United States Social Work Certificate Schools (On-Campus Programs)
A variety of CSWE-accredited schools offer current and aspiring social workers the opportunity to update professional credentials through a social work certificate on-campus program. Although social worker certificates differ from degrees, they might offer valuable professional credentials to BSW and MSW graduates. Review social worker schools and social worker certificate programs to find either a post-graduate or post-masters certificate that aligns with your interests and educational needs.
What are Social Work Certificate On-Campus Programs?
Social work certificate on-campus programs may be designed for concentration and advanced standing social work students. Through social worker certificate programs, students may be able not only to expand on their knowledge base, but also learn targeted therapeutic skills to use with specific populations (e.g. trauma certification). Typically, shorter than full degree programs, social worker certificate programs, prospective applicants might consider either a post-graduate certificate in social work or a post-master’s certificate in social work.
When asked about their education level, 4% of clinical social workers indicated they had earned a post-baccalaureate certificate, 4% a post-masters certificate[i].
Why Consider a Social Work Certificate?
Two of the reasons earning a social work certificate might warrant consideration are:
- Enhance Social Worker Credentials (specialty area)
- Professional Continuing Education
Per the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), “being a credentialed social worker makes all the difference.”[ii] While social workers may need a bachelor of social work (BSW) to enter the profession, clinical social workers, who assess and diagnose, must earn a master of social work (MSW), undergo 2 years of supervised field practice and pass state exams[iii]. Earning a certificate in social work warrants consideration should you be interested in expanding your social worker certification to include specialty areas within social work.[iv]
What Are Social Worker Certificate Specialty Areas?
NASW specialty credentials are open to all qualified and licensed social workers[v]. Professional social work credentials and advanced practice specialty credentials are available in a variety of categories including, but not limited to, clinical social work certificate programs[vi]:
- Hospice and Palliative Care
- Case Management
- Youth and Family
What is Professional Development for Social Workers?
Per the Association of Social Work Boards, “nearly every jurisdiction that issues social work licenses requires continuing education (CE) courses for renewal.” [vii] Since these requirements vary by jurisdiction, it is wise for social workers to verify how many hours are needed to fulfill them. In some states, earning a signed certificate from an ACE-accredited provider might be enough to satisfy continuing professional development regulations.
“Regardless of career stage, social workers are ethically required to keep informed of current research, theory, and techniques that guide social work practice to better serve clients and constituents.”[viii]
Post-Bachelor’s Social Work Certificate On-Campus Programs
Post-bachelor’s social work certificate on-campus programs may enable students with a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or BSW graduates to take some of the required foundational courses that form part of a MSW degree program curriculum. Some of these courses might include:
- Assessment strategies
- Ethics in Social Work
- Social Work skills for different settings
- Developing assistance-oriented programs
- Psychotherapy services
While earning a post graduate social work certificate does not confer the same academic standing as the MSW degree, students may be able to transfer these credits forward into a master of social work program. Individuals might then be able to apply to an advanced standing MSW program. Advanced standing master of social work programs are designed specifically for students who have earned a bachelor of social work from a CSWE accredited undergraduate degree program. These programs may have fewer credit requirements.
Post-Master’s Social Work Certificate On-Campus Programs
On-Campus post MSW certificate programs may enable licensed MSW graduates to refine or enhance their credentials as part of continuing professional development. Individuals might benefit from:
- Learning about recent research and theory as well as evidence-based practice
- Learning relevant skills to enhance existing expertise and treatment strategies
- Adding onto professional social worker certification which may provide recognition to potential future employers
While earning a post-master’s social work certificate does not confer the same academic standing a doctorate DSW degree, it may enable graduates to prepare for different advanced practice roles (as listed in the categories above). Educational requirements for these is determined by state boards.
Potential Features of On-Campus Social Work Certificate Programs
Social work certificate on-campus programs may suit individuals who want the opportunity to meet teachers and classmates in person. In addition to coursework, some social worker certificate programs may entail a field internship experience. Some of the potential features of earning a certificate in social work on-campus might include:
- Participation in discussions and debate
- Listening to live clinical presentations and lectures
- Participation in student organizations
- Potentially finding a field internship at an organization in the school’s community
How to Decide on a Social Work Certificate On-campus Program
You have decided to pursue a social work certificate on-campus, so how might you evaluate and choose a program? Acknowledging some of the following factors may help you navigate your options.
- Assess your education needs – what specialized skills or information are you looking for?
- Look for a social work school that has the full-time or part-time learning option depending on your needs;
- Location- are there any organizations close to campus that interest you for your fieldwork?
- Is your program CSWE accredited?
Find Accredited Social Work Schools & Social Work Certificates
Find accredited social work schools and social work certificates by location using our on-page navigation. Select a city, state or country. Look for CSWE accredited schools. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission of Accreditation is responsible for recognizing the institutions and social work programs they offer.[ix]
Whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned social worker, earning a social work certificate on campus may prove both personally and professionally rewarding. Browse our sponsored listings for social work graduate schools offering certificates in social work. Use our on-page navigation to review a school’s website and request information to learn about enrollment.
sources:[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1022.00#Education |[ii] socialworkers.org/credentials/default.asp |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm |[iv] socialworkers.org/credentials/default.asp |[v] socialworkers.org/credentials/list.asp |[vi] socialworkers.org/credentials/list.asp |[vii] aswb.org/licensees/continuing-education/ |[viii] socialworkers.org/pdev/default.asp[ix] cswe.org/Accreditation.aspx
- Northampton, MANorthampton, MA
For 90 years, the Smith College School for Social Work has provided graduate social work education to men and women around the world. Our program is internationally recognized for its dedication to and specialization in cli...
- Berrien Springs, MIBerrien Springs, MI
The MSW degree trains you for work in interpersonal, clinical, administrative, or developmental settings. The MSW further prepares you to make a positive, articulated impact on the lives of hurting people, and to provide a constructive influence among f...
- Scranton, PAScranton, PA
Courses of the M.S.W. degree curriculum may be classified generally into two categories: foundation curriculum and advanced study. Foundation Curriculum *Social Work Practice I *Social Work Practice II *Field Education I *Field Education I...
- Williams Bay, WIWilliams Bay, WI
The mission of the School of Social Work is to prepare competent and committed human service practitioners who will promote the development and enhancement of resilient communities, social groups, families and individuals. The MSW program embraces a...
- Providence, RIProvidence, RI
Rhode Island College
At the School of Social Work, you will find a commitment to social justice and a focus on preparing students for practice with many populations. Most of all you will learn the value of social work as a profession that believes in the power of people.
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
The goal of the Master of Social Work program is the education of advanced social work practitioners that enables them to provide services which assure people equal access to resources, programs, and opportunities; assist individuals in the accomplishme...
- Tallahassee, FLTallahassee, FL
Florida State University
The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is designed to prepare advanced practitioners to work with diverse client systems and problems in a variety of settings. Two curriculum concentrations are offered: 1. Clinical Social Work: To prepare stu...
- Ypsilanti, MIYpsilanti, MI
Eastern Michigan University
- Detroit, MIDetroit, MI
Wayne State University
The School is an integral part of Wayne State University, an urban university in a culturally diverse, industrialized,metropolitan area. The School is committed in its teaching, research, and service activities to addressing theproblems of people living...
- River Forest, ILRiver Forest, IL
Dominican University’s Graduate School of Social Work challenges you to change the world by helping you obtain the skills you need to make a difference. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, we focus on preparing graduates for ser...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College
The MSW curriculum is divided into a Foundation and Advanced level. The educational goal for the Foundation Year is to provide all students with a broad understanding of social work knowledge and skills. In the Advanced Year, students are expected to de...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
This program is for graduates with an M.S.W. degree from an accredited School of Social Work...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Wurzweiler offers the MSW through a traditional day program, a program for employed persons, a summer block program and an interdenominational clergy program. The DSW program is designed for working professionals and holds classes on Thursday evenings a...
- Knoxville, TNKnoxville, TN
University of Tennessee
The Master of Science in Social Work program at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work is the first and oldest graduate social work program in the state of Tennessee. Founded in 1942, it has been accredited continuously since 1945. The MSSW...
- Fairfax, VAFairfax, VA
George Mason University
The MSW Program opened its doors in fall 2002 and was fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in spring 2006. The MSW Program prepares students for advanced practice in social work. Following completion of a foundation year of study, st...
- Columbia, SCColumbia, SC
University of South Carolina
The MSW Program at USC provides out of state students and international students with more graduate assistantships than any other school of social work. The College of Social offers full-time, part-time and Advanced Standing programs for the Master of S...
- Arlington, TXArlington, TX
University of Texas at Arlington
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the School of Social Work's Masters and Ph.D program at The University of Texas at Arlington. Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized as leading scholars and teachers in social work education and res...
- Garden City, NYGarden City, NY
The Master of Social Work will prepare you for advanced social work practice with individuals, families, couples and groups.
- Houston, TXHouston, TX
University of Houston
Social Work - Certificate
The University of Houston offers both a Master in Social Work (M.S.W.) and a Ph.D. in social work. Also available are concurrent degree options with which full-time students may complete their M.S.W. requirements while pursuing a Ph.D. in social work, a...
- Akron, OHAkron, OH
University of Akron
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New York University
NYU Silver School of Social Work is one of the leading centers of professional training in direct social work practice. Graduates at all levels acquire the core knowledge and skills necessary to work directly with individuals, families, and groups. T...
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
Study social work at one of the country's leading Ivy League Universities.
- West Long Branch, NJWest Long Branch, NJ
Monmouth’s Master of Social Work program offers a comprehensive, 18-credit Graduate Certificate in Play and Expressive Therapies designed to enhance the clinical practice of mental health professionals working with children and adolescents.