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Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program

The University of Tennessee Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program (VSW-CP) trains University of Tennessee College of Social Work MSSW students in the four areas of Veterinary Social Work:

  • The link between human and animal violence
  • Grief and loss
  • Animal assisted interactions
  • Compassion fatigue management

The program offers a comprehensive foundation in veterinary social work topics focusing on the knowledge and skills needed to integrate animals into social work practice in ethically sound ways and in keeping with the values of the social work profession.

The vision of VSW-CP is to produce professional social workers knowledgeable in the practice and skills necessary to help people through human animals relationships in a variety of settings and through a variety of micro and macro practice methods.

two men sitting on a bench with a service dog

Interested in our Veterinary Social Work Certificates?

Veterinary Social Work Oath

Elizabeth Strand in Vet School

Specializing in veterinary social work, I pledge my service to society by tending to the human needs that arise in the relationship between humans and animals. From a strengths perspective and using evidence-based practice, I will uphold the ethical code of my profession, respect and promote the dignity and worth of all species, and diligently strive to maintain mindful balance in all of my professional endeavors.

Program Founder

Dr. Elizabeth Strand, PhD, LCSW, and Associate Clinical Professor at the College of Social work (pictured at far right) is the Founding Director of Veterinary Social Work (VSW) at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a licensed clinical social worker, experienced family therapist, Grief Recovery Specialist, and a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher.

For full information, go to the Veterinary Social Work Website: