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 different formats: the 2-year, 60-credit program for individuals who do not hold a bachelor in social work; and the advanced standing program for individuals who have earned a bachelor 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.
A Military Culture & Mental Health Practice focus area is available for students interested in working with military service members, veterans, or their families and a social work and the human/animal bond specialization addresses the varied and important roles of animals as social subjects, rather than biological objects, in the lives of people.
Additionally the School of Social work offers a Social Justice Minor.
Social Work B.S.
The undergraduate professional social work program offers a 120 credit bachelor of science degree. The goals of the program are to prepare undergraduate students for competent and effective generalist professional practice by developing the requisite social work knowledge, values, and skills, and to prepare undergraduate students for continuing professional education and/or graduate education. 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 a carefully chosen and strong behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences taken within the College of Arts and Sciences.
Social Work, Advanced Standing Program M.S.W.
The advanced standing program is available only to people who have graduated within the past 10 years from an undergraduate social work program that is accredited by a recognized regional accredited association, 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 M.S.W.
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 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. Admission to Syracuse University’s M.S.W. Program requires a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association. GREs are not required for admissions into this program.
Social Work, J.D./M.S.
The juris doctor/master of science in social work is a joint degree which may be conferred by the College of Law and the Syracuse University department 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 M.S.W. 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.
Social Justice Minor
Students pursuing majors in other areas of study may choose a social justice 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.
Military Culture & Mental Health Practice
The Syracuse University School of Social Work offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to participate in the military culture and mental health practice focus area. Students will take SWK 427/627: Introduction to Military Culture and Mental Health Practice (3 credits), attend two speaking engagements, and have a culminating project with poster presentation. Students additionally interested in working with military service members, veterans, or their families during field placements are encouraged to contact Tracy Walker, Director of Field Instructor. Students interested in the Military Culture & Mental Health Practice focus area, please contact Dr. Ken Marfilius.
Social Work and the Human-Animal Bond
Students can choose to specialize in social work and the human/animal bond. Elective courses in this specialization address the varied and important roles of animals as social subjects, rather than biological objects, in the lives of people. Elective courses in this specialization introduce theory and research on the complex relationships between humans and non-human animals in the contemporary U.S., focusing on the roles of animals in biopsychosocial problems and their treatment. Students learn best practices for service and emotional support animals and are introduced to a range of animal-assisted interventions, including hands-on opportunities to practice equine-assisted therapies.
Law and Social Work
Staffed by attorneys from the College of Law’s Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, law students and graduate social work students, the Legal-Social Work Partnership program provides free, high-quality legal services for veterans, such as assistance with disability claims and discharge upgrades, benefits counseling and more. The partnership places an emphasis on addressing the social determinants of health. By assisting veterans with housing, employment, aging and other issues, the Legal-Social Work Partnership can help reduce veteran homelessness and suicide rates and improve the lives of veterans and military families. As Syracuse law students and social work students learn how their respective disciplines interact in real-world practice settings, this program is building a stronger legal system that can address the holistic needs of clients. The Goidel Law Group Internship Fund supports social work graduate students interested in working at the intersection of law and social work, particularly with older adults, through the Legal-Social Work Partnership program. For information and to apply for the Goidel Law Group Internship Fund, please contact Dr. Ken Marfilius. Interested students must apply online.