This certificate prepares students for their professional fields by providing an understanding of trauma, trauma-sensitive responses, and trauma-informed prevention and care. These skills will be indispensable to graduates throughout their careers and very beneficial to the individuals they serve. 

Although this certificate program is open to any undergraduate student, its primary focus is students in "helping professions" such as psychology, social work, education, nursing, public health, the health sciences, and law because workers in these professions encounter the most traumatized individuals in society. Untreated adverse childhood experiences are connected to mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide.

The Certificate in Resilience and Trauma-Informed Perspectives is sponsored by the School of Social Work and the College of Education with support from the Colleges of Nursing and Public Health. The certificate is administered by the School of Social Work

Program Goals:

Students earning this certificate will be able to:

  • Explain adverse childhood experiences and the influence they have on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual outcomes in childhood and adulthood.
  • Describe resiliency, its dynamics, and ways to strengthen resiliency.
  • Analyze strategies to decrease or eliminate trauma in society, including how to create trauma-informed organizations.
  • Understand the impact of adverse childhood experiences on communities and formulate strategies to prevent them in communities and in their field of practice.

Why Study at Iowa

At Iowa, students have opportunities to work with faculty interested in health, mental health, substance abuse prevention and treatment, child and adolescent development, resiliency, and youth interventions. The school offers an approved program of preparation for School of Social Work endorsement in Iowa.

The School of Social Work is recognized nationally for its outstanding work in child welfare, aging studies, end of life care, and reducing family violence. 

The university is home to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, one of the nation's largest university teaching hospitals, which offers excellent practicum and research opportunities for students. 

Course Work

This certificate program is offered primarily to on-campus students. It requires 18 semester hours of course work, including 6 hours of required courses and 12 hours of electives from an approved list.

Students establish study plans while in the foundations course and in collaboration with the certificate program coordinator. The coordinator approves the final plan and works with the adviser in the student's major to create a study plan that complements their academic program and career interests. 

Review Certificate in Resilience and Trauma-Informed Perspectives in the UI General Catalog for information about required course work. 

Admission Requirements

This certificate may be earned by any University of Iowa student who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program.

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Student Opportunities

In addition to having more than 600 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Study Abroad Programs and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.


Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

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