College of Letters & Sciences

Social Work Masters

Master of Science in Social Work

The mission of the Masters of Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is: To cultivate advanced social work professionals skilled in developing collaborative relationships within dynamic regional and national contexts to address diverse human and community issues that affect well-being.

Starting in the Fall of 2022, we are adding an Online MSW Program:

  • SOCWORK 571-Practice I, SOCWORK 572-Practice II and SOCWORK 573-Practice III are not available online but will be offered via Virtual Classroom mode (similar to synchronous web-based courses).
  • SOCWORK 783-Social Work Experience (Field Placement) and 784-Capstone are not available online.


Why Study Social Work at UW-Whitewater?

  1. We are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for both our face-to-face and online program
  2. We have experienced and committed faculty and staff
  3. We offer face to face classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
  4. We offer a fully online option
  5. We offer part-time options
  6. We help students choose coursework that helps them meet their advanced generalist goals
  7. We work with our community partners to offer a wide range of student internships
  8. We offer certificates in Gerontology, School Social Work, and Substance Abuse Counseling
Faculty Supported Internship

Faculty Supported Internship

About the Social Work Master's Program

Beginning in the Fall of 2018, the Social Work Department at the UW-Whitewater began offering a Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW). The social work program is an accredited professional education training program that is designed to meet the needs of our society through the preparation of professionally educated social work practitioners. A social worker with master-level training is an advanced generalist practitioner. The advanced generalist practitioner possesses a wide range of knowledge and competencies in order to respond to a wide range of social problems.  Students are allowed to focus on several areas, including addictions, mental health, or school social work. Students are allowed to take elective courses in a variety of areas which will build on their generalist skills and prepare them for specialist practice.​

1. Preparing students through coursework and advising to advance their knowledge, develop strong professional values and ethics, and be able to apply a range of prevention and intervention methods.

2. Engaging students in evidence-informed practices.

3. Partnering students within a framework of community engagement to accomplish mutual goals.

4. Providing students with opportunities to work in partnership with faculty who are actively engaged in practice, service, and research.

Students are allowed to focus on several areas, including addictions, mental health, or school social work. Students are allowed to take elective courses in a variety of areas which will build on their generalist skills and prepare them for specialist practice.​

Procedures and matters relevant to MSW students can be found in the MSW Student Handbook. Also included in the handbook, is information pertaining to course requirements, sequencing of courses, expectations, requirements, and social work certification. 

Alumni Spotlight

Minimum Requirements

  • Transcript demonstrating Bachelor's degree from a 4-year college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 on 4.0 scale (you may apply if your GPA is less than 2.75, but you would be placed on probation status if admitted)
    • For advanced standing students, a grade of B or better is required in all core social work courses
  • Intro to statistics course: 200-level or higher, with a grade of C or better (this prerequisite may be taken at UWW the summer before the fall your MSW program begins)
  • Personal statement and resume
  • Background check will be completed prior to your field placement, but is not part of the application process
  • 3 letters of reference
    • At least one from an academic instructor if you graduated in the last 2 to 5 years
    • One personal reference if you graduated in the last 2 to 5 years; one personal references if you graduated more than 5 years ago
    • One professional reference (field, volunteering, and/or work) not written by a family member if you graduated in the last 2 to 5 years; two professional references if you graduated more than 5 years ago

Preferred Additional Requirements

  • High volume of service hours (paid or volunteer)
  • Commitment to social justice, advocacy, and multicultural practice on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations

How to Apply 

Post-MSW School Social Work

UW-Whitewater offers a School Social Work program for students who have already obtained a MSW but are interested in school social work.

To apply:

  • You may apply online through the Graduate Studies Department.
  • Apply to the social work program.
    • As part of this application, you will need to upload a personal statement answering the following:
      1. Why are you pursuing  school social work at this time?
      2. Why are you choosing the UW-Whitewater Post-MSW School Social Work Program?
      3. What are your long term professional goal(s)?
      4. How does UW-Whitewater MSW program fit into your long term goal(s)?
      5. If you received a MSW more than 5 years ago, explain how you have been keeping up with latest information in social work.

Please submit (upload) your Personal Statement below (file upload).  (Format: 12pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, with one-inch margin, and 3 pages max).

Submit two professional letters of recommendation. References should complete this online reference form, which is also where they upload their letters of recommendation. https://uwwhitewater.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5nC6hMpMJZ8mFb7

 

Important Addresses:
School of Graduate Studies
Roseman 2013
UW-Whitewater
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
gradschl@uww.edu

Sarah Hessenauer
MSW Program Coordinator & Professor
CE 160
UW-Whitewater
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
hessenas@uww.edu

Course of Study

Starting in the Fall of 2022

  • We are adding an Online MSW Program

New Post-MSW Graduate Certificate Programs

Please see the course catalog for more information:  http://uww-public.courseleaf.com/graduate/letters-sciences/social-work/

If you are currently enrolled in or have completed a Graduate School program at another university, to enroll in a certificate program pleaes complete an application online, pay the application fee plus send official transcript. 

*  Students must be enrolled in or have completed a Masters Degree in Social Work program from a CSWE accredited social work program. 

Post-MSW School Social Work 

UW-Whitewater offers a School Social Work program for students who have already obtained a MSW but are interested in school social work. 

To apply:

Please submit (upload) your Personal Statement below (file upload).  (Format: 12pt Times New Roman, double-spaced) 

Curriculum 

To earn a MSW from UW-Whitewater, students must complete:

  • Core Courses ( credits)
    • 1st year (non-social work majors): Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Work Practice 1, Social Work Practice 2, Social Work Practice 3, Research, Policy, and Field (26 credits)
    • 2nd year (includes advanced standing students): Social Work Psychopathology, Advanced Social Welfare Policy, Research and Program Implementation, Advanced Practice Interventions, Social Work Practice with Community and Organizations, and Field (24 credits)
  • Electives (9 credits)

Program Emphases 

  • Advanced Generalist
  • School Social Work
  • Gerontology
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

Career Outcomes 

  • Mental health counseling, addictions counseling, school social work, gerontology social work, military social work, case management, child and family social work.

ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING IN THE HELPING PROFESSIONS
Social Work 501, Credits: 1
This course presents the principles of assertiveness training, uses experiential exercises to help students learn to present themselves more assertively, and prepares students to assist others to become more assertive. Content is focused on students who are planning a career in the helping professions.

HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT
Social Work 511, Credits: 4
This course is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of the processes of bio-psycho and socio-cultural development from infancy to older adults. Material is also presented on the social systems (families, groups, organizations, and communities) in which individuals live.

HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT II
Social Work 512, Credits: 3
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the processes of bio-psycho and socio-cultural development from middle adulthood through old age. Material is also presented on the social systems (mezzo and macro) in which individuals live.

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL GERONTOLOGY
Social Work 537, Credits: 3
This course is designed to introduce the student to social and physical factors related to aging. It will include information regarding social services needed to assist the older person and an analysis of gaps in current services.

SEXUALITY FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
Social Work 541, Credits: 3
This comprehensive course is designed to add to students' knowledge and comfort in the area of human sexuality. Multimedia, lecture, and small group discussion techniques are used to explore issues as basic treatment skills, sex education, developmental sexuality, problem pregnancies, and common sexual dysfunctions.

COMMUNITY BASED LEARNING IN AGING AND HEALTH
Social Work 561, Credits: 3
The goal of course is to highlight a community need/concern in aging (locally, regionally, or wider community) and invite students to address the need/concern. This course involves students working with a community-based organization (CBO) that provides services, support, or advocacy to older adult or addresses aging related issues. Students will work with the CBO and undertake a project from start to finish.The project, which is established in advance by the instructor, involves students working in small groups in which students will evaluate a program, implement a new program, assist with enhancing practices, or advance organizational policies.

SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I
Social Work 571, Credits: 3
This course presents advanced contemporary theoretical approaches to social work practice with individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities. This course uses a competency approach to assess and develop student interviewing and interpersonal skills, emphasizing social work practice with individuals.

SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II
Social Work 572, Credits: 3
This is the second of three required social work practice courses. This course is designed to help students build upon the skills and knowledge required in Practice I, including further development of interviewing and interpersonal skills. In particular, the emphasis of this course includes studying the dynamics of groups and working with various types of groups.

SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE III
Social Work 573, Credits: 3
This course is designed to further develop and fine tune advanced generalist social work skills at all levels of intervention (including individuals, families, organizations, and communities). Course content will focus on difficult situations in micro practice, understanding and working with families, and working in and with organizations and communities.

SOCIAL WORK CASE MANAGEMENT
Social Work 575, Credits: 3
This course introduces students to case management and explores its utility as a service to assist a wide range of social work clients. The course goals include defining case management, carrying-out the activities, exploring legal and ethical issues, and developing practice skills. Students will perform activities core to case management.

RACE/ETHNICITY/SOCIAL JUSTICE: ISSUES FOR HELPING PROFESSIONALS
Social Work 580, Credits: 3
The course is designed to help students develop a greater understanding of the influence of one's race and ethnicity on the ways individuals perceive the world and the ways they are treated by others and by society. Within the framework of the helping professions, students will have the opportunity to examine their attitudes toward members of racial and ethnic minorities, develop ways to learn about the participation in and treatment of racial and ethnic minority groups in work, education, and social services, and examine ways to affect one's own attitudes and society to achieve social justice.

SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH
Social Work 602, Credits: 4
This course introduces students to the research process. A major focus of this course is the integration of research and practice. Students will learn to use research evidence to inform practice and advocacy, and use practice-based experiences to inform scientific inquiry. Students will also learn basic quantitative skills.

SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN BEREAVEMENT
Social Work 630, Credits: 3
This course focuses on how to professionally engage, assess and intervene with intersectional aspects of bereavement. This course builds on theoretical knowledge of on grief, loss, death, and dying anchored in a social work practice perspective.

CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN
Social Work 631, Credits: 3
This course builds on generalist practice and human behavior courses to address clinical social work practice with children. It will specifically focus on play-based interventions with children and working collaboratively with families and other systems. Interventions with specialized populations will also be addressed, such as children with disabilities or children who have experienced trauma.

SUICIDE PREVENTION, INTERVENTION, AND POSTVENTION
Social Work 632, Credits: 3
This course will examine the complexity of suicide from multi-dimension perspectives including the historical, neurobiological, psychological, sociological, cultural, public health, and personal/subjective. Students will gain an understanding of the prominent theories that explain suicide, as well as risk and protective factors for suicide. This course will familiarize students with evidence-based practices and ethical considerations with suicidal clients.

SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH LGBTQ POPULATION
Social Work 635, Credits: 3
This course aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, and their diverse and intersectional identities as applied to direct social work practice, intervention, and policy. This course will examine a variety of areas of relevance to social work with LGBTQ populations including history, theory, and contemporary issues.

SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY
Social Work 662, Credits: 3
This course is designed to provide students with knowledge about the process of social welfare policy formulation and implementation and with policy analysis skills. The effects of social welfare policies and organizations on both clients (especially the poor and minorities) and on social workers will be emphasized.

SOCIAL WORK WORKSHOP
Social Work 690, Credits: 1-6
Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques.

TRAVEL STUDY
Social Work 691, Credits: 1-3
Variable topics. Faculty-led courses abroad.

SEMINAR IN SOCIAL WORK METHODS
Social Work 694, Credits: 3
Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member.

SPECIAL STUDIES
Social Work 696, Credits: 1-3
Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings.

SOCIAL WORK PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
Social Work 712, Credits: 3
This course builds upon undergraduate human behavior and the social environment classes by taking a closer examination of psychopathology which affects how clients function. The concept of diversity is addressed as it relates to psychopathology. Students learn to use the DSM-5, which is implemented in social work internship experiences.

SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE AND TRAUMA
Social Work 715, Credits: 3
This course will focus on working with clients who have been exposed to significant trauma and/or loss. Trauma theory, impact of trauma and loss, and assessment of trauma will be explored. Skills will be developed to directly treat children and adults with trauma to assist with the management of their symptoms and increasing coping skills to prepare for future challenges.

ADVANCED SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY ANALYSIS
Social Work 720, Credits: 3
This course focuses on advanced policy practice knowledge and skills for enhanced client functioning and social justice. Students will learn to plan for, develop, implement, and evaluate social welfare policies and programs. Students will also critically examine social work policies on a global level and compare/contrast with United States policies.

SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH GROUPS, COMMUNITIES, AND ORGANIZATIONS
Social Work 733, Credits: 3
This class builds on undergraduate classes by further examining the impact of the community as a major element that influences an individual and/or system. The course also includes theories and methods of working with groups and communities, including methods of change, advocacy, planning, respect for diversity, and understanding social justice.

SOCIAL WORK WITH SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS
Social Work 740, Credits: 3
This course provide an overview of Substance Use Disorders and their assessment in social work practice settings. The course will review the history, epidemiology and pharmacology of drugs of abuse. The importance of social systems (e.g., family, work, and community) and spirituality in addiction and recovery will be discussed.

TREATMENT OF SUBSTANCE USE AND OTHER ADDICTIVE DISORDERS
Social Work 741, Credits: 3
Social, legal, political, psychological, biological (including neuroscience research), spiritual, and ethical factors related to substance use disorders, eating disorders, and other behavioral addictions will be examined. Assessment and intervention models with an emphasis on harm reduction, stages of change, medication assisted treatment, and strengths perspective will be studied.

SOCIAL WORK WITH MILITARY
Social Work 750, Credits: 3
This course explores military culture and stressors associated with military lifestyle Ethical issues for working in this environment are considered. Students completing this course will have a more in-depth understanding of theory-based and research-informed strategies to work with the military, veterans and their families in a variety of settings.

ADVANCED INTERVENTION WITH MILITARY AND FAMILIES
Social Work 752, Credits: 3
Theoretical and practical approaches to advanced clinical practice with individuals in the military, military families, and groups. Examines the demands of military service on the family and studies group dynamics, composition, and common social issues in the military system. Implementation of appropriate treatment plans and interventions will be examined.

SOCIAL WORK WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES
Social Work 760, Credits: 3
The focus of this course will be on demystifying disability by examining the lived experiences of people with physical disabilities. Students will explore disability from bio-psycho-social and cultural perspectives. They will gain knowledge of the disability community's common language, norms of conduct, economic concerns, political issues, and struggles with stigmatization.

INTERVENTIONS WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES
Social Work 762, Credits: 3
Theoretical and clinical approaches to working with individuals with a disability and families who have a family member with a disability will be examined. Students will practice assessing, intervention, writing treatment plans, and evaluation in relation to physical disability cases in social work.

AGING POLICY
Social Work 763, Credits: 3
This course will critically examine U.S. policies in aging as they relate to the overall health, including physical, social, and behavioral health, for older adults and their unpaid family caregivers. The course will emphasize the impact of changes in aging policy on the physical, social, and behavioral professionals' roles, and the connections between U.S. and State policies in aging and delivery systems.

COMMUNITY BASED LEARNING IN GERONTOLOGY
Social Work 764, Credits: 3
This course in aging that aims to address community, local, regional, or national needs in aging. Students will work as part of team and partner with a community-based organization (CBO), which will be identified by the instructor, and conduct an evaluation and share the findings with stakeholders. The type of evaluation to be undertaken, which can range from a community or organizational needs assessment to client satisfaction to outcome-based program evaluation, will be contingent on the CBO's needs.

RESEARCH AND PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION
Social Work 771, Credits: 4
Students will utilize practice experience and theory to inform research. Students will examine quantitative and qualitative research designs, applying critical thinking skills to analyze research. Students will develop an ethical plan, design, and conduct one evaluative study of an intervention/program which will be concluded in Research Integrative Capstone project.

ADVANCED PRACTICE: INTERVENTION AND EVALUATION
Social Work 776, Credits: 3
This class teaches students to assess clients and implement culturally competent, evidence-based interventions to enhance client's lives. This course presents advanced methods involved in completion of assessments, practice interventions, therapeutic processes, and evaluation. Pulling from examples from field placement experience, students will be required to select appropriate interventions for clients.

SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK
Social Work 777, Credits: 3
The School Social Work Practice courses focusing on teaching content from the Wisconsin Pupil Service Standard PI 34 related to being a school social worker. This course is designed to integrate the prior professional experiences of students who have practiced social work outside of the public school setting with the unique knowledge and skills required by the school setting.

SOCIAL WORK FIELD EXPERIENCE
Social Work 783, Credits: 1-3
The field practicum courses in the MSW program provide an in-depth advanced practicum experience for MSW students. Students complete this practicum courses under the practice supervision of an approved agency field instructor, and academic guidance of a faculty field liaison.

SOCIAL WORK FIELD RESEARCH INTEGRATION CAPSTONE
Social Work 784, Credits: 4
The course continues to provide an in-depth advanced practicum experience for MSW students, under the practice supervision of an approved agency field instructor. Students will be required to implement their research project in this field experience and create a portfolio based on the students' courses and final research project.

SEMINAR
Social Work 794, Credits: 1-3
Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member.

SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE AND TRAUMA
Social Work 796, Credits: 3
This course will focus on working with clients who have been exposed to significant trauma and/or loss. Trauma theory, impact of trauma and loss, and assessment of trauma will be explored. Skills will be developed to directly treat children and adults of trauma to assist with the management of their symptoms and increasing coping skills to prepare for future challenges.

INDIVIDUAL STUDIES
Social Work 798, Credits: 1-3
Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member.

INDEPENDENT STUDIES IN SOCIAL WORK - GRADUATE RESEARCH
Social Work 798R, Credits: 1-3
Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable.

 UW-WHITEWATER MASTER’S SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

PROGRAM OPTION

LAST COMPLETED ON 5/18/2021

COUNCIL ON SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION - FORM AS 4(M) [pdf]

                                                                 

Online Tuition as of 2021-22

  • $567 per credit in state (includes $50 distance education fee)
  • $1116.11 per credit out of state (includes $50 distance education fee)
  • Average fall and spring term tuition for full time Wisconsin Resident $10,207; average summer tuition is $3518 (both include distance ed fees)

Graduate students enrolled at Whitewater can seek financial assistance in the form of assistantships, employment, grants, and loans.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are offered to a limited number of full-time graduate students. Full assistantships require up to 15 hours of service per week and have paid, most recently, approximately $10,350 for an academic year. In addition, when funds are available, out-of-state students may be eligible for a remission of the nonresident portion of the tuition costs. Please contact the Graduate Studies Office for further information, or click here. The UW-Whitewater School Psychology Program is able to offer a limited number of full and part-time graduate assistantships to full-time first and second year students. A separate application for Graduate Assistantships is available from the Office of Graduate Studies. Please note that this application has a February 15th deadline. Graduate students can also seek other employment assistance by applying for Federal Work-Study Employment, Regular Student Payroll, or other opportunities as advertised on campus.

Advanced Opportunity Program

Advanced Opportunity Program Awards are available to members of underrepresented minority groups or non-minority/disadvantaged students. Nonresident Grants are available to out-of-state students who are enrolled full-time and exhibit both scholastic excellence and financial need. Contact the Academic Support Services Office for more information. Federal Perkins Loans are available to graduate students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and demonstrate financial need. Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) enable graduates to borrow directly from participating lenders. Contact the Financial Aid Office, (262) 472-1130, for further information.

Scholarships and Fellowships

The UW-Whitewater School Psychology Program has partial scholarships and fellowships available for both first and second year students, The Barbara Ann Hersko Scholarship, Fellowships and the Song Family Scholarship. Information about these opportunities are explained once a student has entered the program. Accepted students are also eligible for a variety of Wisconsin School Psychologists Association (WSPA) scholarships in the same monetary range.

Community Resources

A range of resources are available both on campus and off campus to support students’ needs. Download here

Useful Links

UWW Social Work Program Application

Application to the School of Graduate Studies

NASW (National Association of School Workers)

Veterans Services

Career Services

Research and library support

International Students

MSW FAQ

We are currently not yet accepting MSW applications for fall 2022.  The priority deadline for summer/fall 2022 admission is December 1, 2021.  The final deadline to apply is January 11, 2022.

You need to submit all of your required material to the graduate program here.

We only accept applicants for admittance in the summer/fall semester.

No, the GRE is not required to apply to our MSW program. 

Instead, once you've completed the online graduate school application, you need to send your resume and personal statement to Sarah Hessenauer.

  • Email: msw@uww.edu
  • Mail: Sarah Hessenauer, 5201 Laurentide Hall, 800 West Main Street, Whitewater, WI 53190-1790

You need three letters of recommendation. References need to be from 1) An instructor (if you graduated within two years, otherwise you can use another professional reference), 2) A personal reference, and 3) A professional reference.  

You will need to send your references a form to complete.

Decisions for fall 2021 will be made by March 15, 2021.

Applicants will need to inform the program by April 1 if they plan to enroll in the program.

We will have a waiting list for admissions. Applicants will have to inform the program by April 1 if they will be attending our program. After that date, we will email individuals who are on the waiting list.

We have an advanced generalist specialization.  We do have emphasis areas including mental health, addictions, school social work, military, physical disabilities, and aging and health.  Students are encouraged to create an emphasis that supports their future goals.  

 

Yes. The program will accept individuals having a degree from an accredited college other than social work. In these cases, you are considered to be in the non-advanced standing/traditional program. You will be required to complete 58 credits to graduate with a Masters in Social Work.

A program goal is to offer a flexible scheduling in order to accommodate working students. In the first year of the program, the majority of our courses will be face-to-face. We do plan on offering some evening courses. In addition, the majority of the courses will meet one day a week. At this time, we cannot guarantee any online courses.

Our graduate school policy is that the program can accept up to 12 transfer credits. These credits must be obtained from a CSWE accredited social work program.

Our Social Work faculty

UW-Whitewater’s Social Work faculty are dedicated to training professional practitioners who are looked to as leaders within their schools.

Meet our Social Work faculty »