MSW Program

Admission to Program

Applicants must first meet the general university requirements pertaining to the admission of graduate students. In addition, applicants must demonstrate academic and professional commitments to Social Work and the values and philosophical foundations of the School’s mission. To be considered for admission into the MSW Program, you must apply for and be admitted into both Graduate Studies and the School of Social Work. Admission to the MSW Program is highly competitive. Application forms and materials can be accessed online via the School of Social Work website: http://socwork.sfsu.edu/. Applications for the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program are available on the School of Social Work website and must be submitted in person or mailed to the Title IV-E Coordinator.

 

School admission decisions are based on several areas, including potential for professional practice as demonstrated by previous employment/volunteer experiences; value congruence to the School’s mission; and knowledge, experience, and relationship of the applicant to oppressed, under-served and under-represented individuals, families, groups, and communities; and academic performance (especially most recent). Applicants must have attained a GPA of at least 3.0 in an acceptable earned baccalaureate degree, or a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units for admission to the program. The significance of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited undergraduate program in Social Work is recognized, but applicants with a BASW degree are not given advanced standing.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

The School of Social Work is committed to enhancing all students’ ability to communicate in an effective and professional manner, both orally and in writing. Further, the School promotes efforts to ensure that all forms of communication are culturally sensitive and appropriate. To prepare practitioners for the challenges and responsibilities of practice within professional settings, the School of Social Work pursues a rigorous writing proficiency standard in the BASW and MSW programs. Formal writing assignments are integrated into the structure of classes with the expectation that students progressively expand and refine their mastery of organizing ideas and expressing purposeful thinking. Written communication is a core competency in both the BASW and MSW degree programs.

 

Level One Written English Profiency

The School of Social Work MSW Program requires students to complete the GRE Analytical Writing Measure prior to admission, and obtain an expected minimum score of 4.0 or better. Applicants who score less than 4.0 on the Writing Measure may be admitted to the MSW program with "Conditional" status, and will be required to demonstrate Level One Written English Proficiency within the first semester, but no later than the second semester of the first year. There are a variety of ways to meet this requirement, including enrollment in a university writing proficiency course, working one-to-one with a writing tutor, or enrollment in an online social work-specific writing course.

 

Level Two Written English Proficiency

The culmination of student writing is completed when graduate students write their final culminating experience project for the MSW degree. They choose either a professional practice project or a thesis. The final projects typically include, as a minimum, the following sections:

  • Identification of the issues or problems that are the focus of the project or thesis;
  • Description, foundation, discussion, comprehension, and analysis of  the presenting problems or issues;
  • Review of the literature relevant to the project subjects;
  • Application and syntheses of the literature, principles, theories, and practice areas;
  • Assessment;
  • Evaluation;
  • Implications for social work policies, programs, practices.

 

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting all general requirements for advancement to candidacy, the school maintains the following additional requirements:

  • Completion of S W 700, 710, 720, 730, 770, and 780, which are to be taken in the first year prior to other courses, 4 units of S W 740, and 2 units of S W 741. S W 740 is graded CR/NC only.
  • Maintenance of a 3.0 grade point average in graduate study.

 

Note: The Field Education Coordinator meets and works with all students to help them locate a suitable field internship for the academic year.

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Core Requirements

Course

Title

Units

S W 700

History and Philosophy of Social Welfare

3

S W 701

Social Policy Analysis

3

S W 710

Human Behavior and the Social Environment

3

S W 720

Research Methods in Social Work

3

S W 721
 
    
or
S W 820

Seminar: Evaluative Research Methods
in Social Work
  
Seminar: Advanced Research Methodology
in Social Work

3

S W 730

Social Work Practice Methods

3

S W 740

Field Work Instruction

2

S W 740

Field Work Instruction

2

S W 741

Graduate Field Seminar1

1

S W 741

Graduate Field Seminar1

1

S W 770

Ethnic and Cultural Concepts and Principles I

3

S W 780

Global Poverty

3

S W 895
    
or
S W 898

Research Project in Social Work
 
Master'’s Thesis

3

Minimum core units: 33

Program Emphasis (one area chosen from the emphases listed below): 27 units

Minimum total: 60

 

Emphases

Each student is admitted into the Individuals, Families and Groups (IFG) emphasis, and may elect to simultaneously apply to the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program.

 

Individuals, Families, and Groups (IFG)

Social work practice with individuals, families, and groups is grounded in a bio-psychosocial approach to direct service. The social worker functions as a multi-role practitioner including the following: case worker, case manager, leader, facilitator, broker, advocate, counselor, educator, or resource specialist. The practice methods emphasize the importance of promoting the strengths of individuals, rather than focusing on deficits or pathology. The goal of IFG practice is to ameliorate stressors within a life course context of human development and functioning. The practitioner’s attention is directed toward enhancing the coping abilities of individuals, families, and groups in dealing with aspects of their interpersonal environment through empowering processes. Recognition of issues of diversity is fundamental to culturally competent IFG practice.

 

Individuals, Families, and Groups Program

Course

Title

Units

S W 810

Health, Illness, and Disordered Behavior

3

S W 740

Field Work Instruction

3

S W 740

Field Work Instruction

3

S W 741

Graduate Field Seminar1

1

S W 741

Graduate Field Seminar1

1

S W 830

Seminar: Social Casework

3

S W 832

Seminar: Social Group Work

3

S W 831

Seminar: Advanced Social Casework

3

Electives on advisement: 7 units

Minimum total for emphasis: 27 units