Office of Distance Learning

You are here

Traditional Master of Social Work, MSW

For More Information

Fran Gomory
fgomory@fsu.edu
1-800-378-9550

Learn more from the
Traditional Master of Social Work web site.

The FSU College of Social Work offers and accredited Traditional Master of Social Work (MSW) degree online. The goal of the master's program in Social Work is to provide quality preparation for practitioners who will work with diverse client systems and problems. If you have completed an undergraduate degree and live in a geographical area that is served by the program you may apply for the MSW, Online Traditional Program.

Visit the official MSW website for additional information.

Accreditation

Accredited through SACS and the Council on Social Work Education

Method of Delivery

Internet

Time or Location Requirements

Students must reside in one of the program's coverage areas. The advanced clinical field placement can be completed over two semesters in a part-time format in the student's area of residence.

Time to Completion

Students take 2 courses each semester. This allows students to finish in nine semesters.

Core Courses

These courses may not be offered every semester.

  • SOW5034 The Social Work Profession (3)
    This course helps students to begin to identify with the social work profession, its history, mission, and core values, and to conduct themselves in accordance with the ethical principles that guide professional practice. Students learn how the social work profession engages in policy and practice to address issues of social and economic well-being. Students also begin to recognize the social, political, economic, and environmental influences on client systems of all sizes and apply them to the conduct of social work practice.
  • SOW5105 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3)
    This course focuses on reciprocal relationships between human behavior and social environments. Content includes empirically-based theories and knowledge that focus on the interactions between and among systems of all sizes, including individuals, groups, societies, and economic systems. Theories and knowledge of biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, and spiritual development across the life span are critiqued, especially as they relate to populations at risk. In addition, theories and knowledge about the range of social systems (individual, family, group, organizational, and community) in which people live are examined, including the ways social systems promote or deter people in maintaining or achieving health and well-being.
  • SOW5235 Policies and Programs in Social Services (3)
    This course provides a beginning understanding of the relationship between social welfare and social policy from a social work perspective. Students engage in policy practice to address social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services across diverse populations. Attention is given to critical analysis of the role that social work and social welfare policies and programs play in advancing human rights and social and economic justice. Emphasis is placed on the advancement of social and economic justice and human rights in a global context.
  • SOW5308 Social Work Practice (3)
    This course provides students with an understanding of the social work profession's history, mission, values, ethics, and roles. Content on generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities is covered, and attention is given to working with ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and disabled people.
  • SOW5324 Group Treatment in Social Work Practice (3)
    This course focuses on the development of the generalist group practice skills of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with social work clients, community groups, and organizations. The course covers practice skills that contribute to group effectiveness, including composition, structure, dynamics, goal setting, and evaluation. Students learn to respond to contexts that shape practice by recognizing social, political, economic, and environmental influences and applying them to social work practice. Content also includes examining the empirical base of a range of theories and models of group facilitation with clients, community groups, and organizations.
  • SOW5404 Introduction to Social Work Research (3)
    This course introduces students to qualitative and quantitative research methods in order to provide an understanding of a scientific, analytic, and ethical approach to building knowledge for practice. Students' mastery of course content prepares them to develop, use, and effectively communicate empirically-based knowledge. Research knowledge is used by students to provide high-quality services; to initiate change; to improve practice, plicy, and social service delivery; and to evaluate their own practice from an evidence-based perspective.

Total Credit Hours

61

Prerequisites

Students must have an earned an undergraduate degree.

Application Procedures

One official copy of your transcripts from each undergraduate and/or graduate school you have attended, official GRE scores, your application, personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, a copy of your final field evaluation, and the petition for exceptional consideration (if applicable) must be submitted to the College of Social Work. Visit the College's website to complete the online application. Application deadline is October first for Spring.

Program Requirements

All course work must be completed within four years of starting the program. A GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.

Fees

The cost of this program is equal to tuition and fees for the Academic Year 2017-18 as stated on the Student Business Services website, plus a per credit hour distance learning fee (fees vary by course). Special market rates may be available. Contact the department for more specific fee information relative to student status and location.

Fall 2017 Course Offerings

  • SOW5034 The Social Work Profession (3)
    This course helps students to begin to identify with the social work profession, its history, mission, and core values, and to conduct themselves in accordance with the ethical principles that guide professional practice. Students learn how the social work profession engages in policy and practice to address issues of social and economic well-being. Students also begin to recognize the social, political, economic, and environmental influences on client systems of all sizes and apply them to the conduct of social work practice.
  • SOW5125 Psychopathology in Clinical Practice (3)
    This course provides an overview of mental health assessment and diagnostic tools, including the Diagnostic Statistical Manual categories, and touches on treatment strategies and techniques. Building on the knowledge base acquired in the foundation course, SOW 5105, this course examines the relationship between the biological, psychological, social, environmental, and cultural influences and emotional and mental health from an ecological context. Particular attention is given to variations in the assessment process and access to treatment for populations at social and economic risk. In addition, students examine the political and social implications of mental health and their relations to social work values and ethics.
  • SOW5235 Policies and Programs in Social Services (3)
    This course provides a beginning understanding of the relationship between social welfare and social policy from a social work perspective. Students engage in policy practice to address social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services across diverse populations. Attention is given to critical analysis of the role that social work and social welfare policies and programs play in advancing human rights and social and economic justice. Emphasis is placed on the advancement of social and economic justice and human rights in a global context.
  • SOW5324 Group Treatment in Social Work Practice (3)
    This course focuses on the development of the generalist group practice skills of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with social work clients, community groups, and organizations. The course covers practice skills that contribute to group effectiveness, including composition, structure, dynamics, goal setting, and evaluation. Students learn to respond to contexts that shape practice by recognizing social, political, economic, and environmental influences and applying them to social work practice. Content also includes examining the empirical base of a range of theories and models of group facilitation with clients, community groups, and organizations.
  • SOW5369 Integrative Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice (3)
    Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOW5535.
    This course integrates theoretical models and concepts with practice gained in internships. The course utilizes an ecosystems perspective, focusing on the dynamic interaction between the individual, family, communities, organizations, and other social systems. A major focus is on the social worker's role in responding effectively to the challenges of working with these systems, and exploring their own personal views of such issues as ethics, gender, ethnic minorities, gays, lesbians, and disabled people.
  • SOW5432 Evaluation of Social Work Practice (3)
    Prerequisite: SOW5404. Coursework equivalent to SOW5404 may be acceptable.
    In this course, major emphasis is given to the use of single systems designs in client assessment and evaluation. Students consider the philosophical and ethical aspects of an evaluative approach to treatment and examine the policy implications of professional participation (or lack thereof) in evaluation processes. Topics include the operational "diagnosis" of client problems, measurement and monitoring of symptoms, goals, and interventions, and analysis, interpretation, and reporting of case material for accountable social work practice. Issues of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability are also explored through application of course content to appropriate case examples.
  • SOW5532 Graduate Field Instruction I (5 to 10)
    Prerequisite: SOW5308. (S/U grade only).
    This course is required for first-year graduate students and taken concurrently with coursework. Students are provided with a supervised generalist social work practice experience in a variety of settings. May be repeated to a maximum of ten semester hours.
  • SOW5535 Graduate Field Instruction II (6 to 12)
    Prerequisite: SOW5369.
    This course is required for advanced graduate students and taken concurrently with Advanced Seminar in Social Work Practice. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.
  • SOW5603 Social Work in Health Settings (3)
    This course focuses on social work practice in health settings from a "person-in-environment" perspective, preparing students with an understanding of the roles that social workers play in health settings; the structure of health care delivery systems; organizational and professional ethics and standards; challenges we face in health care policy; patient issues and how to help address these issues. Specific knowledge and skills in a health care setting are addressed, including biopsychosocial assessments, chart documentation, treatment planning, and discharge planning.
  • SOW5659 Child Maltreatment and Child Welfare (3)
    This course provides students with knowledge and skills related to the theory, research, and implications of child and adolescent maltreatment for child development and well-being. Course content is presented within the context of child welfare practice and social work with children and adolescents in public agencies and programs. Issues related to children, families, and communities are covered and attention is given to working with ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and persons with disabilities. Particular attention is given to federal and state child welfare statutes including Chapter 39, Florida statutes including the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the range of services provided by the Department of Children and Families and other agencies.
  • SOW5712 Chemical Dependency (3)
    This course is designed to provide fundamental knowledge of the aspects of chemical dependency in American society. Students examine the etiology and epidemiology of substance abuse, treatment approaches, and major policies and programs relevant to the prevention and treatment of substance abuse through the use of readings, PowerPoint lectures, Web sites, and structured discussions. Special attention is given to substance use and abuse among specific populations including adolescents, older adults, women, racial and ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians, and persons with disabilities. The effect of substance abuse on families, communities, and social systems is examined utilizing a systems approach.
  • SOW5807 Clinical Practice (3)
    This advanced practice course emphasizes development of clinical skills. Students refine their clinical skills, building on the research-based non-specific (common factors) components of therapeutic work (i.e., therapeutic alliance, empathy, goal consensus/collaboration, positive regard/affirmation, and genuineness) and specific factors (validated treatments). The course provides in-depth coverage of three empirically-based models: Solution Focused, Motivation Interviewing, and Interpersonal Therapy. Learning application of techniques informed by these models provides opportunities to enhance professional use of self. The course examines similarities and differences among models and allows students to discern appropriate use of techniques, client populations, settings, and problem interactions. Students develop competency in the ethical and strength-based use of these models.

Summer 2017 Course Offerings

  • SOW5034 The Social Work Profession (3)
    This course helps students to begin to identify with the social work profession, its history, mission, and core values, and to conduct themselves in accordance with the ethical principles that guide professional practice. Students learn how the social work profession engages in policy and practice to address issues of social and economic well-being. Students also begin to recognize the social, political, economic, and environmental influences on client systems of all sizes and apply them to the conduct of social work practice.
  • SOW5125 Psychopathology in Clinical Practice (3)
    This course provides an overview of mental health assessment and diagnostic tools, including the Diagnostic Statistical Manual categories, and touches on treatment strategies and techniques. Building on the knowledge base acquired in the foundation course, SOW 5105, this course examines the relationship between the biological, psychological, social, environmental, and cultural influences and emotional and mental health from an ecological context. Particular attention is given to variations in the assessment process and access to treatment for populations at social and economic risk. In addition, students examine the political and social implications of mental health and their relations to social work values and ethics.
  • SOW5308 Social Work Practice (3)
    This course provides students with an understanding of the social work profession's history, mission, values, ethics, and roles. Content on generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities is covered, and attention is given to working with ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and disabled people.
  • SOW5369 Integrative Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice (3)
    Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOW5535.
    This course integrates theoretical models and concepts with practice gained in internships. The course utilizes an ecosystems perspective, focusing on the dynamic interaction between the individual, family, communities, organizations, and other social systems. A major focus is on the social worker's role in responding effectively to the challenges of working with these systems, and exploring their own personal views of such issues as ethics, gender, ethnic minorities, gays, lesbians, and disabled people.
  • SOW5377 Personnel Administration in the Social Services (3)
    This course develops students' skills in personnel management in human service organizations to ensure effective service delivery to clients. Attention is given to staff management approaches, staff supervision, employee recruitment and retention, motivation, job design, staff development, and issues of diversity.
  • SOW5404 Introduction to Social Work Research (3)
    This course introduces students to qualitative and quantitative research methods in order to provide an understanding of a scientific, analytic, and ethical approach to building knowledge for practice. Students' mastery of course content prepares them to develop, use, and effectively communicate empirically-based knowledge. Research knowledge is used by students to provide high-quality services; to initiate change; to improve practice, plicy, and social service delivery; and to evaluate their own practice from an evidence-based perspective.
  • SOW5432 Evaluation of Social Work Practice (3)
    Prerequisite: SOW5404. Coursework equivalent to SOW5404 may be acceptable.
    In this course, major emphasis is given to the use of single systems designs in client assessment and evaluation. Students consider the philosophical and ethical aspects of an evaluative approach to treatment and examine the policy implications of professional participation (or lack thereof) in evaluation processes. Topics include the operational "diagnosis" of client problems, measurement and monitoring of symptoms, goals, and interventions, and analysis, interpretation, and reporting of case material for accountable social work practice. Issues of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability are also explored through application of course content to appropriate case examples.
  • SOW5455 Grant Writing and Grant Management (3)
    This course covers the basics of proposals: purpose statements, background and justification, aims or objectives, personnel, time line, methods, budget, evaluation, and how to effectively manage grants once they are funded. The needs of disenfranchised groups or communities are discussed in this course, along with the particulars of proposals that may be most effective in meeting such needs.
  • SOW5532 Graduate Field Instruction I (5 to 10)
    Prerequisite: SOW5308. (S/U grade only).
    This course is required for first-year graduate students and taken concurrently with coursework. Students are provided with a supervised generalist social work practice experience in a variety of settings. May be repeated to a maximum of ten semester hours.
  • SOW5535 Graduate Field Instruction II (6 to 12)
    Prerequisite: SOW5369.
    This course is required for advanced graduate students and taken concurrently with Advanced Seminar in Social Work Practice. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.
  • SOW5603 Social Work in Health Settings (3)
    This course focuses on social work practice in health settings from a "person-in-environment" perspective, preparing students with an understanding of the roles that social workers play in health settings; the structure of health care delivery systems; organizational and professional ethics and standards; challenges we face in health care policy; patient issues and how to help address these issues. Specific knowledge and skills in a health care setting are addressed, including biopsychosocial assessments, chart documentation, treatment planning, and discharge planning.
  • SOW5648 Physical Aspects of Aging (3)
    This course covers age and health demographics, as well as attitudes toward aging and health. Topics include basic cellular or molecular theories of aging, how the human body's organ systems typically change over time, pathologies associated with aging, as well as psychological responses to normal and pathological changes.
  • SOW5656 Child Welfare Practice (3)
    This course is designed to provide a framework of values, knowledge, and skills necessary to practice with vulnerable children and their families. The major focus is on social work in public child welfare agencies and children's mental health agencies. The course utilizes an ecosystem perspective for understanding and assessing the special needs of at-risk children and families. Specific attention is on assessing families and children using the State of Florida's risk and safety assessment protocols and other family assessment instruments.
  • SOW5659 Child Maltreatment and Child Welfare (3)
    This course provides students with knowledge and skills related to the theory, research, and implications of child and adolescent maltreatment for child development and well-being. Course content is presented within the context of child welfare practice and social work with children and adolescents in public agencies and programs. Issues related to children, families, and communities are covered and attention is given to working with ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and persons with disabilities. Particular attention is given to federal and state child welfare statutes including Chapter 39, Florida statutes including the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the range of services provided by the Department of Children and Families and other agencies.


Back to top