Each student may choose a cognate, certificate, or individualized pathway to complement the Advanced Generalist coursework. Current offerings include six COSW Cognate or Certificate options and two Certificates from our partners on the UK Campus.


      1. Clinical Social Work Practice Cognate (CSW, pending Senate Approval to become the Clinical Social Work Practice Certificate). Students who would like to further develop clinical social work skills may choose a series of clinical social work electives that scaffold on one another, allowing the student to gain additional knowledge, skills, and competencies around clinical practice. This cognate/certificate requires three prescribed electives.
      2. Integrated Behavioral Health Cognate (IBH). IBH students learn advanced clinical competencies through practicum placements in primary care medical settings as members of interprofessional clinical healthcare teams. IBH is a structured approach to treating “the whole person.” 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. The IBH cognate requires three prescribed electives. Students interested in IBH should contact Dr. Pam Weeks.
      3. Graduate Certificate in Military Behavioral Health Certificate (MBH). This certificate 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. The MBH Certificate requires two prescribed social work electives, one prescribed Family Studies elective, and one Qualified Elective. Students interested in MBH should contact Dr. Chris Flaherty.
      4. Graduate Certificate in School Social Work (GCSSW). Through this specialty students are trained to assess and provide interventions for the social, emotional, familial, cultural, community, and cognitive barriers to achievement and school adjustment. They gain the specific knowledge, skills and experience needed to practice social work in elementary and secondary school settings. This certificate program requires three prescribed electives and completion of advanced field practicum hours within a school setting. Students interested in SSW should contact Janet Doss.
      5. Graduate Certificate in Child Welfare Practice (GCCWP). This specialization 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.  The GCCWP requires two prescribed electives and completion of one practicum (at the foundation or advanced level) to be in a qualified children and adolescent setting.  Students interested in this certificate should contact Stephanie Haynes Ratliff.
      6. Individualized Plan of Study (IPS). An IPS includes three qualified elective courses (these may be a combination of courses from within the college and across disciplines). An individualized plan of study should be discussed with the DGS and the MSW advisor.


    1. Developmental Disabilities Certificate: This certificate is offered through the Human Development Institute (HDI). This certificate requires 11 credit hours including 8 prescribed electives in HDI and one qualified elective. Students interested in this certificate should contact Dr. Elaine Eisenbaum.
    2. Gerontology Certificate: The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is awarded to individuals who complete 15 graduate credit hours in an inter-disciplinary curriculum in gerontology. This includes courses in social and behavioral sciences, biomedical and health sciences, and policy, planning and ethics. This certificate is housed in Public Health. Interested students should contact Dr. John Watkins.