Summary of social work graduate programs prepared by Melissa C.F. Becker, September 2000
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Boston University School of Social Work

Identity: Since its inception, our School has viewed differences among people as enriching the quality of life for all. The School acknowledges the value of varying perspectives provided by race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. We believe that effective professional practice requires that practitioners have skills in delivering a broad and flexible array of culturally relevant services.

The Boston University School of Social Work is committed to education that furthers social and economic justice in the urban environment and strives to incorporate this commitment into its programs and activities. There is particular concern with empowerment of all oppressed groups and with intervention with the urban poor.

The School is committed to educating social workers who possess excellent clinical skills and who know how to practice within a context of social policy and social change. We seek to educate each student to become a complete social worker -- a professional who understands and considers the expansive implications of social welfare. The School's curriculum emphasizes a broad approach to social and personal problems and the differential uses of social work methods. It prepares students for the realities of clinical practice, which are influenced by political, social, and economic conditions. Such practice can thrive only when informed by outcome research, buoyed by psychosocial understanding from a variety of theories, and related to surrounding systems of need and power. We help to shape professionals for wise clinical interventions in agency and private practice, and for leadership in related areas of social policy, social action, and social change.

Hours: 65 credits (51 credits classroom coursework, 14 credits practicum); semester system; generally 3 credit courses.

Pre Reqs: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants should have a broad liberal arts background that includes study in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences. Coursework relating to diverse cultures, social conditions, and social problems is also expected.

Program Structures: Full-time two-year program (minimum of 65 credit hours required); Part-time three- or four- year program (regular and distance learning) at the Charles River Campus as well as in northeastern Massachusetts and southeastern Massachusetts (clinical social work courses only at the off-campus programs); both part and full time advanced standing programs.

Foundation Requirements: 27 semester credits in classroom coursework and 6 credits in fieldwork. Required of all students: Intro to Clinical Social Work Practice; Communities and Organizations: Analysis and Intervention; HBSE I & II; Implications of Racism for Social Work Practice; Social Welfare Policy I: Context of Social Welfare Policy; Social Welfare Policy II: Social Problems & Social Policy; Introduction to Research I; Social Work Research II; Field Education I & II.

Concentrations: 24 semester credits of classroom coursework and 8 credits of fieldwork. Two concentrations: Clinical Social Work (working with individuals, families, and groups), and Macro Social Work (community organization, human services management, and planning). These two concentrations may be combined to a point, as students in Clinical can choose a sub-focus in Macro by taking several required courses. Students in Macro may also take some clinical courses using their elective credits. Macro students can choose to focus on community organization; social planning; or human services management. In addition, the school has a specialization in group work that is available to both Clinical and Macro students by taking specific courses in group work (group work is technically located within Clinical, but is seen as a bridge between the two).

Required Clinical courses: Clinical Social Work Assessment & Intervention; Differential Social Work with Groups; Social Work Practice Ethics; additional required electives; Field Education III & IV.

Required Macro courses: Community Organizing; Planning & Program Development; Human Services Management; Social Work Practice Ethics; additional required electives; Field Education III & IV.

Practicum: 14 semester credits in field education. 16 hours a week in foundation placement; 24 hours a week in concentration placement.

Several alternative scheduling options are available for part-time students. Among these options are the summer block program for the foundation placement (32 hours/week for 15 weeks) and the calendar-year option for the advanced placement (16 hours/week for 12 months). Students (except advanced standing students) also have the option to do one of their two placements at an agency at which they are employed, if the agency and proposed placement meet specified criteria (available from the Field Education Department).

Electives: 6 credits of Required electives; 6 credits of Free electives.

Specialization Options: Family Therapy certificate program; Gerontological Studies certificate program; specialization in group work (open to both clinical & macro students).

Post graduate certificate programs: Advanced Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy: Treatment of Children & Adolescents on the Front Line; and Alcoholism & Drug Abuse: Advanced Clinical Diagnosis, Intervention & Treatment.

Dual Degree Options: public health; theology; education. Joint Ph.D. program in Social Work & Sociology.

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This page posted September 23, 2000