Skip to content

Postgraduate VSW Certificate Program



All content areas of the Postgraduate VSW Certificate Program are designed as continuing education for social workers and other allied professionals in human and animal health.
All participants earn certificates acknowledging continuing education contact hours.
If you are not a social worker, but you are a postgraduate mental health professional, click here.
If you are not a postgraduate social worker or mental health professional, and are interested in obtaining your MSSW and VSW-CP from the University of Tennessee, click here.
Look at our Continuing Education options under the Education menu to access individual content areas without earning the Veterinary Social Work Certificate

Note: If you submitted your complete application to the Post Graduate Veterinary Social Work Certificate program before February 1st, 2017 please CLICK HERE to see your fees and requirements.

Individuals who have a Master of Social Work (MSW/MSSW) degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and are registered with the health related boards in their state of residence may apply to earn the Veterinary Social Work Certificate.

Program Requirements:

Participants purchase each certificate requirement as they move through the program. Paying for everything upfront is not required, but there is a 10% discount for those who choose to pay in advance. Participants have 5 years to complete all of the requirements. Prices shown below reflect US currency.

Four online modules

  1. Animal Related Grief and Bereavement
  2. Compassion Fatigue Management
  3. Animal Assisted Interventions
  4. The Link Between Human and Animal Violence

(9 to 21.5 contact hours each)

$250 $1000 Total
Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) Workshop

(2 days hosted yearly in the spring)

$300 Total
Veterinary Social Work Intensive

(5 days hosted yearly in the spring)

$1500 Total
250 hour Keystone Project  No cost
8 two-hour long group supervision sessions $125 (two per VSW area) $1000 Total
International VSW Summit

Participants will present their final Keystone project and recite the veterinary social work oath. Last step in the certificate.

(3 days hosted biennially in the fall)

$350 Total
Total Cost = $4,150

More Information on Each Requirement:




Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must have graduated from a CSWE accredited Social Work program with their MSW
  • Applicants must be registered with the health-related boards in their state of residence
  • If you are a licensed BSW or are an MSW without your state registration or licensure, click here for our waiving admission requirement policy.

Application Process:

Applications to the VSW-CP are accepted year round. We review applications on a weekly basis. Since the VSW Certificate is not a graduate school certificate, no graduate school admission fees or GRE test scores are required.

To apply, submit:

  • Letter of intent
  • Resume or curriculum vita
  • Official transcripts showing Social Work degree

To:  Rebecca Poplawski
UT College of Veterinary Medicine 
Department of Biomedical & Diagnostic Sciences
2407 River Drive, A205
Knoxville, TN 37996-4543

Please email any questions to or call (865) 696-1117.

To Purchase a Module, CLICK HERE

You will need to create an account in order to register for online modules, supervision, and face-to-face events if this is your first time using this system.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What if my social work program wasn’t accredited by CSWE?

You may still complete the online trainings portion.

What do you mean by “registered with the health related boards in their state of residence”?

Social work licensure varies significantly by jurisdiction.  We do not require our applicants to be licensed to practice social work independently, but we ask that you be an LMSW, registered social work intern, or the comparable license for your state.

What if I have a social work degree, but am now a Licensed Veterinary Technician or Veterinarian?

Great!  Submit your applicable license with your other VSW application materials.

I’m a mental health professional, but not a social worker.  Can I earn the VSW Certificate?

You might be interested in our Veterinary Mental Health Professional Certificate Program.

I’m an animal-related professional, but I don’t have a social work degree.  Can I earn the VSW Certificate?

You can currently take any of our online modules only. Or, check back in 2019, when we plan to offer a certificate for animal-related professionals.

What if I don’t have my MSW degree?

If you are considering options for graduate school, click here for information about the University of Tennessee’s Concurrent MSSW/VSW degree program.

When can I apply to the postgraduate certificate program?

Applications are accepted year round! We review them on a weekly basis.

When is payment due for the certificate program?

Participants purchase each individuals step in the program as they move through the program. If you want to work on a module, then you purchase the module when you are ready. It is pay as you go. There is no need to pay for the entire program up front, though there is a 10% discount for those who choose to purchase everything upon acceptance into the program.

Is there a refund policy if I am no longer able to complete and online or face to face training?

Click here for our refund policy for our modules. Click here for our refund policy for face-to-face trainings.


I still have questions; what do I do?

Please email any additional questions to!

Veterinary Social Work

UT College of Veterinary Medicine
UT College of Social Work
Helpline: 865-755-8839
VSW Services:
Education and Events: 865-696-1117
Education and Events:

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.