Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) Major in Advanced Practice Leadership

Major Program

The School of Social Work offers the master of social work (M.S.W.) degree, which prepares students for advanced specialized practice. The degree is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Social work practice at the M.S.W. level shares a common core of knowledge, values, and skills. Throughout the curriculum, the School emphasizes social justice and professional ethics. The M.S.W. degree prepares graduates for a wide variety of positions in many diverse, interesting fields that address human needs.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the 2017-2018 academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the 2017-2018 academic year can be found on the program’s web page. International students should review the International Admission Documents section of the catalog for additional requirements.

  • completed online ApplyTexas application
  • $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • $50 nonrefundable international evaluation fee (if applicable)
  • GRE scores not required
  • departmental application
  • resume/CV (maximum two pages)
  • statement of purpose
  • An interview may be required.

  • Transcripts & GPA for B.S.W. Holders (Advanced Applicants) 

    • baccalaureate degree in social work (B.S.W.) earned within the last ten years from a regionally accredited CSWE program
    • official transcripts required from each four-year institution where course credit was granted
    • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
    • minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two full academic years of study
    • minimum 3.0 GPA in all undergraduate social work courses
  • Transcripts & GPA for Non-B.S.W. Holders (Foundation/Regular Applicants)

    • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
    • official transcripts required from each four-year institution where course credit was granted
    • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0
  • This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

Degree Requirements

The M.S.W. degree program prepares graduates for advanced specialized professional social work practice, particularly in public services. The M.S.W. degree program offers regular and advanced standing tracks, as well as full- and part-time study.

The regular track involves 62 hours of course work. Full-time students typically spend two years (five terms) to complete the degree, while part-time students will commit four years to complete the M.S.W.

The advanced standing program (which enrolls students directly into second year content) consists of 36 hours of course work organized across one calendar year of three terms. Advanced standing is open to students who hold the B.S.W. degree. Students committed to part-time study should expect to spend two years to complete the advanced standing track.

The first (foundation) year curriculum focuses on the generic foundation knowledge and skills necessary for general social work practice, while the second (advanced) year focuses on specialized practice. Regular track students in their second year of course work, as well as advanced standing students, select a concentration of study in Advanced Practice Leadership.

Courses may be offered face-to-face, on-line, by web-casting or interactive television, or using a combination of these teaching methods.

Regular admission students must complete 62 credit hours to earn the M.S.W. degree. Advanced standing students must complete 36 credit hours.

Course Requirements

Regular Non-BSW Holders Concentration

SOWK 5308Human Behavior in Individual and Family Social Environments3
SOWK 5309Human Behavior in Local and Global Social Environments3
SOWK 5310Social Welfare Policy and Services3
SOWK 5313Foundation Social Work Practice I3
SOWK 5314Foundation Social Work Practice II3
SOWK 5316Foundation Social Work Practice III3
SOWK 5317Social Work Research3
SOWK 5410Foundation Field I (Concurrent)4
SOWK 5411Foundation Field II (Concurrent)4
SOWK 5322Advanced Social Policy and Social Justice3
SOWK 5323Advanced Social Work Research3
SOWK 5370Advanced Program Planning and Grant-Based Resource Development3
SOWK 5371Advanced Assessment, Leadership, and Supervision in Social Service Organizations3
SOWK 5372Advanced Diagnostic Assessment and Intervention with Individuals3
SOWK 5373Advanced Intervention with Families and Groups3
SOWK 5678Advanced Practicum 16
SOWK 5679Advanced Practicum 26
Social Work Elective
Choose from the following:3
Social Work Intervention in Drug Addiction & Abuse
Social Work Intervention in Child Abuse & Neglect
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging
Adventure Therapy: Theory, Research & Practice
Spirituality in Social Work Practice
School Social Work
Hip Hop and Social Justice for Individual and Community Change
Social Work and Health Care
Helping Troops Transition Back to their Families and Communities: The Invisible Wounds of War
Total Hours62

Advanced BSW Holders Concentration

SOWK 5322Advanced Social Policy and Social Justice3
SOWK 5323Advanced Social Work Research3
SOWK 5370Advanced Program Planning and Grant-Based Resource Development3
SOWK 5371Advanced Assessment, Leadership, and Supervision in Social Service Organizations3
SOWK 5372Advanced Diagnostic Assessment and Intervention with Individuals3
SOWK 5373Advanced Intervention with Families and Groups3
SOWK 5678Advanced Practicum 16
SOWK 5679Advanced Practicum 26
Social Work Electives
Choose from the following:6
Social Work Intervention in Drug Addiction & Abuse
Social Work Intervention in Child Abuse & Neglect
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging
Adventure Therapy: Theory, Research & Practice
Spirituality in Social Work Practice
School Social Work
Hip Hop and Social Justice for Individual and Community Change
Social Work and Health Care
Helping Troops Transition Back to their Families and Communities: The Invisible Wounds of War
Total Hours36

Field Practicum

Field practicum (internship) involves the student intern working in a social service agency under the intensive supervision of a licensed master social worker. All regular track students (full- and part-time) must complete a total of 20 semester credit hours of field practicum, while advanced standing students must complete a total of 12 semester credit hours of field practicum. Regular track students complete a first-year field practicum while concurrently enrolled in other classes. In the second year, for both full-time regular track and advanced standing students, field practicum occurs during the spring term. Part-time students may spread second-year field practicum across two terms.

Master's level courses in Social Work: SOWK

Courses Offered

Social Work (SOWK)

SOWK 5300A. Adventure Therapy: Theory, Research & Practice.

This course will examine adventure therapy theory, research, and practice within a social work framework. Students will have the opportunity to engage in research-informed practice and develop skills in adventure therapy group facilitation. Prerequisite: Graduate student in good standing.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5300B. Spirituality in Social Work Practice.

This elective course provides an advanced comprehensive framework of knowledge, values, and skills necessary for ethical and effective spiritually-relevant practice. It examines spirituality as an integral component of a strengths-based approach to social work practice with diverse and/or vulnerable clients. It integrates a contemporary global perspective with critical self-reflection. Prerequisite: Graduate student in good academic standing; Department approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5300C. School Social Work.

This course is an advanced analysis and assessment of social services in the school setting, including: educational issues, conceptual framework, policies, and service delivery systems. Special attention is paid to cultural diversity, special populations, parent-school collaboration, community liaison, referral systems, and change. Additionally, this course covers individual and group intervention Prerequisite: Graduate student in good academic standing; Department approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5300D. Hip Hop and Social Justice for Individual and Community Change.

Contemporary issues of equity and justice are investigated for potential influences on health and well-being. Students will compare professional application of Hip Hop integrated strategies within therapeutic, education, physical health, and afterschool and summer programs. Students will also understand the interdisciplinary aspects of community-based strategies to promote equity and justice. Prerequisite: Graduate student in good academic standing; Department approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
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SOWK 5300E. Social Work and Health Care.

This elective course provides a generalist view of social work practice in mental health and public health, considering the social problems that affect health care, and ethical and effective intervention strategies and service delivery systems. Prerequisite: Graduate student in good academic standing; Department approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
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SOWK 5308. Human Behavior in Individual and Family Social Environments.

This foundation graduate course presents individual and family dynamics across the life cycle, centering on human development, individual and group strengths, and the effects of cultural diversity. It enhances critical thinking and assessment skills about human behavior in social environments, and incorporates material on professional values, ethics, and social justice.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5309. Human Behavior in Local and Global Social Environments.

This foundation graduate course explores human functioning in the environment by studying families, groups, communities, organizations, and societies in local and global contexts. Through learning content on diversity, populations at risk, and social and economic justice, students build critical thinking and assessment skills using developmental and eco-systems frameworks.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5310. Social Welfare Policy and Services.

This foundation course studies the United States’ social welfare system, emphasizing how social welfare policies affect diverse populations. Topics include social welfare history; and policy development, implementation, evaluation, and values. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5312. Social Work Intervention in Drug Addiction & Abuse.

This elective course focuses on commonly used and abused drugs as well as the dynamics and treatment of addiction. It emphasizes social work intervention aimed at addiction prevention and treatment. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5313. Foundation Social Work Practice I.

This foundation course explores generalist social work theory and practice methodology in problem-solving with individuals, families, and groups, emphasizing data collection, assessment, intervention planning, and evaluation. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.S.W. degree program.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5314. Foundation Social Work Practice II.

This foundation skill-development course emphasizes generalist social work practice with task groups, organizations, and communities. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.S.W. degree program.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5315. Social Work Intervention in Child Abuse & Neglect.

This elective course considers child welfare services available to abused and neglected children in their own homes, in substitute care, and through the community, emphasizing social work intervention with children and their families. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5316. Foundation Social Work Practice III.

This foundation course develops the student’s interpersonal and communication skills with clients and other professionals. Students must demonstrate competence in interviewing, assessment, and planning skills. Students learn to collect data to support assessment, plan intervention, and evaluate practice. Prerequisites: SOWK 5313.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5317. Social Work Research.

This foundation course builds introductory scientific research skills in critical thinking and knowledge of program and practice evaluation. It prepares students to read, interpret, and critique research with skepticism and rigor and to perform various research and social work practice activities. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5319. Diagnostic Assessment.

This advanced course examines how individuals, families, and groups interact with the social environment, emphasizing mental health and adaptive capacity, theories of the etiology and development of mental and emotional disorders, and how culture affects mental health. Prerequisites: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5320. Advanced Administrative Leadership Practice I: Introduction to Management.

This advanced skill-development course emphasizes social work practice in managing small and large organizations. Students develop knowledge and skills in social work management and supervision in non-profit and public organizations. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5322. Advanced Social Policy and Social Justice.

This advanced course, a study of social legislation affecting disadvantaged persons, emphasizes policy analysis, values, and advocacy through studying social policy history; developing, implementing, and evaluating policy; and influencing social and economic justice. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5323. Advanced Social Work Research.

This advanced course builds knowledge and skills for systematically evaluating programs and practice. It enhances effective and ethical social work practice by teaching skills necessary to design, implement, and empirically assess intervention with client and programs. Prerequisites: SOWK 5317, advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5324. Advanced Direct Practice with Families.

This advanced course focuses on theories, research, and models of practice with families. It emphasizes a systems orientation to assessment and intervention, and integrates issues of self-awareness and human diversity. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5325. Advanced Administrative Leadership Practice III: Challenges and Innovations.

This advanced course expands knowledge and skills by exploring how theories, supervision and management interventions, and social work values are applied to diverse organizational environments. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5326. MC/MP Advanced Direct Practice with Individuals.

This advanced course examines intervention theories and builds specialized skills for effective, ethical practice with individuals. It examines how culture influences individuals, and discusses how to assess individuals from multiple perspectives. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5327. Advanced Direct Practice with Groups.

This advanced course develops effective, ethical group practice skills, including assessment from multiple perspectives, facilitation of group process and intervention, evaluation, and addressing needs of diverse populations. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5328. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging.

This interdisciplinary course provides a graduate-level foundation in knowledge and skills used to address a wide range of needs among the aging population, their families, and support systems. Biophysical, psychosocial, and environmental perspectives will be integrated into development of culturally competent approaches to work with elders in many fields. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5329. Organizational Development.

This advanced course examines organizational and inter-organizational social service delivery contexts; how funding, mandate, and organizational arrangements influence services; and factors to consider in modifying existing organizations. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5332. Helping Troops Transition Back to their Families and Communities: The Invisible Wounds of War.

The course examines topics at the individual, family, group, organizational, and community levels related to troops who are returning from current combat operations and their families. It reviews the needs, community resources, and policies in place for helping them and their families make this transition. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5334. Advanced Administrative Leadership Practice II: Resource Development.

This advanced course emphasizes grant-writing and marketing in non-profit organizations. It builds knowledge, roles, and skills to extend organizational resources for effective, ethical social work practice and programs. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5339. Selected Topics in Social Work.

Students study relevant social work topics in depth. Topics, such as social work in schools or in health care, are selected according to students’ needs and professional trends. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5360. Directed Study in Social Work.

This one-semester course highlights individualized reading, independent study and projects, and guided instruction. It is offered by invitation of the professor and with the consent of the MSW Coordinator. It may not be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and the approval of the MSW Coordinator and School Director.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5370. Advanced Program Planning and Grant-Based Resource Development.

This advanced course emphasizes social work practice in building and developing non-profit and public human services organizations. Course topics include: determining organizational needs and priorities; identifying resources to address needs and priorities; and pursuing grant-funded resources to address organizational needs. Requires advanced standing or completion of foundation coursework. Departmental approval required to enroll.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5371. Advanced Assessment, Leadership, and Supervision in Social Service Organizations.

This advanced course focuses on observational and interview-based evaluations of organizational functioning related to change, diversity, ethical decision-making, budgeting, and implementation of action plans. The course also focuses on development of supervisory strategies to effectively lead and transform an organization. Requires advanced standing or completion of foundation coursework. Departmental approval required to enroll.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5372. Advanced Diagnostic Assessment and Intervention with Individuals.

This advanced course focuses on culturally relevant diagnostic assessment of and intervention with individuals based on current theory. The course emphasizes critical analysis of contemporary mental health practice using a psychosocial framework. Requires advanced standing or completion of foundation coursework. Departmental approval required to enroll.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5373. Advanced Intervention with Families and Groups.

This advanced course focuses on culturally-relevant knowledge and skills for theory-based, therapeutic assessment and intervention with diverse families and groups. The course emphasizes systemic, critical analysis of contemporary mental health practice using a psychosocial, strengths-based framework. Requires advanced standing or completion of foundation coursework. Departmental approval required to enroll.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5410. Foundation Field I (Concurrent).

This foundation course consists of supervised beginning generalist social work practice in agencies for a minimum of 250 clock hours, applying classroom knowledge to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Prerequisites: Admission to MSW degree program and completed field application process.
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4 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5411. Foundation Field II (Concurrent).

This second foundation course continues supervised generalist social work practice in agencies for a minimum of 250 clock hours, applying classroom knowledge to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Prerequisites: SOWK 5410 and Field Coordinator approval.
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4 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5612. Direct Practice Field I.

This course offers supervised advanced direct social work practice opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to interventions with individuals, families, and groups in agencies for a total of 300 clock hours. Prerequisites: Completion of field application process and completion of MSW class work.
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6 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5613. Direct Practice Field II.

This course continues supervised advanced direct social work practice opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to interventions with individuals, families, and groups in agencies for a total of 300 clock hours. Prerequisites: Field Coordinator approval.
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6 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5622. Administrative Leadership Field I.

This course offers supervised advanced administrative leadership social work practice opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to interventions with public and non-profit social agencies for a total of 300 clock hours. Prerequisites: Completion of field application process and completion of MSW class work.
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6 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5623. Administrative Leadership Field II.

This course continues supervised advanced administrative leadership social work practice opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to interventions with public and non-profit social agencies for a total of 300 clock hours. Prerequisites: Field Coordinator approval.
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6 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
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SOWK 5678. Advanced Practicum 1.

This course is the first part of the advanced MSW practicum in which students participate in supervised social work practice internships in community agencies and facilities. Students apply classroom knowledge to activities and interventions serving individuals, families, groups, and communities for a minimum of 300 semester clock hours. Departmental approval required to enroll. Prerequisite: Completion of all MSW coursework. Co-requisite: SOWK 5679 unless enrolled in part-time student status.
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6 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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SOWK 5679. Advanced Practicum 2.

This course is the second in the MSW advanced/final practicum sequence. This course builds on the experiential learning in Advanced Practicum 1, and continues the application of classroom knowledge. The Advanced Practicum 2 focuses on more complex, micro, mezzo, and/or macro learning in diverse community social service agencies and/or facilities for 300 semester clock hours. Departmental approval required to enroll. Prerequisite: Completion of all MSW coursework. Co-requisite: SOWK 5678 unless enrolled in part-time student status.
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6 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
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