Advocate for someone you love. Advocate for someone in your care. Advocate for yourself. The UW-Madison Consumer Health Advocacy program teaches you how to navigate the complexities of insurance, health care, social work, and legal rights and responsibilities so that you can ensure the best care for those facing a critical medical diagnosis.

Is this program right for you?

The UW-Madison Consumer Health Advocacy online program offers you the opportunity to become a smart and effective health care advocate, able to guide patients as they navigate the complex health care system and to help bring about system reform at the organizational and national levels. The field of health care advocacy is projected to grow more than 20% in the next decade, as more people are drawn to help improve health outcomes, reduce costs, improve quality, and humanize the health care experience for patients and clinicians.


The UW-Madison Center for Patient Partnerships (CPP) educates learners interested in health advocacy on behalf of anyone facing barriers to their care. It is ideal for people who want to help their families get the care they need, change careers, or deepen existing professional practice. It is also for those that want to gain valuable direct patient service before graduate or professional school, become professional health care advocates, or explore next steps without a clear view of what’s on the horizon.


We are holistic and selective; we consider myriad factors in evaluating applicants for admission including applicants’ academic excellence, demonstrated leadership, concern for others, and community involvement. Our goal is to create a dynamic and thoughtful learning community.


What you learn

  • Gain critical knowledge to successfully navigate medical, legal, insurance, and regulatory systems so you can ensure the best care for yourself or for others
  • Access and apply information to solve problems and communicate effectively with doctors, lawyers, social workers, and insurance companies
  • Develop analytical skills to assist with searches for clinical trials, decisions on medical care, and assessments of ethics and values that impact patient care

Where & how you learn


  • Online and in your community


  • Join a dynamic, interactive, interdisciplinary learning community
  • Learn in a state-of-the-art environment with a faculty that prioritizes individualized guidance
  • Provide advocacy to patients – via a web-based database and video conferencing with faculty supervisors

Apply Now

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; international applicants must have the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree
  • Enroll at UW-Madison as a University Special student
  • Supply a personal statement, résumé, two references, one letter of recommendation, transcripts for any current program or coursework and all prior degrees, and a $75 non-refundable application fee
  • Complete a Center for Patient Partnerships (CPP) application

Apply now or visit program website.