Certificate Programs > Combat Veterans

Social Work with Combat Veterans Certificate

Combat Veterans Course Flyer


The Social Work with Combat Veterans Certificate Program is designed for MSW students who are interested in working with service men and women who have been exposed to the trauma of war or military conflict.

The first course in the certificate program focuses on the military cycle from enlistment, basic training, the experience of war, and post-war challenges. The second course focuses on the societal response to war and historical treatment of those returning from war, with an emphasis on improving policies and programs to better meet their needs. The third course focuses on intervention models that have shown to be effective in helping veterans overcome moral injury and the trauma of war.

All three courses are online and accessible to students throughout the state. This certificate is open to both Clinical and OCL students.


More than 2.7 million troops have been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001 to fight in our nation’s longest wars. As many as 20% of these veterans meet criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and an average of 21,000 Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) have been diagnosed each year since 2000. Suicide now takes more lives than war itself, with 20 veterans committing suicide every day. In Michigan alone, 500,000 veterans have served during wartime. With no end in sight for the current wars, the need for mental health professionals trained to serve this underserved population has never been greater.

Tina Blaschke-Thompson and Glenn Stutzky receiving award for Combat Veterans Course
Tina Blaschke-Thompson and Glenn Stutzky received the SAGE/CSWE award for Innovative Teaching in Social Work for SW491.

Program Components

The Social Work with Combat Veterans Certificate Program requires satisfactory completion of the following:

  • SW 491 (2 credits, full summer session): Embracing the Stories of War
  • SW 891 (2 credits, fall of advanced concentration year): Sharing the Burden of War
  • SW 891 (2 credits, spring of advanced concentration year): Healing the Wounds of War

Note: Students are required to take these three classes in the order outlined above, as each course leads into the next. Taking these courses out of order will result in important foundational content being missed.

Specialized field placement related to military social work in the advanced concentration year

Participation in specialized liaison group to support professional networking and address gaps in service provision through sharing of ideas and resources (accessible via online meeting space)

Acceptance into Certificate Program

Combat Vets AT&T Award

The School of Social Work anticipates that acceptance into the Combat Veterans Certificate Program will be highly competitive. As such, interested students should prepare a thoughtful personal statement about why they would like to work with this population and how this certificate program will support their future career aspirations. Acceptance into this certificate program will be based on this personal statement, as well as field placement opportunities in students’ area of the state.

Contact Person

Tina Blaschke-Thompson, LMSW

Download the application