The Master of Social Work program provides the preparation necessary for advanced professional social work practice. The degree is 64 credits. The foundation curriculum provides the knowledge, skills, values, and ethics essential to all forms and levels of generalist social work practice. In the advanced year of the program all students complete a concentration in contemporary, direct practice and are prepared to be advanced, social work practitioners using sophisticated clinical skills in work with individuals, small groups, families, and couples.
Organization and Structure of the Curriculum
All students in the foundation year of the Adelphi University M.S.W. program are required to take the same ten courses. Eight of the 10 are academic courses and two are supervised field internships in which students apply theories learned in class to direct practice with clients. The ten required first-year classes are distributed as follows: two consider social welfare policy; two examine theories of human behavior; two present theories of social work practice; one teaches about diversity, oppression, and cultural influences in social work practice; one teaches the methods of empirical research; and two provide supervised field instruction.
In the advanced year of their M.S.W. program, all students at Adelphi University must complete ten courses, two of which are supervised field internships. The eight remaining second-year classroom courses are distributed as follows: three courses in advanced social work practice; one course in assessment and diagnosis from a social work perspective; one course in advanced social work research; one course in the organizational context for professional practice; a capstone course; and one elective.
The social work practice methods sequence teaches the theoretical models, empirical bases, values and ethics, and skills that are required for direct work with individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities. These courses are reinforced by the field practicum as students put to use and integrate their newly gained knowledge about how to assess needs, set goals, and intervene with clients to achieve those goals. The human behavior and social environment courses provide foundation knowledge about the biological, psychological, and social determinants of human behavior that are essential to assessing the needs clients have, understanding their situation, and selecting intervention strategies. The social work practice methods and human behavior and the social environment courses are interrelated: a method of practice could not be taught without understanding the complex underpinnings of human behavior. The social work research courses instill a scientific approach to practice and provide the tools required to systematically evaluate social work practice and services, build the professional knowledge base, critically evaluate the professional literature as well as that of other disciplines, and assess the effectiveness of one’s own practice.
The social welfare policy and organization courses impart knowledge about the social policies, programs, and organizations that provide services and shape professional practice. They teach the theory, empirical data, values, and skills necessary to the development, design, implementation, and evaluation of social programs.