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2014-2015 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Master of Social Work


Programs of Study

The School of Social Work offers a 60 credit hour Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree program on both a full time and part time basis. Students pursuing part time study may choose either a three or four academic year model. All requirements for graduation must be completed within four years after coursework has begun. The distribution of course requirements for both programs of study are set forth as follows.

Requirements for the M.S.W.

The M.S.W. degree consists of a minimum of 60 credit hours.

Primary Foundation (all required):

*See your Advisor - Not required for students with CSWE accredited BSW undergraduate degrees or Child Welfare Grantees. If waived, students take a SW elective in place of SW 601.

** Test-out exam available.

Advanced Generalist Concentration (all required):

Advanced Policy

(Choose 1 of 4):

Field Education Practice (all required):

Advanced Micro-core

(Choose 1 of 2):

Advanced Macro-core

(Choose 2 of 4):

Electives (choose one course of at least 3 credits):

Any course from above list not taken to satisfy requirements or:

M.S.W. and M.P.A. Degree Programs

The Schools of Social Work and Public and Nonprofit Administration offer prospective students the option to pursue both graduate degrees offered by these units (M.S.W and M.P.A). This entails taking coursework in both disciplines in order to be well prepared to seek middle and upper-level management position in either public or private human service organizations. Those earning the two degrees will attain the knowledge, skills and values of the social work profession with the advanced administrative and technical expertise developed through the study of public administration to become leaders in their organizations and communities. Currently, Grand Valley State University policies enable a student to pursue the M.S.W degree as the first masters degree and the M.P.A degree as a second masters degree by completing 21 credits in the M.P.A program.

Applicants must submit the following items to the Grand Valley State University Admissions Office in Allendale, Michigan:

  • Completed graduate application for admission to both the M.S.W program and M.P.A program
  • $30 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official copies of transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended, other than Grand Valley
  • Three recommendation forms from individuals able to attest to the candidate's qualifications for graduate work and professional practice
  • Current resume detailing work and volunteer experience
  • Graduate admissions statement responding to the five questions detailed in the MSW Admissions packet
  • Coursework Requirement Form

No further action on candidacy will be taken until all requested materials have been received by the Admissions Office. Applications may be obtained through the University or either school. Completed application files will be reviewed by the M.S.W program and the M.P.A program. Students must meet the basic requirements for graduate study as defined by each School. Either program may also request additional information from an applicant before granting full admissions status and a personal interview may be required.

M.S.W. and M.P.A. Requirements

For students who are not seeking or do not qualify for Advanced Standing, 78 credit hours of study are required. For Advanced Standing students, 59 credits are required. Students must be willing to take a minimum of two courses per semester, including spring/summer, and are expected to complete coursework within four calendar years. A three-semester field education practice is required (two-semesters for advanced standing); students will spend a major portion of the time applying the knowledge learned in the classroom regarding macro practice. Students must complete a minimum of 21 credits of Public Administration courses along with the courses necessary to earn the M.S.W.

Foundation Core (all required*)

*See your Advisor - Not required for students with CSWE accredited BSW undergraduate degrees or Child Welfare Grantees. If waived, students take a SW elective in place of SW 601.

** Test-out exam available.

(SW 600, 601, 603, 610, and SW 620 are waived for students with Advanced Standing status.)

Advanced Generalist Concentration (all required with 2 noted PA/SW options)

Public Administration Core (all required):

Field Education Practice (all required):

(* SW 650 and SW 651 are waived for students with Advanced standing status.)

Advanced macro (all required with 2 noted PA/SW):

Social Work Electives (choose 1 of 4):

Public Administration Electives (choose 1 of 4):

Social Work Program Description

Click here for the program description.

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.