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

Identity: The University of Utah Graduate School of Social Work recognizes the interdependence of people and the environments in which they live.  Therefore, we join in common unity with others to shape social institutions, policies, services, and interventions to prevent and alleviate human suffering, enhance individual, community, and global well-being, and promote social and economic justice.

We prepare students for social work practice through the critical evaluation and application of existing and emerging theoretical frameworks for practice.  We honor scholarship in its many forms and contribute to the development of social work knowledge through research and practice intervention.  We demonstrate our commitment to service through active involvement in the community.

Our work is directed by the following values and principles:  freedom of inquiry and open debate; inclusion and shared leadership; respect for self-determination and the need for accountability; and the affirmation and promotion of human diversity.

Hours: 60 credit hours; semester system; generally 2-3 credit courses.

Pre Reqs: A baccalaureate degree; liberal arts background. Special consideration is given to admission of students interested in rural social work, juvenile justice and corrections, child welfare, and the school’s American Indian Training Program.

Program Structures: Full time (2 years/4 semesters). Part time evening program (3 years). Part time rural program (3 years; off-site, distance learning). The Rural Off-Campus program is funded through a Title IV-E grant from the Utah State Department of Human Services. It is designed to meet critical state personnel needs for MSW credentialed social workers in rural communities. The program offers a three-year course of study meeting the requirements of 60 semester graduate hours leading to the Master of Social Work degree.

The school employs a combination of on-site teaching and advanced "distance learning" technology in the Rural Off-Campus program.

Program structures are relatively set. It is difficult for students to move from one structure to another once they have started the program (i.e. from full time to part time).

Foundation Requirements: 30 credit hours. Contexts of Social Work Practice; Foundation Practice I: Practice w/Individuals & Groups; Foundation Practice II: Practice in Communities; Human Behavior/Social Environment I: Comparative Theories; Social Policy I: Intro to Social Welfare Policy; Research I: Basic Research Methods; Practicum I; Social Work Integrative Seminar I; Foundation Practice III: Couples & Families; Foundation Practice IV: Practice in Organizations; Human Behavior/Social Environment II: Theories and Techniques for Assessing Social Functioning; Social Policy II: Social Policy Practice — Diversity; Research II: Intervention Research; Practicum II; Integrative Seminar II.

Concentrations: 30 credits. Advanced concentrations in both Clinical/Direct Practice and Administration/Community Practice. In addition, students may choose a focused Area of Study (FAS; used to organize a course of elective study in an area of interest). Focused Areas of Study include: a. Field of practice (i.e. gerontology, juvenile justice/corrections, health, mental health, etc.); b. Social problem areas (i.e. alcohol and substance abuse, family violence, poverty, etc.); c. Populations at risk (i.e. people with disabilities, youth in gangs, people with serious and persistent mental illness, frail elderly, etc.); d. Intervention methods or roles (i.e. policy planning, advocacy, administration, community practice, specialization within clinical-direct practice, etc.); e. Practice context and perspectives (i.e. developmental approach, transpersonal perspective, cultural contexts, diversity, etc.). The Focused Area of Study chosen requires the student to prepare and propose a plan for study including: two electives to support the area chosen (4 credits), a research project (2 credits), two integrated seminars (2 credits), and practicum experiences that allow for integration (8 credits) for a total of 16 credits over two semesters.

Courses include: Advanced Practice I: Individual & Groups; Advanced Practice II: Community Practice and Planning; Research III: Focused Area of Study Research Project-1; Practicum III; Integrative Seminar III; Focused Area of Study Electives; Advanced Practice III: Couples and Families; Advanced Practice IV: Administrative Theories and Processes;

Family and Community Policy: Policy Issues in Practice; Research IV: Focused Areas of Study Research Project-2; Practicum IV; Integrative Seminar IV; Focused Area of Study Electives.

Practicum: First year practicum (400 hours): 16 hours per week. Second year practicum (600 hours): 2 1/2 days per week.

Electives: Focused Area of Study electives; electives used to complete concentration year credit requirements. Elective work may include related graduate courses from other University departments, with prior written approval of the academic advisor and associate dean.

Specialization Options: Continuing Education: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Training Program; Corrections Program. Health Services Administration Specialization. Urban Planning Certificate.

During July, the Graduate School of Social Work and Continuing Education sponsor an eight-day institute for practicing professionals and interested students. The institute offers over 30 short courses across both clinical and managerial areas.

American Indian Training Program: Since 1970, the American Indian Training Program has offered support to Native American Indian students through academic and financial counseling, as well as a limited number of scholarships. The program also sponsors special workshops and social and cultural activities.

Dual Degree Options:


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You can email Melissa: socialwork@fullerbecker.com

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This page posted October 15, 2000