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Certificate in Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Social workers encounter death, dying and bereavement in every setting in which they work, but few have been prepared to take leadership in changing the culture of work with the dying and with their families. The Certificate in Palliative and End-of-Life Care, the first in this country, provides social workers relational ways of learning in a community of colleagues, with an outstanding faculty of leaders in the field.

There are a growing number of individuals and families in need of palliative and end-of-life care (ELC). As our population ages, there are more elderly people with progressive chronic disabilities. Clinical social work interventions have never been more needed, yet there is a lack of highly-trained clinical social workers prepared to effectively address the complex needs of those facing the end of life. The terminally ill person, family, social supports, health care providers, and clergy members all benefit from the skills of a specially trained ELC clinical social work practitioner.

This Palliative and End-of-Life Care Certificate Program offers 14 courses and a six-month clinically supervised internship, which makes it the most comprehensive program in the country. The academic content includes psychodynamic and developmental theories in death and bereavement, childhood bereavement, spirituality, legal and ethical issues, pain management, systems change, and working with LGBT and other marginalized populations. Graduates of the program have gone on to assume leadership in palliative care, write grants, develop programs, provide clinical supervision, teach, and engage in research and writing for publication.

Palliative and End-of-Life Care Program Schedule

The program’s intensive coursework takes place during two weekends, six months apart. During the six months between classes, students identify clinical internships (this may be in their place of employment) at which they will work on clinical case studies (patients and families). Students are paired with experienced clinical consultants and receive two hours of clinical case consultation (via telephone) monthly, 12 sessions.  They also participate in two telephone group consultations during this period. Students are expected to participate as well in an interdisciplinary team or group.

Palliative and End-of-Life Care Program Dates

Session I: October 19-22, 2017
Session II: April 19-22, 2018

Application deadline: Deadline extended to September 11, 2017!

Palliative and End-of-Life Care Credits

The Certificate Program in Palliative and End of Life Care carries 57 continuing education credits.


This program is wheelchair accessible. For disability access information or accommodations requests, please call 413-585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter, call 413-585-2071 (voice or TTY) or email at least 10 days before the event.