Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

   
    Jun 27, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Social Work Major, MSSW


The College of Social Work offers two paths towards the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) including the Accelerated BSSW to MSSW and the MSSW option. The college offers a MSSW curriculum that is informed by state-of-the-art, cutting-edge knowledge and grounded upon core social work values and ethics. The concepts of critical thinking and evidence-based practice, complexity, culturally affirming practice, social and economic justice, and at-risk populations permeate the new MSSW curriculum. The MSSW program seeks to prepare MSSW graduates to make demonstrable improvements in the quality of life of at-risk and vulnerable populations across individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, the state of Tennessee, the nation and internationally.

Concentrations (Required) and Options Available

Clinical Practice — Thesis Option, Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option

Organizational Leadership  — Thesis Option, Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option

Campus Code

  • Knoxville Campus
  • Nashville Campus
  • Distance Education

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with appropriate preparation in the social sciences.
    • At least three-fourths of the applicant’s undergraduate work should be in the social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, and other arts and sciences subjects.
    • Applicants must demonstrate a liberal arts perspective through coursework in at least four of the following five areas – economics or mathematics; government, political science or history; sociology or anthropology; psychology; philosophy, literature, or the arts.
    • Applicants with other academic backgrounds may request consultation to discuss ways that they can meet the requirements.
    • Have TOEFL scores of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the internet-based test or a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS, if native language is not English.
  • Submit online application to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • Preference is given to applicants with a GPA of 3.00 or above in their undergraduate work with substantial preparation in the social sciences.
    • Applicants with a GPA below 3.00 can submit current scores from the GRE General Exam to supplement their application materials. GRE scores are valid for five years from the date of the exam.
    • Graduate School policy requires a minimum GPA of 2.70 for admission to graduate study. Applicants falling below this average may be considered for probationary admission on the basis of supplemental evidence of the ability to perform at a satisfactory level.
  • Personal qualifications acceptable for entrance into the professional practice of social work.
    • Applicants who have a prior conviction, other than a minor traffic violation, may not necessarily be denied admission to the MSSW program. However, such convictions may prevent placement in certain field practice agencies and/or licensure in certain states.
  • Advanced Standing Program. Admission to advanced standing requires
    • A BSW from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (must have graduated within five years of entry to the MSSW program);
    • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher; and
    • Personal qualifications acceptable for entrance into the professional practice of social work.
    • These students will follow the curriculum plan and meet all requirements of the concentration during three semesters of study in the program.
    • The advanced standing program begins summer semester and may be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis.
    • Application for admission to the advanced standing program is through the regular admission process.
  • Extended Study
    • Planned part-time programs are available in all three locations of the college. Admission requirements are the same as for full-time study. Coursework can be completed over a three- or four-year period.
  • Transfer Credits
    • Coursework equivalent to the first year of the master’s program, completed in another accredited graduate social work program, is usually accepted toward degree requirements.
      • Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the College of Social Work.
      • Transfer courses must be approved as equivalent to required generalist and/or elective courses taken for graduate credit and passed with a grade of B or better.
      • An S (Satisfactory/No Credit system) for the field practicum is also accepted.
      • In addition, transfer courses must be part of an otherwise satisfactory graduate program (B average) and be approved by the program director. This coursework must be completed within the six-year period prior to the receipt of the degree.

Academic Standards

  • Students must maintain a graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on graded courses and satisfactory performance in field. A student receiving less than a grade of C in a required course or an NC in field practice will be dismissed from the program.
  • MSSW courses may not be repeated to improve D or F grades.
  • Upon completion of 6 credit hours of graduate social work coursework, an MSSW student will be placed on academic probation when their cumulative graduate GPA falls below 3.00.
  • Students must adhere to ethical and professional standards in the classroom and field practicum.

Clinical Practice Concentration — Thesis Option

The Clinical Practice (CP) track is a clinical concentration that is based on the underlying principles of social justice, Anti-Racism and Anti-Black Racism, Interprofessional practice, and trauma informed care. Students in the CP concentration develop skills in interpersonal evidence-based treatments and interventions for use in individual and group settings. The goal of the CP concentration is to produce empathetic and culturally-responsive social work clinicians who are critical thinkers in using evidence-based practices for diverse clients and client systems. knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice and trauma-informed lens with a special concern for those living in poverty and that have been marginalized.

Credit Hours Required

60 graduate credit hours; Advanced Standing requires 36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Professional Generalist Curriculum
    • MSSW generalist content includes fundamental, evidence-based knowledge and skills that will prepare students to practice across client systems within a culturally affirming generalist social work context. MSSW generalist curriculum includes content in the following areas – social work practice, research, human behavior in the social environment, social policy, populations at risk and social and economic justice, values and ethics, diversity, critical thinking/evidence-based practice, and field.
  • Advanced standing students take the following courses (6 credit hours) during their entry semester (summer) and then continue into the concentration curriculum.
  • Professional Concentration Curriculum
  • SOWK 500  (6 credit hours)

Additional Course Requirements

Field Practice

  • The generalist field placement (6 credit hours) reflects the educational competencies of the generalist curriculum and addresses values, theoretical knowledge, and skills common to all social work roles. The focus is on professional development, assessment, and intervention regardless of setting. Generalist competencies address policy, advocacy, ethics, and generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups and organizations. The generalist field practicum is scheduled for two full days each week for both fall and spring semesters.
  • The concentration placement (12 credit hours) addresses the advanced competencies for the student’s selected concentration and is individually designed to enhance career interests and educational needs. Emphasis is placed on the integration of advanced social work knowledge and values and the acquisition and development of advanced practice skills.
  • For the advanced standing and two-year full-time programs, the concentration field practicum is scheduled for three full days each week fall and spring semesters. Part-time advanced standing and extended study students may complete concentration field in three days a week over two semesters or two days a week over three semesters. While the extended study concentration field practicum is more flexible, a schedule is required that conforms to the hours of the agency where the student is placed. At times, block and international field placements (40 hours/week for one semester) are available.
  • Students completing certificate programs must follow procedures for certificate program placement planning in order to be sure to meet field requirements for the certificate.
  • Participation in a group plan for professional liability insurance is required for all students enrolled in field practice courses.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Thesis Defense
  • Proficiency Examination
    • Students may apply to waive certain MSSW generalist courses on the basis of proficiency, allowing them to receive credit for knowledge acquired in previous courses.
    • Requests to proficiency out of courses are optional and recommended only for students who have done exceptionally well in their previous coursework.
    • Students interested in proficiency examinations are referred to the College of Social Work Student Handbook statement describing the procedure for applying for examination and the applicable courses.

Clinical Practice Concentration — Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option

The Clinical Practice (CP) track is a clinical concentration that is based on the underlying principles of social justice, Anti-Racism and Anti-Black Racism, Interprofessional practice, and trauma informed care. Students in the CP concentration develop skills in interpersonal evidence-based treatments and interventions for use in individual and group settings. The goal of the CP concentration is to produce empathetic and culturally-responsive social work clinicians who are critical thinkers in using evidence-based practices for diverse clients and client systems. knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice and trauma-informed lens with a special concern for those living in poverty and that have been marginalized.

Credit Hours Required

60 graduate credit hours; Advanced Standing requires 36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Professional Generalist Curriculum
    • MSSW generalist content includes fundamental, evidence-based knowledge and skills that will prepare students to practice across client systems within a culturally affirming generalist social work context. MSSW generalist curriculum includes content in the following areas – social work practice, research, human behavior in the social environment, social policy, populations at risk and social and economic justice, values and ethics, diversity, critical thinking/evidence-based practice, and field.
  • Advanced standing students take the following courses (6 credit hours) during their entry semester (summer) and then continue into the concentration curriculum
  • Professional Concentration Curriculum

Additional Course Requirements

Field Practice

  • The generalist field placement (6 credit hours) reflects the educational competencies of the generalist curriculum and addresses values, theoretical knowledge, and skills common to all social work roles. The focus is on professional development, assessment, and intervention regardless of setting. Generalist competencies address policy, advocacy, ethics, and generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups and organizations. The generalist field practicum is scheduled for two full days each week for both fall and spring semesters.
  • The concentration placement (12 credit hours) addresses the advanced competencies for the student’s selected concentration and is individually designed to enhance career interests and educational needs. Emphasis is placed on the integration of advanced social work knowledge and values and the acquisition and development of advanced practice skills.
  • For the advanced standing and two-year full-time programs, the concentration field practicum is scheduled for three full days each week fall and spring semesters. Part-time advanced standing and extended study students may complete concentration field in three days a week over two semesters or two days a week over three semesters. While the extended study concentration field practicum is more flexible, a schedule is required that conforms to the hours of the agency where the student is placed. At times, block and international field placements (40 hours/week for one semester) are available.
  • Students completing certificate programs must follow procedures for certificate program placement planning in order to be sure to meet field requirements for the certificate.
  • Participation in a group plan for professional liability insurance is required for all students enrolled in field practice courses.

Non-Course Requirements

Comprehensive Examination

  • Students who do not develop and defend a thesis must pass a final comprehensive examination during the concentration year.
  • Information about this exam will be provided to students the semester before they are expected to graduate.
  • Students taking the final examination but not otherwise using university facilities must register for one credit hour of SW 502 (Use of Facilities), or pay a fee equal to one hour of graduate credit instead of registering.
  • In case of failure, the student may not retake the exam until the following semester. The comprehensive exam is offered each spring and fall semester; retakes for failures in the spring semester are taken during the summer session The result of the second examination is final.

Proficiency Examination

  • Students may apply to waive certain MSSW generalist courses on the basis of proficiency, allowing them to receive credit for knowledge acquired in previous courses.
  • Requests to proficiency out of courses are optional and recommended only for students who have done exceptionally well in their previous coursework.
  • Students interested in proficiency examinations are referred to the College of Social Work Student Handbook statement describing the procedure for applying for examination and the applicable courses.

Organizational Leadership Concentration — Thesis Option

The Organizational Leadership (OL) track is a macro concentration that is based on the underlying principles of social justice, anti-racism, interprofessional practice, and trauma informed leadership. The concentration equips students with management, social-economic development, and policy practice skills that enable them to lead non-profit and governmental agencies, and engage with communities to build strong organizations that address pressing needs.

The goal of this concentration is to produce social workers who are critical thinkers in skill-based, evidence-based practices, including social and economic development, planning, organizing, coordinating, developing, and evaluating services and policies for at-risk clients and client systems. The knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice lens with a special concern for the poor and marginalized. Students will be prepared to deliver, develop, manage, and evaluate programs; acquire funding; write grants; as well as analyze and advocate for policy change in political systems, organizations, and communities.

Credit Hours Required

60 graduate credit hours; Advanced Standing requires 36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Professional Generalist Curriculum
    • MSSW generalist content includes fundamental, evidence-based knowledge and skills that will prepare students to practice across client systems within a culturally affirming generalist social work context. MSSW generalist curriculum includes content in the following areas – social work practice, research, human behavior in the social environment, social policy, populations at risk and social and economic justice, values and ethics, diversity, critical thinking/evidence-based practice, and field.
  • Advanced standing students take the following courses (7 credit hours) during their entry semester (summer) and then continue into the concentration curriculum
  • Professional Concentration Curriculum
  • SOWK 500  (6 credit hours)

Additional Course Requirements

  • Field Practice
    • The generalist field placement (6 credit hours) reflects the educational competencies of the generalist curriculum and addresses values, theoretical knowledge, and skills common to all social work roles. The focus is on professional development, assessment, and intervention regardless of setting. Generalist competencies address policy, advocacy, ethics, and generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups and organizations. The generalist field practicum is scheduled for two full days each week for both fall and spring semesters.
    • The concentration placement (12 credit hours) addresses the advanced competencies for the student’s selected concentration and is individually designed to enhance career interests and educational needs. Emphasis is placed on the integration of advanced social work knowledge and values and the acquisition and development of advanced practice skills.
    • For the advanced standing and two-year full-time programs, the concentration field practicum is scheduled for three full days each week fall and spring semesters. Part-time advanced standing and extended study students may complete concentration field in three days a week over two semesters or two days a week over three semesters. While the extended study concentration field practicum is more flexible, a schedule is required that conforms to the hours of the agency where the student is placed. At times, block and international field placements (40 hours/week for one semester) are available.
    • Students completing certificate programs must follow procedures for certificate program placement planning in order to be sure to meet field requirements for the certificate.
    • Participation in a group plan for professional liability insurance is required for all students enrolled in field practice courses.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Thesis Defense
  • Proficiency Examination
    • Students may apply to waive certain MSSW generalist courses on the basis of proficiency, allowing them to receive credit for knowledge acquired in previous courses.
    • Requests to proficiency out of courses are optional and recommended only for students who have done exceptionally well in their previous coursework.
    • Students interested in proficiency examinations are referred to the College of Social Work Student Handbook statement describing the procedure for applying for examination and the applicable courses.

Organizational Leadership Concentration — Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option

The Organizational Leadership (OL) track is a macro concentration that is based on the underlying principles of social justice, anti-racism, interprofessional practice, and trauma informed leadership. The concentration equips students with management, social-economic development, and policy practice skills that enable them to lead non-profit and governmental agencies, and engage with communities to build strong organizations that address pressing needs.

The goal of this concentration is to produce social workers who are critical thinkers in skill-based, evidence-based practices, including social and economic development, planning, organizing, coordinating, developing, and evaluating services and policies for at-risk clients and client systems. The knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice lens with a special concern for the poor and marginalized. Students will be prepared to deliver, develop, manage, and evaluate programs; acquire funding; write grants; as well as analyze and advocate for policy change in political systems, organizations, and communities.

Credit Hours Required

60 graduate credit hours; Advanced Standing requires 36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Professional Generalist Curriculum
    • MSSW generalist content includes fundamental, evidence-based knowledge and skills that will prepare students to practice across client systems within a culturally affirming generalist social work context. MSSW generalist curriculum includes content in the following areas – social work practice, research, human behavior in the social environment, social policy, populations at risk and social and economic justice, values and ethics, diversity, critical thinking/evidence-based practice, and field.
  • Advanced standing students take the following courses (7 credit hours) during their entry semester (summer) and then continue into the concentration curriculum
  • Professional Concentration Curriculum

Additional Course Requirements

  • Field Practice
    • The generalist field placement (6 credit hours) reflects the educational competencies of the generalist curriculum and addresses values, theoretical knowledge, and skills common to all social work roles. The focus is on professional development, assessment, and intervention regardless of setting. Generalist competencies address policy, advocacy, ethics, and generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups and organizations. The generalist field practicum is scheduled for two full days each week for both fall and spring semesters.
    • The concentration placement (12 credit hours) addresses the advanced competencies for the student’s selected concentration and is individually designed to enhance career interests and educational needs. Emphasis is placed on the integration of advanced social work knowledge and values and the acquisition and development of advanced practice skills.
    • For the advanced standing and two-year full-time programs, the concentration field practicum is scheduled for three full days each week fall and spring semesters. Part-time advanced standing and extended study students may complete concentration field in three days a week over two semesters or two days a week over three semesters. While the extended study concentration field practicum is more flexible, a schedule is required that conforms to the hours of the agency where the student is placed. At times, block and international field placements (40 hours/week for one semester) are available.
    • Students completing certificate programs must follow procedures for certificate program placement planning in order to be sure to meet field requirements for the certificate.
    • Participation in a group plan for professional liability insurance is required for all students enrolled in field practice courses.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Comprehensive Examination
    • Students who do not develop and defend a thesis must pass a final comprehensive examination during the concentration year.
    • Information about this exam will be provided to students the semester before they are expected to graduate.
    • Students taking the final examination but not otherwise using university facilities must register for one credit hour of SOWK 502 (Use of Facilities), or pay a fee equal to one hour of graduate credit instead of registering.
    • In case of failure, the student may not retake the exam until the following semester. The comprehensive exam is offered each spring and fall semester; retakes for failures in the spring semester are taken during the summer session The result of the second examination is final.
  • Proficiency Examination
    • Students may apply to waive certain MSSW generalist courses on the basis of proficiency, allowing them to receive credit for knowledge acquired in previous courses.
    • Requests to proficiency out of courses are optional and recommended only for students who have done exceptionally well in their previous coursework.
    • Students interested in proficiency examinations are referred to the College of Social Work Student Handbook statement describing the procedure for applying for examination and the applicable courses.

 

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Master of Science in Social Work

All students in the BSSW Honors Program are eligible, but not required to apply for conditional admission to the Five-Year BSSW/MSSW Program. Eligibility to apply for the Five-Year BSSW/MSSW Program is restricted to social work majors who have also been accepted into the BSSW Honors Program.

Concentrations (Required) and Options Available

Clinical Practice — Thesis Option, Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option

Organizational Leadership — Thesis Option, Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option

Campus Code

Distance Education
Knoxville Campus
Nashville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • The process of seeking conditional admission to the Five-year BSSW/MSSW Program begins in the spring semester of the junior/third year of undergraduate study. Students seeking conditional admission to the Five-Year BSSW/MSSW Program must:
    • Submit the Five-Year BSSW/MSSW Program Application Packet either in person or electronically to the BSSW Program Director or his/her designee by April 1st of their junior/third year of undergraduate study.
    • Additionally, in order to be considered for conditional admission students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50.
    • Have completed or will have completed 60 credit hours of coursework which includes the following required social work courses: SOWK 200, SOWK 250, SOWK 312, SOWK 313, SOWK 315, SOWK 317, SOWK 318, and SOWK 380 by the end of their junior/third year of undergraduate study; and
    • Complete a personal interview with the BSSW Program Director or his/her designee.
  • Conditional admission to the Five-Year BSSW/MSSW Program does not guarantee admission into either the Graduate School or the MSSW program. Starting in October but NO LATER than December 1st of their senior/fourth year of undergraduate study, students must:
    • Apply for admission - submit online application to the Office of Graduate Admissions
    • Submit the MSSW professional statement (submitted online with application); and
    • Submit three reference evaluation forms (submitted online with application):
    • One reference shall be from the BSSW Program Director or his/her designee;
    • One reference shall be from any previous or current social work field instructor, liaison, or coordinator affiliated with the UT College of Social Work BSSW Program; and
    • One reference shall be from any previous or current faculty member or course instructor from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • A candidate will be fully admitted if they:
    • Maintained a minimum cumulative 3.50 GPA;
    • Earned a B+ or higher in all required Social Work Field Practice courses (SOWK 380, SOWK 480, and SOWK 481) for the BSSW Program;
    • Met all requirements for the BSSW Honors Program; and
    • Met all degree requirements for the BSSW.
  • Upon graduation from the BSSW Program, the BSSW Program Director or his/her designee will provide written verification to the MSSW program that all admission requirements for the Five-Year BSSW/MSSW program have been met.
  • Once fully admitted, students are required to complete the summer semester and specialization year (Fall and Spring semesters) of the MSSW program. Graduate hours required for the Five-Year BSSW/MSSW program total 37 credit hours.
  • Students who enroll in a 500-level course for undergraduate credit and applied to the BSSW degree, may not apply the course credit towards the MSSW degree. The requirements for the MSSW degree may be found in the Graduate Catalog in the College of Social Work section. Students are ineligible for graduate assistantships until they satisfy all requirements for the BSSW degree.

Academic Standards

  • Students must maintain a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher on graded courses and satisfactory performance in field. A student receiving less than a C in a required course or an NC in field practice will be dismissed from the program.
  • MSSW courses may not be repeated to improve D or F grades.
  • Upon completion of 6 credit hours of graduate social work coursework, an MSSW student will be placed on academic probation when their cumulative graduate GPA falls below 3.00.
  • Students must adhere to ethical and professional standards in the classroom and field practicum.

Clinical Practice Concentration — Thesis Option

The Clinical Practice (CP) track is a clinical concentration that is based on the underlying principles of social justice, Anti-Racism and Anti-Black Racism, Interprofessional practice, and trauma informed care. Students in the CP concentration develop skills in interpersonal evidence-based treatments and interventions for use in individual and group settings. The goal of the CP concentration is to produce empathetic and culturally-responsive social work clinicians who are critical thinkers in using evidence-based practices for diverse clients and client systems. knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice and trauma-informed lens with a special concern for those living in poverty and that have been marginalized.

Credit Hours Required

36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

Additional Course Requirements

Field Practice

  • The generalist field placement (6 credit hours) reflects the educational competencies of the generalist curriculum and addresses values, theoretical knowledge, and skills common to all social work roles. The focus is on professional development, assessment, and intervention regardless of setting. Generalist competencies address policy, advocacy, ethics, and generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups and organizations. The generalist field practicum is scheduled for two full days each week for both fall and spring semesters.
  • The concentration placement (12 credit hours) addresses the advanced competencies for the student’s selected concentration and is individually designed to enhance career interests and educational needs. Emphasis is placed on the integration of advanced social work knowledge and values and the acquisition and development of advanced practice skills.
  • For the advanced standing and two-year full-time programs, the concentration field practicum is scheduled for three full days each week fall and spring semesters. Part-time advanced standing and extended study students may complete concentration field in three days a week over two semesters or two days a week over three semesters. While the extended study concentration field practicum is more flexible, a schedule is required that conforms to the hours of the agency where the student is placed. At times, block and international field placements (40 hours/week for one semester) are available.
  • Students completing certificate programs must follow procedures for certificate program placement planning in order to be sure to meet field requirements for the certificate.
  • Participation in a group plan for professional liability insurance is required for all students enrolled in field practice courses.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Thesis Defense
  • Proficiency Examination
    • Students may apply to waive certain MSSW generalist courses on the basis of proficiency, allowing them to receive credit for knowledge acquired in previous courses.
    • Requests to proficiency out of courses are optional and recommended only for students who have done exceptionally well in their previous coursework.
    • Students interested in proficiency examinations are referred to the College of Social Work Student Handbook statement describing the procedure for applying for examination and the applicable courses.

Clinical Practice Concentration — Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option

The Clinical Practice (CP) track is a clinical concentration that is based on the underlying principles of social justice, Anti-Racism and Anti-Black Racism, Interprofessional practice, and trauma informed care. Students in the CP concentration develop skills in interpersonal evidence-based treatments and interventions for use in individual and group settings. The goal of the CP concentration is to produce empathetic and culturally-responsive social work clinicians who are critical thinkers in using evidence-based practices for diverse clients and client systems. knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice and trauma-informed lens with a special concern for those living in poverty and that have been marginalized.

Credit Hours Required

36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Summer following BSSW graduation
  • Professional Concentration Curriculum

Additional Course Requirements

Field Practice

  • The generalist field placement (6 credit hours) reflects the educational competencies of the generalist curriculum and addresses values, theoretical knowledge, and skills common to all social work roles. The focus is on professional development, assessment, and intervention regardless of setting. Generalist competencies address policy, advocacy, ethics, and generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups and organizations. The generalist field practicum is scheduled for two full days each week for both fall and spring semesters.
  • The concentration placement (12 credit hours) addresses the advanced competencies for the student’s selected concentration and is individually designed to enhance career interests and educational needs. Emphasis is placed on the integration of advanced social work knowledge and values and the acquisition and development of advanced practice skills.
  • For the advanced standing and two-year full-time programs, the concentration field practicum is scheduled for three full days each week fall and spring semesters. Part-time advanced standing and extended study students may complete concentration field in three days a week over two semesters or two days a week over three semesters. While the extended study concentration field practicum is more flexible, a schedule is required that conforms to the hours of the agency where the student is placed. At times, block and international field placements (40 hours/week for one semester) are available.
  • Students completing certificate programs must follow procedures for certificate program placement planning in order to be sure to meet field requirements for the certificate.
  • Participation in a group plan for professional liability insurance is required for all students enrolled in field practice courses.

Non-Course Requirements

Comprehensive Examination

  • Students who do not develop and defend a thesis must pass a final comprehensive examination during the concentration year.
  • Information about this exam will be provided to students the semester before they are expected to graduate.
  • Students taking the final examination but not otherwise using university facilities must register for one credit hour of SW 502 (Use of Facilities), or pay a fee equal to one hour of graduate credit instead of registering.
  • In case of failure, the student may not retake the exam until the following semester. The comprehensive exam is offered each spring and fall semester; retakes for failures in the spring semester are taken during the summer session The result of the second examination is final.

Proficiency Examination

  • Students may apply to waive certain MSSW generalist courses on the basis of proficiency, allowing them to receive credit for knowledge acquired in previous courses.
  • Requests to proficiency out of courses are optional and recommended only for students who have done exceptionally well in their previous coursework.
  • Students interested in proficiency examinations are referred to the College of Social Work Student Handbook statement describing the procedure for applying for examination and the applicable courses.

Organizational Leadership Concentration — Thesis Option

The Organizational Leadership (OL) track is a macro concentration that is based on the underlying principles of social justice, anti-racism, interprofessional practice, and trauma informed leadership. The concentration equips students with management, social-economic development, and policy practice skills that enable them to lead non-profit and governmental agencies, and engage with communities to build strong organizations that address pressing needs.

The goal of this concentration is to produce social workers who are critical thinkers in skill-based, evidence-based practices, including social and economic development, planning, organizing, coordinating, developing, and evaluating services and policies for at-risk clients and client systems. The knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice lens with a special concern for the poor and marginalized. Students will be prepared to deliver, develop, manage, and evaluate programs; acquire funding; write grants; as well as analyze and advocate for policy change in political systems, organizations, and communities.

Credit Hours Required

36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

Additional Course Requirements

Field Practice

  • The generalist field placement (6 credit hours) reflects the educational competencies of the generalist curriculum and addresses values, theoretical knowledge, and skills common to all social work roles. The focus is on professional development, assessment, and intervention regardless of setting. Generalist competencies address policy, advocacy, ethics, and generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups and organizations. The generalist field practicum is scheduled for two full days each week for both fall and spring semesters.
  • The concentration placement (12 credit hours) addresses the advanced competencies for the student’s selected concentration and is individually designed to enhance career interests and educational needs. Emphasis is placed on the integration of advanced social work knowledge and values and the acquisition and development of advanced practice skills.
  • For the advanced standing and two-year full-time programs, the concentration field practicum is scheduled for three full days each week fall and spring semesters. Part-time advanced standing and extended study students may complete concentration field in three days a week over two semesters or two days a week over three semesters. While the extended study concentration field practicum is more flexible, a schedule is required that conforms to the hours of the agency where the student is placed. At times, block and international field placements (40 hours/week for one semester) are available.
  • Students completing certificate programs must follow procedures for certificate program placement planning in order to be sure to meet field requirements for the certificate.
  • Participation in a group plan for professional liability insurance is required for all students enrolled in field practice courses.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Thesis Defense
  • Proficiency Examination
    • Students may apply to waive certain MSSW generalist courses on the basis of proficiency, allowing them to receive credit for knowledge acquired in previous courses.
    • Requests to proficiency out of courses are optional and recommended only for students who have done exceptionally well in their previous coursework.
    • Students interested in proficiency examinations are referred to the College of Social Work Student Handbook statement describing the procedure for applying for examination and the applicable courses.

Organizational Leadership Concentration — Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option

The Organizational Leadership (OL) track is a macro concentration that is based on the underlying principles of social justice, anti-racism, interprofessional practice, and trauma informed leadership. The concentration equips students with management, social-economic development, and policy practice skills that enable them to lead non-profit and governmental agencies, and engage with communities to build strong organizations that address pressing needs.

The goal of this concentration is to produce social workers who are critical thinkers in skill-based, evidence-based practices, including social and economic development, planning, organizing, coordinating, developing, and evaluating services and policies for at-risk clients and client systems. The knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice lens with a special concern for the poor and marginalized. Students will be prepared to deliver, develop, manage, and evaluate programs; acquire funding; write grants; as well as analyze and advocate for policy change in political systems, organizations, and communities.

Credit Hours Required

36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Summer following BSSW graduation
  • Professional Concentration Curriculum

Additional Course Requirements

  • Field Practice
    • The generalist field placement (6 credit hours) reflects the educational competencies of the generalist curriculum and addresses values, theoretical knowledge, and skills common to all social work roles. The focus is on professional development, assessment, and intervention regardless of setting. Generalist competencies address policy, advocacy, ethics, and generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups and organizations. The generalist field practicum is scheduled for two full days each week for both fall and spring semesters.
    • The concentration placement (12 credit hours) addresses the advanced competencies for the student’s selected concentration and is individually designed to enhance career interests and educational needs. Emphasis is placed on the integration of advanced social work knowledge and values and the acquisition and development of advanced practice skills.
    • For the advanced standing and two-year full-time programs, the concentration field practicum is scheduled for three full days each week fall and spring semesters. Part-time advanced standing and extended study students may complete concentration field in three days a week over two semesters or two days a week over three semesters. While the extended study concentration field practicum is more flexible, a schedule is required that conforms to the hours of the agency where the student is placed. At times, block and international field placements (40 hours/week for one semester) are available.
    • Students completing certificate programs must follow procedures for certificate program placement planning in order to be sure to meet field requirements for the certificate.
    • Participation in a group plan for professional liability insurance is required for all students enrolled in field practice courses.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Comprehensive Examination
    • Students who do not develop and defend a thesis must pass a final comprehensive examination during the concentration year.
    • Information about this exam will be provided to students the semester before they are expected to graduate.
    • Students taking the final examination but not otherwise using university facilities must register for one credit hour of SOWK 502 (Use of Facilities), or pay a fee equal to one hour of graduate credit instead of registering.
    • In case of failure, the student may not retake the exam until the following semester. The comprehensive exam is offered each spring and fall semester; retakes for failures in the spring semester are taken during the summer session The result of the second examination is final.
  • Proficiency Examination
    • Students may apply to waive certain MSSW generalist courses on the basis of proficiency, allowing them to receive credit for knowledge acquired in previous courses.
    • Requests to proficiency out of courses are optional and recommended only for students who have done exceptionally well in their previous coursework.
    • Students interested in proficiency examinations are referred to the College of Social Work Student Handbook statement describing the procedure for applying for examination and the applicable courses.