Summary of social work graduate programs prepared by Melissa C.F. Becker, MSW, September 2000
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University of British Columbia School of Social Work and Family Studies

Identity: Mission Statement: The UBC School of Social Work and Family Studies is committed through its teaching, research and community service to excellence in the development, dissemination and application of knowledge, values and skills relevant to social work and family studies. Consistent with the School's traditions, faculty, staff and students are committed to principles of social and economic justice, equity and respect for the realities of diverse cultures and the strengths of civil society.

Hours: 33 credits total. Generally 3 credit courses. Term (semester) system.

Pre Reqs: BSW. Undergraduate social work curriculum should include courses in social policy, social work practice, social work research and a supervised practicum. 3 credit course in statistics.

Program Structures
: Full time program: may be completed within 12 months, or students may elect to spend two academic years pursuing their studies in order to more fully explore the available curriculum. Normally, course requirements and the practicum are completed by the end of the academic Winter Session in April. During the spring and summer months, students usually complete the graduating essay or thesis requirements. Part time program: Students studying on a part-time basis must complete at least 12 credits of course work (excluding graduating essay or thesis credits) each academic year. Progress through the academic requirements is planned in cooperation with the assigned advisor and it is normal to complete all course work and the practicum before commencing the graduating essay or thesis requirements.

A distance degree program was initiated in 1999.

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

Concentrations: Two major Fields of Specialization: Clinical Social Work Practice and Social and Community Development. Students can also choose courses across the fields of study (combined studies).

In addition, students choose a program option (methodological approach): graduating essay or thesis. The Graduating Essay Option: chosen by students intending to specialize in an area of direct social work practice with an emphasis on the integration of theory and practice. Thesis Option: chosen by students intending to carry out an in-depth research study of an original nature in order to address the issues raised in the individualized Study Plan.

Course areas: theoretical foundations & policy (6 credits); practice (6); research (6); elective (6); field studies (6 for graduating essay, 3 for thesis); thesis (6 credits for thesis students); graduating essay (3 credits for graduating essay students).

Specialized areas of study include child and family services, services for women, culturally specific services, social and community development, and social service management.

Practicum: Concurrent practicum (directed field studies) for both graduating essay and thesis option students. 6 credits in field studies for graduating essay students (60 days); 3 credits in field studies for thesis students (30 days).

Electives: 6 credits of elective; elective courses may be taken from social work courses or from other UBC departments.

Specialization Options

Dual Degree Options:

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You can email Melissa: - online since April 1999
This page posted September 23, 2000