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

Identity: The Faculty of Social Work is distinguished by its special emphasis on the integration of research and practice; by its practicum education; by its identification of specific themes which are responsive to societal needs, to guide it in setting priorities; and by its governing structure that brings together teaching faculty, field instructors, students, alumni, the profession, the administration, and the University as partners in the realization of the Faculty's mission.  The Faculty of Social Work is actively engaged in a continuing process of renewal and development.  Child and family welfare; gerontology; health; housing; and anti-racism, multiculturalism and Native issues are current areas of emphasis.  Social work practice encompasses all levels of practice (with individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and policy) and the Faculty of Social Work is committed to the interdependence and effectiveness of these levels of practice as contributing to social justice and social change. The Faculty of Social Work is continually improving the Master of Social Work curriculum. 

The program combines the dual purposes of graduate education and professional training. It is believed that a rigorous academic education supports competent and ethical professional practice at an advanced level.

Special emphasis will be placed on supporting students in integrating theory, practice, and research.

Hours: 20 half credits; term (semester) system.

Pre Reqs: BA/BS; academic background in the social sciences preferred. Satisfactory completion of at least three full courses, or their equivalent, in the social sciences, to include a half-credit course in research methodology, preferably in the social sciences. 

Program Structures: Full time 2 year program; Advanced Standing. May also complete program part time, but must complete MSW requirements within 4 years of date of first registration.

Foundation Requirements: 10 half credits. Fall session (Sept. — Dec.): Knowledge & Value Base of Social Work; Social Policy and Social Welfare in the Canadian Context; Elements of Social Work Practice; Social Work Practice Laboratory; Theoretical Foundations for Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups; and either Social Work Research I — Qualitative, or Social Work Research II — Quantitative (must take both courses but order does not matter).

Winter Session (January - May): Students in the IFG Concentration: Practicum; either Social Work Research I — Qualitative, or Social Work Research II — Quantitative; Social Work Practice Seminar; Social Work Practice with Individuals; Knowledge and Value Base of Social Work (continued from the Fall). Students in the POC Concentration: Practicum; either Social Work Research I - Qualitative or Social Work Research II —Quantitative; Social Work Practice Seminar; Social Work Practice with Organizations; Knowledge and Value Base of Social Work (continued from the Fall).

Concentrations: 10 half credits. Students can choose to concentrate in either (i) the POC — Policy, Organization, Community or (ii) the IFG — Individual, Family, Group area of practice. Each student will develop a program with an individualized focus of study. A student's focus may emphasize considerations such as population served, field of service, social problems, social work function or interventive approach. All students in the two year program will take a number of required courses to ensure that a common core of knowledge is acquired across the two concentrations. In the Second Year, students will continue to build an integrated program of study by combining advanced practice courses, elective courses in specialized areas, a more advanced practicum, and a practice research project or thesis. The Faculty supports advanced studies in a wide range of practice areas (themes), including child and family; aging; health; housing; anti-racism, multiculturalism, and Native issues (AMNI). Themes address needs of people; societal, policy and organizational issues; research; and a range of approaches to intervention.

Students in the IFG Concentration take: Practicum (September - April); Advanced Social Work Research or The Thesis; Social Work Practice with Families; Social Work Practice with Groups; Advanced Theory for Direct Social Work Practice; 4 elective courses or 2 elective courses plus the Thesis.

Students in the POC Concentration take: Practicum (September - April); Advanced Social Work Research or The Thesis; Community Social Work Practice; Social Policy Analysis; Advanced Practice in Policy, Organizations, and Communities; 4 elective courses or 2 elective courses plus the Thesis.

Practicum: The Year 1 practicum begins in January and finishes the end of May (67 days).

The Year 2 practicum extends from mid-September to mid-April (81 days). Students are generally in the concentration practicum 3 days a week throughout the academic year.

Electives: Generally, 4 elective courses in concentration year. If students choose to write a thesis, 2 electives are taken in addition to the thesis. Some elective areas: studies in social welfare policy; people, populations & problems; interventive approaches.

Specialization Options: Interdisciplinary collaborative programs: Aging & the Life Course; Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Psychoactive Substances; Ethnic & Pluralism Studies; and Women’s Studies. Post-Masters study: The Diploma Program in Social Work Research (Res.Dip.S.W.), a part time program offered through the Centre for Applied Social Research at the Faculty of Social Work.

Dual Degree Options: MSW/LL.B. (Law).


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You can email Melissa: socialwork@fullerbecker.com

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This page posted October 15, 2000