Penn Social Policy & Practice Certificate in LALX

The Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies offers a graduate certificate to students pursuing an MSW Penn's School of Social Policy and Practice (Sp2) for those students who want to want to gain exposure to Latin American and Latinx Studies in conjunction with their Social Work degree.


SP2 students may fulfill the certificate requirements by successfully completing five courses in the general area of Latin American and Latinx Studies. MSW students also have the option of completing the LALX certificate through a combination of courses and field placement/internship. 

Up to three of the five courses can be fulfilled through 225 hours at a qualifying field placement (for MSW students, in either their foundation or advanced year.)

  • Students are not guaranteed field placement that qualifies for the certificate, and interested students should reach to the Office of Field Education to assist in finding a good match.  Sample field placements include CCATE, Congreso, Juntos, La Puerta Abierta, Norristown schools, Philadelphia schools, Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, Nationalities Services Center, and HIAS.
  • The remaining two courses will be those rostered by the Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies or may be courses taken elsewhere on campus (including SP2) that have at least 30% of the graded content, but preferably more, dealing with Latin America or Latinx.  Students may request approval for a course to be reviewed by CLALS and their SP2 Academic Advisor on a case-by-case basis.  For a pre-approved list of courses, please visit the CLALS website and reach out to the CLALS Associate Director (

Students must also demonstrate language proficiency in Spanish, French, Portuguese, or a less commonly taught language such as Yucatec Maya, Quechua, or Haitian Creole. Students may also demonstrate proficiency in the following ways: native speaker; prior earned language certification; prior language proficiency exam scores; successful completion of fieldwork that requires fluency, and if needed, students can take one of Penn's language proficiency exams ($100 or subject to change).

When students have completed the requirements, they should fill out this Graduate Completion Form. (If the student is using field work for course credit, please indicate that on this form.) 

Please visit SP2 for futher details, and please reach out to the CLALS Associate Director with any questions (