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Master of Social Work Program

MSW Curriculum


The Master of Social Work degree is a 61-hour program comprised of a Generalist Practice foundation and an Advanced Practice curriculum. The curriculum is organized around six curriculum areas:

  • Applied Social Work Practice (Field),
  • Community and Administrative Practice (CAP),
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment (HBSE),
  • Research and Evaluation (R/E), and
  • Social Welfare Policy (SWP), or Blended Theory and Practice Courses, consisting of both Direct Practice and HBSE content

The curriculum has two Professional Concentrations:

  • Direct Practice (Micro-Social Work), with four Direct Practice, advanced specialties:
    • Direct Practice with Aging Services,
    • Direct Practice with Children and Families Services,
    • Direct Practice with Health Services,
    • Direct Practice with Mental Health Services; or
  • Community and Administrative Practice (Macro-Social Work)

Students must be advised at the following times in order to get clearance for registration:

  1. Prior to the first semester of registration.
  2. Before the semester of Integrative Seminar or before the semester of Thesis Research.

Professional Foundation Curriculum (26 Hours)

SOCW 5304 Generalist Micro Practice 3 Hours
SOCW 5306 Generalist Macro Practice 3 Hours
SOCW 5301 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 3 Hours
SOCW 5303 Foundations of Social Policy and Services 3 Hours
SOCW 5308 Research and Evaluation Methods in Social Work I 3 Hours
SOCW 5307 Diverse Populations 3 Hours
Foundation Field (Field and Seminar)* 6 Hours
8 Hours
SOCW 5281 (SPLIT) Foundation Field (Field Only)* 2 Hours
  Total First Year Semester Hours 26 Hours

*SOCW 5304, 5306, 5301 must be completed before taking field placement/seminar
*A 3.0 cumulative Social Work GPA is required to start field placement
*SOCW 5681 must be completed before taking SOCW 5281

Advanced Curriculum

The School of Social Work offers two concentrations:

Concentration 1: Direct Practice (DP) with specializations in

  1. Aging Services
  2. Children and Family Services
  3. Health Services
  4. Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Concentration 2: Community and Administrative Practice (CAP)

Policies and Guidelines for Advanced Curriculum

Students in their final semester of the foundation curriculum (taking their last 5000-level course) may enroll concurrently in certain advanced (6000-level) classes. Students who are unable to complete their foundation field or are enrolled in foundation field may take advanced classes (policy, policy option course as an elective, research, an HBSE course, or blended theory and practice course (with permission), as available and approved by your Academic Advisor) if they have completed the appropriate course prerequisites, not to exceed 9 credit hours. Only students who have completed (SOCW 5681 or SOCW 5881) may enroll in either of the first DP or CAP advanced practice classes (SOCW 5311or SOCW 5312).

*The regular MSW program, takes two years to complete, if you are going full time and requires students to complete 35 hours of the Advanced Curriculum (Non-traditional MSW program offerings, or part time students, may differ in required completion times).

*The Advanced Standing MSW program requires students to complete 38 hours of the Advanced Curriculum. The Advanced Standing MSW program can be completed in three semesters by taking 12-13 credit hours per semester.

Degree Requirements

The program leading to the degree of Master of 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;
  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.

Advanced Standing

An applicant meeting all regular admissions requirements who has graduated from an accredited undergraduate program in social work within the past six years 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 graduate 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 MSW degree.

Advanced standing will be granted on a case-by-case basis contingent upon evaluation of transcripts and any other required supporting information.

Only students with a BSW degree have the option to start in the summer and they must qualify for Advanced Standing.

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