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Eligibility & Requirements

Approved by the faculty in January of 2015 to supersede the MSW Certificate in Aging, the MSW Certificate in Aging and Health was developed to address the fact that it is increasingly important for social workers in aging to also have skills, knowledge, and values regarding health and healthcare. Fostering expertise in both aging and health is essential to be effective professionals in today’s social, political, and economic contexts. 

ELIGIBILITY

The MSW Certificate in Aging and Health is open to students:

  • in the traditional (campus-based) MSW program OR blended MSW program
  • in the clinical social work specialization OR management and policy specialization
  • on any of the three Rutgers campuses (Newark, New Brunswick, Camden)
  • in the full-time, part-time, or Advanced Standing MSW programs 

To become a candidate for the MSW Certificate in Aging and Health, students must complete an online application form.

The application will be open October 1 - November 15.  To be eligible to apply, you should be entering your specialized (advanced) field placement next fall (fall 2019). However, if you have questions about your eligibility, please email aging@ssw.rutgers.edu.

The deadline to apply is November 15.  Don't be late!  Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

The link to the application is:  https://rutgers.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_40h73IwsV5btyw5.

Students will be notified of a decision within two weeks of the close of the application.  There is no penalty for students who participate in the Certificate but do not complete it. 

OVERVIEW OF REQUIREMENTS

The requirements include a second year (advanced) field placement at an appropriate agency, four courses, and one interprofessional enrichment activity. The MSW Certificate in Aging and Health is embedded within the School’s MSW degree program, meaning no additional field hours or credits are required beyond the 60 credits required for the MSW degree. 

A summary of the requirements is listed below. To learn more, view these informational videos:

FIELD REQUIREMENT

Certificate students must complete an advanced field placement (two semesters; three semesters for Advanced Standing) in a setting that focuses predominantly on aging and health and that touches upon the following: 

  • Co-morbidity of aging-related and health-related vulnerabilities and strengths
  • Financing and planning of services at least in part through healthcare policies
  • Provision of preventive, wellness, and public health services with a focus on optimizing well-being and meaningful engagement

Students admitted into the program will work with a specialist in aging within the School’s Field Education Office to secure a placement that meets the field requirement of the certificate.

To view descriptions of field placements where certificate students have been placed in the past, click here.

COURSE WORK

Advanced policy course:  Certificate students must complete Social Welfare Policy and Services II: Health and Aging (542). This course is typically taken in the fall semester of the final year in the MSW program. Students must have completed the first half of the MSW program to enroll in this course.

Human behavior distribution course: Certificate students must complete HBSE: Loss across the Lifespan (547) as their Human Behavior distribution requirement.  Currently, this course is offered in the spring semester and occasionally in the summer. Students must have completed Practice I (500) and HBSE (502) to enroll in this course. 

Choice course in aging:  Certificate students must complete at least ONE of the following courses: Clinical Social Work: Aging (525) OR Aging Services: A Critical Perspective (572).

Clinical Social Work: Aging (525) is typically offered in the fall semester. Students who are in the clinical social work specialization may take this course as their advanced practice distribution course or as a General Elective.  Students in the management and policy (MAP) concentration may take this course as one of their General Electives toward the MSW degree.  Students must have completed all Professional Foundation courses before enrolling in this course. 

Aging Services: A Critical Perspective (572) is offered in the spring semester. There are no prerequisites for this course. This course will satisfy one of the General Electives for the MSW degree. 

Choice course in health:  Certificate students must complete at least ONE of the following courses: Clinical Social Work: Health (516) OR Chronic Illness and Disability (562)

Clinical Social Work: Health (516) is offered in the fall, spring and summer semesters. Students who are in the clinical social work concentration may take course as their advanced practice distribution course or as a General Elective.  Students in the management and policy (MAP) concentration may take this course as one of their General Electives toward the MSW degree. Students must have completed all Professional Foundation courses before enrolling in this course.  

Chronic Illness and Disability (562).  This course can be taken as a General Elective toward the MSW degree. It is typically offered in the spring semester. There are no prerequisites for this course. 

The above requirements are the minimum for the certificate. Students are encouraged to take more than one course in health, as well as more than one course in aging, to strengthen their specialized training. The six courses listed above were developed so as not to be redundant with each other. 

To view how this coursework can be sequenced within the MSW curriculum at a glance, please view the documents below:

ENRICHMENT REQUIREMENT

Certificate students must attend at least one interprofessional health event organized by the School (or otherwise preapproved by the School) before they graduate with their MSW degree. Information about these opportunities will be shared with certificate students by email as the events are scheduled.

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