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Washington, D.C., USA

Social Work and Legislative Advocacy: Developing Skills and Knowledge

Washington, D.C.

Program Summary:

  • Dates of Course: January 4 - 9, 2015
  • NOTE: January Term 2015 courses count toward Spring 2015  credits and financial aid. 
  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Housing: Single- and double-occupancy dorm housing available at the Washington, D.C. site.  Students may find their own housing (subject to approval by course faculty).
  • Total Credits: 3 Credits
  • Prerequisites: Policy 1 is a prerequisite to enroll in this course.
  • This course is an elective and does not fulfill the Advanced Social Policy requirement.
  • Available for: Graduate Masters and Continuing Education students with an MSW (on a space available basis).

Academic Details/Program Curriculum:

  • The profession of social work, historically and currently, seeks to promote social justice through the equitable provision of benefits and services to assist all individuals, families, and communities to develop and function to their fullest potential. Advocacy for federal social welfare policies has historically been an important professional activity, remaining so in the present as part of “policy practice.” In addition, all professions and occupations must work to advance their own interests in order to fulfill their social aims and ensure economic survival. Since social workers’ services are often funded through federal and other health and social welfare programs, federal-level advocacy is needed for these purposes as well.  This course will introduce students to key social welfare policy issues with significance to social work and the people/communities we serve, and help students develop critical skills for legislative advocacy.
  • The final assignment will be a paper to be completed and submitted during the spring semester.
  • Holding the course in Washington, D.C. will afford students the opportunity to participate in visits to Capitol Hill and provide access to guest lecturers and policy experts who are based in Washington.

Program Faculty:

Gary Parker, MSW, Deputy Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research


  • Tuition and Fees: Graduate tuition and fees for 2014-2015: $3,939 (estimated) for 3 graduate credits, paid to the Bursar.  Continuing Education non-credit participants pay 2/3 graduate tuition of $2,232 directly to the Office of Global and Lifelong Learning.
  • Housing: Students are encouraged but not required to stay at NYU D.C.  Single-occupancy: $315 ($63/night for five nights based on 2013-2014 rates, subject to change); double-occupancy: $265 ($53/night for five nights based on 2013-2014 rates, subject to change).  Housing fees are paid to the Office of Global and Lifelong Learning.
  • Estimated Travel: Round-trip via Amtrak (from New York) can range between $100 and $400 depending on booking date, type, and availability.  Bus options can often be as low as $40 round-trip, depending on booking date.
  • Meals: Students will pay $30 for a welcome dinner after the first day of classes.  Students are responsible for any additional meals.
  • Excursions: TBD
  • All personal expenses are additional.

Global Program Application and Registration Process

All students wishing to participate in the Washington, D.C. global course must complete the application on this page.  The application will be reviewed by the course director and instructor(s).  Students will be notified of their application decision by the Office of Global and Lifelong Learning.  Upon notification, each student is required to submit a non-refundable deposit of $150 within two weeks to hold his or her place in the course.  The remainder of the balance housing and insurance balance due from the student must be paid by the date outlined in the acceptance letter.

Students do not self-register for global courses offered by NYU Silver.   All students admitted to the course will be enrolled by the Office of Global and Lifelong Learning and the Registrar.

For Course Inquiries Contact

Gary Parker, MSW
Deputy Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research
Dan Ferris, MPA
Assistant Director, Policy and External Affairs, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research  

For General Inquiries Contact

Eileen Wolkstein, PhD
Director, Global and Lifelong Learning

Stephanie Kaplan
Coordinator, Office of Global and Lifelong Learning

The Legislative Advocacy course in Washington, DC, was instructive and empowering. Through informative lectures and meetings with congressional staff on Capitol Hill, students experienced the important role that social workers can play in the legislative process. Even if your focus is micro- or mezzo-level social work, your takeaway will be that all of us can make a difference on the macro level."
- Judith Rosen, MSW '13