Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals' Health and Wellness

This certificate is designed for post-baccalaureate and graduate students like you who desire a focus on public health perspectives concerning the social, cultural and individual factors that influence the health and well-being of LGBTQIA+ communities. Conceptual and practical skills such as the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs are utilized to improve health levels among LGBTQIA+ populations. As a student in this program, you will:

  • Learn from and work with leading faculty and researchers in the field of LGBTQIA+ health including faculty of the Center for LGBT Health Research.  
  • Apply interventional research, epidemiological research, and policy analysis to enhance the health and well-being of individuals related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity/presentation.
  • Demonstrate how provision of health and wellness services to LGBTQIA+ populations results in overall lower health care costs in a larger community.
  • Understand the process of affecting change or influencing policy decision making.
  • Apply ethical principles to research and program practices with a specific focus on confidentiality and a primary responsibility to securing a healthier and safer future for the community.

Additional Content Areas

Students will also be familiar with basic public health knowledge in areas other than their own specialty such as:

  • surveillance and epidemiology
  • communication
  • psychosocial effects of discrimination
  • information technology
  • individual and family support services

Academic Requirements

Required Courses

  • PUBHLT 2018 Overview of LGBT Health Disparities (2 credits, offered each fall term)
  • BCHS 3503 Prevention Science: Translating Knowledge to Practice (3 credits)
  • PUBHLT 2020 Advanced Topics in LGBT Research (3 credits, offered each spring term)

A minimum of seven credits in elective courses must be completed. Approved electives are listed below. Other electives may be taken with the approval of one of the certificate directors.

  • BCHS 2520 Theories of Health Behavior and Health Education
  • BCHS 2522 Public Health Program Planning
  • BCHS 2525 Introduction to Applied Research
  • BCHS 2558 Health Program Evaluation
  • BCHS 3002 Health Survey Methods
  • BCHS 2598/BIOST 2030 Social Inequalities in Health
  • EPIDEM 2160 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
  • EPIDEM 2173 Culture and Diversity in Epidemiological Research
  • EPIDEM 2400 Behavioral Factors in Disease
  • EPIDEM 2710 Epidemiology of Women's Health
  • HPM 2002 Law and the Public's Health
  • HPM 2010 Organization Studies: Theory/ Applications in Health Care
  • HPM 2135 Health Policy
  • HPM 2142 Managing Health of Populations
  • IDM 2008 Public Health Education Methods
  • IDM 2032 Human Diversity and Public Health
  • IDM 2034 Control and Prevention of HIV/AIDS, STDs
  • IDM 2161 Methods Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • PUBHLT 2019 Directed Study/Thesis Project on LGBT Public Health Issues (Advisor must be selected when registering for course)

Collaborative Opportunities
Members of the Center of LGBT Health Research provide multidisciplinary and collaborative opportunities within the academic medical center and the local community. Faculty members also work with faculty at other universities and leaders in LGBTQIA+ health care across the nation, which can provide additional research and learning opportunities.

Certificate students are required to complete a written thesis or project related to LGBTQIA+ health and wellness, and to present their thesis or project to peers and members of the Center for LGBT Health Research or at an approved scientific meeting.


Post-baccalaureate or graduate students may apply for the program, including currently matriculated students, non-degree post-baccalaureate students who may take the certificate for academic credit (for example, public health professionals with degrees in other fields) and students from other graduate programs at the University. The program has admissions standards equivalent to those for a master's degree at Pitt Public Health. Matriculated students must meet all departmental and school wide requirements for admission.

Applications are reviewed throughout the year. If the committee recommends admission and the assistant dean approves, the applicant receives an official letter of the offer of admission. Applicants denied admission receive a letter from the program directors with suggestions to improve qualifications should they choose to reapply.

How to Apply

This program is supported by the Departments of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Epidemiology, and Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and is managed by the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences.