Curriculum | Master of Social Work (MSW)

Program options

Regular Standing Track

Length: 2 years (60 credits). First cohort begins Fall 2013.

This track is for students with bachelor's degrees from fields other than social work. The track includes one year of foundational coursework built around core professional competencies. This is followed by a second year within the program in an advanced concentration.

The Regular Standing track includes a minimum of 900 hours of supervised field practicum instruction. 

Advanced Standing Track

Length: 1 year (36 credits). First cohort begins Summer 2014.

This track, for students with a bachelor's degree in social work, includes an advanced concentration, focusing a student's studies on a particular area of interest within the field.

The Advanced Standing track includes a minimum of 450 hours of supervised field practicum instruction.

View Field Placement Information

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Required Courses

Expand and Collapse SWK 6100 - Social Welfare Policy and Service Delivery

Designed for graduate social work students who will be participating in the first field practicum placement the following semester. Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview with prospective field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, and the effective utilization of supervision.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6101 - Direct Practice I

Designed to help students develop the professional foundation skills, knowledge, and values for social work services to individuals, groups, families, and communities. Prepares students to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate client systems at multiple levels.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6102 - Foundations of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Designed for graduate social work students who will be participating in the first field practicum placement the following semester. Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview with prospective field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, and the effective utilization of supervision.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6103 - Foundations of Social Justice

Helps students understand the dynamics of economic, social, and cultural factors in the lives of clients and client systems. Strategies for advancing human rights and social and economic justice in various contexts are explored. Students will use knowledge of the effects of oppression, discrimination, and historical trauma on client systems to guide treatment planning and intervention.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6201 - Direct Practice II

Examines and uses evidence-based practice theories and frameworks, methods, skills, ethics and values for service delivery in working with individuals, groups, families and communities. Emphasis on multidimensional approaches in engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6202 - Research Design in Social Work

Provides foundation-level knowledge of the scientific approach used in social work research methodology and evidence-based practice. Students gain knowledge and skills necessary to understand the problems that social workers in advanced clinical practice encounter as well as the methods for evaluating change in all areas of practice. Students gain an appreciation and understanding that research (both quantitative and qualitative) is a basic tool for advanced social work clinical practice. The course emphasizes the practice-research link focusing on ethics and human diversity related to age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6205 - Preparation for Field Practicum I

Designed for graduate social work students who will be participating in the first field practicum placement the following semester. Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview with prospective field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, and the effective utilization of supervision.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6255 - Field Practicum I

Provides students with the opportunity to integrate direct practice with acquired theoretical knowledge and skills. The seminar facilitates the integration of classroom content and direct practice experience from the field experience. Attention is given to the relationship between the purpose, values, and principles expressed in the NASW Code of Ethics and evidence-informed practice of social work. The practicum socializes students to perform the role of practitioner and contributes to the development and assessment of requisite foundation competencies.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6300 - Assessment and Differential Diagnosis

Presents assessment and diagnostic techniques associated with mental health and mental disorders within the context of the lifespan (child; adolescent; adult; and aging perspectives). Categories of psychiatric disorders are considered with respect to their differentiating characteristics, explanatory theories, and relevance for social work practice according to the DSM, ICD, and other diagnostic tools. Students will learn models of assessment to evaluate human functioning throughout the lifespan. Addresses the impact of race, ethnicity, social class, age, gender, and other sociocultural variables on the diagnostic processes.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6302 - Evidence-Based Intervention and Treatment

Develops the knowledge and skills necessary for working with client systems using principles of evidence-based practice. Students will become familiar with evidence-based practices as a central approach to practice, as well as specific evidence-based interventions to use for client wellbeing. Students will learn to examine the research literature to determine the various levels of scientific support for specific interventions, essential principles for translating research into practice, and how to identify appropriate treatment outcomes that reflect quality practice with diverse groups.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6400 - Policy and Services in Diverse Settings

Prepares students to critically engage in policy practice within an area of specialization. Building on foundational knowledge, the course examines advanced skills in the development, analysis, advocacy, and implementation of policy as it pertains to practice with individual clients, families, groups, interdisciplinary teams, and service providers. Focus includes service delivery systems, technological advances, and ways of changing regulatory strategies. Consideration will be given to the effects of age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation on social welfare policy practice.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6402 - Practice Evaluation I

Focuses on the research process within the context of advanced social work practice. Content covers the theory and practice of evaluation as a method of assessing advanced social work practice. Emphasis is on developing the knowledge and skills required to critically assess empirically based evidence for practice with clients across the lifespan and to design ethical and feasible approaches to practice evaluation.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6404 - Advanced Practice with Groups

Advanced practice course that helps students develop an understanding of how advanced clinical social work practice applies to the context of groups. Students learn to facilitate group dynamics and apply major theoretical frameworks with culturally sensitive modifications to various types of treatment and task groups.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6405 - Preparation for Field Practicum II

Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available advanced clinical field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview and familiarize themselves with prospective advanced clinical field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness for advanced clinical social work, preferred supervision style, how to choose an advanced clinical field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for the advanced clinical field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, the effective utilization of clinical supervision and licensure standards.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6501 - Advanced Practice

Focuses on reinforcing, integrating and building advanced social work practice skills, including engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation of clients with special attention devoted to complex practice situations encountered by social workers. Students learn practice skills and strategies through evidence-based approaches and theories to promote change in client systems. Topics vary according to practice situation. Course may be repeated when topics vary.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6502 - Practice Evaluation II

Focuses on practice evaluation methods to assess advanced social work practice effectiveness and guide practice decisions for client and community well-being. This course will focus on the direct application of the analytical skills and knowledge associated with developing and implementing evaluation designs that are appropriate for advanced social work practice.

Expand and Collapse SWK 6555 - Field Practicum II

Integrates acquired knowledge, skills, and values through an advanced social work field practicum experience. The seminar facilitates the integration of classroom content and direct practice experience in the field. Attention is given to the relationship between the purpose, values, and principles expressed in the NASW Code of Ethics and evidence-informed, advanced social work practice. The field practicum socializes students to perform the role of a clinical practitioner and contributes to the development and assessment of advanced clinical competencies.

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