Department of Social Work

Master of Social Work

​At this very moment, there are people only you can reach...and differences only you can make.
~Mike Dooley (Author) 

Concord University MSW Apply Online ButtonThe mission of the Master of Social Work Program is to prepare graduates for advanced social work practice with a rural concentration. The MSW Program is built upon a systems approach and a strengths perspective delivered in a manner that meets the needs of rural students.

MSW Students Learn To:

  • Conduct advanced social work practice, with a rural concentration, which operates from a systems and strengths perspective with the ability to respond to varying rural contexts, including diversity and difference and to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate at all levels including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Think critically and examine issues within the rural context while applying knowledge from both a person in environment and human behavior perspective to determine appropriate methods of intervention and to communicate these in an ethical manner utilizing the strengths of rural settings.
  • Utilize an advanced reflective and developmental approach to practice.
  • Apply an advanced critical and analytical approach to practice that incorporates the unique culture and systems within rural settings and includes engaging in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  • Use advanced knowledge and skills in analyzing rural social policies and promoting change in rural settings through the development of more just and humane policies as they affect clients, social workers, and service systems.
  • Address the uniqueness of issues of human rights, mechanisms of operation, discrimination, and social and economic justice in order to improve the social and economic well-being of clients within rural settings across all levels of practice.

 

MSW Degree Requirements


Concord 2013 BSW Graduation PartyStudents without a BSW are required to complete the Standard Foundation Curriculum and then the student may enter the Advanced Curriculum.

Students with a CSWE accredited BSW (with a 3.0 GPA in Social Work classes and a 2.75 overall GPA) may apply directly to the Advanced Year (Advanced Standing).

Sixty (60) semester credit hours are required for graduation:  24 credit hours to be completed in the Foundation Curriculum and 36 credit hours to be completed in the Advanced Curriculum. The Foundation Year consists of fall, spring, and the first summer term. The Advanced Year consists of the second summer term, fall, spring, and first summer term. Thus, if entering in the Foundation Year, the Master of Social Work can be completed in 2 calendar years of full-time study. A part-time schedule is available which can be completed in a maximum of 4 calendar years of structured part-time professional education.

The Concord University MSW Program cannot grant social work course credit for any life experience and/or work experience.

The Social Work program uses the MSW Progression Sheet to keep track of the courses that students have taken towards the degree requirement. Download it below.

Download MSW Progression Sheet Button
MSW Progression Sheet (PDF)

Standard Foundation Curriculum (24 Credit Hours):

  • SOWK 501 Foundations of Generalist Practice (3)
  • SOWK 511 Foundations of Human Behavior and Social Environment (3)
  • SOWK 521 Foundations of Policy (3)
  • SOWK 531 Foundations of Practice (3)
  • SOWK 541 Foundations of Research (3)
  • SOWK 551 Foundations Field Practicum (6)
  • SOWK 660 Special Topics (3)

Advanced Curriculum (36 Credit Hours):

(To be completed by students in both the Standard Program and the Advanced Standing Program)

  • SOWK 613 Advanced Human Behavior and the Social Environment in Rural Settings (3)
  • SOWK 622 Advanced Policy in Rural Practice (3)
  • SOWK 633 Advanced Rural Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups (3)
  • SOWK 634 Advanced Rural Practice with Communities and Organizations (3)
  • SOWK 642 Advanced Rural Research (3)
  • SOWK 653 Advanced Field (A, B, and C) (9)
  • SOWK 661 Appalachian Culture, Structures, and Environment (3)
  • SOWK 660 Special Topics (9)

 

Not Repeating BSW Content Policy


Concord University Marsh Hall Building Back FallBSW graduates entering the MSW program will not be required to repeat what has been mastered in their BSW programs.

Applicants who have a bachelor of social work degree from an accredited CSWE undergraduate social work program but do not meet the criteria for Advanced Standing may request that courses they have taken in their BSW program be reviewed in light of their BSW academic record, for assessment of mastery in HBSE, Research, and Policy. In the event the BSW program’s assessment did not completely assess mastery then the student may be given a proficiency exam to assist in validating content acquisition and mastery. BSW students who have demonstrated mastery in the manner described above may request to test out of one or more of the following foundation courses:

  • SOWK 501 Foundations of Generalist Practice,
  • SOWK 511 Foundations of Human Behavior in the Social Environment,
  • SOWK 521 Foundations of Policy, and
  • SOWK 541 Foundation of Research.

Students wishing to test out of one or more of the above courses must submit a request to do so to the MSW Program Director at least five weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the course is normally taught. The proficiency exam(s) must be taken no less than three weeks prior to classes starting in that semester. Each exam may be taken only once.

The exam along with the above stated assessments of proficiency will determine the classes in which the student has attained mastery. The MSW Program Director will notify the student of the outcome of the student’s request before the beginning of the semester in which the course is taught or as soon as practicable.

 

Computer Requirements


To be an effective participant in Concord University’s online courses in Blackboard, your computer needs to be up-to-date with the appropriate hardware and software. The following requisites exemplify the least acceptable requirements for students to participate in online courses. If your computer already has the recommended applications, plug-ins, and software, all you need to do is ensure that they are updated with the latest version.

Download Social Work Program Computer Requirements Button
Social Work Program Computer Requirements (PDF)

 

 

 


Field-Placement-Fair-1.jpgAdmission to MSW Program

Admission to BSW/MSW Program under the 5 Year Plan

Students Following the 5 year plan can be admitted directly to the MSW program. During the Student's last semester in the BSW program, the student under the 5 year plan, submits the Notice to Continue to the MSW form to the MSW program.

Download-Button.jpg 5 year BSW/MSW Application for Admission (PDF)

Download-Button.jpg 5 year BSW/MSW Application for Admissions (ONLINE)

 

Standard 2 Year Full-Time or Part-Time MSW Program Admission Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • 2.5 or higher GPA overall
  • 2.75 GPA in the last 60 hours (provisional acceptance for applicants with lower GPA will be considered on an individual basis)
  • Submit three letters of reference (two from the student’s academic program and the third from someone who knows the candidate well, preferably in a work or volunteer setting and is/was in a supervisory role with the candidate)
  • Submit a personal statement that includes the student’s background, interests, experiences, and goals; perceptions regarding a social issue; views of social and economic justice in rural settings; and reasons for pursuing MSW degree
  • Complete/submit the application for admission and although not required, you may submit a resume to supplement your application

The GRE is not required.

Advanced Standing MSW Program Admission Requirements

Applicants must:

  • have a bachelor of social work degree from an accredited CSWE undergraduate social work program;
  • 2.75 or higher GPA overall
  • 3.0 GPA in the social work classes (in rare cases a provisional status may be granted, this will be determined on a case by case basis)
  • Indicate application to the Advanced Standing Program on the application for admission
  • Submit three letters of reference (two from the student’s academic program including one from a social work faculty member and one from the undergraduate faculty field supervisor; the third reference from either the agency field instructor or an employer/supervisor)
  • Submit a personal statement that includes the student’s background, interests, experiences, and goals; perceptions regarding a social issue; views of social and economic justice in rural settings; and reasons for pursuing MSW degree
  • Complete/submit the application for admission and although not required, you may submit a resume to supplement your application

The GRE is not required.

Application Deadlines

Advanced Standing and Standard Program: Applications are accepted on a rolling admission basis for both the Advanced Standing Program and the Standard Program. After acceptance, students may begin the MSW program at either the fall semester or the spring semester. As seats are limited it is important for perspective students to apply as early as possible for fullest consideration.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us.

Dr. John David Smith
MSW Program Director
Professor of Social Work

304-384-5218
jdsmith@concord.edu

Vanessa Howell
Social Work Department
Administrative Associate

304-384-6260
vhowell@concord.edu

 

 

 

 

 

Apply for Admission to the MSW Program

Applicants may apply online or in person at Concord University Social Work Department.
 

MSW-Apply-Online-Button.jpg MSW Program Application

If you wish to apply in person, download the application, complete and return it to the Social Work Department. 
 

Download-Button.jpg MSW Application for Admission (PDF) Department of Social Work
Concord University
Marsh Hall A107
P.O. Box 1000, F-42
Athens, WV 24712

 


 

Program Accreditation


  • HEPC Intent to Plan: January 2006 (re-affirmation October 2010)
  • Social Work Department: February 16, 2011
  • Social Sciences Division: February 16, 2011
  • University Graduate Council: February 28, 2011; University Graduate Council: November 15, 2011
  • Faculty Senate: March 14, 2011
  • AAEC: March 17, 2011
  • BOG: April 19, 2011
  • HEPC Program Approval: February 17, 2012
  • CSWE: Submitted April 30, 2012; May 2, 2012 Candidacy Eligibility Application Approved
  • CSWE: Benchmark I Submitted January 25, 2013
  • Higher Learning Commission, Institutional Actions Council: Approval February 25, 2013
  • CSWE Commissioner’s Visit February 26, 2013
  • CSWE: Program Response to the Commissioner’s Benchmark I Review Brief; Submitted April 11, 2013
  • CSWE: Candidacy Granted, June 2013
  • CSWE: Benchmark II Submitted January 21, 2014, Benchmark II Approved June 2014
  • CSWE: Benchmark III Submitted December 15, 2014
  • CSWE: Initial Accreditation Submitted December 15, 2014
  • CSWE: Initial Accreditation Granted June 2015