Cara Sperry
is Regional Manager for Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa County.

Graduate, Certificate Program in Health Care Advocacy
Read Cara Sperry's Story

Now Available Fully Online

With an increasingly complex and dynamic health care system in the United States and an aging population, the need is growing for an informed group of health advocates who are qualified to advise patients and their families about health care issues. Learn about the health insurance industry as well as the key provisions of both Medicare and Medicaid/Medi-Cal legislation.


There are no formal prerequisites for the Certificate Program in Health Advocacy, but a bachelor's or registered nursing degree is strongly recommended.

Curriculum Requirements

The curriculum comprises 8 required courses for a total of 10 semester units (153 hours of instruction). Candidates must pay a nonrefundable certificate registration fee.

You must take all courses for a letter grade. To earn the certificate, you must maintain an overall minimum 2.5 grade point average, with a grade of C or better in each course. All coursework must be completed within three to five years. A Certificate With Distinction will be awarded to those who complete the certificate with a GPA of 4.0.

How to Register

By registering, you declare your intention to complete the curriculum. To register online for the Certificate Program in Health Advocacy, complete these two steps:

  1. Submit the online registration, and complete your student account profile if you are a new student.
  2. Pay the nonrefundable registration fee through your shopping cart. Please allow 3–5 business days for the registration to appear in your student account.

You should register for the certificate before you complete your second course in the curriculum.

Estimated Cost

Each course is priced individually, and you pay the course fee at the time of enrollment. The certificate has an estimated cost of $3,400 (not including course materials or registration fee). Course fees are subject to change.

Certificate and Award Request

Once you have completed the certificate coursework, notify UC Berkeley Extension that you have completed the curriculum and request your certificate. Send an e-mail to or call (510) 642-1061. After your records have been reviewed, verified and approved (usually within two to three weeks), your certificate will be mailed to you.