The UW–Madison Center for Patient Partnerships (CPP) provides the online Consumer Health Advocacy Capstone Certificate to educate learners interested in advocacy on behalf of anyone facing barriers to their health care. It is ideal for people who want to help their families get the care they need, change careers, or deepen existing professional practice. It is also for those that want to gain valuable direct patient service before enrolling in  graduate or professional school, become professional health care advocates, or explore next steps without a clear view of what’s on the horizon.

Within the certificate program, the center offers two tracks focused on either individual-level patient advocacy or system/policy-level health advocacy. Its educational approach encourages hands-on learning by advocating for patients directly through the nation’s only certificate program with an experiential Patient Advocacy Clinic. Students can complete the entire program from a distance (except a two-day, in-person orientation) or in a blended (in-person + online) format.

Students complete four 3-credit courses for 12 graduate-level credits. On average, students take 12–18 months to complete the certificate program.

Further detail, including current tuition and costs, is available at the program's website or contact below:

The Center for Patient Partnerships
University of Wisconsin–Madison Law School
975 Bascom Mall, Suite 4311
Madison, WI 53706-1399
Fax 608-265-4332

Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree. Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) is the admitting office for all University Special students. However, the department offering the capstone certificate program makes the final admission decision upon review of all applicant materials. All application materials must be received by the deadline posted on the program website. 

Application steps

A complete application includes the following information:

  1. An online application for admission as a University Special student, selecting UNCS Capstone Certificate and the program: Consumer Health Advocacy. This application is received and processed by ACSSS with final decision held for approval from the specific capstone certificate coordinator. 
  2. An application and materials required by the Center for Patient Partnerships, with their certificate's online application provided on the program's website here

Materials required include:

  • a personal statement,
  • résumé,
  • two references,
  • one letter of recommendation,
  • transcripts for any current program or coursework and all prior degrees,
  • and a $75 non-refundable application fee
  • the Center for Patient Partnerships (CPP) application


Admitted students receive a formal letter of admission to UW–Madison from Adult Career and Special Student Services along with general enrollment information. Additional detail is provided on the ACSSS enrollment page

The coordinator for the capstone certificate will send an email to admitted students with specific information pertaining to enrollment in and completion of the capstone program.

  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.000
Foundation Courses
LAW 940 Law and Contemporary Problems (Introduction to Health Advocacy)3
LAW/​MED SC-M/​NURSING  768 Consumer Health Advocacy and Patient-Centered Care Clinical (Intro)3
LAW/​MED SC-M/​NURSING  768 Consumer Health Advocacy and Patient-Centered Care Clinical (Advanced)3
LAW 940 Law and Contemporary Problems (Models of System Level Advocacy)3
Total Credits12
  1. Develop advocacy capacity that emphasizes patient empowerment.
  2. Develop critical health advocacy competencies including communication, collaborative decision making, cultural humility, and ethics.
  3. Experience the discipline of advocacy from a case-based perspective, and explore how various key advocacy roles can be useful in specific situations.
  4. Gain familiarity with the U. S. health care delivery system and the systemic problems that give rise to the need for advocacy at the individual organizational and policy levels.