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For more info, contact Pamela Rothpletz-Puglia, program director.

Certificate in Health Professions Education

Teach in College Level Health Professions Programs

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies offers both a Master of Science in Health Professions Education and a graduate certificate in health professions education. Both programs are geared towards healthcare professionals who have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and wish to teach in college level health professions programs.

The Certificate consists of 13 credits of health professions education courses. Upon completion of the Certificate program, the student will have:

  • Developed an individualized teaching portfolio
  • Designed and taught a learner-oriented lesson
  • Learned how to develop a reliable and valid tool to assess student learning
  • Learned preceptor, mentoring and feedback strategies to assess health professions students skills in a clinical setting
  • Prepared a curriculum map
  • Within the chosen curriculum, developed a course

Threaded throughout the certificate is the requirement to build an individualized Teaching Portfolio. To facilitate construction of an individualized Portfolio, certificate students will be enrolled in a Community Group where they can upload each section of their portfolio. This will allow students to review, refine, and build upon previously designed sections and will serve as a repository as they progress throughout the Certificate.

Our program is unique in offering:

  • Cumulative development of a Teaching Portfolio as one progresses through the curriculum
  • Students can take their Teaching Portfolio with them after graduation
  • Convenience of entirely online course offerings
  • Flexibility of 8 – and 15 – week course offerings
  • The option of either a Master’s Degree or Graduate Certificate
  •  The ability to apply credits earned for the Graduate Certificate to the Master’s degree
  • A wealth of faculty experience in the area of educations and health
  • Enrollment in a university ranked #1 by College Factual in best colleges for health professions.


Learning Outcomes are aligned with the School of Health Professions outcomes and include outcomes related to major competency areas for health professions educators.

Teaching and Learning

Students will be able to: 

  • assess one’s teaching style based on the results of one or more available teaching assessment tools such as the TPI (Teacher Perspective Index);
  • write a personal teaching philosophy that includes teaching beliefs and specific teaching strategies that facilitate teaching/learning based on the philosophy;
  • apply major learning theories to instructional design and lesson planning;
  • select and apply appropriate teaching strategies and unit content according to the goals of instruction and identified learner characteristics;
  • and design and implement multiple student-centered learning activities based upon differences in learning styles.

Assessing Learning

Students will be able to: 

  • differentiate between the concepts of assessment, evaluation, testing, and grading;
  • relate the concepts of true score theory, reliability, and validity as applied to the development of standardized tests and measures
  • apply the basic principles of constructing good, written test questions to assess cognitive performance
  • and assess the quality and utility of published evidence based upon their assessment and evaluation strategies.

Clinical and Community Based Education

Students will be able to:

  1. observe and critique preceptor assessment of students in simulated clinical settings
  2. evaluate a community education program
  3. design and modify a clinical rotation
  4. and analyze various methods to teach clinical education.

Curriculum Development

Students will be able to:

  • design a model curriculum to include the following:
  1. a benchmarking study to include educational and professional standards
  2. identification of curriculum goals and objectives
  3. mapping of proposed courses/components to the overall program goals and objectives
  4. strategies to assess curriculum outcomes
  5. an evaluation tool to assess curriculum courses
  6. various educational design methodologies in the development of a model course/curriculum to accommodate highly diverse students in a variety of settings
  7. identification of legal responsibility and ethical obligations in the design of a course and curriculum
  • and articulate how credentialing and accreditation contribute to the development of health professions curricula

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a need for almost 15 million health professionals by 2025. Extensive education is required to become a health professional, and continuing education is needed to remain current with evolving health-related skills and knowledge. There is a need to deliver quality education to health care professionals efficiently and effectively. Our program prepares graduates for careers such as university/college faculty, health care institutions staff development officers, and continuing education educators.

Rutgers is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a voluntary, nongovernmental, peer-based membership association dedicated to promoting standards of excellence and improvement in higher education.

Apply by July 15 for Fall semester and Oct. 15 for Spring semester

To apply, the applicant must:

  • Have earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Provide:
    • Unofficial student transcript
    • Copy of professional license/certificate (if applicable)
    • Statement of professional career goals
    • Applicants with non-U.S. degree must have: Transcript Evaluation by World Ed. Services (WES) or equivalent agency approved by Rutgers University.

Our graduate program offers a solid research core where you’ll learn introductory statistics and research methods as well as how to utilize evidence-based literature.

Courses are highly structured, graduate-level courses where students and faculty participate in weekly discussions and students are required to complete assignments or take exams, depending upon the course. The online courses are fully populated with all course materials and resources, except for textbooks that students may be required to purchase. Often, faculty provide weekly or semi-regular face-to-face sessions through video conferencing to give students the opportunity to see and interact with the instructor in real time.

Students receive one-on-one advising from a faculty in the Health Professions Education program. This includes developing a program plan so you are aware of when courses are offered and the recommended sequence for taking the courses.

Courses descriptions are the same for the master’s and certificate program.

Center for Advanced and Continuing Education for certificate (curriculum below):

Course Number Course Name Credits
IDST5140 Teaching in the Health Professions 3 credits
IDST5340 Clinical and Community Based Teaching 3 credits
IDST5350 Evaluation and Assessment in Health Professions Education 3 credits
IDST5210 Curriculum Development in Health Professions Education 3 credits
IDST6981 Capstone: The Health Professions Education Teaching Portfolio 1 credit
Total   13 credits

The online Graduate Program in Health Professions Education (HPE) is specifically designed to prepare health professionals for careers as faculty in health professions education programs.

The program is exclusively for those with established health care careers, who desire to become teachers in health professions education programs, educators in clinical settings including clinical education of health professions student, or educators in alternative settings such as in the community.

It prepares graduates for careers such as university/college faculty, health care institutions staff development officers, and continuing education educators.  The Certificate Program is appropriate for individuals who hold a graduate degree and do not wish to pursue an additional graduate degree. The Master’s Program is for individuals with a minimum bachelor’s degree who want a master’s degree while developing competencies in health professions education.

If a certificate graduate enters the master’s program within five years of completing the certificate and earns  a “B” or better in all certificate courses, the credits may be applied to the master’s degree. The certificate graduate must apply to the competitive master’s program.

Applicants must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, generally with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be a health professional with current licensure/registration, if applicable to the field. Applicants do not need to take standardized tests such as the GRE and an interview is not required.

The deadline to apply is July 15 for Fall and Oct. 15 for Spring.  You may apply online  for the Master’s degree and through CACE for the certificate. Along with the application, the following should be submitted:

  • Copy of a current health profession’s license/registration, if applicable
  • Two recommendations using the Recommender Form
  •  Statement of career interest and why the Health Professions Education program meets career goals
  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions attended
  • Resume/CV

Subject to approval, up to 12 credits may be taken on a non-matriculated basis.  However, non-matriculants must follow the course sequence as