The Master of Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is designed to prepare students for professional social work practice and leadership with a focus on a multitude of key concerns within communities, including but not limited to children, families, mental health, substance use/ abuse, education, unemployment, child maltreatment, poverty, health disparities, geriatrics, and integrated care. The program is designed to prepare students for service with individuals, groups, communities, and organizations in rural, urban, and military settings. Students are prepared to engage in prevention, treatment, intervention, clinical practice, research, and administrative activities that promote human well-being.
The program goals are:
- To prepare students for advanced social work practice, research, and leadership by enhancing the foundation courses and electives available, but also expanding access to specialty certificates in addition to the MSW degree.
- To equip social work students with the knowledge, skills, and values to respond to the needs of oppressed and at-risk populations in a multicultural society.
- To cultivate students’ pursuit of lifelong learning by emphasizing participation in professional development, involvement in professional and community organizations, and participation in further graduate study.
The MSW degree can be obtained through three cohorts: one-year Advanced Standing program, two-year program offered to full-time students, and a three-year weekend part-time program offered to those wishing to pursue their MSW degree while employed.
- To prepare students for advanced social work generalist practice, research, and leadership in urban, rural, and military communities by enhancing the foundation courses and electives available, but also expanding access to specialty certificates.
- To equip social work students with the knowledge, skills, and values to alleviate oppression, poverty, and discrimination in a multicultural society and global community.
- Develop social workers who seek and promote competency in advocating social and economic justice in a multicultural society through professional development and involvement in professional and community organizations.
The MSW Program provides opportunities for students who have been admitted to the MSW Program having successfully completed the equivalents of SWRK 601 and/ or SWRK 602 with a B or higher from a non-CSWE accredited program to test out of up to two courses. Permission to test out will be granted to students who are admitted to the MSW Program and who have taken and made a “B” or above in SWRK 601 - Social Welfare Policy and Services and/or SWRK 602 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I. Eligible students must successfully complete written examinations. Credit hours are not awarded to students who successfully test out. Students must complete additional elective courses to earn the required 61 credit hours.
The curriculum requires students to complete a graduate social work course elective to ensure completion of the minimum 61 credit hours required by the MSW Program. For specific requirements and procedures for matriculating through the MSW Program, please contact the School of Social Work MSW Program Director or refer to the MSW Program Student Handbook. In order to have sufficient time for course and field planning, the MSW Program admissions application deadline is January 15. All documents pertaining to admission must be received by the application deadline.
The program requires 61 semester credit hours, including a minimum of 960 hours of field practicum (internship). During the first year, students acquire foundation knowledge. Foundation knowledge is supported by courses in social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations, social welfare policy and services, diversity, populations at risk, social and economic justice, research, and field education. During orientation, students are provided information on the three specialty certificate programs. Some of the foundation courses are also a part of a specialty certificate and students have the option of taking courses required for a certificate as their elective/s.
The MSW Program offers three options for completing the MSW degree curriculum including advanced standing (one-year option), the two-year full-time option, and the three-year part-time option. Advanced standing status is only awarded to graduates of baccalaureate social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Advanced standing is a one-year full-time academic program. Students must have completed their bachelor’s degree in social work within five years of expected enrollment in the MSW Program and have a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to be eligible for advanced standing. It is expected that an advanced standing student will have mastered the foundation and have demonstrated the ability to perform in an accelerated learning program. Advanced standing students begin course work during the first summer session and enroll in 9 credit hours. Students enroll in SWRK 501 - Professional Writing for Social Workers (3 s.h), SWRK 606 - Social Work Practice Seminar (3 s.h.), and SWRK 608 - Statistics and Research Seminar (3 s.h) courses. The fall students enroll in 16 credit hours, and the spring 10 credit hours.
The two-year full-time option is designed such that students enroll in the following credits each term: Foundation Year 1 (Fall semester: 16 credit hours; Spring semester: 16 credit hours); and Advanced Year 2 (Fall semester: 16 credit hours; Spring semester: 13 credit hours). The three-year weekend part-time option is designed such that students enroll in the following credits each semester: Foundation Year 1 (Fall semester: 12 credit hours; Spring semester: 9 credit hours); Foundation Year 2 (Fall semester: 10 credit hours; Spring semester: 10 credit hours; and Advanced Year 3 (Fall semester: 10 credit hours; Spring semester: 10 credit hours). The MSW program is consistent with the university’s mission and institutional goals, and the Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Graduate Certificate Programs
The school has offered a Graduate Certificate in Military Behavioral Health and a Graduate Certificate in Substance Abuse Studies for several years. This year, a new specialty certificate was approved: Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice. The Substance Abuse Studies curriculum requires 12 credit hours. The Military Behavioral Health curriculum requires 18 credit hours, and the Advanced Clinical Practice curriculum requires 21 credit hours. For students in the MSW Program, each of the Certificate Programs includes at least one course that is part of the Foundation Curriculum for the MSW degree.
- Social Work, Children and Family Services Concentration Full-Time Advanced Standing, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Children and Family Services Concentration Full-Time, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Children and Family Services Concentration Part-Time Advanced Standing, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Children and Family Services Concentration Part-Time, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Mental Health Concentration Full-Time Advanced Standing, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Mental Health Concentration Full-Time, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Mental Health Concentration Part-Time Advanced Standing, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Mental Health Concentration Part-Time, M.S.W.