2022-2023 Graduate Catalog Academic Catalog

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Master of Social Work


The MSW program prepares students for advanced practice social work in a variety of fields of practice. The curriculum is founded on the program’s mission and goals and emphasizes social justice advocacy, leadership, and social work with, and on behalf of, vulnerable families. The program offers a full-time curriculum which can be completed in two calendar years for students entering at the Generalist level or one year for students entering at the Specialized level. A part-time program is also available which can be completed in nine semesters for students entering at the Generalist level or five semesters for students entering at the Specialized level.  A key element of the program is the opportunity for students to integrate and apply their classroom learning in a field internship setting.

Admission Requirements

The program seeks applicants who have demonstrated academic potential for graduate study, readiness and suitability for advanced-level social work, and who are able to articulate a commitment to social work. In addition, the program seeks applicants with demonstrated human services experience and sensitivity to multi-cultural practice, social justice, and leadership/advocacy.

Required Qualifications

To be considered for admission to the MSW program, the following criteria must be met:

  1. An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university by the time classes start.
  2. A 3.0 grade point average (GPA), measured on a 4.0 scale. GPA is based on the last 60 credits taken in bachelor’s degree studies or graduate level course work. Consistent with Graduate Studies policy, students from schools not using a grading system will be evaluated on an individual basis. Students who do not meet the 3.0 GPA requirement or who have other deficiencies may be admitted on a provisional basis. Provisionally admitted students who receive at least a B grade in courses totaling nine credits of graduate work, after acceptance, will be fully admitted.
  3. An academic background in the liberal arts with completion of a minimum of 12 credits in the social sciences. Examples include coursework within or across the following disciplines: psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics and political science.
  4. A total of four prerequisite courses are required and include one course from each of the following areas: Biological Life Sciences, Lifespan Development, Statistics, and Research Methods. Students without a BSW degree who are applying for admission to the Generalist Program must have completed all prerequisites prior to the start of the program. Students who have a BSW degree are considered to have met all four prerequisites.
  5. International students must provide evidence of English proficiency. Please see the Graduate Studies website for more information.
  6. To be considered for admission, applicants with social work degrees from international universities must substantiate their academic credentials via the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service (ISWDRES).  Information is available here:   https://cswe.org/Centers-Initiatives/Initiatives/International-Degree-Review.aspx   

Preferred Qualifications

In addition to meeting the required admissions qualifications noted above, applicants with the following qualifications will be given preference for admission.

  1. Demonstrated post-high school human services-related experience. Examples include paid employment, volunteer work, and internships.
  2. Written communication that demonstrates clear and succinct conceptualization of ideas, application of critical thinking, the ability to coherently communicate and organize ideas, and the ability to write using correct grammar, spelling and syntax.
  3. Commitment to social justice, advocacy, and multicultural practice on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.

Additional Admission Information

The MSW program admits students once per year. Applications and specific instructions for submission are posted on the MSW program website in August with applications due on or before December 1. Applicants are encouraged to review the MSW program website for specific admission dates, fees, and application submission requirements.

Degree Requirements

For program applicants who do not have a Bachelor of Social Work degree, 56 credits are required for graduation.  This includes a 26-credit two-semester Generalist curriculum (fall and spring), and a 30-credit three-semester Specialized curriculum (summer, fall and spring). Applicants with a BSW degree may receive advanced standing status in the MSW Program if they meet one of the following two options described below.

Part-Time Option

Students entering the Generalist Program complete the part-time option in four years. Students entering with advanced standing complete the part-time option in two years.

As a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, classroom and field activities assist students in the MSW Program to attain practice competency in nine different areas with demonstration of skill and learning across the dimensions of knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive-affective integration. The competencies listed below are the learning objectives for the program.

Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice

Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice

Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Generalist Curriculum Requirements: 126
Gateway to the Profession of Social Work
Contemporary Social Work Ethics
Generalist Practice I
Generalist Practice II
Human Behavior and the Social Environment
Foundations of Social Welfare
Field I
Seminar I
Field II
Seminar II
Specialized Curriculum Requirements:30
Field III
Seminar III
Field IV
Capstone Seminar
Diversity, Social Justice & Advocacy
Advanced Practice: Multi-Level Family Systems
Advanced Policy: Leadership, Advocacy and Practice
Research for MSW Practice
Electives (Choose six credits from the following list):
Strengths-Based Group Facilitation
Trauma Informed Care
Grant Writing for Success
Travel Course
Contemporary Social Work Ethics (This is a required course for foundation students; an elective for advanced standing students.)
Social Work Management & Supervision in the Social Services
Psychopathology for Clinical Social Work
Emerging Issues in Child Welfare
Crisis Intervention
Clinical Theories for Mental Health Practice
Contemporary Interventions in Social Work Practice
Social Work Practice in Schools
Strengths-Based Leadership and Supervision
Social Work Practice in the Criminal Justice System
Overview of Wisconsin DPI School Social Work Standards
Assessing Mental Health and Substance Use in Practice
Forensic Social Work: Policy and Practice
Special Topics
Independent Study
Social and Family Influences on Development and Learning
Organizational Behavior
Dying, Death, and Loss
Public and Nonprofit Budgeting
Advanced requirement: Capstone Poster
Total Credits56

Progress to Degree

Steps Toward the Degree

  1. Prospective student submits an admission application and is recommended for admission.
  2. Applicant is admitted to the Master of Social Work graduate program.
  3. The student develops a Capstone project which is defined in consultation with the program faculty and adviser.
  4. The student files an Application for Graduation with the Registrar’s Office through the Student Information System (SIS). The application must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar in the fall semester for spring and summer semester graduates.
  5. Upon successful completion of the Capstone project the instructor files the Approval of Thesis Defense or Project Presentation (GR-4 Form) with the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. Degree is awarded and graduate receives diploma.

Curriculum Guide  

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Generalist Curriculum  
SOC WORK 700 Gateway to the Profession of Social Work 2
SOC WORK 702 Generalist Practice I 3
SOC WORK 711 Foundations of Social Welfare 3
SOC WORK 712 Field I 4
SOC WORK 713 Seminar I 1
Generalist Curriculum  
SOC WORK 701 Contemporary Social Work Ethics 3
SOC WORK 704 Generalist Practice II 3
SOC WORK 707 Human Behavior and the Social Environment 2
SOC WORK 714 Field II 4
SOC WORK 715 Seminar II 1
Second Year
Specialized Curriculum  
SOC WORK 728 Advanced Policy: Leadership, Advocacy and Practice 3
Elective 3
Specialized Curriculum  
SOC WORK 716 Field III 5
SOC WORK 717 Seminar III 1
SOC WORK 720 Diversity, Social Justice & Advocacy 3
SOC WORK 721 Advanced Practice: Multi-Level Family Systems 3
Specialized Curriculum  
SOC WORK 718 Field IV 5
SOC WORK 719 Capstone Seminar 1
SOC WORK 731 Research for MSW Practice 3
Elective 3
 Total Credits56


Faculty members in the MSW Program represent a wide range of teaching, practice, and research experiences.  Contact information and biographies for faculty and staff are available on the program website at: https://www.uwgb.edu/social-work/faculty-staff/