This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2022-2023 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The Certificate in Health Equity will prepare students to manage factors such as differences in income, education, social and physical environments and access to health care that contribute to health disparities in the U.S. Graduates will be able to identify and advocate for strategies to reduce these disparities and will gain an understanding of the historical context and existing research on the causes and impact of health disparities. Students will also explore the values and ethical framework that relate to health equity. Students will learn how health care organizations and public entities are funding efforts to address unconscious bias, patient-centered care and the social determinants of health, such as housing, food insecurity and environmental conditions, as well as increased access to health care as a means to reduce health disparities. Students will develop skills to understand and influence the policy process and learn to apply advocacy skills to influence policies that affect health equity. Graduates will be prepared to critically analyze, design and implement strategies to enhance health equity.

Student learning outcomes

  • Understand the historical and current social, economic and political factors contributing to health disparities and their relationship to illness and disease
  • Understand the challenges to vulnerable populations impacting health promotion and health equity
  • Identify values and apply ethical framework to health equity issues
  • Identify strategies to address unconscious bias and promote patient-centered care for oneself and colleagues
  • Apply models of critical thinking to assess existing strategies and identify gaps left to be addressed by existing strategies
  • Understand the policy process and identify policy leverage points for affecting policy
  • Demonstrate the ability to advocate for policies that address health disparities and promote health equity
  • Synthesize concepts from didactic courses; identify salient problems related to health equity; identify a project mentorship team; and use the course framework to analyze problems, propose solutions and outline advocacy strategies

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.