Program Overview

The ongoing burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, with more than 1 million infections acquired daily worldwide, remains one of the greatest public health challenges and failures of our time. This is likely due in no small part to our limited understanding of the complex individual, social, and cultural drivers of these epidemics. The University of Washington Graduate Certificate in HIV & STIs is an interdisciplinary program that provides students an opportunity to gain conceptual knowledge and practical skills needed to work in the field of HIV & STIs.

Students enrolled in any University of Washington graduate school program are welcome to apply. Applications for the certificate program are reviewed on a rolling basis.


The Graduate Certificate in HIV and STI’s is intended to enhance the education of matriculated UW graduate students and professional students beyond their regular course of study. Completed graduate certificates are recorded on the student’s UW transcript.  Successful certificate students will complete a total of 15 credits that include core and elective credits, as well as 3 credits of independent study from a Capstone project.

Please note that in order to complete this program, you need to reside in the state of Washington. The Graduate Certificate Program in HIV and STIs is not able to offer scholarships or other support to non-matriculated, international or distant students.

For master's degree students, the Certificate program is typically completed during their second year of study, but students may choose to begin taking courses within the program during their first year without being admitted to the program. Students are encouraged to complete the Certificate within 1-2 years.

Coursework: Completion of the graduate certificate program requires a minimum of 15 course credits: 2 classes must be taken from the selected core courses, 3 credits are earned through the completion of a Capstone Project and the remaining credits are elective courses. Nine credits must be graded. Overlap of coursework applied towards the certificate program and degree program must not exceed 6 credits and is limited to elective coursework in each program. Core course requirements of a degree program may not be counted toward the certificate. Students are strongly encouraged to work with the coordinator of their degree program and with Certificate staff to develop a course plan that will meet the requirements of both the degree and the certificate.

Core Courses

(Minimum of 2 classes required)

Selected Electives Courses

  • GH 511 - Problems in Global Health
  • EPI 588/HSERV 590A - Preparing and Writing Research Proposals
  • EPI 527 - Vaccines
  • GH 543 - Global Health Pharmacy: Medicines, Practice, and Policy
  • GH 544 – Maternal & Child Health in Low & Middle Income Countries
  • EPI 539/GH 531 - Research Methods in Developing Countries
  • HSERV/EPI/GH 590 - Special Topic Series (Topic changes every quarter. Some courses may be applicable to certificate program; must get permission of Certificate Manager)
  • BIOSTAT 524 - Design of Medical Studies (course has prerequisites)
  • GH 533 - Survey, Research Methods
  • EPI 532 - Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases in Resource-Limited Countries
  • ANTH 308 - Anthropology, Women, and Gender in Development

The following courses can be counted toward elective credit for the Certificate if assignments are focused on issues related to HIV and STIs. Approval from the Program advisor, Dr. Kim, must be given before credit can be granted for these courses:

  • GH 533 – Survey Research Methods
  • GH 541 – Fundamentals of Implementation Science in Global Health
  • HSERV 522 - Health Program Evaluation
  • NURS 576 - Assessment & Collaboration with Communities Populations and Systems
  • NSG 551 – Health Politics & Policy
  • NSG 552 – Social Determinants of Health & Health Equity

Academic course work on HIV and STIs (for example, a public policy class in which the student’s individual project focused on AIDS policy) may be substituted if the course is not in conflict with Graduate School Certificate Program requirements. To petition, please email with the course syllabus and a description of relevant course work.

Capstone Project and Independent Study: Students will complete an individual Capstone project over the course of the program and present their work in a 10-minute presentation during a Certificate seminar. The Capstone project must be separate from a student's thesis or doctoral work. Students must sign up for 3 independent study credits with a UW faculty member as part of their capstone requirement. Capstone project proposals must be approved by the Certificate Program Director. Examples of Capstone projects include: providing technical assistance to ongoing HIV/STI research studies (development of study instruments, data analysis, field implementation, laboratory testing), writing a paper exploring a contextual aspect of HIV/STI (intersections between gender and HIV, analysis of international AIDS policy, program evaluation of a STI treatment program), or developing a teaching case scenario based on a clinical internship.

Capstone Project Guidelines/Mentor Instructions (PDF, 82KB)


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis though we strongly encourage you to apply as early as possible to ensure you can complete all requirements for the certificate at the same time or before you complete your degree requirements. To apply, please submit the following materials via email to (paper applications will not be accepted):

  1. Application Form (DOC, 51KB)
  2. Background and Goal Statement - maximum of one page describing your area of interest within the field of HIV and STIs, any relevant technical or language skills, relevant work, volunteer or international experience, and how the certificate program will help meet your academic and professional goals.
  3. Current resume or CV
  4. UW transcripts (official or unofficial)

For questions please contact:
Noura Youssoufa
Box 357965

H. Nina Kim, MD MSc
Program Director, Graduate Certificate in HIV and STIs