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College of Social Work

  • Professor Aidyn Iachini teaches an MSW class.

Curriculum

Earning your master's degree in social work prepares you for a meaningful professional career as an advanced generalist social worker. 

Program Overview

The MSW program offers a advanced generalist competency-based curriculum. Our graduates are expected to demonstrate professional competencies across levels of practice. These competencies are informed by social work knowledge, values, skills, cognitive and affective processes and applied in the service of enhancing the well-being of individuals and communities.

All MSW program options and master plans of study have been carefully designed to ensure graduates gain advanced specialized practice competencies across all five client system levels including individual, families, groups, organizations and communities. 

Program Options

The MSW program is designed to help you earn your degree on a timeline that best fits your needs. 

  •  Columbia Program Option: The Columbia MSW Program option offers a face-to-face 11-month Advanced Standing program, a two-year Full-time program, or a three-year Extended-time program of study.
  •  Greenville Program Option: The Greenville MSW Program option offers a face-to-face three-year Extended-time program of study.
  • Charleston Program Option: The Charleston MSW program option offers a face-to-face three-year Extended-time program of study. 
  • Online Program Option: COMING SOON!  The two-year Full-time online program option offers synchronous and asynchronous coursesApplications will be accepted for the Fall 2025 enrollment beginning September 2024.  

Pathways to degree completion include the following master plan of study options:

  • 11-Month Advanced Standing Program in Columbia for students who have earned a bachelor's degree in social work
  • Two-Year Full-time Program in Columbia 
  • Two-Year Full-time Online Program: a mix of Synchronous and Asynchronous Courses (beginning Fall 2025)  
  • Three-Year Extended-time Program in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston 

Degree Requirements

Our program’s academic regulations are consistent with the Graduate School and in accordance with accreditation standards established by the Council on Social Work Education. 

  • Full-time and Extended-time students must complete 60 credit hours
  • Advanced Standing students must complete 42 credit hours
  • All graduate-level studies must be completed in six years

All students must also successfully complete a comprehensive assessment that is distinct from program course requirements. The comprehensive assessment requires students to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences and apply theories and principles to aspects of professional practice and research in social work. 

Detailed Course Descriptions 

Summer Semester

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 701 Professional Development Bridge 3
SOWK 702 
or SOWK XXX
Writing for Professional Social Work Practice
OR 
Elective Course (contingent upon results of online writing assessment)
3
SOWK 777 Advanced Theory for Social Work Practice 3
SOWK XXX Elective Course 3

 

Advanced Year – Fall

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 779 Advanced Social Work Interventions 3
SOWK 783 Field Instruction III: Advanced Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 792
or
SOWK 793
Evaluation of Social Work Practice
OR
Evaluation of Social Work Programs
3
SOWK XXX Elective Course 3
SOWK XXX Elective Course 3

 

Advanced Year – Spring

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 718 Systems Analysis of Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 778 Advanced Analysis of Social Policy, Programs, and Services
SOWK 784 Field Instruction IV: Advanced Social Work Practice
SOWK XXX Practice Elective Course *
SOWK XXX Elective Course

 

Detailed Course Descriptions 

Foundation Year – Fall

Generalist Year – Fall Semester Course No.   Title Credit
SOWK 712 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3
SOWK 714 Diversity and Social Justice Issues for Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 716 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3
SOWK 781 Field Instruction I: Generalist Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 791 Social Work Research Methodologies 3

 

Foundation Year – Spring

 Generalist Year – Spring Semester Course No.   Title Credit
SOWK 722 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families and Small Groups 3
SOWK 732 Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities 3
SOWK 742 Social Welfare Policy Analysis 3
SOWK ___ Elective 3
SOWK 782 Field Instruction II: Generalist Social Work Practice 3

 

Advanced Year – Fall

 Advanced Generalist Year – Fall Semester Course No.   Title Credit
SOWK ___ Advanced Practice with Individuals  3
SOWK ___ Advanced Practice with Groups   3
SOWK ___ Advanced Practice with Organizations   3
SOWK 792
or
SOWK 793

Evaluation of Social Work Practice

OR

Evaluation of Social Work Programs  
Field Instruction III

3
SOWK 783  Advanced Social Work Practice  3

 

Advanced Year – Spring

Advanced Generalist Year – Spring Semester Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 718 Systems Analysis of Social Work Practice 3
SOWK ___ Advanced Practice with Families   3
SOWK ___ Advanced Practice with Communities   3
SOWK ___ Elective Course * 3
SOWK 784 Field Instruction IV: Advanced Social Work Practice   3

 

Our MSW program offers options for Extended-time students in Greenville, SC at the University Center of Greenville , in Charleston, SC at 4130 Faber Pl Dr #100, North Charleston, SC 29405 and in Columbia, SC at the USC-Columbia campus.

Detailed Course Descriptions 

First Year, Generalist – Fall Semester 

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 712 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3
SOWK 714 Diversity and Social Justice Issues for Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 781.JXn Field Instruction I: Generalist Social Work Practice (Seminar)  3

 

 First Year, Generalist – Spring Semester 

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 716 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3
SOWK 722 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families and Small Groups  3
SOWK 782. JXn Field Instruction II: Generalist Social Work Practice (Seminar)  2

 

First Year, Generalist – Summer Semester 

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 742 Social Welfare Policy Analysis  3
SOWK 732 Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities  3
SOWK 782. EX2 Field Instruction II: Generalist Social Work Practice (no seminar)  1

  

 Second Year, Transition to Advanced Generalist – Fall Semester 

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK ___ Elective Course  3
SOWK 792 Evaluation of Social Work Practice   3
SOWK 783. EX1 Field Instruction III: Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice  1

 Second Year, Advanced Generalist – Spring Semester 

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK ___ Elective Course  3  
SOWK 792  Evaluation of Social Work Practice   3
SOWK 783.JXn Field Instruction III: Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice  1

Second Year, Advanced Generalist – Summer Semester 

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 735  Advanced Practice with Individuals 3
SOWK 775  Advanced Practice with Groups 3
SOWK 783. JXn Field Instruction III: Advanced Social Work Practice  1

Third Year, Advanced Generalist – Fall Semester 

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 755  Advanced Practice with Organizations   3
SOWK 766  Advanced Practice with Families 
SOWK 784. JXn Field Instruction IV: Advanced Social Work Practice  1

Third Year, Advanced Generalist – Spring Semester 

Course No. Title Credit
SOWK 718  Systems Analysis of Social Work Practice  3
SOWK 776  Advanced Practice with Communities 
SOWK 784. JXn Field Instruction IV: Advanced Social Work Practice (completion credit)  2

 

Field practicum will start at the beginning of the first year and run continuously throughout the program  including both summers. The generalist practice field practicum occurs in the first 3 semesters, and the advanced generalist field practicum occurs in the remaining five semesters. This field practicum plan equates to 8 required hours per week in field practicum for the entire program.

 


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