The Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health is passionate about healthy communities and is committed to improving the health of people through our teaching, research and service.  Faculty, students and staff work closely with members of the community on a wide variety of public health topics that are driven by the needs of our community: tobacco control, cancer screening and prevention in underserved rural and minority communities, obesity, health care access and utilization, and health outcomes.

The Certificate Program in Community-Based Participatory Research offered by the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health on the Kansas City campus is designed to provide students and scholars with a strong foundation in community-based participatory research principles and methods.  Formal training in community-based participatory research, epidemiology, health literacy, qualitative methods, and grant writing will allow scholars to enhance their current research skills.

Students may apply to the Certificate in Community-Based Participatory Research program on the Kansas City campus.  The students that will participate in this certificate program can be from a broad spectrum of backgrounds including graduate students, residents, fellows and faculty working in the area of health disparities and underserved communities.

The application process is an online process. For detailed instructions on how to apply and the application deadlines contact Tanya Honderick (913) 588-2720. Admission to the Community-Based Participatory Research Graduate Certificate program is competitive. The program is offered on the Kansas City campus only.

Admission Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution documented by submission of official transcript indicating the degree has been conferred before entering the program. Official transcripts from institutions attended post-baccalaureate are also required.
    Students with degrees from outside the U.S. may be subject to transcript evaluation indicating the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree and meets the minimum cumulative GPA requirements.
  • A cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants, who are not native speakers of English, whether domestic or international, must demonstrate they meet the Minimum English Proficiency Requirement.
  • A background check is required during the admission process; it may affect the student's eligibility to enter the program.
  • Submission of official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other professional test scores (such as the Graduate Management Admission Test, Medical College Admission Test, Law School Aptitude Test) that are not more than five years old. Official copy of scores should be sent from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the University of Kansas Medical Center - ETS institutional code 6895. Applicants who have earned a doctoral degree in the United States are exempt from this requirement.
  • Three letters of recommendation from employers, instructors, or other persons who can assess the applicant’s aptitude for the program.  Letters submitted per instructions for the online application process.
  • A résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • A personal written statement that describes the applicant's career goals and motivation for seeking the certificate in community-based participatory research.
  • One semester of college algebra.
  • Students currently enrolled in graduate programs at KUMC or KU must be in good standing (3.0 or higher GPA) and have a letter of approval from their current graduate program director and/or department chair indicating support to enroll in the certificate program.

After an applicant has been admitted, the program may defer an applicant's admission for one semester after which time the applicant must submit a new application.

Admission requirements are subject to change. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program. Other years’ catalogs».

Certificate Program Information:

No student may work toward a graduate certificate without being accepted as a graduate certificate student in a specific graduate certificate program. Graduate certificates are not granted retroactively. An individual who is not currently a degree-seeking graduate student at KU must apply and may be admitted directly to a graduate certificate program.

The graduate certificate program is not a means of entry into a graduate degree program. If students admitted to a graduate certificate program are later admitted to a graduate degree program as degree-seeking, applicable courses taken for the graduate certificate program may, upon recommendation of the department and within general guidelines, be approved by the Office of Graduate Studies to be counted toward the degree.

While the courses comprising a graduate certificate may be used as evidence in support of a student’s application for admission to a graduate degree program, the certificate itself is not considered to be a prerequisite and does not guarantee admission into any graduate degree program. The certificate program is not intended to serve as a default system for students in a degree program who find that they are not able to complete the degree for academic or other reasons. Should a student drop out of a degree program and seek admission to a certificate program, all certificate admission requirements must be followed for admission and conferral.

Graduate credit from another institution may not be transferred to a graduate certificate program.

Certificate requirements:

  • Certificate requirements are normally completed within one (1) year of admission to the program although a maximum of 4 years is allowed.
  • Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all KU graduate certificate coursework.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of one (1) credit hour the semester the program is completed.  Graduate certificates may not be granted retroactively.
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 16 credit hours.
  • Successful completion of the following courses:
    PRVM 800Principles of Epidemiology3
    PRVM 814Health Literacy3
    PRVM 853Responsible Conduct of Research1
    PRVM 856Community-Based Participatory Research3
    PRVM 872Grant Writing3
    Total Hours13
  • Successful completion of a minimum of three (3) credit hours of elective coursework in health disparities. Specific courses determined in consultation with the student's advisor.
  • Successful completion of the Human Subjects Tutorial.
  • Successful completion of the ePortfolio Requirement.

Graduate credit from another institution may not be transferred to a graduate certificate program.

Certificate requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. Any courses taken as an equivalent must be approved by the Graduate Director and the Office of Graduate Studies. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program.  Other years’ catalogs».

Typical Plan of Study

Year 1
PRVM 8003PRVM 8143
PRVM 8531PRVM 8563
PRVM 8723Elective course3
 Complete Human Subjects Tutorial 
 Complete ePortfolio Requirement 
 7 9
Total Hours: 16

The following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Community-Based Participatory Research program:


A student must be able to observe and analyze class demonstrations and field experiences relevant to the disciplines of public health.These disciplines include but are not limited to epidemiology, biometry, environmental health, health program management, and behavior science.Observation necessitates the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing.


A student must be able to communicate effectively in oral and written forms with other students, faculty, and preceptors.Use of computers and other technology is imperative to this communication.Effective communication includes the ability to understand assigned readings and lectures, the ability to analyze information, and the ability to present results of such analyses verbally and in writing.


A student must have sufficient motor function to attend classes, prepare assignments, give public presentations, and participate in field experiences.Some field experiences in environmental health, for example, include activities at sites (e.g. waste treatment plants, water treatment facilities).


Applicants must be able to read and understand documents written in English.A student must possess the ability to understand and work with measurements, carry out calculations, and engage in reasoning, analysis, and synthesis.Problem solving, the critical skill of public health, demands all of these intellectual abilities.In addition, a student should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships of structures.


A student must possess the emotional maturity and stability required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, and the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant upon responsible activity in the broad field of public health.Integrity, motivation, reliability, self-direction, and the ability to work in diverse groups are personal qualities, which are required for effective practice in the field.As a component of public health education, a student must demonstrate ethical behavior.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program.  Candidates who indicate that they cannot meet one or more of the expectations will be reviewed further with applicant and faculty input to determine what reasonable accommodations might be possible to facilitate successful completion of the CBPR certificate curriculum.