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.


*Students should check course catalog for availability. (Must be logged into your LinkBlue.)

  • Child Welfare Practice (GCCWP). This certificate prepares students for advanced practice with neglected and abused children and their families in public and private settings. The certificate requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. The certificate course work and practicum focus 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 (or an alternative elective for students not enrolled in the MSW program) to be in a qualified children and adolescent setting. More information is available here; students interested in this certificate should contact Stephanie Haynes Ratliff.
  • Clinical Social Work Certificate – The Certificate in Clinical Social Work prepares students for advanced practice in clinical social work, moving 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 certificate in Clinical Social Work will provide 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.Required Electives for the Clinical Social Work certificate (9 credit hours total):
    • SW 726 – Psychopathology for Clinical Social Work (3 hours)
    • SW 728 – Comparative Treatment Modalities (3 hours)
    • SW 730 – Evidence-Based Practice for Social Workers (3 hours)

    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.
    Potential Electives for IBH Focus/Cognate Area of Study (9 hours):
    • SW 726 – Psychopathology for Clinical Social Work (3 hours)
    • SW 730 – Evidence-Based Practice for Social Workers (3 hours)
    • SW 580 – Case Management for IBH Specialty (3 hours)
    Students interested in IBH should contact Dr. Pam Weeks.

  • 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.
    Prescribed Electives for Military Behavioral Health Certificate (12 hours):
    • SW 530 – Responding to Military and Veteran Populations (3 hours)
    • SW 738 – Independent Work with Military and Veteran Populations (3 hours)
    • FAM 600 – Working with Military Families (3 hours)
    • Qualified Elective (Preapproved List or Petition the Certificate Advisory Board for Approval
    of an alternate elective course) (3 hours)
    Students interested in MBH should contact Dr. Chris Flaherty.
  • 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.
    Prescribed Electives for School Social Work Certificate (12 hours in addition to SW 740 built into MSW program, 15 hours total):
    • SW 616 – Social Work Practice in a School Setting (3 hours)
    • SW 580 – Topical Seminar in Social Work: Mental Health Assessment and Interventions with Children and Adolescents (3 hours)
    • EDS 516 – Principles of Behavior Management and Instruction (3 hours)
    • SW 740 or 741 – Field Education Practicum in a School Setting (two consecutive semesters, fall/spring) (3 additional hours to the MSW SW 740 requirement, 6 hours total)
    Students interested in SSW should contact Janet Doss.
  • 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.


  • 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.
    Prescribed Electives for Developmental Disabilities Certificate (10 or 11 hours):
    • HDI 600 – Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Needs of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (2 hours)
    • HDI 602 – Interdisciplinary Supports (2 hours)
    • HDI 603 – Practicum (2 hours)
    • HDI 604 – Leadership Seminar (2 hours)
    • Qualified Elective (Preapproved list) (2 or 3 hours)
    Students interested in this certificate should contact Dr. Elaine Eisenbaum.
  • 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.
    Prescribed Electives for Gerontology Certificate (15 hours):
    The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is awarded to individuals who complete 15 graduate credit hours in an approved multi- and inter-disciplinary curriculum in gerontology.
    Twelve hours of coursework must include at least one course (3 hours) in each of the following areas:
    • Biomedical and Health Sciences
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Policy, Planning and EthicsStudents may choose courses according to their preference and course availability. To ensure an interdisciplinary experience, no more than 2 courses may be taken from each department. Special requests for a waiver of this policy must be submitted to the program director or coordinator and approved in advance.

    Please visit the College of Public Health’s website for more information on approved electives.

    This certificate is housed in Public Health. Interested students should contact Dr. John Watkins.