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Prevention Program Planning and Evaluation Graduate Certificate

Credits to Earn Your Certificate
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Overview Open Accordion

Study prevention program planning and evaluation online

By successfully completing this graduate certificate, you will gain specialized knowledge in prevention science, including prevention theory, evidence-based prevention strategies, prevention program planning and design, and program evaluation. You will also analyze and discuss various prevention programs that schools, families, and communities have implemented to address a wide range of societal challenges.

How do you evaluate programs and measure success? Why do some prevention programs work while others fail to deliver results? Explore answers to these questions and more as you develop new analytical skills.

Build the foundation of skills you need to achieve greater long-term success as a prevention science practitioner working in career fields such as:

  • Behavioral and mental health services
  • Drug and alcohol addiction counseling and prevention
  • Public health
  • Education programming
  • Aging and older adult services
  • Youth programming
  • Community education
  • Social work

What is prevention science?

The multidisciplinary field of prevention science focuses on developing, implementing, and continually assessing evidence-based strategies to address societal challenges. People working in this field develop programs and provide resources with the goal of improving the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities.

Prevention science draws from a range of disciplines, including human development, psychology and behavioral science, public health, epidemiology, sociology, socioeconomics, gerontology, and other human systems sciences. By taking an ethical, culturally responsive, and research-based approach to collecting, analyzing, and understanding data, prevention science practitioners can develop programs that mitigate the harmful impacts of various health and social problems, such as:

  • mental illness
  • drug and alcohol addiction
  • child abuse
  • interpersonal violence
  • sexually transmitted disease
  • teenage pregnancy
  • obesity and poor nutrition

What you will learn

Many human service providers and education professionals do not yet have specialized training in prevention science theory and program development. To achieve successful outcomes, it is important to understand the complexities of human development, family systems, communities, cultural dynamics, and socioeconomic systems. This will allow you to optimize prevention science programs that address overall human wellbeing in the context of family, culture, and society.

As a student in this program, you will learn to:

  • Examine human developmental theory, methods, interventions, and standards of evidence in promoting well-being and preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders
  • Practice research-based prevention programs from a school-based and family-centered, developmentally appropriate perspective
  • Explain in-depth concepts and strategies in prevention science to others
  • Conduct prevention science program evaluation and analysis
  • Select and implement sustainable, effective, and evidence-based prevention programs
  • Build the knowledge to develop, implement, and evaluate programs that cultivate the mental, physical, and emotional health of people across the lifespan
  • Learn how to ensure that human service and education agencies are implementing evidence-based strategies in their communities

This combination of formal education and applied knowledge will prepare you for advancement in a variety of organizations, including educational institutions, community service agencies, governmental agencies, nonprofit advocacy organizations, research foundations, and more.

Apply credits toward your master’s degree

Credits earned in this graduate certificate program can be transferred into CSU's online Master of Prevention Science program (starting Fall 2022) after formal admission per University transfer policies. However, successful completion of this certificate does not guarantee admission to the degree program.

Learn more on the Applied Podcast

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Nate Riggs about the interdisciplinary field of prevention science and how it has evolved to help reduce risk factors (and enhance protective factors) to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and entire communities.

Curriculum Open Accordion

Required Courses:

Note: This certificate may have courses in common with other graduate certificates. A student may earn more than one certificate, but a given course may be counted only in one certificate.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall August 1
Spring Applications accepted Fall of even years only
Summer Applications accepted Fall of even years only

In most cases, you can expect to be notified of your application status within two weeks of submitting all application materials. Applications submitted after the deadline may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1Review Admission Requirements

Applicants to this program must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies, psychology, social work, education, or a related field
  • A bachelor’s degree in a non-related field and relevant experience in community-based, nonprofit organizations, education, or related professions
  • Resume or vita
  • Statement of purpose – The statement of purpose is typically 1-2 pages and briefly describes:
    • Your background
    • Your educational and career goals
    • Your motivation for pursuing graduate studies
    • Why you are a good fit in the program

2 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online).

  • Select "Prevention Program Planning and Evaluation (Certificate) – Distance" when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select “Certificate” at the top.)

3 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary):
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Morgan Parsley
Prospective Student Support Coach
Schedule Time to Talk

Program Details

12 credits
$630 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Certificate Awarded
Graduate Certificate in Prevention Program Planning & Evaluation
Time Frame
Can be completed in two semesters, depending on intensity of study and course availability
Admission Reqs.
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution.
  • Statement of Purpose

Application Dates

Fall semester
August 1
Spring semester
Applications accepted Fall of even years only
Summer semester
Applications accepted Fall of even years only

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