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Delivery of this program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Successful completion of the program requires 12 credit hours. Courses are 3 credit hours each, unless stated otherwise.

The chart below shows the courses that are traditionally offered. You will work closely with your adviser on all elective course selection decisions. The University reserves the right to change or cancel courses as needed.

Required Courses (take both of these courses; 6 credit hours)

SOC_WK 7480 Helping Strategies with Older PersonsX  
SOC_WK 8240 Social Policy for Older AdultsX  

Elective Course (take one of the below courses; 3 credit hours)

SOC_WK 7395 Death, Grief and Loss   
SOC_WK 8210 Disability Rights AdvocacyX  

Interdisciplinary Course (take one of the below courses; 3 credit hours)

H_D_FS 7255 Aging PolicyX  
H_D_FS 7256 Environments and Aging X 
H_D_FS 7257 Aging and the Family X 
H_D_FS 7259 Mental Health and Aging X 
H_D_FS 7260 Women and Aging   
H_D_FS 7261 Biological Principles of Aging   
H_D_FS 7500 Developing Plans of Care for Community-Dwelling Older Adults   
H_D_FS 7583 Personal Financial Issues of Older Adults   
H_D_FS 7751 Psychosocial Function and Older Adults   
H_D_FS 8221 Gerontechnology   
H_D_FS 8222 Creativity and Aging  X
H_D_FS 8251 Perspectives in GerontologyX  
H_D_FS 8253 Physical Health in AgingX  
H_D_FS 8254 Gerontology Research Methods and Program Evaluation X 
H_D_FS 8258 Professional Seminar in Gerontology  X

Note Students enrolled in the University of Missouri MSW program are required to complete their full-time block practicum experience (i.e. 40 hours/week; 680 total hours) during their final semester of the program in a setting where they will gain skill in practicing with older adults.

Post-baccalaureate enrollment

Prior to acceptance into the program, you may enroll as a post-baccalaureate (formerly nondegree-seeking) student in up to 6 credit hours. Enrollment does not guarantee acceptance. Learn more about nondegree-seeking university student admissions.


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

State authorization

States require that the University of Missouri be authorized to deliver university-level distance/online education to their residents. Each state handles this process differently.

Please see our state authorization page.

How to apply

  1. Fulfill the admission requirements:

    • Completed bachelor of social work (BSW) degree from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
    • If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 100 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 7, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 66 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 190.
  2. Mark your calendar

  3. This program accepts rolling admissions, so you can apply at any time. We require you submit your application at least six weeks before the beginning of the term in which you wish to start your course work.

    Application Dates

    Start classes in Apply by Classes begin
    Fall 2019 March 1 August
    Spring 2020 Nov. 15 January
    Summer 2020 March 1 June
  4. Gather your papers

  5. Applying will be easier and faster if you gather these required documents beforehand:

    • Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
    • Résumé or CV summarizing your education and relevant experience.
    • Statement of purpose that demonstrates your goals align with our program.
    • Three letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of three people (e.g., faculty at your school, professional references) who you believe will provide substantive information about your interests and abilities. The Graduate School will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
    • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or C1 Advanced score reports for applicants whose native language is not English. For information on sending test scores, visit the Grad School website.
    • School of Social Work graduate certificate application.
  6. Complete the online application

  7. Carefully follow the instructions on the application site.

    • Upload the above documents in the online application.
    • Degree/Delivery: Graduate Certificate - Distance (Online/Remote/Site/etc.)
    • Academic Program: Gerontological Social Work – Distance (Grad Cert)

    Apply Here

Ask us about this program

For information about academic issues or course content, please contact

This program is administered by the School of Social Work