College of General Studies

Community Health Assessment

Academics header image

This interdisciplinary 18-credit program teaches students to:

  • apply current theories and research related to how social, economic, cultural, legal, and/or environmental factors are associated with specific health care needs and outcomes;
  • communicate knowledgeably and professionally in writing and/or verbally on topics related to health care; and
  • use analytical skills to assess the physical, social, cultural, legal, and environmental factors influencing health behaviors.

Students who successfully complete this certificate may apply the credits to an undergraduate degree in the University of Pittsburgh College of General Studies (CGS).

Who should enroll:

  • Health care workers seeking to more effectively communicate with and serve diverse populations of people or looking to take on leadership roles in the workplace
  • Social work and social services employees interested in learning how health-related factors impact their clients and how social and cultural factors may impact their clients’ health behaviors
  • Public and community health workers who seek an understanding of the physical, social, and cultural factors influencing health behaviors and outcomes
  • Professionals seeking to influence public policy regarding how healthcare services are delivered to diverse populations
  • Individuals working for health care- or health services-focused nonprofits

This certificate is applicable to job titles such as health support coordinator, health outreach representative, health services administrator, and more. See an academic consultant for more details.

Upon completion of this certificate, participants will be able to:

  • communicate and interact effectively and professionally with people from diverse backgrounds;
  • understand how social, cultural, legal, and environmental factors may impact the behaviors of both patients and health care workers and apply this knowledge to their careers; 
  • identify behaviors that tend to promote or compromise health;
  • apply administrative and managerial skills to nonprofits and community health organizations; and
  • identify, recognize, gather, and analyze data that are pertinent to the health services field.

Admission requirements

Students must meet requirements for admission to the College of General Studies. A certificate application form must be completed and returned to the CGS.

Obtaining the certificate

To receive the certificate, you must fill out an application with your academic advisor prior to completing your last term in the program. Check with an academic advisor for the application form and filing deadline, and be sure all requirements for the certificate have been met. To avoid a late fee, you should complete this process when registering for the term.

Additional programs offered in this field include:

Curriculum: 18 credits

For the course schedule and descriptions, visit

Required courses: 3 credits each

NUR 1829 Contemporary Issues in Cross-Cultural Healthcare

HRS 1017 Introduction to Epidemiology

COMMRC 1730 Special Topics: Health Communications

NUR 1765 Risk Factors and Health

PUBSRV 1305 Health, Law, and Ethics

Choose one of the following: 3 credits each

SOC 0477 Medical Sociology 

PUBSRV 1200 Practices of Nonprofit Management

Credits earned at other accredited educational institutions may be eligible for transfer. However, a minimum of nine credits must be earned at the University of Pittsburgh. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in all University certificate courses.

Requirements subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.

Growth in the field of health services
The field of health services is one of the largest growth industries in the country. Nine out of 20 occupations projected to grow the fastest are concentrated in health services. Approximately 13 percent of salaried jobs created in the next 10 years will be in health services, and most of these jobs will be available to those who have not yet completed a college degree, but who have specific education and training in key health care disciplines.