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curriculum

A. Program Goals

The goals of the MSW program are to:

1. Prepare advanced generalist practitioners who demonstrate ability to use their knowledge, values, and skills to work at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice within local, national and global contexts;

2. Educate graduates to utilize social justice and human rights frameworks in their work and to embrace social action practice;

3. Inspire graduates who lead efforts to improve health and wellness in the lives of all people and to create a more just and life-affirming society;

4. Promote the ability of graduates to engage in critical, self-reflective and ethical practice;

5. Develop practitioners who utilize strengths-based, person-in-environment and empowerment approaches in all their work that are informed by a respect for human dignity, diversity, and inclusiveness; and

6. Educate practitioners who are able to engage in research-informed practice models and who are able to contribute to the creation of knowledge in the field of Social Work by engaging in practice-informed research processes

The goals for our MSW program are clearly derived from our mission statement, and reflect the values, emphases, and perspectives articulated there. The first goal purposefully aligns with our stated premise to educate for all systems levels of practice in local, national, and global contexts. The second goal emphasizes the importance of social justice and human rights frameworks in our graduates’ ability to embrace social action. The third goal is an expression of our commitment to leadership in improving health and wellness for both individuals and in the society—this affirms our commitment to social and environmental justice as well as a reflection of our location within a health sciences infrastructure. Our fourth goal reflects the importance of social workers practicing ethically and from a value base. Our fifth goal expresses a commitment to compel graduates to use frameworks that are informed by human dignity, diversity and inclusiveness. Our sixth goal commits us to educate practitioners who seek and utilize knowledge in their work at all levels.

B. CSWE Competency Framework

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the accrediting body for schools of social work, has identified core competencies for social work education. These competencies guide and inform curriculum and course content.

1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
4. Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice
5. Engage in Policy Practice
6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families Groups, Organizations, and Communities  

Each competency is represented by a set of practice behaviors at the Foundation and Advanced levels of the curriculum. The practice behaviors will be used in various forms of assessment to determine the degree to which students have achieved competency in these nine (9) areas. Overall assessment is reported, in aggregate, on the school’s website.


MSW Program Structure and Content 

A. Pathways to the MSW Degree

The graduate program prepares students for advanced social work practice. It provides students with the needed theoretical and practice expertise to function with maximum competence at different administrative or policy levels in social welfare fields and/or in the provision of direct services to individuals, families, groups, and communities. The school provides opportunities for study and practice that utilize the wealth of interdisciplinary resources available in the Health Sciences Center, the University, and community agencies throughout the New York metropolitan area.  The requirements of the MSW Program as outlined in this Handbook have been approved by the New York State Education Department as meeting the academic pre-requisites qualifying students to sit for both the LMSW and LCSW License Exams. 

Students who have graduated from a CSWE-accredited baccalaureate degree program in social work - within five (5) years from their initial matriculation are not required to repeat what has been achieved in their undergraduate program. 

The curriculum provides for a generalist foundation year of courses and field education for all students.  In the 2nd year, students concentrate on Advanced Social Work Practice. 

B. Curriculum

The curriculum provides for a generalist foundation year of courses and field education for all students.  In the second year, students concentrate in advanced social work practice.  Some courses are offered in concentrated form during the semester, intersession and summer session.  Although some courses are offered for student convenience in Manhattan, be advised that in order to complete the program, all students are required to take some courses at the Stony Brook campus. At minimum, HWC 504 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I, HWC 505 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II, and HWC 506 Social Work in Health must be taken at the Stony Brook campus.

Guided by the theme, social work in health/health in social work, the curriculum provides all social work students with basic knowledge of health programs, policies and practices and how they affect individual and societal well-being.  To give proper attention to health problems and their social consequences, the curriculum stresses health in social work by providing the knowledge and skills needed by all social workers, regardless of the setting in which they practice. 

All students: Required Professional Development Credits, 2 Credits

HWC 596 Community Learning and Professional Preparation I: First year; 1 credit
HWC 597 Community Learning and Professinal Preparation II: Second Year; 1 credit

 

1.    Generalist Foundation 

In the first year, the array of courses and field education provides the basic professional foundation of knowledge, values and skills for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

The professional foundation includes content on social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, populations historically devalued and oppressed, human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policies and services, social work practice, research and field education.

First year, Full-time MSW Requirements

  Fall Term:   
 Course # and TitleCredits
 HWC 500 Field Education I      
4 - 6
 HWC 504 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I3
 HWC 509 *Foundations of Social Justice: Challenging Oppression3
 HWC 511 Research I
3
 HWC 513 Social Work Practice I
3
 *formerly known as HWC 509 Parameters of Health & Social Policy I (for students who entered SSW prior to 2017-18) 
 Spring Term: 
 Course # and Title 
Credits
 HWC 501 Field Education II
4-6
 HWC 505 Integrative Seminar
3

 HWC 510 *Social Policy & Social Determinants

*formerly known as HWC 510 Parameters of Health & Social Policy II (for students who entered SSW prior to 2017-18)

3
 HWC 512 Research II    
3
 HWC 514 Social Work Practice II
3


2.  Advanced Curriculum

The program prepares students for advanced generalist social work practice in a variety of professional roles, including direct services with individuals, families, groups, and communities and in the analysis, development, implementation, management and evaluation of human services, and health policies and programs.

Students with a baccalaureate degree from a social work program accredited by CSWE may apply for admission to the Advanced Standing Program.  Admission to this program is only awarded to graduates holding degrees from baccalaureate social work programs accredited by CSWE, those recognized through the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors.  

Students applying for Advanced Standing are eligible to waive the following required courses: Human Behavior and the Social Environment (HWC 504 and 505), Research I and II (HWC 511 and 512), Foundations of Social Justice: Challenging Oppression and Social Policy & Social Determinants *Formerly named Parameters of Health and Social Policy I/II  (HWC 509 and 510), and Social Work Practice I and II (HWC 513 and 514), and Field Education I and II (HWC 500 and 501) if they have taken similar courses and received a grade of B or better. 

In addition to the required advanced social work practice courses and advanced field education experiences, students may choose from a variety of electives.*

Second Year, Full-time MSW Requirements (prior to 2017)

*Elective offerings vary from term to term. In addition, electives are differentiated between advanced practice electives and enrichment electives. Students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits of advanced practice electives. (See Section V. B. Credits) 

Fall Term: 
 Course # and Title      
Credits
HWC 502 Field Education III   
4-6
HWC 506 Social Work in Health 
3
HWC 515 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice I3
HWC 516 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice I3
HWC 519 Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology3
  
Spring Term: 
Course # and Title  
Credits
HWC 503 Field Education IV 
4-6
HWC 517 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice II3
HWC 518 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice II 
3
*Two Advanced Practice Electives   
6

C.  Alternative Pathways

In addition to the two-year, full-time option, the school has designed alternative pathways that retain the standard program requirements and quality.  Pathway I, the Advanced Standing Option, is open only to graduates of a CSWE accredited baccalaureate program in social work. Pathway II is open only to applicants already working the field of social welfare.  Eligibility for Pathway II is determined after admission to the school. Admission to the school does not guarantee approval to register as a Pathway II student.  Pathway III is open to all applicants who choose to complete the program in more than two years.

1.  Pathway I:  Advanced Standing

Students who have graduated from a CSWE accredited baccalaureate program in social work within the past five years may apply for Advanced Standing. Students applying for this option must demonstrate their readiness to function at the level of a second year MSW student.  Students generally complete the program in one year, or may take a reduced program and complete the requirements in 1½ to two years.  Students spend three days in a field education setting for one academic year and must complete the required and elective courses.  Pathway I students cannot use their place of employment for their field placement and must earn all the 36 credits as matriculated students in the School of Social Welfare.

Pathway I:  Advanced Standing: Curriculum and Program Design (Full-time)

Students who plan to complete the program in one year follow the program design outlined below.

Fall Term: 
 Course # and Title      
Credits
HWC 502 Field Education III   
6
HWC 506 Social Work in Health 3
HWC 515 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice I3
HWC 516 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice I3
HWC 519 Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology3
 
 
Spring Term: 
Course # and Title  
Credits
HWC 503 Field Education IV 
6
HWC 517 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice II3
HWC 518 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice II 
3
*Two Advanced Practice Electives   
6

*A minimum of six (6) Advanced Practice elective credits are required. Elective offerings vary from term to term. In addition, electives are differentiated between advanced practice electives and enrichment electives. Students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits of advanced practice electives.  (See Section V. B. Credits)

Pathway I:  Advanced Standing: Curriculum and Program Design (Modified Full-time)

Students who plan to complete the program in more than one year follow the program design outlined below: 

First Year, Fall Term:   
Course # and Title 
Credits
HWC 502 Field Education III  6
HWC 515 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice I 
3
HWC 516 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice II3
HWC 519 Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology3
  
First Year, Spring Term: 
Course # and Title  
Credits
HWC 503 Field Education IV
6
HWC 517 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice II
3
HWC 518 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice II3
*Advanced Practice Elective6


 

Second Year, Fall Term: 
 
Fall Term: 
Course # and TitleCredits
HWC 506 Social Work in Health 
3
HWC 515 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice I3
HWC 516 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice I 
3
HWC 519 Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology3
  
Spring Term: 
Course # and Title   
Credits
HWC 503 Field Education IV 
6
HWC 517 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice II   
3
HWC 518 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice II  
3
Advanced Practice Elective
3
  
SECOND YEAR
 
Fall Term: 
HWC 506 Social Work in Health 3
Advanced Practice Elective3


*A minimum of six (6) Advanced Practice elective credits are required. *Elective offerings vary from term to term. In addition, electives are differentiated between advanced practice electives and enrichment electives. Students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits of advanced practice electives from the minimum required total of 9 elective credits. (See Section V. B. Credits)

2.    
Pathway II: Employment-based Modified Program

Students, who are currently working full-time in the field of social welfare and have had a minimum of three years paid, full-time, MSW supervised, social welfare experience, may apply for permission to use their agency of employment for two days of field education per week, for one year only. This field education experience must be separate and distinct from the student’s regular job responsibilities. Specific eligibility criteria for this pathway are in the Field Education Manual. The Office of Field Education must approve participation in this pathway and is responsible for coordinating and approving a field education plan submitted by the student and an approved field education supervisor.

Pathway II students may not register for more than 4 credits (two days) of field education per term, or for more than three courses per semester. In addition to the standard daytime schedule, some required courses and some electives are offered in the late afternoon, evenings and weekends. Through this pathway, students may complete the degree requirements in 2½ to three years. Students in this pathway are therefore on a modified full-time schedule. See Pathway III for Curriculum Design.

3.  Pathway III: Modified Program

This option is designed for students who choose not to follow the regular full-time schedule.  Students must take 12 to 13 credits each term while they are attending school, except in the term (or year) in which they are candidates for graduation when they may take fewer. The degree requirements are typically completed in 2½ to three years.

The required courses are taken in the sequence indicated for regular full-time students.  In addition to the standard daytime schedule, some required and some elective courses are offered during late afternoons, evenings and weekends.  Students are not permitted to use their agency of employment for field education.  In some instances, field education may be taken during evenings and weekends if an educationally sound placement can be arranged.  In cases where this cannot be arranged, or it is determined by the field education faculty that such a placement is not appropriate for the students’ learning needs, students may need to complete one or both years of field education in a traditional time period.
Pathway III students may not register for more than four (4) credits of field education per term. 

Pathway III students may not register for more than 4 credits of field education per term.  

 

Pathway II and Pathway III Curriculum and Program Design

First Year, Fall Term: 
Course # and Title    
Credits
HWC 500 Field Education I4
HWC 504 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
3
HWC 511 Research I  
3
HWC 513 Social Work Practice I     
3
  
First Year, Spring Term: 
Course # and Title 
Credits
HWC 501 Field Education II  
4
HWC 505 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
3
HWC 512 Research II   
3
HWC 514 Social Work Practice II 
3


Second Year, Fall Term: 
Course # and Title  
Credits
HWC 502 Field Education III
4
HWC 509 *Foundations of Social Justice: Challenging Oppression3
HWC 515 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice I  
3
HWC 516 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice I
3
 *HWC 509 Parameters of Health and Social Policy I (for students entering SSW prior to 2017-18) 
Second Year, Spring Term:Credits
Course # and Title      
 
HWC 503 Field Education IV4
HWC 510 *Social Policy & Social Determinants3
HWC 517 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice II3
HWC 518 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice II3
 *HWC 510 Parameters of Health and Social Policy II (for students entering SSW prior to 2017-18) 

 
Third Year, Fall Term: 
HWC 506 Social Work in Health Care3
HWC 519 Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology3
*Two Advanced Practice Electives6

*Elective offerings vary from term to term. In addition, electives are differentiated between advanced practice electives and enrichment electives. Students are required to take a minimum of six (6) credits of advanced practice electives. (See Section IV. B. Credits)

4. Pathway IV: Part-Time Program

This option is designed for students who choose not to follow the regular full-time schedule.  Students must take the courses as prescribed. Courses are limited to two per semester for a total of six (6) credits.  After completion of the second year, students may register for more than six (6) credits. Part-Time students begin Field Education during the spring semester of their second year.  The degree requirements are typically completed in three to four years.

Fall Class Schedule

Part-Time Program - MSW Students (first Year)

CoursesTitleCredits
HWC 509 Foundations of Social Justice: Challenging Oppression3
HWC 511 Research I3
Spring Class Schedule Part-Time Program - MSW Students (First Year)  
Course Title Credits
HWC 510 Social Policy & Social Determinants
HWC 512 Research II3
Fall Class Schedule Part-Time Program - MSW Students (Second Year) 
Course Title Credits
HWC 500 Field Education I4
HWC
504 Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Critical Applications of Social Work Theory3
HWC 513 Social Work Practice I3
Spring Class Schedule Part-Time Program - MSW Students (Second Year)
HWC 501 Field Education II 4 4
HWC 505 Integrative Seminar
 
3
HWC 514 Social Work Practice II3
Fall Class Schedule Part-Time Program - MSW Students (Third Year)
HWC 502
Field Education III 4
HWC 515
Micro Practice3
HWC 516
Macro Practice3
*HWC
Elective3
*HWC Elective or (HWC 519) Psychopathology 3
*Psychopathology and Three Electives may be taken in any semester after the successful completion of the Second Year.
Spring Class Schedule Part-Time Program - MSW Students (Third Year)
HWC 503 Field Education IV4
HWC 517
Micro Practice 3
HWC 518 Macro Practice 3
*HWC Elective or (HWC 519)
 Psychopathology3
*HWC Elective3
*Psychopathology and Three Electives may be taken in any semester after the successful completion of the Second Year. 

Additional Requirements: The following courses are required and may be taken in any semester after the successful completion of the Year II courses

*Psychopathology
*Three Electives 

Part-time students will develop a curriculum plan with their advisors designating in which semesters they will enroll in these required courses.  

*Elective offerings vary from term to term. In addition, electives are differentiated between enrichment electives and advanced practice electives. Part-time students are required to take a minimum of nine (9) credits of enrichment electives.   

D. *Focus Areas (*for students who entered SSW prior to 2017-18)
Special note: For those entering 2017 and after, please visit this link for information about Specializations https://socialwelfare.stonybrookmedicine.edu/academics/msw/specializatio...

As part of their concentration year, second year students have the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge in a choice of specific areas as described below. 
The special focus areas share a similar structure, with some specific variation within each, and each specialization has a director who oversees the curriculum for the specialization. 
General special focus area requirements: 

Students are required to do a full year of Field Education placement at a setting related to their specialization.  The placement may take place in the first or second year of the MSW program.

Students are required to take electives related to their specialization. Each specialization has a list of required/elective courses that qualify for the specialization (see individual specialization descriptions). Students are required to receive a B grade (3.00) or higher in the electives for the specialization.  Enrichment level courses may be required for some of the specializations. However, all MSW students also must complete 2 advanced practice electives before graduating. 

Students are required to do their HWC 515 Advanced Social Work Micro Practice I and HWC 516 Advanced Social Work Macro Practice I written assignments on a topic related to their specialization.  

Students are required to complete all requirements for the MSW Degree, including: 
A total of 64 credits (36 credits for Advanced Standing students), of which at least six (6) credits will be the Advanced curriculum courses of the specialization. 
At least 8 of the 16 credits of field education (12 credits for Advanced Standing students) in a setting related to the specialization.Students in the Modified pathways will not be able to pursue a specialization due to required course scheduling.

For further information, please contact our Admissions and Student Services office at (631) 444-3141