MSSW Curriculum


The curriculum is organized around five curriculum areas: Direct Practice, Community and Administration Practice, Research, Policy, and Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Required and elective courses are offered in each curriculum area. Students must complete foundation (first year) required courses before taking advanced (second year) courses. In the advanced year, a specialty is selected in child/family, mental health, administration, community practice, and a combination of administration and community practice. First year courses have 5000 numbers; second year courses have 6000 numbers. Master’s level students are also allowed to take doctoral level courses with permission of the instructor.

MSSW Courses and Notes

Graduate Course Catalog

Degree Requirements

The program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Social Work covers a minimum of four semesters for full-time students and requires the completion of 61 semester hours of graduate work including class and field instruction, as well as thesis or integrative seminar.

In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, each graduate student in the social work program must (1) maintain at least a B (3.0) overall GPA in all coursework; (2) demonstrate suitability for professional social work practice; and, (3) demonstrate knowledge of and adherence to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and if licensed in Texas the Code of Ethics as currently published by the Texas Council for Social Work Examiners.

At such time as questions are raised by Social Work faculty or field instructors regarding a student’s violation of #2 or #3 of the above requirements, the student will be notified and will be provided the opportunity to respond to the Academic and Professional Standards Committee. The committee will review the student’s performance and make a recommendation concerning the student’s eligibility to continue in the program. Appeal of a recommendation may be made to the Dean of the School of Social Work.

Special Note: No credit is given for life and/or work experience.
Advanced Standing

An applicant meeting all regular admissions requirements who has graduated from an accredited undergraduate program in social work may request advanced standing status in the graduate program. Advanced standing is not granted to students admitted on probation.

Advanced standing students may receive credit hour waivers for some undergraduate social work courses which are considered equivalent to the first and second semester courses, provided the student’s grades in those courses are B or better. Students may receive course waivers for more than 20 hours, but only 20 hours may be applied to the 64-hour MSSW degree.

Students requesting advanced standing status who completed their B.S.W. degrees more than six years prior to the semester in which they propose to begin their graduate studies must provide a documented summary of their work as a social worker. Students who have completed their B.S.W. degrees within six years of their planned start of studies are not required to submit these materials. Advanced standing will be granted on a case-by-case basis contingent upon evaluation of transcripts and any other required supporting information.

Dual Degree Programs

Students in social work may participate in one of five dual degree programs whereby they can earn a Master of Science in Social Work and 1) a Master of City and Regional Planning, 2) a Master of Public Administration, 3) a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs, 4) a Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice, or 5) a Master of Arts in Sociology. By participating in a dual degree program, students can apply some semester hours jointly to meet the requirements of both degrees, thus reducing the total number of hours which would be required to earn both degrees separately. The number of hours which may be jointly applied ranges from 6 to 18 hours, subject to the approval of Graduate Advisors from both programs.

To participate in the dual degree program, students must make separate application to each program and must submit a separate Program of Work for each degree. Those interested in a dual degree program should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor(s) for further information on course requirements. See also information on Dual Degree Programs in the Advanced Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Part-Time Students

Admission and degree requirements for part-time students are the same as those for full-time students. Likewise, part-time students must maintain the performance level required of full-time students.