Social work is a dynamic profession concerned with the changing needs of people and society.  To respond to such needs, the faculty, students, members of the practice community, and others regularly review the curriculum of the School of Social Work.

The MSW curriculum includes three distinct levels through which students progress toward the advanced degree in social work.

Foundation Courses

Regular standing students start in the foundation courses.

Concentration Courses

Advanced standing students start in the practice area courses and do not take the 555 practicum.

The purpose of the Concentration curriculum is to prepare students with more breadth and depth in their knowledge base (theories that underlie social work practice). In addition, the Concentration curriculum serves to advance their critical thinking and foundation practice skills for entry into very specialized fields of practice, or concentrations.

Practice Area

Following the Concentration curriculum, students enter into Practice Area curriculum.

  • Health

    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 multi-disciplinary teams that include physicians, nurses, dentists, psychiatrists and other health care professionals. Students 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, gender identity or other factors.

    • A 3 credit hour social work elective is required.
  • Mental Health & Addictions

    Students in this practice area assess mental health and addictions issues from person-in-environment, consumer focused, strengths-based, recovery-oriented, and other relevant perspectives. Competence in formulating intervention, prevention, or support and maintenance plans collaboratively with clients. Students gain preparation 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.

    • Choice of one
  • 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 to promote a safe, secure environment for those served in the school system.

Detailed Sample Degree Map