College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2018-2019

Department of Sociology and Social Work

Social Work, Master of Social Work

The mission of Northern Arizona University’s MSW Program, synonymous with the mission of the NAU Social Work Department and grounded in the history, purpose, and values of the profession, is to educate competent generalist and advanced generalist social workers for practice with diverse populations and multi-level social systems in local, regional and global contexts. 
 
Our generalist and advanced generalist foci are grounded in social work knowledge, values and skills; geared to practice with rural and Indigenous populations of the Southwest; and, focused on addressing poverty, structural racism, and oppression; providing leadership in promoting human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice; and service with vulnerable and underserved populations locally, regionally, and globally.
 

Careers

What Can I Do with a Master of Social Work?

The Northern Arizona University MSW Program is committed to a social work practice model with diverse individuals and rural client well-being.  The Program incorporates theoretical perspectives or approaches that make-up a strengths-based framework which is used to elaborate on the Program’s mission and to develop the Program’s goals.  Developing a strengths-based framework must include knowledge of culturally competent practice.  Embracing the need to give voice to marginalized communities, NAU’s MSW curriculum addresses ways for students to learn and practice ways of working with diverse groups of clients that best enable members of those communities to achieve their goals. 
 

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Therapist/Clinician
  • Hospital care coordinator
  • Employee assistance counselor
  • School-based interventionist
  • Non-profit administration
  • Child welfare specialist
  • Expert witness
  • Child and youth services
  • Disability services
  • Family support services
  • Health care services
  • Elder care services
  • Military/veterans services
  • Community advocacy
  • Victim advocacy
  • College or university faculty

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • With a Ph.D. in Social Work, students will be prepared to conduct research and pursue advanced opportunities in academia.


University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 60
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Recommended
Additional Fees/Program Fees Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

A MSW degree allows students to combine their passion for helping others with the instruction and hands-on practice they need to make a lasting impact.  Students learn to bring about social change, in a degree program that aligns with students’ passion for advocacy and service.  The MSW program offers coursework in topics such as social policy, clinical practice, research, cultural competence, social justice and administration.  The Master of Social Work program offers quality, student-centered instruction, as well as guided field education.  The field placement provides an opportunity for students to earn valuable experience working with individuals, groups, and marginalized communities under the guidance of a seasoned practitioner.  Students will develop advanced knowledge of current social work theory, preparing them to practice with diverse populations who require professional support and services, while gaining the skills to make positive changes in their community.  Aging populations, children, veterans and military personnel, those impacted by domestic violence, clients with mental health needs, those facing homelessness, and disenfranchised families all need advocates to support them, provide access to community resources, and promote social institutions that are more just and responsive to human needs.  Field education, along with clinical and macro-level MSW coursework, allows students to apply their knowledge and skills to the population they want to serve as a social worker. 
 
Graduates will be equipped with the knowledge, values, and skills that will make them a valuable agent for positive change.  A MSW degree is versatile, allowing graduates to work in many different settings with a variety of individuals and communities.  In many states, a Master of Social Work degree is required in order to gain third-party reimbursement from insurance companies or government agencies.  A MSW offers the flexibility to practice at elevated levels within human service environments, earning a degree that opens up new and exciting career opportunities.  The Master of Social Work degree is considered the terminal degree for professional social work practice and licensure.  Graduates will have a flexibility that they will not find with other degrees in the human service field.

The goals of the Master of Social Work are:

  1. To prepare competent Advanced Generalist social workers with the knowledge, values, and skills for engaging in individual, family, group, organization, and community planned change processes with diverse rural, vulnerable, disenfranchised, and underserved populations locally, regionally, and globally. (Competencies 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9)
  2. To promote identification with the profession, continued professional development, and development of knowledge and skills for Advanced Generalist social work practice. (Competency 1)
  3. To provide service to the community and promote human rights, social, economic, and environmental justice. (Competency 3)
  4. To advance social work practice through the use and development of research knowledge and skills.   (Competency 4)
  5. To provide students with the knowledge and skills to develop and implement policy and programs and to practice from a strengths-based perspective.  (Competency 5)
  6. To prepare students for leadership roles in the development, implementation, and evaluation of services with rural and diverse populations.  (Competencies 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9)

Year One Generalist - Competencies
 
Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice 
Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice 
Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice 
Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice 
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Year Two – Advanced Generalist
 
Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior 
Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice 
Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice 
Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice 
Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice 
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

 

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • A course in human biology to be completed by the end of the first semester enrolled in the program.
    • A course in basic or applied statistics to be completed by the end of the first semester enrolled in the program.
    • A minimum of 250 volunteer and/or relevant paid human service work experience.
    • 3 letters of recommendation
Master's Requirements
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
     

Campus Availability



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