School-Based Social Work Practice

Children in a parkThe Steve Hicks School of Social Work offers master’s students the opportunity to graduate with a certificate in School-Based Social Work Practice. This certificate program prepares both Clinical and APP students to be school-based social work practitioners. School-based social workers are an integral link among school, home, and community in helping students achieve academic success. They work directly with school administrations as well as students and families, providing leadership in forming school discipline policies, mental health intervention, crisis management, and support services. As part of an interdisciplinary team to help students succeed, social workers also facilitate community involvement in the schools while advocating for student success.

Certificate Requirements

The School-Based Social Work Practice certificate program is composed of one anchor course, Social Work Practice in Schools, elective and selective coursework, 20 hours of professional development and an approved field placement.  The student is responsible for documenting that all requirements for the certificate have been successfully completed.

Approved Field Placement

Certificate students will participate in one official field placement in an approved school setting and is a key component, providing students with hands-on learning and an opportunity to apply and integrate classroom-based knowledge. This placement may occur in the student’s first or final field experience. Securing a final field placement is a competitive process.

Additional Proposed Coursework for Certificate

Students in the Clinical concentration would select three of their five choices from the suggested course options. Students in the APP concentration would select three of their four choices from the suggested course options. Other courses may be approved as offered.

Professional Development

Students will engage in professional development opportunities either in the areas of conference/training participation and/or research project participation as appropriate or as required per instructor (a minimum of 20 hours in these endeavors during the course of their graduate program).


Students will complete an application for the certificate program. The application can be found here (PDF file).

Certificate Coordinator

For more information, please contact professor Mary Beer at

Social Work Coursework *
    • APP Selectives: Program Evaluation,Grant Development
    • Clinical Selectives:Treatment of Children & Adolescents,Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Crisis Intervention, Attachment,Theory and Methods of Family Intervention,Assessment and Treatment of Traumatized Populations,Neurobiology in Social Work Practice,Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Electives:Parent Interventions,Methods of Play Intervention, Social Work Practice with Abused & Neglected Children & Their Families, Loss and Grief, Mindfulness and Social Work Practice, Juvenile Justice, Communication Skills in Interdisciplinary Settings,Restorative Justice, Social Construction of Disability, Spanish for Social Workers, Making Systems Work for People with Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities and Self-Advocacy
Possible out-of-department or corss-listed coursework options *
  • LBJ School of Public Affairs: Leadership as a Catalyst for Community Change, Upward Mobility, Inequality & Public Policy, Poverty and Education Policy (ED cross-listed), Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights,Principles and Practices of Effective Leadership
  • Educational Administration: Race/Leadership/School to Prison Pipeline, Class, Gender, & Race in Schools
  • Educational Psychology: Crisis Intervention in Schools, Social/Emotional Assessment of Children & Adolescents, Family Systems Interventions with Children & Adolescents, Fundamentals of Behavioral Theory & Intervention, Research Design & Methods for Psychology & Education
  • Psychology: Advanced Developmental Science of Adolescence

* These are not exhaustive lists. Additional courses may be presented to the Certificate Coordinator for approval. Additionally, not all courses may be offered in all semesters and seats are not guaranteed.