Master of Social Work


Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work

Why study at the USJ MSW Program?

  • The focus on community-based services means that students will have the opportunity to engage clients within their communities and utilize the strengths and resources of these systems to support clients.
  • Graduates will be well-prepared for clinical social work practice. The curriculum is focused on developing skills and knowledge including direct practice experience applying evidence-based practice models.
  • We are a small, personal program that is committed to the values of academic excellence, integrity, diversity and hospitality. We have high expectations, and we provide strong support.
  • Our outstanding faculty are experts in their area, engaged in the community, and committed to the success of our students.
  • The USJ MSW curriculum offers three specializations in high demand areas (Health and Mental Health, Child and Family Services and Veteran’s Services).
  • See Why our MSW is Right for You

PROGRAM MISSION

The Mission of the USJ MSW Program is to prepare social work students for clinical practice in community-based settings. The program will produce graduates who are guided by professional ethics and standards and who use culturally-responsive research and practice to promote individual and social change. Through the use of an innovative field education model in partnership with community-based organizations, students and faculty develop, test, implement, and disseminate evidence-informed practice to advance clinical social work. The MSW Program promotes services to diverse populations that improve individual functioning, strengthen families and communities, and promote a civil society based on human rights, social and economic justice, and peace.

PROGRAM GOALS

The USJ Master of Social Work Program will:

  • Produce ethically-strong graduates prepared for community-based practice as licensed clinical social workers in areas where there is the greatest need
  • Provide access to graduate social work education for employed health and human services personnel
  • Improve client outcomes and access to high quality clinical social work services for underserved populations through student and faculty involvement in applied, community-engaged research
  • Collaborate with other disciplines to develop evidence-informed practices and strategies for delivering integrative care to diverse populations
  • Enhance the relationship between social work education and practice through mutually beneficial partnerships with community-based organizations.
  • Implement and evaluate the Student Unit Model of field education and disseminate outcomes to the Social Work education community

INNOVATIVE FEATURES

  • We offer flexible class schedules (evening and weekend), varied course formats (traditional classroom, hybrid and online) and several completion pathways (full-time and part-time) allowing all students, including those who are employed full-time, to complete their MSW degree.
  • Students will have the opportunity to participate in our innovative Student Unit model of field education. Unlike traditional MSW programs that place students with volunteer social workers, USJ MSW program partners with select agencies and provides the clinical supervisor at each site guaranteeing the quality of case assignments and clinical supervision.

STATEMENT ON PROGRAM ACCREDITATION AND STATE SOCIAL WORK LICENSURE

Accreditation:

The University of Saint Joseph Masters in Social Work program was granted Full Initial Accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) at the October, 2016 meeting of the Commission on Accreditation. The initial accreditation period retroactively covers the MSW program’s Candidacy stage beginning in 2014 and is in effect until October, 2020.

In order to qualify for a master’s level social work license in most states, including Connecticut, applicants must have graduated from a CSWE-accredited program. As noted above, the USJ MSW program achieved Candidacy status in November, 2014.  CSWE considers all students who graduate from a program in candidacy to have graduated from an accredited program once the program is fully accredited. * Thus all students admitted into the MSW program at its inception in August, 2014 or later are considered to have graduated from a CSWE-accredited program.

Licensure:

Each state has established licensure qualifications for social workers but states vary with respect to license requirements and which level of licensure is offered. We encourage students to consult the appropriate social work licensing agency to determine the specific requirements for licensure. It is the applicant’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is the non-profit organization that develops and administers social work licensure examinations. Additional information about licensing exams and state requirements may be found on their website.

*The 2008 EPAS (Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards) Handbook, p. 44, states that once a program is granted accreditation, "...students admitted during or after the academic year in which the program is granted candidacy will be recognized as having graduated from an accredited program."