Health Data Science Certificate

Health data science is the science of applying data analytic and visualization methods to address questions or problems in a variety of public health and healthcare related areas. 

The Health Data Science Certificate is designed to develop a basic understanding of standard analytic techniques, data visualization tools, practical methods for modeling problems and interpreting data content. This program is especially useful for public health practitioners and positions where health data is collected and utilized in a practical setting.

Program Overview

The Health Data Science Certificate program is offered in two formats:

  • In person/on-campus
  • Online, blended synchronous

By offering the curriculum in both formats, WVU’s program is accessible to individuals from a variety of backgrounds, locations and experiences. The program will take advantage of existing course technology where courses are taught in a synchronous fashion in which the instructor presents a lecture in class, and the lecture (along with associated slides or other files) is broadcast online. The video or audio recording of the lecture is archived and available on the course for access at any time. 

All course notes, homework assignments and programs are available online, and the instructor is available in a number of formats (online chat, email, phone, video conference) to accommodate distance-learning students.

Students in the Health Data Science Certificate program typically take one to two classes per semester. Completion of the 16-credit-hour program usually takes two years.

Learning Goals

  • Enhance understanding of the way data is used within the public health and healthcare systems, including privacy
  • Enhance the ability to collect, interpret and visualize a variety of types of commonly-used health-related data
  • Develop analytic and visualization skills that inform healthcare policy analysis and management
  • Use basic data analytic knowledge to design and implement studies that answer important healthcare questions oriented for practitioners in the field
  • Use common analytic, statistical and data visualization software to implement analysis and description for health oriented organizational decision-making underpinning studies

Required Courses

The entire curriculum is available both online and in-person, making it accessible to individuals from a variety of backgrounds, locations and experiences.

Typical Certificate Schedule

Year 1 Fall Semester:

  • BIOS 601: Applied Biostatistics I

Year 1 Spring Semester:

  • HPML 661: Health Services Research Informatics
  • HPML 671: Population Health Policy Analysis Informatics

Year 2 Fall Semester:

  • HPML 622: Analytic Methods for Health Policy, Management and Leadership

Year 2 Spring Semester:

  • HPML 675: Healthcare and Insurance Policy: Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA

Admissions Guidelines

To apply to the Health Data Science Certificate program, students must complete the WVU graduate application, and pay the processing fee and submit a statement of purpose, two letters of reference, a current resume/curriculum vitae, and all university transcripts.

To be considered for the fall, students should submit their application by August 1. Completed applications are sent to the Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership for review. Students will receive an email from the department regarding their recommendation for acceptance. Spring admissions to the certificate program will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Interested students must apply online for admission consideration. Students currently enrolled at WVU should also submit the online application but need to contact Professor Robert Duval, PhD, prior to application.