• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    1.5 years

Program Highlights:

  • 100% online, no visits to campus required 
  • One of four founding HCQ programs certified by CAHME
  • The program requires 18 total credits and can be finished in 18 to 24 months 
  • Created in partnership with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) 
  • All credits can be transferred into the MSHS in Health Care Quality program 

Online Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality

The George Washington University's (GW) Online Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality is a fully online, 18 credit-hour graduate certificate program built on an interdisciplinary, practice-based curriculum and developed to prepare you for a leadership role in quality-based healthcare.

Created in partnership with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), you'll be prepared with the evidence-based training necessary to meet the rising global need for quality and patient safety specialists. Upon completion of the online certificate program, you'll have the opportunity to transfer all 18 credits to GWs online Masters in Health Care Quality program.

Program Outcomes
Designed to support excellence in quality improvement and patient safety leadership, GWs online Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality equips you with a survey of practical knowledge and skills necessary to affect health care quality and patient safety within the healthcare setting. This program will give you the experience and confidence to:

  • Analyze the structure and organization of the U.S. healthcare system
  • Implement quality and patient safety initiatives
  • Understand political and environmental influences on healthcare
  • Apply patient safety theories, models, and methods to healthcare quality and safety improvement

Who Is the Ideal Student for This Program? 
The Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality program is ideal for working professionals who are either just entering the field of healthcare or who wish to increase their knowledge and skills to advance to a leadership position.

Career Outlook
Students of the online graduate certificate program will be prepared to meet the global need for evidence-based healthcare professionals. Graduates will be able to establish systems that foster excellence in quality improvement and patient safety leadership, a requirement in patient-centered, healthcare organizations.

Typical positions held by Healthcare Quality professionals include: 

  • Associate Healthcare Director of Provider Quality
  • Healthcare Associate
  • Healthcare Quality Analyst
  • Quality & Safety Specialist
  • Quality Assurance Consultant
  • Quality Manager
  • RN Quality Improvement Specialist

Become a Change Agent for Quality Care
Contact an admissions advisor today at (844) 386-7323.

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Bachelors Degree from a Regionally Accredited Institution

  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. Previous work experience

    Healthcare Experience Preferred

  4. A written personal statement

    Statement of Purpose (Applicants must include a 250-500 word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at GW, your academic objectives, career goals and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, relevant to your program of interest. Include any substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.)

  5. Completed Application
  6. Resume/CV
  7. Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $80 is required. The application fee is waived for active-duty U.S. military and veterans, current GW students, degree-holding GW alumni, graduates of Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), and current McNair Program Scholars.
  8. Official transcripts from every college and university attended. All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credential agency. Please find the list of member organizations here: https://www.naces.org/members
  9. 2 Letters of Recommendation
  10. International Students: Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are also required to submit official test scores for Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson’s Test of English (PTE) Academics or the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS). The following are the minimum scores for admission consideration: TOEFL: 250 computer-based or 100 Internet-based GW's school code for the TOEFL is 5246. PTE: overall score of 68 IELTS: overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score below 6.0 International applicants may be considered for admission without submitting the above scores if: You are a citizen of a country where English is the official language, You hold a bachelor’s degree from a country where English is the official language and language of instruction, You hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.


The Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality requires successful completion of 18 credit hours. All semester credits earned in this program are transferable to the MSHS in Health Care Quality.

  • HCQ 6200Introduction to Health Care Quality3 Credits

    Introduces the fundamental concepts to be covered in HCQ 6201 through HCQ 6205 and discusses how they are integrated within the context of health care quality.

  • HCQ 6201Building a Quality Culture3 Credits

    Involves application of leadership and organizational change theories and principles to the implementation of quality and patient safety initiatives. Strategies are put forth that would address development of the culture and infrastructure needed to support patient safety and continuous quality improvement.

  • HCQ 6202Health Care Quality Landscape3 Credits

    Covers the analysis of quality and patient safety challenges in U.S. health care with a focus on political and environmental influences.

  • HCQ 6203Quality Improvement Science in Health Care3 Credits

    Provides an introduction to quality improvement and patient safety theories, models, methods and tools and their application to quality and safety improvement challenges in health care.

  • HCQ 6204Health Care Quality Measurement, Data Management and Analysis3 Credits

    Involves application of measurement, data management and statistical analysis principles to quality improvement and patient safety challenges. This course focuses on the importance and design of effective measures and the selection of appropriate analysis tools.

  • HCQ 6205Patient Safety Systems3 Credits

    Involves an examination of the epidemiology and sources of error in health care, risk assessment and the design of processes and systems to improve patient safety. Focuses on the application of process and technology-based systems to reduce the incidence of error.

Tuition & Fees

Note: Tuition rates are subject to change and additional fees may vary by program. Please call at (844) 386-7323 for more information.

  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $980
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $2,940

What's it like to earn this degree online?

  • Study on your schedule
    The flexible anytime, anywhere approach to online learning at GW means that you can study and work on assignments when and where it’s convenient for you. Balance your personal and professional commitments. At GW online, you can advance your career without stopping it.
  • Personalized learning
    Many of our online programs have a student-instructor ratio that’s lower than on-campus classes, making it easier to interact with fellow students and get personalized attention from your instructors. Plus, you have access to one-on-one tutoring to help ensure your success.
  • The prestige of a GW degree
    Now you can earn a GW degree without relocating your life, giving you access to the distinguished connections and opportunities we provide. When you earn a degree from an online program at GW, you earn a degree from the George Washington University. Entrusted with its rights, privileges, and honors, you’ll join the ever-expanding GW alumni community who make the world a better place.
  • Connect to campus from anywhere
    GW is your link to leading authorities in policy and health care in Washington, D.C. You’ll be able to research, collaborate, and discuss with classmates and instructors using online learning management systems. Engage with all the resources GW offers, including tutors, the writing center, career services, and libraries—all online.
  • A dedicated advisor from day one
    Each GW online student is assigned an academic advisor who will support your journey to graduation. You’ll get help finding resources, guidance on scheduling classes, answers to your questions, and more. As an online learner at GW, you’re never alone.
  • Round-the-clock tech support
    A late-night software malfunction won’t keep you from getting your assignment in on time. GW provides 24/7 technical support for our online students, ensuring you have complete access to what you need, when you need it.

Want to learn more?