The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Social Work & Social Welfare Certificate

The Department of Sociology offers a Certificate in Social Work and Social Welfare to students interested preparing for entry-level employment in social welfare programs or social work agencies upon graduation or to pursue graduate work in social work or social policy.

Completing the Social Work & Social Welfare Certificate does not lead to accredited licensure in social work. This certificate allows students to obtain a focus or concentration in a specific area of sociology.

Declaring Completion of the Certificate

When a student has enrolled in the final class for the certificate, they must fill out a Completion Form and submit an unofficial transcript. These forms may be submitted by e-mail or mail to:

Social Work & Social Welfare Certificate Program
Sociology Department
200 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003

Note: To receive the Certificate in Social Work and Social Welfare, a minimum 2.0 GPA must be maintained across courses applied to certificate requirements.


Minimum of 15 credits

Core Course (choose one, 3 cr.)

SOCIOL 328 Introduction to Social Work 
SOCIOL 341 Social Welfare

Elective Courses (12 cr.)

Choose from the list below:

Sociology Courses

SOCIOL 222 The Family
SOCIOL 224 Social Class and Inequality
SOCIOL 244 Sociology of Immigration
SOCIOL 245 Race and Society
SOCIOL 283 Gender and Society
SOCIOL 287 Sexuality and Society
SOCIOL 322 Sociology of Education
SOCIOL 328 Introduction to Social Work
SOCIOL 334 Sociology of International Crises and Disasters
SOCIOL 341 Social Welfare (3 cr.)
SOCIOL 353 Sociology of Medicine 
SOCIOL 356 Social Forces, Health & Lifecourse
SOCIOL 364 Sociology of Mental Health
SOCIOL 382 Sociology of Childhood
SOCIOL 385 Gender and the Family
SOCIOL 395K Domestic Violence
SOCIOL 397AM Asylums, Madness, and Mental Illness (on-line)
SOCIOL 397ED Sociology of Eating Disorders
SOCIOL 424 Sex Work in Global Perspective

Course Substitutions

Two courses may be substituted from the following lists:

Political Science Courses

POLISCI 380 Social Welfare Policy
POLISCI 395S History of U.S. Social Policy: Politics of Gender, Race, and Class

Psychology Courses

PSYCH 305 Educational Psychology
PSYCH 350 Developmental Psychology
PSYCH 355 Adolescent Psychology
PSYCH 360 Social Psychology
PSYCH 365 Psychology of Aging
PSYCH 370 Personality
PSYCH 380 Abnormal Psychology
PSYCH 391AD The Psychology of Adoption
PSYCH 391SS Prejudice and Intergroup Relations
PSYCH 391ZZ Psychology of the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Experience
PSYCH 480 Intellectual Disability: Concepts and Controversies
PSYCH 491D Impact of Disability on Families

Students are strongly encouraged to pursue a Social Work-based internship or practicum in order to apply the skills they will develop in their coursework. Practica credits do not count toward total certificate credits/requirements.

To learn more, watch this informational video.