Trauma-Informed Practice, Certificate

The Trauma-Informed Practice (TIP) Certificate is an 18-credit, graduate-level, cross disciplinary certificate offered through the USC College of Social Work. The certificate will provide cutting edge, specialized trauma knowledge and the development of practice skills in trauma intervention across a range of practice areas.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate competent knowledge of trauma in neuroscientific research and practice.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of trauma-informed practice principles and their intersection with human rights and anti-racist frameworks, applied to diverse individuals, families, and communities, including those who have experienced racism and oppression.
  3. Students will demonstrate practice skills in the areas of trauma-informed engagement and assessment, trauma-sensitive relationship building, and trauma-responsive interventions across diverse populations and settings.
  4. Students will demonstrate capacity to develop trauma-informed policies and practices in and between various organizations, institutions, and systems people encounter, including education, child welfare, criminal justice, health and mental health, substance use, and others.
  5. Students will competently apply knowledge about the impact of personal and collective, secondary, and vicarious exposure to trauma, engage in ethical decision-making that addresses the potential risk for harm in helping relationships, and develop self-care and relational support practices.

Admissions Criteria

It is each applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required application materials are received. Applicants should list the Graduate Certificate in Trauma-Informed Practice on the application under degree pursued. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis.

Currently Enrolled Students in the Master of Social Work Program

Students in good academic standing may request concurrent enrollment. Interested students must contact the program coordinator to review the application process. 

Other Applicants

Applicants not currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program, must submit the following for full consideration:

  1. A completed application with all requested information and supporting documents supplied.
  2. Official transcripts showing all college-level course work attempted and the award of the baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited college or university.
  3.  At least two letters of recommendation
  4. International applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on an approved language proficiency test. See International Students and Credentials for more information.

Requirements (18 Hours)

The Trauma-Informed Practice program curriculum requires 18 graduate credit hours.

Course Title Credits
Required Courses
SOWK 707Trauma-Informed Practice with Children, Youth, and Families3
SOWK 708Trauma-Informed Practice with Adults and Older Adults3
SOWK 709Collective Trauma and Recovery3
Courses in other programs that count toward the certificate:
For Master of Social Work (MSW)
Advanced Theory for Social Work Practice
Advanced Social Work Interventions
For M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Research Methods in Criminal Justice
For Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Research Design in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Advanced Criminological Theory
For Ed.S. in Counselor Education (Clinical Mental Health; Marriage, Couples & Family; or School Counseling)
Counselor as Consultant
Assessment in Counseling
For Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
Community Engagement and Service
Diversity in Libraries
For Master of Science in Nursing—Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Management of Common Chronic Health Problems for the FNP
For Master of Science in Nursing—Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practicum II: Management of Complex Psychiatric/Mental Health Conditions
For Master of Science in Nursing—Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
Principles of Acute Care Adult and Gerontological Complex Health Problems II
Select remaining hours, or all nine hours if not enrolled in one of the programs above, from the following:
Juvenile Justice
Gender, Crime, and Justice
Race, Crime, and Justice
Violence and Victims
Social Justice Storytelling and Advocacy
Selected Topics in Librarianship and Information Services
Law and Social Justice Seminar
Seminar on Restorative and Transformative Justice
Medical Sociology
Selected Topics in Medical Sociology
Military Mental Health and the Impact of Trauma
Crisis Intervention
Social Work Intervention in Substance Abuse
Psychopathology and Psychodiagnostics for Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents
Psychopathology and Psychodiagnostics for Social Work Practice with Adults and Older Adults
Loss, Grief, and Social Work Intervention
Independent Study
Total Credit Hours18