10.15.2013

Masters Degree in Social Work

There are some compelling and inspiring courses that are part of the standard curriculae for graduate programs in the field of social work. While most candidates for these master's degree programs hold undergraduate degrees in various programs, there are some core credits that joins the eclectic group of students seeking a masters degree in social work while giving students a generalist perspective for social work practice.

For those students that may go on to pursue roles as therapists or psychiatric clinicians, there are required classes such as Abnormal Psychiatry and Trauma Recovery Training. Counseling practice and Intervention Strategies may be most alluring to those degree students who are planning on providing support and therapy to clients. The breadth of healthcare insight and political science garnered in Public Policy gives students a chance to advocate, as well as become driven by the current social issues of their community.

Research and report coursework provides a foundation in administrative duties that will be useful across the life span, in many different capacities. The communication skills and attentive listening replicated from Speech and public speaking offerings will be another pragmatic insight that should stay with students long after graduation. Perhaps some of the more unconventional classes are found in the electives chosen by those involved in master programs at various sites; from fine arts to criminal justice, students can assert a bit of their personal preferences and style through the electives chosen to round out their schedules.

Foreign language may be required in some master programs, but if not, students are encouraged to consider the utility later on. Having even minimal second-language skills in the field of social work can be a huge asset, which not only opens up additional job opportunities but also increases rate of pay. If applicable, choose foreign language or American Sign Language as electives. This could expand qualifications for competitive and lucrative positions.

The classes take a progressive approach to practice, teaching skill sets for macro-based social work settings during first year of full time study, and micro-practice during the second or final full time year. Typically, it would take a full time student two full years with a complete course-load and barring any extensions or issues with experiential training through field studies and internships. Therefore, the courses may only give a hint at what could be unearthed through more in-depth study of particular fields of this expansive field of work.

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