Online MSW Curriculum and Degree Plans

Standard Program

The MSW curriculum for the Standard degree option consists of 60 credit hours, which includes credit for generalist practice and specialized internships. The foundation year of study provides the student with knowledge, skills, and values for generalist social work practice as well as the foundation for advanced or specialized social work practice. Students enroll in internship seminars during the terms indicated on their degree plans for both the foundation and specialized years. Students must complete the field application process according to a designated timeline prior to the first placement term. In the specialized year of study, the students choose one of two areas of specialized practice, community practice and clinical practice.

Advanced Standing Degree Option

The Advanced Standing degree option may be selected if a student has earned a baccalaureate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and meets other admission criteria. If admitted, the full-time student can complete the MSW degree in 3 terms, or 29 credit hours of graduate work.

Curriculum Areas

MSW students come to the program with an undergraduate degree based on a strong liberal arts education providing preparation for graduate education that produces social workers who can think critically, analyze alternatives skillfully, communicate well verbally and in writing, appreciate their own culture and that of others, and dedicate themselves to lifelong learning that empowers and equips them to make a difference. Social workers share a common set of professional values and ethics and a common set of basic or generalist skills that enable them to work with diverse populations and fill diverse roles in diverse settings. The transmission of these values and ethics to students is a critical aspect of professional socialization. Upon entering the program, MSW students are informed of their responsibility to perform as a social work professional according to the guidelines of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, including advocacy for human rights and justice. Professional values and ethics are infused throughout the entire MSW curriculum. Prior to any academic work in the community that involves the use of social work knowledge, values, and skills, students are required to study the entire NASW Code of Ethics and the applicable state code and make a commitment to practice congruent with those codes. Due to the unique mission of the GSSW program, attention is also given to areas of congruence and conflict with students’ own personal values and ethics, as well as those of various faith groups.