The MSW curriculum coursework and field education has two components:
The foundation curriculum is made up of 9 courses and a generalist field practicum. These must be successfully completed before moving on to the concentration curriculum.
In the courses students are introduced to social work as a profession and will learn both historical and contemporary theories, issues, and practice methods relating to both the individual, groups, and the environment.
The generalist field practicum requires 420 hours completed concurrently with enrollment in 2 integrative fieldwork seminar courses (SWK 530 and 535). The full foundation curriculum is required of all students, with the exception of those admitted with advanced standing.
Advanced standing is an application category open to those with a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Advanced standing applicants may seek waivers for up to 6 of the following foundation courses: Human Behavior and the Social Environment, History of Social Welfare Policy, Practice Methods and Skills 1 and 2, and Integrative Field Seminars/Methods Skills Labs 1 and 2, which include 420 field practicum hours. Advanced standing applicants must offer an equivalent BSW course for each with a grade of B (3.0) or higher in order to receive a waiver.
The concentration curriculum is made up of 9 courses and an advanced field practicum in one of 2 concentrations:
Multicultural Clinical Practice (MCCP) Concentration
Multiculturalism is a process requiring of the practitioner both a deep awareness of their social and cultural identity, as well as the use of multiple lenses when working with diverse populations. With person-in-environment as an organizing perspective, multicultural clinical social work practice seeks to prevent, restore and enhance the biopsychosocial and spiritual functioning of individuals, families and groups. To this end, graduates of the MCCP concentration develop competence in using relationship-based, culturally informed and theoretically grounded interventions with persons facing challenges, disabilities or impairments, including emotional, behavioral and mental disorders.
Program Development, Policy, and Administration (PDPA) Concentration:
This concentration was developed in response to the growing demand for leadership and administration in social work. Students will learn the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and achieve needed change, and to develop, lead, guide, and administer programs that serve diverse people in a variety of settings.
In the concentration curriculum, students will apply this advanced knowledge of theories and practice methods in the 500-hour concentration field practicum experience, which is completed concurrently with enrollment in two or three field seminar courses.
Portfolio or Summative Evaluation Project
Portfolio Project (MCCP students)
The goal of the MCCP Portfolio is to enhance the integration of theory and practice, as well as to offer more vivid portrayals of a student’s academic and professional experience than traditional assessments. All MCCP students are required to create such a portfolio during their final year of study. Items in a portfolio might include videotapes, process recordings, reflective statements, writing samples, case analyses, term papers, electronic submissions, policy activities, feedback from service users, self-evaluations of personal progress and links to references.
Summative Evaluation Project (PDPA students)
PDPA students will design and implement a program evaluation for their summative project, which requires integration and application of knowledge and skills from both the foundation and concentration curricula. Via this project, PDPA students will analyze program efficacy and its impact on clients, either positive or negative. Students conduct and present this evaluation project during their final year of study.
Students have the option of completing a thesis, building upon but separate from the portfolio or summative evaluation project. Course credit is given for this option as an elective. Students work with a thesis adviser to develop more in-depth research skills contributing to social work knowledge.
To be conferred with the MSW degree, students must achieve successful completion of the following within four years:
- 18 full MSW courses (13 full courses for advanced standing), with no more than 2 courses with a grade of 2.5, and with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher;
- 920 hours of approved field practica (500 hours for advanced standing);
- Submission of the portfolio or summative evaluation project.