Patient Advocacy

Launch a rewarding career as a patient advocate. With this online certificate program, you'll learn how to handle the logistics of the health care system so patients and families can focus on what’s most important: health and well-being.

Please Note

This certificate program is no longer accepting new students. Existing students may contact a program representative at patientadv@uclaextension.edu for more information.

This program is perfect for...

  • Those who have a passion to help others with the logistical aspects of the health care system
  • Health care professionals with legal, insurance, or financial services backgrounds who are interested in working directly with patients and their families
  • Those who have prior experience in the medical field—such as nurses, social workers,
    or allied health professionals—looking to transition into advocacy
  • Individuals who have navigated healthcare themselves, or on behalf of a loved one, and would now like to do that for others

What you can learn.

  • The fundamentals of the U.S. health care system, including common issues in patient advocacy
  • How to advise and support patients with their care plans
  • How to address and resolve patient complaints involving medical professionals and insurance companies
  • Best practices as they are applied to legal and financial aspects of the health care system
  • Language and skills to for effective communication with health care professionals
  • Empathetic communication and active listening skills to work effectively with patients and families

Help clients navigate the health care landscape.

elderly woman in wheel chair with patient advocate

The Patient Advocacy Certificate at UCLA Extension provides the broad-based, fundamental knowledge required to pursue a career in patient advocacy and navigation.

Patient advocates are the guiding lights in an ever-changing health care system, handling any number of logistical, financial, and communication aspects of hospital and medical care to enhance the patient experience. This unique and growing role is designed to alleviate the confusion for patients and families so they can focus on what’s most important: health and well-being.

Considering the constantly evolving landscape of health care, our program is ideal for both entry-level and mid-level patient advocates. Coursework is updated based on the latest government enacted laws and policies as well as updates to health care practices. The Patient Advocacy program at UCLA Extension was developed by a team of academics and seasoned health care professionals to educate and ground students in the necessary fundamentals and specialized skills of this emerging area of health care.

It is highly recommended that new students begin this program in Fall quarter.  

Format: 100% Online



Click below to view the required and elective courses, if applicable, for this program.

Required Courses
HLT POL X 407.1
Typically Offered: Fall
HLT POL X 407.2
Typically Offered: Fall
HLT POL X 407.4
Typically Offered: Winter
HLT POL X 407.5
Typically Offered: Spring
HLT POL X 407.7
Typically Offered: Spring
HLT POL X 407.8
Typically Offered: Summer

Program Start: It is highly recommended that new students begin this program in Fall quarter.  

Application Requirement: A Bachelor’s Degree in any field or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, or other allied health field is required in order to apply for this program. 

Estimated Cost Breakdown

All courses in this program are paid for individually, unless otherwise noted. An application form is required to establish candidacy in this program. From the 'Apply Now' button, complete the online application and pay the application fee if applicable.

Application & Candidacy Fee


Estimated Program Tuition


Estimated program textbook/materials


*The Application & Candidacy Fee establishes your candidacy in the program for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and may allow you to access a variety of program benefits.

**Federal Financial Aid Gainful Employment Disclosures

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any financial aid eligible program that, “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. This information includes program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; on time completion rate; and for the most recent award year: the number of students who have completed the program, the number of students who complete the program within the estimated duration, the job placement rate, and the median Title IV and private loan debt incurred by those who complete the program. For gainful employment information for this program, visit our Financial Aid page.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
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