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.
This program is currently in candidacy for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
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.
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:
In addition to University Requirements:
|Minimum Units for Completion||60|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.|
|Additional Fees/Program Fees||Required|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
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:
Individual program admission requirements include:
Take the following 60 units:Social Work Coursework (54 units):
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.