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

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Undergraduate Certificate in Human Lactation

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 questionhttp://ohsu-psu-sph.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/pathway-and-pre-req-worksheet_0.pdfs 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

Fall Advising – Lactation faculty will be offering in-person advising hours on the following date/times. You can also request advising via email, phone or virtual advising via Collaborate.

All in-person Advising is done in the PSU Urban Center, 4th floor, Room 410

Tues, Sept 18th – 2-4pm
Wed, Sept 26th – 1-3pm
Tues, Oct 9th – 11-1pm
Wed, Oct 24th – 2-4pm
Thurs, Nov 15th – 9-11am
Mon, Nov 26th – 2-4pm

Informational Videos & Webinars

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? Join us for one of our 30 minute live Free Info Q&A webinars to get your questions answered by one of our faculty.

Join us on:

Tuesday, Sept 18th, 4-4:30pm PST
Wednesday, Sept 26th, 3-3:30pm PST
Tuesday, Oct 9th,1-1:30pm PST
Wednesday, Oct 24th, 4-4:30pm PST
Thursday, Nov 15th, 11-11:30am PST
Monday, Nov 26th, 4-4:30pm PST

Use this web link for any of these times:
Guest link
FYI – We suggest you use a headset with a mic on it for the best audio quality during the webinar.

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

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

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.