This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. We may add courses that expose our students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning. We may also add content to the general education program that focuses on racial literacy and a racial literacy graduation requirement, and may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Advanced study in social work and aging studies is available through a dual degree and certificate program co-sponsored by the School of Social Work and the Department of Gerontology in the College of Health Professions.

The program allows students to earn a Master of Social Work and a Certificate in Aging Studies with a minimum of 72 credits rather than the 75 credits necessary if the two degrees were pursued separately. This efficiency lowers the overall cost of tuition while also reducing time to earning both degrees.

Program goals

The objectives of this dual degree and certificate program are to:

  • Prepare graduates to address the complex needs of a diverse aging population using holistic knowledge of the biopsychosocial aging process
  • Provide graduates with an understanding of empirically and theoretically based components contributing to optimal aging using evidence-based, best-practice approaches
  • Prepare graduates to work with older individuals, family members, communities and organizations that serve older adults
  • Prepare graduates to advocate for policy change to promote social justice to improve the lives of older people

Among the many benefits offered by participation in the dual degree and certificate program is the following:

  • Prepares graduates to become culturally competent geriatric social workers providing services to an ever-growing older population

The diplomas for this dual degree and certificate program may be awarded simultaneously. However, students must complete a separate graduation check out for each program.

Student learning outcomes

See the individual program pages for student learning outcomes.

Other information


The student is assigned an adviser from each program to develop a plan of study. Advisers from each program will provide guidance on course requirements for their respective programs.