Academic Programs

The School of Social Work offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs of study. The undergraduate professional social work degree is a bachelor of science (B.S.) in social work. The curriculum incorporates instruction in five professional foundation areas: social welfare policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, research, social work practice, and field practicum. Instruction in these areas builds upon liberal arts preparation in the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences.

The School of Social Work offers a master of social work (M.S.W.) in two formats: the 2-year, 60-credit program for individuals who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in social work; and the Advanced Standing Program for individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Both graduate programs prepare students for advanced social work practice and for creative, responsible roles in the social work field. The programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education .

The dual master’s degree program in Social Work (M.S.W.) and Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.) allows students to complete a master’s degree in two distinct professions in a 3-year 96-credit program. The dual degree exposes students to philosophical and legal distinctions of both degrees and create a unique opportunity for social work students to deepen their clinical training with couples and families.

The School of Social work also partners with the College of Law to offer two Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work joint degrees; Law/Social Work (Licensed Clinical), JD/MSW and Social Work, JD/MS.

Additionally The School of Social work offers two minors; the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor provides an opportunity for students to focus academic work on the older population, and the Social Welfare Minor.

Social Work, BS

The undergraduate professional social work degree is a bachelor of science (B.S.) in social work. The goals of the undergraduate program are:

  • To prepare undergraduate students for competent and effective generalist professional practice by developing the requisite social work knowledge, values, and skills
  • To prepare undergraduate students for continuing professional education and/or graduate education

The social work program is based on the concept of ecological systems, which holds that the fundamental focus of social work practice is on the transactions of people and their environments and the constant state of reciprocity in which each shapes the other. Social work intervention aims to promote the progressive forces and minimize the regressive forces in those transactions.

Social Work, Advanced Standing Program, MSW

The advanced standing program is available only to people who have graduated within the past 10 years from an undergraduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and who earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all social work course work. Eligible students are granted advanced standing of 24 credits and complete 36 credits of graduate study as a full-time or part-time matriculated student in the School of Social Work. GREs are not required for admissions into this program.

Social Work, MSW

The social work program is based on the concept of ecological systems, which holds that the fundamental focus of social work practice is on the transactions of people and their environments and the constant state of reciprocity in which each shapes the other. Social work intervention aims to promote the progressive forces and minimize the regressive forces in those transactions. Students in the School of Social Work are readied for the challenge of professional practice as they develop knowledge of people and their environments and strategies for changing each and helping each change the other; and through professionally directed practice experience in social work settings. More than 200 social welfare and health agencies from across 27 counties in upstate New York provide graduate field instruction opportunities. Graduate students in the 60-credit program complete 1000 hours of field placement experience concurrent with their academic work; students in the Advanced Standing Program complete 500 hours. In both cases, classroom and field learning are integrated. GREs are not required for admissions into this program.

Social Work and Marriage and Family Therapy Dual Degree, MA/MSW

This interdisciplinary program allows students to complete the master’s degree in two distinct professions—the Master of Social Work (MSW) and the Master of Arts (MA) in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)—in three years. The dual degree exposes students to the philosophical and legal distinctions of both degrees. It creates a unique opportunity for social work students to deepen their clinical training with couples and families, and introduces marriage and family therapy students to a broader range of social work and social welfare course offerings.

Please note that effective Fall 2018, students will initially apply to either the MSW or MA program only, with admission to the Dual MSW/MA program at the end of year one via an internal admission process.

Unique Program Features
Practicum

Law/Social Work (Licensed Clinical), JD/MSW

The Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work is a joint degree which is conferred by both the College of Law and the School of Social Work. Students enrolled in this program may obtain their J.D. and M.S.W. in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued.

Social Work, JD/MS

The Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Social Work is a joint degree which may be conferred by the College of Law and the School of Social Work. Students enrolled in these programs may obtain their J.D. and M.S.W. in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued. The MSW can be completed in conjunction with the J.D. in 3 years of full time study along with summer coursework and field experience. Because a joint degree program involves reciprocal application of electives, students are not awarded either degree until the requirements for both degrees are completed.

Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor

Gerontology is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States. By 2030, all “baby boomers” will be 65 or older; by 2050 that age group will have more than doubled to over 50 million and will account for more than twenty percent of the U.S. population. In addition, the 85 and older population is expected to more than triple to over 21 million and account for about 4 percent of U.S. population. Opportunities for employment in the field of gerontology will increase at both the direct service and policy levels. An aging population will require all of us to learn to work with people on a continuum of ages. The all-university, interdisciplinary Gerontology Undergraduate Minor, which allows students to focus academic coursework on aging and its implications for individuals, families, communities, and society. The minor requires completion of 18 credits, including 12 credits above the 300 level. The Gerontology minor draws on the expertise of the faculty who are affiliated with the Aging Studies Institute (ASI), which is an all-university institute that coordinates and promotes aging-related research, training, and outreach at Syracuse University.

Social Welfare Minor

Students pursuing majors in other areas of study may choose a social welfare minor. The minor program requires the completion of 18 credits. To declare a minor, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and submit a Declaration of Minor form to the social welfare minor program or the director of the baccalaureate social work program, their faculty advisors, and the dean’s office of their home colleges. A limit of 3 transfer credits may be applied with permission.