Marcia Shobe
Director, School of Social Work
106 Academic Support Building
479-575-7786
E-mail: mshobe@uark.edu

Glenda J. House
MSW Program Director
ASUP 106
479-575-3783
E-mail: ghouse@uark.edu

http://socialwork.uark.edu/

Degree Conferred:

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Professional social workers promote human well-being by strengthening opportunities, resources, and capacities of people in their environments and by creating policies and services to correct conditions that limit human rights and the quality of life. The social work profession works to eliminate poverty, discrimination, and oppression. Guided by a person-in-environment perspective and respect for human diversity, the profession works to effect social and economic justice worldwide. The purpose of the graduate social work program at the University of Arkansas is to prepare advanced-level professional social workers as leader/practitioners with the capacity to address complex personal, social, community, and economic problems preventing so many of Arkansas’ people (and people across the country and globally) from moving out of poverty to self-sufficiency. The M.S.W. program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Areas of Study: The School of Social Work offers focused studies in multi-system life-course. The multi-system life-course perspective prepares students for advanced social work practice with a range of systems (individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities) and for practice with individuals across the life course as they interact with multiple systems.

Primary Areas of Faculty Research: Healthy aging; human behavior and the social environment theory; gerontology; addictions; health and health disparities; poverty reduction; human diversity; international social work; social work history; women and asset development; children and families.

Admission Requirements: Admission to the University of Arkansas Graduate School as well as admission to the School of Social Work M.S.W. program is required. Admission requirements for the M.S.W. program include: a baccalaureate degree with a liberal arts perspective from an accredited college or university (official transcripts must be provided); a minimum 3.00 undergraduate GPA on a four-point scale; 2.75-2.99 for conditional admission; a personal statement of motivation for and experiences supporting admission to the MSW program; a social needs paper that discusses a current social need that is of concern and interest to the applicant; three professional reference letters (faculty, employers, supervisors); a basic statistics course; and computer literacy demonstrated through prior course work. Applicants with a GPA between 2.75-2.99 for the last 60 hours of their first undergraduate degree are required to complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Millers Analogies Test (MAT) and to submit GRE/MAT scores to the Graduate School. In addition to the above requirements, for admission to the Advanced Standing program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in social work, received during the past six years, from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. If the bachelor's degree was earned over six years ago, the applicant may submit a petition for exception, demonstrating a significant history of social work employment and continuing education.

Two-year Program Option: This option is available for students without a baccalaureate degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Students in the two-year option must successfully complete a total of 63 credit hours. The following are required Foundation courses:

SCWK 4073Social Work Research and Technology I (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4093Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4103Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4153Social Welfare Policy (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4333Social Work Practice I (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4343Social Work Practice II (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4733Social Work Practice III (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 5003Foundations of Culturally Competent Social Work Practice (Fa)3
SCWK 5013Bridge Course: Evidenced Based Social Work (Su)3
SCWK 5412Foundation Field Seminar (Sp)2
SCWK 5434Foundation Field Internship (Sp)4

The following are required Advanced courses:

SCWK 5073Social Work Research and Technology II (Fa)3
SCWK 6000LThesis Laboratory (Sp, Su)0
SCWK 6003Advanced Social Work Practice Using the MSLC Perspective (Fa)3
SCWK 6442Advanced Field Seminar I (Fa)2
SCWK 6444Advanced Field Internship I (Fa)4
SCWK 6452Advanced Field Seminar II (Sp)2
SCWK 6454Advanced Field Internship II (Sp)4

Three-year Extended Program Option: This option is available for students without a baccalaureate degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Students in the three-year extended program must successfully complete a total of 63 credit hours. The following are required foundation courses:

SCWK 4073Social Work Research and Technology I (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4093Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4103Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4153Social Welfare Policy (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4333Social Work Practice I (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4343Social Work Practice II (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 4733Social Work Practice III (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 5003Foundations of Culturally Competent Social Work Practice (Fa)3
SCWK 5013Bridge Course: Evidenced Based Social Work (Su)3
SCWK 5412Foundation Field Seminar (Sp)2
SCWK 5434Foundation Field Internship (Sp)4

The following are required advanced courses:

SCWK 5073Social Work Research and Technology II (Fa)3
SCWK 6000LThesis Laboratory (Sp, Su)0
SCWK 6003Advanced Social Work Practice Using the MSLC Perspective (Fa)3
SCWK 6442Advanced Field Seminar I (Fa)2
SCWK 6444Advanced Field Internship I (Fa)4
SCWK 6452Advanced Field Seminar II (Sp)2
SCWK 6454Advanced Field Internship II (Sp)4

Please note that the three-year extended program accepts students every other year (e.g. Fall 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, etc.)

Advanced Standing Option: Students with a baccalaureate degree from a program accredited by CSWE are eligible to apply for Advanced Standing. This option requires a total of 39 credit hours including SCWK 5013, SCWK 5442, SCWK 5444, and the advanced course work listed above for the two- and three-year options.  Students may complete the advanced standing option either on campus or online.  

Electives:1 Each student is required to successfully complete three electives (9 credit hours). Electives are chosen in consultation with and with approval from the student’s major faculty adviser. Students may enroll in electives from outside the School of Social Work, with faculty adviser approval.  

Each student is required to successfully complete a population-specific practice course (3 credit hours) from either SCWK 6233 or SCWK 6243.  Students may choose to take the other population-specific practice course as an elective.

Graduate social work electives include:

SCWK 5143Global Social and Economic Justice and Oppression (Irregular)3
SCWK 5153Children, Youth, and Family (Irregular)3
SCWK 5163Social Work Management, Administration and Supervision (Irregular)3
SCWK 5173Advanced Practice with Families and Couples (Irregular)3
SCWK 5183Advanced Practice with Individuals (Irregular)3
SCWK 5193Advanced Practice and Policy in Aging (Irregular)3
SCWK 5213Advanced Practice in Behavioral and Mental Health (Irregular)3
SCWK 5253Spirituality and Social Work Practice (Sp, Fa)3
SCWK 5343Advanced Practice with Groups (Irregular)3
1

Elective topics often change from semester to semester based on faculty expertise and student interest. Therefore, it is not possible to guarantee specific electives.

Other Requirements: M.S.W. students are required to complete a capstone paper and presentation. The capstone project is a research experience in the area of practice/program evaluation, guided and evaluated by a panel of faculty and senior social work practitioners from the community. Students may choose instead, with faculty approval, to complete a thesis. The thesis option is guided by the student’s thesis committee, resulting in a final paper and oral defense. Both options are completed in conjunction with the three-hour Research and Technology course.

The Department of Social Work and the School of Law cooperate in offering a dual degree program that allows a student to pursue the Master of Social Work and the Juris Doctor degrees concurrently in order to achieve the following program objectives:

  1. To educate practitioners in social work and law to be able to effectively utilize the problem-solving strategies and techniques of both disciplines to the benefit of their clients, their colleagues, and the community.
  2. To provide the core curriculum necessary for the education of students in each profession while enabling them to focus on areas of knowledge and practice that correspond to their professional goals.
  3. To facilitate integration of the two disciplines through experiential learning opportunities.
  4. To promote a philosophy of interdisciplinary collaboration between law and social work professionals and create a collaborative learning environment.
  5. To prepare practitioners who have a commitment to a human condition that is free from violence, oppression, and discrimination, and that protects and promotes the development of all people.

J.D./M.S.W. Program

The Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work dual degree is awarded after completion of a four-year integrated course of study. This eliminates approximately one year of study, while meeting all accreditation requirements of the American Bar Association and Council on Social Work Education.  

Upon completion of the dual degree, students have earned a total of 135 credit hours (as opposed to 153 credit hours if the degrees are earned separately). A total of 12 hours credit earned in the M.S.W. program count toward completion of the J.D. degree.  A total of 6 hours credit earned in the J.D. program count toward completion of the M.S.W. degree. In order to receive dual credit, minimum grade standards for each program must be met.  

Students who do not maintain the academic or ethical standards of either degree program may be terminated from the dual degree program. Students in good standing in one degree program but not the other may be allowed to continue in the program in which they have good standing and must meet the degree requirements of that program. If for any reason a student admitted to the dual degree program does not complete the M.S.W. degree, the student cannot count the 12 hours of M.S.W. courses toward the J.D. degree. If for any reason a student admitted to the dual degree program does not complete the J.D. degree, the elective policy for the School of Social Work applies.

To be eligible for admission to the J.D./M.S.W. Dual Degree Program, students must apply separately and be admitted to the master’s program at the School of Social Work, to the juris doctor program at the School of Law, and to the joint program.  As such, applicants must meet all of the requirements for admission to each program. Upon application to the J.D./M.S.W. dual degree, the applicant shall provide a statement of intent for admission that includes a brief explanation of the reasons for pursuing this dual degree program as well as goals upon completion of the program.  Each degree will be conferred when the student has met all the requirements of that degree.

Should a student enter one program and later become aware of the availability of the joint program, the student must be admitted to both programs and to the joint program during his or her first year of class work in the program of original enrollment.

Courses

SCWK 405V. Special Topics in Social Work (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.

Comprehensive study of various topics of importance in contemporary social welfare and social work practice. Prerequisite: Junior standing. May be repeated for degree credit.

SCWK 4073. Social Work Research and Technology I (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

An overview of forms and sources of social work research including existing social data, techniques for collecting original social data, and techniques of organization, interpretation, and presentation of data. Students will also become proficient in the use of current technology for social work research and practice. Pre- or Corequisite: One of the following: STAT 2303, SOCI 3303 and SOCI 3301L, PSYC 2013, or ESRM 2403. Prerequisite: SCWK 4093 and SCWK 4153.

SCWK 4093. Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

Provides a conceptual framework for knowledge of human behavior and the social environment with a focus on individuals. Social systems, life-course, assets, and resiliency-based approaches are presented. Special attention is given to the impact of discrimination and oppression on the ability to reach or maintain optimal health and well-being. Prerequisite: COMM 1313, PSYC 2003, SOCI 2013, SCWK 2133, and SCWK 3193 and (BIOL 1543 and BIOL 1541L, or ANTH 1013 and ANTH 1011L).

SCWK 4103. Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

This course applies the basic framework for creating and organizing knowledge of human behavior and the social environment acquired in HBSE I to the understanding of family, group, organizational, community, and global systems. Attention is given to discrimination, oppression, the impact of technology, and poverty at each system level. Prerequisite: SCWK 4093 and SCWK 4153.

SCWK 4153. Social Welfare Policy (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

Describes and analyzes the policies and services rendered by local, state, regional, national, and international agencies as well as the policy implications for social work practice. Students prepare to advocate social policy changes designed to improve social conditions, promote social and economic justice, and to empower at-risk populations. Prerequisite: COMM 1313, PLSC 2003, SCWK 2133, and SCWK 3193.

SCWK 4183. Social Work With Elders (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Survey of theories of gerontology, service programs and unmet needs of the aging citizen.

SCWK 4233. Seminar: Children and Family Services (Irregular). 3 Hours.

An examination of selected current issues in the field of children and family services through discussion, individual study, and interaction with professionals in the field.

SCWK 4333. Social Work Practice I (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

This is the first in the sequence of practice courses introducing students to the generalist approach to micro social work. This course focuses on developing a solid foundation for practice with individuals, including learning basic communication and helping skills, values, principles, and the connection of theory to practice. Pre- or Corequisite: SCWK 4103. Prerequisite: SCWK 4093 and SCWK 4153.

SCWK 4343. Social Work Practice II (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

This is the second course in the social work practice sequence, emphasizing theories, models, and techniques related to generalist practice with families and groups. The course elaborates on system theory as it impacts groups and families, and use of experiential teaching methods. Prerequisite: SCWK 4103 and SCWK 4333.

SCWK 4733. Social Work Practice III (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

Students acquire and practice the skills, knowledge, and values necessary for culturally competent generalist social work practice with organizations and communities. Special attention is given to the implications of discrimination and oppression for attaining social and economic justice. Prerequisite: SCWK 4333. Pre- or Corequisite: SCWK 4103 and SCWK 4343.

SCWK 5003. Foundations of Culturally Competent Social Work Practice (Fa). 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is the acquisition and demonstration of beginning graduate-level social work values and ethics, knowledge, and skills necessary for cultural competence in work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and global contexts. A multi-systems life-course conceptual framework is used. Prerequisite: Admission to the two-year or part-time MSW program.

SCWK 5013. Bridge Course: Evidenced Based Social Work (Su). 3 Hours.

This course prepares MSW students to transition from the foundation course to the advanced concentration courses. Students will become familiar with the mission and conceptual framework underlying the advanced concentration and develop beginning knowledge of traditional and alternative approaches to client system assessment. Prerequisite: Admission into the advanced standing MSW program or completion of foundation courses.

SCWK 5073. Social Work Research and Technology II (Fa). 3 Hours.

This course is intended to build the advanced research skills necessary to develop a research proposal and complete a thesis or capstone project. Students will plan the project, collect and analyze data and write a research report of their findings. Projects will focus on systematic evaluation of service delivery and personal professional practice. Corequisite: 6000L. Prerequisite: Completion of year one for two-year students or summer semester for advanced standing students.

SCWK 5143. Global Social and Economic Justice and Oppression (Irregular). 3 Hours.

The role and responsibilities of the social work profession are examined in an international comparative context. Particular emphasis is given to social workers' responsibilities to advance global social and economic justice and reduce human oppression through community, social, economic, and organizational development strategies. Prerequisite: SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5153. Children, Youth, and Family (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the development, revision, and impact of policy and practice in children, youth, and family services. Current issues in policy and practice will be examined. Students will interact with community agencies and utilize class assignments to advocate improvements in current policy and practice. Prerequisite: SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5163. Social Work Management, Administration and Supervision (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course develops advanced skills in management, administration, and supervision in social work organizations. Emphasis is placed on developing leadership skills in ethics, budgeting, finance, resource development, information management, evaluation, staff hiring, supervision and development, and the use of technology in organizational leadership, development, and maintenance. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5173. Advanced Practice with Families and Couples (Irregular). 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide advanced understanding of the knowledge, skills and values needed to assess and intervene effectively with traditional and non-traditional families and couples. The course will examine social systems and life-course strengths approaches to understand how families and couples function. Students will design interventions. Prerequisite: SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5183. Advanced Practice with Individuals (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course develops advanced skills in social work practice on a micro level. Students learn to analyze and compare practice models. They gain skills in selecting a practice model and integrating multiple models based on client needs. Prerequisite: SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5193. Advanced Practice and Policy in Aging (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course focuses on social work practice with, and policies for, older persons. Current, past, and future practices and policies for older persons across systems and the life course are explored. Emphasis is placed on the influences of personal, social, economic, and cultural diversity on the well-being of older persons. Prerequisite: SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5213. Advanced Practice in Behavioral and Mental Health (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This advanced course prepares students to identify mental disorders, plan intervention strategies with clients from a strengths perspective, and understand mental health programs through which services are delivered. Differential diagnosis and the impact of socioeconomic status, gender, race, and sexual orientation on diagnosis and treatment decisions are addressed. Prerequisite: SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5253. Spirituality and Social Work Practice (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

This course prepares students to respond competently and ethically to diverse spiritual and religious perspectives. Utilizing social work ethics and values as a guide, students will develop a comparative, critically reflective approach to practice. Prerequisite: SCWK 4103 or SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5343. Advanced Practice with Groups (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course provides advanced knowledge, skills, and values needed to assess and intervene effectively with populations seen in the social work practice of group therapy. This course examines group dynamics, life-course and strengths perspectives, and client-centered assessment of needs and their application in agency settings. Prerequisite: SCWK 5003 or SCWK 5013.

SCWK 5412. Foundation Field Seminar (Sp). 2 Hours.

A required course for MSW students without an accredited undergraduate degree in social work. The purpose of the seminar is to allow students to integrate classroom content with experiences in the field, to learn peer supervision and consultation, and to learn from the experiences of other students in the field. Corequisite: SCWK 5434.

SCWK 5434. Foundation Field Internship (Sp). 4 Hours.

This course is required of all graduate students entering the MSW program without an accredited undergraduate degree in social work. Minimum of 330 clock hours of agency-based professional social work practicum experience, supervised by a licensed MSW, is required. Corequisite: SCWK 5412. Prerequisite: SCWK 5003, SCWK 4333, SCWK 4073, SCWK 4093, and SCWK 4153.

SCWK 5442. Field Seminar III (Su). 2 Hours.

This seminar is required of all graduate students entering the MSW program with advanced standing. Students integrate classroom content with experiences in the field, learn peer supervision and consultation, and learn from the experience of other students in the field. Corequisite: SCWK 5444. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program with advanced standing.

SCWK 5444. Field Internship III (Su). 4 Hours.

This course is required of all graduate students entering the MSW program with advanced standing. A minimum of 240 clock hours of agency-based professional social work practicum experience, supervised by a licensed MSW, is required. Corequisite: SCWK 5442. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program with advanced standing.

SCWK 596V. Independent Study (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.

Independent study designed to meet the particular needs of individual graduate students. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

SCWK 6000L. Thesis Laboratory (Sp, Su). 0 Hours.

This laboratory is required for completion of the thesis, which is developed through components of the graduate Research & Technology sequence. Other courses in the graduate curriculum provide support for the conceptualization and development of the thesis. This laboratory is taken in conjunction with SCWK 5073. Corequisite: SCWK 5073.

SCWK 6003. Advanced Social Work Practice Using the MSLC Perspective (Fa). 3 Hours.

Advanced Social Work Practice Using the Multi-Systems Life Course (MSLC) perspective teaches advanced practice behaviors with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. This course focuses on integrating the arenas of advanced theory, research, policy practice, direct practice, required competencies and advanced practice behaviors using the MSLC perspective. Prerequisite: Admission into the advanced standing MSW program or completion of foundation courses.

SCWK 6233. Advanced Social Work Practice With Children And Youth Using the MSLC Perspective (Sp). 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the development, revision, and impact of practice with children and youth from a Multi-Systems Life Course (MSLC) perspective. Historical trends as well as current practices will be examined with a focus on learning and improving social work practice skills. Prerequisite: SCWK 6003.

SCWK 6243. Advanced Social Work Practice With Adults Using the MSLC Perspective (Sp). 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the development, revision, and impact of practice with adults from a Multi-Systems Life Course (MSLC) perspective. Historical trends as well as current practices will be examined with a focus on learning and improving social work practice skills. Prerequisite: SCWK 6003.

SCWK 6442. Advanced Field Seminar I (Fa). 2 Hours.

The first of two advanced field seminars required of all students in the MSW program. The purpose of the seminar is to allow students to integrate classroom content with experiences in the field, to practice peer supervision and consultation, and to learn from the experiences of other students in the field. Corequisite: SCWK 6444. Prerequisite: SCWK 5412 or SCWK 5442.

SCWK 6444. Advanced Field Internship I (Fa). 4 Hours.

This is the first of two advanced field internships required of all graduate students in the MSW program. A minimum of 330 clock hours of agency-based professional social work practicum experience, supervised by a licensed MSW, is required. Corequisite: SCWK 6442. Prerequisite: SCWK 5434 or SCWK 5444.

SCWK 6452. Advanced Field Seminar II (Sp). 2 Hours.

This is the second of two advanced field seminars required of all students in the MSW program. The purpose of the seminar is to allow students to integrate classroom content with experiences in the field, to demonstrate peer supervision and consultation, and to learn from the experiences of other students in the field. Corequisite: SCWK 6454. Prerequisite: SCWK 6442.

SCWK 6454. Advanced Field Internship II (Sp). 4 Hours.

This is the second of two advanced Field Internship courses required of all graduate students in the MSW program. A minimum of 330 clock hours of agency-based professional social work practicum experience supervised by a licensed MSW is required. Corequisite: SCWK 6452. Prerequisite: SCWK 6442.

R. Scott Burcham, Clinical Assistant Professor
Kameri Christy, Professor
Sara J. Collie, Clinical Assistant Professor
Alishia Juanelle Ferguson, Clinical Assistant Professor
Glenda J. House, Clinical Associate Professor
Debra Hurd, Clinical Professor
Yvette Murphy-Erby, Professor
Anna North Piazza, Visiting Assistant Professor
Marcia A. Shobe, Professor
Kim Stauss, Associate Professor
Valandra, Assistant Professor