University of Vermont

Master's Degree in Social Work

Curriculum & Degree Requirements

Foundation Year Curriculum

The professional foundation curriculum is designed to assist students to explore and develop generalist knowledge, values, and skills for professional social work with individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities. Students take 30 credits of professional foundation course work, including one elective. The curriculum is comprised of coursework in five areas:

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE)
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Social Work Practice
  • Field Practica
  • Research

Concentration Year Curriculum

The concentration year curriculum is designed to provide students with knowledge, values, and skills for advanced practice. All core curriculum courses in the concentration year are considered advanced practice courses, in that all emphasize the engagment of social work approaches and methods in various roles and settings. As in the foundation year, students need to complete 30 credits of concentration year course work.

The MSW program at UVM offers a concentration in Transformative Social Work. With this concentration, the primary aim is to support and facilitate ways of transforming relationships at all levels. Transformative change is viewed as relational, profound, and generative. The approach to change is relational in that it requires the coordinated action of many people working in a context of mutuality and respect, is profound in going beyond the surface of incremental change to question and dislodge the uncritical acceptance of taken for granted discourses and practices, and is generative in that it is meant to envision and support new and better futures at all levels of the community.

The concentration year curriculum explores the knowledge, values and skills in transformative social work by drawing upon a number of ongoing dialogues that highlight the social, cultural, and historical contexts of meaning. These dialogues, integrated under the label of social construction, complement and augment social work's traditional social change mission, its values of social justice and human rights, its strengths orientation, and its commitment to serve marginalized groups.

Transformative social work research is a form of social work practice that is conceptualized as a vehicle for change, rather than as a systematic observation or "discovery" of the extant world. The new understandings that are generated hold transformative potential for social work practice and for the lives and relationships of the people most directly affected by the actions of social workers.

During the concentration year, students are required to take Transformative Social Work I and II, Advanced Social Work Research, and Understandings and Applications of Critical Social Construction, Human Rights and The Strenghts Perspective. Students are encouraged to individualize their learning within the concentration year through the selection of 4 focus courses under the guidance of a faculty adviser.

A complete listing of the MSW courses with course descriptions can be obtained by downloading our MSW Admissions Bulletin.

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Courses of Study and Class Schedule

  • Full Time, Two year Option
  • Part Time Option
  • Advanced Standing Option
  • Full Time and Part Time Options

The MSW curriculum at UVM is designed for full time study consisting of academic course work that is concurrent with a field practicum. Recognizing that this design is not practical for every student, each year the program accepts a small number of students who will complete the MSW program on a part time basis, typically within 4 academic years, with a field practicum in the 2nd and 3rd years of their course of study.

Advanced Standing Option

The Department of Social Work offers an Advanced Standing MSW option to accepted students who have completed a BSW degree from an accredited BSW program within 7 years of application to the MSW program. This option requires 39 credit hours of study over a summer and an academic year.

Prospective students who would like to be considered for Advanced Standing and want more information can contact the Department of Social Work.

Class Schedule

Class sessions are typically scheduled in 3 hour time blocks once a week during daytime and early evenings hours. The Foundation year classes are on Mondays and Tuesdays while the Concentration year classes are on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Course schedules vary from semester to semester within this time frame.

Field Practicum Hours

In addition to academic course work, all regular track full time and part time MSW students need to complete a minimum of 900 hours of student practice in a field placement throughout their course of study to complete the field education course requirement. During the semesters that a student is enrolled in Field Education, s/he will need to complete a minimum of 15 hours per week (20 hours currently for Advanced Standing) of practice in an agency during the agency’s hours of operation. In addition, students enrolled in field education are required to attend monthly field education seminars held on campus. Field practicum hours are scheduled in consultation with the agency based field instructor.

For more information about Field Education at UVM, please click here.

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Options for the MSW Program Course of Study

Full time, Two Year Course of Study (60 Credits)
Foundation Year

Semester 1 (Fall) - Total 15 Credits

  • SWSS 216 (Human Behavior and the Social Environment I) 3 credits
  • SWSS 220 (Social Welfare Policy and Services I) 3 credits
  • Foundation Elective 3 credits
  • SWSS 212 (Foundation Practice I) 3 credits
  • SWSS 290 (Field I)* 3 credits

Semester 2 (Spring) - Total 15 Credits

  • SWSS 217 (Human Behavior and the Social Environment II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 221 (Social Welfare Policy and Services II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 227 (Foundations of Social Work Research I) 3 credits
  • SWSS 213 (Foundation Practice II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 290 (Field I)* 3 credits
Concentration Year

Summer

Some Concentration year electives are offered during summer sessions

Semester 3 (Fall) - Total 15 credits

  • SWSS 314 (Transformative Social Work I) 3 credits
  • SWSS 327 (Advanced Social Work Research) 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits
  • SWSS 390 (Field II)* 3 credits

Semester 4 (Spring) - Total 15 Credits

  • SWSS 315 (Transformative Social Work II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 316 (Understandings and Applications of Critical Social Construction, Human Rights and the Strengths Perspective) 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits
  • SWSS 390 (Field)* 3 credits

* Minimum of 15 hours per week for a total of 225 hours per semester

Part time, Four Year Course of Study (60 Credits)

Foundation Curriculum

Semester 1 (Fall) - Total 9 Credits

  • SWSS 216 (Human Behavior and the Social Environment I) 3 credits
  • SWSS 220 (Social Welfare Policy and Services I) 3 credits
  • Foundation Elective 3 credits

Semester 2 (Spring) - Total 9 Credits

  • SWSS 217 (Human Behavior and Social Environment II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 221 (Social Welfare Policy and Services II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 227 (Foundations of Social Work Research I) 3 credits

Semester 3 (Fall) - Total 6 Credits

  • SWSS 212 (Foundation Practice I) 3 credits
  • SWSS 290 (Field I)* 3 credits

Semester 4 (Spring) - Total 6 Credits

  • SWSS 213 (Foundation Practice II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 290 (Field I)* 3 credits

Concentration Curriculum

Semester 5 (Fall) - Total 9 Credits

  • SWSS 314 (Transformative Social Work I) 3 credits
  • SWSS 390 (Field II)* 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits

Semester 6 ( Spring) - Total 9 Credits

  • SWSS 315 (Transformative Social Work II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 390 (Field II)* 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits

Semester 7 (Fall) - Total 6 Credits

  • SWSS 327 (Advanced Social Work Research) 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits

Semester 8 (Spring) - Total 6 Credits

  • SWSS 316 (Understandings and Applications of Critical Social Construction, Human Rights and the Strenghts Perspective) 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits

* Minimum of 15 hours each week for a total of 225 hours per semester

Full time, Advanced Standing, 1.5 Year Course of Study (39 Credits)

Semester 1 (Summer) - Total 10 Credits

  • SWSS 380 (Perspectives in Social Work) 4 credits
  • Focus Course/Elective 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits

Semester 2 (Fall) - Total 13 Credits

  • SWSS 314 (Transformative Social Work I) 3 credits
  • SWSS 327 (Advanced Social Work Research) 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits
  • SWSS 390 (Field II)* 4 credits

Semester 3 (Spring) - Total 16 Credits

  • SWSS 315 (Transformative Social Work II) 3 credits
  • SWSS 316 (Understandings and Applications of Critical Social Construction, Human Rights and the Strengths Perspective) 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits
  • Focus Course 3 credits
  • SWSS 390 (Field II)* 4 credits

*minimum of 20 hours each week for a total of 300 Hours per semester

For course descriptions click here


Last modified October 22 2014 11:52 AM

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