Human Lactation

Certificate Level: Undergraduate
Admission Requirements: High School Diploma
Certificate Type: Certificate
Number of Credits to Completion: 18.0
Instructional Delivery: Campus
Calendar Type: Quarter
Expected Time to Completion: 2 years
Financial Aid Eligibility: Aid eligible
Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Code: 51.0815

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code: 31-9099
Gainful Employment Disclosure


The Human Lactation Certificate Program is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals interested in becoming Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) to obtain the required 90 hours of didactic coursework and 300 hours of supervised practice to meet eligibility through the International Board Certified Lactation Examiner's Pathway 2. The courses are designed for current Drexel students, practicing health care and public health professionals outside of Drexel, and others interested in entering the health professions. There is currently a strong global and national emphasis on increasing breastfeeding to promote health at the population level, prevent acute and chronic illness and decrease societal health care costs. The United States Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy People 2020, the Institutes of Medicine, the Joint Commission, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign and many professional associations include breastfeeding as a key health strategy.

The certificate program consists of six, 3.0 credit courses in lactation. The didactic coursework is offered in the classroom setting. The supervised practice is offered at area hospitals with whom CNHP is affiliated, as well as a variety of community-based lactation education/support programs.

Students who wish to become IBCLCs must complete all six courses. To be eligible to take the certifying exam given by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners they must have also completed coursework including anatomy and physiology, biology, child growth and development, nutrition, and psychology, which may be taken at Drexel or other institutions.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a high school diploma. The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners requires education in 14 health science subjects in addition to education provided in human lactation and breastfeeding in the Certificate Program. Health Sciences courses should be completed prior to enrolling in the Certificate Program; all health sciences courses, with the exception of those noted with an asterisk in the list below, must be completed before enrolling in the Certificate in Human Lactation.

A minimum of one quarter, term or semester of each of the following eight academic subjects must be completed at an accredited college or university:

  • Biology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Infant and Child Growth and Development
  • Introduction to Clinical Research
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology, OR Counseling Skills, OR Communication Skills
  • Sociology, OR Cultural Sensitivity, OR Cultural Anthropology

The remaining six subjects may be completed at an accredited college or university, OR through continuing education courses:

  • Basic Life Support*
  • Medical Documentation
  • Medical Terminology
  • Occupational Safety and Security for Health Professionals*
  • Professional Ethics for Health Professionals
  • Universal Safety Precautions and Infection Control*

*These subjects will be covered during the Compliance process prior to beginning supervised practice, and do not need to be completed before enrolling in the program.

A detailed description of acceptable coursework to fulfill these requirements is available in the International Board of Lactation Consultant's Health Sciences Education Guide.


  • Official transcripts demonstrating completion of health science requirements must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap or delivered electronically via secure delivery directly to the Program Director. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
  • Please see the Drexel University Supporting Documents Submission Guide for more information.


NFS 205Introduction to Human Lactation3.0
NFS 305Clinical Issues in Human Lactation3.0
NFS 405Public Policy of Breastfeeding3.0
NFS 485Lactation Supervised Practice (Taken 3 times)9.0
Total Credits18.0

A minimum grade of C is required for NFS 205, 305, and 405. NFS 485 is pass/fail.

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