Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Social Work

The University of Missouri Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Social Work is open to MSW students from any social work program nationwide, as well as currently practicing social workers with a BSW or MSW degree. The University of Missouri School of Social Work has a long history of training gerontological social workers and conducting research in the field of aging.

Training Social Workers to Respond to a Growing Need

Gerontological social work is one of the fastest growing fields within the profession, with a 25-34% job growth in the past decade. Therefore, the demand for social workers who have specialized training in working with older adults is very high. This certificate program is designed to help train the next generation of geriatric social work practitioners. Individuals enrolled in this certificate program will build knowledge and expertise in working with older adults and their families in a variety of settings that serve the aging population. This program offers an interdisciplinary emphasis, as social workers often work on large, interdisciplinary teams on behalf of their older clients. In addition, this program also focuses on building awareness of aging policies and services, as well as advocacy of older adults.

As a result of earning this Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Social Work, students enrolled in an MSW program as well as practicing social workers who hold a BSW or MSW degree can expect enhanced employability in the field.

Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Social Work Curricula

Courses are available online, and some are available in-seat as well. If you would like to propose a substitution for one of these courses, please contact the Director with the course number, course name, and the course description. These requests will be taken into consideration and you will be notified with a decision of your request.

Please note that the semester in which courses are offered and the method of delivery (i.e. class type) can frequently change. Please consult the current degree offerings at MU to verify that a particular course will be offered when you aim to enroll. You may also contact the Director of the certificate program if you have questions about course offerings.


This certificate program consists of 12 credit hours.

Required Courses (take both courses):6
Direct Practice with Older Adults
Policy and Advocacy for Empowered Aging
Choose one elective course:3
Death, Grief and Loss
Disability Rights Advocacy
Choose one interdisciplinary course:3
Aging Policy
Environments and Aging
Aging and the Family
Mental Health and Aging
Women and Aging
Biological Principles of Aging
Creativity and Aging
Perspectives in Gerontology
Physical Health in Aging
Gerontology Research Methods and Program Evaluation
Professional Seminar in Gerontology

Contact Information:

For additional information about the Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Social Work, please contact Dr. Erin Robinson at