School of Social Work - Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work graduate faculty members are certified by the School of Graduate Studies.

Associate Dean: Dr. Jacqueline Garrison

MSW Program Director: Dr. Elise Reed

Director of Field Education: Ms. Cassandria Peoples

Assistant Professors: Dr. Jacqueline Garrison, Dr. Carolyn Hester, Mrs. Cassandria Peoples, Dr. Gayberyl Wesley, Dr. Elise Reed

Lecturers: Mr. Xavier Henson, Ms. Patricia Williams, Ms. Evelyn Jenkins



The mission of the MSW program is to prepare students for advanced direct practice by building on foundation generalist knowledge, values, and skills, with emphasis on high academic standards, affirmation and respect for differences and diversity, and aligned with the purposes, values and ethics of the profession of social work.  Further, the program seeks to prepare students for advanced direct practice with individuals, families and groups in rural communities.

Goals of Master of Social Work for Foundation Practice

  • To provide the knowledge, values, and skills needed for foundation practice and advanced direct practice;
  • To prepare students for advanced direct practice across client systems and across practice settings;
  • To cultivate a learning model that embraces respect and an appreciation for diversity and differences among people;
  • To graduate students who advocate for, and support people and causes that are important to social workers and the clients they serve;
  • To prepare students for social work services in a global social network; and
  • To create leadership and learning opportunities for faculty and students through reciprocal mentoring.


Goals of Master of Social Work for Direct Practice Concentration

  • To provide the knowledge of theory and relevant research to social work practice;
  • To provide the knowledge and skills of social service delivery across settings including child welfare, health care and mental health, rural settings, substance abuse, gerontology, and people of color;
  • To provide the knowledge and skills associated with culturally competent practice;
  • To guide students’ development of self-reflection and professional values; and
  • To provide the knowledge and skills associated with evidenced-based practice, practice-oriented research, and practice evaluation.

The program is characterized by a strong commitment to Social Work Values and Ethical Standards, as found in the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, combined with the professional knowledge and skills needed to serve clients in many settings. The MSW Program sensitizes students to issues of human rights and social and economic justice, and emphasizes human diversity, cultural competence, and global awareness, a particular attention is given to rural and African American communities.


Requirements for Admission to the MSW Program

  • Admission to the School of Graduate Studies & Research;
  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, including specific liberal arts courses;
  • Submission of an application to the School of Social Work;
  • Submission of an application for Social Work Field Education;
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended;
  • Three letters of reference, including a letter from a professional;
  • A cumulative GPA of a 3.0 for regular admissions and a 2.5 overall for conditional admissions or a  2.75 for the last 60 hours;
  • An autobiographical statement;
  • Satisfy the English proficiency requirement;
  • GRE Scores (within the past five years-analytical score of 3 or above);
  • Personal interview with faculty of Social Work;
  • Completion of SWK 500, Professional Writing Seminar offered each summer, with a grade of at least a B (Required by Graduate Studies as a prerequisite); and
  • Successfully complete social work examination.


Requirements for Admission to the Advanced Standing Program

  • A baccalaureate degree in Social Work from an institution accredited by CSWE within the past six years;
  • A 3.3 or better cumulative GPA;
  • Successfully complete the GRE;
  • Enrollment for Summer Sessions and two full-time semesters;
  • After admission, completion of SWK 500 with a grade of at least a B; and
  • GRE Scores (within the past five years- analytical score of 3 or above).


Admissions Appeal Process

In situations where a student is denied admission, the student has the right to appeal. The student is informed of his or her right for a hearing before the Admissions Committee if the student feels the denial was not justified. The MSW Director and Chair of the Admissions Committee arrange and set dates for these hearings. The outcome of the hearing is submitted to the Associate Dean for review. At the conclusion of the hearing, a student is informed by the Associate Dean of his/her right to appeal to the Office of the Dean of the College of Professional Studies if the outcome of the hearing is unsatisfactory for the student.


Graduation Criteria

  • Complete all School of Social Work requirements;
  • Meet all requirements to advance to candidacy;
  • Complete the minimum semester hours required for the particular program in which the student is enrolled;
  • Have no more than two courses with “C” grades on the plan of study and under such circumstances in which a student is suspended, he or she must retake the said courses and pass with “B”;
  • Have a grade point average of 3.0 or better;
  • Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination;
  • Completion of all Field Practicum hours with a grade of “B” or better.



MSW degree may be completed across two-year full-time program for 63 semester hours or in a four semester period. The full-time two year program may be taken on a systematic part-time basis. The first thirty hours must be completed within two years of initial enrollment and all requirements for the MSW degree must be completed within six (6) years of initial enrollment.

The Advanced Standing Program is completed over the course of one summer (two sessions) and two full semesters (fall and spring).  After completing the Writing Seminar in Summer I, advanced standing students take two transitional classes in Summer II.  They then take the normal 15 hours per semester of the second year of the regular program.


Field Education

Students are required to complete not less than 900 clock hours of field instruction, a minimum of two (2) days per week, eight (8) hours per day for four (4) semesters. Field education is conducted at pre-approved sites and students must arrange their own transportation.

A Field Education Fee of $ 50.00 is required for each field education course.


Programs Total Hours

2 Year Full-time program:  63 
4 Year Part-time program:   63
1 Year Advanced Standing program:   39


Master of Social Work (MSW) Curriculum Plan

Foundation Curriculum

Social Work 501 3
Social Work 502 3
Social Work 503 3
Social Work 512 3
Social Work 520 3
Social Work 521 3
Social Work 522 3
Social Work 530 3
Social Work 532 3
Social Work 560 3
Total Hours 30


Advanced Standing Summer Transitional Courses

Social Work 602 3
Social Work 606 3


Second Year Advanced Curriculum Direct Practice

Social Work 629 3
Social Work 631 3
Social Work 633 3
Social Work 637 3
Social Work 638 3
Social Work 652 3
Social Work 655 3


Cognate Electives (9 hours)

Substance Abuse,  Child Welfare,  Gerontology
Social Work 651 3
Social Work 670 3
Social Work 673 3


Social Work Electives

Social Work 646 3
Social Work 672 3
Social Work 677 3
Social Work 671 3
Social Work 673 3
Social Work 675 3