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This undergraduate certificate enables students to develop a better understanding of veterans and their experiences by exploring the political, social, emotional, and historical aspects of military service and their implications for veterans and society.  The intent is to provide students with a foundational knowledge that will enable them to better serve or relate to veterans in our communities, workplaces, and care facilities. 

This program is open to undergraduates in any discipline. The certificate is designed to provide students with an increased capacity to empathize with and recognize the specific needs of veterans, to easily complement any degree at the university, and to allow students to focus on areas in which they have a specific interest. Students in psychology, social work, human services, business, health, our communities, and countless other areas can benefit from the additional skills and understanding that this certificate provides.  Although designed with non-veterans in mind, military-connected students can also benefit from the certificate.

There is a need for employees educated in veterans’ experiences and challenges.  In July 2019, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had more than 4,500 job listings nationwide, 95 of which were in Utah.  This is not surprising, given that there are over 18 million veterans in the U.S.  Additionally, many employers hire veterans, who comprise 6.8% of the workforce, creating a need for managers and human resource professionals who understand veterans’ challenges and strengths.  The University of Utah is one of only four institutions offering a Veterans Studies certificate or minor.  By earning this certificate, students will possess a unique and valuable employment credential that supports the growing need for employees who can relate to and/or serve the needs of veterans.

The certificate requires 24 credit hours in four themes and a capstone course.  

Government & National Security (choose 1)

  • National Security Affairs
  • Intro to International Relations
  • US National Government

History of War & Violent Conflict (choose 1)

  • Military Leadership
  • Age of Total War
  • The Vietnam War
  • Geography of Terrorism
  • The Korean War

Social/Ethical Aspects of War (2 courses)

Choose 1

  • Gender and War
  • Writing about War

Choose 1

  • International Ethics
  • Ethics

Social & Health Topics Relevant to Veterans (3 courses)

Choose 1

  • Social Psychology
  • Intergroup Relations: Prejudices & Stereotypes

Choose 1

  • Growing from Traumatic Life Experiences
  • Health Psychology
  • Stress Management

Choose 1

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Human Error

Veterans Studies Capstone

In the Veterans Studies Capstone course, students will draw on the knowledge and skills gained from coursework in the four themes, synthesize and deepen their understanding, and apply what they have learned to a practical problem. Because the certificate is intended to prepare students to engage with veterans in a number of ways, the capstone project will ask students to identify a problem of practice in the area of veterans’ services or support, conduct research around that problem, and propose a solution to the problem.

To learn more about the program, contact:

Faa Taupau
Director, Veterans Support Center


Last Updated: 7/7/22