What is Certification?

The Certified Clinical Sociologist or the Certified Sociological Practitioner designation is awarded by the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS) to experienced professional sociological practitioners who demonstrate excellence in their practice of applied, clinical, or engaged public sociology. Please refer to the document placed under certification titled, AACS Certification Designations, to determine which designation you intend to pursue.

To become certified, applicants submit application materials that include a Curriculum Vitae/Resume, portfolio (refer to application form for more detail), letters of reference, and academic transcripts. Application materials are evaluated by a certification review committee. This committee determines if the applicant will be given the opportunity to present a portfolio demonstration for peer review at an AACS meeting or another regional or national sociology meeting.

For applicants unable to attend one of the meetings cited above, the use of video conferencing technology will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For example, international applicants would be given this consideration. In all cases, the C.C.S./C.S.P. Certification Review Committee will make the final decision.

Who Is Eligible?

Practicing sociologists with either a Master’s or Doctoral degree may apply for certification. Those practitioners with interdisciplinary degrees are also eligible if their practice features a strong sociological component. Applicants holding a Ph.D. must be able to document at least 1,500 hours or one year full-time working as a practicing sociologist in the last 5 years. Applicants holding a M.A. or M.S. must be able to document at least 3,000 hours or two-years full-time working as a practicing sociologist in the last 5 years.

In What Areas May I Be Certified?

Sociological Practitioners practice on multiple levels of focus. Areas of specialization include international, national, community, organization, family and individuals. Major practice content areas include community development, conflict resolution, criminology/criminal justice, organizational development, gerontology, health, counseling, and social policy. In addition, many sociologists have developed unique practices which the certification process may accommodate.

Why Be Certified?

Certification as a Clinical Sociologist or Sociological Practitioner indicates that your background, current practice, attitudes, ethics, and skills have been examined by certified professionals in your discipline. By awarding certification, AACS indicates that you have met the standards of sociological practice as an applied, clinical, or engaged public sociologist. Please note that certification is not licensure. A state or commonwealth grants a license after successful passage of a bill in the legislature and signature of the governor.

What Does It Cost?

You must be a member of AACS to apply for certification. Annual Membership fee for U. S. Citizens is $90 USD; international membership fees are sliding scale. Please refer to Membership form on AACS website. Certification Application Fee is $200 USD and is due at the time of application. The Portfolio Demonstration Fee is $100 USD and is due at least 2 weeks prior to the Portfolio Demonstration. Annual certification


For more information about Certification, please contact:

Melodye G. Lehnerer, Ph.D., C.C.S.
AACS Certification Chair
College of Southern Nevada
6375 West Charleston Blvd. (Sort WCK246F) Las Vegas, NV 89146

Phone: 702-651-5705
Email: melodye.lehnerer@csn.edu