• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

This certificate program is designed to help train the next generation of geriatric social work practitioners to make a difference where it matters most. With a quickly growing geriatric population and a lack of gerontological specialists, the social work field needs more qualified professionals to advocate for older adults. Whether you are a current MSW (master of social work) student or a practicing social worker that holds a BSW or MSW degree, you can enhance your employability in the field with specialized skills in gerontology.

This graduate certificate helps prepare students for the Advanced Social Worker in Gerontology (ASWG) licensure. In addition, the licensure requires a certain number of continuing education units relevant to work with older adults. The course work involved in this certificate program meets those hour expectations.

Gerontological social work is a rapidly developing field. As the demand for professionals in the field increases, the opportunity for social workers with specialized training is high. Graduates of this program will gain the specialized knowledge and skill they need for a profession in geriatric social work or geriatric case management.

Program structure and topics

Delivery of this program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Courses are semester-based and offered in fall, spring and summer sessions. Students are able to complete the program at their own pace, with most students finishing the program in one to two years.

Course work covers

  • Evidence-based helping strategies with older adults and their family
  • Various bio-psycho-social assessments to complete with aging adults and their family
  • Building awareness of aging policies and services
  • Working with an interdisciplinary team
  • Gerontechnology
  • Disability rights advocacy
  • Death, grief, and loss
  • Developing plans of care for community-dwelling older adults

Admissions & Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Completed bachelor of social work (BSW) degree from a regionally accredited institution.

  2. A written personal statement

    Statement of purpose that demonstrates your goals align with our program.

  3. 3 letters of recommendation

    Three letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of three people (e.g., faculty at your school, professional references) who you believe will provide substantive information about your interests and abilities. The Graduate School will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.

  4. Official/Unofficial transcripts from all previous schools
  5. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
  6. If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 100 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 7, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 66 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 190.
  7. Résumé or CV summarizing your education and relevant experience.
  8. School of Social Work graduate certificate application: http://ssw.missouri.edu/docs/msw/certificates_app2.pdf
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

To apply to this program:

This program accepts rolling admissions, so you can apply at any time. We require you submit your application at least six weeks before the beginning of the term in which you wish to start your course work.

Application Deadlines

March 1
November 15
March 1


  • Required CoursesTake both of these courses; 6 credit hours
  • SOC_WK 7480Helping Strategies with Older Persons3 Credits
  • SOC_WK 8240Social Policy for Older Adults3 Credits
  • Interdis. Course Interdisciplinary Course - Take one of the below courses; 3 credit hours
  • H_D_FS 7255Aging Policy3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 7256Environments and Aging3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 7257Aging and the Family3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 7259Mental Health and Aging3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 7260Women and Aging3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 7261Biological Principles of Aging3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 7500 Developing Plans of Care for Community-Dwelling Older Adults3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 7583Personal Financial Issues of Older Adults3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 7751Psychosocial Function and Older Adults3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 8221Gerontechnology3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 8222Creativity and Aging3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 8251Perspectives in Gerontology3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 8253Physical Health in Aging3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 8254Gerontology Research Methods and Program Evaluation3 Credits
  • H_D_FS 8258Professional Seminar in Gerontology3 Credits
  • Choose one of the below courses; 3 credit hours
  • SOC_WK 7395Death, Grief and Loss3 Credits
  • SOC_WK 8210Disability Rights Advocacy3 Credits

Tuition & Fees

Missouri Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $386.00
  • Fees: $73.13
  • Total: $459.13
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1158.00
  • Fees: $219.39
  • Total: $1377.39
Missouri Non-Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $386.00
  • Fees: $73.13
  • Total: $459.13
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1158.00
  • Fees: $219.39
  • Total: $1377.39
Tuition rates are subject to change.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education online

    With more than 100 online programs to choose from across our four campuses, our online students have incredible access to career-advancing education. Our online courses are developed and taught by the same excellent faculty and instructors who teach the courses on campus. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate education, graduate education, or a certificate program to further your career, one of our four campuses has an option to fit your needs.

  • Learning that fits your schedule

    Online learning provides students with the flexibility and freedom to attend classes whenever and wherever you are, in a way that is convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue working and by avoiding relocation, travel and commuting costs. Courses must be completed in scheduled time frames, but in most cases, you can log in and complete course work whenever doing so best fits your schedule. Online education means learning on your terms – not the other way around.

  • Service you expect from a renowned University

    Our goal is to provide our online students with an excellent academic experience, without forcing you to make sacrifices in other areas of your life.

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