Graduate Embedded Certificate in Communicable Diseases

Recent news reports about the Zika virus point to the devastating effects of communicable diseases. Outbreaks of diseases such as influenza, malaria, tuberculosis and others remind us that prevention and control of communicable diseases is crucial if we are to protect the health of populations around the globe.

This Graduate Embedded Certificate in Communicable Diseases aims to complement and build on the training of master's level graduate students who have an interest in public health. It is ideal for students who want to gain broad expertise related to the incidence and distribution of communicable diseases, and how to monitor, study and control them.

Graduates who have completed a master of science (MSc) degree in public health, or a related discipline, concurrently with the graduate certificate, will be prepared for a career involving communicable disease research. They will also be better prepared to apply to a PhD program in communicable disease research.

The knowledge and skills acquired in the certificate program could be useful in all levels of government and government agencies, as well as in non-governmental organizations in local or international settings. Graduates may apply their knowledge to communicable disease surveillance (e.g. sexually transmitted diseases or tuberculosis), or disease control programs (e.g. waterborne disease monitoring, restaurant inspections, or travel clinic information).

Core courses

A minimum* of nine credits (*9) are required to complete the certificate program.

SPH 697 - Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases (*3)

and one of

SPH 596 Epidemiology Methods I (*3)
MDCH 646 - Introduction of Public Health Surveillance (*3) (available through the University of Calgary)

Another graduate level (*3) methods course relevant to communicable disease and approved by the student's supervisory committee.


Any 3 (*1) courses relevant to communicable diseases approved by student's Supervisory Committee or Academic Advisor.

*Some students may need to complete more than the minimum degree requirements to qualify for both the degree and the certificate.

Entrance requirements

The Graduate Embedded Certificate is open to students enrolled in an MSc degree program in the School of Public Health, and who have a particular interest in communicable diseases. This certificate will also be available to students in other graduate degree programs in the School, as well as other faculties at the University of Alberta. Students must be in good standing when they apply.

Application process and deadline

If you are interested in applying to the Graduate Embedded Certificate in Communicable Diseases, please complete the application form no later than September 30 of your second year. If you are studying part time, your application must be submitted at completion of (*12) of study.

Submitting applications

Submit your completed form to