Social Work Courses

Code Course Name Description Credits
SW 145 Foundations of Social Work

Introduces the student to social work as a profession in the context of the social welfare institution. Historical and philosophical roots of social work and social welfare are examined. Attributes of the social work role, knowledge-value-ethical skill base, and fields of social work practice are introduced.

3
SW 150 Introductory Social Work Field Experience

Provides the student with a beginning practical experience in community social agencies. Students visit numerous and diverse agencies throughout the semester. The class emphasizes the Social Work Mission and social worker roles within agencies.

1
SW 230 Analysis of Social Welfare Policy

Enables the student to analyze social welfare policy in American society. Focuses on the application of frameworks for analyzing social policies in the context of social and economic justice. Social policy, programs, and services are analyzed in terms of selected problems such as poverty, racism, ageism, sexism, and related issues. Social policy formulation and change are also emphasized.

3
SW 250 Contemporary Social Work Practice

Provides the student with a generalist model for engaging in social work practice. Analyzes the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) Code of Ethics and focuses on the development of helping skills which are essential in working with a variety of client systems. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of inter- viewing skills through role play and analysis of video vignettes of professional situations. 

3
SW 310 Social Work Research I

Focuses on quantitative social work research methods. Principles of research methodologies and designs for systematic evaluation of social work practice and social service programs are emphasized. Computer analysis of data is studied and applied. Implications for social work practice and knowledge building are integral outcomes.

Co-requisites: SW 345, 350.

3
SW 311 Social Work Research II

Enables the student to learn the connection between collecting and examining data through analysis of qualitative research articles. Qualitative methodologies of field research: sampling, interviewing, case studies, and single-subject design will be emphasized. Qualitative data methodology will give students opportunities to proceed from the specific to the general and learn how to begin creating a study for examination. 

Prerequisite: SW 310. Co-requisites: SW 401, 402, 403.

3
SW 345 Junior Field Experience

Provides the student with continued exposure to and increasing involvement in the field. The student spends a minimum of 30 hours providing helping services related to the social work role. The field experience is complemented by a seminar that focuses on developing self awareness, basic human relation skills and understanding of social work and social welfare organizations. 

Co-requisites: SW 310, 350.

1
SW 350 Human Behavior and the Social Environment

Focuses on the interrelationships of biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of human behavior across the life span. Theoretical frameworks are presented to better understand human behavior in family, group, organization, and community as primary systems. Major influences on human behavior such as racism, sexism, ageism, and other structural factors are analyzed. 

Co-requisites: SW 310, 345.

3
SW 401 Social Work with Neighborhoods, Communities, and Organizations: Theory and Practice

Builds on the generalist model presented in SW 250. Enables students to apply theories, develop practice skills, and employ a range of intervention strategies in working with neighborhoods, communities, and organizations. Social work influence and intervention at political system levels are emphasized. 

Prerequisites: SW 250, 310, 350. Co-requisites: SW 311, 402, 403.

3
SW 402 Social Work with Groups: Theory and Practice

Builds on the generalist model presented in SW 250. Enables students to apply theories, develop practice skills, and employ a range of intervention strategies in working with small groups. Group structure and process, stages of group development, and group work skills are emphasized. 

Prerequisites: SW 250, 310, 350. Co-requisites: SW 311, 401, 403.

3
SW 403 Social Work with Individuals and Families: Theory and Practice

Builds on the generalist model presented in SW 250. Enables students to apply theories, develop practice skills, and employ a range of intervention strategies in working with individual and family systems. 

 Prerequisites: SW 250, 310, 350. Co-requisites: SW 311, 401, 402.

3
SW 425 Children's Rights and Societal Responses

Analyzes policies and services designed to meet a range of needs and problems experienced by children and their families. Specific areas of analysis include child abuse and neglect, juvenile justice, homelessness, foster care, adoptions, institutional vis-a-vis community strategies in response to particular problems, impacts of prejudice/ discrimination on minority groups, children and families, advocacy, and social change.

3
SW 490 Field Instruction

A professional practice experience that enables the student to integrate and apply knowledge, values, ethics, and skills gained through the BSW curriculum. The student provides direct social work services in a community social agency under supervision of a professional social worker. This is a block field placement of 450 hours in which the student spends four days per week throughout the fall semester of senior year in the social agency. 

Prerequisites: SW 311, 401, 402, 403. Co-requisites: SW 491, 495. In addition, students are required to maintain an overall QPA of 2.00 and a minimum of 2.33 in the major and give evidence of continued skill development and adherence to standards of conduct as contained in the NASW Code of Ethics. The student applies for SW 490 in the preceding spring semester.

9
SW 491 Integrative Seminar

Student-instructor seminar, complements SW 490 and further enables the student to integrate and apply social work knowledge, values, ethics, and skills in the field experience. 

Prerequisites: SW 311, 401, 402, 403. Co-requisites: SW 490, 495.

3
SW 495 Senior Seminar

Student-instructor seminar which emphasizes specific preparation for entry into the social service workplace and graduate school.

Prerequisites: SW 311, 401, 402, 403. Co-requisites: SW 490, 491.

1
SW 499 Independent Study and Research

Involves faculty-directed, student-initiated study and research on a topic relevant to student interest.

3
SW 500 Professional Foundations: Educating for Tomorrow’s Practice

This course will employ community agency-based case studies as vehicles to explore connections between foundation practice behaviors and the practice behaviors characteristic of the Advanced Concentration curriculum of the M.S.W. Program. Additionally, the course itself will be a learning experience as class sessions will be conducted as a task–centered learning group with the discussions, presentations, and projects serving as material for reflection and demonstration of group process.

Course-pack materials, journal articles, media content, instructor/student presentations, team interactions, and class projects will be utilized to illuminate how ethics, a policy advocacy role, and foundation practice skills inform the assessment, engagement, and evaluation practice behaviors characteristic of the Advanced Concentration curriculum of the M.S.W. Program.

For new Advanced Standing Students Only

3
SW 501 Practice I: Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families

This course introduces the student to conceptual frameworks that encompass practice with all levels of client systems. Students use critical thinking skills to assess client systems, develop intervention strategies, and evaluate practice using a scientific mode of inquiry. Professional relationship, ethical practice, diversity, social and economic justice, professional use of self, problem-solving process, and organizational context for practice are stressed. Focus is on work with individuals and families. This course is taken concurrently with SW 591 and integrates practice experience and course learning.

Prerequisites: SW 601, SW 801; Co-requisite: SW591.

3
SW 502 Practice II:Social Work Practice with Groups

SW 502 Practice II is the second course in Practice Core Content Area. Following the foundation knowledge presented in SW 501 Practice I, this course continues to focus on the utilization of conceptual frameworks, including the ecological perspective (i.e., Life Model), interactional approach, and strengths perspective to assess support, therapy and task groups. This course is taken concurrently with SW Field 592 and integrates practice experience and course learning. 

(Prerequisites: SW 501 and SW 591.) (Co-requisite: SW 592) 

3
SW 503 Practice III: Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations

SW 503 Practice III focuses on the theories relevant to understanding the macro functions of communities, organizations and institutions from a generalist perspective. This course enables students to: 1) understand and apply theories, 2) analyze social organizations and community’s needs, and 3) apply phases and skills of developing strategies of the change process in community practice, in collaboration with communities and organizations. In addition, students will be encouraged to examine how their own learning and values impact their understanding of and practice at the mezo, exo and macro levels. (Prerequisites: SW 601)

3
SW 504 Practice IV: Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families

This course presents theories and techniques applicable to social work practice with individuals and families, including those from diverse and at-risk populations. Field education experiences serve as basis for integration and application of theories, assessment of the cultural competence of their interventions with specific populations, examination of strengths and limitations of evidence-based practice, and articulate a personal practice stance. This course is taken concurrently with SW 595.  

Prerequisites: SW 501, SW 591, SW 502, SW 592, SW 503.

3
SW 505 Practice V: Administration in Social Work

Focus on social work practice from an administrative perspective, including theories and principles of culturally competent management and organization issues in administration, within the context of professional social work. Includes consideration of social and economic justice and ethical imperatives and influences of funding patterns, legislation, organizational culture, and structure on program planning and implementation.

Prerequisites: SW 501, SW 502, SW 503, SW 591, and SW 592.

3
SW 506 Practice VI: Culminating Integrative Seminar

This course builds on foundation content and theoretical perspectives explored in SW 504. It offers advanced skills in differential interventions with a variety of systems and focuses on post-modern and trauma-informed practice, in addition to theories of loss and grief, as theoretical bases for assessment, intervention, and evaluation. As well, it promotes self-reflective practice and a knowledge of supervision. The course examines discrimination and oppression and the complex interface between individual, family, and group needs within an organizational context.

Prerequisite: SW 501, SW 502, SW 503, SW 504, SW 591, SW 592, SW 595, SW 601, SW 701, SW 801, SW 971.

3
SW 532 Advanced Administration in SocialWork Practice: Program Development and Evaluation

This course develops additional management competencies, with emphasis on the role of middle management and its relationship to social and economic justice, especially internal and external resource development. The course examines issues of cultural and social diversity as they affect the constituency served by the agency in relation to its mission. Students apply research and evaluation principles in examining access to service, quality of service, and cost/benefit of services. Includes a review of nonprofit fiscal management, budgeting, social marketing, and resource development as a component of program development and evaluation. 

Prequisites: SW 501, 502, 503.

3
SW 535 Child Welfare Practice and Services The course provides an historical and theoretical framework for understanding the ecological context of child welfare practice. The societal values which shape current policy and legislation are considered in addition to the concepts of strength and resilience as underlying philosophies of effective, family-focused interventions. The course also examines evaluative research in child welfare and differential intervention for culturally competent child welfare practice. 3
SW 536 Social Work Practice with Children

This course builds upon the basic skills, values, and knowledge introduced in other areas of the curriculum and, particularly, in the human behavior and practice foundation courses. The course focuses on the application of theories, concepts, and research to guide empirically-based social work practice with children and young adolescents. The course is designed for students who have an interest in working directly with children, their caregivers, and their families. Case materials illustrate the ethical and practice challenges in working with a variety of children including those who live in out-of-home placements, in substance-disordered families, in families affected by illness and death, in nontraditional families, and those who are victims and witnesses of family violence. The special circumstances surrounding children at risk, as well as those with special needs and social/emotional issues, are also addressed. A range of therapeutic approaches and modalities is presented, including individual, family, and group interventions, developmental, non-directive, and cognitive/behavioral play therapy, as well as interdisciplinary collaborative and psycho-educational approaches. A strengths perspective is highlighted as an approach to intervention, and attention is given to development of student self-awareness around children's issues.

Prerequisites: SW501, SW591.

3
SW 561 Family Focused Social Work Practice

Builds on the history and traditions of family intervention in the basic social services. This course examines pertinent practice issues, family therapy concepts, and approaches used in contemporary social work intervention, with an emphasis on family resilience. Family intervention concepts are applied to families under economic stress, families within vulnerable populations and with diverse family structures, and current research. A strengths perspective is highlighted as an approach to treatment.

Prerequisites: SW 501, SW 591.

3
SW 571 Supervision in Social Work Practice

This course provides the requisite knowledge and skills for assuming basic responsibilities of supervision. The course examines the purpose, principles, and methods of supervision applicable to many social work settings and the demands upon the supervisor and supervisee. Emphasis is on the supportive, educational, and administrative elements of supervision. Issues specific to women and other minority groups are also addressed.

Prerequisites: SW 501, SW 591, SW 502, SW 592.

3
SW 591 Field Education I: Foundation Field

Students must complete a total of 440 clock hours in the foundation year of field practice in an approved field setting. The goal is to foster understanding of the organizational context and social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors with which client systems interact. Students learn the fundamental role of social work values and ethics, identify issues of social and economic justice for oppressed and at-risk persons, and develop a professional identity as they engage in competency based social work practice learning. The field experience allows the student a social work practice opportunity to promote the development of knowledge, skills, and values of social work and fosters the integration of classroom theoretical learning. SW 591 is taken concurrently with SW 501 and SW 592 with SW 502.

SW 601 and SW 801 or taking SW 601 and SW 801 concurrently. 

3
SW 592 Field Education II: Foundation Field

Students must complete a total of 440 clock hours in the foundation year of field practice in an approved field setting. The goal is to foster understanding of the organizational context and social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors with which client systems interact. Students learn the fundamental role of social work values and ethics, identify issues of social and economic justice for oppressed and at-risk persons, and develop a professional identity as they engage in competency based social work practice learning. The field experience allows the student a social work practice opportunity to promote the development of knowledge, skills, and values of social work and fosters the integration of classroom theoretical learning. 

Prerequisite: SW 591

3
SW 595, 596 Field Education III and IV: Advanced Practice

Students must have successfully completed SW 591 and SW 592 as this field education placement in the advanced curriculum builds on the knowledge and skills gained in the foundation field education placement. Students gain additional experience working with individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations within the political, social, administrative, and cultural context of the setting as they engage in advanced competency-based social work practice behaviors. Students experience social work practice around issues of social and economic justice within organizational and community contexts, and address these issues around policy or program development and evaluation. Students must complete 480 clock hours in the advanced practice year in their field setting. This field experience would be in a different setting than the one in the foundation year and allows the student another social work practice opportunity to continue the development of knowledge, skills, and values of social work education.

(Prerequisite for SW 595: SW 592) (Co-requisite: SW 504)
(Prerequisite for SW596: SW595) (Co-requisite: SW506)

3
SW 601 Human Behavior

This is an introduction to biopsychosocial-spiritual factors important to understanding and assessing human growth, personal development, and behavior over the life span. Focus is on interactions among individuals, families, groups, and the social system, and diverse, vulnerable, and oppressed populations.

3
SW 621 Social Work Perspectives on Psychopathology

This course allows students to identify and develop an understanding of the issues inherent in the study and assessment of individual behavior. The course reviews several explanations of causes of "abnormal" behavior and ways in which such behavior can be classified. One of the major tensions in this area is whether abnormal behavior is learned or has a physio-chemical basis. Major diagnostic groups are addressed within the framework of the DSMV TR classification system. PIE will be introduced as an alternative framework. The inclusion of the strengths perspective counters and obvious shortcoming of DSM V.

Prerequisite or Corequisite: SW 601

3
SW 625 Critical Issues in Chemical Dependence

The course provides an overview of the major psychoactive drugs of abuse, the role of drugs in today's society, theories of causation, actions on the central nervous system, and the pharmacology of individual substances. Using systems and strengths perspectives and bio-psychosocial understandings, this course examines the roles of the individual and society with respect to development of chemical dependence. This course also addresses intervention with individuals, families, and groups; policy issues; prevention efforts, and the relationship to HIV/AIDS.

3
SW 701 Social Work Research: Design and Methodology

This course introduces principles and methods of conducting and evaluating social research, the importance of ethical issues related to research, and qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It includes examination of selected literature relevant to issues of social and economic justice, diversity, and systems of various sizes.

3
SW 702 Social Work Research: Implementation and Analysis

Overview of the role and function of qualitative and quantitative analyses in addressing research questions and testing hypotheses. Examines approaches to qualitative analysis and the logic behind the application of descriptive and inferential statistical analyses. Examines analytical techniques and the unbiased interpretation of results as they relate to issues of diversity, oppression, and populations at risk. Students learn to use statistical software for processing data and apply theoretical and methodological materials in a required research report.

Prerequisite: SW 701. Students must take both courses with the same professor.

3
SW 705 Social Work Thesis The elective component of the research sequence, this course is recommended especially, but not exclusively, for those students who plan to pursue doctoral-level education. The course is designed to strengthen the student's overall research knowledge and skills through the development and presentation of individual research projects related to practice issues. The course offers students the opportunity to refine and implement a research proposal designed prior to admission to the course, and supports student research designs and data analysis, advanced statistical analysis, and multivariate analyses. Prerequisite: SW 702. 3
SW 801 Social Justice, Welfare Policy, and Professional Legacy

This is the first of two required policy courses. Examination of the history and development of U.S. social welfare programs and policies as they pertain to marginalized groups of people and populations-at-risk. Present day policies are analyzed through the lenses of history and contemporary economic, social, political, value, and spiritual milieus. By using professional ethics and value and cross-cultural knowledge as foundation, the rich contribution and strengths of a diverse range of individuals and groups, in particular women and people of color, are brought to bear in evidence-based analyses of historical and contemporary policy.

3
SW 802 Social Policy Advocacy

This course teaches policy practice skills that enable students to use evidence-based data to frame for intervention social issues that affect the lives of marginalized groups of people and populations-at-risk. Using professional values and ethics and the employment of critical thinking skills as a base, students will demonstrate their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of culturally competent policy practice interventions.

Prerequisites: SW 502, SW 503, SW 504, SW 505, SW 591, SW 592, SW 595, SW 601, SW 801, SW 701, SW 702, SW 971.

3
SW 900 Social Work Perspectives on Trauma

Contemporary knowledge about psychological trauma will be analyzed in terms of its relevance for social work. This will include the examination of human responses to stress on a continuum of adaptation and ways in which trauma can impact human development and social functioning. Forces within individuals, families, communities, and institutions that influence clients’ abilities to cope with critical events will be explored. Specific populations studied will include crime victims, refugees, veterans of war, and survivors of natural disaster; however the focus will be on the commonality of these groups in their responses to unmanageable stress. Typical diagnoses accompanying trauma (such as PTSD) will be described and the role of psychopharmacology will be touched on. The impact of social attitudes toward victims of trauma will be examined in relation to victims’ healing processes; in addition, students will be encouraged to explore their own acceptance of stigmatizing cultural myths. Approaches to treatment, related to general social work practice principles and ethical stances, will be explored. These will include client self-determination, strengths, advocacy, and cultural competency. In addition, the impact of vicarious traumatization on social workers and the development of effective coping strategies will be explored.

Prerequisites: SW 501, SW 591, SW 601, SW 502, SW 592.

3
SW 908 Women's Issues and the Practice of Social Work

Women's Issues is an elective course that examines how we as social workers and other direct service professionals can develop a practice perspective that is most suited to building on the strengths and meeting the particular needs of clients who are women. Practical issues and the unique experiences of girls and women of all ages, races, classes, and other diversities will be discussed. Topics specific to women or with distinctive nuances for women such as reproductive rights, sexual assault and domestic violence, addiction for women, mental illness, physical health, wellness, illness, and aging will be examined in relation to social work practice. Students can expect to finish the class with a strong theoretical understanding of gender, women's development, and sexism, as well as having a foundation in the values, ethics, and skills needed to be effective practitioners with girls and women. The class will be hands-on, using interactive methodologies based on real case examples from a variety of social work and other practice settings. Guest speakers with direct practice experience working with women and a variety of teaching approaches will make this a very informative class.

3
SW 920 Spiritual and Religious Dimensions of Social Work Practice

This course allows for an in-depth, comprehensive concentration on spirituality and religion in social work services to individuals, families, groups, and communities. Reviewing major religious as well as non-religious spiritual practices in the United States and the world, students gain an understanding of the diversity of religious and spiritual traditions that frame clients' lives. Students learn to incorporate an examination of religion and spirituality as part of social work assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

Prerequisites: SW 501, SW 591, SW 601.

3
SW 925 Critical Issues in Ethnic and Racial Experience

An examination of the nature of devaluing attitudes toward others, and the ethnocentrism, prejudice, bias, discrimination, and racism in society. The course explores the ways in which racial and ethnic attitudes have shaped the experiences of selected groups in the U.S. Culturally competent social work practice is stressed, with particular emphasis on the role of diversity in practice, policy, and research. Literature related to the development of social policies and research related to diverse groups is also examined.

3
SW 940 Current Issues in Developmental and Physical Disabilities for Social Workers

This course examines the life course issues among people with developmental and physical disabilities, including the collaboration of families and community, and the role of social workers and other professionals. It also presents general issues related to service delivery systems, advocacy movements and social policy. The role and responsibility of social work professionals in shaping, delivering and evaluating support services will be considered. The impact of both the physical and social environment on the lives of people with physical disabilities, both lifelong and acquired through trauma, will be addressed.

3
SW 941 Concepts and Issues in Gerontology

Reviews social gerontological theories, social policy issues of aging, and skills integration with the bio-psychosocial processes of middle and late lifespan development impacting individuals, families, and groups. Special attention is given to the strengths perspective, poverty, elder abuse, and cultural and gender issues as they relate to racism, sexism, and ageism in populations at risk.

3
SW 950 Independent Study An independent study course planned by the student and a faculty mentor that focuses on a specific program of readings or field experience. The student is responsible for developing a proposal that addresses specific learning objectives and incorporates current social work theories and literature. The student is evaluated on a measurable project or paper. The faculty mentor guides the student's progress through approximately five tutorial sessions for a three-credit study. 3
SW 950I International Independent Study This independent study course is based on international practice experience. The student is responsible for developing a proposal that addresses specific learning objectives and incorporates current social work theories and literature. The student is evaluated on a measurable project or paper. The faculty mentor guides the student's progress through approximately five tutorial sessions for a three-credit study. 3
SW 965 Human Sexuality: Issues for Social Work An overview of the theoretical perspectives on the development process of human sexuality. The course covers the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of sexual development across the life span including contemporary issues and their implications for social work practice, policy, and research. Particular attention is given to the wide range of beliefs and behaviors related to sexuality. Issues of discrimination and oppression are addressed as they apply to various groups (e.g. gays, lesbians, bisexuals, women, elderly, disabled, etc.). Social work and related literature is examined to assess the ways in which we develop knowledge of human sexuality and the limitations of research regarding sexual issues. Ethical dilemmas related to human sexuality are considered throughout the course. 3
SW 971 Ethical Issues in Social Work Practice

This course has been designed to foster sensitivity to ethical concerns and to provide knowledge and experience in ethical decision-making. Students will become familiar with the philosophical base of Social Work ethics and the profession's Code of Ethics. Ethical principles and models of ethical decision-making grounded by critical thinking will be presented in relation to case materials reflecting a variety of issues, levels of practice, a diversity of populations, and social justice concerns.

3
SW 989 Global Perspectives on Social and Administrative Practice

This course will examine the need for international social work, given the global context and concerns. The course will also examine four perspectives, namely: global perspective, human rights perspective, ecological perspective, and social development perspective, which are crucial for international social work practice. An important requirement of this course will be a study abroad program during spring/summer break, intended to enhance students’ understanding of human rights, social, and economic justice issues and social problems, and also the strategies followed in the host country in dealing with such issues.

Prerequisite: SW 601.

3