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MSW Master of Social Work

School of Public Service Leadership

Courses

Total program credits needed for graduation: 88

One academic quarter is three months. You will have a three-week break between each quarter.

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Required courses:

SWK5001
Research in Social Work Practice

Learners in this course acquire the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research. Learners build skills related to planning and conducting research, evaluating best practices, and critically assessing the research of others. In addition, learners explore the relationship between social work and research and articulate the importance of that relationship with respect to serving individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Throughout the course, learners demonstrate competence in research design and proposal writing with the use of technology by constructing their own research plans. For MSW learners only. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits
SWK-R5004 *
Micro Social Work Practice

Learners in this course gain an understanding of the knowledge, values, and best practice skills required for generalist social work practice. Learners apply a strengths-based perspective to planned change and problem-solving processes and use technology to demonstrate leadership and evaluationof-practice techniques. Learners also conceptualize how to effectively enhance the well-being of people and ameliorate the environmental conditions that adversely affect them. During this course, learners engage in a face-to-face residency experience that guides them as they integrate social work theories and methods with social work best practice. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5001, SWK5002. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
SWK-R5014 *
Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice

Learners in this course develop and demonstrate advanced generalist best practice and leadership skills in engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation from a strengths perspective grounded in social work values and ethics, social justice, human rights, cultural competence, policy practice, the integration of technology, and evidencebased practice. During this course, learners engage in a face-to-face residency experience that guides them as they integrate social work theories and methods with social work best practice. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5012, completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5013. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
SWK5002
Social Welfare History, Policy, and Practice

Learners in this course critically analyze social welfare history, domestic social policies, and social welfare programs. Learners use theoretical frameworks and social work best practices to understand issues of social and economic justice, including the human rights of children, youth, adults, families, communities, and organizations, in order to effectively prepare for policy leadership and planning, advocacy, and social action. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5003 *
Human Behavior and the Social Environment 1

The focus of this course is on the systems approach used to analyze the impact of various social forces on individual and family dynamics. Throughout the course, learners employ theory, social work best practices, and research findings to understand and assess the functioning of individuals and families in their social environments. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5001, completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5002. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5005 *
Human Behavior and the Social Environment 2

In this course, learners use theory and concepts from behavioral sciences that focus on interactions between and among individuals and the groups, social, economic, and environmental systems to inform social work best practice interventions. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5003, completion of or concurrent registration in SWK-R5004. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5006 *
Social Policy and Planning in Human Services

Learners in this course focus on the origins, processes, and politics associated with contemporary American social policies intended to advance human rights and social justice. Learners examine the role of social workers in the leadership and creation of strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation of myriad social policies, with particular attention given to cultural diversity. In addition, learners explore the relationship between social work values and social policies and integrate social work best practice standards.  For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5005. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5007 *
Mezzo Social Work Practice

The focus of this course is on social work best practices with particular emphasis on small-to-medium-sized groups. Learners explore the link between mezzo and micro and macro social work practices, as well as the link of person to environment, the research literature that informs this level of practice, and ethical concerns. Throughout the course, learners apply social work best practices and technology integration in their work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5003, SWK-R5004. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5008 *
Macro Social Work Practice with Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Learners in this course build on their micro and mezzo social work practice knowledge and gain a better understanding of the theory and skills required for social work best practice with larger groups, organizations, and communities. In particular, learners in this course analyze macro social work practice models, including social planning, community organizing, social action, leadership, effective use of technology, supervision and community/organizational development, and change. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5006, SWK-R5004. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5012 *
Cultural Competence and Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations

This course addresses diversity and difference, power and privilege, and oppression, as they relate to social work practice. Throughout the course, learners become knowledgeable of one’s biases toward race, ethnicity, culture, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, social and economic status, political ideology, and disability; how those biases contribute to discrimination and oppression; and the ethics of culturally competent best practice. In addition, learners reflect on personal values, beliefs, and behaviors that may limit their ability to practice effective social work with people of diverse backgrounds. Through the use of technology, learners then engage in strategy and leadership best practices for dealing with biases in social work practice. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MSW—Advanced Standing degree program. Prerequisite(s): SWK5007; completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5008. Learners in the MSW—Advanced Standing degree program are exempt from these prerequisites. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits
SWK5013 *
Mental Health Practice and Advanced Interventions: Theory and Practice

This course prepares learners for advanced mental health best practice. Learners use multiple theoretical frameworks and technology to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities within the mental health field. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5007; completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5008. Learners in the MSW—Advanced Standing degree program are exempt from these prerequisites. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5015 *
Advanced Statistics, Research, and Program Evaluation

This course provides learners with the opportunity to advance their knowledge in research methodology, data collection, and program evaluation in social work best practice. Learners integrate research practice, knowledge, and theory with leadership methods and data processing and analysis, in order to better understand the implications of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods data. Learners also use and interpret various statistical procedures for analyzing quantitative and qualitative data using analytical software and applications. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in SWK-R5014. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5016 *
Integrative Technology in Advanced Social Work Practice

This course is an introduction to transformative and innovative methods of client interviewing, follow up, documentation, evaluation, professional development, and communication through the use of technology, with particular emphasis on 21st-century social work practice skills used to serve diverse clients. Learners engage in interactive role-play activities and create a technology-based initiative that promotes social justice and best practices. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5015. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
SWK5017 *
Clinical Supervision and Leadership in Social Work Practice

This course is an introduction to leadership theories and skills, ethical decision-making, self-care efficacy, strategic planning, and administrative roles in social work organizations. Throughout the course, learners investigate technology integration; administrative, educational, and supportive supervision; supervision procedures; conduct of supervision; and legal and regulatory guidelines. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5016. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.

4 quarter credits
SWK5018 *
Systems Analysis of Social Work Practice: Theories, Skills, Values, and Professional Practice

This course provides a synthesis of all social work practice systems. Learners apply critical-thinking skills as they delve into the identification of social work values and ethics; the assessment of professional behaviors and skills; the engagement of cultural competence; the integration of research, knowledge, human behavior, and theory; and the application and analysis of social work best practice, social justice, policy, technology, and leadership. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5528. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
SWK5025 *
Foundation Field Practicum 1

This is the first course in a sequence of two required practicum courses during which learners complete a minimum of 400 supervised field experience hours. Throughout the practicum, learners engage in experiential learning in a field agency setting and apply social work best practice theories, professional values, and practice techniques gained from their social work foundation courses. This course includes an integrative seminar that facilitates learners’ leadership development and technology skills with regard to entry-level generalist social work practice. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Special permission is required for registration. Prerequisite(s): SWK-R5014, completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5017. Approval of practicum application. All application materials must be received by the first day of the quarter preceding the quarter of the proposed start date. Refer to the current manual for further details. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits
SWK5026 *
Foundation Field Practicum 2

This is the second course in a sequence of two required practicum courses during which learners complete a minimum of 400 supervised field experience hours. Throughout the practicum, learners engage in experiential learning in a field agency setting and apply social work best practice theories, professional values, and practice techniques gained from their social work foundation courses. This course includes an integrative seminar that facilitates learners’ leadership development and technology skills with regard to entry-level generalist social work practice. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Special permission is required for registration. Prerequisite(s): SWK5025. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
SWK5526 *
Advanced Field Practicum 1

This is the first course in a sequence of three required practicum courses during which learners complete a minimum of 600 supervised field experience hours. Throughout the practicum, learners engage in experiential learning in a field agency setting and apply social work best practice theories, professional values, practice techniques, and technology integration skills gained from their advanced generalist coursework. This course includes an integrative seminar that facilitates learners’ leadership development with regard to graduate-level generalist social work practice. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Special permission is required for registration. Prerequisite(s): SWK-R5014; SWK5026 with a grade of “B” or higher or SWK5525. Approval of practicum application. All application materials must be received by the first day of the quarter preceding the quarter of the proposed start date. Refer to the current manual for further details. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
SWK5527 *
Advanced Field Practicum 2

This is the second course in a sequence of three required practicum courses during which learners complete a minimum of 600 supervised field experience hours. Throughout the practicum, learners engage in experiential learning in a field agency setting and apply social work best practice theories, professional values, practice techniques, and technology integration skills gained from their advanced generalist coursework. This course includes an integrative seminar that facilitates learners’ leadership development with regard to graduate-level generalist social work practice. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Special permission is required for registration. Prerequisite(s): SWK5526 with a grade of “B” or higher. Approval of practicum application. All application materials must be received by the first day of the quarter preceding the quarter of the proposed start date. Refer to the current manual for further details. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
SWK5528 *
Advanced Field Practicum 3

This is the third course in a sequence of three required practicum courses during which learners complete a minimum of 600 supervised field experience hours. Throughout the practicum, learners engage in experiential learning in a field agency setting and apply social work best practice theories, professional values, practice techniques, and technology integration skills gained from their advanced generalist coursework. This course includes an integrative seminar that facilitates learners’ leadership development with regard to graduate-level generalist social work practice. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Special permission is required for registration. Prerequisite(s): SWK5527 with a grade of “B” or higher. Approval of practicum application. All application materials must be received by the first day of the quarter preceding the quarter of the proposed start date. Refer to the current manual for further details. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Recommended elective courses:

SWK5800 *
Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice with Children and Youth

Learners in this course acquire the advanced knowledge and skills required to engage in the clinical treatment of children and youth. Learners examine theoretical frameworks, including developmental, ecological systems, cognitive/behavioral, and psychodynamic. In addition, learners analyze assessment styles and intervention planning, with an emphasis on cultural and environmental factors. Throughout the course, learners use technology and leadership skills to synthesize, integrate, and apply that which they have learned, in order to provide assessment and treatment that is grounded in professional social work ethics and best practices to children and youth. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5013. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
-and-
SWK5801 *
Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice Screening, Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Children and Youth

This course provides a bio-psychosocial approach to identification, screening, assessment, and diagnosis of common psychosocial problems experienced by children and youth. Learners analyze etiology, recognition, and diagnosis of these problems in the context of the socio-cultural formation of disordered behavior. Throughout the course, learners apply social work best practices, leadership skills, techniques gained throughout their coursework, the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and the use of technology to screen, assess and diagnose issues, such as serious mental illness, suicidality, depression and anxiety, substance abuse, child abuse, and the effects of trauma. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5800. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

OR

SWK5802 *
Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice with Adults

This course is designed to prepare learners for advanced clinical social work practice utilizing multiple theoretical frameworks and technology to engage, assess, evaluate, and intervene in ethically and culturally competent clinical practice with adults. In addition, learners use best practice skills to serve as competent clinical social work practitioners in nonprofit, for-profit, and community organizations. Throughout the course, learners apply a skills-based approach; leadership in presenting and practicing the use of specific screening, assessment, and diagnostic protocols; as well as the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to provide diagnostic formulations. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5013. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
-and-
SWK5803 *
Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice Screening, Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Adults

This course provides a bio-psychosocial approach to identification, screening, assessment, and diagnosis of common psychosocial problems experienced by adult clients. Learners analyze etiology, recognition, and diagnosis of these problems in the context of the socio-cultural formation of disordered behavior. Throughout the course, learners apply social work best practices, leadership skills, techniques gained throughout their coursework, the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and the use of technology to screen, assess and diagnose issues, such as serious mental illness, suicidality, depression and anxiety, substance abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, and the effects of trauma. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5802. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

OR

SWK5804 *
Innovative Leadership and Supervision in Social Work Practice

The course provides social work learners with the opportunity to explore workplace dynamics, communication theory, leader’s influence, and the relationship between social work best practice and leadership skills. Learners also analyze the use of technology as a tool for effectively serving as administrators. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK-R5014. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
-and-
SWK5805 *
Managing Social Work Practice in the 21st Century

This course covers best practices in hiring, staffing, coaching, and evaluating personnel. In particular, learners review key practice policies related to health care, consumer rights, educational rights, access, disabilities, cultural diversity, and ethical practices in the workplace. Other course topics include leadership, grant writing, program development, professional development, and strategic planning. In addition, learners gain an understanding of advanced financial management and planning with the use of technological resources. For and MSW—Advanced Standing MSW learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5804. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits

OR

Choose any graduate courses related to social work within the fields of psychology, counseling, human services, health care, public administration, criminal justice, emergency management, education, or related area as approved by the faculty chair.

*Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the course descriptions for further details.

Capella University’s Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation. Some states require graduation from a fully accredited CSWE program to be eligible for a social work license or to participate in post-graduate supervision hours necessary for licensure. Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, other professional credentials or salary advancement. It is each student’s responsibility to understand and comply with these requirements. For more information on licensure, see the Licensure section on the School’s website.

Residency Requirement

To support your academic and professional success, residencies provide learning and community-building experiences in a stimulating scholarly environment. For this specialization, you are required to complete two residencies (MSW-R5004 and MSW-5014).

Field Education Practicum Requirements

In the Master of Social Work Program learners complete a field education practicum/internship, which is the signature pedagogy in social work education. Two practicums are required in the MSW program totaling 1,000 hours. Each field education practicum presents an opportunity for learners to apply social work skills while working with individuals, families, groups, communities and/or organizations.

Online Masters Degree in Social Work | Courses - Capella University

What Can I Expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

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Online Masters Degree in Social Work | Courses - Capella University

Take an Individual Course

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