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Training (CITI) FAQs

Training FAQs

  • Go to
  • Click “Register”
  • Click "Log In Through My Institution." Find SDSU's name in the list and click on the link.
  • After you log in, the CITI Program will walk you through the selection of modules appropriate to your research.

Step-by-step instructions

For research involving human subjects, take the Social/Behavioral or the Biomedical course, depending on the type of research to be conducted.

  • Social/behavioral research refers broadly to research that deals with human attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and often employs data collection methods such as questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observation and non-invasive physical measurements. Social-behavioral research also includes epidemiological or outcomes research and health services research.
  • Biomedical research refers to the study of specific diseases and conditions (mental or physical), including detection, cause, prophylaxis, treatment and rehabilitation; the design of methods, drugs and devices used to diagnose, support and maintain the patient; cellular and molecular bases of diseases, genetics and immunology. Biomedical research is often patient-oriented and may include clinical trials.

For research involving animals, take the course “Investigators, Staff and Students,” and any relevant species-specific and procedures course.

For research involving biohazards, take the Basic Introduction to Biosafety (for BSL1 projects) and the Initial Biosafety Training (for BSL2 projects). Any additional courses that are relevant to the proposed study should be completed prior to submitting the registration.

If you are applying for or have been awarded funding by an agency of the U.S. Public Health Service, take the Conflict of Interest course.

Students and postdoctoral researchers working in activities supported by the National Science Foundation, and faculty working on U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded research, must complete the Responsible Conduct of Research course for their discipline.

All personnel who interact with human or animal research subjects and human subject data are required to verify completion of the appropriate CITI course with each protocol submission. These include:

  • Principal investigators
  • Co-investigators
  • Sub-investigators
  • Project directors
  • Faculty Students
  • All research staff, including study coordinators, study nurses, residents and individuals who obtain informed consent, administer surveys or collect identifiable private information
  • All other employees listed on protocols that involve the use of human subjects in research
  • All research staff who do not work directly with human subjects, but analyze data and/or biological specimens obtained from subjects or patients

SDSU will accept certificates from institutions who use the CITI training program.

Yes, the application will be reviewed but will not be granted final approval until all research personnel have appropriate training. You may remove untrained personnel from your research team and add them in an amendment after their training is complete.

Yes. The Principal Investigator should ensure that all key personnel remain certified prior to submitting an application for continuing review/renewal.

Yes, research conducted by students or staff must maintain the same high ethical standard as research conducted by faculty.

Yes, the training requirement applies for any human subjects research, regardless of exemption.

Certification is valid for 3 years. Refresher courses are available for the basic human subjects courses.

The time required to complete each module varies between 10 minutes and 30 minutes. The total time required is estimated to be 3-6 hours. The course does not have to be completed in one sitting.

The passing score is 70 percent. The score will be based on the overall score from all the required modules. The quizzes are open book.

The CITI program will issue a completion certificate that you can print or share. Look for the “share” links in the Main Menu and My Reports sections. Unique share links are also included in the certificates themselves.

Contact: Katie Bratberg, Program Assistant, 605-688-5642