In a series of common required courses, students cover a range of social and behavioral science theories, social policies, analytical methods and values that form the context of social work practice. These courses define the broad scope of understanding required for professional growth and lay the foundation for more specialized practice skills.
Foundation Practice introduces the basic components of social work practice including the helping relationship, assessment, advocacy, planning interventions and evaluation.
The Theoretical Perspectives courses look at the theories of personality and at the biopsychosocial development of individuals through the life cycle, as well as theories of culture, regimes, communities, social groups and organizations. Social Welfare Policy examines the social environment and the framework of policies that structure human services. Research Informed Practice classes, relying primarily on case studies, provide the critical tools for linking sound research design and data analysis to demonstrate the effectiveness of practice. Multiculturalism and Diversity: Advanced Perspectives develops awareness of human diversity, enriching both the depth and scope of professional practice.
Courses in the doctoral program are open to MSS students in special circumstances and require the permission of the instructor. Requests to take such courses should be based on (1) substantial previous preparation in the general area or disciplines represented in the course, (2) a need in the student’s program that cannot be met with existing MSS or MLSP courses, and (3) arrangement to meet the doctoral course scheduling and willingness to invest the extra time and effort required by doctoral courses. It is essential that MSS students and their advisers consult the director of the doctoral program about procedures for registering in doctoral courses.
Credits for the MSS degree must total 18.