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 coursework, 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, and 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. Students need to complete 30 credits of concentration year coursework.

Transformative social work is the main concentration of the MSW Program at UVM. 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 four focus courses under the guidance of a faculty adviser.

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 coursework, 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 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, see Field Education.

Courses of Study

Full-Time and Part-Time Options

The MSW curriculum at UVM is designed for full-time study consisting of academic coursework 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 four academic years, with a field practicum in the second and third 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 1 summer and 1 academic year.

Prospective students who would like to be considered for Advanced Standing and want more information can contact us.

Sample Programs of Study

For course descriptions, please see the UVM Graduate Catalogue.

Full-Time, 2-Year Course of Study (60 Credits)

Foundation Year

Semester 1 - Fall (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 (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 (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 (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 each week for a total of 225 hours per semester

Part-Time, 4-Year Course of Study (60 Credits)

Foundation Curriculum

Semester 1 - Fall (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 (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 (6 Credits)

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

Semester 4 - Spring (6 Credits)

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

Concentration Curriculum

Semester 5 - Fall (9 Credits)

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

Semester 6 - Spring (9 Credits)

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

Semester 7 - Fall (6 Credits)

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

Semester 8 - Spring (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 (10 Credits)

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

Semester 2 - Fall (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 (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