Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

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Undergraduate Certificate in Human Lactation

Applications for the 2019-20 Clinical Lactation Practicum are now available! 

Due May 31st by 5pm

Downloadable Application

If you have questions about the program please email lactation@pdx.edu

The undergraduate certificate in Human Lactation offers comprehensive lactation training for:

  • Students who want to improve their lactation skills,
  • Non-health professionals who want to become certified as International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC),
  • Health professionals want to become certified as International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC),
  • Students wishing to seek a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences,
  • Students interested in politics, policy and research from the perspective of improving maternal and infant health outcomes.

Completion of the Lactation Pathway enables students to sit for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) exam. IBCLC designation enables students to provide advanced practice clinical lactation care for families in a variety of settings.

For students completing Lactation Education at OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, please see a list of pre-requisites.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in lactation, please complete our Lactation Education Advising Worksheet to determine which pathway is right for you.

If you have questions about the program please email lactation@pdx.edu

Pathway 1

Pathway 2

Pathway 3

Who uses this pathway?
Health professionals and breastfeeding peer counselors who are already working with breastfeeding families, and can obtain their clinical experience hours through their paid or volunteer work. This pathway allows you to obtain clinical experience hours through a number of different sites.

Hours required
1,000 hours of clinical experience

What supervision is required?
You must have a supervisor at each site who can confirm that you obtained the clinical experience, but the supervisor does not have to be an IBCLC.

Who uses this pathway?
Students admitted to the School of Public Health Pathway 2 program or any other IBLCE Pathway 2 program would obtain their clinical experience through that academic training program. Pathway 2 programs are required to provide a variety of clinical experiences for their students under IBCLC supervision.

School of Public Health Pathway 2 program is a limited entry program, and students must apply and be accepted. Students are eligible to apply:

Once admitted, students in the School of Public Health Pathway 2 program will need to complete Lactation Practicum 1, 2, 3 to meet the clinical hours requirement.

Hours required
300 hours of clinical experience

What supervision is required?
Pathway 2 clinical experience programs must be overseen by recertified IBCLCs (IBCLCs who have been certified for more than 5 years), and all preceptors who provide direct supervision must be IBCLCs

Who uses this pathway?
Students who can make a mentorship agreement with an IBCLC mentor to provide supervision and clinical experience. The student and IBCLC mentor must complete a mentorship contract and have it approved by IBLCE before any clinical experience begins. Many mentor IBCLCs will require payment of some form for the contracted clinical experience hours. PSU does not provide mentor IBCLCs for Pathway 3.

Hours required
500 hours of clinical experience

What supervision is required?
The IBCLC mentor provides direct supervision for the student.

Lactation Advising

During each term we offer Advising sessions for prospective students who have questions about the prerequisites/courses and would like to meet with faculty in person. Prior to attending an Advising session, please complete the Lactation Education Advising Worksheet.

If you have any questions please email lactation@pdx.edu

Advising Calendar

Advising – Lactation faculty offer in-person and virtual advising hours during Fall, Winter and Spring term. No appointment is needed during these hours. For directions to the PSU Urban Center see this map.

Spring 2019

Tuesday, Apr 9th, 2-4:30pm – Urban Center Rm 411
Monday, Apr 22nd, 11-1:30pm – Urban Center Rm 410
Wednesday, May 8th, 1-3:30pm – Urban Center Rm 450 – Ask for Lactation Advising at the reception desk
Thursday, May 23rd, 12-2:30pm – Urban Center Rm 410
Monday, Jun 3rd, 10-12:30pm – Urban Center Rm 410

Virtual Advising – If you cannot come to campus during these hours for in-person Advising you can participate via our distance-learning classroom. During these hours just click on the Guest Link below to talk with a faculty member.
FYI – We suggest you use a headset with a mic on it for the best audio quality.

Guest Link to Virtual Advising

If you need to schedule an in-person, virtual or phone Advising appointment at another time please email us at lactation@pdx.edu.

Informational Videos

To learn more about the IBLCE Certification process and what our program offers watch the short videos below .

How to Become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

What are the IBLCE Health Sciences Education Requirements?

How Can I Obtain Lactation Specific Clinical Experience?

Undergraduate Certificate in Human Lactation at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health

Still have questions? See our Advising Calendar for the in-person and virtual Advising schedule.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition follows the PSU undergraduate tuition rate 

  • Lactation Education 1, 2, 3 – 10 credits total
  • Pathway 2 Lactation Practicum – 13 credits total

There are additional fees for the Pathway 2 practicum and those who choose to sit for the IBLCE Exam. 

  • Practicum fees – The practicum has fees beyond that for the course itself. The approximate cost is between $100-$200.
  • Exam Fees – The final step in IBLCE certification is applying for and passing the IBCLE Exam. All students who successfully complete the SPH Pathway 2 courses (Lactation Education 1,2 and 3 and the Lactation Practicum) will be eligible to apply for and take the IBCLE Exam to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
  • Licensure fees may apply. Please check your state laws.

Financial Aid

Below is a list of financial aid options available to Lactation Education students

Marilyn and Dick Whetsell Scholarship application is now open!  This scholarship provides $1000 awards to 2 lactation students each year.  Students are eligible if they are enrolling in the Lactation Education courses OR are planning to apply for the Lactation Clinical Practicum.  

Please note additional eligibility requirements and details by following the link: 

Lactation Scholarship Application


OHSU-PSU School of Public Health scholarships  

OHSU-PSU School of Public Health Dean’s Scholarship Fund

Jim Sells Childcare Subsidy for qualified students

PSU Financial Aid for qualified students

Transfer Student Financial Aid Information

Monetary Investment for Lactation Consultant Certification – provides financial assistance to qualified candidates seeking International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) certification and current IBCLCs seeking recertification.