hours to their degree.

The role of Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, research and spatial analysis is a valuable tool in public health today to better understand the geography of disease and its risk factors. The role of GIS is rapidly increasing in the development of public health policy for targeted prevention and intervention methods. GIS technology is now applied by WHO, the CDC, FEMA, state and local health departments, and various other public health organizations.

In conjunction with UNT’s Department of Geography, the UNT Health Science Center’s School of Public Health is now offering a 15 semester credit hour (SCH) certificate program to train students for public health research and practice in an academic or industry setting using GIS.

The Public Health  Graduate Certificate in GIS is a 15 SCH program and can be taken independently or as part of a graduate degree program in the School of Public Health. By the completion of the certificate program students will be able to:

Understand geographic information science principles in the context of public health
Demonstrate knowledge of methods of the geospatial analysis of public health information
Apply appropriate geospatial methods to public health research, practice, and policy
Use GIS software and geodatabase design to access, manage, and analyze spatial health data

Curriculum (15 SCH)
Course Descriptions 

BIOS 5300 Principles of Biostatistics (3 SCH): Basic knowledge and skills to effectively use biostatistics in research design and data analysis and to understand articles in related professional journals. Topics include choosing appropriate research designs and statistical methods in public health research and practice; descriptive statistics; probability and probability distributions; estimation and hypothesis testing; simple linear regression; introduction to analysis of variance and an introduction to the use of statistical software packages.

EPID 5300 Principles of Epidemiology (3 SCH): Introduce public health students to epidemiology so that they understand how epidemiology contributes to (1) identifying factors that cause diseases, (2) assessing the public health importance of diseases, (3) describing the natural history of diseases, and (4) evaluating procedures for preventing diseases.

EOHS 5362 GIS in Public Health (3 SCH): GIS in Health is an applied course covering the theory and applications of geographic information systems (GIS) for public health. This course is designed for students with interests in learning about methods for analyzing the spatial patterns of disease burdens and their relationships to environmental hazards and includes an overview of GIS and spatial analysis principles in public health. The practical component of this class involves the use of desktop GIS software packages including ArcGIS and other spatial analysis software such as SatScan. In addition, this course also covers location allocation (LA) techniques for measuring and evaluating accessibility to public health facilities.

EOHS 5364 Geographic Distribution of Health and Disease (3 SCH):Medical geography deals with geographic aspects of disease ecology, health care delivery, and environment and health. Disease ecology involves the spatial pattern of diseases and associated explanatory variables including geological, meteorological, biological and cultural phenomena associated with disease, as well as the social, political and economic barriers to healthy living. Health care delivery includes spatial patterns of health care provision and patient behavior including health inequalities. Environment and health draws on geography’s long tradition in environmental hazards research and includes such topics as the physical and psychosocial health impacts of environmental contamination. GIS and spatial analysis are used intensively in this course.

EOHS 6366* GeoSpatial Applications (3 SCH):This course will utilize epidemiology and geographic information science (GISci) methodologies and apply them to a student-developed public health research problem. It is intended that the student will identify a public health research question with a geographic application, develop a hypothesis, and use geographic information science (GISci) technologies and epidemiologic approaches to perform a research project. These projects will be of a quality for presentation at a conference and/or publishing them in a peer-reviewed journal. Through this course, students will develop workplace and industry-wide competencies in the realm of geospatial technology. The course instructors will aid in the development and continuation of projects, as well as present research design methods in GISci. Database design of a geographic dataset is integral in the research design process. Additionally, guest lecturers will present students with novel geographic approaches to public health problems in order to showcase the multiple applications of GIS in a public health context.
*Course must be taken after the successful completion of EOHS 5362

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent from a recognized institution.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges & universities attended.
  • Create an account and apply via the SOPHAS Express online application portal. This process will include personal information and academic history.

To Apply

Submit the following to SOPHAS Express:

  • Unofficial transcripts. Transcripts from all schools attended. Even schools that didn’t ultimately award a degree, all are required. 
  • Current resume or Curriculum Vitae. Your resume should reflect your full history including volunteer activities, clubs, research, conference presentations and relevant work experience.
  • $50 application fee due to SOPHAS Express.

Admitted students will be required to submit official transcripts to UNTHSC prior to enrolling in classes.

Approximate cost to complete the online Graduate Certificate in Public Health as a Texas resident is $5,125-5,350 depending on timing and enrollment selections. The certificate programs do not qualify for Federal Financial Aid programs.

For more information contact the Office of Admissions or contact us at 817-735-2401.

This page was last modified on December 14, 2018