MSW Program Curriculum Overview

The MSW degree program prepares graduates for advanced clinical practice in settings such as mental health, child welfare, family services and medical social work. The program emphasizes ethical and knowledge-based practice and includes coursework in program development and the management of social work practice and service delivery.

The UNCW MSW program curriculum offers a foundation-focused first year and an advanced practice-focused second year.

Foundation Year Content:

  • Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • Social Research
  • Social Policy
  • Social and Cultural Diversity
  • Populations at Risk
  • Social and Economic Justice
  • Clinical Practice
  • Ethics

Advanced Year content:

  • Clinical Practice
  • Course Work in Advanced Clinical Research
  • Organizational and Financial Context of Practice
  • Diversity Issues in Practice
  • Psychopathology

Extensive field placement in clinical practice settings with close supervision by faculty, clinical instructors and field supervisors is a key component of the MSW program. The guiding themes of curriculum and program development include up-to-date social work practice knowledge and skill, the strengths focus, career long learning, knowledge-based practice, technology, and leadership. With the department’s community and regional engagement every graduate student is provided an opportunity to work in social development programs and projects.


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