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Online MSW Degree: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

60 TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED

The core courses in Utica’s MSW degree online program can be completed in eight semesters. The program will prepare you for clinical social work practice through rigorous coursework and research-based skills development. With your MSW degree, you will be prepared to sit forĀ licensure exams in your state.

You’ll build a strong set of clinical practices by completing 900 hours of field placement, with the opportunity to identify your preferred placement locations. Faculty mentors who are social work professionals will guide you as you develop skills that will transfer to your ideal social work career. No residency is required in this program.

The curriculum course abstracts on this page are meant to provide a high-level course overview and subject to change based on term, faculty, and/or institutional requirements. View the official course descriptions as written in the Utica College Academic Catalog and in adherence to regional compliance. Select the appropriate Graduate Catalog from the dropdown.

CORE COURSES

The purpose of this course is to introduce the social work student to knowledge of human behavior and development as a base for social work practice. Lifespan development from conception to death and dying is examined. This course focuses on theories and knowledge related to biological, sociological, psychological, spiritual and cultural processes and development across the lifespan. It addresses the environmental conditions that support or inhibit individual and family growth; and variations arising from ethnicity, class, cohort, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, abilities, and other differences.
This course covers the knowledge and skills essential to interpersonal practice. It integrates content on multiculturalism, diversity, social justice, and social change issues. Throughout this course, students examine social work values and ethics, as well as issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ability as these, relate to interpersonal practice.
This introduction to using research evidence in social work is based on the need for practitioners to develop an appreciation for the place of scientific inquiry in the resolution of social problems and the specific challenges encountered by their clients. Students also learn how to make sense of basic inferential statistical analyses in the research literature so that they can critically evaluate the value of research findings.
This introductory course examines historical and ongoing dynamics of oppression and the implications of these dynamics in social work practice. The course draws attention to our social work values and centers the ethical mandate of social justice in clinical practice. Students will demonstrate self-awareness, critical thinking, practice skills, and knowledge of interdisciplinary thinking on issues of oppression and privilege as they relate to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, ability, and mental health. This course is premised on the understanding that ongoing growth, self-assessment, and understanding of these issues is imperative in order to practice competently and ethically in this field.
 
This course facilitates student application of classroom learning in a social service agency where students demonstrate skills in all nine CSWE areas of social work competency. This course prepares students to apply practice theories, models, and ethical principles in a specific social service delivery system. Emphasis is placed on promoting competence through strengths-based, culturally competent, generalist practice.
Students learn the recovery philosophy, understand the research supporting it, and practice skills to support recovery in clients.
This course covers basic content in community organizing, management, and evaluation, and prepares students to take more advanced courses in their concentration. During this course, students focus on: (1) Understanding the context of macro practice; (2) Identifying problems at the community and organizational level; (3) Organizing and building relationships within communities and organizations; and (4) Organization-based and community-based strategy making, planning, and program development. It partly surveys in nature, touching on a range of methodologies and emphases, and providing an appreciation of the historical and contemporary importance of these methods in social work.
This course examines symptoms, theories of etiology, treatment interventions, and prognosis within each diagnostic category and reviews a variety of assessment tools in the context of ethnicity, race, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, and historically oppressed and/or disadvantaged populations.
This foundation course furnishes students with the orienting knowledge and skills needed to advocate for, and raise awareness about, mental health policies and to understand their relevance to social work practice. Students will become familiar with basic issues, concepts, values, terminology, frameworks, and ethical issues that define mental health advocacy. It exposes students to knowledge about political, legislative, and legal advocacy, as well as builds skills in working with news media around interviews, press releases, and fundraising. It alerts them to mental health policy’s contribution to both oppression and social justice and informs them of how social workers can work to support but also to change the mental health system.
This course facilitates student application of classroom learning in a social service agency where students demonstrate skills in all nine CSWE areas of social work competency. This course prepares students to apply practice theories, models, and ethical principles in a specific social service delivery system. Emphasis is placed on promoting competence through strengths-based, culturally competent, generalist practice.
This course focuses on advanced social work, clinical, and client advocacy skills and techniques at each stage of the helping process, and with difficult practice situations as these apply to individuals, client groups, couples, and family systems. Case examples are drawn from client populations. Course content explores assessment and treatment principles from the interpersonal, psychodynamic, and cognitive-behavioral approaches.
This course addresses therapeutic work with couples, families, and groups. The focus is on the professional use of self in differentiated ways to enhance therapeutic outcomes. The course also reinforces the connections among theory, evidence-based practice, interventions, culturally appropriate, and anti-oppressive approaches to social work practice. Students are prepared to conceptualize and deliver social work services to couples, families, and groups.
Students will be guided through a sequence of learning activities to develop and refine the skills of motivational interviewing and to begin a process for developing proficiency in this method. Students will also become proficient in identifying and coding motivational interviewing skills.
This course examines cognitive approaches to social work practice, suggesting methods focusing on clients’ problem-solving abilities, building on client strengths, targeting specific thought patterns that impede clients from reaching goals, and assessing outcomes in terms of changes in thinking and behavior. Theory is applied to individuals, dyads, families, and groups.
This course facilitates student application of classroom learning in a social service agency. Students will demonstrate their practice competency in all nine CSWE areas of specialized clinical social work practice. Through this internship, students will gain an advanced perspective of professional clinical social work practice. This course prepares students to apply practice theories, models, and ethical principles in a specific social service delivery system. Students will be afforded the opportunity to apply cognitive-behavioral models and motivational interviewing techniques in work with individuals, dyads, groups, and/or families. Emphasis is placed on promoting competence through strengths-based, culturally competent, clinical social work practice.
Mental health policies and service delivery issues are among the most recognized and critical social problems in the United States. This course provides an overview of policies and service delivery models in mental health care, with an emphasis on achieving quality and addressing disparities.
This course is designed to prepare students in the basic principles of single-case design for clinical case evaluation and its application to social work practice in agency settings. Using both case examples and agency settings as laboratories, students will learn approaches to single-case design with attention to the value, tensions, and ambiguities related to adapting current evaluation models to agency requirements for evaluation.
This course facilitates student application of classroom learning in a social service agency. Students will demonstrate their practice competency in all nine CSWE areas of specialized clinical social work practice. Through this internship, students will gain an advanced perspective of professional clinical social work practice. This course prepares students to apply practice theories, models, and ethical principles in a specific social service delivery system. Students will be afforded the opportunity to apply cognitive-behavioral models and motivational interviewing techniques in work with individuals, dyads, groups, and/or families. Emphasis is placed on promoting competence through strengths-based, culturally competent, clinical social work practice.

ELECTIVES

The purpose of this course is to review the evolution of psychodynamic theory and consider key concepts in psychoanalysis, ego psychology, object relations theory, self-psychology, attachment theory, relational theory, and intersubjective theories relevant to psychodynamic psychotherapy. Students will explore human psychological functioning as explained by these various psychodynamic theories and through the biopsychosocial lens that informs social work practice.
This course examines social work practice theories and interventions and skills as they apply to practice with child and adult survivors of physical, sexual, and other forms of abuse and trauma. Particular attention will be made to the use of engagement, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, and follow up. Emphasis will also be placed on diversity and use of social work ethics and values when working with survivors of abuse and trauma.

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