Virginia Commonwealth University

M.S.W. Program

M.S.W. dual degree and certificate options

The School of Social Work offers several options for study toward the M.S.W. degree combined with other programs, certificates or additional degrees. These options are generally available only on the Richmond campus. The School Social Work certification may be available off-campus if there is sufficient enrollment.

Each of these options, prerequisites, admission requirements and curricula requirements are described in detail in the current VCU Bulletins. Students with interest in these areas should refer to the Graduate Bulletin and discuss options with their faculty adviser. In addition, students should contact the coordinators of these programs, the Student Services Office at (804) 828-0703 or the director of the Northern Virginia program.

Certificate in Aging Studies

The growth of the aging population has stimulated services for elders across the continuum of care. With a burgeoning aged population comes the need for a spectrum of social services to promote positive late life experiences, promote successful aging, and help older persons cope with possible health and social problems and with the daily necessities of living. The social worker is frequently the link between an older person, his/her family, and the complex array of supportive services. Social workers are instrumental in both planning and delivering services for elders. This option is available in Richmond and Northern Virginia. Read more about the requirements.

Certificate in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Intervention

The School of Social Work partners with the School of Education’s Project Metro READY to offer a master’s option in interdisciplinary early childhood intervention training. Built on a strong basis of advanced professional course and clinical work, students will be prepared to intervene with families and their young children from 0 to 5 years of age who are at risk or have been identified with developmental delays. The course offerings and practicum are taken during concentration study in the M.S.W. program. Interdisciplinary seminars provide opportunities for students to work with care providers in the helping disciplines to promote communication, coordination, advocacy and referral activities. Program goals include an understanding of legal basis for services and supports, cultural diversity, family-centered approaches, consultation and interdisciplinary teamwork, assessment and interpretation, inclusion and developmentally appropriate program planning and intervention, and service coordination. This option is available only to students enrolled in the Richmond program. Read more about the requirements.

Certificate in Nonprofit Management in cooperation with L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Through a cooperative arrangement with the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, M.S.W. students pursuing the Social Work Administration, Planning and Policy Practice (SWAPPP) concentration may simultaneously earn the graduate certificate in nonprofit management offered by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. This option is open only to students enrolled in the Richmond program. Read more about the requirements.

Certification for school social work practice

A collaborative program between the VCU Schools of Social Work and Education enables students to meet Virginia State Department of Education standards for certification as a school social worker while completing requirements for the M.S.W. degree. This option is available in Richmond and Northern Virginia. Read more about the requirements.

M.S.W. and Juris Doctor

Social work practice increasingly includes legal aspects and relationships with members of the legal profession, due to recent court decisions and legislation at various levels of government. In addition to the traditional fields of corrections and child welfare, law and social work now intersect in such matters as the rights of inmates, patients and service users, consumer protection civil rights, and privacy. These concerns are evident in the practice areas of employment, housing, education, mental health, and health care. In law, preparation for the profession includes course work in public law issues as well as concerns with private disputes. Attorneys and the judiciary have found it necessary to become more familiar with social programs and their impact on individuals. Through a cooperative arrangement with the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, selected students in either school may pursue a four-year curriculum of graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor. This option is available only to students enrolled in the Richmond program. Read more about the requirements.

M.S.W. and Master of Divinity dual degree

This four-year professional degree program is offered by VCU in cooperation with Richmond Theological Consortium schools that include Union-Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Baptist Theological Seminary at University of Richmond and Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. The purpose of the dual degree program is to prepare students for service in occupations where social work and the church’s ministries intersect; to enable social workers to perform and evaluate social work practices in the light of biblical, theological, ethical, educational and pastoral perspectives; and equip graduates for various forms of ministry in which clinical and administrative skills in social work are critical. This option is available only to students enrolled in the Richmond program. Read more about the requirements.

M.S.W. and Master of Public Health dual degree

Through a collaborative program between the VCU School of Social Work and the School of Public Health, students complete a three-year full time program of study, including some summer course work, to obtain the Master of Social Work and the Master of Public Health degrees. The purpose of this dual degree program is to prepare graduates to work with individuals, families, groups, communities and/or organizations, advocate for social and economic justice in a diverse and multicultural society, and promote physical and mental health across the life course. Read more about the requirements.

Program with the Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education

This program was developed to prepare social workers for service in church-related social services and institutions, for planning and working in inner-city settings and for other ministries. Counseling, group work and educational skills are components of both programs. This option is open only to students enrolled in the Richmond program. Read more about the requirements.