Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work degree is a professional degree which prepares students through the development of advanced generalist skills for clinical practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities within diverse systems and settings.  Students graduate from our program as clinicians, group facilitators, supervisors, advocates, and researchers.  In addition, the master’s program in social work at UW-Whitewater prepares students for specialized practice with physical disabilities, military and/or addictions.

Program Coordinator

Sarah Hessenauer
Laurentide Hall 5201
262-472-1203
hessenas@uww.edu

Department

Laurentide Hall 5209
262-472-1137
Fax: 262-472-1611
socialwork@uww.edu

Additional Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. At least a 3.00 overall grade point average in all the graduate work previously completed at UW-Whitewater, with no grades of I or IP pending.
    1. One of the following:
    2. At least a 2.75 overall grade point average in the undergraduate degree program.
  3. Can apply if lower than a 2.75, but would be placed on probation status if admitted
    For advanced standing students, a grade of B or better is required in core social work courses.
  4. At least a 2.90 grade point average in the last half of the undergraduate degree program.
  5. A master's degree or higher from an institution regionally accredited at the corresponding graduate level.
  6. At least 12 credits of graduate work completed on a regular grade basis at UW-Whitewater.
  7. Intro to statistics course: 200 level or higher, with a grade of C or better
  8. Personal statement
    1. Demonstration of 24 hours of liberal studies courses, including:
    2. Courses in social sciences (psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, women’s studies, political science)
  9. Course in human biology
  10. Background check for field
  11. < >3 letters of referenceAt least one must be from an academic instructorOnly one may be a personal reference
  12. One professional reference (field, volunteering and/or work)
  13. Reference letters need to be on letterhead and sent directly to:
    Dr. Sarah Hessenauer​
    Dept. of Social Work
    UW-Whitewater
    800. W. Main Street
    Whitewater, WI 53190

    The GRE test is NOT required to be considered for admittance to the MSW program.

    Preferred Requirements:

    1000 Service hours (paid or volunteer)
    Commitment to social justice, advocacy, and multicultural practice on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations

The Master of Social Work degree is a professional degree which prepares students through the development of advanced generalist skills for clinical practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities within diverse systems and settings.  Students graduate from our program as clinicians, group facilitators, supervisors, advocates, and researchers.  In addition, the master’s program in social work at UW-Whitewater prepares students for specialized practice with physical disabilities, military and/or addictions.

Core Courses  (Including emphasis area)- 32 units

SOCWORK 720ADVANCED SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY ANALYSIS3
SOCWORK 712SOCIAL WORK PSYCHOPATHOLOGY3
SOCWORK 733SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH GROUPS, COMMUNITIES, AND ORGANIZATIONS3
SOCWORK 783SOCIAL WORK FIELD EXPERIENCE1-3
SOCWORK 784SOCIAL WORK FIELD RESEARCH INTEGRATION CAPSTONE4
SOCWORK 771RESEARCH AND PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION4
SOCWORK 776ADVANCED PRACTICE: INTERVENTION AND EVALUATION3

Students will be required to complete courses in one emphasis focused on an area of specialized practice (6 units)

Addiction Emphasis
COUNSELING AND THE CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY PROCESS
TREATMENT OF SUBSTANCE USE AND OTHER ADDICTIVE DISORDERS
Military Emphasis
SOCIAL WORK WITH MILITARY
ADVANCED INTERVENTION WITH MILITARY AND FAMILIES
Physical Disability Emphasis
SOCIAL WORK WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES
INTERVENTIONS WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES

 Student who do not meet advanced standing requirements will need to take the following courses in addition to the core courses and emphasis courses.

SOCWORK 511HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I3
SOCWORK 602SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH3
SOCWORK 572SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II3
SOCWORK 571SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I3
SOCWORK 573SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE III3
SOCWORK 662SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY3
SOCWORK 783SOCIAL WORK FIELD EXPERIENCE1-3

 In addition to these courses, in collaboration with UW-Milwaukee, the following courses from their Social Work Program will also be counted for electives in the program:

  1. SOCWORK 765 Social Work Boundaries and Ethics in Professional Practice. 2-3 cr. G.
  2. SOCWORK 774 Trauma Counseling I: Theory and Research. 3 cr. G.
  3. SOCWORK 775 Trauma Counseling II: Diagnosis and Treatment. 3 cr. G.

Courses

SOCWORK 501   ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING IN THE HELPING PROFESSIONS   1 Units

This course presents the principles of assertiveness training, uses experiential exercises to help students learn to present themselves more assertively, and prepares students to assist others to become more assertive. Content is focused on students who are planning a career in the helping professions.

SOCWORK 502   GRIEF MANAGEMENT IN THE HELPING PROFESSIONS   1 Units

This course focuses on issues such as adjustment to the death of someone close, helping someone who is terminally ill, and coping with other losses-such as cherished relationships. The grief counseling content is intended for students who are planning a career in the helping professions.

SOCWORK 503   MANAGING STRESS AND BURNOUT IN THE HELPING PROFESSIONS   1 Units

This course focuses on recognizing signs of destructive stress and the stages of burnout in the helping professions. Instruction is given in using a number of techniques for coping with stress such as meditation, relaxation training, time management, social support systems, biofeedback, and life planning as they apply to the helping professions.

SOCWORK 511   HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I   4 Units

This course is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of the processes of bio-psycho and socio-cultural development from infancy to older adults. Material is also presented on the social systems (families, groups, organizations, and communities) in which individuals live.
PREREQ: GENED 130 AND SOCWORK 102, ONLY ONE OF WHICH CAN BE TAKEN CONCURRENTLY

SOCWORK 512   HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT II   3 Units

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the processes of bio-psycho and socio-cultural development from middle adulthood through old age. Material is also presented on the social systems (mezzo and macro) in which individuals live.
COREQ: SOCWORK 511

SOCWORK 537   INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL GERONTOLOGY   3 Units

This course is designed to introduce the student to social and physical factors related to aging. It will include information regarding social services needed to assist the older person and an analysis of gaps in current services.

SOCWORK 541   SEXUALITY FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH   3 Units

This comprehensive course is designed to add to students' knowledge and comfort in the area of human sexuality. Multimedia, lecture, and small group discussion techniques are used to explore issues as basic treatment skills, sex education, developmental sexuality, problem pregnancies, and common sexual dysfunctions.

SOCWORK 571   SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I   3 Units

This course presents advanced contemporary theoretical approaches to social work practice with individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities. This course uses a competency approach to assess and develop student interviewing and interpersonal skills, emphasizing social work practice with individuals.
PREREQ: THIS COURSE IS OPEN TO STUDENTS ENROLLED IN THE MSW PROGRAM. HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I (SOCWORK 311/511) IS A PREREQUISITE OR MAY BE TAKEN CONCURRENTLY IF ALL OTHER PREREQUISITES FOR SOCWORK 311/511 ARE COMPLETED.

SOCWORK 572   SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II   3 Units

This is the second of three required social work practice courses. This course is designed to help students build upon the skills and knowledge required in Practice I, including further development of interviewing and interpersonal skills. In particular, the emphasis of this course includes studying the dynamics of groups and working with various types of groups.
PREREQ: THIS COURSE IS OPEN TO STUDENTS ENROLLED IN THE MSW PROGRAM. HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I (SOCWORK 311/511) IS A PREREQUISITE OR MAY BE TAKEN CONCURRENTLY IF ALL OTHER PREREQUISITES FOR SOCWORK 311/511 ARE COMPLETED.

SOCWORK 573   SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE III   3 Units

This course is designed to further develop and fine tune advanced generalist social work skills at all levels of intervention (including individuals, families, organizations, and communities). Course content will focus on difficult situations in micro practice, understanding and working with families, and working in and with organizations and communities.
PREREQ: THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MSW PROGRAM AND MUST HAVE COMPLETED SOCWORK 311/511

SOCWORK 575   SOCIAL WORK CASE MANAGEMENT   3 Units

This course introduces students to case management and explores its utility as a service to assist a wide range of social work clients. The course goals include defining case management, carrying-out the activities, exploring legal and ethical issues, and developing practice skills. Students will perform activities core to case management.
PREREQ: SOCWORK 371

SOCWORK 580   RACE/ETHNICITY/SOCIAL JUSTICE: ISSUES FOR HELPING PROFESSIONALS   3 Units

The course is designed to help students develop a greater understanding of the influence of one's race and ethnicity on the ways individuals perceive the world and the ways they are treated by others and by society. Within the framework of the helping professions, students will have the opportunity to examine their attitudes toward members of racial and ethnic minorities, develop ways to learn about the participation in and treatment of racial and ethnic minority groups in work, education, and social services, and examine ways to affect one's own attitudes and society to achieve social justice.

SOCWORK 602   SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH   4 Units

This course introduces students to the research process. A major focus of this course is the integration of research and practice. Students will learn to use research evidence to inform practice and advocacy, and use practice-based experiences to inform scientific inquiry. Students will also learn basic quantitative skills.
PREREQ: SOCWORK 102 AND SOCWORK 311

SOCWORK 640   ADVANCED STRESS MANAGEMENT   3 Units

The class emphasis is on 1) facilitating stress management in others, 2) coping with "deep" stress susch as trauma and low self-esteem, and 3) alternative avenues for coping such as Tai Chi, yoga, art therapy, and meditation. This course is appropriate for anyone in the helping professions.
PREREQ: HEALTHED 362/HEALTHED 562 OR SOCWORK 303 OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

SOCWORK 662   SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY   3 Units

This course is designed to provide students with knowledge about the process of social welfare policy formulation and implementation and with policy analysis skills. The effects of social welfare policies and organizations on both clients (especially the poor and minorities) and on social workers will be emphasized.

SOCWORK 690   SOCIAL WORK WORKSHOP   Repeatable   1-6 Units

Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques.

SOCWORK 691   TRAVEL STUDY   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Faculty-led courses abroad.

SOCWORK 694   SEMINAR IN SOCIAL WORK METHODS   Repeatable   3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member.

SOCWORK 696   SPECIAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings.

SOCWORK 712   SOCIAL WORK PSYCHOPATHOLOGY   3 Units

This course builds upon undergraduate human behavior and the social environment classes by taking a closer examination of psychopathology which affects how clients function. The concept of diversity is addressed as it relates to psychopathology. Students learn to use the DSM-5, which is implemented in social work internship experiences.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM.

SOCWORK 720   ADVANCED SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY ANALYSIS   3 Units

This course focuses on advanced policy practice knowledge and skills for enhanced client functioning and social justice. Students will learn to plan for, develop, implement, and evaluate social welfare policies and programs. Students will also critically examine social work policies on a global level and compare/contrast with United States policies.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM.

SOCWORK 733   SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH GROUPS, COMMUNITIES, AND ORGANIZATIONS   3 Units

This class builds on undergraduate classes by further examining the impact of the community as a major element that influences an individual and/or system. The course also includes theories and methods of working with groups and communities, including methods of change, advocacy, planning, respect for diversity, and understanding social justice.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM.

SOCWORK 740   SOCIAL WORK WITH SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS   3 Units

This course provide an overview of Substance Use Disorders and their assessment in social work practice settings. The course will review the history, epidemiology and pharmacology of drugs of abuse. The importance of social systems (e.g., family, work, and community) and spirituality in addiction and recovery will be discussed.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AND MUST HAVE COMPLETED SOCWORK 712 (SOCIAL WORK PSYCHOPATHOLOGY)

SOCWORK 741   TREATMENT OF SUBSTANCE USE AND OTHER ADDICTIVE DISORDERS   3 Units

Social, legal, political, psychological, biological (including neuroscience research), spiritual, and ethical factors related to substance use disorders, eating disorders, and other behavioral addictions will be examined. Assessment and intervention models with an emphasis on harm reduction, stages of change, medication assisted treatment, and strengths perspective will be studied.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AND MUST HAVE COMPLETED COUNSED 746 (COUNSELING AND THE CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY PROCESS)

SOCWORK 750   SOCIAL WORK WITH MILITARY   3 Units

This course explores military culture and stressors associated with military lifestyle Ethical issues for working in this environment are considered. Students completing this course will have a more in-depth understanding of theory-based and research-informed strategies to work with the military, veterans and their families in a variety of settings.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AND MUST HAVE COMPLETED SOCWORK 712 (SOCIAL WORK PSYCHOPATHOLOGY)

SOCWORK 752   ADVANCED INTERVENTION WITH MILITARY AND FAMILIES   3 Units

Theoretical and practical approaches to advanced clinical practice with individuals in the military, military families, and groups. Examines the demands of military service on the family and studies group dynamics, composition, and common social issues in the military system. Implementation of appropriate treatment plans and interventions will be examined.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM. SOCIAL WORK 750 (SOCIAL WORK WITH THE MILITARY) IS REQUIRED PRIOR TO ENROLLING

SOCWORK 760   SOCIAL WORK WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES   3 Units

The focus of this course will be on demystifying disability by examining the lived experiences of people with physical disabilities. Students will explore disability from bio-psycho-social and cultural perspectives. They will gain knowledge of the disability community's common language, norms of conduct, economic concerns, political issues, and struggles with stigmatization.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AND MUST HAVE COMPLETED SOCWORK 712 (SOCIAL WORK PSYCHOPATHOLOGY)

SOCWORK 762   INTERVENTIONS WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES   3 Units

Theoretical and clinical approaches to working with individuals with a disability and families who have a family member with a disability will be examined. Students will practice assessing, intervention, writing treatment plans, and evaluation in relation to physical disability cases in social work.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AND MUST HAVE COMPLETED SOCWORK 760 (SOCIAL WORK WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES)

SOCWORK 771   RESEARCH AND PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION   4 Units

Students will utilize practice experience and theory to inform research. Students will examine quantitative and qualitative research designs, applying critical thinking skills to analyze research. Students will develop an ethical plan, design, and conduct one evaluative study of an intervention/program which will be concluded in Research Integrative Capstone project.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AND MUST HAVE COMPLETED SOCWORK 712 (SOCIAL WORK PSYCHOPATHOLOGY)

SOCWORK 776   ADVANCED PRACTICE: INTERVENTION AND EVALUATION   3 Units

This class teaches students to assess clients and implement culturally competent, evidence-based interventions to enhance client's lives. This course presents advanced methods involved in completion of assessments, practice interventions, therapeutic processes, and evaluation. Pulling from examples from field placement experience, students will be required to select appropriate interventions for clients.
PREREQ: THIS CLASS IS OPEN TO STUDENTS WHO ARE ENROLLED IN THE SOCIAL WORK MASTER'S PROGRAM. SOCIAL WORK 771 (RESEARCH AND PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION ) IS REQUIRED PRIOR TO ENROLLING IN THIS COURSE.

SOCWORK 783   SOCIAL WORK FIELD EXPERIENCE   Repeatable   1-3 Units

The field practicum courses in the MSW program provide an in-depth advanced practicum experience for MSW students. Students complete this practicum courses under the practice supervision of an approved agency field instructor, and academic guidance of a faculty field liaison.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM.

SOCWORK 784   SOCIAL WORK FIELD RESEARCH INTEGRATION CAPSTONE   4 Units

The course continues to provide an in-depth advanced practicum experience for MSW students, under the practice supervision of an approved agency field instructor. Students will be required to implement their research project in this field experience and create a portfolio based on the students' courses and final research project.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED SOCWORK 783 AND SOCWORK 771

SOCWORK 794   SEMINAR   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member.

SOCWORK 796   SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE AND TRAUMA   3 Units

This course will focus on working with clients who have been exposed to significant trauma and/or loss. Trauma theory, impact of trauma and loss, and assessment of trauma will be explored. Skills will be developed to directly treat children and adults of trauma to assist with the management of their symptoms and increasing coping skills to prepare for future challenges.
PREREQ: TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COURSE, THE STUDENT MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AND MUST HAVE COMPLETED SOCWORK 712 (SOCIAL WORK PSYCHOPATHOLOGY)

SOCWORK 798   INDIVIDUAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member.