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Graduate Certificate in Healthy Cities Requirements

The Healthy Cities Graduate Certificate is designed to introduce students to the diverse skill sets and disciplinary backgrounds needed to advance urban public health in an interdisciplinary context.

The certificate requires students to complete a minimum of 13 credits of coursework. (See the Healthy Cities Certificate Requirements Checklist for more information.)

Core course requirements (9 credits)

Nine credits of core coursework introduce students to key knowledge from the School of Public Health, the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the Ford School of Public Policy. This interdisciplinary curriculum creates opportunities for students interested in urban health topics to learn equally from all three disciplines. Course selections provide students with the foundational knowledge needed to engage in healthy cities initiatives from the perspectives of urban space, public health, and public policy. This collaborative atmosphere also educates students in the common terminologies, methodologies, and partnerships necessary to address pressing urban health issues of global concern.

  1. Healthy Cities from a Public Health Perspective (3 credits required). These courses examine the social determinants of urban health and describe the history and role of public health professionals in promoting healthful cities and neighborhoods. Pre-approved courses include:
    • Preferred option: HBEHED 645: Urban Health (formerly HBEHED 710.02)
    • Also acceptable: EPID 684: Theory and methods of spatial epidemiology; EPID 592 Introduction to spatial epidemiology and GIS for public health; EHS 500: Principles of Environmental Health Sciences
  2. Healthy Cities from a Planning and Design Perspective (3 credits required). These courses highlight the functional interrelationship between the physical form of built environments and the health and wellness of urban inhabitants. Pre-approved courses include:
    • Preferred option: URP 552: Healthy Cities Planning and Design
    • Also acceptable: ARCH 509: Health by Design
  3. Healthy Cities from a Public Policy Perspective (3 credits required). These courses provide students with the knowledge to examine and create innovative policy solutions to pressing and complex urban public health concerns. Pre-approved courses include:
    • Preferred option: PUBPOL 750.306: Public Policy Approaches to Social Disparities in Health
    • Also acceptable: HMP 615: Introduction to Public Health Policy, HMP 619: Health and the Public Policy Process

Specialized coursework requirements (3 credits)

Three credits of specialized elective coursework to be completed in a program of the student’s choosing. The specialized coursework experience allows students to explore this triad of knowledge from a variety of perspectives including, for instance, health issues in global mega-cities, urban health equity and social justice, community development and neighborhood health, or urban ecology and public health. Pre-approved courses include:

  • School of Public Health
    • EHS 570: Water Quality Management
    • EHS 601: Exposure Science and Health
    • EPID 514: Social Epidemiology*
    • EPID 608: Environmental Epidemiology
    • EPID 617: Social and Economic Determinants of Population Health
    • EPID 666: Health and Socioeconomic Development**
    • EPID 674: Data Analysis for Environmental Epidemiology
    • HBEHED 640: Community Organization for Health Education
    • HBEHED 690: Environmental Health Promotion
    • HMP 611: Population Health Informatics
    • HMP 617: US Food Policy and Public Health
    • HMP 626: Race, Ethnicity, Culture and Policy
    • NUTR 555: Foundations of Sustainable Food Systems
    • NUTR 642: Community Nutrition
  • Taubman College
    • URP 527: Foundations of Sustainable Food Systems
    • URP 528: Food Systems Planning (offered some years)
    • URP 573: Infrastructure Planning in the US and Developing Countries (offered some years)
    • ARCH 509: Healthy Building (offered some years)
    • ARCH 603 / 824: Architecture and Psychology
    • ARCH 609: Disability studies
  • Ford School
    • PUBPOL 626: History and Future of Detroit
    • PUBPOL 650: Intro to Science and Technology Policy Analysis
    • PUBPOL 677: Immigration Policy
    • PUBPOL 692: Thinking about Crime**
    • PUBPOL 736: Poverty & Inequality
    • PUBPOL 746: Social Welfare Policy
    • PUBPOL 750.001: Financial Technology
    • PUBPOL 750.306: Smart Cities and the Future of Mobility
    • PUBPOL 763: Global Issues: Drugs, Crime and Terrorism

* Has prerequisites
** Offered some years

Students may also propose other topics and courses to fulfill the elective certificate requirement with adequate justification contingent on written approval from the certificate program director. Only graduate-level courses may be used to meet certificate requirements. Core courses must be met through the School of Public Health, Taubman College, and the Ford School. Special elective courses may be offered either in those three schools or in departments outside those schools, for instance, in Sociology, Social Work, Natural Resources and Environment, and so on.

Integrative coursework requirement (1 credit)

One credit from participation in URP 556/HBEHED 608: Integrative Seminar on Healthy Cities. The integrative Healthy Cities seminar pulls public health, built environment, and public policy perspectives together into a single classroom. The seminar establishes an inclusive community among students and faculty. It provides a venue where the cohort of interdisciplinary students can explore cross-cutting themes and share ideas among all certificate participants.

Counting credits

With careful planning, many students already enrolled in rigorous graduate-level programs can complete the certificate training without requiring an additional semester of enrollment. To ensure all certificate curriculum requirements are met, students are expected to complete and review the Healthy Cities Certificate Requirements Checklist with Taubman College Student Affairs.

Rackham rules govern the double counting of credits. At the current time, Rackham policies state the following:

  • Not more than one-sixth of the credits required for a master’s degree may be double-counted with a certificate.
  • Not more than half of the credits necessary for a certificate that requires 10 or more credits of coursework may be double-counted with a master’s degree.

This means, for instance, that for any student enrolled in a masters program requiring 36 or more credit hours (as is the case in Taubman, Public Health, and the Ford School), students are allowed to double-count six credit hours toward both their masters degree and the proposed certificate. Students cannot double-count credits with any other certificate program.

The student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 point scale) in courses for the certificate program to receive the certificate degree.  Only courses eligible for Rackham credit may be used to meet certificate requirements. All coursework must be completed on the Ann Arbor campus. No transfer credits may apply.

Additional rules apply, and policies are continuously changing. Click here for authoritative and up-to-date information.

Completion requirements

When ready to graduate, students should apply to graduate within Wolverine Access and meet with Taubman College Student Affairs to complete the Dual/Joint Election Form. 

Course information websites

School of Public Health
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Ford School of Public Policy

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning