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

Identity: The purpose of the social work programs at Virginia Commonwealth University is to educate persons for social work practice. The guiding principle in educating students is the promotion of a more just society which includes a commitment to the value of diversity and social work practice in a multi-cultural society. The School of Social Work emphasizes critical thinking, self-awareness, data-based decision-making, and ethical integrity.

Hours: 60 credits, semester system, 3 credit hours.

Pre Reqs: BA/BS, broad liberal arts background. A minimum of 30 semester credits of liberal arts is required, including at least one course in: math and/or computer science, humanities, social & behavioral sciences (with minimum 3 credits in psychology and 3 credits in sociology), and biology & physical sciences (minimum 3 credits of human biology).

Program Structure: 2 year full time; advanced standing (39 credits, 12 month program, full time only); structured part time (3-4 years/6 hours per semester). The structured part-time program cannot be completed entirely in night or weekend study, given field practicum requirements and the scheduling of some courses. VCU also has an off-campus location where MSW courses can be taken, although concentration options are more limited outside of the main campus.

Foundation: 30 credits. HBSE I & II; Social Welfare Policy, Community Planning and Organizational Practice I & II; Social work and Social Justice; Social Work Practice with Individuals, Groups and Families I & II; Foundations for Social Work Practice Research; Field Instruction I & II.

Concentration: 30 credits. Two concentrations: Clinical Social Work or Social Work Planning & Administrative Practice. Clinical Social Work requires: Clinical Human Behavior and the Social Environment; Clinical Social Work Practice I & II; Research for Clinical Social Work Practice I & II; Concentration Social Policy; Concentration Field Instruction; and 6 credits of elective. Planning and Administrative Practice requires: Strategies for Social Work Planning and Administrative Practice; Social Work Planning and Administrative Practice I & II; Research for Social Work Planning and Administrative Practice I & II; Concentration Social Policy, Concentration Field Instruction; 6 credits of elective).

Practicum: 2 placements over 2 year program. Foundation placement is 2 days per week. Concentration placement is 3 days per week.

Electives: 6 credits of elective in concentration year.

Specializations: Certificates: Aging Studies; Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Intervention; Nonprofit management (in cooperation with George Mason University). School Social Work Certification.

Dual Degrees: Law; Cooperative Program with the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (PSCE).

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