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Social Work with American Indians

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Social Work with American Indians

The Social Work with American Indians Certificate represents the collaboration of two strong departments within the university that are dedicated to the education of people regarding the rich history and present status of tribal nations in the United States and Oklahoma. Social Work and Native American Studies are committed to the utilization of professorial expertise and tribal partnerships to produce culturally relevant OU graduates prepared to work effectively with tribal nations to increase the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native children, families, and communities.

The objective of the 15 credit hour certificate is to empower OU graduate students with the specialized knowledge and training to work effectively with indigenous populations in tribal and urban contexts across the United States with a specific focus on Oklahoma. Each of the three required courses (Social Work with American Indians, American Indian Wellness: Behavioral Health, and Tribal & U.S. Family/Child Welfare Policy) is grounded in a strengths-based, systemic perspective to address the disparities that face indigenous populations

3 Core Courses, 3 Credit Hours Each
SWK 5343 Social Work with American Indians - summer offering
SWK 5303 American Indian Behavioral Health - fall offering
SWK 5283 Tribal US Child and Family Policy - spring offering

6 remaining hours selected from courses within Social Work and Native American Studies with prior approval.

Contact Lisa Byers, (linked to email) for further information. 

Application Process

Current students wishing to graduate with this certificate must meet with Dr. Byers to discuss the coursework and process. In order to add the certificate onto one's degree, a student must apply online:

  • Go to:
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen to create an account or to continue an application
  • On the Program Selection page choose the campus, then the term you intend to enroll

For students pursuing a graduate certificate, the Social Work with American Indians Certificate Program Report form is due to the Graduate College no later than the final semester of certificate coursework.

Individuals interested in the certificate who are not current students must apply to OU through the regular admission process and select the Social Work with American Indians certificate option.

Contact Lisa Byers, (linked to email) if you have any questions.