Graduate Certificate Program in HIV & STIs

Program Overview

The Graduate Certificate Program in HIV & STIs is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the conceptual knowledge and practical skills needed to work in the field of HIV & STI. The program provides training and context for the global AIDS epidemic, arguably the most pressing public health issue of our time. It equips future professionals in health and social science disciplines to address the complex interplay of biomedical, social, economic, gender, political, and geographic factors that impact the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Controlling these epidemics requires comprehensive strategies across sectors and countries; this program provides a framework and interdisciplinary foundation for this.

This certificate program currently involves affiliated faculty and steering committee members from multiple Departments and Schools across the university in the health and social sciences and other disciplines.


A graduate certificate program is a linked series of credit-bearing graduate courses that constitutes a coherent body of study and culminates in a capstone project. The Graduate Certificate in HIV and STI’s is intended to enhance the education of matriculated UW graduate students and professional students beyond their regular course of study. Students will qualify for the certificate upon completion of 15 credits of approved coursework and a capstone project. Completed graduate certificates are recorded on the student’s UW transcript.

Please note that in order to complete this program, you need to reside in the state of Washington. The Graduate Certificate Program in HIV and STIs is not able to offer scholarships or any funding to students.

For master's degree students, the certificate program is typically completed during their second year of study, but students may choose to begin taking courses within the program during their first year without being admitted to the program. Students are encouraged to complete the certificate in one year. If two years pass without completing the program, students must reapply.

One quarter prior to graduation, all students must submit a planning form via email to the program manager.

2014-2015 Planning Form 

Coursework: Completion of the graduate certificate program requires a minimum of 15 course credits, 2 classes must be taken from the selected core courses,  3 credits are earned through the completion of a Capstone Project and the remaining credits are elective courses. Nine credits must be graded. Overlap of coursework applied towards the certificate program and degree program must not exceed 6 credits and is limited to elective coursework in each program. Core course requirements of a degree program may not be counted toward the certificate. Students are strongly encouraged to work with the coordinator of their degree program and with certificate staff to develop a specific course plan that will meet the requirements of both the degree and the certificate.

Academic course work on HIV and STIs (for example, a public policy class in which the student’s individual project focused on AIDS policy) may be substituted if the course is not in conflict with Graduate School Certificate Program requirements. To petition, please email Katie Wakefield ( with the course syllabus and a description of relevant course work. There must be relevant HIV/STI content within the course which may include a research project or paper.

Capstone Project and Independent Study Credits: Students will complete an individual Capstone project or paper over the course of the program and present their work at a Capstone seminar in the final quarter of their academic program. The Capstone project must be separate from a student's thesis or doctoral work. Students must sign up for 3 independent study credits with a UW faculty member as part of their capstone requirement. Capstone project proposals must be approved by the Certificate Program Manager and Director. Students may provide technical assistance to ongoing HIV/STI research studies (development of study instruments, data analysis, field implementation, laboratory testing), write a paper exploring a contextual aspect of HIV/STI (intersections between gender and HIV, analysis of international AIDS policy, program evaluation of a STI treatment program), or develop a clinical case scenario.

Capstone Project Guidelines/Mentor Instructions (PDF, 82KB)


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis though we strongly encourage you to apply as early as possible to ensure you can complete all requirements for the certificate at the same time or before you complete your degree requirements.

To apply, please submit the following materials via email to the Certificate Program Coordinator. (Paper applications will not be accepted):

  1. Application Form (DOC, 51KB)
  2. Background and Goal Statement - maximum of one page describing your area of interest within the field of HIV and STIs, any relevant technical or language skills, relevant work, volunteer or international experience, and how the certificate program will help meet your academic and professional goals.
  3. Current resume or CV
  4. UW transcripts (official or unofficial)

For questions regarding the application process please contact the Program Coordinator:

Katie Wakefield

Contact Information

For additional information about this graduate certificate program in AIDS and STIs, please contact:

Program Coordinator, Graduate Certificate Program in HIV and STIs
Katie Wakefield
Box 359931

Program Director, Graduate Certificate in HIV and STIs
H. Nina Kim, MD MSc