Direct Practice: Aging Specialization

Pattern of Enrollment

For all patterns of enrollment please see the Mandel School Office of the Registrar’s page on patterns of enrollment.

Are You Prepared as a Social Worker?

The advanced curriculum on aging prepares social workers to provide a broad range of services to older individuals and their families. As the proportion of older persons in the population continues to increase, a wide range of skills is needed to serve this population and enhance their quality of life. There are numerous opportunities to serve the aging population, based on the latest statistics.

Counseling, case management, advocacy, interdisciplinary work, and consulting roles are emphasized in the concentration. Emphasis is placed on supporting clients’ personal strengths and their efforts to deal with changing roles (e.g., adjustment to retirement) and changes in health (e.g., loss of functional abilities). The effects of poverty, gender, and minority status on aging patterns and needs are given special attention.

Elective coursework permits students to tailor their educational programs to personal learning objectives and career goals. Courses in this concentration also may be applied to the Gerontology Certificate program offered at the University.

Field Placement Opportunities

Students complete their advanced field placements in an approved field setting with an emphasis on aging. Environments may include nursing homes, senior centers, continuous care facilities, private agencies and government offices that serve seniors in a wide variety of ways, centers focusing on policy initiatives, etc.

The Aging specialization is offered in both the Full Time and Intensive Weekend program.

Model Schedule / Enrollment

The following is a model Pattern of Enrollment for students enrolled in the full time, two year program. It is not necessarily your schedule. It is featured here to give you an idea of what your schedule at the Mandel School may look like. We encourage you to consult with your faculty advisor to develop your actual schedule.


First Year Semester Hours
SASS 477 Direct Practice Methods Skills* 3
SASS 484 Theories of Oppressions and Social Justice* 3
SASS 440 Human Development in Context I: Child & Adolescent* 3
SASS 470 Social Policy* 3
SASS 441 Human Development II: Adult* 3
SASS 478 Macro & Policy Practice Skills* 3
SASS 426 Research Methods in Social Work* 3
SASS 495 Field Education Seminar* 1
SASS 601 Field Education I* 2
SASS 602 Field Education II 3


Second Year Semester Hours
SASS 530 Practice Evaluation 3
SASS 513 Aging Policy & Service Delivery** 3
SASS 547 Problems Identification, Screening and Assessment/Diagnosis 3
SASS 549 Theory/ Practice Approaches in Direct Practice 3
SASS Elective Additional Advanced Courses – choose one:
SASS 571 Case Management
SASS 518 Social Work with Death, Grief & Loss
SASS 589 Social Work Practice in Integrated Healthcare
SASS 515 Family Care Giving** 3
Free Elective 3
SASS 581 Social Work with Older Adults ** 3
SASS 603 Field Education III 3
SASS 604 Field Education IV 3
Total Credit Hours Required for Degree 60

* Foundation Curriculum. BSW students may waive foundation courses if undergraduate coursework grades are B or better.

**These courses are taught in the Intensive Weekend format only. Students in the Full-time, Advanced Standing, and Weekend formats may enroll.

Gerontology Certificate

There is also a certificate program available at the master’s level. Contact the University Center on Aging and Health (216) 368-2692 for more information.