MSW Student Program Manual

Welcome from the Director

On behalf of the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work Master of Social Work (MSW) Program, I am pleased to welcome you to graduate school! Our School of Social Work and MSW graduate professional program is recognized as one of the preeminent graduate schools nationally. The School offers students an intellectually vibrant environment that consists of an enthusiastic faculty, an array of courses, and a flexible curriculum structure. Our faculty is comprised of nationally and internationally renowned scholars and researchers in the areas of Aging, Children and Families, Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Community and Administrative practice. While they are considered influential in their fields of study, they are also incredible educators. Whether in the classroom or in one of our several active clinical or research centers, you will find that the faculty is steadfast in contributing to the growth of your development as a learner and social work practitioner.

Our MSW program offers numerous program and course offerings. Students can expect to find a course selection that spans well beyond the required courses. Our course selection encompasses the breadth and scope of knowledge you will need to help you build your skill set as a competent social worker. Our curriculum offers incredible flexibility. Whether you are a full- or part-time student, you will find our curriculum structure is organized with you in mind. Our courses are scheduled so that they can be taken during the day or evening. We offer an array of courses in traditional classroom settings as well as online and incorporate innovative educational technological tools to enhance our students’ learning experiences. In addition, we have a fully online cohort program for Texas residents and a Fort Worth Center cohort program with accelerated course offerings.

We offer courses in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. As available, we may also offer a select number of courses during what is known as a winter or summer intersession, which allows students the opportunity to complete courses in a condensed timeframe. We offer several dual degree programs at UT Arlington, including Criminology and Criminal Justice, Sociology, City and Regional Planning, Urban Affairs and Policy, Public Administration, and Business Administration. Finally, for students interested in Public Health, we offer a Graduate Certificate in Public Health in partnership with the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at UTA.

In sum, you will find our School to be a student-centered, engaging, and exciting place to learn and grow professionally. We have a committed faculty and staffs that are here to assist you as you embark on an invigorating and rewarding career in Social Work. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to begin your professional life as an MSW-prepared professional, equipped with the knowledge and skills you will need to make a positive difference in the lives of clients with whom you work.

On behalf of our faculty and staff, I welcome you to the MSW Program.  Go Mavericks!

Dr. Regina Praetorius

Regina T. Praetorius, PhD, LMSW-AP
Director of Graduate Programs & Professor


About the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)


About UTA School of Social Work (UTASSW)


The MSW Program

    Council on Social Work Education

    The MSW program at the UTASSW is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). As such, our program prepares students to actively promote human and community well-being through their future roles as professional social workers. Guided by a person and environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, social work’s purpose is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons (CSWE, 2015, p. 5). The program is guided by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) of CSWE that includes the competencies students are expected to achieve upon graduation. These competencies are reflected in the learning outcomes for each of the courses offered.

    MSW Program Mission

    The MSW program provides a generalist Social work foundation upon which to build evidence-informed and social justice-focused advanced practice within a diverse society. An environment of excellence in research and engaged community partners, including field educators, creates a professional training atmosphere for developing core competencies and advanced practice skills and behaviors across a range of available specialty programs infused with effective and ethical practice, an understanding of the organizational contexts of social work practice, and inclusive of highly valued social work knowledge.

    General Program Requirements and Policies

    Total number of credit hours to graduate:

    1. For traditional students: 61 hours (includes field and thesis or integrative seminar for non-thesis students); Students enrolled in the Fort Worth Cohort must complete 64 hours.
    2. For Advanced Standing students: 38 hours (includes field and thesis or integrative seminar for non-thesis students)
    3. Minimum GPA requirement to graduate: 3.0 Students have six years to complete the program, but may petition for further time, if justified. Courses completed outside of the six-year completion window may be required to be retaken. This decision is at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Programs.
    Course Load

    The maximum course load for full-time graduate students is 15 semester hours for fall or spring semesters and 12 hours for the summer session. Registration in excess of this maximum must be approved by your Academic Advisor only in exceptional circumstances. International students must be enrolled for a minimum of nine semester hours to maintain their visa status.

    Transfer Policy

    Transfer credits for graduate level social work courses may, at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Programs, be accepted by the School of Social Work from comparable coursework taken and passed with a grade of ‘C’ or better at another CSWE accredited program within the last six years. Students wishing to transfer completed course work to the School of Social Work should submit course syllabi to the Director of Graduate Programs for comparison and evaluation. Transfer credit determination from another CSWE accredited program’s coursework will be made by the Director of Graduate Programs in collaboration with the student’s academic advisor. At no time may the total transfer credits awarded exceed 75% of the total program credits needed for the degree. At no time will Pre-Thesis, Thesis or Integrative Seminar courses be accepted for transfer credit. At no time will undergraduate courses from any institution be accepted for graduate credit.

  • MSW Admissions
  • Policies related to Admissions

    Students who have attained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program within the six years prior to admission to the MSW program and earned a Grade Point Average of 3.0 or better in their final 60 hours of undergraduate coursework will be granted Advanced Standing status. More information about Advanced Standing can be found here.

    Planning your MSW

    The MSW Foundation Curriculum consists of 26 Semester Credit Hours (SCH) of coursework, and includes a 480 SCH Foundation Field Placement. More information about the Foundation Curriculum is available here. The MSW Advanced Curriculum consists of two Practice Concentrations: Community and Administrative Practice and Direct Practice. Within the Direct Practice Concentration, students specialize in one of four areas:

    • Aging
    • Children & Families,
    • Health, and
    • Mental Health & Substance Abuse.
    • Information about each of these areas is available here. The Advanced Curriculum includes another 480 SCH Foundation Field Placement; additionally, students either complete a capstone course or a thesis.

    • Capstone Option: In this option, in a 3-hour course (SOCW 5395: Integrative Seminar), students complete an in-depth case study paper focusing on the helping cycle with a client from the student’s internship.
    • Thesis Option: In this option, students complete a research study over 6 hours of coursework. Three of the hours replace an elective in the degree and the remaining 3 hours replace the Capstone course. The steps for completing the thesis include:
    1. Identify a topic and notify academic advisor to note thesis option on degree plan.
    2. Select a thesis advisor from the full-time faculty; this person should be tenured or tenure track faculty and have familiarity with the topic chosen or the research method planned. Consult with the Program Director to ensure the chosen faculty members are eligible.
    3. Select two additional faculty members; the thesis advisor and these two faculty members compose the thesis committee. Consult with the Program Director to ensure the chosen faculty members are eligible.
    4. Complete a thesis proposal and file an Institutional Review Board (IRB) Protocol with the thesis advisor’s guidance while registered for SOCW 5396.
    5. Present thesis proposal to the thesis committee.
    6. While registered for SOCW 5398,
      1. Plan a defense date with your committee (Schedule Master's Examination form required).
      2. Provide the committee with a copy of the thesis prior to the defense date (2 weeks prior is typical).
      3. Present thesis to committee by the university deadline.
      4. Committee “grades” the exam by completing the final exam form.
      5. Submit form to MSW Program office by the university deadline.
      6. Submit completed thesis to the library by the university deadline.

      Course descriptions for all courses within the MSW curriculum are available in the University Graduate Catalog. Students may pursue their MSW in a number of ways including online, face to face at the Arlington Campus, and face to face at the Fort Worth Campus. These may be done in either cohort or non-cohort format. For more on paths to the MSW, click here.


Policies related to altering your MSW Path

    Cohort-specific policies

    Students who select one of our cohort programs—online, Fort Worth, or Arlington—must follow their assigned degree plan in order to remain in the cohort. If a student enrolled in a cohort receives a failing grade in a course, does not complete a course, or is unable to stay on track with the cohort degree plan, the student will be removed from the cohort and will be shifted to the non-cohort degree plan of their choosing.

    Changing degree plans

    Regardless of whether a student is enrolled in a cohort degree plan or a non-cohort degree plan, changing one’s concentration and/or specialty can have implications that impact the courses required for the degree. It is strongly recommended that students remain in their selected degree plan from the onset of the program to avoid additional costs and potential delays in one’s graduation timeline. If a student decides to change degree plans, they must meet with an academic advisor to document the change.

    Availability of classes

    Students enrolled in a cohort (online, Fort Worth, or Arlington) will enroll in the prescribed courses on their respective degree plan, and these students are guaranteed a space in these courses, provided they:

    1. Remain in good standing;
    2. Remain on track with their cohort degree plan; and
    3. Enroll in the correct course and section number within the prescribed registration window during the registration period.

    Should any of these criteria be unmet, the student will lose their preferred registration status and may register for courses with the non-cohort student population. A number of factors impact the availability of courses each semester. While we work hard to ensure that a variety of required and elective courses are offered at various times, and in both online and face to face formats, there is no guarantee of the amount and types of courses offered outside of those available in the cohort degree plans. Students are encouraged to be flexible in selecting their courses and to meet with their academic advisors for assistance in planning their course schedules.

    Graduation timeline

    Students in cohort degree plans are provided an expected graduation date upon entry into the program. If a student is not in a cohort program, the expected graduation date cannot be guaranteed, as course availability will be dictated on a first-come, first served basis.

  • Academic Advising
  • Field Education
  • Dual Degree Programs

School of Social Work Additional Student Policies

    Academic Integrity

    Academic honesty is highly prized at the School of Social Work. Plagiarism and the inappropriate use of an author's material are considered serious violations of scholarly and professional ethics. All instances of suspected plagiarism will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct using their procedures. Plagiarism can be defined as the failure to give proper credit to authors for their information, ideas, or words found in published or written materials, such as journals, books, monographs, handbooks, manuals, or other scholarly papers. Credit is considered complete if authors are identified in the text and in the reference list. Citations should contain all identifying information and conform to one of the style manuals for scholarly publications such as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Additionally, students may not use five or more consecutive words from another source without properly citing and referencing the original author or authors. Quotations of five or more words from authors' published or written material must be (a) enclosed in quotation marks if quotations contain fewer than 40 words or (b) indented five spaces on the left if the quotation contains more than 40 words. Students must submit original work. It is also a violation of plagiarism to purchase a paper from another source and submit it as your original work. Students may paraphrase the ideas of other sources, but students must also list the author(s) and date of publication in the text of students' written material and include all identifying information in the reference list. Paraphrasing from printed materials is appropriate if students' wording contains the authors' correct ideas and information and the authors are properly cited by name, date of publication and so forth.

  • Professional Standards
  • Non-Discrimination

    No person shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, disabilities or veteran status, be denied employment or admission, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity which it sponsors or conducts. The University shall not tolerate any behavior or verbal or physical conduct by any administrator, supervisor, and faculty or staff member, which constitutes sexual harassment. If a student believes discrimination has occurred, they should contact Equal Opportunity Services.

    Attendance

    At The University of Texas at Arlington, taking attendance is not required. Rather, each faculty member is free to develop his or her own methods of evaluating students’ academic performance, which includes establishing course-specific policies on attendance. Instructors will provide, as part of course syllabi, any other absence and lateness policies they establish.

    Student Rights

    The following policies, procedures, and guidelines describe student rights and responsibilities while enrolled at the UTA School of Social Work. Students have the right to organize in their own interest. All standing committees (with the exceptions of the Executive Committee, Faculty Development and Review Committee—Tenure Track, Faculty Development and Review Committee—Non-Tenure Track, Faculty Annual and Post-Tenure Review Committee, Committee on Committees, and the Professional Standards Committee) shall have student members. Full and meaningful participation is expected. Students will not be prohibited from exercising their rights to Constitutional and lawful activity. This expressly includes freedom of speech and dissent.

    Student Files

    Student records are stored electronically. Students may have access to their records by submitting an email request to the Undergraduate Programs Administrative Assistant. Another person may not see a student’s record unless the student gives written permission. Faculty and staff members of the University have access to student educational records in performance of regular duties. The School may confirm that a student (or graduate) is enrolled in school (or has graduated), but requests for additional information will be honored only at the request of the student (or graduate) unless the inquiring agency has provided a stipend, with this stipulation, for the student. Written evaluations by the field instructor are to be shared with the student and the student is to have the option of expressing in writing, as part of the evaluation document, any difference or exception that he/she wishes to take to the evaluation.

    Student Membership on Committees

    There are several opportunities for student representation on School of Social Work Committees. Elections to these positions are through the Committee on Committees and the Office of Advising and Student Success.

  • MyMav Student Information System

University-Level Information

    Adding and Dropping Courses

    A student may add a course until the end of the late registration period each semester. After the late registration period has ended, students must communicate with an Academic Advisor to request to be added to a course prior to the census date in any given semester. Requests to add a course after Census Date require special permission from the Associate Dean for Students and Academic Affairs and, if approved, will incur an additional fee. The last day to drop a 16-week course is at the end of the 12th week of class. The last day to drop a course in the other, non-traditional semesters corresponds to 2/3rds of the duration of the course. The last day to drop a 16-week course is listed in the Academic Calendar . A graduate student dropping a course after the Census Date but on or before the end of the 12th week of class may receive a grade of W, which has no academic penalty toward a student’s cumulative GPA. The MSW Course Drop/Withdrawal form must be completed to drop courses. In most cases, a student may not drop a graduate course or withdraw (resign) from the University after the 12th week of class. Under extreme circumstances, the Associate Dean of Student and Academic Affairs may consider a petition to withdraw (resign) from the University after the 12th week of class, but in no case may a graduate selectively drop a course after the 12th week and remain enrolled in any other course. Students should use the special Petition to Withdraw for this purpose.

    Petitions for Exceptions

    To petition for an exception to a graduate policy, instructions can be found here. If a student is dismissed from the MSW Program, they must submit a petition to request re-entry into the program.

    Academic Probation

    Graduate students failing to maintain an overall 3.0 grade point average (GPA) will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation will have one semester to recover their GPA to a 3.0. Students failing to recover their GPA after one semester will be dismissed from the program. Students who are dismissed may file a petition to request to continue the program. Students who are dismissed and away from the program for a semester or longer must apply for readmission. Petitions (active students) and readmission applications (non-active or former students) must be approved by the Director of Graduate Programs. Decisions may be appealed to the Associate Dean of Student and Academic Affairs.

    Graduate Enrollment Policy

    Graduate students must enroll in at least one credit hour of work related to their degree each long semester (Fall and Spring) in order to remain classified as an enrolled student. Students who will not meet this requirement may request a Leave of Absence.

    Readmission

    A student previously enrolled in The University of Texas at Arlington Graduate School wishing to resume graduate work after an absence of either a fall or spring semester and/or longer period (summer excluded) must submit a readmission application and pay the required application evaluation fee.

    Graduate Grading Policies

    Information about graduate grading policies can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Incomplete grades (I) are typically used when a student has satisfactorily completed a substantial part of the coursework, and represents an arrangement for completion between the faculty and the student. The grade of incomplete is given at the sole discretion of the instructor of the course, and a complete and signed form must be filed in the MSW Program Office prior to the grade entry deadline for the semester.

  • Graduation Requirements

MSW Licensure Statement

Graduates from our Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Accredited MSW program are eligible to apply for social work licensurein all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba. Our curriculum, through its compliance with CSWE’s Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), encompasses the content included in the Association of Social Work Boards’ (ASWB) three categories of Master’s levellicensureexams. These exams are accepted in all 50 U.S. states; Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Virgin Islands; and the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba in Canada. Certain locales may have additional requirements; this information is available from ASWB.

This handbook is a general information publication only. It is not intended to nor does it contain all regulations that relate to students. The provision of the handbook does not constitute a contract, expressed or implied, between any applicant, student or faculty member and the University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas System, or the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work. The University reserves the right to withdraw courses at any time, change fees, rules, calendars, curriculum, degree programs, degree requirements, graduation procedures and any other requirements affecting students. Changes will become effective whenever the proper authorities so determine and will apply to both prospective students and those already enrolled.

Students are held individually responsible for complying with all requirements of the rules and regulations of the University and the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System. Failure to read and comply with policies, regulations, and procedures will not exempt students from whatever penalties they may incur.

The MSW Program

MSW Contacts

Regina T. Praetorius, PhD, LMSW-AP
Director of Graduate Programs
rtpraetorius@uta.edu

Ginger Jackson
Administrative Assistant I
gingerjackson@uta.edu
817-272-2135