A professor lecture a group of students in a LGBT health class

Certificate Program

The GW Graduate Certificate in LGBT Health Policy and Practice takes an applied care approach to tackling health care disparities affecting the LGBT community. The 18-credit program is designed specifically for professionals who work on the front lines with clients and patients, as well as those who work on the health care or policy side to serve the physical and mental health needs of the LGBT population.

The hybrid curriculum combines online coursework completed throughout the year with two separate weeklong residencies on GW’s Foggy Bottom campus in Washington, D.C.


Program Components


Apply to the Program

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in October. Visit the GW Bulletin for specific requirements, and review the Columbian College's requirements for international applicants. You can access our application here.

  • Deadline for LGBT Program Financial Assistance: February 15
  • Final Application Deadline: May 1



Hybrid Curriculum

The graduate certificate requires 12 credits of core courses as well as six credits of electives. Core topics deal with LGBT health and well-being, mental health and health policy. Students also gain a solid foundation in relevant psychological, medical and public policy-based issues.

The curriculum culminates with a required capstone project initiated by the student, which enables them to put coursework into practice at a variety of nonprofits, think tanks and health care institutions in the D.C. area.

Most of the required online coursework for the certificate program is asynchronous — that is, students can complete discussion boards, readings, videos and other course assignments on their own time. Some classes also include a limited number of synchronous online meetings in the style of a webinar, which are recorded for students who are not able to attend live.


Flexible Schedule

Students typically complete the program in one or two years. Students traditionally begin the program in the summer, when two core courses (Health Policy and Multidisciplinary Health) are offered and when the new-student oriented summer residency occurs. It is, however, possible to begin in the fall or spring semesters.

Students who choose the two-year option must complete the initial summer residency and the final spring residency before program completion. The additional residencies in between are optional. If a student needs more than two years, they must enroll in at least one course at GW during every fall and spring semester until graduation.

Core courses are offered in the summer and in the fall. The capstone course is offered only in the spring. Please feel free to consult with program staff or the director for assistance in designing your course of study.


Adam Ward

Adam Ward

Certificate '15

"The LGBT Health Policy and Practice program has uniquely prepared me to combine my two passions — biomedical research and LGBT advocacy — to address health disparities affecting LGBT people. This certificate has provided me with formal training that is not available through any other program."

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 12 credits in required courses and three 2-credit elective courses.

PSYD 6201Multi-disciplinary LGBT Health *
PSYD 6202LGBT Mental Health *
PSYD 6203LGBT Health Policy *
PSYD 6211LGBT Health Capstone
6 credits in elective courses selected from the following:**
AMST 6430Gender, Sexuality, and American Culture I
PSYC 8275Women and Health
or WGSS 8275 Women and Health
PSYD 6221Topics in LGBT Health
PSYD 8270Current Topics in Clinical Psychology
PUBH 6099Topics in Public Health (Designing and Evaluating HIV Prevention Programs)
PUBH 6514Preventing Health Disparities
SOC 6268Race, Gender, and Class
SOC 6273The Sex Industry
WGSS 6257Gender and Sexuality

*Taken for 3 credits to meet program requirements.

**Students may petition the Program Director to include other courses as electives. Electives should be graduate-level courses offered at GW that pertain to the LGBT population (specifically, not the broader minority population), physical or mental health with a focus on minority/underserved populations, or public policy with a focus on health and/or minority/underserved populations.