Curriculum by Plan of Study

The MSW curriculum implements the School of Social Work vision and mission through a generalist and specialized curriculum. Both curriculums promote the social work profession's knowledge, values, skills, and approaches to critical thinking. The MSW program educates future social workers to think and work multi systemically. A multisystemic approach maintains a simultaneous focus on people, their social environments, and their reciprocal relationships, while actively influencing organizations, communities, and social policy to bring about a more just society. All students in the program are required to take specialized courses in practice with individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities. In addition, students have an opportunity to develop areas of specialization through elective courses in the School of Social Work or other departments at UNC Charlotte.


msw curriculum by plan of study:

1-Year Plan of Study (Advanced Standing)

The 1-Year Advanced Standing plan of study is designed for students who have earned a BSW from an accredited social work program within the past seven years and wish to pursue the MSW through an on campus format.  Advanced Standing students are not required to complete the generalist curriculum for the MSW.  Under the 1-Year Advanced Standing plan of study, the MSW can be completed in one calendar year, May to May.  Students complete 39 graduate credit hours, which includes 33 credit hours in the classroom and 6 credits in an approved field placement.  

Classes begin during Extended Summer Session and meet on the main university campus for 10 weeks in the summer months.  In Summer, Advanced Standing students complete 9 hours of graduate level work.  In the Fall and Spring semesters, students complete the remainder of the specialized curriculum along with students completing the 2-Year plan of study. 

The 1-Year Advanced Standing plan of study is outlined below.

Extended Summer Session (9 credits)

SOWK 6232 Practice and Program Evaluation (3)
SOWK 6242 Advocacy and Policy Change
SOWK 6252 Mental Health Assessment (3)

Fall (15 credits)

SOWK 7122 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3)
SOWK 7126 Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups (3)
SOWK 7222 Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations (3)
SOWK 7443 Advanced Social Work Practicum I (3)
Elective (3) 

Spring (15 credits)

SOWK 7127 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (3)
SOWK 7223 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities (3)
SOWK 7651 Reflection and Synthesis (3)
SOWK 7444 Advanced Social Work Practicum II (3)
Elective (3) 

Total Program Credits = 39

 

 

2-Year Plan of Study:

The 2-Year MSW plan of study is designed for students to complete the MSW through two years of intensive study.  The generalist curriculum is completed during the first semester of study and the specialized curriculum is completed during the remaining three semesters.  Classes meet at the main university campus. Students complete a total of 60 graduate credits hours, which includes 48 credit hours in the classroom and 12 credits in an approved field placement. 

The 2-Year plan of study is outlined below.

Year One
Fall (15 credits)

SOWK 6121 Social Work Practice: Theories and Skills (3)
SOWK 6131 Social Work Research (3)
SOWK 6141 Foundations of Social Work (3)
SOWK 6151 Social Work, Social Justice, and Diversity (3)
SOWK 6441 Foundation Social Work Practicum I (3)

Spring (15 credits)

SOWK 6232 Practice & Program Evaluation (3)
SOWK 6242 Advocacy & Policy Change (3)
SOWK 6252 Mental Health Assessment (3)
SOWK 6442 Foundation Social Work Practicum II (3)
Elective (3) 

Year Two
Fall (15 credits)

SOWK 7122 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3)
SOWK 7126 Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups (3)
SOWK 7222 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities (3)
SOWK 7443 Advanced Social Work Practicum I (3)
Elective (3) 

Spring (15 credits)

SOWK 7127 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (3)
SOWK 7223 Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations (3)
SOWK 7651 Reflection & Synthesis (3)
SOWK 7444 Advanced Social Work Practicum II (3)
Elective (3) 

Total Program Credits = 60

 

 

2-Year Distance Education Plan of Study (Advanced Standing)

The 2-Year Advanced Standing Distance Education (DE) plan of study is designed for students who have earned a BSW from an accredited social work program within the past seven years and wish to pursue the MSW through a Distance Education (online) format.  Advanced Standing students are not required to complete the generalist curriculum for the MSW.  Under the 2-Year Advanced Standing DE plan of study, the MSW can be completed over the course of two academic years (summer/fall/spring semester for two years).  Students complete 39 graduate credit hours, which includes 33 credit hours in the classroom and 6 credits in an approved field placement.  

The 2-Year Advanced Standing DE plan of study is offered with fully online classes. All courses in the program are offered in synchronous “live” and asynchronous “not live” learning experiences.  Synchronous means students and instructors will log in at the same time for live virtual classes. Asynchronous means students do not have to log in at the same time as other students and instructors, as they complete assignments when it is convenient for them as long as they are completed by their weekly due dates.   

During the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters, students continue to take courses through online classes, and during the second year they also complete a field placement during other days of the week.  The field placement requires a total of 16 hours per week on site at a social work services agency under the supervision of someone with an MSW. 

Students must be living within the United States to be enrolled in the Distance Education MSW program.

The 2-Year Advanced Standing DE plan of study is outlined below.  Course sequence may vary slightly depending on year of entry. Electives can be taken at any time.

Year One

Summer (6-9 credits)
SOWK 6232 Practice and Program Evaluation (3)
SOWK 6252 Mental Health Assessment (3)
SOWK 6242 Advocacy and Policy Change (3)* - this course can be taken in the summer or spring of year one
Fall (6 credits)

SOWK 7122 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3)
SOWK 7222 Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations (3)

Spring (6-9 credits)
SOWK 7127 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (3)
SOWK 7223 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities (3)
SOWK 6242 Advocacy and Policy Change (3)* - this course can be taken in the summer or spring of year one
Year Two
Summer (6 credits)

Elective (3)
Elective (3)

Fall (6 credits)

SOWK 7126 Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups (3)
SOWK 7443 Advanced Social Work Practicum I (3)

Spring (6 credits)

SOWK 7651 Reflection & Synthesis (3)
SOWK 7444 Advanced Social Work Practicum II (3)

Total Program Credits = 39

 

 

3-Year Distance Education Plan of Study 

    The 3-Year Distance Education (DE) MSW plan of study is designed for students who wish to complete an MSW but cannot attend graduate school full time. The 3-year DE MSW can be completed over the course of three academic years. Students take the same courses as students in the 2-Year plan of study, but at a slower progression. They complete 60 graduate credit hours, which includes 48 credit hours in the classroom and 12 credits in approved field placements.   

    The 3-Year DE plan of study is offered with fully online classes. All courses in the program are offered in synchronous “live” and asynchronous “not live” learning experiences.  Synchronous means students and instructors will log in at the same time for live virtual classes. Asynchronous means students do not have to log in at the same time as other students and instructors. They can complete assignments when it is convenient for them as long as they are completed by their weekly due dates.   

    During the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters, students continue to take courses through online classes, and during the last two years they also complete the generalist field placement during other days of the week.  The field placement requires a total of 16 hours per week on site at a social work services agency under the supervision of someone with an MSW. 

    Students do have the option of enrolling in hybrid or face to face elective courses for those who prefer additional learning opportunities. Please note that regular main campus tuition rates will be charged for optional hybrid or face to face courses and these are not eligible for the distance education rate.

    Students must be living within the United States to be enrolled in the Distance Education MSW program.  Priority seating is given to North Carolina residents and those in the surrounding region.  The program is able to accommodate students from other regions of the U.S. on a limited basis.

    The 3-Year Distance Education plan of study is outlined below. Course sequence may vary slightly depending on year of entry.  Electives can be taken earlier than year three.

    Year One
    Summer (6 credits)

    SOWK 6121 Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills (3)
    SOWK 6141 Foundations of Social Work (3)

    Fall (6 credits)

    SOWK 6131 Social Work Research (3)
    SOWK 6151 Social Work, Social Justice, & Diversity (3)

    Spring (6 credits)

    SOWK 6242 Advocacy and Policy Change (3)
    SOWK 6232 Practice and Program Evaluation (3)

    Year Two
    Summer (3 Credits)

    SOWK 6252 Mental Health Assessment (3)

    Fall (9 Credits)

    SOWK 7122 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3)
    SOWK 7222 Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations (3)
    SOWK 6441 Foundation Social Work Practicum I (3)

    Spring (9 Credits)

    SOWK 7127 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (3)
    SOWK 7223 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities (3)
    SOWK 6442 Foundation Social Work Practicum II (3)

    Year Three
    Summer (3 Credits)

    Elective (3) 

    Fall (9 Credits)

    SOWK 7126 Advanced Interpersonal Practice with Groups (3)
    SOWK 7443 Advanced Social Work Practicum I (3)
    Elective (3) - electives can be taken at any time, many students choose to take electives during the second summer session

    Spring (9 Credits)

    SOWK 7651 Reflection and Synthesis (3)
    SOWK 7444 Advanced Social Work Practicum II (3)
    Elective (3) - electives can be taken at any time, many students choose to take electives during the second summer session

    Total Program Credits = 60