The dual degree Master of Social Work and Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention program is a collaborative effort among the L. Douglas Wilder School of Public Affairs, the School of Social Work and community advocates working in the area of sexual and domestic violence. The certificate requires a total of 15 credit hours.

To enroll in the Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention simultaneously with the M.S.W., students must complete a graduate application for the certificate program and pay the required fee to Graduate Admissions; however, no supporting information is required for students who are already enrolled in good standing in the M.S.W. program.

Applicants will need to complete an online admission application and select from the drop down menu “GVI Certificate.” Applicants then pay the application fee and attach an essay on why they wish to be in the program. Students should also indicate on the right-hand side of the admission application that they are currently in the M.S.W. program, which will alert the admissions office that the application can be sent directly to the program chair for an admissions decision.

Please arrange for references, resume/CV and transcripts already on file from the M.S.W. program to be added to the application by contacting the Graduate Admissions office. Students should indicate in the “Comments” section of the application form that they are already enrolled in the M.S.W. program.

Additional information may be obtained from Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Social Work, Box 842027, Richmond, VA 23284-2027, Attention: Elizabeth Cramer, Ph.D., [; (804) 828-9027], Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention Adviser. Detailed information about the Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention is available from Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D., Wilder School [; (804) 827-2400]. Certificate courses can be completed after M.S.W. degree requirements have been completed as long as there is continuous enrollment. All M.S.W. students interested in the certificate should check the course schedule for changes and other course offerings.

See the individual program pages for specific admission requirements, application deadlines, program goals, student learning outcomes, degree requirements and graduation requirements for the M.S.W. and Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention programs.

Apply online at

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.S.W. and Post-baccalaureate graduate certificate Fall Apr 1 (Mar 1 for financial aid)
Spring Oct 1

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
Required courses
GVPA 623Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs 13
GVPA 635Theorizing Gender Violence3
GVPA 693Internship 23
PADM 650Principles of Nonprofit Management 33
SLWK 761Interpersonal Violence3
Total Hours15

GVPA 623: satisfied by SLWK 706-SLWK 707 or SLWK 714-SLWK 715 [clinical or social work planning, administrative and policy practice research course (three credit hours)].


GVPA 693: satisfied by SLWK 693-SLWK 694, SLWK 695; or SLWK 793-SLWK 794, SLWK 795 [a social work field practicum in an agency providing sexual or domestic violence services (three credit hours)].


PADM 650: satisfied by SLWK 602-SLWK 606 (three credit hours).

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for the Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention for students in the M.S.W. program is 15.

Field placements

Once students are admitted and enrolled in the certificate program, they should consult the certificate adviser when they choose their field placements to ensure that at least one placement is conducted in a setting that addresses gender violence.

Graduate program directors
Melissa D. Stewart, Ph.D.
Director, M.S.W. Program
Phone: (804) 828-2007

Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D.
Director, Gender Violence Intervention Program
Phone: (804) 827-2400

Additional contact
Denia A. Lee-Hing, Ed.D.
Director of graduate studies, Wilder School
Phone: (804) 827-1430

Program websites:  and