Master of Social Work

All graduate degrees

Social Work Information Session, February 11 at 1 p.m.
We invite prospective students to join us in Daniells Hall, Room 203, where faculty members and admission representatives will welcome you and be ready to answer your questions. For more information, please Register for an Information Session »

 

Graduates of our MSW program are equipped to provide client support, counseling, and advocacy through evidence-based practice.

  • You will be qualified for employment—and leadership—in schools, orphanages, hospitals, prisons, hospice settings, government positions, community organizations, and more.
  • As a graduate of a faith-based program, you’ll be positioned to bring a unique influence to the shaping of social policy.
  • Our distinctive generalist program means students develop a broad spectrum of competencies. You are prepared with advanced-practice knowledge and skills for succeeding in clinical and administrative settings.
  • Opportunities for leadership are embedded in instruction of theory and practical skills.
  • School social-work certification:  A course is available for those seeking school social-work certification.

How the program works

Classes meet twice each month on Sundays and incorporate an online component for completing the coursework. Students may enter the program with or without a social-work background. Full-time and part-time enrollment is available.

  • Advanced placement:  With a bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited institution within the past ten years, qualifying students can typically complete the master’s program in 12 months (three semesters) on a full-time basis.
  • Foundation placement:  With a bachelor’s degree in another discipline (or from a non-accredited BSW program), full-time students typically can complete the program in six semesters.

Eligibility

  • Bachelor's degree:  A bachelor’s degree from an accredited program, with coursework indicating a strong liberal-arts background. (Advanced placement requires a bachelor of social work degree obtained in the last ten years from a CSWE-accredited program.)
  • GPA requirement: Possess a preferred GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in social work courses. (Advanced placement requires that undergraduate transcripts indicate no more than one grade of C (none below C) in a core social work class.)

Admission process

  1. Graduate application:  Submit a graduate application (with non-refundable fee of $25). Apply now
  2. Transcripts:  Submit official college and university transcripts. Many institutions subscribe to the convenient transcript-request service at National Student Clearinghouse, or you may also contact your institution directly. Have your transcripts sent to Melodie Lopez in the Graduate Studies office (malopez@southern.edu). If you earned your prerequisite degree at Southern, you do not need to complete this step.
  3. Recommendations:  Submit two recommendation forms from a college professor, work supervisor, or social-work field instructor. This may be done as part of the online application process, or Download form
  4. Personal statement:  Submit a personal statement describing your motivation for graduate school in social work. Email to grad@southern.eduDownload guidelines
  5. Resumé:  Submit your current resumé to grad@southern.edu.

Application deadlines

Term U.S. Residents International
Fall July 1 May 1
Winter November 1 September 1

International students

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States are considered international students and must meet additional requirements for admission.

  • View international-student admission requirements »

    1. Applicants from non-English institutions must submit certified English translations and evaluations of official university records, including demonstration of the equivalency of a bachelor's degree.
      Transcript evaluations must be submitted directly to Southern from one of the following agencies:
    2. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate English proficiency.
      Unless an applicant is a native English speaker or received the college/university degree from an English-medium institution, s/he must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Learn more at ets.org/toefl »

    3. Submit Declaration of Finances.
      International students must have financial resources sufficient to support themselves for the calendar year, in addition to an international-student deposit of $3,000 (USD). Download Form
      • To be issued an I-20 Form, students must also provide a letter from financial sponsors (including their name and address), as well as copies of bank statements for the last three months showing the balance history for the student's account or the financial sponsor's account.

International students who will be coming to Southern's campus need some additional information about travel documents and living on campus.

  • View more information for international applicants

    • Form I-20:  After all qualifying documentation is received, Southern Adventist University issues a letter of acceptance and the Form I-20. The letter and form must be presented to the U.S. consular officer when applying for a student visa. Only students approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service for attendance at Southern may enroll.
    • On campus:  International students are encouraged to arrive on campus two weeks prior to the beginning of classes. They should contact the international student adviser as soon as they arrive. Graduate Studies must be notified if there is any change in the arrival date after admission has been granted. Individuals with student visas are required to be enrolled in a full course study (a minimum of nine graduate credit hours) during the school year.
    • Employment:  International students with an F-1 Student Visa may work on campus, provided that employment is available and provided that the student is enrolled in a full course of study and is making progress to the completion of a degree. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and 40 hours per week during university vacation days.
    • When you are ready to travel: International students should not leave their homeland until they have in their possession:
      1. An admission letter of acceptance from Southern Adventist University
      2. Form I-20 issued by Southern Adventist University
      3. A valid passport
      4. A valid F-1 Student Visa to travel to the United States
      5. Sufficient funds for the first year at Southern Adventist University

 

Graduate assistantship

If you are interested in a graduate assistantship, please contact the graduate counselor for more information.

MSW Accreditation Assessment

The Master of Social Work program utilizes multiple measures to assess student competency in advanced generalist social work practice.

View the outcome data for the 2016 MSW graduates » 

Course guide

Emphases are offered based on student interest. A minimum of six students is required for an emphasis to be offered.

Select an emphasis:

Child and Family Advocacy and Treatment

The Child and Family Advocacy and Treatment emphasis provides advanced theoretical knowledge and skill building in child and family social work practice.

The Mental Health Practice in Social Work emphasis provides advanced theoretical knowledge and skill building in mental health social work practice and psychopharmacology.

The Trauma and Emergency Management emphasis provides advanced theoretical knowledge and skill building in trauma and emergency management social work practice.

FOUNDATION CORE Credits
  SOCW 509 Social Work Practice With Individuals and Families 3
  SOCW 511 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Biological and Psychological Development 3
  SOCW 512 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Sociological and Spiritual Development 3
  SOCW 513 Foundation Portfolio Seminar I 1
  SOCW 514 Social Work Practice With Groups, Organizations, and Communities 3
  SOCW 516 Foundation Portfolio Seminar II 1
  SOCW 533 Social Welfare Issues and Policies 3
  SOCW 541 Integration of Faith and Foundation Practice: Seminar I 1
  SOCW 542 Integration of Faith and Foundation Practice: Seminar II 1
  SOCW 547 Foundation Practicum (may be taken in increments of 1-6 hours) 6
  SOCW 597 Research Methods 3
Foundation Core Total   28
ADVANCED CORE Credits
  SOCW 608 Advanced Social Policy 3
  SOCW 611 Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Interventions 3
  SOCW 612 Advanced Administrative Practice: Program Development 3
  SOCW 617 Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Assessment, Psychopathology, & Psychotherapeutic Skills 3
  SOCW 618 Advanced Administrative Practice: Administrative and Leadership Skills 3
  SOCW 620 Advanced Portfolio Seminar I 1
  SOCW 621 Advanced Portfolio Seminar II 1
  SOCW 641 Integration of Faith and Advanced Practice: Seminar I 1
  SOCW 642 Integration of Faith and Advanced Practice: Seminar II 1
  SOCW 647 Advanced Practicum (may be taken in increments of 1-5 hours) 5
Advanced Core Total   24
CHILD AND FAMILY ADVOCACY AND TREATMENT Credits
  SOCW 654 Child and Family Advocacy and Treatment: Emphasis Foundation 3
  SOCW 655 Child and Family Advocacy and Treatment: Emphasis I 3
  SOCW 656 Child and Family Advocacy and Treatment: Emphasis II 3
Emphasis Total   9
  MSW Total   33 – 61
FOUNDATION CORE Credits
  SOCW 509 Social Work Practice With Individuals and Families 3
  SOCW 511 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Biological and Psychological Development 3
  SOCW 512 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Sociological and Spiritual Development 3
  SOCW 513 Foundation Portfolio Seminar I 1
  SOCW 514 Social Work Practice With Groups, Organizations, and Communities 3
  SOCW 516 Foundation Portfolio Seminar II 1
  SOCW 533 Social Welfare Issues and Policies 3
  SOCW 541 Integration of Faith and Foundation Practice: Seminar I 1
  SOCW 542 Integration of Faith and Foundation Practice: Seminar II 1
  SOCW 547 Foundation Practicum (may be taken in increments of 1-6 hours) 6
  SOCW 597 Research Methods 3
Foundation Core Total   28
ADVANCED CORE Credits
  SOCW 608 Advanced Social Policy 3
  SOCW 611 Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Interventions 3
  SOCW 612 Advanced Administrative Practice: Program Development 3
  SOCW 617 Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Assessment, Psychopathology, & Psychotherapeutic Skills 3
  SOCW 618 Advanced Administrative Practice: Administrative and Leadership Skills 3
  SOCW 620 Advanced Portfolio Seminar I 1
  SOCW 621 Advanced Portfolio Seminar II 1
  SOCW 641 Integration of Faith and Advanced Practice: Seminar I 1
  SOCW 642 Integration of Faith and Advanced Practice: Seminar II 1
  SOCW 647 Advanced Practicum (may be taken in increments of 1-5 hours) 5
Advanced Core Total   24
MENTAL HEALTH PRACTICE IN SOCIAL WORK Credits
  COUN 521 Psychopathology 3
  SOCW 676 Mental Health Practice in Social Work: Evolving Perspectives and Advanced Contemporary Practice Emphasis 3
  SOCW 677 Mental Health Practice in Social Work: Evolving Perspectives and Advanced Contemporary Practice Emphasis II 3
Emphasis Total   9
  MSW Total   33 – 61
FOUNDATION CORE Credits
  SOCW 509 Social Work Practice With Individuals and Families 3
  SOCW 511 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Biological and Psychological Development 3
  SOCW 512 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Sociological and Spiritual Development 3
  SOCW 513 Foundation Portfolio Seminar I 1
  SOCW 514 Social Work Practice With Groups, Organizations, and Communities 3
  SOCW 516 Foundation Portfolio Seminar II 1
  SOCW 533 Social Welfare Issues and Policies 3
  SOCW 541 Integration of Faith and Foundation Practice: Seminar I 1
  SOCW 542 Integration of Faith and Foundation Practice: Seminar II 1
  SOCW 547 Foundation Practicum (may be taken in increments of 1-6 hours) 6
  SOCW 597 Research Methods 3
Foundation Core Total   28
ADVANCED CORE Credits
  SOCW 608 Advanced Social Policy 3
  SOCW 611 Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Interventions 3
  SOCW 612 Advanced Administrative Practice: Program Development 3
  SOCW 617 Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Assessment, Psychopathology, & Psychotherapeutic Skills 3
  SOCW 618 Advanced Administrative Practice: Administrative and Leadership Skills 3
  SOCW 620 Advanced Portfolio Seminar I 1
  SOCW 621 Advanced Portfolio Seminar II 1
  SOCW 641 Integration of Faith and Advanced Practice: Seminar I 1
  SOCW 642 Integration of Faith and Advanced Practice: Seminar II 1
  SOCW 647 Advanced Practicum (may be taken in increments of 1-5 hours) 5
Advanced Core Total   24
TRAUMA AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Credits
  SOCW 670 Trauma and Emergency Management: Emphasis Foundation 3
  SOCW 671 Trauma and Emergency Management: Emphasis I 3
  SOCW 672 Trauma and Emergency Management: Emphasis II 3
Emphasis Total   9
  MSW Total   33 – 61

Faculty

Evie Nogales Baker
Evie Nogales Baker

Associate Professor
evien@southern.edu
423.236.2640

Stephanie Guster
Stephanie Guster

Assistant Professor
sguster@southern.edu
423.236.2637

Annette Heck
Annette Heck

Associate Professor
aheck@southern.edu
423.236.2630

Lorri Merchant
Lorri Merchant

Associate Professor
lmerchant@southern.edu
423.236.2641

Nina Nelson
Nina Nelson

Assistant Professor
nnelson@southern.edu
423.236.2635

Laura Racovita-Szilagyi
Laura Racovita-Szilagyi

Associate Professor
racovita@southern.edu
423.236.2638

Corneliu Rusu
Corneliu Rusu

Associate Professor
crusu@southern.edu
423.236.2628

Get started

I welcome your email or call with questions about our master's degree in social work at Southern. It will be a pleasure to assist you. I look forward to working with you.

Tricia Foster

Graduate Enrollment Counselor
tfoster@southern.edu
423.236.2629