Award Duration Format Audience Application Deadline Start Deadline
Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety 4-8 months Blended or Online Clinical and administrative healthcare professionals Blended: July 1 or November 1

Online: July 1
Blended: August or January

Online: August

UAB’s Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety is a 4-course 15-graduate credit hour program that provides participants with tangible skills to reduce patient harm and increase organizational quality. Working professionals apply the knowledge they learn in real time to their unit, department, clinic, hospital, long-term care facility, outpatient care center, or physician office. Through a collaborative environment, learners discover improvement science and quality principles. The certificate prepares individuals to implement quality- and safety- based initiatives in their home institutions, utilizing the concepts of high-reliability leadership, data system design, process management, and hazard analysis.

Program Formats

This program is offered in two formats: blended or online.

Blended (known as Quality Academy)

  • In the blended format, learners complete the 4-course program in an accelerated cohort: 4 months in one semester.
  • Participants in this format complete 60% of their learning online and 40% of their learning in our executive learning center, in person over four weekends (Friday – Sunday).
  • Learners work in teams to complete a guided quality improvement project which is completed throughout the semester.


  • In the online format, participates complete the 4-course program over two semesters (8 months).
  • Participants take two courses during the fall semester (August – December) and two courses in the spring semester (January – April).


The curriculum has been designed for clinical and administrative working professional. UAB offers full time (blended format) and part time (online format) alternatives.

Learners who successfully complete the Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety may apply their course credits to either the Master of Science in Healthcare Quality and Safety or the Master of Science in Healthcare Simulation upon acceptance into the program.

HQS 600: Introduction to Clinical Quality Improvement (4 hours)

Clinical quality improvement theory; classes of outcomes; process management; management tools and modeling techniques for improvement of clinical processes and decision-making.

HQS 610: Quantitative Methods, Measurement, and Tools for Quality Improvement (4 hours)

Statistical process control techniques applied to clinical and patient service processes, including Lean and Six Sigma methodologies; data system design concepts applied to clinical and financial data for managing health care business processes.

HQS 625: Fundamentals of Patient Safety (4 hours)

Nature and science of patient error; strategies for design of safety-critical systems; hazard analysis and risk assessment in health care organizations; design elements of safety program and high reliability systems.

HQS 630: Leadership of High Reliability Healthcare Organizations (3 hours)

Applying concepts of high reliability organizations to create an organizational culture that supports strong, functional, and safe patient care environments resulting in quality clinical care and patient satisfaction.

Tuition & Fees

UAB’s tuition and fees are competitively priced. Learners in online format of the Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety pay the same tuition whether they reside in or outside of the state of Alabama.. In-state and out-of-state rates do apply for those who enroll in the blended format. For general UAB tuition and fees, visit the UAB Student Financial Aid website.