Master of Social Work

Specializations

Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families

This specialization prepares students for clinically oriented practice with individuals, children, and families in contexts such as mental health clinics, veterans’ services, managed care facilities, shelters, group homes, child welfare agencies, hospice, schools, correctional institutions, and other settings where personal helping relationships are developed. Specific emphasis is placed on advanced clinical practice skills with children, adolescents, adults, families, and older adults; group therapy skills; and policies specific to health and mental health concerns.

Community Leadership and Program Administration

This specialization prepares students to provide leadership in nonprofit agencies, government programs, and policy and advocacy organizations in a variety of local and global contexts. Drawing on the significant cultural diversity characterizing the Los Angeles area, and the expertise of faculty, the curriculum prepares students to be proactive leaders and to collaborate with communities to improve upon the complex local, national, and international social problems they encounter. Curriculum content in this specialization includes organizational behavior and management, program planning and evaluation, organizing for community change, human rights and social policy with an optional emphasis in international social work, and research methods for data-driven change.

Program Options

The full-time program (two years, 60 units) includes classes two days per week and approximately 16 hours per week of supervised internship. All students take the same first-year foundation courses. Specialization courses are taken in the second year of the program.

The part-time program (four years, 60 units) includes classes every Tuesday beginning at 4:20 p.m. (two classes per term, scheduled back-to-back). In addition, there are a total of four Saturday intensive courses required, which meet three to fives times per term, in years one and three of the program. All students take the same foundation courses in the first and second years. Specialization courses are taken in the third and fourth years of the program. Supervised internships requiring approximately 16 hours per week occur in the second and fourth years.

The full-time Advanced Standing program (36 units) allows graduates of CSWE-accredited BSW programs to earn their MSW degree in 10 months. Students complete two three-unit Advanced Standing bridge courses during a three-week summer session (August) prior to the start of their specialization curriculum, in which they join existing full-time MSW students for the remaining two terms (30 units) of the MSW program. Advanced Standing student field internships require 20 hours per week for fall and spring terms.

The two bridge courses are:

SOCW 550Advanced Standing: Intermediate Praxis3
SOCW 551Advanced Standing: Intermediate Research and Evidence-based Practice3

The part-time Advanced Standing program allows graduates of CSWE-accredited BSW programs to earn their MSW degree over the course of two years. Students complete two three-unit Advanced Standing bridge courses during a three-week summer session (August) prior to the start of their specialization curriculum, in which they join existing part-time MSW students for the remaining two years (30 units) of the part-time MSW program. Part-time Advanced Standing student field internships require 20 hours per week for fall and spring of the second year of the program.

Field Internships

Field education is a required component of the MSW curriculum. The field application and placement process occurs during the term prior to the onset of field internships. Over the course of the program, students complete two field internships, with a focus on applying and integrating professional social work knowledge, values, and skills in a supervised community agency setting. Field internships occur Monday–Friday during business hours. Successful completion of the field internship/seminar curriculum, with a grade of B- or higher, is required for field credit and to proceed to the next field course sequence. Students are concurrently enrolled in field seminar during field internship terms. Full-time students complete field internships during both years of the program, whereas part-time students complete field internships during the second and fourth years. Students in the two- and four-year options earn a total of 16 semester units for field education coursework. Advanced Standing students complete a total of eight field education units over two terms. Field credit is not given for life experiences or for previous or current work experience. Students are required to obtain their own malpractice insurance prior to entering their field internship. Information regarding insurance is available through the MSW program. Students are responsible for ensuring they have reliable transportation to and from field internship agencies.

Field education faculty select field internship sites using strict criteria consistent with accreditation standards set forth by the Council on Social Work Education, including the congruence of field agency mission and goals with those of professional social work ethics and standards. Field agencies must also provide student supervision consistent with accreditation requirements.

Transfer of MSW Credits

Students formerly enrolled in CSWE-accredited MSW programs at other schools may submit a list of MSW foundation-level courses completed within five years prior to admission to APU, for evaluation regarding transfer of credits. Each course will be evaluated by the MSW program on a case-by-case basis for compatibility with program requirements. A maximum of 12 units may be transferred. No credit is given for prior field internship hours.

The MSW program takes responsibility for ensuring that transferred courses are congruent with the curriculum policy statement of CSWE and meet program objectives. For any course in question, the MSW program will request a copy of the syllabus and bibliography in order to evaluate course objectives and learning activities.

A petition for transfer credit must fulfill the conditions listed below:

  1. The work must have been done while the student was enrolled in good standing as a graduate student; a letter from the MSW program director is required verifying that the student was in good standing.
  2. The work must have been done within five years prior to starting the MSW program at Azusa Pacific University.
  3. The school from which the credits are transferred must be accredited by a regional accreditation agency.
  4. No transfer grade is lower than a B.
  5. None of the transfer coursework consists of extension or workshop courses.
  6. Petition for transfer of credit occurs after enrollment in APU’s MSW program.

Transfer of Elective Credits

The MSW program has two elective courses (total of 6 units). Students transferring from another graduate program may petition to have up to 6 units evaluated for possible elective credit. The course(s) must be relevant to the MSW program and preferably have been taken within five years prior to admission. Petitions must be submitted to the MSW program for evaluation. Due to the importance of MSW program compliance with CSWE accreditation standards, students may be asked to provide course syllabi in order to assess the relevance and timeliness of course material. Once in the MSW program, students must take elective courses at Azusa Pacific University, with the exception of a few preapproved international courses that may be offered by other social work programs. Independent study may be taken in place of elective courses.

Advanced Standing students may not transfer in any elective credit.

Social Work Student Conduct Code

In addition to maintaining academic standards, students must also demonstrate adherence to the Department of Social Work conduct code. Violation of the code may result in probation or termination from the program. Refer to the MSW Student Handbook for the full description of the conduct code and appeals process.

Academic Probation and Disqualification

Continuation in the MSW program requires a demonstration of academic ability. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to continue in the MSW program. In the event the GPA drops below the minimum, the student will be placed on academic probation and given one enrollment period to raise it to the satisfactory level. A 3.0 GPA is also required for continued financial aid. Students must also pass all required social work courses with a B- or higher. If a student does not obtain a passing grade, the course must be repeated. A course may be attempted only twice. If the second attempt results in a failing grade, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Course Requirements

Foundation Coursework
SOCW 511Introduction to the Social Work Profession2
SOCW 512Social Welfare Policy and Policy Practice3
SOCW 513Micro-theory and Human Development3
SOCW 514Practice I - Interviewing and Assessment3
SOCW 515Field Seminar I1
SOCW 516Field I3
SOCW 522Diversity and Social Justice3
SOCW 523Macro-theory and Communities/Organizations3
SOCW 524Practice II - Intervention and Evaluation3
SOCW 525Field Seminar II1
SOCW 526Field II3
SOCW 538Clinical Practice with Groups2
Specialization Coursework
Select one of the following:30
Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families
Research for Evidenced Based Practice
Field Seminar III (1)
Advanced Clinical Practice I: Adult Mental Health (3)
Children and Adolescents (3)
Field III - Clinical Practice (3)
Capstone Leadership Project (3)
Field Seminar IV (1)
Advanced Clinical Practice II: Child Welfare and Family Therapy (3)
Social Welfare Policy and Health/Mental Health Care (2)
Field IV - Clinical Practice (3)
XXX
Elective 3 units
XXX
Elective 3 units
Community Leadership and Program Administration
Organizational Behavior and Management (3)
Research for Data Driven Change
Human Rights and Sustainable Development Policy
Organizing for Community Change
Field Seminar III (1)
Field III - Community Leadership and Program Administration (3)
Capstone Leadership Project (3)
Field Seminar IV (1)
Field IV - Community Leadership and Program Administration (3)
Program Planning and Evaluation
XXX
Elective 3 units
XXX
Elective 3 units
Total Units60

Requirements for Advanced Standing Program

Bridge Courses
SOCW 550Advanced Standing: Intermediate Praxis3
SOCW 551Advanced Standing: Intermediate Research and Evidence-based Practice3
Specialization Coursework
Select one of the following30
Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families
Field Seminar III (1)
Advanced Clinical Practice I: Adult Mental Health (3)
Children and Adolescents (3)
Field III - Clinical Practice
Research for Evidenced Based Practice
Capstone Leadership Project (3)
Field Seminar IV (1)
Advanced Clinical Practice II: Child Welfare and Family Therapy (3)
Social Welfare Policy and Health/Mental Health Care (2)
Field IV - Clinical Practice (3)
XXX Electives 3 units
XXX Electives 3 units
Community Leadership and Program Administration
Organizational Behavior and Management (3)
Program Planning and Evaluation
Research for Data Driven Change
Human Rights and Sustainable Development Policy
Organizing for Community Change
Field Seminar III (1)
Field III - Community Leadership and Program Administration (3)
Capstone Leadership Project (3)
Field Seminar IV (1)
Field IV - Community Leadership and Program Administration (3)
XXX Electives 3 units
XXX Electives 3 units
Total Units36

Pre-Licensure Coursework Options

The following MSW courses meet California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) pre-licensure requirements. The BBS courses are noted in parentheses.

  • SOCW 569 Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy (Human Sexuality Requirement)
  • SOCW 561 Addictions: Assessment and Intervention (Alcoholism/Chemical Dependency Requirement)
  • SOCW 537 Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health and Diagnosis (Child Abuse Assessment Requirement)
  • SOCW 567 Marital Therapy and Domestic Violence (Spousal or Partner Abuse Requirement)
  • SOCW 566 Social Work, Health, and Aging (Aging and Long-Term Care Requirement)

California Law/Professional Ethics is embedded in the MSW curricula and is approved by the BBS for meeting pre-licensure requirement. See the MSW Student Handbook for more information.