School of Social Work
Carrie Jefferson Smith, Director, 315-443-5562
Faculty Keith A. Alford, Maria Brown, Kendra DeLoach, Paul Caldwell, Kenneth N. Corvo, Ellen deLara, Alejandro Garcia, Pamela Johnson, Eric Kingson, Karen E. Kirkhart, Tracey Musarra Marchese, Deborah J. Monahan, Nancy R. Mudrick, Merril Silverstein, Carrie Jefferson Smith, Yvonne Smith, Matthew Spitzmueller, Bette Brown Thoreck
Director of Field Instruction Deborah Ducett, 315-443-5586, Sims Hall
Bette Brown Thoreck, Baccalaureate Program Director, 315-443-9723
The undergraduate professional social work program offers a bachelor of science degree. The goals of this program, in order of priority, are as follows:
- To prepare undergraduate students for competent and effective generalist professional practice by developing the requisite social work knowledge, values, and skills, and
- To prepare undergraduate students for continuing professional education and/or graduate education.
The social work program is based on the concept of ecological systems, which maintains that the fundamental focus of social work practice is on the transactions of people and their environments, and on the constant state of reciprocity in which each shapes the other. Social work intervention aims to promote the progressive forces and minimize the regressive forces in those transactions. The curriculum incorporates instruction in five professional foundation areas: social welfare policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, research, social work practice, and field practicum. Instruction in these areas builds upon a carefully chosen and strong liberal arts preparation in the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences taken within the College of Arts and Sciences .
The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Contact Carrie J. Smith, MSW Program Director, 315-443-5562.
The School of Social Work educates practitioners grounded in social work values and evidence-informed practice to foster strengths and to respond to human service needs of local, state, national and global communities. We accomplish this in collaboration with the practice community through teaching, research, scholarship, and service aimed at achieving social and economic justice in a diverse society.
The school offers two graduate programs leading to the Social Work, MSW degree. The first is a two-year M.S.W. program. The second is an advanced standing program, open only to students who hold a bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Both graduate programs prepare students for advanced social work practice and leadership. The graduate program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The social work program is based on the concept of ecological systems. This concept maintains that the fundamental focus of social work practice is on the transactions of people and their environments and the constant state of reciprocity in which each shapes the other. Social work intervention aims to promote the progressive forces and minimize the regressive forces in those transactions.
More than 200 social welfare and health agencies in Central New York provide graduate field instruction opportunities. Graduate students in the two-year degree program must complete 1000 hours of field experience concurrent with their academic work, thereby integrating classroom and field learning.
Dual M.S.W./M.A. program in Social Work and Marriage and Family Therapy
The interdisciplinary program allows students to complete degrees in two distinct professions, the Master of Social Work (MSW) and the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) in three years. The dual degree exposes students to the philosophical and legal distinctions of both degrees, creates a unique opportunity for MSW students to deepen their clinical training with couples and families, and introduces MFT students to a broader range of social work and social welfare course offerings, as well as the art of clinical diagnosis which is in the scope of practice of the Social Work profession.
The dual degree is offered as both a 96-credit, three -year program (for students not admitted to the Advance Standing MSW program), or a 78-credit two-year program (for students admitted to the MSW Advance Standing program).
The program extends the advanced clinical preparation of the MSW to include an additional year of intensive MFT clinical supervision. It combines the MSW ability to work with systems of all sizes with the more singular focus on families by MFT.
Joint Juris Doctor (J.D. and Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
The Social Work, JD/MS is a joint degree which may be conferred by the College of Law and the Syracuse University School of Social Work. Students enrolled in these programs may obtain their J.D. and M.S.W. in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued. Candidates for admission to the joint degree program must first gain admission to each participating academic unit. Applicants for one of the joint Law/Social Work programs must file a petition requesting admission to the joint degree program with the College of Law Interdisciplinary Programs Committee. Interested students should contact the College of Law Advisor, who will assist in the preparation of the petition. The petition must state the proposed program’s objective and include a comprehensive plan of proposed study. A Social Work faculty advisor will provide guidance to meet the requirements for the M.S.W.
The regular M.S.W. can be completed in conjunction with the J.D. in 3 years of full-time study with a total of 120 credit hours (72 Law and 48 Social Work). Persons with an accredited BSSW are eligible for the Advanced Standing program in social work (72 Law and 30 Social Work).
Students in the two-year M.S.W. program begin full-time study only in the fall semester. Advanced standing students begin study in the second summer session. The awarding of the degree requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses required for the degree. All degree requirements must have been completed within seven years prior to the date of the degree award.
Matriculated students who voluntarily interrupt graduate study for more than one academic year and wish to be re-admitted will be evaluated by the MSW Program and Field Office directors. Required reevaluation criteria vary according to individual circumstances. The re-admission process is initiated by a letter to the director of the MSW program in the School of Social Work, outlining circumstances of interruption and plans for completion of graduate study.
Graduate credit earned in another accredited graduate school and carrying a grade of B or higher may be transferred toward the M.S.W. degree, so long as it forms an integral part of the degree program and is approved by the School of Social Work. A maximum of 12 credits from other graduate study may be transferred toward the 60-credit M.S.W. degree requirement. Academic credit is not given for life experience or previous work experience. Advanced standing M.S.W. students may not transfer credits from another college or university.
Decisions regarding credit transfer are made independent of admissions decisions. Matriculation as a transfer student in the School of Social Work requires completion of the formal admissions process.
Students unable to enroll full time may complete the program through part-time study. Several options are available. Evening, daytime, and summer courses are offered. Several courses may also be available in one week intensive “minimester” formats.
A limited number of Syracuse University scholarships and fellowships are available to both first- and second-year graduate students on the basis of need and merit. All financial aid decisions are made independent of and subsequent to decisions on admission.