Social Work (SW)

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit


Course numbers with the # symbol included (e.g. #400) have not been taught in the last 3 years.

SW 801 - Women and Aging

Credits: 3

An overview of women as they age in the American culture, with a brief international overview. Ethnic and cross-cultural perspectives explored. Areas to be studied include biological aging, focusing on menopause; economics and women, including retirement issues; women in the media; lesbian relationships; and late marriages.

SW 805 - Child and Adolescent Risks and Resiliency: Program, Policy and Practice

Credits: 3

Major social work policy and program questions in the field of child welfare introduced. The relationship between child welfare and the rest of the social work profession analyzed. Various types of child welfare services, some aspects of social and child welfare policy studied, as well as current research and practice issues in child welfare services.

SW 806 - Social Action in the Dominican Republic

Credits: 3

This course examines issues of culture, poverty, social development and social jiustice in the Dominican Republic through both service learning work and through preparatory and reflective class sessions and discussions. Students will examine social and economic development issues within a global framework and will explore efforts to improve conditions on this island nation. The service learning component includes working on a designated construction project and volunteering in a local elementary school. Students will also collaborate with community leaders to learn more about social, cultural and historical issues and will engage in a variety of cross-cultural activities. Students will engage with the local Haitian immigrant community, tour local schools and orphanages, and visit historical areas including the Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo. The primary part of the class with take place during March spring break. Special fee.

SW 812 - Understanding Developmental Disabilities

Credits: 3

Analysis of the complex social contexts of people with developmental disabilities. Explores and questions traditional approaches and the current service system. Examines family and community services and resources.

SW 813 - School Social Work

Credits: 3

The course examines the school as a social institution that serves to educate and socialize children into US society and the role of the social worker in the school setting. Readings, activities, and discussions provide practical skills and theory for school social work practice. THe course content addresses the history of school social work, integrating social work values into a school setting, systemic needs within school settings, the importance of networking and professional collaboration, and working with diverse and at-risk youth and their families. Students also examine the role of social workers in helping students, schools, and families adjust to and cope with trauma, special education needs, and related topics.

SW 814 - Introduction to Addiction: Assessment and Intervention

Credits: 3

Information and skills necessary to address issues of substance abuse with individuals, families and communities. Overview of the dynamics of addiction; the treatment and recovery process; and the role of social work professionals in the identification and treatment of addiction. Special populations (women, adolescents, elderly, gay/lesbian/ bisexual/transgendered, ethnic/racial groups) discussed. Treatment approaches explored.

SW 815 - Practice with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People

Credits: 3

Sexual minorities constitute the minority group a counselor most consistently encounters wherever he or she works. Addresses the task of counseling gay, lesbian, and bisexual people on both personal and professional levels for the counselor. Readings include theoretical, experimental, clinical, counseling, and personal perspectives, as well as providing an introduction to the gay/lesbian/bisexual subculture. Students explore and examine their own attitudes and assumptions regarding gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

SW 816 - Addiction: Myth, Science and Policy

Credits: 3

This course focuses on the science of addictions and co-occurring disorders and how myths and beliefs effect policy, programming and practice. Students get the oppprtunity to explore cultural myths, beliefs, stigma and prejudices regarding addictions (alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, as well as eating disorders, tobacco, and gambling), and co-occurring disorders that becomes national and state policy and programming.

SW 819 - Addiction Recovery

Credits: 3

This course describes the theory, science and practice of recovery management; including addiction and co-occurring disorders emerging and innovative treatment models and practices, continuity of care and systems of care as they relate to long-term recovery. The integration of addiction and co-occurring treatment with mutual aid and self-help recovery resources. Processes that promote recovery, acute care models and the locus of service delivery. There will be a focus throughout on evidence based practices, emerging practices, innovative treatments and initiatives and long-term trajectories of recovery (population specific). Recovery-focused behavioral health care system transformation and recovery oriented systems of care are examined, as well as challenges and successes through links to the community and collaboration strategies for policy, political and fiscal change, as well as the future of addiction treatment and recovery and recovery-oriented systems of care with a broad range of approaches, models and initiatives.

SW 820 - Social Welfare Policy I

Credits: 3

The aim of this course is to prepare students to act as informed human service professionals through a better understanding of social problems, social welfare policy, and the American social welfare system. Students are provided with an overview of the origins and development of social welfare policy in the United States, the political processes in our federal and state systems, and the values and ethics which shape our present social welfare system. The course also helps students examine ways they can influence policy formulation while advocating for human rights and social/economic justice.

SW 830 - Social Work Practice I

Credits: 3

Basic concepts, theories, and skills of social work practice. Lectures and discussions, readings and written exercises, and laboratory and practice sessions. Students use the experiential parts of the course (laboratory and interview simulations) to apply the conceptual and theoretical knowledge.

SW 831 - Social Work Practice II: Practice in Small Groups and Community Organizations

Credits: 3

Continuation of Social Work Practice I with the further aim of introducing students to social work with groups and communities as models of social work practice.

SW 840 - Implications of Race, Culture, and Oppression for Social Work Practice

Credits: 3

This foundation course is designed to increase students awareness of historical, social, political, economic and cultural aspects of micro- and macro-level oppression directed at minorities. Course materials focus on insidious societal forces that shape and profoundly alter life experiences of large numbers of people, with special attention to social relationships that promote the welfare of some, while limiting opportunities and choices for others, including racial and ethnic minorities, children, women, the poor, persons with disabilities, GLBTQ individuals, and others. Students consider practice issues in multicultural SW.

SW 850 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I

Credits: 3

In this course, students learn about behavior and development and its context across the lifecycle. The semester addresses growth and development from the prenatal period through the end of life using social systems theory/person-in-the-environment as a conceptual framework. The different systems that impact individual development including family, community, and larger systems are examined. Human worth and social justice themes permeate course materials, class disucussions, and activities.

SW 851 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment II

Credits: 3

In this course, students learn about behavior and development and its context across the life cycle from a macro systems perspective. The macrosystems that impact individual development are examined. Societal forces that are often invisible shape and profoundly alter life experiences of larger numbers of people. HSBE II pays special attention to social relationships that promote welfare of some while limiting opportunities and choices for others. the semester explores the influence of class, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, and other aspects of diversity on development and behavior of larger systems.

SW 860 - Research Methods in Social Work

Credits: 3

Designed to acquaint degree students with the concepts and skills necessary to carry out research in social work practice. Particular emphasis placed on methodological issues related to research in a variety of practice contexts. Although the skills necessary to review research critically are examined, the primary emphasis is on preparing the student to carry out research related to practice.

SW 865 - Adventure Therapy: Facillitation and Processing of the Experience

Credits: 3

This class will familliarize students with a variety of active assessment facillitation and processing skills which can be used with clients when engaging in adventure therapy. Students will be given multiple opportunities to practice these skills to gain a better understanding of their own facillitation and processing skills, and how to use adventure activities as a therapeutic tool in the clinical practice. Active participation required. Open to both social work and non-social work graduate students. Special fee.

SW 870 - Intimate Partner Violence

Credits: 3

This course examines intimate partner violence or domestic violence from its historical roots to the present. In accordance with an historical and contextual approach, we examine theories that explain and describe the phenonmenon, research that attempts to define it, as well as social policies , social movements, and intervention from a social work perspective. Intimate partner violence *IPV) also known as domestic violence, cuts across racial, ethnic, and class boundaries and impedes victim's well-being and social participation. IPV includes many physical assault, sexual assualt, emotional, verbal, and economic abuse and coercive control.

SW 880 - Field Internship I

Credits: 3

This two-semester requirement provides supervised learning and practice within social work programs in a wide range of program settings. Students spend 16 hours per week in the field. Individual field placements arranged with each student by the field coordinator. In order to receive credit, students must satisfactorily complete both SW 880 and SW 881. A concurrent integrative seminar is required. In this weekly seminar attention is given to the development of basic social work skills and techniques, legal and ethical issues, and the development of appropriate professional relationships. A primary goal is to integrate classroom learning with the field experience. Special fee. Cr/F.

SW 881 - Field Internship II

Credits: 3

SW 881 is a continuation of SW 880, Field Internship I. Students must satisfactorily complete both field experience semesters to receive credit. Prereq: SW 880 (Field Internship I). Cr/F.

SW 885 - Study Abroad

Credits: 3

Students in this course examine the historical development of social welfare in another country including an analysis of the underlying values and attitudes that dictate practice and policy decisions. The course includes agency site visits, lectures, themed readings and visits to important cultural sites. Only open to first and second year MSW students. Special fee. Cr/F.

SW 897 - Special Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare

Credits: 2 or 3

Seminar for graduate students. Topics may include: A) Drugs and Chemical Dependency; B) Intimate Partner Violence C) Social Action in Education Settings D) Social Action in the Dominican Republic. May be repeated for different topics. Special fee.

SW 899 - Master's Thesis

Credits: 1-6

Each student carries out original research that culminates in a master's thesis. Students may enroll in 1 to 6 credits per semester. May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 credits. Permission required. Prereq: permission required. Cr/F.

SW 900 - Advanced Standing Practice and Field Seminar

Credits: 3

Weekly seminar held concurrently with field placement designed to orient and adequately prepare advanced standing students for advanced practice and field courses. Bridges the undergraduate and graduate curriculum and reviews foundation year concepts, theories, and skills of social work practice and field. Exploration of social work identity and professional relationships with supervisors, colleagues, and agencies. Primary focus on social work values and ethics and the development of ethical decision-making skills including the importance of culturally competent practice. Only offered to advanced standing MSW students. Cr/F.

SW 926 - Social Welfare Policy II

Credits: 3

This course is an extension of Social Welfare Policy I. Both courses view social welfare policy as the framework in which social work services are developed and delivered. That is, policies provide the context for direct practice. Social Welfare Policy II examines policy analysis as a process with underlying theory and methodology. This process emphasizes political advocacy in the pursuit of human rights, and social and economic justice. The course integrates policy and practice, in part, through student research and analysis of specific social problems and client populations relevant to the student's volunteer, work, and/or field internship experience. Prereq: SW 820.

SW 930 - Advanced General Practice III: Clinical Assessment and Intervention

Credits: 3

Advanced generalist practice with individuals, families and groups is the first of the two required advanced practice classes. The major objective of the advanced generalist practice curriculum is to educate practitioners to work towards the restoration and enhancement of human functioning and prevention of maladaptive functioning. This course emphasizes a deepened understanding of the differntial treatment process and an expanded knowledge of intervention approaches. The aim of the course is to further deepen knowledge and skills, particularly with a concentration on edvidence based practices, interdisciplinary work and ethical practice. Prereq: SW 831.

SW 931 - Advanced Generalist Practice IV: Community and Administrative Practice

Credits: 3

This macro social work course utilizes foundation year curriculum content to provide an advanced examination of social work practice in larger systems. Students develop knowledge, values, and skills in areas of community analysis, community organization, community capital, empowerment and the use of power, sustainable communities, evaluation of community interventions. Strategies of cultivation, mobilization and sustaining resources that empower underserved constituent groups are studied. Course content is rooted in both historical and current contexts in providing administrative and technological tools to undertake change efforts across organizational and community systems. Prereq: SW 930.

SW 952 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment III

Credits: 3

Designed to acquaint master's degree students with the epidemiology, classification, and etiology of the major mental illnesses; with a primary objective to develop the student's diagnostic skills in the field of psychopathology. Students become familiar with historical and current mental health policy issues. At course conclusion students have an effective working knowledge of the bio-psycho-social basis of the major mental disorders, the behavioral symptomology that characterizes them, the use of psychotropic medication in treatment, and their classification according to the current DSM system. Prereq: SW 850 and SW 851.

SW 957 - Fund Development and Grantwriting

Credits: 3

This course is designed to introduce students to various fundraising strategies to support nonprofit health and human service organizations. Students are provided with an overview of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations in the United States, effective fundraising and individual donor strategies, and ethical and legal issues related to fundraising. Student use a case-study approach for planning, developing, and writing successful grant proposals to fund health and human services programming.

SW 962 - Data Analysis and Statistics

Credits: 3

Social science statistics is a set of methods used to organize and analyze data for the purpose of either answering research questions or testing social science theories with data. Course provides practical, data-oriented introduction to the methods of modern statistical analysis with a focus on understanding and interpretation rather than the details of calculation. Students learn more about the role of data analysis in research informed social work practice as well as practice informed research. Prereq: SW 860.

SW 965 - Program and Practice Evaluation

Credits: 3

A one semester course, basic introduction to evaluation methods in the context of social work practice and social welfare. Students develop and conduct evaluations of practice, programs, and policies. Course provides skills required for practice and program evaluation. Prereq: SW 962.

SW 973 - Interventions with Groups

Credits: 3

Principles of social work practice with groups are explored. Therapeutic focus is on helping the individual within the framework of a group setting. The purpose and usefulness of group work as a preventative method and as an intervention tool are analyzed. History , various theories, techniques of group facilitation and typologies of treatment and task groups are examined. Students actively participate in a group simulation called "class-as-a-group" to enhance their skills and understanding of group work.

SW 974 - Social Work Supervision

Credits: 3

Prepares students for a supervisory role in human service agencies. Basic principles of administrative, supportive and educational supervision are reviewed and related to the student's own experiences in supervision or as a supervisor.

SW 975 - Theory and Practice of Family Therapy

Credits: 3

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the theory and practice of family therapy. Major approaches to be examined include structural, strategic, systemic, brief, narrative family therapy, and social constructionism. Students have an opportunity to present cases they are currently working with in their internships and are able to practice family therapy techniques with the use of a team coaching them from behind a one-way mirror.

SW 979 - Social Work and the Law

Credits: 3

Social work practitioners routinely encounter and interact with the legal system in their work. The course provides knowledge of, and learning about, the differences between the legal and social service networks, the realities of work involving the law, and legal issues, as well as an understanding of those aspects of the legal system most likely to impact clients and their families.

SW 982 - Field Internship III

Credits: 4

This two semester requirement provides advanced practice experience in a wide range of social work settings. Students spend 24 hours per week in the field. Individual field placements are arranged with each student by the field coordinator. In order to receive course credit, students must satisfactorily complete both semesters(SW 982 and SW 983). A concurrent integrative seminar is also required. The goal of the weekly seminar is to assist students in conceptualizing and integrating the multiple theoretical issues and practice concepts of course work and the practicum. Students are expected to take major responsibility for the semester, using the instructor as a resource. Prereq: SW 881. Special fee. Cr/F.

SW 983 - Field Internship IV

Credits: 4

This two semester requirement provides advanced practice experience in a wide range of social work settings. Students spend 24 hours per week in the field. Individual field placements are arranged with each student by the field coordinator. In order to receive course credit, students must satisfactorily complete both semesters. A concurrent integrative seminar is also required. The goal of the workshop-style weekly seminar is to assist students in conceptualizing and integrating the multiple theoretical issues and practice concepts of course work and the practicum. Students are expected to take major responsibility for the semester, using the instructor as a resource. Prereq: SW 982. Cr/F.

SW 992 - Special Projects and Independent Study

Credits: 1-3

Projects, research and reading programs in areas of concentration. Sixty days advance approval of the student's plan of study by adviser and proposed instructor required. Prereq: 24 cr. in M.S.W. coursework. May be repeated to maximum of 6 credits. Special fee. Cr/F.