Undergraduate certificate in health policy

The undergraduate certificate in health policy prepares students to understand and shape health policy in Wisconsin and in the U.S.

The certificate in health policy is an interdisciplinary program, welcoming majors across UW-Madison. Coursework includes an introduction to health policy, analytic skills for health policy, a specialization course from a variety of options across campus, and applied fieldwork experience.

To get to the root causes of complicated health policy issues, you’ll learn to use methods from economics, sociology, and political science. With help from partners in many fields, including psychology, urban planning, and medicine, you and interdisciplinary classmates will search for better policies and interventions that can serve the public good.

Learn about our program, our faculty, and how to apply.

Program details

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Required courses

Official program details can be found in the Guide. Required courses can be taken in any order, but we recommend taking Public Affairs 201 first.

How to apply

The online application portal will be open during two periods each year, November 1 – 30 and May 1 – 31. A link to the application form will appear on this page during those periods.

To apply for the undergraduate certificate in health policy, you must:

  • Have at least sophomore standing 
  • Be in good academic standing with your school or college
  • Have taken, be enrolled in, or have registered for at least one class that meets certificate requirements
  • Complete a short online declaration form

Internship details

Internship details

Students identify and secure internships working with a health policy-related organization or a project relevant to health policy. To maximize learning, we recommended taking at least one of the required courses before completing the internship.

For current certificate in health policy students, Marie Koko, career services coordinator at La Follette, (marie.koko@wisc.edu) can offer insights on how to find an internship. Admitted students can also consult curated internship listings Marie shares each week.

If you are a student in the College of Letters and Science and have not yet been accepted into the certificate in health policy, SuccessWorks is a valuable resource to help you find an internship. Inter-LS 210 and Inter-LS 215 are sophomore career courses that provide you with the skills to find an internship. Inter-LS 210 is offered for 1 credit, while Inter-LS 215 is offered for 3 credits and also satisfies your Comm B requirement. Neither course, however, satisfies any requirements for the certificate in health policy.

Substituting internships

If you wish to substitute an internship course, students should complete the Petition for Special Consideration form, and include a course syllabus and a brief summary of your internship responsibilities.

Skills and careers

Career support is an important part of the La Follette School experience.

Learn more about the skills and careers (pdf) you’ll gain through a certificate in health policy.

In your fieldwork or internship experience for the certificate, you’ll apply your skills in a real-world setting, guided by experienced faculty. You’ll be prepared to bring your new skills, and a deeper understanding of health policy, to work in government, nonprofit, legal, and private sector jobs.

Find out more about careers and skills on our Career Development page.

Accelerated program

The La Follette School of Public Affairs provides selected UW-Madison undergraduates an opportunity to jumpstart the Master of Public Affairs or Master of International Public Affairs program.  Application for admission to the accelerated program for MPA or MIPA must be made directly to the La Follette School after five semesters of undergraduate study. Students who plan to complete their undergraduate degree in 3 years are not eligible for the accelerated program. 

Learn more about the accelerated program


Our multidisciplinary faculty are nationally recognized experts in public policy analysis, public management and administration, and specialized policy fields.

Associate Professor Yang Wang delivers a lecture in front of a chalkboard

Undergraduate news


You can make an appointment with our advisors over email or Starfish. If you are not enrolled in the health policy certificate yet, please contact Kelly Otto or Mary Davis Michaud. Contact Marie Koko for help finding a job or internship.

Kelly Otto

Credentials: Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Email: klotto@wisc.edu

Schedule an appointment on Starfish

Mary Davis Michaud

Credentials: Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Email: mdmichaud@wisc.edu

Schedule an appointment on Starfish

Marie Koko

Credentials: Director of Career and Employer Services

Email: marie.koko@wisc.edu