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MSW Course Descriptions

Courses Offered

SOWK 5308. Human Behavior in Individual and Family Social Environments.

This foundation graduate course presents individual and family dynamics across the life cycle, centering on human development, individual and group strengths, and the effects of cultural diversity. It enhances critical thinking and assessment skills about human behavior in social environments, and incorporates material on professional values, ethics, and social justice.

SOWK 5309. Human Behavior in Local and Global Social Environments.

This foundation graduate course explores human functioning in the environment by studying families, groups, communities, organizations, and societies in local and global contexts. Through learning content on diversity, populations at risk, and social and economic justice, students build critical thinking and assessment skills using developmental and eco-systems frameworks.

SOWK 5310. Social Welfare Policy and Services.

This foundation course studies the United States’ social welfare system, emphasizing how social welfare policies affect diverse populations. Topics include social welfare history; and policy development, implementation, evaluation, and values. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

SOWK 5312. Social Work Intervention in Drug Addiction & Abuse.

This elective course focuses on commonly used and abused drugs as well as the dynamics and treatment of addiction. It emphasizes social work intervention aimed at addiction prevention and treatment. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.

SOWK 5313. Foundation Social Work Practice I.

This foundation course explores generalist social work theory and practice methodology in problem solving with individuals, families, and groups, emphasizing data collection, assessment, intervention planning, and evaluation. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.S.W. degree program.

SOWK 5314. Foundation Social Work Practice II.

This foundation skill-development course emphasizes generalist social work practice with task groups, organizations, and communities. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.S.W. degree program.

SOWK 5315. Social Work Intervention in Child Abuse & Neglect.

This elective course considers child welfare services available to abused and neglected children in their own homes, in substitute care, and through the community, emphasizing social work intervention with children and their families. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.

SOWK 5316. Foundation Social Work Practice III.

This foundation course develops the student’s interpersonal and communication skills with clients and other professionals. Students must demonstrate competence in interviewing, assessment, and planning skills. Students learn to collect data to support assessment, plan intervention, and evaluate practice. Prerequisites: SOWK 5313.

SOWK 5317. Social Work Research.

This foundation course builds introductory scientific research skills in critical thinking and knowledge of program and practice evaluation. It prepares students to read, interpret, and critique research with skepticism and rigor and to perform various research and social work practice activities. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.

SOWK 5322. Advanced Social Policy and Social Justice.

This advanced course, a study of social legislation affecting disadvantaged persons, emphasizes policy analysis, values, and advocacy through studying social policy history; developing, implementing, and evaluating policy; and influencing social and economic justice. Prerequisite: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.

SOWK 5323. Advanced Social Work Research.

This advanced course builds knowledge and skills for systematically evaluating programs and practice. It enhances effective and ethical social work practice by teaching skills necessary to design, implement, and empirically assess intervention with client and programs. Prerequisites: SOWK 5317, Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.

SOWK 5328. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging.

This interdisciplinary elective course provides a graduate-level foundation in knowledge and skills used to address a wide range of needs among the aging population, their families, and support systems. Biophysical, psychosocial, and environmental perspectives will be integrated into development of culturally competent approaches to work with elders in many fields. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.

SOWK 5332. Helping Troops Transition Back to their Families and Communities: The Invisible Wounds of War.

The elective course examines topics at the individual, family, group, organizational, and community levels related to troops who are returning from current combat operations and their families. It reviews the needs, community resources, and policies in place for helping them and their families make this transition. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor approval.

SOWK 5300A. Adventure Therapy: Theory, Research & Practice.

This elective course will examine adventure therapy theory, research, and practice within a social work framework. Students will have the opportunity to engage in research-informed practice and develop skills in adventure therapy group facilitation. Prerequisite: Graduate student in good standing.

SOWK 5300B. Spirituality in Social Work Practice.

This elective course provides an advanced comprehensive framework of knowledge, values, and skills necessary for ethical and effective spiritually-relevant practice. It examines spirituality as an integral component of a strengths-based approach to social work practice with diverse and/or vulnerable clients. It integrates a contemporary global perspective with critical self-reflection. Prerequisite: Graduate student in good academic standing; Department approval.

SOWK 5300C. School Social Work.

This elective course is an advanced analysis and assessment of social services in the school setting, including: educational issues, conceptual framework, policies, and service delivery systems. Special attention is paid to cultural diversity, special populations, parent-school collaboration, community liaison, referral systems, and change. Additionally, this course covers individual and group intervention Prerequisite: Graduate student in good academic standing; Department approval.

SOWK 5300D. Hip Hop and Social Justice for Individual and Community Change.

Contemporary issues of equity and justice are investigated for potential influences on health and well-being. In this elective, students will compare professional application of Hip Hop integrated strategies within therapeutic, education, physical health, and afterschool and summer programs. Students will also understand the interdisciplinary aspects of community-based strategies to promote equity and justice. Prerequisite: Graduate student in good academic standing; Department approval.

SOWK 5300E. Social Work and Health Care.

This elective course provides a generalist view of social work practice in mental health and public health, considering the social problems that affect health care, and ethical and effective intervention strategies and service delivery systems. Prerequisite: Graduate student in good academic standing; Department approval.

SOWK 5300F. International Social Work.

The elective course covers advanced theoretical and practical approaches to empowerment, social and economic justice, and human rights. Particular cultures and specific global problems are examined in-depth to promote student acquisition of an international worldview for human global change based on social work values and research-informed practice. Prerequisite: Graduate status.

SOWK 5300G. Ghana: Human Rights and Social Justice Applied.

This graduate study abroad course focuses on applied social justice and human rights in a global context from an interdisciplinary standpoint in Ghana. The course involves both experiential and classroom learning with a significant international-based service learning component that intentionally integrates community service, academic learning, and civic learning.

SOWK 5300H. Comparative Social Work Ethics in Canterbury.

This study abroad course assists students in expanding an intermediate level of knowledge, values, and skills in the area of ethics in social work. The NASW Code of Ethics (US) and the National Codes of Ethics from the International Federation of Social Workers are used.

SOWK 5300I. Social Work and Social Services in Canterbury.

The purpose of this study abroad course is to assist the student in exploring social work processes, social service provision and services to special populations in Canterbury, England. Agency visits or primary research will guide learning.

SOWK 5300K. Innovative Community Engagement with Vulnerable Populations.

This service-learning, Study-in-America course will require students to identify, examine, and critically analyze social service programs which provide services to vulnerable populations (persons experiencing poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, criminal justice issues, etc). Additional components of the course include travel to and participation in service-learning/volunteer activities in Louisiana. Prerequisite: Enrolled in a graduate program at Texas State University; good academic standing.

SOWK 5370. Advanced Program Planning and Grant-Based Resource Development.

This advanced course emphasizes social work practice in building and developing non-profit and public human services organizations. Course topics include: determining organizational needs and priorities; identifying resources to address needs and priorities; and pursuing grant-funded resources to address organizational needs. Prerequisites: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.

SOWK 5371. Advanced Assessment, Leadership, and Supervision in Social Service Organizations.

This advanced course focuses on observational and interview-based evaluations of organizational functioning related to change, diversity, ethical decision-making, budgeting, and implementation of action plans. The course also focuses on development of supervisory strategies to effectively lead and transform an organization. Prerequisites: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.

SOWK 5372. Advanced Diagnostic Assessment and Intervention with Individuals.

This advanced course focuses on culturally relevant diagnostic assessment of and intervention with individuals based on current theory. The course emphasizes critical analysis of contemporary mental health practice using a psychosocial framework. Prerequisites: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.

SOWK 5373. Advanced Intervention with Families and Groups.

This advanced course focuses on culturally relevant knowledge and skills for theory-based, therapeutic assessment and intervention with diverse families and groups. The course emphasizes systemic, critical analysis of contemporary mental health practice using a psychosocial, strengths-based framework. Prerequisites: Advanced standing, foundation coursework completion, or instructor approval.

SOWK 5410. Foundation Field I (Concurrent).

This foundation course consists of supervised beginning generalist social work practice in agencies for a minimum of 180 clock hours, applying classroom knowledge to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Prerequisites: Admission to MSW degree program and completed field application process.

SOWK 5411. Foundation Field II (Concurrent).

This second foundation course continues supervised generalist social work practice in agencies for a minimum of 180 clock hours, applying classroom knowledge to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Prerequisites: SOWK 5410 and Field Director approval.

SOWK 5678 Advanced Practicum I

This course is the first part of the advanced MSW practicum in which students participate in supervised social work practice internships in community agencies and facilities. Students apply classroom knowledge to activities and interventions serving individuals, families, groups, and communities for a minimum of 270 semester clock hours. Prerequisite: Admission to MSW degree program and approval of MSW Field Director.

SOWK 5679 Advance Practicum II

This course is the second in the MSW advanced/final practicum sequence. The course builds on the experiential learning in Advanced Practicum I, and continues the application of classroom knowledge. The Advanced Practicum 2 focuses on more complex, micro, mezzo, and/or macro learning in diverse community social service agencies and/or facilities for 270 semester clock hours. Prerequisite: SOWK 5678 and Field Director approval.