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MSW curriculum and degree information

The MSW program curriculum embraces basic professional social work values. These include:

  • Equal access to services
  • Respect for individual worth and human dignity
  • Right of self-determination
  • Availability of humane social institutions responsive to human needs
  • Positive regard for the unique characteristics of diverse populations
  • Personal responsibility for the ethical conduct, the outcomes of practice and the continuous acquistion of knowledge and skills

The curriculum is divided into two levels:

The Foundation Curriculum

Taken by full-time students in their first year. Distance Education students complete the foundation curriculum over a 2-year period. Students do not specialize in foundation courses. The Foundation Curriculum consists of eight classroom courses in areas related to:

  • Social welfare policy and services
  • Human behavior in the social environment
  • Social research
  • Social work practice

Students also complete a foundation field practicum, field seminar, an online course on the history of oppression and the JumpSTART Preparation for Practice orientation program.


The Advanced Curriculum

Builds on the professional knowledge gained from the Foundation Curriculum and provides more thorough study of complex policies, practice skills, research methods, human behavior in the social environment and field education.

Students select from three concentrations:

  • Direct Practice (DP): Prepares students to understand and work with individuals, families, and small groups, within the context of the environment.
  • Community, Management and Policy Practice (CMPP): Prepares students for leadership careers in community practice, human services administration, and policy practice and advocacy.
  • Self-Directed (SD): Prepares students to provide services in direct practice, community, management and policy practice settings.

Students are also required to take 12 credit hours in elective courses, which may be selected from the School of Social Work, other schools or departments within the University or from other institutions.