Customize Your Education and Career
Tailor your academic focus through certificate options or create an Individualized Plan of Study to support your career goals.
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Unique Skills to Compete in Your Field
By choosing an Individualized Plan of Study as part of your MSW, you’ll tailor your education to support your professional goals in social work. Choose from qualified elective courses with the guidance of your MSW advisor.
High Demand for Social Workers
Social work professionals strive to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals facing diverse challenges. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for social work professionals is on the rise, with a projected growth rate of 13%. More than 90,700 new positions for social work professionals will be created by 2029. With an Individualized Plan of Study within your MSW, you’ll gain the diverse skills needed to broaden your opportunities for a successful career.
A professional licensure or certification may be required to practice, advance, or specialize in social work. However, educational requirements for licensure vary by state. View more information on social work licensure here.
For more information on our program’s SARA compliance please see here.
Curriculum: Tailored to Your Goals
With the Individualized Plan of Study (IPS), you’ll complete 9–12 elective credits depending on whether you are enrolled in the regular or advanced standing MSW program. You’ll discuss your academic options with your MSW advisor and choose elective courses that best support your long-term professional goals. Course options cover a range of topics including trauma-informed care, psychopathology, international social work, and more.
Learn more about the courses required for the IPS on our courses page.
Choose An Area of Focus
As a student, you’ll choose either a certificate or an individualized plan of study to complete within the MSW. These certificates are designed to enhance your learning experience and ensure you graduate with the career-ready skills necessary for professional success.
Build a comprehensive understanding of topics influencing child welfare practice, including historical perspectives, child protection policy, and abuse intervention. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Gain an advanced level of clinical knowledge and skills including application of social work practice in a variety of clinical settings. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Gain a deeper understanding of the unique experiences of military members, veterans, and their families, and explore effective and culturally-sensitive behavioral healthcare services for this population. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Develop critical skills through study and experience to assess and intervene on behalf of children and adolescents in a school setting. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Learn treatment and prevention approaches related to substance use disorders and develop essential intervention skills through a curriculum founded on evidence-based practice. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.View Certificate
Learn how to help individuals in their healing journeys and promote post-traumatic growth and healing. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program. Students who have a conferred MSW from a regionally accredited institution may also apply.View Certificate
Why Choose UK Online?
Join the Big Blue Nation
Joining the online MSW at UK means joining a tradition of excellence where you can build your career with confidence—all while learning online at your own pace. With experienced faculty, thoughtfully designed curriculum, and high licensure exam pass rates, we make sure you graduate exceptionally prepared for real-world practice.
How to Apply
Submit an application to UK in three simple steps:
- Create an online account.
- Submit your application and supporting documents.
- Pay the $65 application fee.
You can expect to receive a decision 2–3 weeks after you apply.Get Started
Frequently Asked Questions
Earning your degree online with the University of Kentucky College of Social Work is a big step — but we’re here to support you along the way. Below, you’ll find frequently asked questions about the College and the online Master of Social Work. If you have questions, call 833-358-1721 to speak with an Admissions Counselor.
Yes, all certificate programs require an application. Students must apply for the certificate by creating an additional account within the Graduate School’s ApplyYourself application. Contact us for more information.
The certificates are completed as a part of the Master of Social Work program. Full-time students can complete the Advanced Standing program in two semesters and the Regular Standing program in 4 semesters in an accelerated format. Part-time students can complete the Advanced Standing program in two years and the Regular Standing program in three years. Accelerated completion options are available with program director approval.
The certificate programs provide a versatile credential that allows you to qualify for a myriad of roles in a variety of settings through career-ready skills that immediately apply to your chosen area of focus.
All certificate programs are offered online and through a hybrid format.
To see full curriculum details, please visit the MSW courses page.