Interdisciplinary Certificate in Trauma Studies

The Interdisciplinary Certificate in Trauma Studies program is a rigorous program intended for professionals who:

  • Want to expand the depth and scope of their specialized knowledge and expertise in trauma assessment and treatment.
  • Need a more nuanced understanding about the nature of trauma and how cultural orientation of the person who survives trauma might affect the helping alliance and intervention professional.
  • Desire a clearer understanding of how the DSM-5 defines and informs the diagnosis of post-traumatic disorders.
  • Seek professional advancement in providing services to clients with trauma histories.

Faculty presenters include clinical social workers, licensed psychologists, and licensed marriage and family therapists who are experienced clinicians with specialized knowledge and expertise in trauma. Program offerings blend didactic and experiential learning, including hands-on clinical skills training.


The certificate program is open to licensed professionals and advanced graduate students in mental health, health, education, corrections, pastoral care, the military, and children and family services who serve clients with trauma histories. It is intended for professionals working in a range of practice settings with survivors of abuse, domestic violence, war, torture, accidents, crime, and disasters. The program offers specialized training in the assessment and treatment of post-traumatic disorders in children and adults.

Certificate Requirements

The certificate program consists of 90 hours of classroom education and training. Certificate program participants are required to complete at least 90 hours of training through required and elective short-courses and workshops and pass an online post-test for each course in order to earn the Interdisciplinary Certificate in Trauma Studies. There is also a Trauma Certificate Program Plan Sample [PDF] available to view.

Because course offerings may differ from session to session, types of courses rather than specific courses will be required. It is likely that multiple courses will be available within each category to allow for greater flexibility for planning and registration.

All students will be required to take at least one of each of the following courses:

  • DSM-5 focused course
  • Diagnostics course
  • Treatment course
  • Historical trauma course
  • Substance abuse, addiction and trauma course
  • Secondary trauma course

Beyond the required courses specified above, each student will select additional elective courses offered through the Clinical Practice Series in order to fulfill the 90 hour training requirement. Elective courses applied towards program requirements must contain trauma content. Elective courses for the trauma certificate are labeled as such on the program website. Certificate program participants may also take additional required courses from each course types to count as electives. In some cases, students may seek approval of non-trauma courses to count towards the fulfillment of certificate requirements. However, approval must be granted before participants register and complete non-trauma courses they wish to count towards their certificate requirements. Students will not be granted approval for courses that have been completed prior to gaining approval.


You must apply to be admitted to the certificate program. Please complete the application at this link. If you have any questions about the Trauma Studies Certificate Program, please contact our program staff to discuss your training goals and your fit with the program.

Window for Completion

Those accepted into the certificate program must work with program staff to complete an individual plan and timeline for program completion. 

Program Schedule

Most of the required short-courses and workshops are offered June-August, but some are also offered in January and March. For information about upcoming course offerings, pleaseĀ check the course schedule page.

Credential Earned

The School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota awards a Certificate in Trauma Studies to individuals who are admitted to and who successfully complete the certificate program as described above. Participants in this certificate program will receive pre-approved CEUs and clinical clock hours for each short course and workshop they attend.


Total costs to complete the certificate program vary depending on the combination of two-day ($275), one-day ($150), and half-day ($95) courses participants complete. Therefore, total certificate costs are estimated between $2,000 and $3,000. Financial aid is not available through our continuing education program.

Please note: Individuals may take courses through the Clinical Practice and Supervision Series without being accepted in a certificate program. Only those interested in receiving the Interdisciplinary Certificate in Trauma Studies are required to apply to the certificate program.