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Master of Social Work - Course Descriptions

Foundation Curriculum

All courses offered in the MSW curriculum are three semester units.

MSW 501: Social Work Perspectives on Human Behavior I:
Overview of ecological systems theory used in the social work profession for clinical and policy-oriented assessments of human functioning and needs during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Emphasis is on the reciprocal relationships between human behavior and the social environment.

MSW 502: Social Work Perspectives on Human Behavior II:
Prerequisites: MSW 501. Overview of ecological model used in the social work profession for clinical and policy oriented assessments of human functioning and needs from young adulthood through old age. Emphasis is on the reciprocal relationships between human behavior and the social environment.

MSW 510:  Social Work Practice I:
Critical analysis and examination of social work roles and integration of those roles within a person-environment perspective. Focuses on an integrative framework combining direct practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities with a commitment to organizational and social change.

MSW 511:  Social Work Practice II:
Prerequisite: MSW 510. Further deepens students’ knowledge and skills essential for social work practice, including individual, family, group, community, and organizational interventions. Focus on cultural responsiveness, commitment to professional competence and ethics, interprofessional development, social and economics justice, and client empowerment.

MSW 520: Social Welfare Policy and Services I:
Comprehensive overview of the history of social welfare and the social work profession, the evolution of social work values and ethics, and a broad array of U.S. social welfare services including income maintenance, health care, mental health, and child welfare. This course fulfills the graduate writing requirement. 

MSW 521: Social Welfare Policy and Services II:
Prerequisite: MSW 520. Course builds policy practice knowledge, skills, advocacy strategies, values and ethics regarding the political processes underlying social welfare policy development and practice. Course also examines diverse methods of policy analysis and addresses policy issues that are important to multicultural populations.

MSW 530: Applied Social Work Research Methods:
Evaluation, appraisal, and application of the concepts, design, and process of applied research in social work, focusing on foundation skills in conducting empirical research within the context of theory, literature review, research design and measurement, research ethics, and professional practice. 

MSW 540: Social Work Field Instruction I:
Fieldwork experience in a social services agency under the supervision of professional social workers. Course introduces students to the range of professional roles, social services infrastructure and policies, professional ethical standards, case management principles, and social work intervention modalities.

MSW 541: Social Work Field Instruction II:
Prerequisite: MSW 540. Continued and advanced supervised social work practice experience in a community agency utilizing direct social service practice skills. Greater in-depth focus on collaborative client case management to prepare students for professional employment with emphasis on effective practice with diverse populations.

MSW 550: Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations:
Prepares future social workers to examine social work case management issues related to disadvantaged client groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability status. Focus is on ecological diversity-sensitive practice, advocacy, and empowerment of vulnerable clients.

Advanced Curriculum

MSW 503: Social Work Perspectives on Human Behavior III:
Prerequisites: MSW 502. Advanced social work theory and application regarding development of human psychopathology across the life span, including understanding and diagnosing dysfunctional behaviors with the DSM-IV TR. 

MSW 512: Child Welfare: Advanced Practice I:
Prerequisite: MSW 511. Designed for students preparing for careers in public child welfare.  Examines continuum of services, impact of chemical dependency and domestic violence, intervention models, and the practice of social work within the legal context of the dependency court.

MSW 513:  Child Welfare: Advanced Practice II:
Prerequisite: MSW 512 or MSW 518. Integration of theory and practice pertaining to social workers’ roles in child welfare settings. Application of direct intervention models and development of advanced specialized skills for addressing the behavioral, emotional, and situational problems of children and families. 

MSW 514:  Community Mental Health: Advanced Practice I:
Prerequisite: MSW 511. Application of theory and practice with diverse populations utilizing a multicultural framework and case materials to analyze treatment issues and empowerment strategies in community mental health. Emphasis on individual, family and group strategies.

MSW 515:  Community Mental Health: Advanced Practice II:
Prerequisite: MSW 514. Analysis of the psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery as the dominant treatment model in contemporary community mental health programs. Focus on the use of psychoeducation to address chronic mental illness, substance abuse, depression, anxiety and family violence.

MSW 516:  Aging: Multigenerational Perspectives: Advanced Social Work Practice:
Prerequisite: MSW 511. The changing demography of American families; overview of processes in and structures of families with older adults; introduction to principles of marital and family therapy, and program and policy development for families in the middle and later years of life.

MSW 522:  Child Welfare Policy and Social Work:
Prerequisite: MSW 521. Students examine and analyze the conceptual and pragmatic underpinnings of federal, state, and local policies as well as specific laws and regulations influencing social work practice with children, youth, and their caregivers.

MSW 523: Community Mental Health Policy and Social Work:
Prerequisite: MSW 521. Overview of social welfare policy issues in the understanding and treatment of mental disorders at the national, state, and local levels. Focus on major factors influencing the provision of mental health services such as managed care.

MSW 524: Aging & Multi-Generational Perspectives in Policy Practice and Social Work:
Prerequisite: MSW 521. Students examine and analyze the conceptual and pragmatic underpinnings of federal, state, and local policies as well as specific laws and regulations influencing social work practice with older adults through a multi-generational lens.

MSW 542:  Advanced Social Work Field Instruction I:
Prerequisite: MSW 541. Advanced supervised social work practice in a community agency with focus on the range of professional social work roles in child welfare or community mental health settings.

MSW 543:  Advanced Social Work Field Instruction II:
Prerequisite: MSW 542. Continuation and intensification of supervised social work practice in a community agency with focus on advanced practice skills in community mental health  or child welfare settings.

MSW 564:  Professional Issues in Social Work: Supervision, Grants, and Finance:
This course is designed to give students a working knowledge and skill set that will enable them to provide supervision, resource development, and financial leadership in the modern human services organization.

MSW 570:  Social Work Practice in Addiction Disorders:
Theories and methods in the diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse disorders focusing on the role of social workers in the prevention/intervention of substance abusers and their families.  Emphases on dual diagnoses, prenatal drug/alcohol exposure, and challenges for special group.

MSW 571:  Social Work Perspectives on Developmental Psychopathology and Family Context:
Advanced social work theory and application in development of child and adolescent psychopathology using a development psychopathology and ecological systems perspective that emphasizes biological, psychological, social and family context factors.

MSW 572: Spirituality, Religion, and Social Work:
Examining the role of spirituality and religion in social work practice with attention given to national and global traditions and their impact on the formation of social work as a profession.

MSW 573: Trauma-Focused Social Work Practice:
Focuses on traumatic stress and its impact on human behavior across the lifespan. Major theories and current research about trauma and its sequelae, and how the brain processes information, will be explored along with current treatment modalities.

MSW 574: Death and Dying: Social Work Practive in Palliative Care at End of Life
This is an advanced practice course on working with dying patients using palliative care and the transprofessional service model as an anchor in providing patients and families with pre-hospice and hospice palliatice services.

MSW 575: International Social Work
The course orients students to concepts and practice issues regarding social work and social welfare from a global perspective, and is offered as a practice elective for students with a special interest in application of social work within the international context.

MSW 596: Master’s Project Development:
Pre-requisites:  MSW 530. Under the direction of a faculty member, students conceptualize, develop, and begin constructing the foundation of research projects designed to evaluate social work practice and services. The capstone master's project represents the culminating educational experience for master's students. The final projects are completed in MSW 597.

MSW 597:  Master’s Project:
Pre-requisites:  MSW 596. Under the direction of a faculty member, students complete research projects designed to evaluate social work practice and services. Following completion of the capstone projects, students present their projects to faculty at a formal poster session. This capstone master's project represents the culminating educational experience for master's students.

 

Department of Social Work

800 North State College Blvd.,
Fullerton, California 92834
Room EC-207,
Phone: (657) 278-8452,
Fax: (657) 278-2440

 

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