Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, M.S.W.

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The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program prepares students for social work leadership roles in the effort to solve, in partnerships with others, the existing and developing challenges that confront communities in the United States and internationally. Community partnerships, based on a generalist practice model, is the sole specialization of the M.S.W. program. Students in the community partnerships specialization are educated to advance the needs and capacities of the total community by promoting social, economic, and environmental justice and maximizing human potential. They are educated to commit themselves to addressing the life circumstances, such as poverty, violence, discrimination, and disparities in social and economic justice that fall disproportionately on vulnerable groups and challenge the spirit of the entire community.

To accomplish the mission of the M.S.W. program, the School of Social Work has set forth these goals: (1) students will be able to think critically and communicate effectively in the application of social work knowledge, skills, and values to community partnerships practice; and (2) students will be able to engage as social work leaders to build and strengthen communities.

The competencies outcomes of the M.S.W. program are designed to be consistent with the mission and goals of the M.S.W. program, the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, and Georgia State University. They are aligned with the Council on Social Work Education’s Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. The 1st-year MSW competencies can be found at: aysps.gsu.edu/files/2019/11/Generalist-Competencies-11-19.pdf. The 2nd-year MSW competencies can be found at: aysps.gsu.edu/download/2nd-year-msw-competencies/?wpdmdl=6490737

Master of Social Work Curriculum

The Curriculum Structure for the M.S.W. program consists of three components: (1) Liberal Arts Perspective; (2) Social Work Generalist Practice; (3) Social Work Specialization. The M.S.W. program can be completed in two calendar years of full-time study and three calendar years of part-time study. Total degree hours: 60 semester credit hours for full-time and part-time students; 39 semester credit hours for advanced standing students.

The School of Social Work in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University defines the liberal arts perspective in terms of disciplinary areas which will comprise the undergraduate educational background of every student admitted to the M.S.W. program. The liberal arts core will include course work in humanities and social sciences, a course with human biology content, statistics, and research.

The purpose of the professional social work generalist practice curriculum is two-fold. First, the generalist practice model provides core knowledge for competent social work practice through the presentation of new advances in practice knowledge, as well as the accumulated knowledge of social work education and the social work profession. The curriculum includes content on social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, populations-at-risk, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice and research, and a two-semester supervised field placement. Second, the generalist practice serves as preparation for the focused knowing and learning in the specialization year. This content is designed to give students not only a general overview of the social work profession but also practical knowledge that can be used in work with individuals, families, and groups as well as with organizations and communities. The first year courses are constructed and sequenced to accomplish these purposes.

Specialization: Community Partnerships

The sole specialization for the School of Social Work’s Master of Social Work is community partnerships. Social work practice occurs in the context of communities where partnerships are developed for promoting social and economic justice and maximizing human potential. Community partnerships are predicated upon an empowerment orientation that acknowledges and develops the strengths and creativity of all members. In this framework, social work practice integrates and applies values, principles, and techniques of the professional to bring about planned change in social systems (e.g. individuals, families, groups, organizations, and institutions).

Community partnerships recognize and explore the importance of community demographics, politics, economics, geography, and human service delivery systems. These components encourage partnerships that focus social work engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation at the community level with the capacity to intervene at community subsystem and/or suprasystem levels. It requires social work practitioners to consider and respond to the broader community dynamics that impact individuals, families, and groups with a particular emphasis on those considered to be vulnerable and at risk. The second year courses are constructed and sequenced to prepare social work practitioners with knowledge and skill sets for this level of practice.

Part-Time Study

Students who are admitted to and enter the Master of Social Work program in part-time study can complete their program of study in three years. A cohort of part-time students will be admitted every year into a hybrid program of study. Students can expect to attend campus once a month while all other course work is completed online. This curriculum design provides a structure to ensure part-time continuous program progression to graduation. Part-time students may choose to take traditional classroom courses with approval from the School.

Total degree hours: 60 semester credit hours for full-time and part-time students; 39 semester credit hours for advanced standing students.

Program Financial Information

Grant - Child Welfare

The School of Social Work, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Human Resources, has scholarships available under the Title IV-E, Child Welfare Training. The scholarship includes tuition, fees, books, and mileage. Recipients must take specific child welfare electives and complete a two-semester field placement in a public child welfare setting. Upon graduation, recipients must commit to work for the Division of Family and Children Services on a year-for-year basis. This scholarship is awarded each year based on available funds. Please check the following link on the School of Social Work website for up-to-date information about Title IV-E: aysps.gsu.edu/social-work/child-welfare-workforce-initiatives/title-iv-e/.

Degree Requirements

Social Work Electives (6 Credit Hours)

M.S.W. students are required to take two elective courses. At least one of those courses must be a social work elective. It is strongly recommended that the second elective support the community partnerships concentration. The social work electives include:

Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing Status

Students who are admitted to and enter the Master of Social Work program as advanced standing students have met the 30 credit hours of Social Work Generalist Practice course work as a result of their bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Advanced Standing students have the option of completing coursework in a fully online format (with in-person Field Education placement). The students will be expected to take nine semester credit hours of bridge course work in the summer prior to beginning the specialization year course work. 

Given the nature of the knowledge and skills expected of advanced standing students, the purpose of the bridge course work is to provide students with the foundation content that is essential for entering the community partnerships specialization year.

The nine semester credit hours will consist of: