Each student may choose a certificate, cognate or individualized pathway to complement their coursework and create a well-rounded social work practitioner. Current offerings include:


Child Welfare Practice Certificate

(CWP) prepares students for advanced practice with neglected and abused children and their families in public and private settings.  The certificate course work and practicum focuses on the complex factors that contribute to maltreatment and neglect, and emphasizes intervention strategies including evidence-based practices and process models.  Interested students should contact Stephanie Ratliff.

Clinical Social Work Practice Certificate

(CSW) moves students from the broader foundation of generalist social work practice to an advanced level of clinical knowledge and skills including application of social work practice in a variety of clinical settings. This provides an educational foundation to help prepare practitioners to develop further clinical social work skills through a series of clinical social work electives that scaffold, integrating knowledge and skill. Interested students should contact swgraduate@uky.edu.

Integrated Behavioral Health Cognate

(IBH) allows students to learn advanced clinical competencies through practicum placements in primary care medical settings as members of interprofessional clinical healthcare teams. Medical staff and social workers improve patient well-being by providing coordinated care for medical, mental health, and substance abuse issues within primary care settings. This is a competitive program that provides a $10,000 stipend. Learn more. Interested students should contact Dr. Pam Weeks.

Military Behavioral Health Certificate

(MBH) provides a specialized curriculum designed to enhance students’ knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective and culturally-sensitive behavioral healthcare services to veteran and military populations, whether these services are provided in military healthcare systems or in community settings. Interested students should contact Dr. Chris Flaherty.

Rural Population Wellbeing Certificate

(RPW – pending Senate approval) introduces a capacity lens and holistic approach to the multifaceted complexities facing rural populations and communities. Students will develop a critical understanding of the intersectionality of the systemic connections between the communities and they people they serve. Interested students should contact Melissa Slone.

School Social Work Certificate

(SSW) trains students to assess and provide interventions for the social, emotional, familial, cultural, community, and cognitive barriers to achievement and school adjustment. Students gain the specific knowledge, skills and experience needed to practice social work in elementary and secondary school settings. Interested students should contact Janet Doss.

Substance Use Disorder Certificate

(SUD – pending Senate approval) introduces current evidence based treatment and prevention approaches related to substance use disorders and provides clinical and scientific knowledge about the nature of substance misuse. Students develop skill in evidence informed assessment and intervention in substance use disorder. Interested students should contact swgraduate@uky.edu .

Individualized Plan of Study

(IPS) includes qualified electives from within the college and also may include other disciplines. In this path, students can identify the courses that allow them to pursue their passion and craft a plan of study that positions students to pursue their identified career goals.

Opioid Workforce Expansion Program

The OWEP is designed to increase community access to practitioners trained in substance misuse screening, intervention and treatment services by increasing the numbers of SUD-prepared practitioners. By primarily targeting Appalachia, and the surrounding region, this program seeks to address the workforce capacity gap by providing stipends to students in the final practicum with agencies who are committed to meet the needs of those experiencing SUD.

This program provides a $10,000 stipend across two semesters for admitted students. Students must subsequently successfully complete their practicum at an approved agency, with SUD related experiences, and successfully complete two trainings, one related to telehealth and one related to substance misuse. Apply now.


Developmental Disabilities Certificate

(DDC) prepares professionals from a broad range of disciplines for a leadership role in providing services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The curriculum emphasizes a life span and interdisciplinary perspective. Interested students should contact Dr. Walt Bower.

Gerontology Certificate

(GC) offers students and professionals specialized training in aging from a multi- and inter-disciplinary perspective, preparing students to assume key roles in improving the quality of life for older adults and furthering our understanding of the aging process and the status of older adults. Interested students should contact Dr. Beth Hunter.
Please note, the Gerontology certificate is available for hybrid MSW students only.


Diversity and Inclusivity Awareness Certificate

(DIA) provides an enriching, multidisciplinary academic experience for UK students through exposure to a variety of cultures and lived experiences within the academic context. The certificate is designed to provide a depth and breadth of exposure to the diverse human experience, better preparing global citizens through a variety of courses designed to enrich and value diversity and inclusivity for all. Interested students should contact Dr. Diane Loeffler.

Public Child Welfare Certification Program

(PCWCP) is a collaboration between UK and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services designed to add highly trained social work graduates to the ranks of child protection workers throughout Kentucky.  This is a competitive program that provides in-state tuition, a stipend and a job upon graduation through a two-year employment commitment with the Cabinet following successful completion of the program. Interested students should contact Erin Mayhorn.