Applied Prevention Science promotes the use of psychological interventions that work to improve the lives of children and families. ASU’s graduate certificate in applied prevention science is for those with a bachelor's degree or equivalent who seek employment or are employed as a mental health professional, particularly those who are interested in leadership roles.

ASU Online offers start dates every 7.5 weeks
Multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.
Required number of credits to complete this degree.

What is health prevention science?

Prevention science is a cost-effective way to address top public health problems by moderating or preventing problem behaviors before they occur. This includes preventative measures and planning for all types of personal and community issues such as reducing juvenile delinquency, reducing the rate of risky sexual behavior, reducing violent behavior in communities, reducing poor academic performance in schools and more.

The role of prevention science is to aid professionals, including in psychology, counseling, social work, and healthcare to better provide services to children and families. Prevention science cuts across diverse settings such as schools, courts, community health centers and mental health agencies, primary care, child welfare, home visiting programs, foster care services and tribal behavioral health. Prevention science professionals and graduates of this certificate program are encouraged to become licensed professionals via the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).

Use prevention science in your health profession

There is a growing need for a well-trained workforce that understands the challenges, opportunities, and the service approaches that can promote healthy development, including in the physical, social, emotional, interpersonal, and occupational domains. ASU’s Certificate in Applied Prevention Science is proud to address this need by training individuals as professional prevention specialists.

The online graduate certificate program in Applied Prevention Science at ASU seeks to prepare the next generation of Prevention Specialists to coordinate efforts aimed to prevent or moderate major human dysfunctions before they occur. Prevention Specialists at ASU are trained to lead efforts in the systematic identification and advocacy for community-based psychological interventions. Preventive interventions target precursors of dysfunction, also known as risk factors; as well as components or circumstances that reduce the probability of problem development in the presence of risk, known as protective factors.

Prevention Specialists from ASU’s graduate certificate program will learn to evaluate evidence-based preventive psychological interventions known to counteract risk factors and strengthen protective factors as a way to disrupt processes or situations that give rise to human disorders or social dysfunction. ASU is the only accredited top tier university offering an online graduate certificate in prevention science. The ASU Certificate in Applied Prevention Science offers foundational and theoretical knowledge that can be used to understand how to prevent maladjustment and promote psychosocial and physical health prevention and promotion.

ASU’s Psychology Department in the Tempe Campus is the ideal training source in Applied Prevention Science. Since the early 1980’s our Prevention Science in Psychology faculty have been producing cutting-edge research to develop several evidence-based interventions, all of which are currently being disseminated and continuously implemented worldwide.

Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The ASU Department of Psychology ranks as a top 30 Psychology programs in the country by the National Research Council and the U.S. News and World Report.

ASU psychology is one of the most productive academic units in the university, with almost $15 million per year in federal and foundation research funding.

Students and faculty of the Department of Psychology are invested in leveraging resources to aid communities to become more resilient. Students of psychology work with nonprofit and community organizations to conduct community-embedded and impactful research.

The Department of Psychology is a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the largest and most diverse unit at Arizona State University:

  • Top 5 for best qualified graduates, according to Wall Street Journal
  • Top 20 for humanities research, according to the National Science Foundation
  • 20,000 enrolled students, 89 undergraduate majors, 134 graduate degrees and 22 interdisciplinary schools and departments
  • $115 million in research expenditures
  • #1 university in the nation for innovation


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Our world-class faculty is composed of 64 tenure-track and research professors, including:

  • 10 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows
  • 7 Fulbright American Scholars
  • 4 National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award Winners
  • 4 National Academy of Sciences Members
  • 2 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Members
  • 1 Carnegie Fellow
  • 1 Ford Foundation Fellow
  • 3 Arizona Board of Regents’ Professors
  • 3 ASU President’s Professors
  • 1 ASU Foundation Professor
  • 1 ASU Centennial Professor
  • 1 ASU Origins Professor

Program Summary

Total Hours:


Related Careers

Potential prevention science outcomes for your job:

  • Human service, health, and educational organizations concerned with the design, implementation and/or evaluation of prevention programs.
  • Federally-funded prevention centers that are mission-based and interdisciplinary in orientation. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Accounting Office hire those with prevention and intervention training.
  • State agencies, nonprofit centers and organizations devoted to applied research on social issues and policies.


Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent.

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Graduate admissions application and application fee
  2. Official transcripts
  3. Entry survey questionnaire
  4. Proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information

An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency. A TOEFL score of at least 100 on the Internet-based test is required.

Federal financial aid is available to those who qualify after completing a FAFSA.

Affording College

Learn about the different types of financial aid and scholarship opportunities available. ASU offers a Cost Calculator, Budget Worksheet and Scholarship Search to make the college planning process easier.

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