You can tailor your Master of Social Work degree with a specialization in one of several areas of critical need and high demand. We offer certificates in gerontology, child welfare and school social work, as well as a military social work concentration—each of which can be earned alongside your master’s degree with no additional coursework. For social work professionals who already have an MSW, we also offer several of these specializations as non-degree certificate programs that will help advance your career.


Gerontology is the multidisciplinary study of the biological, physical, psychological, sociological, spiritual and economic aspects of aging. The gerontology program produces social workers professionally trained to provide services to the older adult population. The program is available to both MSW students as part of their studies and as a post-master's certificate for those who already hold an MSW. In either case, students take four 3-credit courses and complete a two-semester internship. The program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Learn more about the gerontology certificate program.

School Social Work Licensure

Our school social work program prepares students to obtain a Professional Educator License (PEL) with the endorsement needed for social work positions in Illinois public schools K-12. Applicants must be currently enrolled in our MSW program or have already earned an MSW from another CSWE-accredited program.

Learn more about becoming a licensed school social worker.

Child Welfare

Children, youth and families are among the most vulnerable populations in our society, and their needs are great. Earn a certificate in child welfare at Dominican and acquire the skills and experience you need to make a meaningful difference in their lives. Fieldwork is a critical component of our program. We offer a variety of settings, and you will have opportunities to develop relationships with at-risk children, youth and families.

Learn more about our graduate certificate in child welfare.

Military Social Work

In our military social work concentration, MSW students learn how to provide social services to military personnel, veterans and their families. There is a particular focus in preparing the student to be familiar with military culture and the unique issues that service members, veterans and their families face.

Learn more about the military social work concentration.