The combined 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 18 credit hours comprising five required courses and one elective.

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 the Graduate Admissions Office; 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 and transcripts to be forwarded to the Wilder School graduate studies office from the School of Social Work and they will be added to the admission application. 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, P.O. 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. andFallJuly 15
Post-baccalaureate graduate certificateSpringNov 15

Curriculum requirements

Required courses
GVPA   623Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs 13
GVPA   693Internship 23
PADM   650Principles of Nonprofit Management 33
SLWK   761Interpersonal Violence3
SOCY   635Theorizing Gender Violence3
Select three elective credits3
Total Hours18

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).

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) for the Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention for students in the M.S.W. program 18

Course schedule

SOCY   635 will be offered every fall; SLWK   761 will be offered every spring. Both courses will be offered on Tuesday from 4-6:40.

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.

Through a cooperative arrangement with the Wilder School, M.S.W. students may simultaneously earn this graduate certificate by completing two required courses: SOCY   635 and SLWK   761.

Graduate program directors
Melissa L. Abell, 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
Simon H. Okoth, Ph.D.
Director of graduate studies, Wilder School
Phone: (804) 827-1430

Program websites:  and