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Certificate in Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Social workers encounter situations of life threatening illness,death, dying and bereavement in every setting in which they work. The Certificate in Palliative and End-of-Life Care provides an opportunity for social workers to deepen clinical and leadership skills in palliative care and participate in relational ways of learning in a community of colleagues with an outstanding faculty of leaders in the field.

Why Palliative and End-of-Life Care?

There are a growing number of individuals and families in need of palliative care. 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 person who is ill,their family, social supports, health care providers, and clergy members all benefit from the skills of social workers specially trained in this area.

Palliative and End-of-Life Care Curriculum

This Palliative and End-of-Life Care Certificate Program offers 13 courses and 12 clinical advisement sessions, which makes it the most comprehensive program in the country. The academic content includes psychodynamic and developmental theories in palliative care 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 participate in clinical advisement sessions at which they will work on clinical case studies (patients and families) and further integrate learning. Two students are paired with experienced clinical advisers and, each month, receive two hours of clinical advisement via telephone, for a total of 12 sessions. The program's primary focus is on interactive learning, which enhances professional use of self, deepens clinical skills and promotes leadership in the field.

Palliative and End-of-Life Care Program Dates

Session I: October 17-20, 2019
Session II: April 30– May 3, 2020

Application Deadline: August 15, 2019

Palliative and End-of-Life Care Credits

The Certificate Program in Palliative and End of Life Care carries up to 45 continuing education credits.


This program is wheelchair accessible. For disability access information or accommodations requests, please call 413-585-4198. To request a sign language interpreter, call 413-585-2071 (voice or TTY) or email at least 10 days before the event.


Contact Esther Chackes, Director of the Palliative and End-of-Life Care Certificate, at