Gerontological social work

Graduate certificate University of Missouri
An older adult's hands holding a cane.

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This certificate program is designed to help train the next generation of geriatric social work practitioners to make a difference where it matters most. With a quickly growing geriatric population and a lack of gerontological specialists, the social work field needs more qualified professionals to advocate for older adults. Whether you are a current MSW (master of social work) student or a practicing social worker that holds a BSW or MSW degree, you can enhance your employability in the field with specialized skills in gerontology.

This graduate certificate helps prepare students for the Advanced Social Worker in Gerontology (ASWG) licensure. In addition, the licensure requires a certain number of continuing education units relevant to work with older adults. The course work involved in this certificate program meets those hour expectations.

Quick facts

Official name

Graduate certificate in gerontological social work


University of Missouri

Program type

Graduate certificate

Academic home

School of Health Professions | School of Social Work

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission, Council on Social Work Education

Credit hours


Estimated cost


Credit hours


Estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Gerontological social worker and client.

Career prospects

Work in an expanding field

Gerontological social work is a rapidly developing field. As the demand for professionals in the field increases, the opportunity for social workers with specialized training is high. Graduates of this program will gain the specialized knowledge and skill they need for a profession in geriatric social work or geriatric case management.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers
Employment growth
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers
Median salary

Program structure

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

Courses are semester-based and offered in fall, spring and summer sessions. Students are able to complete the program at their own pace, with most students finishing the program in one to two years.

Course work covers

  • Evidence-based helping strategies with older adults and their families
  • Various bio-psycho-social assessments to complete with aging adults and their families
  • Building awareness of aging policies and services
  • Working with an interdisciplinary team
  • Gerontechnology
  • Disability rights advocacy
  • Death, grief and loss
  • Developing plans of care for community-dwelling older adults


100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length

1 or 2 years

Typical course load

Varies if full time or part time


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

Faculty spotlight

Photo of Erin Robinson

Dr. Robinson is a public health social worker and gerontologist. Her primary research focus is on older adult health, health communication and social support networks. Specifically, she has conducted research with older adults on HIV prevention and sexuality, disaster preparedness and eldertechnology.

Erin Robinson, PhD, MPH, MSW
Director of the Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Social Work
Photo of Alexandira Lewis

Professor Lewis is a licensed clinical social worker and has a certification in thanatology. She has worked as a nursing home social worker as well as a nursing home inspector. Her interests include examining policies that impact older adults and ageism.

Alexandria Lewis, EdS, MSW, CT, LCSW
Assistant Teaching Professor

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the School of Social Work