Certificate in Climate and Health

The Certificate in Climate and Health is designed to prepare students to make strong contributions to climate change research, policy, and/or practice. Through coursework and an Integrative Learning Experience (thesis or capstone), students will develop the skills and expertise to be competitive for challenging climate-related careers and/or to pursue a doctoral degree in the field. Students are also strongly encouraged to pursue a climate-related Applied Practical Experience (practicum).

This is a self-guided certificate program available to degree seeking masters students in the Rollins School of Public Health. Students are encouraged to talk with their academic advisor about the feasibility of fitting the certificate requirements into their program.

Upon conclusion of the Certificate in Climate and Health, students should have:

  1. A strong understanding of the health impacts of climate change.
  2. A strong understanding of possible solutions to mitigate and prevent the health impacts of climate change.
  3. A strong understanding of research, programmatic, and policy tools for describing the health impacts of climate change and/or advancing solutions that address those impacts.

Summary

To receive a Certificate in Climate and Health, students will have to complete the following requirements:

Requirement Minimum Number of Credit Hours

Required Courses:

  • EH/GH 582: Global Climate Change: Health Impacts and Response
  • EH 586: Advanced Seminar in Climate Change and Health
  • EH/GH 582: 2 credits, fall
  • EH 586: 2 credits, spring
Electives: At least two courses from an approved list  4 credits
Integrative Learning Experience: Thesis or Capstone focused on climate and health  4 credits
Total Required Credit Hours 12 credits

 

In addition, we strongly encourage students pursuing a Certificate in Climate and Health to use the Applied Practical Experience requirement of the RSPH MPH and MSPH programs (in which students must complete a minimum of 200 hours in one or two public health agencies, institutions, or communities) to either develop more substantive experience with climate change and/or to gain more experience with tools that can be applied to future work on climate and health. 

Required Courses

In addition to four thesis or capstone credits, students must complete a minimum of four required courses totaling a minimum of eight credits, including two specific courses (4 credits) and two electives from a specified list (minimum 4 credits).

The specific required courses are:

  • EH 582/GH 582: Global Climate Change: Health Impacts and Response (2 credits): This course explores the public health effects of global climate change, epidemiologic and other methods for understanding and studying these effects, the public health adaptation response, and health impacts of potential mitigation efforts and activities. Offered fall semester; can be taken in year 1 or 2.
  • EH 586: Advanced Seminar in Climate Change and Health (2 credits): This course builds on the introduction to climate change and health course (EH/GH 582), exploring the interaction of methodological and policy issues surrounding the public health effects of climate change. Offered spring semester; can be taken in year 1 or 2.

The first course – EH/GH 582 – is a firm requirement. Substitutes for the second cornerstone course will be considered case-by-case on an exceptional basis. For course substitution requests, please contact the certificate director or coordinator. Required courses must be taken on a graded basis.

Electives

Students must complete two elective courses from the specified list* (minimum of 4 credits total). 

Required courses for your degree program cannot also count toward the certificate. Electives must be taken on a graded basis unless the course is offered only as satisfactory/unsatisfactory. The comprehensive list of pre-approved elective courses are listed below.  RSPH electives are not guaranteed to be offered each year.

Eligible Electives*

  • EH 515: Air Quality in the Urban Environment (2, spring)
  • EH 543: Sustainability (1, fall) 
  • EH 570: Environmental Health Law and Policy (2, spring)
    *Only an option for non-EH MPH students because EH 570 is a required course for EH students 
  • EH 571: Global Environmental Health Policy (2, spring)
    *Only an option for non-GEH students because EH 571 is a required course for GEH students 
  • EH 572: Environmental Justice: Theory and Public Health Practice (2, spring) 
  • EH 581: Public Health Consequences of Disasters (2, fall) 
  • EH 583: Spatial Analysis in Disease Ecology (4, spring) 
  • EH 584: Built Environment and Public Health (2, fall) 
  • EH 587: Intro to Satellite Remote Sensing of the Environment and its Applications in Public Health (2, spring)
  • EH 590R: Planetary Health (1, spring) 
  • EH 590R: Politics of Public Health (2, spring) 
  • EH 590R: Public Health Communication for Environmental Justice (2, spring)
  • EHS 750: Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease (3, spring) 
  • GH 538Food and Nutrition in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (1, fall) 
  • EPI 564Public Health Preparedness and Practice (2, fall) 
  • GH 569Population Dynamics, International Development and Health (2, fall) 

*The certificate administrators will consider additional courses on a case-by-case basis. These can include courses from any RSPH department or other Emory schools.  We will also consider relevant classes taken via the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE) cross-registration processFor example, Georgia Tech classes on Environmental Engineering Systems (Civil and Environmental Engineering 4300), Air Pollution and Meteorology and Chemistry (Civil and Environmental Engineering 6792) and Environmental Planning and Management (City Planning 8823) could be eligible.

ILE (Thesis/Capstone) and APE

Integrated Learning Experience - Thesis/Capstone: For a thesis/capstone to qualify for the Climate and Health Certificate, a main focus of the project needs to be about climate change, including assessing the health impacts of climate change, a climate policy, or the climate impacts of a health policy or intervention. Studies that investigate the current or past association between a weather- or climate-related exposure (e.g. temperature, flooding, etc.) and a health outcome will qualify given substantial effort is made to frame the findings within the context of future climate change.  Students with questions about whether their project qualifies should contact the Certificate Director as early as possible.

Applied Practice Experience: Though a climate-related Applied Practical Experience (APE), or practicum, is not required to obtain a Climate and Health Certificate, we strongly encourage students pursuing this certificate to use their APE to either develop more substantive experience with climate change and/or to gain more experience with tools that can be applied to future work on climate and health.

Eligibility

This certificate will be available for Master’s candidates in all departments of the Rollins School of Public Health.

Declaring Intent

To become a candidate for the Certificate in Climate and Health, RSPH degree-seeking students must complete this Declaration of Intent form.

The form asks for the following information, which you should prepare in advance:

  • Statement of Interest: A short description of why you want to pursue this certificate and what you hope to get out of the program.  Submit on a Word or .pdf document with your name, certificate name, and date; your statement should be 500 words or less.
  • Thesis/Capstone/APE Description: Click here for the related form. If you do not have this when completing the intent form, we will ask you to complete it in your second fall semester.
  • Completed and Planned Coursework: This should include both required and elective courses and the semester you intend to enroll in them (see elective options under ‘requirements’ above) - as much as you can predict now.

After your submission is received, you will be added to the certificate listserv and submitted to RSPH Enrollment Services as pursuing the certificate; it will be visible on your OPUS record.  After you submit declaration and want it to be removed, please let the administrators know.  If you do not earn the certificate, it will be removed from your transcript.  If you are cleared for completing all certificate requirements upon graduation, it will be officially reflected on your transcript.

Declaration Deadline

The ideal deadline to delcare is before the start of add/drop/swap of the student’s second fall semester so we can help ensure you are meeting requirements.  Students may declare as late as February of their final semester.  Students not following the traditional 2-year program timeline should contact their ADAP or the certificate coordinators for guidance.

Clearance

Students must submit a certificate clearance form in the semester they intend to graduate. More information will be provide to declared students.

Questions?

Questions? Want More Information?

Contact the Certificate Administrators for more information:

  • Ariadne Swichtenberg, Certificate Coordinator (ariadne.s@emory.edu)
  • Noah Scovronick, Certificate Director (scovronick@emory.edu)