Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Equity

Health Equity cohort

Program Overview

The certificate in Health Equity is designed to prepare students to become skilled and compassionate healthcare providers, public health professionals, and policy advocates who understand how social determinants shape health status and who are committed to working in solidarity with and to advocating for stigmatized and underserved populations.

Program participants will

  • Understand how unjust social conditions cause illness and disease for stigmatized populations
  • Be able to identify and intervene in their own practice and with colleagues when bias leads to unequal care
  • Learn to practice equity-oriented, person-centered care that helps individuals seeking clinical services feel valued and welcomed
  • Learn how policy affects health and how to be an effective advocate for better policies

Our program operates out of four values:

  • An asset-based perspective means seeking out and celebrating all of the strengths that health-seekers from underserved communities bring to clinical interactions.
  • An equity orientation means that we are always questioning our assumptions and learning to identify our biases.
  • A cohort model means that we reject competition in academic work and instead work collaboratively. We are all pulling for each other!
  • An anti-racist program does not seek color blindness, but justice.

Program Structure and Curriculum

The Certificate is a one-year program, which begins in June.

  • HLEQ 410 – Health Equity and Health Disparities (Summer Session 1)
  • HLEQ 415 – Intercultural Communication for Healthcare (Summer Session 2)
  • HLEQ 440 – The Politics of Health and Healthcare Policy (Fall)
  • HLEQ 420 – Developing Cultural Humility (Spring)

We also offer electives

  • HLEQ 425 – Global Health, Local Practice
  • HLEQ 430 – Narrative Medicine and Inequality
  • HLEQ 445 – Research Methods in Health Disparities
  • A variety of 200 and 300-level courses

Graduate Assistantship Scholarship Program

Students who are admitted through the Graduate Assistantship program receive a tuition scholarship of $12,000 and a stipend of $18,000 for living expenses. Graduate Assistants work 4 days each week, up to 40 hours per week, in a local healthcare system. Many Graduate Assistants work as scribes. Scribes gain valuable clinical experience and are paired with a mentor physician. Opportunities for project management in healthcare administration are also available.


Tuition -- $12,500

Connect With Us 

Dr. Kendra G. Hotz
Robert R Waller Professor of Population Health
Chair, Health Equity Program

Health Equity FAQ 

Program Structure and Coursework

  • What’s the sequence? 
    HLEQ 410 is a prerequisite to the other three courses. Others may be taken out of sequence for students who do not complete the certificate in 12 months. In special circumstances, we can allow students to begin other courses before they have taken HLEQ 410.
  • Am I required to complete the certificate program in 1 year? Can I complete the certificate program in 1 year?
    No. The certificate is designed to be completed in one year, but you can spread out the courses over 2 or more years if necessary.
  • Will the certificate courses be offered for undergraduate students?
    Yes, undergraduates may enroll for any seats not filled by certificate students. 
  • What will grading look like?
    Expectations will be the same as for any Rhodes course: reading, papers, group projects. Highly interactive to put into practice the skills you will learn.
  • Can we take the courses pass/fail?
    You may, but to receive the certificate, you must complete 16 credits of courses with grades.
  • At what time will the courses be offered?
    Evening courses: 6-8:30PM
    Weekend courses: Saturday mornings
  • Will we be “full-time” students?
    No, you will receive a certificate, not a degree. You will not be eligible for federal loans.
  • Will we be eligible to participate in team sports?
    You may be. Student athletes must be full-time students, so you will need to enroll in and pay tuition for additional courses. We can assist you in selecting appropriate electives.

Graduate Assistantship Program

  • What if I have a summer job lined up/a full time job—do I have to do the Graduate Assistantship Program?
    No, the Graduate Assistantship Program is a scholarship program. It’s not a requirement. You can enroll in the Certificate and pay tuition directly.
  • Is the Graduate Assistantship admissions process separate from admission to the Certificate?
    Yes, you will go through the Rhodes admission process first and then Methodist Le Bonheur will do interview those nominated for scholarships.
  • How many hours will we work as a graduate assistant?
    Up to full time, working clinic hours. On days that class meets in the evenings, you will be released from duties no later than 4:30 PM.
  • Will we be Methodist employees?
    No, you will be Rhodes graduate students. You will not qualify for Methodist benefits (such as health insurance).
    Important note: if you lose your scribe job through Methodist, you will lose your scholarship.
  • Will we have a say with the physician/specialty we work with?
    You may express your preference, but we cannot guarantee a particular clinical placement.

Program Expenses to Consider

  • What are other expenses we should consider?
    Tuition of $500 above what is covered by the scholarship. With demonstrated need this amount may be waived