The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Social Work & Social Welfare Certificate

The Social Work & Social Welfare Certificate Program

The Department of Sociology offers a Certificate in Social Work and Social Welfare to introduce students to some of the broad topics and social issues that social workers and social welfare advocates might encounter. It is geared toward students interested in preparing for entry-level employment in social welfare programs or social work agengies upon graduation, or those pursuing 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.


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 281 Society and the Individual
SOCIOL 283 Gender and Society
SOCIOL 287 Sexuality and Society

SOCIOL 320 Sociology of Eating Disorders
SOCIOL 322 Sociology of Education
SOCIOL 328 Introduction to Social Work
SOCIOL 334 Sociology of International Crises and Disasters

SOCIOL 337 Sociology of Aspirations
SOCIOL 341 Social Welfare (3 cr.)
SOCIOL 353 Sociology of Medicine 
SOCIOL 356 Social Forces, Health & Lifecourse
SOCIOL 364 Sociology of Mental Health

SOCIOL 374 Gender, Crime & Family
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 420 Getting a Job: The Social Forces Behind Careers in Our Modern Economy
SOCIOL 424 Sex Work in Global Perspective

Course Substitutions

Two courses may be substituted from the following lists:

Anthropology Courses

ANTHRO 209 Approaching Death: Culture, Science, and Experience

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 297G Special Topics: Eating Disorders
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 383 Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy
PSYCH 391AD The Psychology of Adoption
PSYCH 391DR Seminar on International Disability Rights
PSYCH 391G Seminar on Child, Family, and Community
PSYCH 391PT Seminar on Psychology of Trauma
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

Public Health Courses

PUBHLTH 490L The Epidemic of Loneliness: On Connection, Belonging, and Public Health
PUBHLTH 498M The Opioid Epidemic

Other courses may be approved on a case by case basis by the Director of Undergraduate Advising.

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.

Multiple Credentials Policy

No more than two courses used to fulfill the requirements of any one credential may be applied towards the fulfillment of another credential, wherein “credential” is defined as an academic degree program (major), minor, or certificate. One course may only be applied to two credentials. For more information, view the Multiple Credentials Policy.

Completing Your Certificate

Once you have enrolled in the final class for your certificate, please fill out the Certificate Completion Form and submit an unofficial transcript. Forms may be submitted via e-mail to

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.

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