2017-2018 Graduate Catalog


Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work (MSW) Program prepares advanced generalist social workers with a common base of social work knowledge, values and skills that equip the graduate for leadership positions that promote human rights and social and economic justice. The advanced generalist focus enables graduates to apply their abilities within service systems of various sizes and types. Practice courses stress application of advanced skills in a variety of systems using assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation relevant to diverse individuals, families, groups and communities. Field education provides opportunities for students to integrate theory with practice and experientially apply knowledge, values and skills in appropriate settings.

TCU’s Department of Social Work does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, handicap, veteran status, political beliefs or sexual orientation.

Mission

The mission of the TCU Master of Social Work Program is "to prepare ethical and competent advanced social work practitioners who promote human rights and economic and social justice with diverse clients in the global community." This mission reflects and flows from the University mission.

Program of Study

The MSW curriculum is based on educational standards developed by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The MSW curriculum includes foundation content (the first 30 hours of the program) and advanced practice content (the final 30 hours of the program).

The MSW requires 60 credit hours (48 hours coursework, 12 hours internships). MSW students take 15 hours each semester and complete their degree in two years. Both BSW graduates and those with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines are eligible for seeking admission to the MSW. Students who already have the BSW are known as Advanced Standing students and can complete the MSW with one year of study (30 hours). Students with baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines will require two years of study (60 hours).

The Women and Gender Studies Certificate option is available for 2-year MSW students. Students are required to take four courses to qualify for the certificate (see additional details below).

Students may also apply for the dual degree program with Brite Divinity School. In this option, students complete both their MSW and a degree from Brite Divinity School (see additional details below).

Advanced Standing

Advanced Standing is awarded only to graduates holding degrees from baccalaureate social work programs accredited by CSWE, those recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or those covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors. Students meeting the requirements for Advanced Standing will receive credit for the foundation content of the MSW curriculum and be allowed to enter the concentration content of the MSW Program.

Gatekeeping

The social work profession has the legal and ethical responsibility to protect both society and the profession by assessing students’ readiness to work with clients. The faculty team discusses students’ professional development and readiness to interact with clients. This gatekeeping responsibility is outlined and enforced through the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and addressed in the TCU Program Handbook.

MSW Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting TCU’s graduate admission requirements, applicants must meet the admission requirements of either the Traditional or Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Program. Applicants may be reviewed for entry into either program. Admission decisions are based on a range of information, including the qualifications described below. Admission to the program presumes the ability and willingness to follow the sequential curriculum outlined in the Program Requirements.

Traditional MSW Program (60 credits, 2-year)

Required qualifications for admission:

  1. Prior Degree. Students accepted for the MSW Program must have completed a baccalaureate (BA, BS) degree reflecting a liberal arts foundation from an accredited college or university.
  2. GPA. Applicants should have strong academic preparation as demonstrated by an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of coursework.
  3. Course Prerequisites. Applicants must have one college-level course in each of the following: statistics, sociology and psychology before registering for the first semester in the MSW Program.
  4. References. Applicants must submit three professional and academic reference forms with letters from persons who can address academic abilities and interpersonal skills, potential for graduate education and potential for professional social work practice. At least one reference must be from an academic adviser or instructor. It is preferred that one of these references be from a field instructor.
  5. Professional Statement. Applicants must submit a well-written professional statement 750-1,500 words, that addresses:
    • What motivated you to pursue an MSW?
    • How do your values connect with the values of the social work profession?
    • What personal strengths and weaknesses will impact you as a social worker?
    • Describe experiences and leadership opportunities you have had that will help you succeed in this graduate program.
    • Discuss any significant volunteer or work experiences related to social work.
    • What are your professional goals in social work?
  6. Resume. Applicants will submit a current resume or vita with their application.
  7. Interview. Applicants may be asked to interview with the Admissions Committee before a final decision is reached.

Petition for Academic Exception:

Must be completed by applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0.

An applicant who believes that his or her individual circumstances warrant consideration for a waiver of the minimum university admissions requirement must petition the MSW admissions committee.

The request should be a one page statement entitled “Petition for Academic Exception”. The petition should include a statement indicating how not meeting the minimum admissions requirement of a 3.0 GPA should be waived, as it does not adequately represent the applicant’s capabilities. The applicant should briefly discuss how he or she has demonstrated a capacity for successful achievement in a rigorous graduate program. For example, an applicant might provide evidence of:

  • Superior grades during the final 60 hours of undergraduate coursework indicating a trend toward improved performance.
  • Competence through achievement in another graduate program.
  • Outstanding work experience in human services (volunteer or paid).

The applicant should also discuss how he or she plans to address obstacles to successfully complete the program (for example, if a low grade point average was viewed as the result of a “needing to work full time during my undergraduate studies” the applicant should discuss why that is not likely to be a factor during his or her graduate study).

Petitions must be uploaded along with all other application documents.

Advanced Standing MSW Program (30 credits, 1-year)

Required qualifications for admission:

  1. Prior Degree. Applicants to the Advanced Standing option must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW, BSSW) or other Bachelor’s degree (BS,BA or BSW) with a major in social work from an accredited CSWE program at the time of enrollment.
  2. GPA. Applicants should have strong academic preparation as demonstrated by an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in the last 60 hours of coursework.
  3. Course Prerequisites. Applicants must have one college-level course in statistics before registering for the first semester in the MSW Program.
  4. References. Applicants must submit three professional and academic reference forms with letters from persons who can address academic abilities and interpersonal skills, potential for graduate education and potential for professional social work practice. At least one reference must be from an academic adviser or instructor. It is preferred that one of these references be from a field instructor.
  5. Professional Statement. Applicants must submit a well-written professional statement, 750-1,500 words, that addresses:
    • What motivated you to pursue an MSW?
    • How do your values connect with the values of the social work profession?
    • What personal strengths and weaknesses will impact you as a social worker?
    • Describe experiences and leadership opportunities you have had that will help you succeed in this graduate program.
    • Discuss any significant volunteer or work experiences related to social work.
    • What are your professional goals in social work?
    • What are your professional goals and plans in social work?
  6. Resume. Applicants will submit a current resume or vitae with their application.
  7. Interview. Applicants may be asked to interview with the Admissions Committee before a final decision is reached.

      Transfer Credit

      The MSW Program may accept up to 10 transfer credits from: 1) a CSWE-accredited MSW Program for foundation year courses, or 2) a CSWE-accredited MSW Program or another graduate program in a related field for concentration year electives. No transfer credit will be awarded for practice courses, required concentration-year courses or for field education.

      In addition, requests for transfer course credit must meet the following criteria:

      1. The student requesting credit for graduate coursework must be admitted to TCU's MSW Program prior to approval of a request for transfer credit. However, admission to the MSW Program does not guarantee approval of transfer credits.
      2. Upon admission, the student may request a review of graduate course(s) taken to determine whether the course(s) may be transferred for credit.
      3. A minimum grade of "B" must have been earned in each course proposed for transfer credit.
      4. When requesting transfer credit, a student must submit: a letter of request to the TCU MSW Program director that identifies the course(s) for which transfer credit is requested, a copy of the official catalog of the university where the course was taken, a copy of the course syllabus and an official transcript showing the grade earned.