Oct 29, 2020  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
    
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Social Work, M.S.W.


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Admission Requirements

Application Deadline

Fall Admissions:  The deadline for submitting applications to the GCSW is March 1st.  Late applications may be accepted based on space availability.  For Fall Advanced Standing, application materials must be submitted earlier, no later than February 1st.

Spring Admissions:  A small cohort of Advanced Standing and transfer students are admitted in the spring.  The deadline for submitting applications to the GCSW for Spring is October 1st.


*To be eligible for Advanced Standing, applicants must hold a BSW degree

Admission Information Sessions For Prospective Applicants

Recognizing that many prospective applicants have questions about the M.S.W. program, its requirements, and curriculum, as well as about the social work profession, the GCSW offers a series of admissions information sessions during the year.  Interested persons should telephone at 713.743.8075 for information about dates and times, or check our GCSW website.

Admissions Mailing Address

Graduate College of Social Work
110 HA Social Work Building
ATTN.: M.S.W. Admissions
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-4013 
Telephone: 713.743.8075
Fax: 713.743.8049
E-mail: gcswinfo@uh.edu

All correspondence and admissions materials should be sent to this address.

A nonrefundable $60.00 application fee must accompany your application.  Any application received after March 1st is a late application; a non-refundable additional late fee of $50.00 will be charged. 

Admission Requirements and Documentation

To be considered for admission to the M.S.W. Program, applicants must:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.  The undergraduate education must reflect a sound liberal arts foundation, including courses in the humanities, as well as in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences.  You must submit official academic transcripts showing the date the degree was awarded.
  2. Have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of academic course work.  We will calculate your GPA based on your transcripts.
  3. Submit a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score.  You must have official test scores sent directly to the school.  Test scores should not be more than five years old.  The University of Houston’s institutional code for GRE is 6870.  For information about the GRE, call 1.866.473.4373 or go to the GRE website.
  4. Submit the names of three references who can address your ability and potential for graduate education and professional social work practice (i.e., former professors, employment supervisors, professional colleagues).
  5. Submit a personal narrative statement that describes your academic and employment histories, your interest in the social work profession, and your commitment to social and economic justice.  Guidelines for the narrative statement are included in the application.

Note:  Proficiency in English.  Any student, prior to admission or during their course of study, may be required to demonstrate English proficiency through submission of a satisfactory score on a test designated by the dean of the college.  Students whose written or spoken English skills appear to be marginal (i.e., they may impede academic success and/or reflect communication problems as a social work practitioner) may be required to seek instruction outside the college.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

Persons who hold a nonimmigrant type visa (F1 or J1) are classified as international applicants/students by the University of Houston.  Because the application process is more time consuming for persons from other countries or persons whose degrees were earned abroad, international applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

International applicants must submit additional materials to the University of Houston.  To find out about current requirements:  call UH Office of International Admissions at 713.743.1010 or see their Web site at http://www.uh.edu/admissions/international/.

Special Admission Categories

Conditional Admission

An applicant whose grade point average is below 3.0 for the last 60 hours of academic work may be admitted conditionally.  In addition to the requirements described previously, applicants for conditional admission must:

  1. have at least a 2.6 grade point average for the last 60 hours (or 90 quarter hours) of academic work.  This is a university requirement.
  2. submit a written request for conditional admission review.  Your request must include documentation (i.e., an official transcript) showing that you have met one of the following conditions for conditional admission:
    1. completed six hours of graduate course work (outside the GCSW) and earned grades of B (3.0) or above; or
    2. have 2 years continuous paid employment in the same social service agency, working in a social work capacity, documented by a letter from a direct supervisor, and have completed 3 SCHs of graduate coursework (ouside of GCSW) and earned a grade of B or above.

Coursework taken to meet the above criteria for conditional admission may not be applied to the M.S.W. degree.

Notes: 1) Students holding visas (F1 or J1) are not eligible for conditional admission at the graduate level at this university.  2) Conditional admission may negatively affect your eligibility for financial aid.  3) According to UH policy, students admitted conditionally must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 on their first 12 semester credit hours of graduate work.  Failure to achieve a 3.0 GPA will result in termination from the M.S.W. program.

Advanced Standing for B.S.W. Graduates

Applicants holding a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited undergraduate program may request review for Advanced Standing admission.

The Advanced Standing program allows B.S.W. students to waive the foundation course work at the GCSW, which is the equivalent of 15 semester credit hours of the 63 semester credit hour M.S.W. program.  Students can attend on a full-time or part-time basis.  Forty-eight credit hours are required to complete the program.  Full-time students complete the program in four semesters, or 16 months.

Applicants for Advanced Standing admission must meet all regular admissions requirements described previously, plus:

  1. At least one of your three references for your application must be from your faculty advisor or the chairperson of the Social Work Department where you completed your B.S.W. degree.
  2. You must have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of academic course work AND a 3.0 for your social work major.  We will calculate your GPA based on your transcripts.

Not everyone who applies for Advanced Standing will be admitted with the advanced status; the admissions committee may deny Advanced Standing but still approve admission to the regular program.

Social Work Transfer Students

Students who transfer to the GCSW from another CSWE accredited M.S.W. program must meet all regular admissions requirements, AND submit:

  1. a Statement of Good Standing from the dean or director of your program
  2. written evaluation of any previous field performance
  3. syllabi for courses completed

A maximum of 30 semester credit hours, earned within five years of the student’s enrollment at the GCSW, with grades of B or above, can be transferred for credit toward the M.S.W. degree at UH.

Admission Review and Decisions

Each application is reviewed by at least two GCSW admissions committee members.  Reviewers take into account the “whole applicant” and no single criterion automatically determines whether an applicant is or is not admitted into the program.  Reviews are done on a rolling basis - i.e., applications are reviewed as they are completed rather than waiting for the application deadline to occur.  Therefore, early application is encouraged since all openings may be filled prior to the application deadline.  Admissions decisions are communicated by email; no decisions are given over the telephone.

Degree Requirements

General requirements for the Master of Social Work degree include:

  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 63 semester credit hours in class and field instruction in social work;
  2. At least a 3.0 (B) cumulative grade point average for all classroom courses, plus grades of Satisfactory (S) in all field practicum courses;
  3. Faculty recommendation for award of the Master of Social Work degree;
  4. A nonrefundable fee is required when the student applies for graduation through the university’s Graduation Office.

The GSCW Curriculum

The GCSW offers an intensive first semester organized around content on the foundation of professional social work, human behavior, policy, practice and research.  A practice skills lab and a foundation field practicum (180 clock hours) are also required.  The foundation totals 15 credit hours.  Students must satisfactorily complete 15 credit hours in the foundation before enrolling in any advanced courses.

Foundation Purpose and Learning Objectives:

The M.S.W. program is rooted in the liberal arts and includes an integrated, professional foundation upon which the advanced curriculum is built.  Upon completion of the foundation curriculum, students will be able to:

  • Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice;
  • Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles, and practice accordingly;
  • Practice without discrimination with respect and with knowledge and skills related to age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation;
  • Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and delineate strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice;
  • Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues;
  • Apply the knowledge and skills of an integrated and contextualized social work perspective to practice with systems of all sizes;
  • Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand individual development and behavior across the life span and the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities;
  • Analyze and influence social policies;
  • Use critical thinking to evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions;
  • Use communication skills differentially across client populations, colleagues, and communities;
  • Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice;
  • Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems.

Advanced Curriculum: Clinical Practice or Macro Practice

*Students who have successfully completed the foundation semester select an advanced concentration in either Clinical Social Work Practice or Macro Practice.  Nine credit hours are required courses for clinical concentration and 12 for macro, as well as two field courses.

Clinical Practice is the application of theories, methods, skills, values and ethics needed to enhance the cognitive, mental, emotional, behavioral, physical and social well-being of individuals, couples, families, groups and communities.

Clinical practice requires leadership in promoting social, economic and political justice.  Its methods are relationship-centered, contextualized, culturally sensitive and strengths focused. It includes knowledge about biopsychosocial functioning - and - evidence based interventions.  Clinical practice includes, but is not limited to: assessment and intervention, diagnosis and treatment, education and prevention, advocacy, counseling and psychotherapy, and supervision and consultation.

Students in the Clinical concentration are required to take these three courses:

  • Transtheoretical:  Congnitive Behavior Interventions
  • Transtheoretical: Brief Targeted Interventions
  • Clinical Application of DSM (practice)

Macro Practice prepares students for practice in urban settings where the needs of diverse, vulnerable populations require highly skilled professional leaders.  Work in communities, in public and private organizations is designed to promote progressive social change that contributes to the growth and empowerment of individuals, agencies and communities.

Core concepts and practice skills are developed for work at the community, organizational, societal, and global levels.  Students are prepared to assume leadership positions as advocates, managers, program planners, researchers, policy analysts, and agency and community capacity builders.

Students in this concentration are required to take these four courses:

  • Administrative Practice (practice course)
  • Dynamics of Leadership (a combination human behavior & practice course)
  • Strategies of Advocacy and Community Development (theory/practice)
  • Social Policy Advocacy

*All students complete an advanced course in Social Welfare Policy Analysis, Multilevel Assessment, Evaluation of Practice (three credit hours each).

*All students complete at least one “crossover elective course.”  That is, Clinical students - will take at least one Macro Practice course and Macro Practice students - will take at least one elective Clinical course.

*All students complete 720 clock hours in advanced field practica; this is in addition to the 180 clock hours of foundation field (total clock hours = 900, 10 credit hours).

Course of Study and Enrollment Models

A minimum of 63 semester credit hours is required for the M.S.W. degree. Students are required to complete the 15-credit hour foundation plus 48 credit hours in the student’s chosen concentration and electives. Advance standing students complete 48 credit hours.

Students are admitted into 2-year, 3-year, or weekend hybrid college enrollment status.  After the foundation courses in the Fall, GCSW students choose either Clinical Practice (CP), or MACRO Practice for their concentration.  Specializations are available in Gerontological Social Work, Political Social Work, Social Work Practice with Latinos, and Health Disparities.  These optional specializations do not require additional credit hours; however, they are earned by completing 9 credit hours of select courses in the chosen specialization area, with a minimum of a “B” average.  For M.S.W. students, a related field practicum is encouraged.

Examples of enrollment models are shown below.

MSW Course of Study


A minimum of 63 semester credit hours is required for the M.S.W. degree.  All students are required to complete the 15-credit hour foundation semester, plus 48 credit hours in the student’s chosen concentration and electives.  Maximum enrollment for spring and fall is 15 semester credit hours and for summer is 6 semester credit hours.

Students are admitted into 2-Year (full-time), 3-Year (part-time) or weekend college enrollment status.  Changing from one enrollment plan to another requires prior approval from the advisor.  Shown below are models for the 2 Year and 3 Year options.  Enrollment models for weekend college and advanced standing can be found in the sections on the website covering information on those programs.

2-Year Clinical


Year 1


Fall

  • Foundation (15 SCH)
Spring

  • Assessment
  • FP II
  • DSM
  • Trans:  CBI/HBSE Elect
  • Crossover Elective/Policy
Summer

  • Elective
  • Elective

Year 2


Fall

  • Evaluation of Practice
  • Trans:  BTI
  • Policy/Crossover Elective
  • Trans:  CBI or HBSE Elect
  • FP III
Spring

  • FP IV
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

3-Year Clinical


Year 1


Fall

  • Foundation (15 SCH)
Spring

  • Assessment
  • FP II
Summer

  • Elective
  • Elective

Year 2


Fall

  • HBSE Elective
  • Policy/Crossover Elective
  • Evaluation of Practice
Spring

  • DSM
  • Transtheoretical:  Cog Beh
  • Crossover Elective or Policy
Summer

  • Elective
  • Elective

Year 3


Fall

  • FP III
  • Transtheoretical:  Brief Int.
Spring

  • FP IV
  • Elective

2-Year MACRO


Year 1


Fall

  • Foundation (15 SCH)
Spring

  • Assessment
  • FP II
  • Dynamics of Leadership
  • Policy
  • Elective
Summer

  • Elective
  • Elective 

Year 2


Fall

  • Community Development
  • Administrative Practice
  • Evaluation of Practice
  • Crossover Elective
  • FP III
Spring

  • FP IV
  • Advocacy
  • HBSE Elective
  • Elective

3-Year MACRO


Year 1


Fall

  • Foundation (15 SCH)
Spring

  • Assessment
  • FP II
Summer

  • Elective
  • Elective

Year 2


Fall

  • Community Development
  • Administrative Practice
Spring

  • Dynamics of Leadership
  • HBSE Elective
  • Crossover Elective or Policy
Summer

  • Elective
  • Elective

Year 3


Fall

  • FP III
  • Policy or Crossover Elective
  • Evaluation of Practice
Spring

  • FP IV
  • Advocacy

Total Credit Hours = 63


MACRO Practice students take one additional concentration course and one less elective.

Enrollment and Scheduling Notes


The foundation semester serves as the prerequisite for all other coursework.

Field IV must be taken in your graduating semester, and Field III must be taken in the semester immediately prior to Field IV.

A minimum of 63 credit hours is required for the M.S.W. 

The program cannot be completed totally in the evening or weekends.

The 15-semester credit hour foundation courses includes the following content areas:

  • Foundations of the Profession
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Social Work Practice
  • Practice Skills Lab
  • Research and Knowledge Building
  • Field Practicum

Before You Apply

The decision to enter a graduate, professional program leading to the M.S.W. is a significant one.  The combination of course work and field practicum is demanding and requires careful planning in order to move through the program successfully.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to consider the following information.

Course Scheduling:  The GCSW strives to maintain a diverse student body with both full-time and part-time students.  Many students are employed outside the home and have childcare responsibilities in addition to school.  As a result, students must make numerous adjustments in their schedules in order to attend classes and to fulfill the clock hour requirements for field practicum.  While we are aware of the multiple demands placed on our students, the program is highly structured and must be completed in sequence.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to plan carefully to ensure successful completion of the program.

A Caution about Fulltime Employment:  If you plan to enroll as a full-time student, we strongly advise against simultaneous fulltime employment.  From past experience, we know that this heavy load creates problems in class attendance, generates significant barriers to the completion of field practicum courses, and has resulted in academic failure.  The recommended balance of employment and graduate enrollment is:

Employment Hours per Week Semester Hours Enrolled
None 15 Credit Hours
Up to 10 12 - 15 Credit Hours
20 - 30 9 Credit Hours
More than 30 6 Credit Hours

Field Practicum:  Part of the uniqueness of the M.S.W. degree is in its applied focus as reflected by required field practicum courses.  In field courses, students are assigned as interns under the supervision of a social work field instructor in various practice settings.  The GCSW has affiliation agreements with more than 500 agencies in the greater Houston area that have met our criteria as approved field practicum sites.  Students are required to complete a total of 900 clock hours in field courses, starting in October of their first semester.  With the exception of weekend college, students should not expect to find field agencies available for night or weekend placements.

Academic and Professional Advising:  The GSCW has a full-time academic advisor who plays a pivotal role in the student’s academic life.  Advising sessions are held each semester as part of an ongoing process to help students negotiate the curriculum, discuss academic progress, and ensure that all requirements are being met
successfully.

Transfer Credit:  Students admitted to the GCSW who have previous graduate course work may discuss transfer of credit with their academic advisor.  Six hours of graduate course work may be applied to the M.S.W. degree with the advisor’s recommendation and approval of the Director of Student Affairs.  Course reviews for possible transfer credit are not initiated until the student’s first semester of enrollment when they can be discussed with the advisor.

Tuition and Fees:  Tuition and fees are based upon rates established by the State Legislature and/or the University of Houston Board of Regents and are determined by residence status and the number of hours taken.

For 2013, a Texas resident enrolled for 15 graduate credit hours paid approximately $5,500 in tuition and fees; a student enrolled in six graduate hours paid approximately $2,800.  For out of state (i.e., non-Texas resident) students, these figures are about $10,100 and $4,300, respectively.  Rates for international students are the same as non-resident students.  Costs of tuition and fees for nine week, or twelve-week summer sessions are the same as Fall and Spring; six-week sessions are slightly lower.  Check the university’s web site for the latest tuition and fee rates at www.uh.edu/sfs.

Note that these are minimum figures and that other fees may apply to a specific situation (e.g., off campus fees for courses taken at an off campus location, distance education fees for taped courses).

The university reserves the right to change tuition and other charges without notice as necessitated by university or legislative action.

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