Post-Master's School Social Worker Endorsement Certificate

The Post-Master’s School Social Worker Endorsement Certificate Program is designed to prepare participants to become effective practitioners within the context of the public school system. Participants will build the knowledge, skills, values, and experience applicable to work in a variety of school settings. Upon completion, they are eligible to apply for the Professional Educator License (PEL) with School Social Worker Endorsement (formerly the Type 73 Certificate), required to practice school social work in most school settings in Illinois.  

Courses and Field Work

All courses are taught by faculty of the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) at the University of Chicago’s main campus in Hyde Park. Coursework is offered in evening hours to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. Required courses include:

For complete course descriptions please visit the link on the left.

Classes are taken concurrently with the school-based externship, which typically begins in August or September prior to the start of classes. Program participants have access to SSA’s extensive network of over 60 field placements from which to choose, ranging from Early Childhood to high school, and in traditional public, charter, and therapeutic settings in Chicago and throughout the suburbs. Many externships provide stipends to candidates. Individualized guidance is available to ensure that post-Master’s participants find a strong externship setting with the right fit for their interests.

Lastly, post-Master’s participants have access to the personalized support of a clinical field consultant and the opportunity to interact with fellow participants through a clinical field seminar that meets on SSA’s campus. 

Career Opportunities

Participants in SSA’s School-based Programs are uniquely prepared to promote student learning and well-being, address academic and non-academic barriers to learning, develop comprehensive and cohesive academic and social supports, and understand and apply diverse frameworks for evidence-based practice and program development. Upon successful completion of all program and state requirements, participants are eligible to apply for their PEL with School Social Worker Endorsement through the Illinois State Board of Education, which is required to practice as a School Social Worker in the State of Illinois.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of a Master’s degree in social work prior to entering the program.
  • A completed application (link provided below). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Admission decisions are made within 2-3 weeks after applications are received.
  • All candidates applying to the program must create an account on the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS). All candidates must provide their identification number created in ELIS as part of their application (the IEIN, or Individual Educator Information Number). For more information about create an ELIS account please see this link: Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS)

Professional Educator License (PEL) Requirements per the Illinois State Board of Education

In addition to the admission and program requirements described above, candidates for the PEL must:

  • Complete 600 hours of qualifying field work in a public school setting.
  • Receive grades of ‘C’ or better in all graduate social work courses, including those taken prior to and during the post-master’s certificate program.
  • Pass the School Social Worker Content Area exam offered through the Illinois Licensure Testing System. This exam is typically taken near the completion of the certificate program.
  • Complete a background check (required when applying for the Professional Educator License as well as for approval to complete the externship). Candidates with a record of misdemeanor or felony convictions may face special challenges obtaining an externship in a school setting or obtaining the Professional Educator License through the Illinois State Board of Education. For more information, please contact the Illinois State Board of Education at 866.262.6663. 

For more information about state licensure requirements please see: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/PEL-School-Support-Ed-Lic.aspx 

Admission Information

All applications for admission to the Post-Master's School Social Work Endorsement Certificate Program (formerly the Type 73 certificate) are accepted on a rolling admissions basis. Only complete applications are reviewed. There are a limited number of spaces available for the program. Admission decisions are made within 2-3 weeks after applications are received.

Applications are available online at: https://apply-ssa.uchicago.edu/apply/

Application requirements:

  • Proof of Master’s Degree in Social Work;
  • Résumé;
  • Two letters of recommendation;
  • Candidate statement regarding your interest in the program (no more than three pages);
  • Official transcripts.

Required Texts and Materials

  • Required texts will be announced prior to the start of each quarter and available for purchase through the campus bookstore system.
  • Most other readings will be available for no charge via Canvas for all enrolled participants.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is charged on a per-course basis in accordance with SSA’s tuition and fee structure at the time of enrollment in the program. Current tuition for 2019-20 is $6,865 per course. A non-refundable deposit/administrative fee of $500 is charged at the time of enrollment into the certificate program.

Participants in the certificate program may choose to opt-in to the University of Chicago Student Health Insurance Program and Student Life programming at an additional cost. The Post-Master's School Social Worker Endorsement Program is not eligible for federal or state student aid. Participants may pursue private lending options on their own. 

Contact Information

Jennifer Meade
Director, School Social Work Program
773.834.6511
sswp@ssa.uchicago.edu