Jun 20, 2018  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2014-2015 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2014-2015 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Social Work, M.S.W.

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Critical Analysis of Social Work

A commitment to critical analysis in the service of social justice underpins this program. This degree focuses on the development of analytic skills with regard to social work practice and social policy. Students will build on existing knowledge to increase their ability to identify and analyze practice and policy theories and examine how they are utilized within a changing social, political, economic and global context.

Students will engage analyzing social problems and policies, critique existing practices, challenge established knowledge, research alternative approaches and contribute to the development of innovative policies and practices.

The MSW program prepares students for advanced practice grounded in the critical analysis of social work - analysis understood as the crucial foundation of change processes aimed at fostering just practices and policies. Graduates exercise the critical conceptual abilities and research skills developed in the program in a wide range of agency and community settings, with an appreciation of the intersection of practice and policy at micro, meso and macro levels.

Candidates may be enrolled on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students will complete the program in twelve consecutive months of study, beginning in September. Part-time students will normally be expected to complete the program in about three years.


To be eligible for admission to the Master of Social Work Program, applicants are required to hold a B.S.W. degree from an accredited social work program. In addition, admission requirements are:

  1. half course in introductory social research methods;
  2. B+ standing in senior level social work courses.

Applications should be made to the School of Social Work prior to December 15th for admission the following September.


The curriculum has three main components:

  1. Required courses that provide the content and methodological skills necessary for policy and practice analysis;
  2. Elective courses that enable students to deepen their knowledgeof practice and policy in the inner workings of social agencies and in social change efforts at the community level;
  3. Thesis designed to integrate analytical and evaluative skills and to contribute to the critical analysis of policy and practice.

Two elective courses

One additional elective

Electives enable students to deepen their knowledge in a substantive field of their choice and to develop a capacity to analyze systematically existing policies or practices in that field. All students take one elective which can be selected from the following:

Additional Information

In planning the course of study, students should consult with their advisor concerning possible elective(s) which may be taken outside the School of Social Work. Electives offered in a given year are subject to the availability of faculty.


Each student is required to complete a thesis. It offers students an opportunity to build upon their particular experiences and interests and upon perspectives and materials introduced in courses, and to demonstrate their capacities for critical analysis. The thesis (12,500 words) is supervised by a faculty member and orally examined by a committee including the supervisor and two other faculty members.

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