Master of Social Work (MSW) Courses

SWKG 500:  Introduction to the Social Work Profession
1 hour. This course explores the history and development of the social work profession, social work values and ethics, foundations of knowledge, and fields of practice with systems of all sizes.

SWKG 531: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Theoretical Foundations
3 hours. This first course in the 2-semester HBSE sequence will focus on major theories of human behavior from infancy through adulthood in the context of the interaction between and among the range of social systems (individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities) and with consideration of the impact of social and economic forces on all aspects of human development. The aim of this course is to provide a framework for creating, organizing, and understanding of theory, research, and practice issues of human behavior and the social environment as a foundation to practice advanced generalist social work, and on which to build advanced generalist practice skills. The focus of this course is on behavior and the continuous, reciprocal interchange and influence in, between, and among different systems of the larger environment. A strengths-based and person-in-environment theory approach leads to an understanding of how the biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual systems are interrelated and affect human development throughout the life span. Special attention is given to the impact of human diversity, discrimination, social injustices and oppression on the ability to reach or maintain optimal health and well-being. Values and ethical issues related to the theories presented will also be considered. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to consider the crucial relationship between evidence-based theory and social work practice. 
Co- or Prerequisite: SWKG 500 Introduction to the Social Work Profession

SWKG 532: Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Assessment through the Lifespan
3 hoursAssessment through the Lifespan builds on HBSE I, which provided knowledge and understanding of theory, research, and practice issues of human development within the context of biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors. Emphasis is placed on understanding of the relevance of evidence-based theory for practice and how race, ethnicity, culture, gender, and socioeconomic variables influence and contribute to human development and behavior within social systems. This second course in the 2-semester HBSE sequence further examines theories and knowledge of human bio-psycho-social-cultural- spiritual development from childhood to later adulthood in the context of the range of social systems (individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities), and with consideration of the impact of social and economic forces on all aspects of human development. The aim of this course is to use a strengths-based and person-in-environment theoretical framework to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for understanding human behavior as a function of biological, social, psychological, spiritual, and cultural systems across the life span. The focus of this course is on behavior and the impact of the larger environment on the individual. Special attention is given to the impact of social injustice, discrimination and oppression on the ability to reach or maintain human well-being.
Prerequisite: SWKG 531 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Theoretical Foundations

SWKG 540: Research Methods & Statistics
2 hours. This course is designed to encourage and equip you to read, critically evaluate, and use the research of others to improve your effectiveness in practice and conduct your own practice research. The following will be examined: scientific methods for building knowledge for social work practice, ethical standards for scientific inquiry, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, research designs for developing knowledge and systematically evaluating social work practice and human service programs, and the critical review and utilization of research findings.
Co- or Prerequisite: SWKG 500 Introduction to the Social Work Profession

SWKG 541: Research Methods & Applications
2 hours. This course is designed to move the student from the conceptual understanding of research methods to the application of research methods in practice.  Students will apply scientific methods for building knowledge for social work practice, use ethical standards for scientific inquiry, choose qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, research designs for developing knowledge and systematically evaluating social work practice and human service programs, and the critical review and utilization of research findings.
Prerequisite: SWKG 540 Research Methods and Statistics

SWKG 560: Social Policy
3 hours. Social Policy is designed to provide students with an overview of the complexities of social welfare policy issues and analysis. Social welfare policy is the process by which society creates structures to deal with social relationships and social problems. In addition, social work views social policy as a means to inform social advocacy and professional leadership in service of vulnerable and oppressed populations. The content of this course relates to understanding the history of, influences on, and promotion of social welfare and economic justice.
Prerequisite: SWKG 500 Introduction to the Social Work Profession

SWKG 570: Values & Ethics: Spirituality & Religion
3 hours. This course provides students with a comprehensive exploration of social work values and ethics, with a particular emphasis on their intersection with religious and spiritual values. Course content includes an examination of ethical issues as they apply to social work theory, research, policy, and practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities along with an exploration of the historical and contemporary relationships between social work ethics and religious belief. Students will acquire and practice the skills of ethical decision-making including values clarification, application of ethical theory, utilization of codes of ethics, and models of ethical analysis.
Co- or Prerequisite: SWKG 500 Introduction to the Social Work Profession

SWKG 576: Foundation Internship I
3 hours. This course is designed to provide an opportunity for social work students to apply academic learning to professional social work practice under the supervision of a qualified and experienced social work practitioner. Social Work 576 bridges classroom learning and the practice of social work through faculty coordination of the field experience and facilitation of the seminar sessions. Social Work 576, Foundation Internship I, is a required course for all students in the standard MSW program. It consists of a minimum of 240 hours of applied learning in an agency field setting and a 2-hour integrative seminar that meets weekly at the university. All students participating in field education must meet the entry-level competence required by their field agency.  Academic course work will provide an increasing knowledge and skill base from which students serve individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities in various agency settings.
Co- or Prerequisites: SWKG 500 Introduction to the Social Work Profession; SWKG 531 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Theoretical Foundations; SWKG 591 Social Work Practice I; Families, Individuals, and Groups

SWKG 577: Foundation Internship II
3 hours. This course is designed to provide an opportunity for social work students to apply academic learning to professional social work practice under the supervision of a qualified and experienced social work practitioner. Social Work 577 bridges classroom learning and the practice of social work through faculty coordination of the field experience and facilitation of the seminar sessions. Social Work 577, Foundation Internship II, follows the successful completion of Social Work 575, Foundation Internship I, and is a required course for all students in the standard MSW program. It consists of a minimum of 240 hours of applied learning in an agency field setting and a 2-hour integrative seminar that meets weekly at the university. All students participating in field education must meet the entry-level competence required by their field agency.  Academic course work will provide an increasing knowledge and skill base from which students serve individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities in various agency settings.
Prerequisite: SWKG 576 Foundation Internship I

SWKG 591: Social Work Practice I: Families, Individuals & Groups
3 hours. Students apply the steps of the Generalist Intervention Model (engagement, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, and termination/transition) to create care management plans for individuals, families, and groups. Attention is paid to knowledge, skills, and values associated with planned change. Students discover and analyze developmental theories and apply these to the various life stages with special attention being given to human diversity and populations at risk. Students examine biological, psychological, spiritual, and social aspects of the human experience and explore how individuals and families are impacted by the various systems within which they live and work. Students apply knowledge and values of human behavior and the social environment in order to increase their capacity as a generalist social worker. Students strengthen personal and professional awareness as they perform and evaluate helping skills in the beginning, middle, and endings/transitions of planned change. This course is one of the two students take that will inform their capacity to intervene at micro, mezzo, and macro levels of social work practice. 
Co- or Prerequisite: SWKG 500 Introduction to the Social Work Profession

SWKG 592: Social Work Practice II: Communities & Organizations
3 hours. This course is designed to teach students the values, knowledge, and skills for working in and through groups, communities, and organizations to (1) create structures and processes that foster social and economic justice, (2) reduce the vulnerability to distress and deprivation of at-risk populations, and (3) enhance the resources and strengths of persons, families, networks, groups, and communities. It emphasizes organizations, communities, and policies as the target of change, using rational, group problem-solving, and power utilization models. Students encounter the ethical dilemmas endemic to macro practice and analyze the values and beliefs that shape the decision to choose a course of action. The course includes attention to faith communities and religious organizations as contexts for professional practice.
Co- or Prerequisites: SWKG 532 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Assessment through the Life Span; SWKG 591 Social Work Practice I; Families, Individuals, and Groups

SWKG 596: Concentration Year Seminar
1 hour. This course is designed to prepare you for the second year of the MSW program. The seminar links your foundation-year curriculum, your practice experience, and the advanced level concentration of your choice. 
Co- or Prerequisite: SWKG 577 Foundation Internship II

SWKG 600: Introduction to the DSM-V
1 hour. This one-credit required course is designed for beginning advanced practice students. The purpose of the course is to provide the student with an ability to use the DSM-5 as a tool in mental health field placement settings under guidance from the field instructors. Students will gain an understanding of how to use the manual, and understand the diagnostic language in order to be able to participate in assessment, diagnosis, development, and implementation of mental health service plans. This course will help prepare student to engage in discussions with mental health professionals from various disciplines.

SWKG 642: Advanced Research I
2 hours. Scientific methods of knowledge development for social work practice; ethical standards for scientific inquiry; quantitative and qualitative research methods; and research designs are applied to critical evaluation of research in your area of concentration and to development of a plan for research project implementation. Students will engage in an advanced research practice experience that enables them to demonstrate the capacity to plan, conduct, and evaluate an agency-based research project. The research proposal is implemented during the Advanced Field Internship and Advanced Research II (SWKG 643).

SWKG 643: Advanced Research II
2 hours. Concurrent with your enrollment in Advanced Field Internship II (SWKG 677), this course is designed to assist you in completing a major research project related to your concentration internship. You will learn from one another’s work as you help one another refine your work. You will each deliver a professional continuing education presentation to the practice community and faculty, supported by an abstract (brief explanation of presentation topic and content), presentation objectives, a methodology statement, and a vita or resume.
Prerequisite: SWKG 642 Advanced Research I

SWKG 676: Advanced Internship I
4 hours. This course is designed to provide an opportunity for social work students to apply academic learning to advanced professional social work practice in the area of their chosen concentration, Direct Practice or Community Practice, under the supervision of a qualified and experienced social work practitioner. Social Work 676 bridges classroom learning and the practice of social work through faculty coordination of the field experience and facilitation of the seminar sessions. SWKG 676, Advanced Internship I, is a required course for all students in the concentration year of the MSW program who have successfully completed the Foundation Year sequence of SWKG 576 and 577 or their equivalent.  SWKG 676 consists of a minimum of 250 hours of applied learning in an agency field setting and a 2-hour integrative seminar that meets weekly at the university.

SWKG 677: Advanced Internship II
4 hours. This course is designed to provide an opportunity for social work students to apply academic learning to advanced professional social work practice in the area of their chosen concentration, Direct Practice or Community Practice, under the supervision of a qualified and experienced social work practitioner. Social Work 677 bridges classroom learning and the practice of social work through faculty coordination of the field experience and facilitation of the seminar sessions. SWKG 677, Advanced Internship II, is a required course for all students of the MSW program who have successfully completed SWKG 676 and are in the final semester of their concentration year.  SWKG 677 consists of a minimum of 250 hours of applied learning in the agency field setting and a 2-hour integrative seminar that meets weekly at the university. 
Prerequisite: SWKG 676 Advanced Internship I

SWKG 685: Selected Topics in Advanced Social Work Practice 
3 hours. These courses are developed to provide social workers with in-depth knowledge on specific topics of interests in fields of practice. Examples of possible courses include: Child Welfare; Play Therapy; Trauma-Informed Practice; International Social Work.

SWKG 690: Social Work Capstone
1 hour. The capstone is an integrative seminar at the end of the MSW process intended to provide students the opportunity to help demonstrate their readiness to practice social work at an advanced level in their area of concentration and to contribute to the professional knowledge and development of colleagues. Students will reflect on the major themes, goals, and objectives of the social work program. You will each deliver a professional continuing education presentation to the practice community and faculty, supported by an abstract (brief explanation of presentation topic and content), presentation objectives, a methodology statement, and a vita or resume.

SWKG 691: Theories For Advanced Practice: Families, Children, Individuals & Groups
3 hours. This course provides an overview of theory and models of social work intervention with families, children, individuals and groups. Students learn the philosophy and theoretical constructs of a variety of methods, as well as how to apply those methods with different client systems. Emphasis is placed on both cultural and gender issues, as well as on working with families with both traditional and non-traditional structures.

SWKG 692: Theories For Advanced Practice: Community Organizations & Development
3 hours. This course provides an overview of the theory and models of community intervention essential for social work practice with neighborhoods, organizations, and communities.  It addresses issues of community organizing, program development, policy practice, and advocacy at the legislative level. This course presents the conceptual and theoretical foundations for understanding the role of advanced social work community practice. Theoretical models for community practice interventions will be reviewed, focusing on models such as development, planning, organizing, and social action. Global issues, values and ethics, work with diverse and at-risk populations, and the appropriate incorporation of spirituality and religion in competent social work community practice are examined.

SWKG 693: Skills For Advanced Practice: Families, Children, Individuals & Groups
3 hours. This theory-based course develops knowledge and skill for the application of research-informed models of direct social work with families, children, individuals and groups. Advanced practice skills are emphasized with particular attention to engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation. Attention is also given to integrating research in direct social work practice with families, children, individuals and groups.
Co- or Prerequisites: SWKG 600 DSM-5; SWKG 691 Theories for Advanced Practice Families, Children, Individuals and Groups

SWKG 694: Skills For Advanced Practice: Community Organizations & Development
3 hours. The course emphasizes community interventions that are sensitive to human diversity in many forms, including community development, social action and organizing/planning. Knowledge, skills, and the application of social work values prepare students to assess and intervene in communities. The course uses practice theory and methods rooted in professional social work literature. Students also will examine the relationship between religious faith and communities, as well as the role of congregations and religiously affiliated organizations in community practice. In order to accomplish this, this advanced community practice will have a class project as its focus for the entire semester.
Co- or Prerequisites: SWKG 600 DSM-5; SWKG 692 Theories for Advanced Practice Community Organizations & Development

SWKG 695: Special Study
1-3 hours. Independent study of subjects outside of regular offering. Guiding bibliographies are provided, and regular reading reports and conferences are scheduled. Permission required by program director. No more than 6 credit hours of special study can be applied toward the completion of the MSW degree.

SWKG 696: Special Issues in Advanced Practice: Families, Children, Individuals & Groups
3 hours. This course focuses on current clinical issues that families face, allowing students the opportunity to apply advanced practice theories and methods to particular problem areas.

SWKG 697: Special Issues in Advanced Practice: Community Organizations & Development
3 hours. This course focuses on current issues in advanced practice with communities and organizations allowing students the opportunity to apply advanced practice theories and methods to particular problem areas. 

SWKG 698: Program Development, Administration, and Funding
3 hours. Social Work Administration prepares students to perform managerial functions in public, nonprofit, and faith-based human service organizations with particular emphasis on those with programs designed to improve family resilience and human wellness. Specific attention is given to the topics of leadership, human resources, fund raising, organizational development, structure and governance, resource management, and efforts to link human service organizations in an integrated community-wide service delivery system. Students analyze and evaluate selected administrative systems, management practices, and programs in their advanced internship agency and design strategies to maximize both their learning and performance in this and other settings. The course emphasizes the school of social work themes of integrating faith and practice, the strengths perspective, and building communities.