The future of Social Work practice is here

The growth of technology innovation in social work practice is currently limited by many factors, including lack of training and lack of access. For example, more than 50% of rural areas in the United States have limited or no access to social work services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work, including the delivery of tele-behavioral health services, is one of the fastest-growing and demanded professions in the US, with a job outlook increase of 12% over the next ten years. The job outlook may very well increase beyond 12% due to the recent widening of telehealth acceptance and usage due to COVID – 19.

+11% OVERALL Job Growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics)


The IU Online Graduate Certificate in e-Social Work Practice is uniquely positioned to address these issues by providing an interdisciplinary approach to train social workers to deliver technology-mediated practice to client populations in areas where access is currently lacking. This certificate is the first of its kind to be delivered by a school of social work in the US, making the Indiana University School of Social Work a leader in training for the growing field of telebehavioral health practice. As a student in the program, you explore technology-mediated practice delivery, the role of social work in the field of telebehavioral health practice, populations currently receiving telebehavioral health services, types of services being delivered, and the strengths and limitations of these services. You prepare to practice e-social work with diverse individuals and groups, including the development of e-social work best practice policies, online assessment and evaluation measurements for individuals, emergency planning, and information and referral resources.

You prepare to respond to the specific challenges that e-social work poses, including ethical, legal, privacy, and other risk-management issues, in order to protect your clients and practice ethically. You evaluate and analyze secure, HIPAA compliant video conferencing platforms used in e-social work and develop a practice model that includes a plan for managing privacy, information security, and mediating social presence through technology in social work. You also gain familiarity with different online mediums through practice role-plays and online simulation-based learning opportunities.

Certificate Requirements

To earn the Graduate Certificate in e-Social Work Practice, you must complete 12 credit hours.

Who can apply

  • Currently practicing social workers who hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from a Council on Social Work (CSWE) accredited social work graduate program.
  • Current IU School of Social Work MSW Students
  • IU School of Social Work MSW Applicants

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states.

MSW Direct Students

Current MSW Direct Students can take all e-social work certificate courses as part of their academic plan.

IUPUI-enrolled MSW Students (who are not current MSW Direct students)

Current MSW students enrolled through IUPUI, who are not currently in MSW Direct, may be able to take at least one e-social work certificate course as an elective in your academic plan and still complete your focus area curriculum.  Talk to your advisor about your options to determine the best plan for you. 

IU Bloomington, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU East MSW Students (who are not current MSW Direct students)

Current MSW students enrolled through IU Bloomington, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU East who are not currently in MSW direct will need to complete their MSW program prior to starting e-social work certificate courses. Talk to your advisor about your options to determine the best plan for you.  

International Applicants

We welcome international students to apply. International students must ensure their professional training is equivalent to a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited MSW program through CSWE's International Social Work Degree Recognition & Evaluation Services, and meet Indiana University guidelines for international applicants.

How to Apply

All interested candidates must apply to the certificate program. 
  • Select application based upon the academic year you are interested in starting
  • Students who have applied to the MSW program are still required to complete the e-Social Work application to be considered for admissions to the certificate program
  • There is a $70 non-refundable application fee.
  • Type "e-Social Work" using the search field to find the certificate within the “Add Program” tab

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2022 - July 8th, 2022
  • Spring 2023 - October 13th, 2022

Now offering a FREE Introductory Course

The IU School of Social Work is offering a FREE introductory course titled "Telebehavioral Practice Basics for Social Work Educators and Clinicians Responding to COVID-19."

Access Free Introductory Program via IU Expand

The program is online and self-paced. It includes 3 modules that provide help with risk-management, ethical guidelines, service policies, social media, and strategies and skills for engaging with clients online.

Participants that complete the program can earn 2 CEU’s (1 counting as an Ethics CEU). The three modules in this course were adapted from our IUSSW e-Social Work Practice Certificate.

Direct Questions