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Advanced study in social work and gender violence intervention is available through a dual degree program co-sponsored by the School of Social Work and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

The program allows students to earn a Master of Social Work and Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention with 60 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 earn both degrees.

Program goals

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

  • Apply gender violence academic concepts to practice
  • Guide students in the development of professional behaviors and boundaries while working in gender violence intervention settings
  • Develop knowledge of common types of gender violence and related policies
  • Prepare graduates to work in gender violence settings with diverse populations

Among the many benefits offered by participation in the dual degree program are the following:

  • The ability to gain special knowledge and skills focused on interpersonal violence that prepares students for work in agency community settings that serve people affected by interpersonal violence
  • The opportunity for social work practicums in community agencies working with multidisciplinary teams and utilizing multitheoretical frameworks specifically with cases and clients impacted by interpersonal violence.

The diplomas for this dual degree and certificate program are awarded simultaneously, after completion of the requirements for each degree program. Students receive both degrees upon graduation from VCU.

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 coordinate regarding program curricula as appropriate. Primarily, the coordination occurs to ensure that M.S.W. students complete a social work field placement that aligns with the requirements of the Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention.

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 sexual or domestic violence.