School of Social Work

The School of Social Work offers educational programs leading to the bachelor of social work,  master of social work, and doctor of philosophy degrees. The mission of the school is to solve biopsychosocial problems, improve individual and social conditions, and promote justice and human dignity through teaching, research, and service.

At the master's level, the School prepares students for evidence-informed advanced social work practice and leadership roles. Students are prepared to plan, administer, deliver, and evaluate social services for citizens of the state, region, and nation. The doctor of philosophy program prepares students for research careers in social work. Students learn theory-building, research methods, and critical evaluation of social work policies and practices. The faculty of the School engages in research and professional activities designed to enrich educational programs, improve social conditions, and meet needs of the state, region, and nation.

Admission Requirements

Regular Admission

An applicant whose credentials meet both of the following minimum requirements may be considered for regular admission:

  1. GPA requirement: The applicant must have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 overall, 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program, or 3.0 for a completed graduate degree program. 
     
  2. Entrance exam score requirement: If the undergraduate grade point average is below a 3.0 for both the overall AND last 60 hours, the School of Social Work requires submission of test scores.  The applicant must have a 300 on the GRE test or a score at the 50th percentile on the MAT.  Admission test scores must be less than five years old. An applicant who wishes to be nominated by his or her department for a Graduate Council Fellowship is strongly encouraged to submit a score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test or entrance examination appropriate to the graduate program of interest

Please note no academic credit, course waivers, or credit for field practicum shall be granted for life experience or previous work experience.

International Admission Requirements

International Student Admission

International students must meet the Graduate School’s requirements for admission (see above), including the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. 

Test Scores: A students whose first language is not English must submit an official score report for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Pearson test of English (PTE), or must have earned a degree from an accredited U.S. college or university within the past 3 years.

    1. TOEFL minimum score is a 550 on the paper-based test or a 79 on the internet-based test.
    2. IELTS minimum score for admission is a 6.5.
    3. PTE minimum score for admission is a 59.

Note: Scores must be less than two years old at the time of intended initial enrollment at The University of Alabama.  

Please note no academic credit, course waivers, or credit for field practicum shall be granted for life experience or previous work experience.

Program Options: 42 credit hour or 60 credit hour

Advanced Standing (42 credit hour)

  • Students holding a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited institution.
  • Admission requires a "B" average or better in all professional foundation Social Work courses including field education, with no more than one "C" in upper level Social Work courses.
  • Offered Spring and Summer terms only

Two Year (60 credit hour)  

  • Students who hold a bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Students who do not meet Advanced Standing criteria must apply to 60 hour program.
  • Offered Summer and Fall terms only

Applicants can find more information on program deadlines and application instructions on the School of Social Work website.

Application Fee

The application fee is $60 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $75 for international students. The application fee is waived for the following groups:

  1. Veterans and current members of the US military (please send Angela Abrams your DD 214 or current assignment orders as appropriate).
  2. Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program students (please contact Angela Abrams for more details).
  3. University of Alabama undergraduates applying to a graduate program in the same subject area. To qualify for this application fee waiver a student must have no time break between the undergraduate and graduate program and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  4. Applicants who have previously enrolled in Graduate School at The University of Alabama.

Applicants interested in transferring graduate credit to the MSW program from another institution or graduate program must make a formal request after admission to the program.  The request is initiated in the Graduate School with the form for Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit. Please note the School of Social Work allows a maximum of 9 hours of transfer work for the 42 hour program and  a maximum of 12 hours of transfer work for the 60 hour program upon approval by the program director. 

 Applicants can find Application Instructions on the School of Social Work website.

Students will have an opportunity to apply for field in both the BSW and MSW programs. We place students using a holistic perspective. Not only do we consider input from students, but we also consult with faculty, advisors, and the Field Committee.  

Most students have many questions about practicum. The Field Office is always available to answer questions you may have. If there is anything that is unclear or if you have specific questions regarding your situation, do not hesitate to contact the Field Office.  

Field Education Links

Student Information 

Washington, D.C Program 

International Field Placement Program

Pre-Orientation Video 

Contact Us

Financial Aid

Financial assistance through stipends, grants, and scholarships is available through the School of Social Work. Some stipends are available directly from the School; others are related to traineeships, with specified field education placements and/or curriculum requirements. Stipends and traineeships that may be available include Alabama Department of Human Resources stipends; an Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program stipend; child welfare traineeships; Sparks Clinics traineeships; Pediatric Pulmonary Health Care traineeships; Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility stipends; Bryce State Psychiatric stipends; Alabama Department of Youth Services traineeships; and Veterans Administration traineeships. Additional traineeships become available on a year-by-year basis.

Contact The University of Alabama, School of Social Work, Student Services Office, Box 870314, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0314, or telephone (205) 348-5020, for application forms and further information. Students may also contact the UA Office of Student Financial Aid, Box 870162, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0162, or telephone (205) 348-6756, for applications for University-sponsored and other financial aid such as federal loans.

Courses are subject to modification without advance notice.

Admission to 500-level courses is limited to graduate social work students only, unless consent of the instructor and the assistant dean is obtained. See the School of Social Work Master's Degree Program Student Handbook for additional course eligibility requirements.

SW
500
Hours
3
Social Welfare Policy

Overview of the evolution of social welfare policies and services, and of how social problems affect societal groups. Includes examination of the tools and approaches that social workers might use in analysis and policy formulation.

SW
501
Hours
3
Social Welfare Advanced Policy Analysis

The focus of this course is on social welfare policy analysis with particular emphasis on the influence of economic and political issues. This course emphasizes comparative research at both state and national levels.

Prerequisite(s): SW 500 or SW 578
SW
506
Hours
3
Planning and Program Development

Application and analysis of theory applicable to the field of planning and developing social services and programs.

Prerequisite(s): SW 590 or SW 570 and SW 577 and SW 578 and SW 579
SW
510
Hours
3
Human Behav Social Envir I

Critical concepts, theories, and research related to human bio-psychosocial development across the life span; human development and behavior in the environmental contexts of family, groups, organizations, and communities; and the impact of human diversity on human development and behavior. This course is part of a two course sequence and focuses on earlier stages of human development from conception through adolescence.

SW
511
Hours
2
Human Behav Social Envir II

This course introduces students to an overarching conceptual framework and selected theories for understanding human behavior across the life course. This course is part of a two-course sequence and focuses on the later stages of human development from young adulthood to advanced old age.

Prerequisite(s): SW 510
SW
513
Hours
3
Social Work Practice in Health Care

This course prepares students for advanced social work practice in health care settings. Using the Life Course Perspective, health and health care issues relevant to health care social work are addressed.

Prerequisite(s): Set 1 (60 hour) SW 500, SW 510, SW 511, SW 534, SW 540, SW 541, SW 542, SW 570 -OR- Set 2 (Advanced) SW 570, SW 577, SW 578, SW 579
SW
514
Hours
3
Chem Depend Knowledge Interven

This survey course introduces students to major theories of substance use, information concerning the physiological and psychological consequences of this use, and information concerning the effects of this use on families and communities. Selected state, international, and federal policies regarding the control of drugs are reviewed. The course includes an overview of several models of prevention and intervention, with specific attention being paid to their application to special populations such as the homeless, clients from different cultures, and clients of different sexual orientations.

SW
515
Hours
3
Psychopathology

Presents diagnostic criteria used in recognition and treatment of mental disorders, and theory and research on the etiology of these disorders.

SW
522
Hours
3
Social Work Ethics

Develop the knowledge base necessary to identify social work values, ethics, and the relationship between the two to social work practice with children, youth, adults, and their families.

SW
523
Hours
3
Family Preservation

Overview of family preservation theory and practice. Students demonstrate skills with high risk children and families in their home setting.

Prerequisite(s): Set 1 (60 hour) SW 500, SW 510, SW 511, SW 534, SW 540, SW 541, SW 542, SW 570 -OR- Set 2 (Advanced Standing) SW 570, SW 577, SW 578, SW 579
SW
525
Hours
3
Evaluation Research

Students learn to design a practice or program evaluation project, demonstrating the link between designing and conducting research and the practice of social work.

Prerequisite(s): SW 520 or SW 570 or SW 576
SW
526
Hours
3
"Isms" & Advocacy In Social Work

Introduction to various forms of oppression, social injustice, and advocacy to prevent and intervene.

Prerequisite(s): Set 1 (60 Hour) SW 500, SW 510, SW 511, SW 534, SW 540, SW 541, SW 542, SW 570 -OR- Set 2 (Advanced) SW 570, SW 577, SW 578, SW 579
SW
528
Hours
3
Spirituality In Social Work Practice

Provides an overview of major issues relevant to spiritually sensitive social work practice with emphasis on the role of spirituality in interventions.

SW
529
Hours
3
Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice

The course provides advanced level information about the application of selected theoretical frameworks and models of practice, assessment strategies and techniques, the formulation of treatment plans, practice interventions, and practice evaluation.

Prerequisite(s): SW 590 or SW 570 and SW 577 and SW 578 and SW 579
SW
532
Hours
1-3
Social Work Practice with Adults in Mental Health

This course emphasizes evidence-based practice models and methods of intervention for effective social work practice with adults experiencing mental health problems.

Prerequisite(s): SW590 or (SW570 and SW577 and SW578 and SW579)
SW
533
Hours
1-3
Models and Methods of Gerontological Social Work Practice

Focuses on evidence-based practice models and methods of social work intervention with older persons and their families.

Prerequisite(s): SW590 or (SW570 and SW577 and SW578 and SW579)
SW
534
Hours
1
Integrative Seminar

Integration of foundation course content and field education.

Prerequisite(s): SW 500 and SW 510 and SW 540. Corequisite: SW 590
Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: SW 511 and SW 520 and SW 541 and SW 542
SW
536
Hours
3
Social Service Program and Agency Administration

Students learn selected theoretical frameworks and apply the knowledge and skills for administration of social service programs and agencies.

Prerequisite(s): Set 1 (60 Hour) SW 500, SW 510, SW 511, SW 534, SW 540, SW 541, SW 542, SW 570 -OR- Set 2 (Advanced) SW 570, SW 577, SW 578, SW 579
SW
537
Hours
3
Forensic Social Work

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for specialized practice in the area of forensic social work.

SW
540
Hours
1-3
SW Practice with Individuals and Families

Theory and practice of social work with individuals and families are explored.

Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: SW 510
SW
541
Hours
1-3
Sw Practice With Groups

The course provides a framework for systematic study of components and issues involved in the practice of social work with groups.

Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: SW 510
SW
542
Hours
1-3
Social Work Practice with Communities

Exploration of theories of social work practice for intervention at the community level, including selected macro-models of practice, and community practice within human-service organizations.

Prerequisite(s): SW 510 With Concurrency
Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: SW 510
SW
549
Hours
3
Crisis Intervention

Focuses on treatment theories and models of intervention that provide a focused approach to the client in crisis.

SW
553
Hours
1-6
Independent Study

Independent learning experience, under faculty direction, with a contract for an outcome such as a publishable research document.

SW
557
Hours
3
Selected Topics in Social Work Practice

Intensive study of an area of or specific approach to social work practice. Topics vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

SW
559
Hours
3
Pediatric Pulmonary Health Care

Introduces social work students to pediatric pulmonary diseases and to research literature in this area of health care. Offered according to demand.

SW
564
Hours
1-3
SW Practice in Child and Adoloscent Mental Health

This course emphasizes evidence-based practice models and methods of intervention for effective social work practice with children, adolescents, and their families experiencing mental health problems.

Prerequisite(s): SW590 or (SW570 and SW577 and SW578 and SW579)
SW
565
Hours
1-3
Social Work Practice in Child Welfare and Family Services

This course emphasizes evidence-based practice models of intervention for effective social work practice in child welfare and family services settings.

Prerequisite(s): SW590 or (SW570 and SW577 and SW578 and SW579)
SW
570
Hours
3
Research-Informed Practice

This is the first course in a two-course sequence that is designed to enable students to engage in research-informed practice. The MSW themes of evidence-based practice and critical thinking are emphasized in this course. Graduate standing with admission to the MSW Program. With special permission of the Program Chair, graduate students outside the School of Social Work may take this course.

SW
576
Hours
3
Intermediate Research

Prepares the student to engage in research at a level of sophistication and complexity appropriate for entry in the second-year research course.

SW
577
Hours
3
Human Development and Social Systems

Provides students with instruction in the major psychological and sociological theories of human behavior that support and enhance social work practice.

SW
578
Hours
3
Social Welfare Policy and Delivery Systems

Prepares advanced standing students for second-year policy and policy-related courses.

SW
579
Hours
1-3
Social Work Practice

Designed to provide a foundation for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities, in preparation for second-year practice courses.

SW
580
Hours
3
Aging In Social Context

Examines aging in social, economic, and political contexts. Special attention is given to various social theories of aging; needs and problems of disadvantaged subpopulations of older people; and social policies and programs affecting older people.

SW
585
Hours
3
Geriatric Care Management

The primary purpose of this course is to provide social workers interested in geriatric care management with the skills and knowledge needed to help prepare and empower family members in meeting the long term care needs of older adults and people with disabilities. The instructor for this course will offer evidenced-based information about how to conduct a care giving assessment and intervention with special attention to the complexities of the current long term care industry in the U.S. and to the many resources available to help care givers at the local and national level. This course provides specialized, yet practical, information designed to help families successfully meet the challenges of filial responsibility and other forms of care giving associated with disability. The specific tasks of care giving are organized into four categories: medical; legal-insurance-financial; family-social; and spiritual-emotional. Each task reflects a real life challenge that potentially comprises an important aspect of a care recipient’s long term care plan. The model of care giving used in this course underscores the importance of timely professional consultation and the supreme value of proactive preparation that values and honors the preferences of aging parents and family members with disabilities.

SW
589
Hours
3
Social Work Practice in End-Of-Life Care

This course provides students with an understanding of the practical and emotional aspects of providing social work services to people who are dying and their families.

SW
590
Hours
3-9
Field Education I

Planned field experience in human service programs.

Prerequisite(s): SW 500 and SW 510 and SW 540
Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: SW 511 and SW 541 and SW 542 and SW 570
SW
595
Hours
3-9
Field Education II

Placements are individualized according to each student's concentration, career interest, and educational needs. The time requirements are the same as for SW 590.

Prerequisite(s): (SW532 AND SW533) OR (SW564 AND SW565)
SW
600
Hours
3
Soc Work & Welfare State

Introduction to needs and opportunities for research in social welfare policy and its implementation, past and present. Examination of the development of the welfare state and current research on social welfare policy and its implementation.

SW
601
Hours
1
Seminar in Doctoral Education

Provides students with an introduction to the PhD program, expectations for doctoral-level study, and familiarity with faculty and their research interests.

SW
605
Hours
3
Social Work Education

Focuses on the history, current structure, pedagogical theories, and contemporary issues important to social work educators.

Prerequisite(s): SW 601
SW
620
Hours
3
Social Work Research I

Examination of some of the key theoretical issues of qualitative and quantitative social science research and the basic processes of theory formulation and knowledge building.

SW
621
Hours
3
Social Work Research II

Continuation of SW 620. Prepares students to design and carry out quantitative, qualitative, and multi-method research appropriate and adequate for answering social work research questions. Focuses on research design, sampling, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of results and conclusions.

Prerequisite(s): SW 620
SW
622
Hours
3
Instrumentn & Measment

Focuses on the theoretical foundations of observation and measurement in social research and on the practical skills for measuring social phenomena, including assessment of the psychometric properties of research instruments and the design of reliable and valid instruments.

SW
623
Hours
3
Sem Qualitative Research

Advanced study of key concepts in qualitative research, with applications for social work practice research and evaluation.

SW
626
Hours
3
Seminar in Mixed Methods Research

The purpose of this course is to provide in-depth study of mixed methods research to graduate students who are already familiar with quantitative and qualitative research. An introductory phase of the course consists of defining mixed methods research and describing the history and foundations of this form of research. We will then examine the types of mixed methods designs available and discuss the process of research as it relates to each of these designs.

Prerequisite(s): Completion of SW621 and SW623, or permission of the instructor.
SW
628
Hours
3
Research Practicum

Development of a social work research proposal, including the conceptualization of the research question, review of pertinent literature, project administration, arrangements for community collaboration, and IRB approval. Participation in ongoing research under faculty supervision.

SW
629
Hours
3
Sp Top Sw Research Methd

Study of an advanced quantitative or qualitative method, approach, or technique with emphasis on knowledge-building applications of the method, approach, or technique.

SW
640
Hours
3
Concepts Of Practice

Components of social work practice theory, including historical forces shaping conceptualizations of practice, the ideological and epistemological assumptions of both normative and empirical conceptualizations of practice, and the contributions of science and other approaches to knowledge and skill building.

SW
648
Hours
3
Sp Top Sel Prof Issues

Integrative seminar on special topics.

SW
660
Hours
3
Independent Study

Prerequisite: Completion of the doctoral core courses or permission of the instructor.

SW
697
Hours
6-9
Post-MSW Practice Experience

This course provides students in the social work Ph.D. program who hold an MSW the opportunity to obtain practice experience in an educationally and MSW-supervised environment. Students will work up to 20 hours per week in agencies with UA SSW field-office-approved social work supervision. (If students are seeking licensure in addition to post-MSW practice experience, students should be sure to attain appropriate supervision.).

Prerequisite(s): Holding an MSW degree. Completion of at least the first year of doctoral program coursework (22 doctoral program credits).
SW
698
Hours
1-9
Non-Dissertn Research

No description available.

SW
699
Hours
1-15
Dissertation Research

No description available.

Faculty

MSW Program Director
  • M. Sebrena Jackson, PhD, LCSW