Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 60, including 30 in foundation coursework and 30 in advanced-level study

Required Courses:
Students are exposed to multiple methods of intervention through foundation coursework. The courses are generalist in nature, allowing students to become familiar with the breadth of social work. Courses cover content in human behavior and the social environment, research, social welfare policy, and social work practice.

Students then select from a range of advanced-level coursework that allows them to examine in greater depth a practice modality (or concentration) and a field of practice (or specialization). Each concentration requires two practice courses, each taken concurrently with an advanced field placement, and one research course. Two concentrations are offered:

  • Clinical Practice
  • Macro, which is a combination of the former Community and Policy Arenas and the former Management and Planning concentrations

Students also take coursework relevant to their chosen specialization. Each specialization requires a practice course, a policy course, and a human behavior and social environment course. Two major areas of specialization are currently offered because they are of critical importance in Social Work practice:

  • Children and Families
  • Health and Mental Health

Students may also propose an individualized option for a specialization by working with their advisor to design a coherent plan of study that includes the two types of advanced courses required for a specialization. In some cases, students may need to complete courses outside of the discipline of Social Work. As part of an individualized specialization plan, former students have taken courses in Criminal Justice, Geography and Urban Studies, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.  Not all courses are available in an online format.

Foundation Courses
HRPR 5001Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions 10
SSWG 5001HBSE: Individuals and Families3
SSWG 5002HBSE: Groups, Communities and Organizations3
SSWG 5003Foundations in Social Work Research3
SSWG 5005Social Welfare Policies and Services I3
SSWG 5006Social Welfare Policies and Services II3
SSWG 5007Social Justice: Foundation for Transformative Social Work3
SSWG 5107Practice of Social Service Delivery I3
SSWG 5108Practice of Social Service Delivery II3
SSWG 5187Foundation Field Practicum I3
SSWG 5188Foundation Field Practicum II3
Advanced Courses 2
SSWG 8504Integrative Seminar (Specialization Practice course)3
Select one pair of the following Specialization courses:6
Health/Mental Health Specialization
SSWG 8303
Dynamics of Health, Health Care, and Health Systems
SSWG 8307
Health/Mental Health Policy
Children and Family Specialization
SSWG 8403
Children and Families in the Social Environment
SSWG 8407
Policy on Families and Children
Select one set of the following Concentration courses:9
Clinical Practice Concentration, which requires these three 3-credit courses:
SSWG 8101
Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups I
SSWG 8102
Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups II
SSWG 8205
Evaluation of Clinical Practice
Macro Concentration, which requires these two 3-credit courses and a choice of three 1-credit practice courses:
SSWG 8107
Macro Practice in Organizational, Community and Policy Arenas
SSWG 8207
Social Work Research: Communities and Policy Arenas and Management/Planning
Choose three of the following 1-credit Macro practice courses:
SSWG 8108
Thinking Economically
SSWG 8109
Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
SSWG 8111
Legislative Advocacy
SSWG 8112
Coalitions and Partnerships
SSWG 8113
Resource and Grant Development for Human Services
SSWG 8114
Supervision, Staff Management, and Staff Development in Human Service Organizations
SSWG 8115
Leadership in Human Service and Social Change Organizations
SSWG 8116
Grassroots Mobilization: In the U.S. and Internationally
Field Practica
SSWG 8187Advanced Field Practicum I3
SSWG 8188Advanced Field Practicum II3
Total Credit Hours60

This common College Core course is required of all incoming graduate students in the College of Public Health. It is available completely online and designed such that students can complete the modules at their own pace over the course of their degree program.


Unless transfer credits fulfill them, 30 credits of advanced-level courses are required. A portion of these 30 credits are earned in the advanced field practicum experiences described under "Internship" below.

Internship: Two internships are required in the form of a field practicum, which is an essential part of Social Work studies and is deliberately linked in an integral way with classroom learning. The practicum occurs concurrently with Social Work practice courses or can be taken as a block placement in the Summer sessions. (At this time, block placements are available only to campus-based students, not online students.) In order to ensure a quality learning experience for students, the Office of Field Education is responsible for arranging and overseeing field practica. Students employed in social service settings may undertake their practica at their place of employment, but field placement activities must be substantially different than job duties. Because of accreditation and M.S.W. curriculum requirements, students must have appropriate learning experiences and supervision; therefore, they should plan on allocating at least one full day during the regular work week to the practica.

The first field practicum, taken as part of the foundation curriculum, focuses on developing proficiency in generalist practice/basic Social Work skills. This includes learning to engage and assess a range of clients, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Students learn to identify issues, needs, resources, and strengths. They also acquire skills in planning, communication, supervision, and consultation as well as intervention, cultural competence, evidence-based practice, and evaluation. This two-term practicum requires a minimum of 450 hours (usually 2.5 days per week).

With the second field practicum, taken as part of the advanced curriculum, students develop expertise in their chosen specialization and concentration. This practicum allows for in-depth development of skills and application of theory and concepts, exploration of ethical challenges, and continued cultural competency. This two-term practicum requires a minimum of 600 hours (usually 3 days per week).