In the Integrated Social Work Practice I & II and the Field Instruction I & II courses, students learn a variety of professional social work roles and how to work with individuals, couples, families, agencies, and communities through the use of modalities that are appropriate to the agency setting. Learning the core social work values and ethical standards and how to apply them in practice are key aspects of these courses. The Generalist Practice field placement provides the opportunity for students to integrate the knowledge and practice the skills learned in every Generalist Practice course.
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of public policy. Students learn about key social policies and programs that affect various aspects of social service delivery; understand the ways in which direct social work practice enacts social policies and is shaped by them; and develop beginning expertise in understanding and analyzing social policy content, policy actions of agencies, professional associations, and political bodies. Students also begin to develop the foundational skills needed to influence social policy.
These two courses examine human development and behavior across the lifespan, starting prenatally and ending with old age. The courses utilize bio-psycho-social and systems perspectives, emphasizing the reciprocal interchange and mutual impact among individuals, families, and society and stressing the centrality of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and the socioeconomic environment.
This course covers basic research concepts and methods, with the goal of preparing students to be critical consumers of research for social work practice. A hybrid online version of this course is also available.
In this course, students develop the theoretical knowledge, attitudes, and self-awareness needed to engage in social justice–oriented practice. The course addresses all forms of diversity, oppression, and privilege and how they are manifested at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels, with a special emphasis on racism.
This course provides students with knowledge and skills for beginning, middle, and ending stages of evidence-based social work practice with groups. Topics include: recruitment and composition, contracting and goal setting, and structure of groups; phases of group development; leadership, decision-making, conflict resolution, termination, and evaluation of group interventions.
Students deepen and extend assessment and intervention skills by learning several major theories and practice models that inform clinical practice with individuals and families, including psychodynamic, family systems, cognitive behavioral, and narrative theories. Practice models include motivational interviewing, solution-focused, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and other evidence-based practice models.
This course prepares students to synthesize what they have learned about social work values, ethics, and advanced social work practice roles; to consolidate their social work identity and prepare for professional pathways; and to terminate from their clients, field placement, and student status, as they enter the social work profession.
This course introduces students to the theoretical and empirical knowledge base that underlies contemporary concepts of mental health and illness. Students learn how to make differential diagnoses according to the DSM-5, while taking into account culture, race, ethnicity, and gender. The significance of labeling, stigma, and bias is critically examined throughout the course in keeping with the values and ethics of social work practice and issues of social justice.
In Social Work Research II, students learn to apply the basic concepts and methods taught in Social Work Research I for the evaluation of practice and programs. A hybrid online version of this course is also available.
Advanced Social Policy applies basic content learned in the Generalist Practice policy course to a specific area of practice, such as children and families, mental health, health, disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, substance abuse, aging, immigration, and criminal justice. Students may also choose a study-away advocacy option in Washington, DC. Advanced Social Policy emphasizes issues of social and economic justice and diversity as applied to these areas and further builds skills to help students influence policies and promote social change.
The two semester Specialized Practice field placement provides the opportunity for students to integrate the knowledge and practice the skills learned in every Specialized Practice course.
The MSW program offers an extensive array of electives focusing on a wide variety of topics, populations, and practice methods. In most program pathways, students take nine credits of electives. Some of the electives offered include:
- Advocacy and Social Justice in Social Work Practice
- Clinical Practice with Aging Populations
- Clinical Practice with Children and Their Families
- Clinical Practice with Couples
- Clinical Practice with Substance Abusers & Their Families
- Clinical Social Work with Military Service Members and Veterans
- Cognitive & Behavioral Intervention
- Community Organization
- Core Concepts in Child and Adolescent Trauma
- Current Approaches to Trauma
- Evidence-Based Practice
- Exercising Leadership in the Non-Profit and Public Sectors
- Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
- Mass Incarceration: Implications for Social Work
- Political Social Work for Advocacy and Social Change
- Practice with Spanish Language/Latino Families (in Spanish)
- Sexual and Gender Minorities: Past, Present, Future
- Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees (online)