Silver School of Social Work, New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Courses & Scholarship

*Please note that some of the listed courses are examples from past years. 

Advanced Practice with Immigrants and Refugees

This advanced practice elective is designed to help students address the special needs and problems faced by immigrant and refugee clients and communities, and to develop culturally competent knowledge, skills, and values that will improve delivery of culturally sensitive and culturally responsive services for refugees and displaced persons, both domestically and internationally. This course will examine social work practice in relation to major themes, including the refugee experience; the impact of relocation on individuals, families and communities; the psychological ramifications of war trauma and torture; and the phenomenon of human trafficking. Interventions with individuals, families, and communities will be explored across cultures with particularly vulnerable populations. The course will provide an overview of such issues as loss and mourning for homeland; adaptation and coping with a new culture; cross-cultural and inter-ethnic group conflicts; resettlement and family reunification issues; and a range of world view perspectives including acculturation & assimilation, biculturalism, marginality, and traditional ethnic identities. The course will emphasize the advocacy and empowerment roles of social workers when addressing U.S. social policies towards immigrants in the wake of 9/11, and in fighting against anti-immigrant policies, sanctions, and discriminatory practices.

Anti-racism for Social Workers: Understanding the Impact of Structural Racism on Practice, Policies, Programs and Research

This advanced elective is designed to help students identify and understand the impact of structural racism. The course provides students with the necessary understanding and tools to address racism in practice, policies, programs, research and evaluation. Students will be introduced to cutting edge analysis and methods of addressing racism and will be helped to consider new alternatives to practice methods that hinder effective social change. The course will include attendance at an AntiRacist Alliance event. The course will be supplemented by visiting lecturers from the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, a national, multiracial, anti-racist collective of clinicians, organizers and educators dedicated to undoing racism in the field of social work and beyond. Since its founding in 1980, The People's Institute has trained over 110,000 people in hundreds of communities throughout the United States and internationally. It is recognized as one of the most effective anti-racist training and organizing institutions in the nation.

Clinical Practice with African Americans

Upon the completion of this mini course, student will have acquired a beginning understanding of what makes social work practice with African American individuals and families unique. The course will examine the past and current status of African American individuals and families in the United States and will alert students to the specific knowledge, skills, values, and strategies required to work successfully with this population.

Clinical Practice with Aging Populations

This course provides an introduction to theoretical frameworks and practice of clinical social work interventions with older adults and their families. It is designed to familiarize students with the biological, psychological and social aspects of the aging process. Emphasis is placed on understanding late-life problems and mental disorders, on developing skills in diagnostic assessment, and on formulating and implementing treatment plans. Students are expected to develop proficiency with the core competencies in geriatric social work, including the provision of comprehensive assessment and intervention skills.

Community Health Needs Assessment: An Experiential and Collaborative Case Study of Del Carmen, Philippines

In this course, students will have intensive workshops on community health needs assessment and then travel as a class to Del Carmen, Philippines to be part of a community-based participatory assessment. Students will acquire basic knowledge and skills for conducting a community needs assessment using community-based participatory action research in a cross-cultural, high-need, multi-national environment. The first two weeks of the course will be classroom based and focused on cross-cultural community engagement. Following the intensive classroom sessions at NYU, the class will travel to Del Carmen, Philippines where they will engage in cross-cultural relationship building classes and exercises with local students, residents, and government officials. The students and the local residents will be grouped into teams and will visit local villages to collect data and engage with families and youth in their homes and schools. The final sessions will include students and community members in an analysis and goal priority setting process. 3 credits.

Contemporary Aging

The dramatic demographic changes that have transformed the 20th century promise to be equally compelling over the next several decades. Increased life expectancy has profound implications for all disciplines and professions. The purpose of this course is to provide a survey of contemporary issues in aging, science and policy for an interdisciplinary graduate student audience. Specifically, this course will analyze national and global trends in lifespan and quality of life and investigate the broader implications and ramifications. Faculty from across the NYU campus will participate in an interdisciplinary dialogue that will explore key issues related to age and aging.

Contemporary Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Issues

This course aims to prepare students for effective practice with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people by providing a deeper understanding of GLBT identities, families, health and mental health challenges, and issues of political advocacy. The course will examine a variety of issues that affect GLBT people in contemporary life, and will act as a springboard for students to engage in additional learning in a chosen area of interest. The course will use lectures, guest presentations by local and national experts, classroom discussions, student presentations, assigned readings, and written assignments in order to achieve its objectives.

Culturally Competent Practice with Urban Youth and Families

This course provides students with an opportunity to develop engagement, assessment and intervention skills in individual, family, and group work with urban youth (aged 11-21). The course will focus on practice within a wide range of government and agency-based settings, including: prevention, school, mental health, foster care, criminal justice and residential programs. Attention will be given to the development of skills that foster interdisciplinary collaboration within and between urban systems of care. There will be a focus on understanding the ways in which racism and other forms of oppression can impact both adolescent development and social service delivery systems.

Culture and Social Issues of Central America - Study Abroad in Costa Rica

This course will introduce students to the European-heritage and Indigenous cultures of and contemporary socio-political issues facing developing countries with a focus on Latin America emphasizing issues affecting children and families in of Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Using Costa Rica as the focus of study, domestic and international aid responses to poverty and vulnerable populations, public and private, will be explored. This course is an opportunity to learn about and from the developing world… in Costa Rica! From a global perspective (with an emphasis on Latin America), we will explore social policy issues as they affect vulnerable populations, particularly children and families. We will be introduced to domestic and international aid responses through guest lectures and site visits.

Developing Community Level HIV Prevention Interventions: Domestic & Global Perspectives

This course will examine the personal, biological, psychological, social, cultural, organizational, and community dimensions of HIV disease in the United States and across the globe. Students will learn to analyze the differential impact that HIV disease has on various cultural and ethnic groups as well as individual, family and policy issues in order to understand the interrelatedness of personal, clinical, community and environmental concerns. A major aim of the course will be to develop a combination HIV prevention package for a specific target community. Students will be asked to integrate contextual, epidemiological, biomedical and behavioral approaches to addressing a “most at risk” (MARP) population.

Ending Poverty: Models for Social Change and Social Action

This course examines the social, economic, and political dimensions of poverty and inequality in the United States. The course will offer a critical analysis of poverty and inequality with an analytic and descriptive focus on competing theories examining the causes of poverty, the role of policy, and socioeconomic dimensions of stratification, including race, ethnicity, class, gender, immigration status, and other factors. In this course, we will examine the existing and emerging policy issues related to ending poverty. Those policy issues include, although may not be limited to: 1.) Education and Human Capital Development; 2.) Health, Health Care, and Mental Health; 3.) Wealth and Asset Development; 4.) Housing and Community Development; 5.) Work and Employment; and 6.) Family and Social Structures. International perspectives may also be considered.

Ethnographic Mapping of HIV Risk in the Caribbean

This course delivers a combination of field practice, academic study, technical instruction, and individual supervision. Students in the course are involved in two educational activities: (1) intensive daily language instruction and (2) a community field project designed to address health and social welfare issues in Sosúa, Dominican Republic. Students integrate academic materials with GIS mapping in the field, concluding with a cohesive contextual analysis of their work in Sosúa with a final presentation/report.

Feminist Theories and Practice

This course uses a biopsychosocial perspective as a basis for understanding female development. Beginning with a historical view, this course covers the works of Horney, moving to more contemporary theorists such as Dinnerstein, Chodorow, and Gilligan, among others. The biological and social aspects of female development are examined, as well as women and motherhood, lesbian relationships, women and work, and issues pertaining to women of color.

Inequalities in Globalization

How are globalization processes affecting the lives of people in the world? The course examines the movement of people, commodities, and capital and the ways in which these processes are changing economies and cultures. The course will cover aspects of transnationalism and migration, production, distribution and consumption practices in global perspective, the formation of new identities and the construction of minorities, gender dynamics and the pursuit of human rights. We will adopt a multidisciplinary perspective to examine the relations between economy, society and culture. The focus will be on understanding the generation of inequalities (poverty, wealth, luxury, and marginalization) in globalization.

An Introduction to Disabilities and Clinical Social Work Practice

This mini course provides students with an introduction to the clinical social work with individuals with disabilities from a multicultural perspective. Students will be provided a framework toward the examination of cross cultural historical attitudes and perceptions towards the people with disabilities. In addition, they will be introduced to the ethical and philosophical principles the Americans with Disabilities Act and social service systems developed for improving the quality of life for individuals living with disabilities and their family members.

Mexican Immigrants & New York City: Understanding Puebla as a Focal Community of Origin

This three credit-hour experiential and service-learning course will take place in Puebla, Mexico and will provide students the opportunity to examine the impact of migration on issues of social welfare and public health in Puebla, Mexico; a state of particular relevance to New York as more than 60% of Mexican immigrants in New York City are natives of Puebla. Poblanos in New York City face unique obstacles – the policies, opportunity structures and resources in New York greatly influence the behaviors and outcomes of Poblanos in New York. Health disparities, including HIV/AIDS, mental health and substance abuse are only some of the consequences of the structural inequalities and challenges related to migration. This course will deliver a combination of cultural exchange, Spanish language classes, visits to service providers, and substantive lectures on major factors affecting Poblano health, traditional health practices, and aspects of Mexico’s general health care system. Students will conduct field trips and fieldwork associated with these topics. This program described is a collaborative effort between faculty from the Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) and NYU’s Silver School of Social Work.

Practice with Spanish Language/Latino Families

This one credit intensive explores both clinical and social policy considerations with respect to understanding and treating Spanish Language/Heritage families in the United States. Distinct modules address Basic Values of Respect, Dignity, and "Personalism;" Family and Kinship Organization and Dynamics; Belief Systems of Health and Illness across Ethnicities; Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse (includes English and Spanish "street" terms); U.S. and U.N. Immigration Classifications, and Communication Styles: Conducting the Biopsychosocial Interview across Cultures and How to Work with an Interpreter. To facilitate comprehension, students use a downloadable workbook that aids in note-taking. The method of instruction includes lecture, discussion, and role play. This course is taught in Spanish; a level of "fair fluency" is sufficient.

Sex and Death in Paris: International Perspectives on Depression, Bereavement, and Sexuality; Conceptual & Clinical Issues

This intensive "advanced topics" course, to be given at the NYU Paris site in June 2012, will critically examine selected recent controversies over the boundary between normality and mental disorder in the areas of depression, bereavement, and sexuality, with attention to international perspectives. Readings will draw on both the empirical-research and conceptual literature. Guest lecturers may include French theorists and clinicians. We will also consider evidence-based approaches to treatment of depression. Emphasis will be on issues that are part of the debate over how diagnosis should be revised in DSM-5. The format is combined lecture/seminar. Reading and other assignments will be provided before the first class so that students can read ahead, due to the intensive nature of the course. Assignments include a reading log and final paper due after the course is over. The course will be graded pass/fail.

Social Work Practice with Military Members, Veterans & their Families

This course describes the manner in which global conflict and unrest have led to the deployment of large numbers of military personnel, its effect on those deployed and their families. The course further describes the military family and how the family exists within the social context of the military. The course will review both normative and unique stressors that the military family navigates and how social workers can intervene effectively to aid with those stressors. Specific issues of family violence, coping with pre-deployments, separation, post deployment, reintegration periods, adjustments through the family life cycle, and advocating with the military for change are covered. The course illustrates how the ethnic identity and diversity concerns of the military family are addressed within the military. The course illustrates the macro and policy concerns that impact on the military family. The course emphasizes a strengths perspective that can be used to empower the military family. Finally, a close look at issues related to service delivery, stigma associated with accessing behavioral health services, field/practice competencies and implications for the social work profession.

Understanding and Working with Muslim Populations

This mini course will provide an overview of Islamic religion, Islamic cultures, and help social work clinicians gain essential skills on how to work with Muslim immigrant population living in the United States. Islam is the second largest monotheistic faith today and one of the fastest growing religions in the world. There are nearly ten million Muslim followers living in this country. In order to help social work students gain a religious and cross-cultural competence, this mini course will examine how cultural and religious stereotyping, discrimination, and prejudice interfere with the provision of psychological services. This course will use lectures, presentations, discussion and videos in order to provide students with an overview of Islamic faith and the role religion plays in a believer's life and his or her relationship to God, to family, marriage, sexuality, and one's community. It will examine the important concept of mental illness, cure, and faith healing within Islam. Finally, it will address the role of therapy, issues of transference and countertransference and how such personal reactions can be used therapeutically. By examining our own strong countertransference issues related to culture and religion, we do not only become more effective therapist, but also gain insight into ourselves and our past.

Undoing Racism

A generation after the Civil Rights Movement and the election of an African American President, racism continues to be the nation's most intractable social problem, and the gap between Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics has increased. A systems perspective reveals persistent disproportionate outcomes on all measures of quality of life in the United States. From wealth accumulation to health care; from incarceration rates to employment and unemployment, from immigration policy to the opposition of ethnic studies, dramatic ethnic and racial disparities continue to vex the nation. Form a personal perspective, racial prejudice and invective permeate the civil society. While respect for human diversity in its many forms, and social justice are core values of the profession of social work, this course specifically focuses on the impact of institutional racism, social and economic injustices that impact people of color in health and human services. Social workers interface with clients of color in virtually all practice settings, and have the highest visibility amongst clinical disciplines s in the mental health system. Therefore, an understanding of the dynamics of race and racism is an essential requirement if we are to "do no harm" and engage clients in effective therapeutic alliances. The course introduced students to the many dimensions of race and racism that influence service outcomes, and implications for direct practice in agency-based settings with clients of color. The course explores and describes the phenomenon of structural racism as fundamental to the construct of the Untied States and how it can be undone. Using the principles taught in the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond workshop, the course examines the history of racism in the Unites States and current manifestations in health and human services delivery systems with emphasis on the mental health system and implications for direct social work practice.

Women, Children and Welfare Policy

This reading-intensive seminar will rely on texts from history, sociology and anthropology to understand the role of welfare policy in the United States. The history of welfare in this country, starting with the Progressive Era and ending with Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, the welfare reform legislation enacted during the Clinton Administration, will be central to this course. However, a critical analysis of the cultural meaning and cultural place of women and children will be at the heart of class discussions and writing assignments. The ultimate goal of the seminar is to come away with an understanding of how historical and cultural meanings of the deserving and undeserving affect policies intended for women and children.

Women in Prison: Focus on Clinical Practice Issues

This course examines the social policy and clinical practice issues related to incarcerated women. Attention is given to traumatic events such as domestic abuse, substance abuse and separation from children and other family members and the consequences of these in terms of policy and practice issues. Clinical vignettes of women's struggles in and out of prison will be presented, discussed, and analyzed from a policy and practice perspective.