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Online Master of Social Work Curriculum

Program Curriculum

This program is offered online only with no in-person requirements and includes two options:

  • Option 1: Online Master of Social Work Program Degree Requirements

    Course NumberTitleCredits Hours

    Year One – Foundation Courses


    Foundation courses emphasize knowledge, skills, and values needed for a strengths-based approach in both micro and macro social work practice. Students complete courses in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, social work research, and field practicum.
    SOCWRK 503Foundation of Social Work Practice I3
    SOCWRK 504Foundation of Social Work Practice II3
    SOCWRK 505Foundation of Social Welfare Policy3
    SOCWRK 512HBSE I: Human Development Thru LC3
    SOCWRK 514Ethnicity, Gender, and Class2
    SOCWRK 515Foundation of Social Work Practice III3
    SOCWRK 521HBSE II Social Dimensions of Human Behavior3
    SOCWRK 530Foundations of Research I2
    SOCWRK 531Foundations of Research II2
    SOCWRK 570Foundation Field Work I2
    SOCWRK 572Foundation Field Work II2
    SOCWRK 573Foundation Practicum Seminar I1
    SOCWRK 574Foundation Practicum Seminar II1

    Year Two – Advanced Courses


    Advanced courses address advanced professional direct practice with individuals and families. Interventions facilitate and enhance the quality of life for individuals and families in social systems of various sizes. Independent inquiry, commitment to promoting social and economic justice and equality, and commitment to individual and family well-being are emphasized.
    Course NumberTitleCredits Hours
    SOCWRK 506Program Leadership and Management3
    SOCWRK 525Advanced Social Work Interventions II3
    SOCWRK 526Evaluation and Treatment of Mental Disorders3
    SOCWRK 532Advanced Research: Program and Practice Evaluation3
    SOCWRK 550Advanced Interventions I: Comp Theories3
    SOCWRK 575Advanced Social Work Practicum I5
    SOCWRK 576Advanced Social Work Practicum II5
    SOCWRK 577Advanced Practicum Seminar I1
    SOCWRK 578Advanced Practicum Seminar II1
    SOCWRK 5XXElective2
    SOCWRK 5XXElective2
    Total61

    Option 2: Advanced Standing MSW Degree Requirements

    Course NumberTitleCredits Hours
    SOCWRK 513Advanced Issues in Human Diversity3
    SOCWRK 529Research and Statistics for Social Work3
    Advanced Year
    SOCWRK 506Program Leadership and Management3
    SOCWRK 525Advanced Social Work Interventions II3
    SOCWRK 526Evaluation and Treatment of Mental Disorders3
    SOCWRK 532Advanced Research: Program and Practice Evaluation3
    SOCWRK 550Advanced Interventions I: Comp Theories3
    SOCWRK 575Advanced Social Work Practicum I5
    SOCWRK 576Advanced Social Work Practicum II5
    SOCWRK 577Advanced Practicum Seminar I1
    SOCWRK 578Advanced Practicum Seminar II1
    SOCWRK 5XXElective2
    SOCWRK 5XXElective2
    Total37
  • Option 1: Online Master of Social Work

    The online Master of Social Work program consists of 43 credits of academic classes, labs and seminars and 18 credits (1,000 clock hours) of supervised social work field practicum for a total of 61 credits. Students begin the program with Foundation courses (30 credits) and then move into Advanced courses (31 credits). These 61 credits can be completed in 2 years if enrolled as a full-time student. The typical part-time student can complete the program in 3 years.

    Online Master of Social Work Program Course Descriptions

    Year One Foundation Courses

    Foundation courses emphasize knowledge, skills, and values needed for a strengths-based approach in both micro and macro social work practice. Students complete courses in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, social work research, and field practicum.

    SOCWRK 503 Foundation of Social Work Practice I
    This is the first practice course within the foundation year of the MSW program. Practice I introduces students to knowledge and skills for generalist practice with individuals. Students practice key skills that include engagement, interviewing, assessment, contracting, intervention, recording, and the use of consultation and supervision in the context of social work values and ethics and affirming working relationships.

    SOCWRK 504 Foundation of Social Work Practice II
    This is the second generalist practice course within the three course practice sequence in the foundation year. This course builds on the foundational skills gained through successful completion of Practice I. Practice II introduces the student to theories and skills required for social work practice with diverse families and groups including assessing, building upon strengths and resources within all client systems, social work values and ethics, and delivering empirically based interventions to small groups and families.

    SOCWRK 505 Foundation of Social Welfare Policy
    Critically examines contemporary welfare policies, in a value-analytic framework, and in the context of the United States and international political economies. Emphasis is placed on values of equity, adequacy, and universality of access to basic social and economic security. Policy practice skills include identification and evaluation of policy problems, including their empirical and value dimensions, and skills in policy advocacy with legislators and with the general public. Major importance is placed on policies and programs that impact populations-at-risk.

    SOCWRK 512 HBSE I: Human Development Thru LC
    Examines the use of a biopsychosociocultural development framework, within the context of social work values and ethics, in understanding the interrelationships among human, biological, psychological, and social systems as they affect and are affected by human behavior. Examines and contrasts empirically-based theories of human development. Students learn age-related tasks commonly associated with different life states, influenced by gender, historical time, culture, and economics. Examines unique factors affecting development of women, ethnic and racial groups, GLBT individuals, people with disabilities and other historically oppressed people.

    SOCWRK 514 Ethnicity, Gender, and Class
    This experiential course in a small group format is designed to provide a positive environment for students’ exploration of their attitudes toward human diversity. The major objective is that students will increase their knowledge and awareness of the experiences of people of oppressed groups, in relation to historical prejudice and discrimination. Students will gain insight in sociohistorical and familial roots of their own biases and increase their ability to sensitively work with individuals and groups who are subjected to oppression, based on race ethnicity, gender, affectional orientation, class, and other stigmatizing characteristics.

    SOCWRK 515 Foundation of Social Work Practice III
    This is the third generalist practice course within the foundation year of the MSW program. Practice III introduces students to theories and skills required for social work practice in organizational and community settings. Using organizations and communities as settings for social work practice and targets of change, and based on social work values and ethics, students learn strategies and skills for assessment and intervention. Conceptual models of macro change are examined including social planning, community organizing, social action, and community/ organizational development and change.

    SOCWRK 521 HBSE II Social Dimensions of Human Behavior
    This course explores the impact of social systems on human behavior in terms of socioeconomic, sociopolitical and sociocultural forces, from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Examines the ways in which systems promote or deter achievement and maintenance of optimal health and well-being. The effects of prejudice and discrimination on individuals and groups, based on race, ethnicity, gender, affectional orientation, class, or other stigmatizing characteristics are emphasized.

    SOCWRK 530 Foundations of Research I
    This is the first of a two-course sequence on foundations of research and analysis. It is designed to provide students with the knowledge base and skills for using scientific method to advance social work practice, knowledge, and theory. The course covers quantitative and qualitative methods. Content includes conceptualization, operationalization, design, sampling, measurement, data collection, use of results, and ethical considerations including how research affects diverse populations.

    SOCWRK 531 Foundations of Research II
    This is the second course in a two-course sequence on foundations of research and analysis. This course focuses on methods of analysis, and implications of quantitative and qualitative data to advance social work practice, knowledge, and theory. Students learn to use and interpret various statistical procedures for analyzing quantitative data, including univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analysis, and analysis for qualitative data. Students apply analytic techniques using computer software applications.

    SOCWRK 570 Foundation Field Work I
    This foundation practicum provides students with a supervised social work practice experience in a social service agency under the direct supervision of a licensed social worker. It includes experiential learning in foundation social work values, skills and knowledge, and development of professional self. (Pass/Fail.)

    SOCWRK 572 Foundation Field Work II
    Continuation of SOCWRK 570. (Pass/Fail.)

    SOCWRK 573 Foundation Practicum Seminar I
    Integrative seminar that facilitates development of a generalist practice perspective in social work values, skills and knowledge, and development of professional self.

    SOCWRK 574 Foundation Practicum Seminar II
    Continuation of SOCWRK 573.

    Year Two Advanced Courses

    Advanced courses address advanced professional direct practice with individuals and families. Interventions facilitate and enhance the quality of life for individuals and families in social systems of various sizes. Independent inquiry, commitment to promoting social and economic justice and equality, and commitment to individual and family well-being are emphasized.

    SOCWRK 506 Program Leadership and Management
    This advanced course is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills for management and leadership in social service programs.

    SOCWRK 525 Advanced Social Work Interventions II
    This is the second practice course in the concentration year of the MSW program. Builds and expands upon knowledge gained through successful completion of all prior courses. Designed to provide students the opportunity to enhance practice skills necessary to provide effective assessment and intervention techniques regarding the more general issues and disorders, which are frequently seen by social workers, such as child maltreatment, substance abuse, and mental health.

    SOCWRK 526 Evaluation and Treatment of Mental Disorders
    Prepares students to conduct systematic biopsychosocial assessments, formulate differential diagnostic impressions in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and recommend treatment plans informed by the state of the art. Championing the development of robust helping relationships that empower consumers by building on assets and strengths, students are taught to monitor their practice for bias related to affectional orientation, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, and spirituality.

    SOCWRK 532 Advanced Research: Program and Practice Evaluation
    This course builds on basic understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis. Students gain knowledge and skills to use appropriate research methods for empirically based knowledge building and to enhance program and practice effectiveness. Content includes single system and group design and formative and summative approaches to practice and program evaluation. The course is intended to prepare students to participate in and utilize outcome evaluation of practice in their agency settings. Students complete an evaluation project in this course in conjunction with their advanced practicum placement.

    SOCWRK 550 Advanced Interventions I: Comp Theories
    This is the first practice course in the concentration year of the MSW Program, which focuses on individuals and families. This course builds upon the generalist foundation and advances student knowledge of theoretical frameworks used in social work practice to bring about change with individuals and families. Students will examine practice implications of different theoretical frameworks with particular attention to the efficacy of those theoretical and practice models with oppressed and at-risk populations. In addition, empirically based interventions, critical aspects of the therapeutic relationship, which promote growth and bring about change, and the application of social work values and evaluation of practice are areas of focus.

    SOCWRK 575 Advanced Social Work Practicum I
    Provides students with a supervised social work practice experience in a social service agency under the direct supervision of a licensed social worker. Includes experiential learning in direct practice with individuals and families. (Pass/Fail.)

    SOCWRK 576 Advanced Social Work Practicum II
    Continuation of SOCWRK 575

    SOCWRK 577 Advanced Practicum Seminar I
    Integrative seminar that facilitates development of advanced direct social work practice knowledge, skills and values with individuals and families.

    SOCWRK 578 Advanced Practicum Seminar II
    Continuation of SOCWRK 577.


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    Option 2: Advanced Standing MSW

    The Advanced Standing MSW is for students who earned a Bachelor of Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited school. This track consists of 25 credits of academic classes, labs and seminars and 12 credits (600 clock hours) of supervised social work field practicum. These 37 credits can be completed in 12 months if enrolled as a full-time student or 2 years as a part-time student.

    Advanced Standing MSW Course Descriptions

    SOCWRK 513 Advanced Issues in Human Diversity
    Develop knowledge and skills required to effectively work with persons from diverse backgrounds. A highly experiential course requiring overt and candid investigation of personal identity development and ways of thinking about practicing social work with persons from diverse backgrounds.

    SOCWRK 529 Research and Statistics for Social Work
    Methods of data processing, analysis, and implications of quantitative and qualitative data to advance social work practice, knowledge, and theory. Use and interpret various statistical procedures for analyzing quantitative and qualitative data using computer software applications.

    SOCWRK 506 Program Leadership and Management
    This advanced course is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills for management and leadership in social service programs.

    SOCWRK 525 Advanced Social Work Interventions II
    This is the second practice course in the concentration year of the MSW program. Builds and expands upon knowledge gained through successful completion of all prior courses. Designed to provide students the opportunity to enhance practice skills necessary to provide effective assessment and intervention techniques regarding the more general issues and disorders, which are frequently seen by social workers, such as child maltreatment, substance abuse, and mental health.

    SOCWRK 526 Evaluation and Treatment of Mental Disorders
    Prepares students to conduct systematic biopsychosocial assessments, formulate differential diagnostic impressions in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and recommend treatment plans informed by the state of the art. Championing the development of robust helping relationships that empower consumers by building on assets and strengths, students are taught to monitor their practice for bias related to affectional orientation, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, and spirituality.

    SOCWRK 532 Advanced Research: Program and Practice Evaluation
    This course builds on basic understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis. Students gain knowledge and skills to use appropriate research methods for empirically based knowledge building and to enhance program and practice effectiveness. Content includes single system and group design and formative and summative approaches to practice and program evaluation. The course is intended to prepare students to participate in and utilize outcome evaluation of practice in their agency settings. Students complete an evaluation project in this course in conjunction with their advanced practicum placement.

    SOCWRK 550 Advanced Interventions I: Comp Theories
    This is the first practice course in the concentration year of the MSW Program, which focuses on individuals and families. This course builds upon the generalist foundation and advances student knowledge of theoretical frameworks used in social work practice to bring about change with individuals and families. Students will examine practice implications of different theoretical frameworks with particular attention to the efficacy of those theoretical and practice models with oppressed and at-risk populations. In addition, empirically based interventions, critical aspects of the therapeutic relationship, which promote growth and bring about change, and the application of social work values and evaluation of practice are areas of focus.

    SOCWRK 575 Advanced Social Work Practicum I
    Provides students with a supervised social work practice experience in a social service agency under the direct supervision of a licensed social worker. Includes experiential learning in direct practice with individuals and families. (Pass/Fail.)

    SOCWRK 576 Advanced Social Work Practicum II
    Continuation of SOCWRK 575.

    SOCWRK 577 Advanced Practicum Seminar I
    Integrative seminar that facilitates development of advanced direct social work practice knowledge, skills and values with individuals and families.

    SOCWRK 578 Advanced Practicum Seminar II
    Continuation of SOCWRK 577.


  • Option 1: Online Master of Social Work Program Sample Full-time Schedule

    This is a general guide of when online MSW curriculum can be completed. Work closely with your program adviser to plan out your schedule each semester. Online courses last 7 weeks while field work courses last 14 weeks. Download a printable Regular Standing Full-Time Course Guide (PDF)

    View Online Master of Social Work Sample Full-time Schedule

    Semester - CreditsCourses
    First Semester - 10 Credits
    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 503 (3 cr)
    SOCWRK 514 (2 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 512 (3 cr)
    SOCWRK 530 (2 cr)
    Second Semester - 8 Credits
    14 weeks
    SOCWRK 570 (2 cr)
    SOCWRK 573 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 504 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 531 (2 cr)
    Third Semester - 9 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 572 (2 cr)
    SOCWRK 574 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 505 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 521 (3 cr)
    Fourth Semester - 11 Credits1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK Elective (2 cr)
    SOCWRK 515 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 506 (3 cr)
    SOCWRK 532 (3 cr)
    Fifth Semester - 12 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 575 (5 cr)
    SOCWRK 577 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 550 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 526 (3 cr)
    Sixth Semester - 11 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 576 (5 cr)
    SOCWRK 578 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 525 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK Elective (2 cr)

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    Option 2: Advanced Standing MSW Sample Full-time Schedule

    This is a general guide of when online MSW curriculum can be completed. Work closely with your program adviser to plan out your schedule each semester. Online courses last 7 weeks while field work courses last 14 weeks. Download a printable Advanced Standing Full-Time Course Guide (PDF)

    View Advanced Standing Sample Full-time Schedule

    Semester - CreditsCourses
    First Semester - 12 Credits
    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 513 (3 cr)
    SOCWRK 529 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 506 (3 cr)
    SOCWRK 532 (3 cr)
    Second Semester - 12 Credits
    14 weeks
    SOCWRK 575 (5 cr)
    SOCWRK 577 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 550 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 526 (3 cr)
    Third Semester - 13 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 576 (5 cr)
    SOCWRK 578 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 525 (3 cr)
    SOCWRK Elective (2 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK Elective (2 cr)
  • Option 1: Online Master of Social Work Program Sample Part-time Schedule

    This is a general guide of when courses can be completed. Work closely with your program adviser to plan out your schedule each semester. Online courses last 7 weeks while field work courses last 14 weeks. Download a printable Regular Standing Part-Time Course Guide (PDF)

    View Online Master of Social Work Sample Part-time Schedule

    Semester - CreditsCourses
    First Semester - 5 Credits
    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 503(3 cr)
    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 530 (2 cr)
    Second Semester - 5 Credits
    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 514 (2 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 512 (3 cr)
    Third Semester - 6 Credits1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 504 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 521 (3 cr)
    Fourth Semester - 6 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 570 (2 cr)
    SOCWRK 573 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 505 (3 cr)
    Fifth Semester - 8 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 572 (2 cr)
    SOCWRK 574 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 515 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 531 (2)
    Sixth Semester - 5 Credits1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK Elective (2 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 506 (3 cr)
    Seventh Semester - 5 Credits1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK Elective (2 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 532 (3 cr)
    Eighth Semester - 12 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 575 (5 cr)
    SOCWRK 577 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 550 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 526 (3 cr)
    Ninth Semester - 9 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 576 (5 cr)
    SOCWRK 578 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 525 (3 cr)

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    Option 2: Advanced Standing MSW Sample Part-time Schedule

    This is a general guide of when online MSW curriculum can be completed. Work closely with your program adviser to plan out your schedule each semester. Online courses last 7 weeks while field work courses last 14 weeks. Download a printable Advanced Standing Part-Time Course Guide (PDF)

    View Advanced Standing Sample Part-time Schedule

    Semester - CreditsCourses
    First Semester - 3 Credits
    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 513 (3 cr)
    Second Semester - 6 Credits
    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 529 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 532 (3 cr)
    Third Semester - 5 Credits1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK Elective (2 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 506 (3 cr)
    Fourth Semester - 12 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 575 (5 cr)
    SOCWRK 577 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 550 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 526 (3 cr)
    Fifth Semester - 11 Credits14 weeks
    SOCWRK 576 (5 cr)
    SOCWRK 578 (1 cr)

    1st 7 weeks
    SOCWRK 525 (3 cr)

    2nd 7 weeks
    SOCWRK Elective (2 cr)

    Financial Aid Note

    To receive graduate-level loans, a graduate student must be enrolled in at least five (5) graduate level credits or have a combination of at least five (5) graduate and/or undergraduate credits that count towards the master’s degree.

schedule

Be aware of the time commitment

Before deciding on a part- or full-time schedule ask yourself:

  • How much time do I have each week to devote to studying?
  • What other obligations currently require my time?

See our time commitment guide to estimate study times. Questions? Contact us!


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