United States

Advanced Social Policy: Social Work and Legislative Advocacy

View of Washington Monument

about the program

  • Dates of Course: March 16 - 20, 2020 in DC plus two NYC pre-departure dates likely in late Feb/early March.
  • NOTE: Spring Break 2020 courses count toward Spring 2020 credits and financial aid.  Students with field placements must obtain permission from their faculty advisors and agency field instructors to miss field dates for a Spring Break course. Students must make up all missed field dates at another time during the year.
  • Total Credits: 3 Credits
  • Prerequisites: Social Work Policy 1 is a pre-requisite for enrollment. This course can fulfill the advanced social policy course requirement or be taken as an elective.
  • Available for: Graduate Masters

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 and those of their clients in order to fulfill their social aims. This course provides students the opportunity to enhance their policy analysis and advocacy skills around key social welfare policy issues relevant to individuals and communities served by social workers. Students will have opportunities to develop and practice critical skills for legislative action on Capitol Hill.

Program Faculty:

Darcey Merritt, MSW, PhD; Associate Professor of Social Work


  • Tuition and Fees: Graduate tuition and fees, paid directly to the Bursar.
  • Housing: Students book their own accommodations for this course.
  • 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 may pay a small fee (price TBA) for a welcome dinner after the first day of classes.  Students are responsible for any additional meals.
  • Excursions: TBA
  • All personal expenses are additional.