Social Work Graduate Certificate Programs

Updated: Apr 30, 2024

Earning a graduate certificate in social work allows professionals that have a Master's in Social Work (MSW) degree to expand their skills.

Social workers prepare for working in a desired specialty area. They have the opportunity to gain new expertise in technology, legal and ethical principles, and to work with special populations of clients and patients.

What Are the Online Social Work Graduate Certificate Requirements?

Typically, schools that offer social work graduate certificate programs require that professionals that enroll in the program have a Master's in Social Work (MSW) degree. Each college or university has other requirements. Some program requirements depend upon the specific school and the specific graduate certificate program.

The admission requirements are often the same or similar in the schools that offer this type of certificate. The admission requirements for the Medical Social Worker Certificate program at Florida Gulf Coast University include:

  • Must hold MSW degree
  • Must apply for admission as a Certificate Student to the Florida Gulf Coast University Graduate Studies
  • Carefully read the instructions of the supplemental application packet to understand additional application information
  • Submit the required documentation

What Type of Classes Are Included in the Online Social Work Graduate Certificate Curriculum?

The classes included in the curriculum depend upon the specific program or concentration for the online social work graduate certificate. Some programs, for example, may focus on gerontology and aging, education, or clinical social work.

The online Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Social Work at the University of Missouri requires that students complete 12 credit hours of study, which consists of six required credit hours, three credit hours by choosing one of two elective courses, and taking one interdisciplinary course from 15 course options.

Examples of the interdisciplinary courses are Creativity and Aging or Biological Principles of Aging. The required and elective courses include:

  • Helping Strategies with Older Persons
  • Social Policy for Older Adults
  • Death, Grief and Loss
  • Disability Rights Advocacy

What Types of Careers Can I Pursue with an Online Social Work Graduate Certificate?

There are many careers that a social work professional can pursue after completing an online social work graduate certificate. The professional has the opportunity to showcase their advanced skills and their leadership abilities.

  • Medical Social Worker: A specialist that works in geriatric, public health, palliative care, inpatient medical or mental health services. These professionals help patients and clients understand their condition or illness, provide resources and support, and communicate with families.
  • Social Work Educator: The school social work specialist brings their expertise to school systems and into the classroom. Social work educators assist with behavioral concerns, provide academic support, identify and report child abuse and neglect. They help school districts get needed support from community social services and mental health agencies.
  • Clinical Social Worker: The clinical social worker works in a rapidly expanding field in a variety of settings. These professionals have advanced knowledge of theory and practice to assess, to diagnose and to treat psychosocial and behavioral disorders.
  • Gerontological Social Worker: The gerontological social worker works with the rapidly aging population to meet the biopsychosocial needs of their clients. The professional in this field provides assessment of the older adult's functional capacity, and assesses the needs of older adults. The gerontological social work professional has expertise in quality-of-life issues, elder abuse and neglect, physical and mental health issues and advanced care planning.

Some other types of careers to pursue after completing an online social work graduate certificate include adult protective services agent, child protective services social worker, and developmental disabilities specialist. 

Social Work Graduate Certificate Programs List

Interested in a social work graduate certificate program? Check out our listings below to find a traditional, online, or hybrid program near you.


Arizona State University-DowntownPhoenix, AZLatino Cultural Competency in Social Work


San Diego State UniversitySan Diego, CASocial Work Administration


Colorado State University, Fort CollinsFort Collins, COOnline - PreK-12 School Social Worker

Washington, DC

Howard UniversityWashington, DCHybrid - Social Work


Florida International UniversityMiami, FLSocial Work Practice with the Elderly
University of Central FloridaOrlando, FLMilitary Social Work


Aurora UniversityAurora, ILHybrid - Social Work


Indiana University-Purdue University-IndianapolisIndianapolis, INOnline - e-Social Work Practice


University of Massachusetts AmherstAmherst, MASocial Work & Social Welfare


University of Maryland, BaltimoreBaltimore, MD Forensic Social Work


Madonna UniversityLivonia, MISchool Social Work
Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing, MISocial Work in Health Care
University of Michigan- Ann ArborAnn Arbor, MIGlobal Social Work
Wayne State UniversityDetroit, MIHybrid - Social Work


University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MOOnline - Gerontological Social Work
Washington University in St LouisSaint Louis, MOHybrid - Social Work


Mississippi CollegeClinton, MSHybrid - Social Work
Mississippi State UniversityMississippi State, MSHybrid - Social Work

New Jersey

Monmouth UniversityWest Long Branch, NJClinical Social Work

New York

Adelphi UniversityGarden City, NYHybrid - Social Work
Binghamton UniversityVestal, NYHybrid - Social Work
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew York, NYHybrid - Social Work
Long Island UniversityBrookville, NYHybrid - Social Work
New York UniversityNew York, NYHybrid - Social Work
Yeshiva UniversityNew York, NYHybrid - Social Work


Cleveland State UniversityCleveland, OHSchool Social Work

Rhode Island

Rhode Island CollegeProvidence, RISocial and Human Service Assistance


University of Wisconsin-Green BayGreen Bay, WISchool Social Work
University of Wisconsin-StoutMenomonie, WIOnline - Social Work Professional

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