Our Program

The Ethnic & Rural Health Disparities (ERHD) Graduate Certificate Online Program is designed to use the online, distance education infrastructure within East Carolina University and the UNC 16 campus system to improve public health professionals skills in the area of cultural competency and to better prepare public health graduates in the five major rural health disparity issues such as cancer, heart disease, substance abuse, smoking and HIV/AIDS.

Director Dr. Eric Bailey and Co-Director Dr. Justin Moore are the directors and managers of the certificate program.

Mission Statement

The mission of the ERHD Program is to educate and improve health professionals’ skills in ethnic and rural health disparities.


The objectives of the ERHD Graduate Certificate Online Program are to prepare graduates with skills to:

  1. Inform, educate, and empower people to address ethnic and rural health disparity issues;
  2. Prepare graduates to develop culturally competent projects, plans and policies that are designed for specific ethnic and rural communities in the United States; and
  3. Prepare graduates to develop culturally competent projects, plans and policies that are designed for specific global communities around the world.


The vision of the Ethnic & Rural Health Disparities (ERHD) Graduate Certificate Online program is to provide this type of online graduate training to all universities around the world.

Interested Graduate Students

Applicants must meet East Carolina University’s admission requirements: an earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university with a grade point average of 3.0 or above and acceptable scores on an approved standardized exam. Completion of the certificate program requires completion of approved coursework with an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B). A student may earn only 3 semester hours of credit at a C level. This certificate program is entirely online and no face-to-face meetings will be required. Under normal circumstances, students should be able to complete the certificate program in 18 months. Completion of the Certificate program can also be a pathway for students to earn a Master’s of Public Health from the Department of Public Health at East Carolina University.

The four online courses for the Certificate program are as follows:

  1. MPH 6008 Ethnic Health and Health Disparities
  2. MPH 6007 Global Public Health
  3. MPH 6005 African American Health
  4. MPH 6009 Capstone Experience in Ethnic Health & Health Disparities

All courses are taught by Dr. Bailey.

Upon completion of the 12 semester hours, graduates will not only have dramatically improved their knowledge, attitude and skills in relationship to the major ethnic and rural health disparity issues but also have acquired new public health skill sets that will make them more marketable and employable in today’s public health, allied health, nursing and medical fields.

We are very grateful and appreciative that our new graduate certificate online program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services agency — Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA).