The MCE-VBD is offering a certificate in Public Health Entomology to recognize and provide basic skills related to the surveillance and management of mosquito and tick-borne disease.  The certification process is open to anyone affiliated with MCE-VBD partner organizations with interest in developing skills in vector-borne disease surveillance and control.

The MCE-VBD is committed to increasing preparedness for dealing with vector-borne disease (VBD) challenges such as Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and the Zika virus.  We are providing training in public health entomology (PHE) to develop a cadre of students at all levels of learning, who can assist academic institutes, local, state or federal public health agencies, pest control companies or mosquito abatement districts in vector-borne disease surveillance and management. 

The PHE Certificate is open to undergraduate students, graduate students, professional students (MD, MPH, DVM, etc.) through partner institutions in each of the 5 states in the MCE-VBD.  We also hope to meet training needs for currently practicing professionals in vector control and public health who have an interest in expanding their knowledge of vector-borne disease.  

There is no fee for completion of the certificate, though some requirements of the certificate may require participants to pay tuition, travel costs, and other expenses.  In some cases these may be covered by MCE-VBD, but the center cannot guarantee that.


In general, completion of the CPHE requires evidence of training in some of the following areas:

  1. An overview of medical entomology, vector-borne disease, and the public health impact of VBD
  2. Experience (coursework or otherwise) with diagnostic methodologies focused on identifying VBD in mosquitoes and ticks
  3. Experience with vector identification with a focus on mosquitoes and ticks
  4. Pesticide applicator licensure
  5. Field experience with surveillance and/or management of mosquitoes and/or ticks

If you have completed most but not all requirements for the CPHE, we encourage you to contact MCE-VBD to discuss how you might fulfill the missing requirement(s).


To apply for the Certificate in Public Health Entomology (CPHE) from the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (MCE-VBD), please submit the following materials in digital format (preferably .pdf) for consideration to​​

  1. CV — A curriculum vita, including a permanent home/email address.
  2. Cover letter — A cover letter briefly describing your interest in PHE and how certification supports your future goals. Also briefly describe anything you are enclosing (see #3) in support of your application for the CPHE, indicating clearly which type of training the enclosure represents.
  3. Supporting documents — Possible enclosures include college/university transcripts, course syllabi, a copy of your pesticide applicator license, and descriptions of work you have done that was not for academic credit.
     a) For each credit-bearing course used toward certification, provide the course description (e.g., from a course catalog or syllabus) and a university transcript high lighted with course designation and grade.
     b) For field experiences, please include approximately 250 words describing the work you did and how you feel it relates to VBD and PHE.

Please also arrange to have sent to us the following two items:

1) Letter of support -- A letter of support from one of the MCE-VBD partners listed on this site's “Partners” page.  This letter should be signed, composed on letterhead, and should indicate that the partner feels you are a good candidate for completion of the CPHE.  

2) Confirmation of field experience -- A memo from the supervisor of your proposed CPHE field experience.  This letter should be composed on letterhead and signed and can be very brief, potentially using the following template:  I hereby verify that _______ worked on project ________ with my laboratory during the timeframe of month/yr to month/yr.  In this experience, he/she/they learned _(sampling, experimental design, identification, public health outreach)_____ skills working with __(mosquito or tick spp)______ vectors of __(disease agent(s))_____. This work meets my standards to fulfill the requirements for a field experience in Public Health Entomology through the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases.

If the MCE-VBD partner endorsing your application to the CPHE was also the supervisor of your field experience, she or he may submit a single letter endorsing your candidacy and describing the field experience you completed.  

If you have any questions about the PHEC, please send them at any time to or call 608-890-1965.

The letter(s) submitted on your behalf should be submitted either in digital format (preferably .pdf) to or by postal mail to:

Certificate in Public Health Entomology, MCE-VBD
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Hanson Biomedical Sciences Building
1656 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706

Manual for certificate trainees and research fellows

MCE-VBD is developing a manual for certificate trainees and research fellows.

The manual is available here: OPEN MANUAL.

It includes the following topics:

  •  Certificate in Public Health Entomology (CPHE) -- Introduction and rationale
  • An important note about what CPHE is and is not
  • Jobs related to public health entomology
  • Getting started with the CPHE
  • Applying to complete the CPHE
  • Details regarding completion of CPHE requirements
  • An overview of the CPHE pesticide applicator requirement
  • Information for MCE-VBD Research Fellows