UGA launches new certificate in public health data fluency

Public health institutions and health care systems are increasingly relying on data to drive policies, interventions and communications. As a result, learning to work with data and become fluent with data are necessary skills for emerging professionals.

To address this need, the University of Georgia College of Public Health has introduced an Undergraduate Certificate in Public Health Data Fluency.

“So much of public health work today is data-driven, so our students need to learn how to work with data and data systems in order to understand and translate data to help communities live their best lives,” said Marsha Davis, dean of the UGA College of Public Health. “We are beyond excited to offer this comprehensive curriculum that emphasizes collaboration, problem-solving, and application.”

Part of a college-wide initiative to develop data fluency skills for undergraduate students, this 16-credit hour certificate includes courses on data ethics, data management, analysis, and how to promote public health using data-driven insights.

This certificate is designed to equip students with the technical and problem-solving skills they need to directly work with health data and lead modern, private and public health sector teams, says certificate coordinator Allan Tate, an assistant professor in the College’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

The aim of the certificate is to train our undergraduates on foundational data structures, strategies for gaining access to online and offline data, and how to anticipate the challenges of working with, what are often, “messy” data,” he said.

The certificate introduces two new courses: one that addresses current issues in data science, its role in society, and laws and regulations that protect individual privacy, and another that provides training on the tools needed to merge data sources, visualize data and construct insights, and use data to improve the standard of health care.

Students who complete the certificate will gain new skills in directly working with public health data, generating insights, and telling stories verbally, in writing, and with data visualizations using software.

Tate says the certificate will be valuable for students pursuing public health concentrations, private sector health careers, and health social sciences with an emphasis in quantitative data analysis, providing them with a marketable credential in data synthesis and communication.

Application requirements can be found here:

– Lauren Baggett

Posted on February 25, 2022.