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Social Work, M.S.W.

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Mission

The Department of Social Work at MTSU prepares students to serve as social work practitioners, scholars, and leaders who assist individuals, families, groups, and communities at the local, national, and international levels. Our faculty seeks to develop culturally informed, community-engaged students who promote social justice and respect for diversity and human rights through research, coursework, fieldwork, and public service. 

Goals

  1. To prepare a competent, diverse student population for advanced generalist social work practice based on professional values and ethics to serve client systems within each level of practice. 
  2. To provide the knowledge and skills necessary to promote the development of and advocacy for of social policies and services that reduce the impact of poverty, oppression, and discrimination, and ensure social, environment, and economic justice across systems. 
  3. To provide a teaching environment that ensures the development of analytical skills and critical thinking as part of social work practice. 
  4. Support knowledge acquisition through active participation in the development, evaluation, and improvement of social work knowledge and skills via research aimed at advancing social work practice. 
  5. To promote the development of a multiple theoretical orientation applicable across systems and levels of practice that supports competency as advanced generalist social work professionals. 
  6. To provide an understanding of diversity and cultural competence, from a lens of cultural humility and with an emphasis on social justice, empowerment, and improving the well- being of people. 
  7. To instill in students the history, purpose and philosophical underpinning reflected in the profession of social work and develop professional leadership skills across service delivery systems. 

 


What We're Doing

Behavioral Health deputy director finds added value with M.S.W.

Behavioral Health deputy director finds added value with M.S.W.

Shawn Smith (’17 M.S.W., ’96 B.S.W.) returned to MTSU part time in 2014 to pursue his Social Work master’s degree after becoming TennCare’s deputy director for Behavioral Health Operations. He got much more out of the M.S.W. program than he expected. “This program has given me a greater appreciation and understanding of social work theories and how to apply those theories in practice,” he says. Smith is responsible for oversight and monitoring the state division’s managed care organizations as it relates to behavioral health care benefits. He recalls a former undergraduate social work professor telling him: “Sometimes you may be the only source of support that clients have, so you have to be good enough.” Smith says that advice makes even more sense in his current role “where I may not work directly with clients but what I do can still have a lasting impact on the lives of so many men, women, and children throughout Tennessee from a systems level.”

M. Davenport studies abroad, Germany.

MSW graduate student studies human rights issues in Germany

Megan Davenport, a Master of Social Work student, spent winter break in the Social Work Global Seminar course in Munich, Germany, offered by Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. The course provided Megan with an introduction to the development and current practice implications of contemporary human rights. The various field visits portrayed human rights principles as they relate to the social work profession in Germany. Historical sites, such as the Nuremberg trials courtroom and Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial, are also visited. Participating in the course allowed Megan to learn and collaborate with students and professionals from varying universities and backgrounds and allowed a unique first-hand observation of international social work practices. Megan reports that she left the course with an invigorated desire to engage in additional research and conversation of pertinent social work topics, such as how the U.S presents its own malicious past and how historical events remain influential to policy and practice. She is now inspired to affirm the vast educational and personal benefits of education abroad for the social work profession, and to encourage other social work students to seek a similar experience.


Related Media

  • Get a Social Work Degree at MTSU

    Get a Social Work Degree at MTSU

  • MTSU College of Graduate Studies

    MTSU College of Graduate Studies

 
 
 

The demand for social workers has been projected to grow 19% overall in the decade through 2022 and varies by specialty area of employment. Social workers are employed in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, residential treatment programs, and private practices. Mental health and substance abuse social workers are one of the two hottest careers in the state requiring a master’s degree, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor. Some possible professional paths for those with the Master of Social Work include

  • Child and family social worker
  • Clinical social worker
  • Clinical therapist
  • Geriatric social worker
  • Healthcare social worker
  • Hospice and palliative care social worker
  • Medical social worker
  • Mental health and substance abuse social worker
  • School social worker

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • ACLU of Tennessee
  • Alzheimer's Association
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters
  • Catholic Charities
  • Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center (Daniels Center)
  • Child Advocacy Center
  • Domestic Violence Program
  • Drug Court
  • Greenhouse Ministries
  • Mental Health Court
  • MTSU Disabled Student Services
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Nashville Vet Center
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Probation and Parole
  • Project Help
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Sunnington Assisted Living
  • Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth
  • Tennessee Department of Children's Services

Graduate

The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree is offered through a program consisting of in-person classes, online classes, and internships.

Applicants:

  • need an overall GPA of 2.75 from undergraduate classes
  • should have completed basic liberal arts coursework as an undergraduate, which is usually fulfilled by meeting general education requirements
  • are required to submit an essay and three letters of recommendation along with the application and the signed contract

Applications are due by Jan. 31.

Field education is an essential element of the graduate-level social work program. Master's candidates gain intensive experience from a 400-hour foundation placement (for those who enter the program without advanced standing) and a 500-hour concentration placement (for all M.S.W. students).

Students can be considered for advanced standing if they have an undergraduate degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Both the M.S.W. and B.S.W. programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and qualify the graduates for state licensure as a social worker.

Undergraduate

The Department of Social Work also offers the undergraduate Bachelor of Social Work degree. An undergraduate minor is available in Social Welfare, and the department participates in an interdisciplinary minor in Health Care Services.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and qualifies graduates to seek state licensure as social workers. Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether this program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. Students in the MTSU MSW program who plan to practice outside the state of Tennessee should consult the Association of Social Work Boards’ list of state regulations at http://aswbsocialworkregulations.org/licensingWebsitesReportBuilder.jsp for the most current information about licensure procedures in the US state or territory in which they plan to practice and discuss their plans with their advisor.

Social Work, Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice Concentration, M.S.W.

Vickie Harden
615-898-2510
Vickie.Harden@mtsu.edu
www.mtsu.edu/socialwork/

The purpose of the Master of Social Work program is to prepare students for advanced generalist social work practice with systems of all types and sizes in both rural and urban areas, to prepare knowledgeable and competent professionals, and to provide leadership in the development of social delivery services, especially public social services. The M.S.W. program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Candidates must be admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and must also be admitted to the Master of Social Work program. Admission requirements include an earned undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Applicants interested in obtaining advanced standing must have completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program and attained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in their undergraduate coursework. Students who hold a baccalaureate degree from a social work program outside the United States must have their transcript reviewed by CSWE for a determination of equivalency.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Admission to the M.S.W. program is limited and granted for Fall entry only. Review of applications for Fall admission begins on February 1 of each year and continues until capacity is reached. Applicants are encouraged to submit all required documents as early as possible.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with appropriate fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.
  3. submit a supplementary application that requires the application form, the student contract, an essay, and three letters of recommendation from professionals who can address the applicant's interest in social work, potential for successfully completing a master's program, and potential for professional social work practice.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Social Work in Social Work with a concentration in Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice requires completion of 60 semester hours for the full program and 30 semester hours for the advanced standing program.

Candidate must complete this non-thesis program with a capstone course culminating in a written comprehensive examination.

Curriculum: Social Work, Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice

The following illustrates the coursework requirements.

Full Program Track (60 hours)

Foundation Courses (27 hours)

 

  • SW 6000 - MSW Practice I  3 credit hours  

    SW 6000 - MSW Practice I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Admission to the M.S.W. program. A social work methods course designed to enable the student to understand and apply social work methods within the context of the generalist perspective with individuals and families.

  • SW 6010 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment  3 credit hours  
    (online)(online)  dotslash:(online) title:(online) 
    (online) 

    SW 6010 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Admission to the M.S.W. program. An introduction to the theories and knowledge of the human bio-psycho-social development including theories and knowledge about the range of social systems in which individuals live (families, groups, organizations, agencies, and communities).

  • SW 6020 - Research I  3 credit hours  

    SW 6020 - Research I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Admission to the M.S.W. program. This is a basic research and statistical methods course utilizing research in general inquiry and practice evaluation in social work with the generalist perspective.

  • SW 6030 - Social Welfare Policy and Services  3 credit hours  
    (online)(online)  dotslash:(online) title:(online) 
    (online) 

    SW 6030 - Social Welfare Policy and Services

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Admission to the M.S.W. program. The historical development, philosophical orientation, and analysis of U.S. social welfare policy and services including the global context. online delivery

  • SW 6100 - MSW Practice II  3 credit hours  

    SW 6100 - MSW Practice II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite:  SW 6000 and SW 6010. A social work methods course designed to enable the student to understand and apply social work methods within the context of the generalist perspective with groups, agencies, and communities.

  • SW 6110 - Social Justice and Equity for Multicultural Populations  3 credit hours  
    (online)(online)  dotslash:(online) title:(online) 
    (online) 

    SW 6110 - Social Justice and Equity for Multicultural Populations

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: SW 6010. An overview of the professional commitment of social work to oppressed peoples. online delivery

  • SW 6120 - Research II  3 credit hours  

    SW 6120 - Research II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: SW 6020. An advanced discussion of program evaluation strategies and single-system design issues. The student will conduct a research project.

  • SW 6130 - Practicum IA  3 credit hours  

    SW 6130 - Practicum IA

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: SW 6000, SW 6010, SW 6020, and SW 6030. May be taken concurrently with SW 6140. A 200-hour field practicum experience within the generalist perspective.                

  • SW 6140 - Practicum IB  3 credit hours  

    SW 6140 - Practicum IB

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: SW 6000, SW 6010, SW 6020, and SW 6030. May be taken concurrently with SW 6130. A 200-hour field practicum experience within the generalist perspective.

Concentration Courses (24 hours)

 

  • SW 6200 - Advanced Direct Practice with Individuals

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. An advanced social work methods course that prepares students for practice with individuals including client assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

 

  • SW 6210 - Advanced Practice with Families  3 credit hours  
    ****  dotslash:** title:** 
    ** 
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    SW 6210 - Advanced Practice with Families

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. Advanced practice with families including client system assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

  • SW 6220 - Advanced Group Practice  3 credit hours  
    ****  dotslash:** title:** 
    ** 

    SW 6220 - Advanced Group Practice

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. Advanced practice with groups including client system assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

 

  • SW 6230 - Advanced Macro Practice

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. The advanced generalist practice social work course designed to enable the student to understand and apply social work methods at the advanced generalist level.

  • SW 6240 - Social Policy Analysis  3 credit hours  
    (online)(online)  dotslash:(online) title:(online) 
    (online) 

    SW 6240 - Social Policy Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. A study of the design, implementation, and analysis of social policies and their impact on social work practice. online delivery

  • SW 6300 - Empirical Social Work Practice

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: Advanced Direct Practice with Individuals (SW 6200) and Advanced Practice with Families (SW 6210), or Advanced Practice with Individuals (SW 6220) Advanced Macro Practice (SW 6230), and Social Policy Analysis (SW 6240). A seminar in the integration of theoretical perspectives and the application of research findings and empirical outcome evaluation techniques to advanced generalist social work practice.

  • SW 6310 - Practicum IIA  4 credit hours  

    SW 6310 - Practicum IIA

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: Advanced Practice with Individuals (SW 6200) and Advanced Practice with Families (SW 6210) or Advanced Group Practice (SW 6220), Advanced Macro Practice (SW 6230), and Social Policy Analysis (SW 6240). May be taken concurrently with Practicum IIB (SW 6320). A 250-hour field practicum experience. Must be taken concurrently with Empirical Social Work Practice (SW 6300).

  • SW 6320 - Practicum IIB  4 credit hours  

    SW 6320 - Practicum IIB

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: If taken concurrently with SW 6130, prerequisites are the same. If not taken concurrently, SW 6310 is the prerequisite. May be taken concurrently with Practicum IIA (SW 6310) and Empirical Social Work Practice (SW 6300).

**Either course meets requirement; the other one may be taken as an elective.

Electives (9 hours)

  • SW 5000 - Special Topics  3 credit hours  

    SW 5000 - Special Topics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Permission of department. Special topics in social work and social welfare. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours. online delivery

 

  • SW 6210 - Advanced Practice with Families  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    SW 6210 - Advanced Practice with Families

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. Advanced practice with families including client system assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

  • SW 6220 - Advanced Group Practice

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. Advanced practice with groups including client system assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

 

NOTE: Electives include children's mental health, trauma and recovery, neuroscience in social work, grant writing, domestic violence, school social work, child abuse and neglect treatment, community health, evidence-based substance abuse treatment, supervision in social work practice, military social work, child welfare, and aging issues and controversies.

Advanced Standing Track (30 hours)

Concentration Courses (24 hours)

  • SW 6200 - Advanced Direct Practice with Individuals

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. An advanced social work methods course that prepares students for practice with individuals including client assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

 

  • SW 6210 - Advanced Practice with Families  3 credit hours  
    ** OR** OR  dotslash:** OR title:** OR 
    ** OR 

    SW 6210 - Advanced Practice with Families

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. Advanced practice with families including client system assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

  • SW 6220 - Advanced Group Practice  3 credit hours  
    ****  dotslash:** title:** 
    ** 

    SW 6220 - Advanced Group Practice

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. Advanced practice with groups including client system assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

 

  • SW 6230 - Advanced Macro Practice

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. The advanced generalist practice social work course designed to enable the student to understand and apply social work methods at the advanced generalist level.

  • SW 6240 - Social Policy Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Practicum IA (SW 6130) and IB (SW 6140) or advanced standing admission. A study of the design, implementation, and analysis of social policies and their impact on social work practice. online delivery

  • SW 6300 - Empirical Social Work Practice

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: Advanced Direct Practice with Individuals (SW 6200) and Advanced Practice with Families (SW 6210), or Advanced Practice with Individuals (SW 6220) Advanced Macro Practice (SW 6230), and Social Policy Analysis (SW 6240). A seminar in the integration of theoretical perspectives and the application of research findings and empirical outcome evaluation techniques to advanced generalist social work practice.

  • SW 6310 - Practicum IIA  4 credit hours  

    SW 6310 - Practicum IIA

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: Advanced Practice with Individuals (SW 6200) and Advanced Practice with Families (SW 6210) or Advanced Group Practice (SW 6220), Advanced Macro Practice (SW 6230), and Social Policy Analysis (SW 6240). May be taken concurrently with Practicum IIB (SW 6320). A 250-hour field practicum experience. Must be taken concurrently with Empirical Social Work Practice (SW 6300).

  • SW 6320 - Practicum IIB  4 credit hours  

    SW 6320 - Practicum IIB

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: If taken concurrently with SW 6130, prerequisites are the same. If not taken concurrently, SW 6310 is the prerequisite. May be taken concurrently with Practicum IIA (SW 6310) and Empirical Social Work Practice (SW 6300).

**Either course meets requirement; the other one may be taken as an elective.

Electives (6 hours)

NOTE: Electives include children's mental health, trauma and recovery, neuroscience in social work, grant writing, domestic violence, school social work, child abuse and neglect treatment, community health, evidence-based substance abuse treatment, supervision in social work practice, military social work, child welfare, and aging issues and controversies.

Program Notes

All M.S.W. students will be reviewed for candidacy by the social work faculty prior to beginning their second practicum. Students must obtain a favorable candidacy recommendation to remain in the program.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

The Middle Tennessee State University Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.

Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process.  An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Commission on Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. 

Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program.  Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact Accreditation.

CSWE Accred Logo

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available hybrid.


For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program. OR Work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.


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The Online Advantage​

With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at distance@mtsu.edu.

Contact Information

Vickie Harden
Vickie.Harden@mtsu.edu
615-898-2510

Who is My Advisor?

Vickie Harden
Vickie.Harden@mtsu.edu
615-898-2510

Mailing Address

Department of Social Work
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 139
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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