Advanced Certificate in Health and Human Rights

The Advanced Certificate in Health and Human Rights program at NYU GPH is a unique collaboration between NYU GPH and HealthRight International. With a curriculum that is grounded in HealthRight's field work, the program provides students with in-depth training in the conceptual frameworks and practical skills necessary to promote and protect human rights in public health settings, as well as to design and evaluate rights-based health programs and policies. The Advanced Certificate aims to prepare students to tackle real world health and human rights issues, including training in legal and policy analysis in human rights. 
 Upon graduation, students will be prepared to:

1.    Analyze health policy from a human rights perspective. 
2.    Apply a human rights perspective in program evaluations
3.    Develop health interventions that reflect a human rights perspective
4.    Educate health practitioners and researchers to have greater awareness of the human rights implications of their work
5.    Seek as collaborative partners, organizations that have a commitment to human rights

"The disproportionate burden of ill-health and human rights abuses endured by marginalized populations are mutually reinforcing. A clearer understanding of human rights as a key determinant of individual and public health is essential if we are to improve the health and well-being of women, sexual and gender minorities, ethnic minorities, people who use drugs, refugees, and other marginalized populations. HealthRight's work is predicated on this fundamental, yet too often overlooked, principle of public health practice."
- Peter Navario, PhD, MPH, Executive Director, HealthRight International

Who Should Enroll?

The Advanced Certificate in Health and Human Rights is targeted to working professionals from United Nations institutions (USAID and Development Agencies), global nonprofits, and employees of City and State Health Department programs. It will also be available to lawyers, primary care physicians, public health workers, and nurses. There is no MPH requirement.

The certificate is open to current NYU MPH students in Community Health Science and Practice, Environmental Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Global Health, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. It can also be completed along with another graduate degree, or as a stand-alone certificate. Students in the MPH who are also enrolled in the certificate should be aware that upon completion of the MPH and the certificate, they should have a total of 52 credits. The certificate is 15 credits, but only 3 certificate courses (9 credits) may be double-counted with the MPH (46 credits, which includes 9 double-counted credits, plus 6 additional credits).



Required Course (3 credits): 

GPH-GU 2250 Health and Human Rights
This course approaches global health and justice from international human rights and humanitarian law. The course is designed to provide public policy and public health students with the basis for literacy about human rights and humanitarian law. Through lectures, case studies and practical training, students will be able to gain knowledge and skills to determine how rights violations impact health, and how to engage in using the human rights approach to improve health outcomes. Topics, including HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive rights, the right to health in war and disasters, access to medicines and the ethical obligations of public health professionals, will be used to illustrate practical applications of human rights to global health. 


Choice of four electives from the following (12 credits): 

GPH-GU 2435 Advanced Health & Human Rights Seminar
This intensive weeklong workshop will build on the introductory Health and Human Rights course by focusing on advanced topics, methodologies and debates in the field. Through a case studies approach and group projects, students will weigh the relative costs and benefits of using a rights-based approach in a public health context, as well as explore how public health policies, programs and practices can impact human rights. Students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of international human rights as applied to public health through real-world application.  Topics covered include current issues in health and human rights, program planning based on a health and human rights-based approach, as well as an examination of different methodologies to investigate and understand the interactions of epidemics, public health and human rights. In addition, as the culminating experience in the Health and Human Rights Certificate Program, students will write a 15-20 grant proposal on a health and human rights intervention or research study (due at the end of the Certificate term) and present on this topic at the end of the workshop.
GPH-GU 5288 Perspectives in Migrant Health & Human rights
This course is a forum where public health and related practitioners share their professional experiences and insights working with a range of migrant populations. Through an online learning environment, students will examine current trends in the field of migrant health and human rights, with a focus on gaining practical skills and engaging in critical self-reflection. The course will enhance students’ abilities to think critically and analytically about current problems and challenges confronting the field, and will complement conceptual and theoretical coursework, emphasizing the processes of implementing migrant health and human rights programming from practitioners’ and migrants’ perspectives.
GPH-GU 2357 LGBTQ Health Disparities
This course examines the core interdisciplinary theories, knowledge, research, and methods evidenced in in understanding LGBT health and disparities evidences in the LGBT population. The course introduces students to the main conceptual frameworks for the study of LGBT individuals, communities, and populations across the lifespan and overviews existing knowledge about LGBT health in the United States and globally. The course highlights research design, measurement, ethics, and analysis issues in population research in LGBT health.
GPH-GU 5312 Global Perspectives in Reproductive Health and Human Rights 
This course is an examination of issues in reproductive health from a human rights perspective both nationally and internationally. After a review of the intersection of reproductive health and human rights, the course examines both the pro- choice and pro-life agendas, the availability of pregnancy termination and methods of contraception from a public health and a human rights perspective.  Lectures also cover some demographic concepts to explain declining and expanding populations and examines population related policies. The course looks at how the various UN sponsored conferences have influenced the definition of women’s reproductive health and how the definitions reflect thinking about women’s rights.
GPH-GU 2240 Perspectives in Global Mental Health
Common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and substance use disorders are leading causes of disease burden in the world today, rivaling HIV, malaria and heart disease in that respect. They are associated with serious functional impairment, reduced quality of life, unemployment and homelessness and exacerbate risk for, and severity of, medical illness. Yet they tend to get lost on the global health agenda. Lack of familiarity with interventions, measuring challenges, and stigma are, in part, to blame. Public health approaches to common mental disorders are also only recently demonstrating new rigor and maturity. This course provides exposure to this increasingly relevant public health challenge from a global perspective, with a particular focus on the epidemiology, risk factors and consequences, individual- and population-level approaches to treatment and prevention, and delivery of care for mental health problems in different settings worldwide. This course will challenge students to think critically about the existing literature in this area and about the role of culture, context and stigma in shaping public health responses to mental disorders.
GPH-GU 2210 Migration & Health
This course will provide an overview of key topics in public health for migratory persons: demographics; specific population groups and their circumstances and rights, including refugees, immigrants, asylees, and migrants; epidemiologic issues of displaced persons, including the shifting burden of disease, nutrition, environmental and occupational concerns; health and human rights; ethics; torture and other violence; PTSD, and other acute and chronic mental health concerns. Immigrant and Migratory Health will be approached from various perspectives, including historical, demographic, epidemiologic, access (economic, legal, linguistic, cultural, and institutional), life cycle, environment, including occupation and nutrition, and policy. The course will impart to students the skills necessary to develop an integrated approach to the care of immigrant and migratory populations.

GPH-GU 5025 Bioethical Issues in Society
This course will provide an in‐depth exploration of the field of bioethics. Through historical examples, case studies, and cases upon which Professor Caplan was asked to consult as a leading bioethicist, students will study a range of bioethical challenges and conflicts. These conflicts include those confronted by individuals, families, health care providers and policy makers. Students will also examine and discuss pivotal decisions many of which affect both life and death related to medical treatments and interventions, research, and policy decisions.

GPH-GU 5120 HIV/AIDS from a Global Perspective 
Students will examine the evolution of the HIV epidemic globally using a public health lens and emphasis on health promotion strategies and responses of health systems; concepts will be examined in regions with different epidemics: Africa, Eastern Europe/Asia, and the United States/Western Europe. Students will learn about HIV/AIDS history, biomedical aspects including testing and treatment, epidemiology, socio-bio-behavioral drivers, public health policies, and calls to action around the globe. Students will examine, analyze, apply, and evaluate theoretical paradigms and research, drawn from public health and interrelated disciplines with regard to HIV prevention, treatment, and care across all segments of the population. Theory-based HIV prevention and care are emphasized, as is a biopsychosocial framework.

How Do I Apply?

Current MPH students can apply through this application.

All other applicants must submit applications online through SOPHAS Express, the common application for schools and programs of public health. In order to be eligible for the certificate, you must hold the following:
•    Bachelor’s degree or US equivalent from an accredited institution
•    Minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate GPA

To apply, you must submit your application as well as the following materials:
•    Scanned copies of transcripts for all post-secondary education completed, regardless of whether a degree was awarded
•    Resume or CV
•    Personal statement of no longer than 1200 words expressing a rationale for pursuing the certificate
•    1 letter of support from either a professional or academic reference

Financial Aid

You may be eligible for federal financial aid and/or private educational loans to pursue the certificate program. Learn more about your options at aid from GPH’s Office of Financial Aid.

For More Information

Please email GPH Admissions and Enrollment at with any questions you may have.

Online Learning at GPH

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