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

Identity: The School offers professional training for community-based intervention in a wide area of social issues. M.S.W. students will develop an understanding of the social theories which inform practice. The goal of the program is to educate students so that they may contribute not only to established social services but also to new and less developed areas of service provision. Through this degree students will develop critical and innovative approaches to practice competence and to policy analysis. The school’s educational goals are to develop: 1) deepened and advanced competence in practice and research; and 2) a capacity for critical understanding of social theory, social problems and emergent issues, population groups in need, institutional structures, and policy initiatives and processes.

Hours: 45 credits; 3 terms (semesters); 3 credit courses. The third term may optionally be taken in the summer, in which case the entire program may be completed in one calendar year.

Pre Reqs: BSW required; professional post-BSW experience in social service work, or related experience preferred. Generally, students need to have completed course work in statistics and in research methods at the undergraduate level.

Program Structures: Program is advanced standing in nature. FT program (3 terms); part time study can be arranged (6 semesters, or flexible by number of courses taken per term). Full-time students must complete the M.S.W. degree within three years of initial registration, and part-time students must complete the degree within five years of initial registration. Under certain conditions, one additional year may be permitted.

Foundation Requirements: All students enter with BSW, so there is no foundation sequence per se.

Concentrations: Broad study goals: child & family welfare; health & well-being through the life cycle; community development. 2 different Plans of Study: the non-thesis option (practicum & independent study project) and the thesis option (thesis, no practicum). The non-thesis option is designed for students who are interested in developing skills in specialized practice and policy analysis. Requirements are: a practicum (12 credits); classroom work (8 courses, 24 credits); and research (9 credits), an independent study project culminating in a formal written report. Generally students are required to take Knowledge, Values and Practice, and one of the research methods courses. Other courses (electives) chosen by students from available courses.

The thesis option is designed for students who have strong research interests. Requirements are a thesis (27 credits), plus six courses (3 credits each). Field work is not available in this option. Three courses are required: Knowledge, Values and Practice;

Quantitative Research Methods; and Qualitative Research Methods (or equivalent courses offered in other departments). The remaining three courses (electives) are chosen by students, within certain restrictions.

Courses Taken Outside of the Department: Students in both options are invited to take up to two courses in other departments of the University in areas of study not offered in the

School of Social Work.

Practicum: There is one practicum (12 credits, 450 hours) in the non-thesis plan of study. Students who choose the thesis plan of study do not complete field work.

Electives: Varies for thesis (9 credits) and non-thesis (18 credits) plans of study; parameters around courses that fulfill plan of study.

Specialization Options: certificates: Aboriginal Social Work Practice; Northern Social Work Practice (both to prepare Inuit and other Native students as community workers in their communities).

Dual Degree Options: joint law/MSW program (MSW/BCL/LL.B.).

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You can email Melissa: - online since April 1999
This page posted October 15, 2000