Office of the Dean
212 Social Work Building
Nicole Bromfield, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
201 Social Work Building, 713-743-3247
Sarah Narendorf, Associate Dean for Research
313 Social Work Building, 713-743-8672
Susan Robbins, Associate Dean for Doctoral Education
311 Social Work Building,
GCSW Office of Admissions
110HA Social Work Building
Houston, Texas 77204-4013
College Web site
About the College
The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW), established by the Texas Legislature in 1967, provides master’s and doctorate level education for the practice of professional social work. The social work profession has as its primary goal the enhancement of social functioning of all persons as individuals, family members, community participants, and members of society.
Social work practice is concerned with promoting the well-being of all persons, ameliorating the harmful effects of unhealthy social environments, and striving to achieve social and economic justice. The social worker needs maturity, knowledge, and skill to provide direct services or to develop programs that encourage maximum development of human potential. Thus, the purposes of graduate social work education are to encourage a broad-based perspective and value system, to provide knowledge for understanding and positively influencing human behavior and social systems, and to develop advanced skills for professional practice.
The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) prepares diverse leaders in practice and research to address complex challenges and achieve sustainable social, racial, economic, and political justice, locally and globally, through exceptional education, innovative research, and meaningful community engagement.
Our vision is to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global.
The Master of Social Work (MSW) program of the Graduate College of Social Work is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The MSW Degree
Students have a choice of three enrollment models: Face to Face, Hybrid, or Online. The face to face program is full-time while hybrid and online are part-time programs. All enrollment models have a choice of areas of specialized practice: Clinical Practice or Macro Practice. Optional focus areas are also available in Health and Behavioral Health, Political Social Work, Social Work Practice with Latinos, and Individualized for face to face students. Hybrid and Online students have the option to pursue Health and Behavioral Health. The focus areas do not require additional hours. All enrollment models require 900 total clock hours of field practicum.
The MSW program at UH consists of 63 credit hours for full program and 38 credit hours for advanced standing. UH is unique in that it offers a 16-credit hour foundation. This intensive portion of the curriculum is organized around content on the foundation of professional social work, human behavior, policy, practice and research. A foundation field practicum (200 clock hours) is also required. Students must satisfactorily complete all 16 credit hours before enrolling in any advanced courses.
The Advanced Standing face to face program is a one year, full-time program (38 credit hours). Students begin in fall and complete course work and field the following two terms. Advanced standing is also available in the hybrid and online enrollment models. In hybrid and online, advanced standing is a part-time program and takes 2.5 to 3 years to complete. Two courses (500 clock hours) of field practicum are required for advanced standing students.
The PhD Degree
The GCSW also offers the PhD in Social Work. Set in an urban, multicultural environment, the purpose of the GCSW doctoral program is to develop social work researchers, scholars, teachers, and leaders who can facilitate change through rigorous and contextualized analysis of social problems and social work interventions in a manner respectful of the experiences of all affected. Graduates will advance the knowledge base of the profession, promote a scientific basis for social work practice at all levels of intervention, and actively promote global social and economic justice.
Dual Degree Programs
Several collaborative degree programs are available that enrich the options and opportunities available to our students. Since admission to two programs is required, interested persons are encouraged to begin the application process early.
Applicants without a master’s degree in social work (or with a master’s degree in another field) may pursue a program of study that leads to both the MSW and the PhD degrees. Admission to the dual MSW-PhD is very limited. Applicants must submit separate applications and fees to both programs.
The Graduate College of Social Work and the C.T. Bauer College of Business offer a concurrent degree program that enables students to prepare for careers in which knowledge and skills in both social work and business administration are critical. Students in this dual degree program complete the degree requirements for the MBA and the MSW in the Graduate College of Social Work in a shorter time period than if the degrees were pursued separately.
Applicants must be admitted separately to each of the programs and admission to one has no official bearing upon admission to the other. Upon acceptance, enrollment in both the MSW program in the Graduate College of Social Work and the MBA program in the C.T. College of Business should occur within a period of one calendar year.
The Graduate College of Social Work and the University of Texas School of Public Health offer a concurrent degree program that enables students to prepare for careers in which knowledge and skills in both social work and public health are critical. This concurrent program provides students with the opportunity to complete degree requirements for the MSW and the MPH in a shorter time period than if the degrees were pursued separately.
Applicants must be admitted separately to each of the schools and admission to one has no official bearing upon admission to the other. Upon acceptance, enrollment in both the MSW program in the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the MPH program in the University of Texas School of Public Health should occur within a period of one calendar year.
The Graduate College of Social Work and the Law Center at the University of Houston offer a concurrent degree program that prepares students for professional practice in arenas where law and social work intersect and complement each other. Examples include public services, health and mental health care systems, services to children and families, and the political arena. This program enables students to finish both degrees in a shorter time than if they were pursued separately.
Applicants must be admitted separately to each of the degree programs and admission to one has no official bearing on admission to the other. Applicants need to plan ahead so that their LSAT and GRE scores are submitted to meet application deadlines.
University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work and the Hobby School of Public Affairs offer a concurrent degree program that prepares students for professional practice in social welfare policy arenas. This concurrent degree program enables students to pair the quantitative and ethics-oriented approach to policy analysis offered by the MPP program with the substantive policy and practical training in health and human service related domains offered by the MSW program.
Students must apply and be admitted separately by each program. All students must apply to the second program no later than the end of their first year in the first program. It will take approximately three years of full-time study to complete the coursework for both degrees.
Sample degree plans can be found on the GCSW website. Both programs require an internship component. The internship requirement for both programs can be met through completion of the required field practicum hours through the GCSW. Students pursuing this concurrent degree are eligible to apply to participate in the Graduate College of Social Work’s Austin Legislative Internship Program.
The GCSW Student Association seeks to promote unity among students of the Graduate College of Social Work. In addition to the SA, other student organizations offer opportunities for active involvement in the life of the school and the community. Student organizations include the National Association of Black Social Workers, the Hispanic Student Association, Social Welfare Action Alliance, Alliance, TIKKUN OLAM (Jewish Student Organization), the Association of Asian American, Social Workers, the National Association of Christian Social Workers, AGES (Association of Gerontology Students), the Clinical Leadership Society, and the Women’s Forum Child Welfare Education Project (CWEP) Student & Alumni Organization, MACRO Student Organization, Policy Insiders, Students for the Advancement of International Social Work, Support and Self-Care Group.