The Master of Social Work (MSW) program is based on an analytical and critical approach to social work practice, and to knowledge related to practice. The program examines the structural context of personal and social problems, and of social work practice. The structural context refers to the interaction between individuals and the social, political, and economic aspects of society.
The program focuses on the development of forms of practice predicated on this notion, seeking to intervene to change the nature of the interaction between people and their structural contexts. The orientation of the School explicitly includes approaches to social development and social change which involves working directly with individuals, groups, and communities. This includes a strong emphasis on sensitivity to the individual, and on the development of new and innovative strategies for working with individuals in the context of their everyday lives.
The School also stresses community analysis and an awareness and knowledge of the social policies that affect the lives of all people in our society. Analysis of class, gender, and race is considered central to the curriculum. The central purpose of the graduate program is to provide students with the opportunity to build on their knowledge and experience. Students will be able to use the program to deepen their understanding of both the methods and contexts of practice, to build new knowledge, and to apply this new knowledge in a practical way.
The program requirements are designed to be as flexible as possible while at the same time ensuring that all students master core social work knowledge and practice skills. Graduates may expect to use their experience in the School as the basis for continuing to expand their personal knowledge in a society undergoing rapid change.