Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality and Safety

This is an archived copy of the 2023-2024 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

The online Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality and Safety is targeted toward busy health care professionals engaged or planning to be engaged in leadership roles in the quality and safety areas in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other health care organizations. Professionals in health care quality and safety manage the strategic and operational aspects of quality operations; establish goals and standards; lead the quality improvement programs; provide training and coaching in quality improvement tools and techniques; develop, implement, and monitor measures to assess quality performance; direct organization-wide quality initiatives, including the National Patient Safety Initiatives; and direct ongoing monitoring of accreditation survey readiness activities.

This certificate program is designed for health care professionals and administrators, who are at a point in their careers where they require advanced skills and knowledge to develop, manage, and sustain a culture of excellence in organizations and health systems.

This Graduate Certificate is eligible to receive Title IV funding – Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Graduate PLUS loans by request. To be considered for aid, students need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Applicants must have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree and be currently working or have worked in a health care related field for more than 3 years. 

Specific requirements for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality and Safety program are as follows. All required items should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application Fee
  3. Undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution or with Admission Committee approval
  4. Official transcript(s) from all post-secondary schools attended
  5. Minimum GPA of 3.0
  6. Writing samples:
    1. Please, include a 250- to 500-word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at Sam Houston State University, and your academic objectives, career goals, and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, relevant to your program of interest. Include any substantial accomplishments.
    2. Please, provide a 500-word description of one key issue in Health care Quality or Patient Safety and discuss possible solutions.
  7. Two letters of recommendation from:
    1. Individuals who served in a supervisory capacity, and who can strongly attest to the applicant’s work ethic, and/or
    2. Academic instructors who can strongly attest to the applicant’s academic ability.
  8. A CV or resume
  9. On-campus, video, or phone interview with the M.S. in Health Care Quality and Safety coordinator or admission committee member for selected competitive applicants meeting all admissions criteria

The coordinator and the admissions committee of the certificate program and the M.S. in Health Care Quality and Safety program will review all applications and will determine satisfactory completion of certificate requirements. 

Note: Transfer of credit from other institutions may not be applied toward the credits required for the certificate.

The Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality and Safety requires five (5) graduate courses or 15 semester credit hours. These courses will be offered online. The certificate program may be obtained in as little as 9 months, depending on the chosen elective course.

Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality and Safety
Required Courses
HLTH 5355Health Services Administration3
HLTH 5371Health Care Quality & Safety3
HLTH 5373Risk Mgmt in Health Care Orgs3
HLTH 6371Advanced Concepts in Health Care Quality3
Select one of the following:3
Statistical Design in Health
Health Care Informatics
Health Economics and Finance
Quality and Safety Public Reporting Systems
Leading Change in Health Care Organizations
Total Hours15

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state's 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers. Marketable skills are those valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality and Safety is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the health care quality and safety profession.
  • Demonstrate ability to recognize and solve health care quality and/or safety issues.
  • Participate in research of and find solutions to problems in the field of Health Care Quality and Safety.
  • Recognize leadership and management theories and practices including those of change management.
  • Apply knowledge of the current United States health care system in solving problems.