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

Identity: The Graduate School of Social Work is committed to the enhancement of the individual and society. Further values and beliefs include a dedication to social change and to the attainment of social justice for all peoples, the eradication of poverty, the empowerment of oppressed peoples, the right of all individuals and groups to determine their own destinies, and the opportunity to live in harmony and cooperation.

Research and scholarship focus on understanding, preventing, and ameliorating social problems. Community service involves collaborative efforts with individuals and organizations to develop innovations in social welfare services and policies.

The School is committed to a shared vision of services of high quality for consumers and to social change that improves people's lives.

Hours: 90 quarter credit hours; Quarter (term) system; 14 – 16 credit hours each term for full time students; generally courses are 4 credit hours each.

Pre Reqs: Bachelor’s Degree. Liberal arts background, including 6 quarter hours (or semester equivalent) each from social & behavioral sciences, natural sciences, and humanities/fine & performing arts. In addition, applicants must have successfully completed a minimum of 50 quarter hours (or semester equivalent) from any combination of these three areas. A college level human biology course is required on entry or within the first quarter of the MSW program.

Program Structures: 2 year (6 terms); 3 year (9 terms); 4 year (12 terms); Distance learning program (in development); advanced standing. Some courses are available in evening time periods; however, not all core courses are available during evening sections. The School will not guarantee that students can schedule all classes in one day.

Foundation Requirements: Field Instruction I, II & III; Social Work and Social Welfare Policy; Generalist Social Work Practice I, II & III; Human Behavior in the Social Environment; Foundation of Social Work Research; three Elective courses (variable credits).

Concentrations: 3 concentrations: Direct Human Services; Community-Based Practice; Social Service Program Management. In addition, students may choose to focus a course of study in selected fields of service, such as: mental health services; services to children, youth, and their families; health care services; services to the elderly; services to homeless persons; or services in the juvenile justice system or adult correctional systems.

Courses include: Field Instruction IV, V & VI; Data Analysis in Social Work Research; Advanced Policy-Practice Elective; Advanced Practice for Direct Human Services I & II or
Advanced Community-Based Practice I & II or Advanced Social Service Program Management I & II; three Elective courses (variable credits).

Practicum: Students complete six terms (over two academic years) of professionally supervised field instruction, in two different practicum settings. Both foundation and concentration placements are two days (16 hours) per week.

Electives: Foundation year: 3 elective courses (variable credits). Concentration year: 3 elective courses (variable credits); of the elective courses during concentration year, one must be a section of SW 541, Advanced Theories of Human Behavior in the Social Environment Elective, and one must be a Concentration Elective which varies according to the concentration.

Specialization Options:

Dual Degree Options: Combined MSW/Ph.D.

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This page posted September 23, 2000