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Master of Social Work: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

30-60 credits required

You can complete the 60-credit Master of Social Work program in 3.5 years.

Your coursework consists of 10 core courses totaling 30 credits and two elective courses totaling six credits. Field practice requires 1,100 hours as part of one of the program two-semester courses. You will also choose from specializations in Direct Community Practice or Direct Clinical Practice, comprising eight courses and 24 credits.

Advanced Standing students will begin the program at the specialization level, completing eight courses totaling 30 credits with a reduced practicum of 550 required hours.

Our MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), ensuring an education at the forefront of industry standards. Upon graduation, you may be eligible for licensure in your state. Please be sure to review and understand the licensing requirements in the state in which you plan to practice.

GENERALIST COURSES

This first course in the two-course policy sequence is designed to help students examine various aspects of the social welfare institution from both a contemporary and an historical perspective. The impact of socio-economic and political forces on social welfare policies and programs, as they respond to the complexities of human needs and social problems, are examined. Attention is also given to the organizational context of the social service delivery system.

The purpose of this first semester of a two-semester course sequence is to develop fully the notion of interchange between the individual and those systems that make up his/her environment. In exploring the environmental determinants of human behavior, the student is introduced to the study of individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations, and the influences that those systems produce upon social interaction and adaptive behavior.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a framework for understanding how diversity characteristics shapes the human experience and is critical to the formation of identity and the impact of oppression, power, and privilege.

This course is an introduction to generalist social work practice designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding, and analytical skills utilized in the phases of the generalist social work helping process: engagement, data collection and differential assessment; goal setting and planning; intervention; evaluation; and disengagement and follow up focusing on the individual within environmental context.

Senior Field Practicum and Seminar I focus on the continuing integration of empirical knowledge, theoretical concepts, and analytical skills with interactional skills and professional values in the development of practice competencies. Students practice these skills in the field placement and the seminar provides integrative processes for the experiential and academic learning through group supervision and writing of the Capstone Paper.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a framework for understanding: 1) social policy and the process through which social policy is formulated, implemented and analyzed; 2) inequalities and inequities in social welfare as policy manifestations of institutionalized racism and sexism; and, 3) the impact and interaction of policy with service delivery networks and organizational structures delivering services and resources.
Prerequisite: SW 565

The second course of a two-semester sequence intended to provide students with the theoretical resources and beginning skills necessary for identification of human problems, concerns, or needs, and differential assessment of situations in which people need help. The focus will include the biological, sociological, cultural, psychological, and spiritual development of individuals throughout the life span.
Prerequisite: SW 567

This course is designed to develop inter-professional collaboration among multiple disciplines for those who will practice in a variety of settings including health care. Effective communication and problem-solving in collaboration with various professionals is essential to providing competent care.

The course continues the exploration of modalities which can be used in interventions with client systems of varying sizes: individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Emphasis is placed on the study and acquisition of practice knowledge and skills necessary to implement planned change with client populations representing cultural, racial, social, and life-style diversity.
Prerequisite: SW 575

Senior Field Practicum and Seminar II continues the focus on integration of empirical knowledge, theoretical concepts, and analytical skills with interactional skills and professional values in the development of practice competencies. Students practice these skills in the field placement and the seminar provides integrative processes for the experiential and academic learning through group supervision and writing of the Capstone Paper.
Prerequisite: SW 578-79, SW 575

SPECIALIZED PRACTICE COURSES

This course reviews assessment strategies for all client systems at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels in order to understand the impact of an inter-systems perspective and the influence of each system on the other for case formulation in change efforts. A person-in-environment and environment-in-person perspective will be utilized to identify client system strengths, resources, areas of need, and opportunities for intervention. Human diversity considerations will be evaluated with regards to the intersectional impact across systems.
Prerequisites: SW 524, SW 566, SW 568, SW 576, SW 580-81

This course covers research methods for practice evaluation and specifically geared towards social work professionals. Students are taught the language of scientific discourse and the ability to critically appraise empirical research for evidence-based practice. Ethical and human diversity issues are discussed throughout the course and include unbiased research techniques and sensitivity to populations-at-risk.

The is the first of a two semester specialized practice course building on the Generalist Practice framework covered in Generalist Social Work Practice I & II. This course focuses on the specialized social work practice skills development working with client systems in either direct clinical practice or direct community practice. Students taking with course will also be enrolled in Specialized Field Practicum and Seminar I.
Prerequisites: SW 576, SW 580-81

This is a two-semester course where students will participate in an approved, specialized, social work practice field placement. Students apply and integrate theory and course material in professional practice with diverse client systems and further develop competency in their professional skills. The seminar provides integrative processes for the experiential and academic learning through group supervision and writing of the Capstone Paper.
Prerequisites: SW 576, SW 580-81

This course focuses on the assessment and diagnosis of individuals and utilizes frameworks that place individuals within the context of their environment and the biopsychosocial-spiritual, cultural, and human diversity influences for understanding mental health conditions. A critical analysis of classification systems will be used for conducting assessment and diagnosis of individuals.
Prerequisite: SW 585

This course builds on the knowledge gained in Generalist Social Work Practice I and II on applying the generalist practice framework to community systems at the specialized level. This course looks at the interaction between person and environment and creating organizational and community change in order to better meet the needs of diverse populations. Strategies for engaging stakeholders in capacity building, problem-solving, and decision-making processes will be explored. Students will also consider the trends in the larger political, economic and social environment that impact community change.
Prerequisite: SW 585

This course enables students to further develop research knowledge through experiential learning allowing the student to implement and participant in a research study relevant to the social work profession. Students will work with their seminar instructor and field instructor to implement research methodology in line with the field placement.
Prerequisite: SW 591

This is the second semester of a two course series that expands and develops the specialized social work practice. Students taking with course will also be enrolled in Specialized Field Practicum and Seminar II.
Prerequisites: SW 675, SW 678-79

This course is the final of two courses where students will participate in an approved, specialized, social work practice field placement. Students apply and integrate theory and course material in professional practice with diverse client systems and further develop competency in their professional skills. The seminar provides integrative processes for the experiential and academic learning through group supervision and writing of the Capstone Paper.
Prerequisites: SW 675, SW 678-79

ELECTIVE COURSES

Provides an integrated understanding of substance use disorders from etiological, preventive, and treatment perspectives. This course integrates theory and empirically based knowledge from social work and other disciplines involved in addictions. Students will learn empirically supported prevention and treatment strategies.

This course provides theoretical and conceptual frameworks for understanding loss and transition across the life cycle as a universal human experience and the varying influences affecting the grief process.

This course provides an overview of the aging process from a biopsychosocial-spiritual, strengths perspective and the specific issues faced by the older adult population. Topics covered that influence this population include cultural perspectives, changing roles, access to resources and services, advocacy, and issues of social justice.

This course provides a framework of knowledge, values, and skills to be applied to a social work practice that is sensitive to diverse spiritual and religious perspectives in social work with client systems. It will explore the importance of including spirituality in an assessment and understanding its impact on client experiences and the implications for intervention.

This course provides specialized analytic and practice skills necessary for working with children, youth, and families. Students will learn assessment and intervention strategies that take into consideration the relevant environmental systems that are impacting the client system. A broad definition of family will be used acknowledging various diverse configurations.

ADVANCED STANDING COURSES

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a framework for understanding how diversity characteristics shapes the human experience and is critical to the formation of identity and the impact of oppression, power, and privilege.

This course reviews assessment strategies for all client systems at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels in order to understand the impact of an inter-systems perspective and the influence of each system on the other for case formulation in change efforts. A person-in-environment and environment-in-person perspective will be utilized to identify client system strengths, resources, areas of need, and opportunities for intervention. Human diversity considerations will be evaluated with regards to the intersectional impact across systems.
Prerequisites: SW 524, SW 566, SW 568, SW 576, SW 580-81

Senior Field Practicum and Seminar I focus on the continuing integration of empirical knowledge, theoretical concepts, and analytical skills with interactional skills and professional values in the development of practice competencies. Students practice these skills in the field placement and the seminar provides integrative processes for the experiential and academic learning through group supervision and writing of the Capstone Paper.

This course is designed to develop inter-professional collaboration among multiple disciplines for those who will practice in a variety of settings including health care. Effective communication and problem-solving in collaboration with various professionals is essential to providing competent care.

This course focuses on the assessment and diagnosis of individuals and utilizes frameworks that place individuals within the context of their environment and the biopsychosocial-spiritual, cultural, and human diversity influences for understanding mental health conditions. A critical analysis of classification systems will be used for conducting assessment and diagnosis of individuals.
Prerequisite: SW 585

This course builds on the knowledge gained in Generalist Social Work Practice I and II on applying the generalist practice framework to community systems at the specialized level. This course looks at the interaction between person and environment and creating organizational and community change in order to better meet the needs of diverse populations. Strategies for engaging stakeholders in capacity building, problem-solving, and decision-making processes will be explored. Students will also consider the trends in the larger political, economic and social environment that impact community change.
Prerequisite: SW 585

The is the first of a two semester specialized practice course building on the Generalist Practice framework covered in Generalist Social Work Practice I & II. This course focuses on the specialized social work practice skills development working with client systems in either direct clinical practice or direct community practice. Students taking with course will also be enrolled in Specialized Field Practicum and Seminar I.
Prerequisites: SW 576, SW 580-81

This is the second semester of a two course series that expands and develops the specialized social work practice. Students taking with course will also be enrolled in Specialized Field Practicum and Seminar II.
Prerequisites: SW 675, SW 678-7

This course is the final of two courses where students will participate in an approved, specialized, social work practice field placement. Students apply and integrate theory and course material in professional practice with diverse client systems and further develop competency in their professional skills. The seminar provides integrative processes for the experiential and academic learning through group supervision and writing of the Capstone Paper.
Prerequisites: SW 675, SW 678-79