Explicit Curriculum

Curriculum/Explicit Curriculum Review and Revision

200xEfforts the School has made to review our explicit curriculum in the past few years are intricately tied to our success in fostering a strong implicit curriculum. Indeed, faculty model cultural humility in the classroom and how to respectfully engage in difficult and emotional conversations around “isms” and oppression.  We cannot successfully foster a strong implicit curriculum without adequate attention to issues of diversity and oppression in the classroom and effective facilitation of challenging conversations that result from the introduction of these topics as they relate to social problems, policies, and social work practice. Our curriculum-related efforts over the past several years include the addition of new courses, significant growth in our international programming, and on-going critique and revision of diversity content within our curriculum by the Master’s Program Committee (MPC).

Masters Program Committee (MPC) 
Diversity Curriculum Revision Process Timeline


  • Foundation diversity and racism course removed and replaced with infusion throughout foundation courses; advanced diversity course requirement established & informed by faculty research:  
  • Deal and Hyde, 2004. Understanding MSW Student Anxiety and Resistance to Multicultural Learning: A Developmental Perspective. Journal of Social Work Education, Vol 24(1/2), pp. 73-86. 
  • 15 MSW courses meet the advanced diversity requirement as of 2018 


  • History of Oppression 1-credit online course added to curriculum and offered every semester since this time. 


  • Summer: MPC Environmental Scan of teaching models & literature regarding teaching diversity and oppression content 
  • Fall: Presentation of environmental scan findings to MPC 


  • FO votes to adopt new “Curriculum Diversity Principles” developed by the MPC/DAO and charges MPC with identifying how these are reflected in foundation and advanced courses 


  • MPC conducts year-long scan of how diversity principles are reflected in the curriculum, alongside the MSW program self-study process.  
  • Scan concludes with consensus to create the equivalent of 3 credits of new diversity content to be required in the foundation program, and to build upon and infuse that content into all MSW courses once the new content is established and remove the advanced diversity requirement. 


  • MPC/DAO subcommittee engages in a year-long process to develop a new Diversity and Anti-Oppression course (includes faculty, students, and alumni) 
  • Proposal for two test models presented to FO spring 2018 
  • Two Diversity and Anti-Oppression course models tested in fall 2018 


  • MPC votes to approve the creation of: 
  1. A Field Seminar (scaled fall 2019) 
  1. A 3-credit 15 week required foundation diversity and anti-oppression course (tested fall/spring 2019; scaled fall 2020) 
  1. Online History of Oppression pre-req (scaled fall 2020)