Welcome to one of the top Council on Social Work Education-accredited social work programs in the country for those interested in studying clinical social work, human services management, and community organization.
Our competency-based 60-credit master’s degree is divided between 24 foundation credits and 36 advanced credits, where students can choose from a rich curriculum of advanced courses and become the leaders of tomorrow. We educate students to face the challenges of the future—whether it is helping adults and children struggling with emotional and adjustment issues, working side by side with community residents to improve their neighborhoods or guiding human service agencies to better serve the needs of their clients.
MSW Program Goals:
- use a person-in-environment framework and a strengths-based perspective that recognizes the multiple and intersecting causes of personal problems: psychological, biological, familial, organizational, community, political, economic, and social;
- embrace social work’s fundamental mission to promote social, economic, and environmental justice, which requires practice with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations and people of diverse backgrounds and needs within multiple systems, domestically and internationally;
- practice competently—working across the spectrum of social work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and society—and build on this strong foundation to practice at an advanced level in a method of concentration (clinical or macro social work) and an area of specialization;
- practice in a manner that reflects the values and principles underlying the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW);
- critically assess, implement, and inform evidence-based and best practices in social work;
- understand the critical influence of social policy on social work practice and engage in advocacy for socially just policies at all levels of society; and
- pursue ongoing professional development to become highly skilled practitioners and the next generation of social work leaders.
In the advanced year, students have the choice between the Clinical concentration and the Macro concentration. It is also possible to have a primary and secondary concentration. In addition, students choose a specialization or field of practice that will focus on work in a particular area of study within the concentration.
We also offer a one-year Advanced Standing program (36 credits) for students entering with a BSW from an accredited program. Students will typically take 30 credits during the fall and spring semesters and the remaining 6 credits in the summer after their enrollment. The Advanced Standing program may be extended to be completed in no more than two years.
Course Offerings | Important Program Notes | MSW Program at Shady Grove (USG)
The field practicum is the signature pedagogy of the MSW program. It is a required component of the Master’s curriculum, with specific professional competencies and practice behaviors that each student must demonstrate.
The School utilizes a concurrent model of Field Education that requires students to take classroom methods courses while in field placement. Included in a student’s plan of study will be two different field placements: first year Foundation and second year Advanced. These placements are located in social service agencies, departments, or other service delivery systems throughout the Baltimore/Washington Metro Region. Field placements take place during traditional workday hours and begin in the fall and continue through the spring semester.
It is through the integration of theoretical, research, and practice-oriented material presented in the classroom, and the opportunity for guided practice experiences available through Field Education that University of Maryland School of Social Work students become prepared for professional practice.
- Foundation year field placements are two full days a week (usually either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays) for a total of sixteen (16) hours each week for a minimum of fifteen (15) weeks each semester (a minimum of four hundred and eighty  hours for the Foundation year). Each field practicum day must not exceed eight hours.
- Advanced year field placements are three full days a week (usually Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) for a total of twenty-four (24) hours each week for a minimum of fifteen (15) weeks each semester (a minimum of seven hundred and twenty  hours for the advanced year). Each field practicum day must not exceed eight hours.
- There is the opportunity for employment-based field practicum with strict criteria and approval from the agency and the Office of Field Education required.
- Placements are generally within a (50) mile radius of the student’s home.
- The foundation and advanced field practicum are performed in two different settings.
Students who have full-time jobs need to plan for release time from their regular work to participate in field practicum. All students must allocate time to complete field practicum requirements within the above noted days and hours.