Schools & Divisions

Master of Social Work Curriculum

Social work is a dynamic profession concerned with the changing needs of people and society. To respond to such needs, the curriculum of the School of Social Work undergoes continuing review by the faculty with the participation of students, members of the practice community, and others. Students must complete 60 credit hours of graduate-level course work in order to meet the minimum requirements for the Master of Social Work degree. All students complete a common foundation and concentratoin curriculum that emphasizes a generalist perspective for social work practice. The Foundation Curriculum also includes a one-semester practicum of a minimum of 320 clock hours.

Following that, students complete the MSW program's Concentration Curriculum in Clinical and Community Practice that prepares them for advanced social work practicewithin one of three practice areas:  health, mental health and addictions, or school social work. The Concentration Practicum of a minimum of 640 clock hours is usually completed over the two final semesters. All Foundation Curriculum course work must be completed before students are eligible to enroll in any required courses in the Concentration Curriculum.

The overall objectives of the Foundation and Intermediate Curricula of the M.S.W program include development of:

  1. Basic, generalist competence applicable to a broad range of social work practice;
  2. Basic competence at all levels: individual, family, groups, communities, and organizations;
  3. Basic competence for practice in social service delivery systems
Foundation Curriculum (21 cr.)
  • S502 Research I (3 CR)
  • S505 Social Policy Analysis and Practice (3 CR)
  • S506 Introduction to the Social Work Profession (1 CR)
  • S507 Diversity, Human Rights, and Social Justice (3 CR)
  • S508 Generalist Theory & Practice (3 CR)
  • S509 Social Work Practice with Organizations, Communities, and Societies (3 CR)
  • S555 A field practicum course of 320 hours (3 CR)
Clinical and Community Practice Concentration (26 cr.)
  • SWK-S 517 Assessment in Mental Health and Addictions (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 518 Clinical Social Work Theory & Practice (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 519 Community & Global Theory & Practice (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 661 Executive Leadership Practice (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 618 Social Policy and Services (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 623 Practice Evaluation (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 651 Social Work Practicum II (4 credits)
  • SWK-S 652 Social Work Practicum III (4 credits)
Focus Area Curriculum (30 cr.)

The second level of preparation is the Clinical and Community Practice concentration curriculum which includes 6 courses plus the concentration practicum:

  • S517 Assessment in Mental Health & Addictions (3 CR)
  • S518 Clinical Theory & Practice (3 CR)
  • S519 Community and Global Theory & Practice (3 CR)
  • S661 Executive Leadership Practice (3 CR)
  • S618- Social Policy and Services (3 CR)- taken in a specific focus area
  • S623 Practice Evaluation
  • S651/S652 A field practicum course of 640 hours (8 CR)

Students, who elect to practice in the health arena, apply the knowledge and skills of advanced social work practice to build and work effectively with interprofessional teams that include physicians, nurses, dentists, psychiatrists and other health care professionals.  They learn the medical terminology to conduct bio-psycho-social assessments based on myriad disease entities and patient dynamics. As social workers, they understand how healthcare is financed in the United States, analyze how financial resources for healthcare affect individual patient care, and advocate for change that improves access for all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or other factors. 

  • SWK-S 692  Practice Skills for Health Care Settings (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 693  Practice with Individuals, Families and  Communities in Healthcare Settings (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 694  Social Work Practice with Older Adults OR S696 Loss Grief, Death & Bereavement (3 credits)
  • 3 credit hours of another 600-level elective course
Mental Health and Addictions

Students in the MH&A concentration assess mental health and addictions issues from person-in-environment, consumer focused, strengths-based, recovery-oriented, and other relevant perspectives. They formulate intervention, prevention, or support and maintenance plans collaboratively with clients. They prepare to serve as case managers, counselors, clinicians, and advocates for and with mental health and addictions consumers.  Also, they are able to seek, discover, and evaluate relevant research studies and apply findings in evidence-based social work practice.  Within the context of their practice, they conduct empirical evaluations of the effectiveness of interventions and services.

  • SWK-S 683 Community-Based Practice in Mental Health / Addictions (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 685 Mental Health and Addictions Practice with Individuals and Families (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 686 Social Work Practice: Addictions (3 credits)
  • SWK-S 687 Mental Health and Addictions Practice with Groups (3 credits)
School Social Work

Social workers in school systems function in an environment where the primary purpose is education and socialization. When primary and secondary school students exhibit behaviors and problems that impede their academic and social progress, they may benefit from interventions that social workers are prepared to deliver. The commitment to utilizing social workers in school settings ebbs and flows, often dictated by fiscal resources for education in general. Nonetheless, preparation of students to enter this field of practice remains a priority for the School of Social Work. Students who enter this field are prepared with clinical skills for working with children and adolescents and their families; with team-building skills for working with school administrators and teachers; and, community skills to garner the resources necessary for to promote a safe, secure environment for those served in the school system.

  • SWK-S 616 Social Work Practice in Schools(3 credits)
  • SWK-S 613 Specialized Instruction & Support Services for Diverse Student Populations (3 credits) 
  • SWK-S 614 School Social Work Practice with Children, Adolescents and Families (3 credits)
  • 2 elective courses (6 credits)

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