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Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Medicine, Health, and Society is available only to current graduate and professional students from the six participating Vanderbilt schools (Arts and Science, Divinity, Law, Medicine, Nursing, and Peabody). Acceptance to the program requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 and the approval of both the student’s adviser and the director of graduate studies for medicine, health, and society.

The certificate requires at least 12 credit hours of interrelated graduate-level coursework supporting a specified theme. No more than 50% of coursework may be transferred for a graduate certificate program. The courses form an intellectually cohesive whole.


  1. Completion of one theory course (MHS 5210, MHS 6300, MHS 6350, or MHS 7305) and an additional 12 credit hours (approximately 4 courses) of graduate-level course work in medicine, health, and society. The courses must form an intellectually cohesive whole.Courses must be approved by the MHS Graduate Committee for credit and should include at least two courses (6 credit hours) outside the student’s home discipline. One course may be satisfied through an independent study with a faculty member affiliated with MHS with the approval of the director of graduate studies. Graduate courses taken at Vanderbilt prior to admission to the MHS Graduate Certificate Program may be counted toward the certificate requirements with the approval of the MHS Graduate Committee if the course can satisfy one of the curriculum requirements of the program. No more than two courses (6 credit hours) of specifically named courses required for the primary degree may be applied toward the certificate.
  2. Submission of a research paper to the MHS Graduate Committee for evaluation. The paper must demonstrate the application of interdisciplinary methods and knowledge of an area of study related to medicine, health, and society.
  3. Participation in a minimum of five extracurricular activities sponsored by MHS. A short paper reflecting on the insights gained from participating must be submitted.

For additional information, see graduate certificate guidelines in the Graduate School Catalog.

Applying to the Program

  1. Complete the Intent to Enroll in a Graduate Certificate Program form.
  2. Contact MHS to arrange a meeting with the director of graduate studies.

After fulfilling the program requirements, complete the Graduation Checklist for Graduate Certificate Program form. Submit the checklist form and a copy of the paper to be evaluated by the MHS Graduate Committee to the MHS director of graduate studies.