College of Social Work

School Social Work (Graduate Certificate)

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The College of Social Work Master of Social Work Program offers a Specialization in School Social Work. 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. The College of Social Work collaborates with the College of Education to ensure that students follow the approved curriculum and meet the required standards for School Social Work Certification.

Primary Objectives of the School Social Work Specialization are to:

  • Provide coursework on the practice and policy issues of public education, the inter-relational factors among schools, families and the community and the legal issues affecting high-risk and special student populations
  • Provide learning opportunities that enable students to gain experience in school settings
  • Ensure graduates meet the program requirements, as approved by the Education Professional Standard’s Board, to become a Certified School Social Worker.


The School Social Work Specialization is integrated within the social work master’s curriculum (either 60 hour or 39-hour program) with students taking one additional three (3) credit hour course. Regular or advanced standing students enrolled in either the Clinical Social Work Concentrations (recommended) or Community and Social Development can pursue the School Social Work Specialization.

Students may also earn a Graduate Certificate in School Social Work by meeting the same requirements for the certificate issued by the Education Professional Standards Board. The application needed for both is on line, see below.

Application Deadlines

Fall: July 22

Spring: December 9

Applicants must meet the Graduate School admission requirements.


Janet Doss, MSW/LCSW

Director of Graduate Certificate

Coordinator, School Social Work Preparation Program

College of Social Work

663 Patterson Office Tower

College of Social Work

University of Kentucky