Mar 03, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, M.S.W. Advanced Standing - Social Change and Leadership Specialization

Advisement for the program is available from the School of Social Work 

The M.S.W. Program is designed to help students achieve their maximum potential through a carefully structured curriculum of generalist and specialized courses. Students in the M.S.W. Advanced Standing Program have the choice of two specializations: Social Work, M.S.W. Advanced Standing - Clinical Social Work and Advocacy Specialization  or Social Change and Leadership. Both specializations are grounded in the values of the profession and share a strong foundation in advocacy on behalf of under-served, historically oppressed and/or marginalized populations. Students in both specializations develop an understanding of the role of trauma, resiliency and justice in the lives of those with whom they work. While these specializations allow students to focus more heavily on intervention at either the micro and mezzo level, or the mezzo and macro level, they share a set of core classes that promote anti-discriminatory practice with diverse populations on a vast array of issues.

The Social Change and Leadership Specialization prepares students to work with organizations and communities to address systemic issues and to promote just and equitable social structures. Students who specialize in Social Change and Leadership will be prepared for careers in administration, policy, organizing, activism and advocacy. Graduates of this specialization may assume positions in a variety of settings, including, but not limited to, local, state and federal agencies; non-profit advocacy organizations; grassroots advocacy organizations; health and human service agencies; elected office; and political campaigns.

Students without an accredited undergraduate degree in social work are admitted to the traditional 62 semester hour program that encompasses the first 30 generalist credits as well as 32 credits of specialized coursework. Advanced standing is available to applicants who have graduated from an undergraduate CSWE-accredited social work program within the past three years, or within the last five years with two years of human service experience. Advanced standing students complete the 32 credits of the specialized curriculum. Applicants having received a B.A.S.W. more than five years previously will not be considered for advanced standing. The traditional and advanced standing M.S.W. Programs are offered in hybrid and fully online formats.

Course of Study

The expected course of study for the traditional full-time program requires two years of coursework and field instruction. Students in the traditional part-time program are expected to complete their course work and field instruction in four years. The expected course of study for full-time advanced standing students is one year of course-work and field instruction or two years for part-time advanced standing students. Students in the traditional program must complete two different field placements.

Program Policies

  • Students may graduate with no more than 6 credits (typically 2 courses) in which they earn lower than a B (3 credits for advanced standing students).

  • Students in the regular curriculum program (62 credits) are allowed to repeat 2 courses 1 time during their program to improve their grade.

  • Students who have begun the Specialized Practice curriculum may not repeat a Generalist Practice course.

  • Advanced standing students may repeat 1 course 1 time.

  • Students who have exceeded their allowable C credits and who have utilized their allowable course repeat option will be dismissed from the program regardless of their GPA.

  • Students who receive any grade below a C and have utilized their allowable course repeat option will be dismissed from the program regardless of their GPA.

  • A grade point average of 3.0 is required for graduation. To remain in good academic standing, graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 for all graduate courses. If the GPA falls below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation according to University policy.

Additional policies are found in the M.S.W. Graduate Student Handbook and the CHHS Policy and Procedure for Professional Behavior Violations.

Program Admission

Students seeking admission to the M.S.W. Program must demonstrate that they:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

  • Have completed a broad liberal arts background with a minimum of 24 hours including at least one course in psychology, sociology and introductory statistics. These undergraduate requirements may be taken at any accredited college or university, including community colleges. All prerequisites for admission must be completed by the end of the first semester in the program. All offers of admission are conditional upon the successful completion of the undergraduate coursework.

  • Have earned a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average on the last 120 graded credits that appear on their bachelor’s degree transcript, as well as a 3.0 grade point average on the last 60 graded upper-division credits.

  • Meet the requirements for advanced standing if the applicant seeks admission to the program. Applicants for advanced standing must have graduated from an undergraduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education within the last three years. Applicants with two years of human service work who graduated within the last five years will be considered. Applicants for advanced standing must have earned a minimum 3.0 grade point average on the last 120 credits that appear on their bachelor’s degree transcript, as well as a 3.2 on the last 60 graded upper-division credits (including all social work courses).

  • Have submitted transcripts of any completed graduate courses.

  • Have submitted three professional letters of recommendation, usually from persons such as professors, employers, supervisors, professional colleagues and community associates. Applicants who have been employed in a social service agency should request a recommendation from a recent employer or supervisor. Student applicants should provide a recommendation from a faculty advisor or instructor.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission may be granted to applicants to the M.S.W. Program who have a GPA of 2.5 to 2.99 (2.8 to 2.99 for advanced standing applicants) on the last 120 graded credits that appear on their bachelor’s degree transcript and have an otherwise strong application. Provisionally admitted applicants must complete one semester of graduate courses (at least two courses) with a GPA of 3.0.

Transfer Applicants

Under certain circumstances, students may receive a maximum of 29 semester hours for work completed not more than five years prior to first registration from a CSWE accredited graduate school of social work and for which a grade of at least a B was received. No course, including any transfer course, may be counted toward a degree if it was completed more than seven full calendar years prior to the date of graduation.

Students must complete a minimum of 32 credits in the Salisbury University School of Social Work, to be eligible for the M.S.W.

Students currently or previously enrolled in another accredited master’s level social work degree program who are seeking admission as a transfer student are required to submit the following additional materials:

  • A brief written statement describing the reasons why they are requesting a transfer.

  • A copy of practicum/field work evaluation(s), if applicable.

  • One of the three recommendations must be from a faculty member or field supervisor affiliated with the program.

Students from non-M.S.W. programs may receive a maximum of six transfer credits for courses for which he/she has earned a grade of B or above. Each course will be individually assessed for program equivalency. Official determination of allowable credit for work completed elsewhere will be made at the time of admission.

Any student registered in the program who wants to take a course at another university and transfer credit toward the Salisbury University School of Social Work M.S.W. (i.e., a summer course) must receive approval from the program director of the Social Work School.

Advanced Standing Applicants

Applicants for advanced standing must submit the following material in addition to the usual application requirements:

  • Transcripts documenting eligibility for advanced standing.

  • Recommendation from the field liaison and agency field instructor.

  • Applicants will be required to submit the evaluation of field performance completed at the end of their undergraduate placement.

Pending Legal Action and Conviction Statement

Students pursuing their Master of Social Work are potentially interested in pursuing licensure upon graduation. Applicants are advised that the Professional Standards Committee of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners may refuse to issue a license or certificate of registration to any person who has been convicted of any crime in this or any other state, and licensing entities in other states may adhere to similar standards. Prospective applicants who have been convicted of a crime should also be aware that some field placement agencies require a criminal background check.

Life Experience Statement

No credit will be given for work or life experience.

Curriculum Guides

This following curriculum guides are unofficial tools for planning: