School of Law

Health Care Compliance Certificate

Today the principals, rules, and practices of health care compliance are an important part of the responsibilities of many professionals, yet there is little advanced compliance education available.

Health Care Compliance Online (HCC) is an accelerated, fully online, graduate certificate program offered by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law that provides students with an in-depth education in the law and practical applications of compliance. You will learn best practices and will have an opportunity to focus on current and emerging compliance issues and trends.

Designed for future compliance leaders, our program is ideal for those who work in compliance today and wish to enhance their knowledge and skills, as well as for those who wish to acquire a special understanding of compliance (such as attorneys, administrators, and those in other areas of health care).

The Certificate for Health Care Compliance meets the needs of working professionals. You will earn 15 credits of graduate education in health care compliance in just 10 months while continuing to work full time. You will interact with expert faculty from the School of Law and Graduate School of Public Health, current and former federal regulators, and compliance industry experts, as well as you peers from other industries and locations through innovative online applications.

Every course in this program is brand new and collaboratively designed by subject matter experts and online learning professionals. This means they not only address the most relevant and timely compliance topics, they also are delivered in an engaging style that fits the online environment and facilitates learning.

HCC Online coursework is asynchronous, meaning there are no scheduled meeting times or locations. You will complete your course work, delivered in weekly modules, based on your own schedule and from any location. Each accelerated graduate course is completed in eight weeks. Courses include both individual and group assignments.  HCC Online is designed to facilitate networking and peer-to-peer communication by utilizing cutting edge collaboration technologies as well as online discussion tools.

Program Objectives

The objectives of Health Care Compliance Online are to:

  • Provide an understanding of the laws that shape the health care industry in general, and compliance in particular;
  • Help students acquire a deeper understanding of the regulatory context of compliance;
  • Help students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to identify compliance issues, guide change, and navigate complexity while supporting an ethical culture;
  • Identify best practices in compliance management;
  • Enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills in a compliance context;
  • Help students acquire knowledge and skills to manage conflict;
  • Improve students’ communication and presentation skills; and
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities.

Who should enroll?

  • Compliance professionals who wish to enhance their understanding and professional development
  • Attorneys who wish to acquire an appreciation of the compliance industry, client needs, and issues
  • Health care professionals who must understand compliance
  • Industry administrators and leaders
  • Those interested in an exciting career change


Each course in Health Care Compliance Online awards three graduate credits and is completed in eight weeks.  The program starts in early January of each year.  Each year’s cohort takes four core courses, which provide a strong foundation and clear understanding of health care compliance issues. After completing the core curriculum, students customize their final course by selecting topics from among eight different modules. For class descriptions, visit the Health Care Compliance Program Courses and Modules page.

The Core Courses

Introduction to the Legal System for Health Care Compliance

  • Public goals and private incentives
  • Tort law and liability
  • Contract law and liability
  • Corporate law and creating new entities by agreement
  • Legislation and regulation  – establishing public policy and creating private obligations
  • Administrative law – the role of agencies in shaping public policy and their use of enforcement tools

Legal Aspects of Health Care Compliance

  • Compliance program elements
  • Fraud and abuse laws
  • Stark law
  • HIPAA/HITECH privacy and security
  • Conditions of participation
  • Coding and billing, documentation, medical necessity
  • Internal investigation

Professional Judgment and Ethics

  • Organizational ethics, mission and values
  • Professional judgment
  • Core values
  • Managing conflict
  • Health care ethics and business decisions

Effective Compliance Program Development and Skills

  • Implementing and facilitating oversight
  • Risk assessments
  • Creating impactful policies and procedures
  • Training and education strategies
  • Opening and maintaining lines of communication
  • Audit and monitoring
  • Corrective action

Student Structured Final Course

  • Selected Applications in Compliance
    • Students select four modules to customize their substantive focus
    • Examines current issues and specific concerns
    • Students select from:
      • Privacy
      • Advanced Privacy
      • Hospitals and Providers
      • Advanced Hospitals and Providers
      • Quality
      • Research
      • Insurers
      • Life Sciences


Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution.  Admissions decisions will be made based on professional experience, academic credentials, and a personal statement.  In some instances, an interview (online or via phone) may be required.

To apply for the program, complete the Health Care Compliance Online Application.


Interested in learning more? Read the Health Care Compliance Frequently Asked Questions.