Social Work, M.S.W.

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For further information: SocialWorkGrad@southernct.edu

Application Deadline

Applications to the Master of Social Work program must be submitted by no later than December 15 for admission in the following year.

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares graduates for clinical social work in a specialized field of practice. MSW graduates are qualified for professional social work positions in public and private agencies at the local, state, and national levels and for applying for the State of Connecticut LMSW Licensure Examination. The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Applications

Applicants for the MSW program complete all admissions materials required by both the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Social Work Department. All application materials must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by December 15 for admission in the following year.

Plan of Study

The MSW program is a sixty-credit program, with a concentration in Clinical Practice. During the first year in the program, students develop knowledge, skills, and values for generalist social work. They then prepare for clinical social work in one of the following specialized fields of practice: Children and Families (C&F); Elders and Families (ELD); Mental Health and Substance Use: Co-occuing Disorders (COD); or Social Work in School Settings (EDU).

The MSW program may be completed in two years or three years of full-time study. Employed students are encouraged to choose the three-year plan. All students must be enrolled as full-time students (9 credits per semester) in at least one academic year.

In addition to academic courses, students complete 1,100 hours of supervised field practice in two different internships that extend through the fall and spring semesters of two academic years (500 hours in the first field placement; 600 hours in the second field placement). For further information about field education, please refer to the MSW Student Handbook and Field Practice Manual.

Class Schedules

The Social Work department offers courses during the weekdays, and on weeknights. We also offer some weekend classes. Many classes are in hybrid format which meet in the classroom "on the ground" for a limited number of times during the semester with up to half of the work completed online through SCSU's course management system. 

COD Cohort Program

The Social Work Department offers a three-year cohort program for students who are employed in the field of Mental Heath and Substance Use: Co-Occuing Disorders (COD). The COD cohort program is deigned to support students who are maintaining their employment while they pursue their MSW degree. COD cohort students take classes for three days per month (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) over three calendar years. Most classes are delivered in a hybrid format (on campus and online). The COD cohort program emphasizes an adult learning paradigm in which courses are taken sequentially, a supportive learning community is created, and self-discipline and self-directed learning are key skills for success. 

The application process for the COD cohort program is the same as the process for other MSW applicants. Qualified employees of the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and its contract agencies are encouraged to apply.

Advanced Standing Policy

Students who will have graduated from a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program are eligible to apply for admission with Advanced Standing to the MSW program. Students who are admitted with Advanced Standing have demonstrated competencies in generalist social work (21 credits) through exemplary performance in their BSW courses and field practice.

Students who are admitted with Advanced Standing complete 39 credits, including 700 hours of supervised field experience in a specialized field of practice. The Advanced Standing program may be completed in either one calendar year or two academic years of full-time study. Employed students are strongly encouraged to select the two year plan.

Applicants to the Advanced Standing Program  complete the regular MSW application process, and in addition, they submit a third educational or professional reference letter and their final field evaluation (for BSW graduates) or mid-term field evaluation (for current BSW students).

Non-Matriculated and Post-Graduate Students

Courses open to non-matriculated Social Work students are SWK 510, 550, and 551. Social workers who hold an MSW degree may enroll in any Social Work courses except field practicum (SWK 570, 571, 572, or 573) on a space-available basis with permission of the instructor.

Program Sequence-60 Credits

It is highly recommended that students meet with their program advisor to review their plan of student and their progress toward completing requirements for graduation.  

MSW students are provided with advising guides in their specialized field of practice. Advising guides specify the courses to be taken in each semester for two-year, three-year, and Advanced Standing program plans. Please note that practice courses (SWK 523, 539, 533, 534, 539, 540, 545, 549, 556, and 568) must be taken concurrently with or following a field practicum (SWK 570, 571, 572, or 573). Students who take courses out of sequence risk delaying their anticipated date of graduation.

The Social Work Department continuously evaluates students' performance in the MSW program according to three sets of standards: professional standards (essential abilities and attributes), academic standards, and field practice standards Students' continuance in the MSW program depends upon positive evaluations in each area. For further information please consult the MSW Student Handbook and Field Education Manual.

MSW General Requirements - 48 Credits

SWK 510 - Social Welfare Policies and Delivery Systems - 3 credits
SWK 521 - Contemporary Issues in Working with Alcoholic and Chemistry Dependent Individuals and Families - 3 credits
SWK 532 - Theory and Practice I - Individuals - 3 credits
SWK 533 - Theory and Practice II - Groups - 3 credits
SWK 534 - Theory and Practice III - Organizations and Communities - 3 credits

SWK 548 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Families - 3 credits
Or
SWK 549 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Later Life Families - 3 credits

SWK 550 - Human Behavior and Social Environment - 3 credits
SWK 551 - Diversity, Oppression, and Social Functioning - 3 credits
SWK 552 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment - Psychopathology - 3 credits
SWK 561 - Social Work Research Methods -  3 credits
SWK 570 - Generalist Social Work Field Practicum I - 3 credits
SWK 571 - Generalist Social Work Field Practicum II - 3 credits
SWK 572 - Practicum III and Capstone Proposal - 6 credits (must earn a grade of "B-" or higher)
SWK 573 - Practicum IV and Capstone - 6 credits (must earn a grade of "B-" or higher)

Advanced Standing General Requirements - 27 Credits

SWK 521 - Contemporary Issues in Working with Alcoholic and Chemistry Dependent Individuals and Families - 3 credits

SWK 548 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Families - 3 credits
Or
SWK 549 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Later Life Families - 3 credits

SWK 551 - Diversity, Oppression, and Social Functioning - 3 credits
SWK 552 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment - Psychopathology - 3 credits
SWK 561 - Social Work Research Methods -  3 credits
SWK 572 - Practicum III and Capstone Proposal - 6 credits (must earn a grade of "B-" or higher)
SWK 573 - Practicum IV and Capstone - 6 credits (must earn a grade of "B-" or higher)

Specialized Requirements - 12 Credits

In addition to the general requirements above, students complete 12 credits in one of the following specialized fields of practice: Children and Families (C&F); Elders and Families (ELD); Mental Health and Substance USE: Co-occuring Disorders (COD); or Social Work in School Settings (EDU).

Children and Families (C&F)

SWK 512 - Child Welfare Policies and Practice - 3 credits

Specialized Clinical Practice
SWK 523 - Clinical Social Work Practice for Children - 3 credits
Or
SWK 539 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Adolescents - 3 credits
Or
SWK 545 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Children and Adults - 3 credits

Elective course in any subject at the graduate level - 3 credits

Elders and Families (ELD)

SWK 516 - Social Welfare Policy: The Aged - 3 credits
SWK 540 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Elders - 3 credits
SWK 556 - Advanced Clinical Practice in Mental Health and Substance Abuse - 3 credits

Elective course in any subject at the graduate level - 3 credits

Mental Health and Substance Use: Co-Occuring Disorders (COD)

SWK 518 - Social Welfare Policy: Mental Health and Substance Abuse - 3 credits
SWK 556 - Advanced Clinical Practice in Mental Health and Substance Abuse - 3 credits
SWK 568 - Addictive Behaviors: Intervention Strategies for Clinical Practice - 3 credits

Elective course in any subject at the graduate level - 3 credits

Social Work in School Settings (EDU)

SWK 530 - Social Work Policies in Educational Settings - 3 credits

Specialized Clinical Practice: Choose Two
SWK 523 - Clinical Social Work Practice for Children - 3 credits
Or
SWK 539 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Adolescents - 3 credits
Or
SWK 545 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Children and Adults - 3 credits

School Social Work Elective: Choose One:
SED 481 - Teaching Exceptional Students in Elementary Education Classrooms - 3 credits
or
SED 482 - Teaching Exceptional Students in Secondary Education Classrooms - 3 credits