The profession of social work centers on improvement of the quality of life for people and the enhancement of human potential for full, productive participation in society. The MSW program is designed to prepare students to practice in an increasingly complex health care environment. Graduates will be prepared to be agents of change with excellent client care skills and to value diversity and advocate for social justice. Building on a generalist curriculum and clinical practice specialization, students will have an opportunity to focus in health care areas such as mental health, aging, and community and public health. The program's innovative clinically focused curriculum also prepares students to begin the clinical licensing process upon graduation.
16-month Traditional Accelerated Hybrid Program
The hybrid program, with online and in-person classes, consists of four trimesters (16 months) starting in fall of each year. The MSW program is open to students with or without academic and career experience in social work. Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree with a 2.75 or higher GPA for this program.
12-month Advanced Standing Program
Students with a bachelor of social work degree earned within the last five years from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may apply to the Advanced Standing program, which consists of three trimesters (12 months) starting in spring of each year. The MSW program is open to students with or without academic and career experience in social work. Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree in social work with a 3.30 or higher GPA.
These accelerated curriculum schedules have the advantages of intensive fieldwork experiences and an earlier graduation date.The admission process involves a holistic review of each applicant's background and experiences.
The MSW Program Learning Objectives
This program is designed to prepare students to practice competently in an increasingly complex health care environment and gain the skills and knowledge to be innovators in social work. Graduates will:
- Critically analyze and use evidence to guide decision-making and clinical skills to promote best practices.
- Use knowledge of social work practice theories and policy frameworks and evidence-based practice to develop strategies to promote high quality care, innovation, and organizational change, targeting social justice and promotion of human rights.
- Work in inter-professional teams to develop a compassionate and culturally sensitive, patient-centered approach to health care.
The MSW curriculum and learning, designed in accordance with the standards defined by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), aligns with a competency-based education framework. The MSW program focuses on developing the following nine core competencies in the specialized practice area of health care.
- Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
- Engage diversity and difference in practice
- Advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice
- Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
- Engage in Policy Practice
- Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
- Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
- Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
- Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
The MSW program has 10 goals that are derived from the program’s mission. The goals, listed below, guide and encapsulate the essence of learning. They define what we intend to achieve in order to fulfill our mission.
- Fostering respect and appreciation for diverse viewpoints and differences among people, including respect for and active pursuit of diverse sources of knowledge and ways of knowing.
- Fostering respect for human rights and a commitment to ensuring the human rights of clients and communities, including a commitment to fighting for equality and welfare for all people.
- Fostering a critical consideration of ethical principles in social work practice at micro, mezzo and macro levels and in daily life.
- Fostering a commitment to intervene against racism and all forms of discrimination, with dedication to self-reflection and recognition of one’s own privileges, social locations and biases.
- Fostering a dedication to critical thinking and an ability to analyze and deconstruct narratives and practices supportive of oppression, discrimination and other forms of injustice.
- Fostering an appreciation of the interconnectedness of local and international issues and histories and a dedication to fighting for global sustainability.
- Fostering a commitment to professional and personal growth and lifelong learning with dedication to providing the highest quality of professional services to clients and communities.
- Fostering a dedication to providing the highest quality of service to clients and communities, with attention to working across micro, mezzo and macro levels.
- Fostering an appreciation for learning, developing and providing interventions and programs with the highest effectiveness for diverse clients and populations, with attention to those who are most vulnerable.
- Fostering a commitment to service and leadership within one’s professional and community roles, including a dedication to building understanding and collaboration among people in all spheres of practice and service.