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Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response (PHPDR) Certificate

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - Aurora, CO

The certificate in Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response (PHPDR) is designed to provide essential tools for public health practitioners to prepare for and respond to, natural hazards resulting in disasters (weather-related and geophysical), civil unrest, epidemics, and other emerging health threats both internationally and in the US. This includes an emphasis on disasters resulting in internally displaced populations and mass population movements.

The certificate is focused on the acquisition of skills needed to protect and promote the health and resilience of local communities with an emphasis on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. The certificate provides education in public health emergency/medical preparedness, and management of disaster impacts, and includes an emphasis on the role of policies supporting best practice in preparedness and response.

The program is ideal both for degree-seeking students and for federal, state, or local emergency management officials, public health practitioners, health care providers, hospital administrators or managers, or first responders, including those aspiring to work internationally or domestically. Designed to immerse the student in experience-based learning and hands-on educational experiences, the program is interdisciplinary and prepares trainees for the spectrum of disaster mitigation, planning, response and recovery necessary for practice. The certificate emphasizes skills essential to public health infrastructure through the use of case studies, experiential exercises (tabletop and full scale), and first-hand accounts from practitioners.




Required Courses 
*Required curriculum changes will begin March of 2019.

Course # Course Title Credit
EHOH 6622 Introduction to Public Health Emergency Preparedness 3 Fall/Summer (Online)
EHOH 6625 International Disasters and Global Humanitarianism 3 ​Fall (Hybrid)
​EHOH 6626 ​Public Health Disaster Responder ​3 ​​Spring (Hybrid)
​Choose one of the following two courses: ​
​EHOH 6641 Critical Policies in Global Health 3 Summer (Online)
​EHOH 6642 International Disaster Psychology ​3 ​Spring (Hybrid)
​Electives​​ ​See list below ​3 ​Varies
Total​ ​ ​15

*Prerequisite: EHOH 6622 must be taken before EHOH 6626.

Approved Electives (3 credits)

Course # ​Course Title Credit
​CBHS 6613 Program Planning & Implementation ​3 Fall, Spring
CBHS 6622 Qualitative Research Methods ​3 Fall, Spring
CBHS 6629 Health and Human Rights ​3 Spring
​CHBH 6100 Program Planning & Evaluation 3
EHOH 6620 ​Risk Analysis and Decision Making ​3 ​Fall (Hybrid)
​EHOH 6621 ​GIS for Public Health Research and Practice ​3 ​Fall, Spring
​EHOH 6633 ​International Travel and Health ​1 ​Spring (Online)
​EHOH 6635 ​Climate Change and Health ​3 ​Fall
​EHOH 6638 ​Communication Skills for Public Health Impact ​3 ​Spring (Online or Hybrid)
​EHOH 6641 Critical Policies in Global Health ​3 ​Summer (Online)
​EHOH 6642 ​International Disaster Psychology ​3 ​Spring (Hybrid)
​EPID 6624 ​Public Health Surveillance ​2 ​Fall
​EPID 6640 ​Investigation of Disease Outbreaks ​2 ​Summer (Online)
EPID 6648 Theory Practice in Foodborne Disease 1 Spring
​HSMP 6608 ​Legal and Ethical Issues in Public Health ​2 ​Fall
​HSMP 6615 ​Current Global Health Policy Issues ​2 ​Fall
​PMHW 6621 ​Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotion ​3 ​Spring
​PUBH 6600 ​Foundations in Public Health ​2 ​Fall, Spring, Summer

Courses at CSU: 

Course # ​Course Title Credit
​ANTP 532​0 The Culture of Disaster 3 Fall, Spring
​ANTP 5380 ​Food, Hunger and Culture ​3 ​Spring
​ERHS 5380 ​GIS and Health ​3 ​Spring
​FSHN 5000 ​Food Systems, Nutrition and Food Security ​2 ​Fall
​FTEC 5740 ​Current Issues in Food Safety ​2 Spring
​HDFS 6080 ​Program Design and Implementation ​3 ​Spring
​IEOO 6790 ​Advanced International Development ​3 ​Spring
​SOCO 5620 ​Sociology of Food Systems and Agriculture ​3 ​Fall, Spring
​SPCM 6390 ​Communication Theory ​3 ​Fall
​VSCS 5330 ​Epidemiology of Infectious Disease/Zoonosis ​3 ​Spring
​VSCS 6480 ​Food Animal Production and Food Safety ​2 Spring

 Learning Objectives

Successful completion of the 15 credit hour PHPDRR Certificate will provide a fundamental understanding of the following in international and domestic context:

  • Public policy development using a systems framework;
  • Community-level public health disaster interventions incorporating an understanding of context and culture;
  • Principles of hazard analysis directing mitigation and preparedness;
  • Applied skills in disaster readiness planning and response to incidents;
  • Assessment and application of basic public health sciences in disasters;
  • Political, legal, pyschological, and social aspects of disasters;
  • Program management and communications principles in emergencies;
  • Critical infrastructure protection in emergencies;
  • Foundational concepts in international disaster response, including best practice standards and core and emerging health themes common to humanitarian crises
  • Emergency preparedness core competencies​ for all public health workers ​​​​

 Additional Notes

  • Certificate students are not guaranteed admission to the MPH program

  • If an MPH student completes the certificate concurrently, no more than 9 credits can count toward both programs.


 Quick Links for Prospective and Current Students

 Admissions Requirements

Prerequisites for Admissions:
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution

  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. If GPA is below 3.0, applicant should include an explanation as to why it fell below a 3.0 and how the applicant plans to address any prior academic deficiencies as a graduate student.

Admissions Requirements:
  • The SOPHAS Express application

  • One official copy of all academic transcripts, sent directly to the Colorado School of Public Health Office of Student Affairs. This should include all community colleges and universities attended.

  • Statement of Interest addressing the following two questions: 1) How will this certificate training contribute to your career plans? 2) Please describe work or volunteer experiences, including domestic or international experiences that show your interest in pursuing the certificate program for which you are applying?

  • One letter of recommendation

  • Resume or CV

  • Admissions application deadlines: February 15 (summer start); October 15 (spring start)


 Contact Us

​Program Contact:
Debra Kreisberg
Senior Instructor

Admissions Contact: 
Colorado School of Public Health 
303.724.4613 (p) 

Office & Hours: 
CU Anschutz Medical Campus, Fitzsimons Bldg, 3rd Floor 
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Colorado School of Public Health

13001 E. 17th Place
Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045


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