Human Subjects Protection Course

As federally mandated and required by the UM IRB, all researchers and individuals involved in project activity must complete a self-study course in human subject protection. This requirement may be satisfied by taking one of the three courses below within the last three years. Keep a copy of the completion certificate in a safe place, such as wherever you store your resume or transcipts. The certificate is good for three years.  Certificates must be current throughout the duration of the research conducted under IRB oversight. Please note that researchers pursuing sponsored projects may need to complete additional training or other compliance requirements.

  • OPTION 1: CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative),  After selecting the University of Montana from the drop-down menu and setting up a username/password, follow the directions to select the appropriate curriculum for your research with humans subjects.  Questions?  Contact Paula Baker, 243-6672.
  • OPTION 2: Protecting Human Research Participants, NIH Office of Extramural Research. Complete the requested registration form and proceed. Print and keep the "Certificate of Completion" as the date completed is required on the UM Checklist.
  • OPTION 3: University of Montana: Online Research Ethics Course. Take three sections: "Section One - Ethical Issues in Research: A Framework;" Section Two - Interpersonal Responsibility;" and, "Section Six - Human Participation in Research." Print and keep the assessment results for each of the three sections as the date completed is required on the UM checklist.

Confused about which course to take?  Check out our comparison chart.

Relevent Factors
CITI Course
NIH Course
UM Course


Offers specific tracks catered to Biomedical or Social/Behavioral research.

Primarily biomedically-focused, but usually accepted by Social/Behavior programs as well, such as at the UM.

Excellent coverage of Human Subjects Protection, with a focus more on Social/Behavioral research.


World-wide; it’s become the standard.

Nationally, and in many other countries.

Only at the University of Montana and affiliated campuses.

Certificate valid for:

3 years

3 years

3 years

Time to Complete*

6 – 12 hours

3 – 5 hours

1 – 3 hours

Renewal of Certification

CITI offers streamlined refresher courses in each track.  Est. time to complete = 2 – 4 hours.

None; You must re-take the entire course.

None; You must re-take the entire course.

Record of Completion

CITI keeps a database by Institution, so your record can always be accessed by the Institution from which you took the course. (You should still keep a copy of your completion Certificate).

None; You must print-out and keep your own certificate.

None; You must print-out and keep your own certificates.

 * The time to complete any course will vary depending on your previous subject knowledge and how many breaks you take.

Note:  Regardless of which course you take, you should always print out and keep a PDF copy of your course completion certificate, and you should store it in a place where you can find it again.  We recommend that you store it wherever you keep your transcripts and resume/CV.

Questions?  Contact IRB chair and manager Paula Baker at 406-243-6672.