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.
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