Summary of social work graduate programs prepared by Melissa C.F. Becker, MSW, September 2000
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University of Pennsylvania

Identity: Focus on history and its shaping of the present, institutional racism as a dominant force in our society, and an approach to knowledge that is evolving in response to rapid social change. "Rather than a set ‘prescription’ for practice action, The Penn Approach provides a framework for inquiry and evaluation that is continuous, creative, and directed at constructive and responsible individual and social change."

Hours: 60; semester system.

Pre Reqs: BA (liberal arts) plus experience (paid or volunteer) in the field, or BSW.

Program Structure: Full time (four semesters, 15 hours per semester); 3 year (6 semesters and two summers); weekend distance learning program (4 years or 3 years plus summer courses at main campus); BA/MSW submatriculation (5 years).

Foundation: All courses in the MSW program are grouped according to five content areas. These groupings, called sequences, include: American Institutional Racism; Individual and Social Processes (I.S.P.); Research; Social Policy; and Social Work Practice. During the first year of study, all students are required to take eight (8) core courses: History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare; Individual Functioning in the Social Environment; American Racism and Social Work Practice; Foundations of Social Work Practice; Contemporary Social Policy; Group, Organizational, and Community Dynamics; Promoting Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender; and Social Work Practice.

Concentration: Students choose a concentration--either direct or macro practice. Macro students specialize either in social & economic development or administration, policy, and planning. All students must take a year long practice class in their concentration area, a required research class, plus 2 additional CU’s in their concentration. They may also select an optional field of practice specialization, which consists of two CU's within that area of specialization and an appropriate field placement. The Fields of Practice include: Health; Behavioral Health; Services to Children and Youth; Criminal/Juvenile Justice; and Aging. CU’s can be any combination of semester-length, module or double module courses.

Practicum: Foundation and concentration practica, both 3 days per week.

Electives: Four electives, which can be used to specialize in a field.

Specializations: Certificates in Catholic Social Ministry; Jewish Communal Studies; Lutheran Social Ministry or Christian Social Ministry.

Dual Degrees: City planning, MBA, Education, JD.

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