Jul 23, 2024  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 

Social Work M.S.W.

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The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program at UNLV prepares students for professional social work careers in the areas of direct practice with individuals, families and groups, and in management and community practice. The mission of the M.S.W. program is to educate students to work with populations in urban settings, utilizing generalist, problem solving, empowerment, and social justice approaches. Special attention is given to the mastery of multiple practice issues, attendant upon the present plural and diverse populations in today’s American society.

Students may elect either “direct practice” or “management and community practice” as their area of concentration. The direct practice concentration prepares students for advanced social work practice with individuals, families, and groups. The management and community practice concentration prepares students for advanced administrative, managerial, and community practice in human service organizations and agencies at the local, state and national levels.

Students are provided academic knowledge related to the theory, research, and major substantive issues in the field and practice experience through practicum experiences in a variety of private and public agency environments. Field practicum placement is concurrent with classroom instruction and is an integral part of the program. A wide variety of field practicum agencies are available, and students are placed in the field under the guidance of the Field Director and in cooperation with the professional supervisory staff from local social service agencies. The program seeks to encourage and accommodate varied student interests, abilities, and career goals. Partnerships and on-going collaborative relationships between the school faculty and the service agencies facilitate a rich blend of academic and community-based experience for our students.

The M.S.W. program is designed to be consistent with the accreditation standards of the field’s national professional accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The School of Social Work does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, creed, ethnic background, national origin, disability, and political, religious, or sexual orientation.

Admission Requirements

An applicant must have the following:

  1. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale for the bachelor’s degree.  An earned bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited program or a degree in another field.
  2. Completion of the following liberal arts courses: English composition or literature courses; college-level mathematics or statistics course; courses in social sciences, preferably in psychology, sociology, and anthropology; a science course; one course in fine arts or humanities; a course in history or political science; a course or content in the biological determinants of human behavior or human biology; a course or content in diverse cultures, social conditions, or social problems. The applicant must not have more than two course deficiencies to be admitted to the program, and those must be cleared by the end of the first semester of M.S.W. studies.
  3. An applicant must submit an application for admission, transcripts of all college-level work, and the application fee to the Graduate College. Three letters of recommendation (as specified below), a personal statement, and transcripts of all college-level work must be submitted to the School of Social Work.
  4. The applicant must submit to the School of Social Work three letters of recommendation (on the prescribed form) that reflect the applicant’s academic experience, general abilities, and interest and motivation in pursuing a graduate degree in social work. One of these letters should be from the most recent employer in a social work position (if applicable), and one should be from an instructor (social work instructor, if applicable) from the last college attended. The third letter should be from a person who is familiar with the applicant’s overall qualifications, experience, and interest in pursuing the M.S.W. degree.

Admission to the MSW Program cannot be deferred. The student must also enroll in the program to which admission is offered (i.e., a particular concentration, full or part-time). Students must make any request for a change in status in writing and in accordance with School procedure. Also considering the rigor of the program, students must evaluate if their individual circumstances and resources warrant applying for the full-time or part-time program. Students working 20 hours a week or more are strongly advised to apply to the part-time program.

Degree Requirements: 63 Total Credits

Foundation Course Requirements: 


Other Degree Requirements:

The other degree requirements include the completion of course work with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Those choosing the thesis option will enroll in

  for 2 semesters (instead of the Capstone Seminar and one elective course) and will orally defend the thesis before a chosen committee.

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