Master 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.

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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.

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Social Work Program Computer Requirements (PDF)