MSW Certificate Programs, Concentrations & Specializations

Child Well-Being & Child Welfare Specialization

Child Well-being & Child Welfare Specialization, Penn School of Social Policy & PracticeThe Child Well-Being and Child Welfare Specialization (CW2) educates students to provide clinical and macro social work services in a culturally competent manner to produce positive outcomes for children and families while also ensuring child safety, permanency and well-being.

Learn more about CW2

Goldring Reentry Initiative (GRI)

The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported in 2010 that over 2 million Americans are incarcerated. The report also shows that 1 in 32 Americans are in some phase of the criminal justice system (parole, probation, or prison) during this period that some have aptly termed “Mass Incarceration.” Despite the large number of people affected by the criminal justice system, this has remained an invisible epidemic. Through the Goldring Reentry Initiative (GRI), students have the opportunity to work with one of the most vulnerable populations—those transitioning from prison. Students begin working with clients while incarcerated to plan for their release, and continue to support them as they transition back to their community. Students also work on a policy/advocacy level to challenge some of the systemic factors that perpetuate the cycle of incarceration.

Learn more about GRI

Penn Aging Concentration (PAC)

Earn a Master of Social Work degree with a specialization in services to older adults and their families. Through the Ann Nolan Reese Penn Aging Concentration (PAC), you can be a social change agent and a leader in the burgeoning and vital field of gerontological social work.

Learn more about PAC

P.E.A.R.L.S. Fellowship Program

The Program in Mental Health Education Assessment, Recovery, and Leadership for Social Workers (P.E.A.R.L.S.) Fellowship Program provides specialized training in mental and behavioral health care to MSW students. This training focuses on the recognition, assessment, and treatment responses to mental and behavioral health symptoms manifested by veterans and their families.

Learn more about the P.E.A.R.L.S. Fellowship Program

Global Human Rights Certificate

The University of Pennsylvania Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Global Human Rights is designed to provide enriched perspectives on human rights. Through this Certificate, students will gain a working knowledge of the core international human rights documents, treaties, and mechanisms.

By taking a cross-disciplinary approach, students are challenged to look at similar topics or questions from different approaches.  Access to diverse coursework gives students the opportunity to shape this certificate around their own specific interests within human rights.

This Certificate accords with the United Nations Second Phase of the World Program for Human Rights Education (WPHRE) that began in 2010 and focuses on institutions of higher education.

This interdisciplinary certificate is administered by the School of Arts and Sciences, but is open to students in graduate programs across Penn's campus.

Learn more abou the Global Human Rights Certificate


Penn MSW/Home-School Visitor Certification Program

Do you want to be a school social worker? In Pennsylvania, school social work is called "Home-School Visitor Certification." Students seeking the Home and School/Visitor Social Worker Certification (MSW/HSV) provide professional social work services in a variety of K-12 educational institutions.

The Penn MSW/Home-School Visitor Certification program accepts applications from current Penn MSW students and Penn MSW alumni.

Learn more about the Penn MSW/Home-School Visitor Certification


MSW/Certificate in Jewish Communal Service

Students enrolled in the certificate program can earn both a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate in Jewish Communal Services from Gratz College. In preparing for social work careers in Jewish communal services, students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: direct counseling services, planning and administration, group work, fundraising, and community relations. Graduates can expect to find jobs within the Jewish community in settings such as family services, children's agencies, day care centers, geriatric services, hospitals, community centers, Federations, immigration services, synagogue program management, Jewish schools, and the Hillel Foundation.

The certificate program consists of six courses, including sociology of Jewish life, Jewish political science and Jewish studies. These courses are taken through Gratz College, and may be completed online or on-campus. It is recommended that students begin the certificate program at Gratz College during the summer prior to the first semester at the University of Pennsylvania.

(Students must apply to Gratz College in addition to the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice. Gratz College is located at 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, Pa 19027 where additional information on the certificate program is available. TEL: 215-635-7300 x140)

Click here to download the Penn-Gratz program brochure


MSW/Certificate in Lutheran Social Ministry or Certificate in Christian Social Ministry

Students enrolled in the certificate program between the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice and the Lutheran Theological Seminary can earn both a Master of Social Work degree and a Certificate in either Lutheran Social Ministry or Christian Social Ministry. In preparing for a career in Lutheran or other Christian social service agencies, students in the MSW/Certificate program have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in direct counseling, program planning and administration, group work, fund raising, and community relations. Students are expected to complete one field placement in an approved Lutheran agency. Individual course plans are crafted in conjunction with both programs; summer courses are generally necessary for degree completion. (Students should apply to Office of the Registrar, Lutheran Theological Seminary, 7301 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119.