Online Certificate in Implementation Science

The Online Certificate in Implementation Science program is a part-time program focused on theories and methods relevant to the design of strategies to facilitate uptake of health-related interventions. Scholars can choose to take individual courses or complete four required and two electives courses to obtain the certificate. The courses and certificate program are designed for people from a broad range of professional settings who are currently engaged in the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to promote and improve health and health care quality, including clinical and public health researchers, quality improvement officers, community-based clinic staff, public health and public policy practitioners, and clinicians. We welcome trainees who work in clinical and public health settings outside the U.S.

For each course, all materials (lecture slides and videos, reading and homework assignments) are accessed via the course website. Peer and instructor feedback on homework assignments occur through an online forum.

UCSF students enrolled in the Master's Degree in Clinical Research or Advanced Training in Clinical Research Certificate programs may choose to include ImS courses as part of their curriculum. 


Upon completion of the online certificate program, scholars will be able to:

  • Identify appropriate interventions to translate into practice. This will be achieved by identifying interventions that have sufficient evidence of effectiveness and/or are recommended by relevant societies or organizations and that are important to stakeholders in the target implementation setting.
  • Design effective and sustainable implementation strategies. This will be achieved by identifying community, patient, clinician and organizational factors that serve as barriers and facilitators to translating research results into everyday practices, policies and—ultimately—improved health.
  • Design comprehensive evaluations of intervention implementation strategies. This will be achieved by applying principles and methods of process and outcome evaluation, and by identifying the appropriate qualitative and quantitative measures to characterize intervention implementation and impact.
  • Develop fundable implementation science grant proposals. This will be achieved by making a compelling case for translation of your selected health-related intervention into practice, policy or public health and integrating conceptual frameworks into the design and/or evaluation of your implementation strategy.


The program is ideal for scholars who are actively involved in implementing a health intervention or quality improvement program. Although not required, prior training in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods will enable scholars to best take advantage of the curriculum.

NOTE: Due to high demand and limited course capacity, many courses reach 100% capacity well before the registration deadline. Courses fill on a first-come-first-serve basis, according to the date payment is received. After submitting payment, please send an email to [email protected] indicating the course, date, and method of your payment so it will be credited properly. Once payment is received, you will receive enrollment confirmation and access information. If a course is full before payment is received, you will be placed on the waitlist in the order payment is received. Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions, and we ask for your understanding. If you are not enrolled in the course, your payment will be refunded in full. Alternatively, payment may be applied to a different course or future term.


Fall (September–December)

Winter (January–March)

Spring (March–June)

Short Course (May 9 and 10, 2024)

This two-day course, now held in an online interactive format, is an introduction to understanding and applying key concepts of Implementation Science in a small group setting with individualized attention. The Short Course provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for learners to advance their in-depth understanding of the growing field of Implementation Science, while simultaneously advancing their own work and research ideas in this space.

Course Requirements

All courses have minimum requirements, including weekly assignments, providing peer feedback, and a final project. The recommended time commitment is 5-8 hours per week. Learners who meet the minimum requirements will receive a course completion letter. Students who are unable to meet the minimum requirements can continue to audit a course (i.e., have access to course materials) but will not receive instructor feedback and will not receive a course completion letter.

Certificate Requirements

Courses may be taken individually or in pursuit of the UCSF Online Implementation Science Certificate. To earn the certificate, learners must complete four required courses and two elective courses within five years.

Required courses:

  1. IMS 245 Introduction to Implementation Science Theory and Design
  2. IMS 248 Community Engaged Research
  3. IMS 242 Program Evaluation in Clinical and Public Health Settings
  4. IMS 246 Designing Individual-Level Implementation Strategies or IMS 247 Designing Interventions to Change Organizational Behavior

Elective courses:


Academic Year 2024-2025: The fee for each course is $2,750. A reduced fee of $2,250 is available for individuals affiliated with UCSF, individuals based in countries designated as low- or lower-middle-income-economies (LMIC), and individuals based in areas of ongoing armed conflict. Applicants seeking the reduced fee will be asked to provide support for their status. UCSF affiliation is defined as concurrent enrollment in a UCSF–sponsored residency or postdoctoral fellowship program; or a registered student in one of the UCSF professional schools or graduate programs; or individuals who hold full-time salaried UCSF faculty, academic, or staff positions.

Fees do not include books, supplies, or software. (These costs are minimal as most readings are from open-access journals.)

See the FAQs for details about providing payment, obtaining refunds and more. For additional questions about the Implementation Science Training Program, please contact [email protected].

Students enrolled in UCSF Advanced Training in Clinical Research, Masters of Applied Studies in Clinical Research, please contact Clair Dunne at [email protected] to enroll. Doctoral students in Epidemiology and Translational Science should contact Eva Wong-Moy.