MSW Program

The mission of the Master of Social Work program at The University of Alabama School of Social Work is to prepare advanced scholar practitioners to improve the lives of individuals and families, enhance community well-being, and advocate for policies that support systemic change.  

Graduates of the MSW program will be able to:

  • Deliver evidence-based social work practice to diverse client systems.
  • Advocate for vulnerable populations at the individual, group, and community levels. 
  • Engage in culturally competent advanced social work practice with diverse groups.
  • Analyze, formulate, and influence organizational and government policies. 
  • Apply social work values and ethics to practice.

Curriculum

The MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The curriculum follows the curriculum policy requirements of the Council on Social Work Education and provides a balanced, integrated approach that includes a professional foundation and a choice of concentrations. The professional foundation curriculum taken the first year consists of coursework in the following: 

  • Social work practice. This area of the curriculum is designed to provide practice knowledge and competencies in working with individuals, groups, families, communities, and organizations.
  • Human behavior and the social environment. This area of the curriculum helps the student to understand the whole person and the process of growth, change, adaptation, social functioning, and dysfunction of the environmental context, including family, groups, formal organizations, and communities. Courses in this area cover prenatal stages through the process of aging. 
  • Social welfare policy and services. This area of the curriculum is designed to help the student identify, appraise, analyze, and understand social change in its dynamic perspectives; the role and responsibility of social work as a profession in influencing social policy; and the delivery of service to individuals and society.
  • Research methods. This area of the curriculum is designed to help the student understand social work and related research and the use of research for the improvement of services to individuals, groups, organizations, and communities. 
  • Field education. This area of the curriculum provides opportunities for students to integrate and apply knowledge, skills, and values in social work practice context. 

MSW Curriculum Themes

The MSW program emphasizes the following five themes underpinning the foundation and the concentration year objectives:

  • Life Course Perspective: Social workers understand that the growth and development of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities are influenced by a range of psychological, social, historical, political, and economic factors. The interaction of these factors with life events and life transitions contribute to the subsequent outcomes. This theme also serves as the conceptual framework for the entire MSW curriculum.
  • Valuing Diversity: Social workers value and work respectfully with people who are different from themselves.
  • Critical and Reflective Thinking: Critical and reflective thinking that challenges assumptions, and that is based on evidence to arrive at creative solutions, is the basis for competent social work practice.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Social workers favor interventions with demonstrated effectiveness. They are prepared to carefully evaluate practice and program outcomes.
  • Services to the Poor and Underserved: Alabama’s poor and underserved receive social services primarily from public and non-profit social service agencies. Social workers must be prepared to practice in these contexts and to challenge social injustice.

MSW Program Foundation Objectives

Foundation Year MSW students will demonstrate the ability 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 and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients’ 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 apply 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 generalist 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, formulate, and influence social policies.
  • Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions.
  • Use communications 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 and seek necessary organizational change.

Concentration Objectives

In professional social work intervention with children, youth, and their families, or adults and their families, students will demonstrate: 

  • The ability to effectively apply selected models and methods of advanced social work practice, consistent with social work values and ethics, with an emphasis in public and non-profit social services.
  • The ability to use reflectively the theoretical approaches and knowledge bases underlying their practice with particular attention to the life course perspective.
  • The ability to evaluate their own practice.
  • The ability to analyze the impact of social welfare policies on clients and practice situations.
  • The ability to practice in ways that are culturally and gender appropriate with low-income persons and with those who have experienced social and economic injustice.

The School of Social Work offers a Master of Social Work and two coordinated degree programs. The MSW/MPH is offered in coordination with UAB Public Health. The MSW/JD is offered in coordination with The University of Alabama Law School.   

MSW

MSW/MPH Coordinated Program 

MSW/JD Coordinated Program

Admission Requirements to the School of Social Work

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. GPA Standard: All applicants must have at least a 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) overall GPA. 
  3. 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.

Degree Requirements

The master of social work (MSW) degree will be awarded to the student who has met the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 hours of approved courses including field education or 42 hours for students admitted with advanced standing
  • Evidence of the capacity to perform in all aspects of the student's educational program at a satisfactory and responsible level, as judged by the faculty, and promise of further professional development (see the Master's Degree Program Student Handbook for further details)
  • Students are expected to demonstrate writing proficiency at a graduate level. Writing skills may be evaluated through specialized assignments in foundation or advanced-standing courses, or through a proficiency examination. The student may be required to attend tutorial sessions until proficiency is demonstrated.

Time Limit Requirement

All requirements for the master's degree must be completed during the six year or 18 semesters (fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded. There is no provision for an extension of the time limit beyond 6 years for the master's students. 

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 $65 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $80 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 Credit Form.  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. 

MSW Program Requirements

Advanced-Standing Program Curriculum - Master of Social Work (MSW)

The Advanced-Standing Program is a 42-credit-hour program for only those who hold a CSWE-accredited BSW. It can be completed in three semesters when pursued full-time. Advanced-standing students fulfill professional foundation requirements by successfully completing 'bridge' courses typically offered in the spring or summer before beginning the concentration year.

Coursework is offered in two formats, campus or primarily online.  Note: the primarily online format requires face-to-face skills labs held on selected Saturdays at regionally convenient locations.

Advanced Standing Curriculum - campus and distance learner (spring or summer start)

Bridge Courses

Hours
SW 570Research-Informed Practice3
SW 577Human Develop & Social Systems3
SW 578Social Welfare Policy3
SW 579Social Work Practice3

Concentration Year 

Concentration courses are offered on campus and primarily online with face-to-face skills labs. Advanced standing students who complete their bridge courses in the spring may take electives the following summer. They may also take take SW 501 or SW 525 when those courses are offered in the summer.  

Concentration Year - Fall

Hours
SW 532 or SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth3
SW 564 Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth
SW 533 or Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract3
SW 565 SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv
SW 525Evaluation Research3
SW Elective6

* course(s) with skills labs 

Spring

Hours
SW 501Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis3
SW 595Field Education II9
SW Elective3

Social Work Electives

Hours
Planning & Prog Development
SW Practice in Health Care
Chem Depend Knowledge Interven
Psychopathology
Family Preservation
Spirituality In SW Practice
Adv Clinical Social Work Prac
Social Service Prog Agency Adm
Crisis Intervention

60 Credit Hour Program* Curriculum - Master of Social Work (MSW)

The 60-credit-hour program is for those who currently do not hold a CSWE-accredited BSW. It can be completed in two years when pursued full-time. Coursework is offered in two formats, campus or primarily online.  Note: the primarily online format requires face-to-face skills labs held on selected Saturdays at regionally convenient locations across Alabama.

*Summer start two year program is online only; fall start is online or on campus

60 Credit Hour Curriculum (campus - fall start) 

Foundation Year - Fall

Hours
SW 500Social Welfare Policy3
SW 510Human Behav Social Envir I3
SW 540SW Practice with Indiv & Famly3
SW 541Sw Practice With Groups3
SW 542SW Practice w/Communities3

Spring

Hours
SW 511Human Behav Social Envir II2
SW 534Integrative Seminar1
SW 570Research-Informed Practice3
SW 590Field Education I9

Concentration Year

Concentration courses are offered on campus.  Two year students who complete their foundation courses may take electives in the summer.  They may also take SW 501 Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis or SW 525 Evaluation Research when those courses are offered in the summer.

Concentration Year - Fall

Hours
SW 532 or SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth3
SW 564 Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth
SW 533 or Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract3
SW 565 SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv
SW 525Evaluation Research3
SW 501Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis3
SW Elective3

Spring

Hours
SW 595Field Education II9
SW Electives6

Social Work Electives

Hours
Planning & Prog Development
SW Practice in Health Care
Chem Depend Knowledge Interven
Psychopathology
Family Preservation
Spirituality In SW Practice
Adv Clinical Social Work Prac
Social Service Prog Agency Adm
Crisis Intervention

60 Credit Hour Curriculum (distance learner - summer start)

Foundation Year - Summer

Hours
SW 500Social Welfare Policy3
SW 510Human Behav Social Envir I3
SW 540SW Practice with Indiv & Famly *3

* course(s) with skills labs 

Foundation Year - Fall

Hours
SW 541Sw Practice With Groups *3
SW 542SW Practice w/Communities *3
SW 570Research-Informed Practice3

* course(s) with skills labs

Spring

Hours
SW 511Human Behav Social Envir II2
SW 534Integrative Seminar1
SW 590Field Education I9

Concentration Year

Concentration courses are offered on campus and primarily online with face-to-face skills labs.  Two year students who complete their foundation courses may take electives in the summer.  They may also take SW 501 or SW 525 when those courses are offered in the summer.

Concentration Year - Fall

Hours
SW 532 or SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth *3
SW 564 Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth
SW 533 or Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract *3
SW 565 SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv
SW 501Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis3
SW Electives6

* SW 532/533 or SW  564/565 sequence requires skills labs 

Concentration Year - Spring

Hours
SW 525Evaluation Research3
SW 595Field Education II9
SW Elective3

Social Work Electives

Hours
Planning & Prog Development
SW Practice in Health Care
Chem Depend Knowledge Interven
Psychopathology
Family Preservation
Spirituality In SW Practice
Adv Clinical Social Work Prac
Social Service Prog Agency Adm
Crisis Intervention

60 Credit Hour Curriculum (distance learner - Fall start)

Foundation Year - Fall

Hours
SW 500Social Welfare Policy3
SW 510Human Behav Social Envir I3
SW 540SW Practice with Indiv & Famly *3

* course(s) with skills labs 

Foundation Year - Spring

Hours
SW 541Sw Practice With Groups *3
SW 542SW Practice w/Communities *3
SW 570Research-Informed Practice3

*course(s) with skills labs 

Summer

Hours
SW 511Human Behav Social Envir II2
SW 534Integrative Seminar1
SW 590Field Education I9

Concentration Year

Concentration courses are offered on campus and primarily online with face-to-face skills labs.  Two year students who complete their foundation courses may take electives in the summer.  They may also take SW 501 or SW 525 when those courses are offered in the summer.

Concentration Year - Fall

Hours
SW 532 or SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth *3
SW 564 Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth
SW 533 or Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract *3
SW 565 SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv
SW Elective3

* SW 532/533 or SW  564/565 sequence requires skills labs 

Concentration Year - Spring

Hours
SW 501Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis3
SW 525Evaluation Research3
SW Elective3

Summer

Hours
SW 595Field Education II9
SW Elective3

Social Work Electives

Hours
Planning & Prog Development
SW Practice in Health Care
Chem Depend Knowledge Interven
Psychopathology
Family Preservation
Spirituality In SW Practice
Adv Clinical Social Work Prac
Social Service Prog Agency Adm
Crisis Intervention

Please note that courses are subject to change.

MSW/MPH Coordinated Degree

The University of Alabama School of Social Work in Tuscaloosa and The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health jointly offer an MSW/MPH coordinated degree program designed for people with career goals in community-oriented health services for families and children. 

Students who are interested in this coordinated degree should separately apply to UA’s MSW program and to the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy at The University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Public Health for admission to the MPH Program.

Students are required to first secure admission to our MSW Program and, at the end of the first semester, apply separately to the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy for the MPH Program at the UAB School of Public Health. Acceptance in the MSW program does not automatically ensure acceptance into the MPH program and vice versa. Students attend classes in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.

For UAB curriculum guides and admission requirements please visit their website at University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health

Advanced-Standing Coordinated degree - MSW/MPH

The Advanced-Standing Program is a 42-credit-hour program for only those who hold a CSWE-accredited BSW. It can be completed in three semesters when pursued full-time. Advanced-standing students fulfill professional foundation requirements by successfully completing 'bridge' courses typically offered in the spring or summer before beginning the concentration year.

Coursework is offered in two formats, campus or primarily online.  Note: the primarily online format requires face-to-face skills labs held on selected Saturdays at regionally convenient locations.

Advanced Standing MSW/MPH (campus and distance learner summer or spring start)

Bridge Courses

Hours
SW 570Research-Informed Practice3
SW 577Human Develop & Social Systems3
SW 578Social Welfare Policy3
SW 579Social Work Practice *3

* course(s) with skills labs

Concentration Year 

Concentration courses are offered on campus and primarily online with face-to-face skills labs. Advanced standing students who complete their bridge courses in the spring may take electives the following summer. They may also take take SW 501 or SW 525 when those courses are offered in the summer.  

Concentration Year - Fall

Hours
SW 532 or SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth *3
SW 564 Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth
SW 533 or Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract *3
SW 565 SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv
SW 501Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis3
SW Elective3

Spring

Hours
SW 595Field Education II9

UAB (MPH) Core Requirements that transfer to UA

Hours
EPI 600 (SW 525)3
HB 600 (SW Elective)3
HCO 600 (SW Elective)3

Social Work Electives

Hours
Planning & Prog Development
SW Practice in Health Care
Chem Depend Knowledge Interven
Psychopathology
Family Preservation
Spirituality In SW Practice
Adv Clinical Social Work Prac
Social Service Prog Agency Adm
Crisis Intervention

60 Credit Hour Program* Coordinated degree - MSW/MPH

The 60-credit-hour program is for those who currently do not hold a CSWE-accredited BSW. It can be completed in two years when pursued full-time. Coursework is offered in two formats, campus or primarily online.  Note: the primarily online format requires face-to-face skills labs held on selected Saturdays at regionally convenient locations across Alabama.

*Summer start two year program is online only; fall start is online or on campus

60 Credit Hour MSW/MPH (distance learner - fall start)

Foundation Year - Fall

Hours
SW 500Social Welfare Policy3
SW 510Human Behav Social Envir I3
SW 540SW Practice with Indiv & Famly *3

* course(s) with skills labs

Foundation Year - Spring

Hours
SW 541Sw Practice With Groups *3
SW 542SW Practice w/Communities *3
SW 570Research-Informed Practice3

* course(s) with skills labs

Summer

Hours
SW 511Human Behav Social Envir II2
SW 534Integrative Seminar1
SW 590Field Education I9

Concentration Year

Concentration courses are offered on campus and primarily online with face-to-face skills labs.  Two year students who complete their foundation courses may take electives in the summer.  They may also take SW 501 or SW 525 when those courses are offered in the summer.

Concentration Year - Fall

Hours
SW 532 or SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth *3
SW 564 Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth
SW 533 or Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract *3
SW 565 SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv
SW Elective3

* SW 532/533 or SW  564/565 sequence requires skills labs 

Spring

Hours
SW 595Field Education II9

UAB (MPH) Core requirements that transfer to UA

Hours
ENH 600 (SW Elective)3
EPI 600 (SW 525)3
HB 600 (SW Elective)3
HCO 600 (SW Elective)3

Social Work Electives

Hours
Planning & Prog Development
SW Practice in Health Care
Chem Depend Knowledge Interven
Psychopathology
Family Preservation
Spirituality In SW Practice
Adv Clinical Social Work Prac
Social Service Prog Agency Adm
Crisis Intervention

60 Credit Hour Curriculum MSW/MPH (campus - fall start) 

Foundation Year - Fall

Hours
SW 500Social Welfare Policy3
SW 510Human Behav Social Envir I3
SW 540SW Practice with Indiv & Famly3
SW 541Sw Practice With Groups3
SW 542SW Practice w/Communities3

Spring

Hours
SW 511Human Behav Social Envir II2
SW 534Integrative Seminar1
SW 590Field Education I9
SW 570Research-Informed Practice3

Concentration Year

Concentration courses are offered on campus and primarily online with face-to-face skills labs.  Two year students who complete their foundation courses may take electives in the summer.  They may also take SW 501 or SW 525 when those courses are offered in the summer.

Concentration Year - Fall

Hours
SW 532 or SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth *3
SW 564 Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth
SW 533 or Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract *3
SW 565 SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv
SW 501Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis3

* SW 532/533 or SW  564/565 sequence requires skills labs 

Spring

Hours
SW 595Field Education II9

UAB (MPH) Core requirements that transfer to UA

Hours
EPI 600 (SW 525)3
HCO 600 (SW Elective)3
HB 600 (SW Elective)3
ENH 600 (SW Elective)3

MSW/JD Coordinated Degree Program 

The Master of Social Work/Juris Doctorate Degree Program is coordinated between the School of Social Work and The Law School. 

The goal is to offer comprehensive preparation to individuals interested in becoming leaders in their communities, their state, or the nation, as well as leaders in promoting and enhancing social justice and individual well-being, through interventions, advocacy, organizational management, and public policy. Students acquire knowledge of social work and law strategies that can improve the lives of individuals and groups, by understanding forensic social work, the justice system, domestic violence, child protection, human rights, and more.

Before being classified as a MSW/JD coordinated degree student, applicants must be accepted in the School of Law and then the MSW program. Separate admission to each program is required.  Admission requirements for the coordinated degree program are exactly the same as those currently established for the MSW program and the JD program separately.  All normal prerequisites for both programs must be met.

Completion Requirements

UA’s Advanced-Standing MSW program requires 42 hours of course work; the 2-year MSW program requires 60 hours. Students in the dual-enrollment MSW/JD complete in the Law School the 9 hours of electives currently required for the MSW degree (and currently specified as “MSW electives”).

The JD program requires at least 90 hours of course work, of which 6 hours may be fulfilled with approved courses offered outside the Law School.  The JD is a cohort-based program completed over 3–4 years. Dually enrolled MSW/JD students will be required to complete 9 hours of MSW courses as part of the 90 hours constituting study for the JD.

In all, the coordinated degree program requires 114 credit hours for students admitted with advanced standing by the MSW Admission Committee, or 132 credit hours for students admitted without advanced standing.

Comprehensive Examinations/Capstone Experiences

For MSW students, the required field education practicum is the Capstone experience. At the conclusion of their studies, all MSW students complete one required field education practicum. An additional field education practicum is required of students in the 60-credit-hour MSW Program, to be taken after they complete 15 credit hours of MSW prerequisites. In each field education practicum required, an MSW student must demonstrate successful integration and application of the knowledge, skills, and values learned both in class and from the practicum instructor, employing these as he or she delivers social services in a practice situation. A formal evaluation of the MSW student’s performance serves as the final evaluation in each field education practicum.

The JD program has no mandatory exam or Capstone experience.

Time Limit

Per Graduate School regulations and ABA Standards, students in the coordinated degree program are allowed no more than 6 years, from the time of matriculation, to complete all requirements for the coordinated degrees.

Both Degrees Conferred in same Commencement 

Both degrees are conferred during a single commencement exercise, once all degree requirements have been met. Neither degree will be granted until both degrees are earned, except in cases in which a student formally withdraws from the coordinated degree program.

Discontinuation of One of the degrees

If a student enrolled in the coordinated degree program were to discontinue enrollment in the program and continue seeking only one degree (MSW or JD), the student would have to meet the full requirements of that degree.

Coordinated Degree Requirments

Students in the MSW/JD Coordinated Degree Program must complete all the required MSW courses necessary for the degree; they may complete their elective requirements (currently nine credit hours) in the Law School.

Law electives approved to count towards the MSW

Hours
Elder Law
Disability Law
Biomedical Ethics
Children'S Rights
Family Law II
Spe Aspects Of Fam Law
Poverty Law
Immigration Law
Juvenile Justice Jurisprudence
Family Law I
Public Interest Lawyering
Administrative Law
Mental Health Law

The JD program currently requires at least 90 hours of coursework, of which six hours may be fulfilled with approved courses offered outside of the Law School.  The JD is a cohort-based program completed over 3-4 years.  Students in the coordinated degree program are required to complete 9 hours of MSW courses as part of the 90 hours constituting study for the JD.  The following MSW courses will count towards the JD, contingent upon the student having first completed a year of the JD program.  MSW courses taken before that year will not count toward the JD degree.  Courses taken in an online or primary online format will not count towards the JD degree. 

MSW courses approved to count towards the JD

Hours
Social Welfare Policy
Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis
Social Welfare Policy
SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth
Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract
Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth
SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv

The coordinated degree program requires 114 credit hours for students admitted as MSW advanced standing and 132 credit hours for students admitted as MSW 60 credit hour.  

Challenge Examinations

The master of social work program permits admitted MSW students to demonstrate a mastery of specific course content areas by passing a challenge examination. Challenges are permitted in the areas of policy, research, and human behavior. Thus, students in the advanced program may request to challenge SW 576 Intermediate ResearchSW 577 Human Develop & Social Systems, and/or SW 578 Social Welfare Policy. Students in either the Saturday program or the weekday program may request to challenge SW 500 Social Welfare PolicySW 510 Human Behav Social Envir I; and/or SW 570 Research-Informed Practice. A student who successfully challenges a course will be permitted to take a substitute course in lieu of the required foundation course. The degree-hour requirements remain the same.

Field Education Placement Procedures

The major objective in the placement process is to match the student with the field education setting that offers the best potential for promoting the student's professional development. The School is responsive to personal factors related to location of placements and specific agencies, but it cannot assure an assignment tailored to personal situations. In accepting admission to the School and registering in the MSW program, the student has agreed to accept field education placements assigned by the School of Social Work.
 
Students who are employees of organizations that meet the School's criteria for field education agencies and that agree to the School's requirements may apply to the Field Education Coordinator to arrange a placement with that agency as one of the required field education experiences.

Field education placements are available in the Tuscaloosa area and throughout the state. Students are responsible for arranging transportation and paying any expenses related to field education. Students may not enroll in field education unless they have completed the required courses for the year in which they are enrolled, or unless they are concurrently enrolled in those courses. A student who has a grade of "I" on his or her record will not be allowed to enroll in field education.

A student who is unable to meet minimum standards in field education may be dropped from field education at any time. A student dropped from field education is also discontinued from other courses requiring concurrent enrollment in field education.

Washington, D.C., Placements

The MSW program provides the opportunity for students to complete the second-year field education requirement and other specific program requirements in Washington, D.C. These placements offer special opportunities to obtain field education experience not ordinarily available in Alabama.

Electives

All students must complete 9 hours of electives. Electives may be taken any time after the completion of bridge or foundation year courses.  Electives may include, if openings exist, required courses from the other concentration. If an emphasis in Program and Agency Administration is desired, two of the three electives must include SW 506 Planning & Prog Development and SW 536 Social Service Prog Agency Adm

Second-Year Concentrations

The curriculum stresses specialized knowledge; the ability to understand complex theories, methods, and models of social work practice; and the ability to apply knowledge and skills differentially in the process of selecting alternatives in all levels of practice. The purpose of the second, or concentration, year of the social work curriculum is the preparation of social workers for advanced practice in one of two concentrations: Social Work with Children Adolescents, and their Families or Social Work with Adults and their Families. An emphasis on Program Planning and Administration (PAA) is available with either of the concentrations. The concentration year is built on a liberal arts perspective and professional foundation content, with particular emphasis on populations at risk.
 
Each concentration includes two required courses, the opportunity for three electives (which can be courses from other concentrations), and a field education placement related to the concentration. Two other courses are required during the second or concentration year: SW 525 Evaluation Research and SW 501 Soc Welfare Adv Pol Analysis. Students have the opportunity, in collaboration with their academic advisors and depending on course availability, to tailor their concentrations to reflect their own preferences. An emphasis in Program and Agency Administration in either concentration requires that students complete:

  1. SW 506 Planning & Prog Development,
  2. SW 536 Social Service Prog Agency Adm, and
  3. a field education placement that provides and opportunity to implement the knowledge gained in these two courses.

The School reserves the right to alter the concentration requirements as necessary.

Required Courses for Social Work with Children, Adolescents, and Their Families

More InformationHours
SW 564Sw Prac Child Adol Ment Hlth3
SW 565SW Prac Child Welfare Fam Serv3
SW 595Field Education II9
Total Hours15

Required Courses for Social Work with Adults and their Families 

More InformationHours
SW 532SW Pract w/Adults Mental Hlth1-3
SW 533Mod/Meth Gerontologl SW Pract1-3
SW 595Field Education II9
Total Hours11-15

Introduction

The University of Alabama, Graduate School, 102 Rose Administration Building, Box 870118, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118; 205-348-5921; email: gradschool@ua.edu; or visit the website of the Graduate School. This catalog is produced by the Graduate School. Although the publisher of this catalog has made every reasonable effort to attain factual accuracy herein, no responsibility is assumed for editorial or clerical errors or error occasioned by honest mistake. All information contained in this catalog is subject to change by the appropriate officials of The University of Alabama without prior notice. Although this catalog intends to reflect any current policies or rules of The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama referred to or incorporated herein, users are cautioned that changes or additions to policies or rules may have become effective since the publication of this material. In the event of such a conflict, the current statements of board policy contained in the official minutes and manual of rules, bylaws, and guidelines shall prevail.

Equal Opportunity in Education and Employment

UA complies with applicable laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, including but not limited to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Executive Order 11246, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Adjustment Assistance Act, as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002 (VEVRAA), the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.  Consistent with those laws and UA’s Sexual Misconduct, Harassment and other policies, UA prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic or family medical history information, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected basis in admission or access to, or treatment of employment in, its programs and services. These prohibitions against discrimination apply to recruitment, application, selection, hiring, appointment, transfer, demotion, promotion, tenure, job assignments, classification, compensation, benefits, leaves of absence, sick leave or any other leaves, job training and development, tuition assistance, participation in UA-sponsored educational, social, and recreational programs, discharge, layoff, and/or any other term, condition or privilege of employment.  Inquiries or concerns regarding UA’s Title IX or gender-related compliance may be directed to UA’s Title IX Coordinator, Ms. Beth Howard, 107 Burke Hall West, Box 870300, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0300, 205-348-5496, gbhoward@ua.edu. All other inquiries and concerns related to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, except those regarding Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, may be directed to Dr. Gwendolyn Hood, University Compliance Officer and Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, 107 Burke Hall West, Box 870300, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0300, 205-348-5855 (Voice), 205-348-5573 (TDD), ghood@aalan.ua.edu.

This statement is part of the Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Affirmative Action Policy Statement (https://www.ua.edu/about/policies/files/EEO%20Policy.pdf).

Campus Security Report

Each year, The University of Alabama publishes the UA Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. It contains crime and fire statistics for the three most recent calendar years. It also details UA security policies and procedures. The Campus Security Report is provided in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and is available online to view or print at police.ua.edu. The Alabama Department of Public Safety, a state agency, also provides an online listing of sex offenders currently registered with the state. This listing is available on the Alabama Department of Public Safety website at dps.alabama.gov. For information regarding the enrollment or employment of registered sex offenders at The University of Alabama, or to request a printed copy of the Campus Security Report, write The University of Alabama, University Police, Community Services Division, Attention: Clery Compliance Officer, Box 870180, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0180; or email ua.police@ua.edu.