Jun 23, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Social Work, MSW

Colleges  > Graduate College of Social Work  > Social Work, MSW

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.

Our goal is to prepare students for responsible, professional practice. The program:

  • Provides a sound base of knowledge and skills for professional practice.
  • Socializes students to the social work profession, including its Code of Ethics and values.
  • Conveys an understanding of the impact of racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, ethnocentrism, and classism on individuals, groups, social policies, and institutions.
  • Contributes to the social work profession through knowledge building and research activities aimed toward improving social work practice, policies, and programs.

We offer two program options: 

  • Full Program (63 SCH)
  • Advanced Standing (38 SCH for students with a BSW)

There are three enrollment model options for the MSW program:

  • Face to Face
  • Hybrid
  • Online

For more information, please see: http://www.uh.edu/socialwork.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for unconditional admission to the MSW Program, applicants must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The undergraduate education must reflect a sound liberal arts foundation, including courses in the humanities, as well as in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences. You must submit official academic transcripts showing the date the degree was awarded.
  • Have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of academic course work. We will calculate your GPA based on your transcripts.
  • Recommendations are required from persons who can address your ability and potential for graduate education and professional social work practice (i.e., former professors, employment supervisors, professional colleagues). If you graduated from college within the last 5 years, one recommendation from a professor or instructor is required. If you are applying for Advanced Standing, one of your three recommendations must be from your faculty advisor or chairperson of your BSW Program. For all applicants: if more than one of the three recommendations is personal, the file will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. At least two references should be academic or professional.
  • Submit a personal narrative statement that describes your interest in social work and your commitment to social and economic justice. Specific instructions for the narrative statement are provided on the MSW Application Checklist page.

Persons who hold a nonimmigrant type visa have additional application requirements. Please refer to the University of Houston’s information for International Applicants (http://www.uh.edu/graduate-school/international-students/).

A nonrefundable $60.00 application fee, payable by check or money order must accompany your application. Any application received after the published deadline is a late application; a non-refundable additional late fee of $50.00 will be charged.

An additional fee of $75.00 is charged for international applicants.

Note: Proficiency in English. Any student, prior to admission or during their course of study, may be required to demonstrate English proficiency through submission of a satisfactory score on a test designated by the associate dean of the college. Students whose written or spoken English skills appear to be marginal (i.e., they may impede academic success and/or reflect communication problems as a social work practitioner) may be required to seek instruction outside the college.

To see more information on the university’s English language requirement, visit http://www.uh.edu/graduate-school/admissions/international-students/english-proficiency/.

Degree Requirements

Credit hours required for this degree: 63.0

  • The MSW program at the University of Houston consists of 63 credit hours in either face to face, hybrid, or online enrollment models.
  • Advanced Standing is available to students who hold a BSW from an accredited university. Advanced Standing is a 38 credit hour program available in face to face, hybrid, and online enrollment models.
  • Our program is unique in that it offers a 16-hour foundation, which serves as the prerequisite for all following coursework.
    • The intensive foundation curriculum is organized around content on the foundation of professional social work, including coursework in practice, policy, research, and human behavior in the social environment and foundation field practicum (200 clock hours).
    • Students must satisfactorily complete 16 credit hours of foundation before enrolling in any advanced courses.
  • In the GCSW advanced curriculum, we offer two areas of specialized practice:
    • Clinical (face-to-face, hybrid, and online)
    • Macro Practice (face-to-face, hybrid, and online)
  • We also offer four optional areas of focus:
    • Health and Behavioral Health (program formats: face-to-face, hybrid, and online)
    • Political Social Work (program format: face-to-face)
    • Social Work Practice with Latinos (program format: face-to-face)
    • Individualized  (program format: face-to-face)

Course Requirements:

The 63-credit MSW curriculum is built upon the following foundational areas:

  • Foundation & Generalist Curriculum (19 credit hours)
  • Required Coursework, all students (8 credit hours)
  • Concentration Coursework (Marco or Clinical Practice) (24 credit hours)
  • Elective Course work (12 credit hours)

Foundation and Generalist Curriculum (19 credit hours):

This foundation curriculum can be waived for students who received a Bachelor of Social Work degree and who receive an Advanced Standing Waiver.

Concentration (24 credit hours):

Students must choose either Clinical Practice or Macro Practice as a field of specialized practice:

Clinical Practice Concentration

Macro Practice Concentration: