Social Work, MSW

Grace Abbott School of Social Work, College of Public Affairs & Community Service

Vision Statement

The mission of the Grace Abbott School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha is to educate students to become highly qualified social workers who serve people of all ages and influence the systems that affect them; to advance knowledge through teaching and research; and to engage with diverse communities to promote socially just societies.

The primary purpose of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being. Social workers help to meet the basic human needs of all people and empower those who are vulnerable, oppressed, or affected by poverty. The social work profession was founded on a set of core principles that still guide its unique purpose and perspective today:

  • Service
  • Social justice
  • Dignity and worth of the person
  • Importance of human relationships
  • Integrity
  • Competence

Social Work maintains a dual focus on individual well-being in a social context and on the betterment of society. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs, helping people to identify and address the environmental forces that create and contribute to problems in living. For over 100 years, social workers have worked to promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, helping millions of people to challenge their circumstances and change their lives, and promoting the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals' needs and social problems.

Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation, administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, research and evaluation.

Program Contact Information

Dr. Kerry Beldin, MSW Coordinator
College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) 205
402-554-2941
kbeldin@unomaha.edu

Dr. Peter Szto, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) 206
402-554-2330
pszto@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Other Program-Related Information

  • The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares students for advanced social work practice. Master’s level social workers are employed in public and private agencies, including medical settings, schools, residential treatment centers, court and correctional agencies, and community planning and development agencies. Their activities and interventions are designed to promote a more effectively-functioning society to “provide for the general welfare,” as well as to help individuals, families, groups, communities, and institutions within that society achieve self-fulfillment.

  • The MSW degree at the Grace Abbott School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting body for all social work education.

  • Information on certification and licensure is available on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website.

  • Students must enroll in a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) per semester.

  • Students must seek prior approval from the director of the Grace Abbott School of Social Work if they wish to take more than 12 hours of coursework in a single semester.

  • Degree must be completed within four (4) years. Exceptions can be requested from the Director.

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: January 15

Program-Specific Requirements

  • Academic Record/Transcript-Undergraduate weighted cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation.
    • The letters must be professional in nature. Each recommender should describe how they know you (how long and in what capacity), and why they believe you would be a good candidate for the Master of Social Work program.
  • Resume
    • Current resume detailing employment history, nature of duties and responsibilities, accomplishments, leadership roles, and community involvement.
  • Statement of Purpose: Please answer the following statements/questions in a total of five (5) double-spaced, typewritten pages (12-point font). Your application is considered incomplete if these instructions are not followed.
    • A brief autobiographical statement that discusses who you are and the experiences that led you to social work. Trace the development of your interest in social work. Why have you chosen social work as a profession? Describe the key motivating figure(s), role model(s), or experience(s) important to your decision to become involved in social work.
    • Discuss your career objectives as a professional social worker as you now conceive them. What do you see yourself doing immediately after receiving your MSW?
    • Discuss a contemporary social problem. Include possible causes and potential solutions in your response. What contribution do you want to make to the pursuit of social and economic justice?
    • The Grace Abbott School of Social Work is committed to enrolling students who represent diverse backgrounds and have an aptitude for working with clients of diverse backgrounds. Diversity can be defined by virtue of personal characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, class and religion as other characteristics. Diversity may also include personal life experiences such as class, career history, belonging to another culture, working among another culture, dealing with significant personal challenge(s), and knowledge of more than one language. Even if you have had minimal contact with people from diverse backgrounds, please address how you "think" about diversity in relation to the practice of social work and respond to the following questions: a) What are your views regarding diversity? b) How does diversity relate to experiences in your life?

The MSW Foundation Program is a 63 credit hour program available to applicants who do not hold a BSSW degree from an accredited school of social work within the last 10 years.

The MSW Advanced Standing Program is a 39 credit hour program available to applicants who have earned a BSSW degree from an accredited school of social work within the last 10 years.

Completion of the following undergraduate prerequisite courses is required before entering the MSW Program.

  • A human biology course or equivalent such as anatomy
  • A research methods course (Note: There is a waiver exam available for this prerequisite)
  • A statistics course

Degree Requirements

Required Foundation Courses
SOWK 8070HUMAN BEHAVIOR & THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I3
SOWK 8080HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT II3
SOWK 8090SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY3
SOWK 8110INSTITUTIONAL OPPRESSION3
SOWK 8130GENERALIST PRACTICE I3
SOWK 8150GENERALIST PRACTICE II3
SOWK 8160GENERALIST SOWK PRACTICUM I 13
SOWK 8170GENERALIST SOWK PRACTICUM II 13
Total Credits24
1

A student must receive grades of "B" or higher in practicum courses (SOWK 8160 and SOWK 8170). 

Required Core Courses
SOWK 8190RESEARCH & COMPUTER APPLICATIONS3
SOWK 8220CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK WITH INDIVIDUALS3
SOWK 8250SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH FAMILIES3
SOWK 8510SUPERVISION AND PERSONNEL ADMININISTRATION3
SOWK 8400ADVANCED SOWK PRACTICUM I 13
SOWK 8410ADVANCED SOWK PRACTICUM II 13
Advanced Research Course
Select one of the following:3
EVALUATION OF SOCIAL PROGRAMS
RESEARCH METHODS IN CLINICAL PRACTICE
RESEARCH OTHER THAN THESIS
MASTER'S THESIS
Concentration Requirements
See Concentrations Tab12
Electives6-9
Select 6 credit hours for the Clinical concentration or 9 credit hours for the Advanced Generalist concentration. Students who are pursuing a graduate certificate or a graduate minor may be able to apply certain courses in those program curricula as MSW electives.
SOWK 8026SOCIAL WORK WITH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY3
SOWK 8046/GERO 8696WORKING WITH MINORITY ELDERLY3
SOWK 8230CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK WITH GROUPS3
SOWK 8240SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN3
SOWK 8260SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH OLDER ADULTS3
SOWK 8270SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH SEXUAL CONCERNS3
SOWK 8280SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH COUPLES AND CHANGING FAMILY STRUCTURES3
SOWK 8290SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH3
SOWK 8420ADVANCED SOWK PRACTICUM III1-3
SOWK 8516TREATMENT ISSUES IN CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY3
SOWK 8540SOCIAL WELFARE PLANNING3
SOWK 8550SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL ADVOCACY3
SOWK 8560ADVANCED COMMUNITY PRACTICE3
SOWK 8570ADMINISTRATION OF SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCIES3
SOWK 8600PERMANENCE FOR CHILDREN3
SOWK 8610FAMILY AND COMMUNITY VIOLENCE3
SOWK 8626TRAUMA AND RESILIENCE3
SOWK 8650HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH POLICIES FOR SOCIAL WORK3
SOWK 8686MEDICAL & PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF ALCOHOL/DRUG USE AND ADDICTION3
SOWK 8696ASSESSMENT AND CASE ASSESSMENT IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE3
SOWK 8806SOCIAL WORK AND THE LAW3
SOWK 8816SPIRITUALITY AND SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE3
SOWK 8836CRISIS INTERVENTION3
SOWK 8856HOSPICE & OTHER SERVICES FOR THE DYING PATIENT/FAMILY3
SOWK 8886TOPICAL SEMINAR SOCIAL WORK3
SOWK 8900SPECIAL STUDIES IN SOCIAL WELFARE1-3
Total Credits39
1

A student must receive a grade of B or higher in practicum courses (SOWK 8400 and SOWK 8410).

Exit Requirements

  • Comprehensive Examination
    • The comprehensive examination is offered twice each academic year, during the fall and spring semesters. It is recommended that students take the examination during the semester of graduation, but they may take it earlier provided no more than nine (9) credit hours are remaining to be completed after the semester in which the comprehensive examination is taken. 

Concentrations

Clinical Concentration

Required Clinical Courses
SOWK 8230CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK WITH GROUPS3
SOWK 8290SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH3
SOWK 8650HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH POLICIES FOR SOCIAL WORK3
Advanced Clinical Practice Course
Select one of the following:3
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH OLDER ADULTS
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH SEXUAL CONCERNS
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH COUPLES AND CHANGING FAMILY STRUCTURES
Total Credits12

Advanced Generalist Concentration

Required Advanced Generalist Courses
SOWK 8540SOCIAL WELFARE PLANNING3
SOWK 8560ADVANCED COMMUNITY PRACTICE3
Required Advanced Generalist Macro Practice Course
SOWK 8550SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL ADVOCACY3
or SOWK 8570 ADMINISTRATION OF SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCIES

Academic Policies and Standards

  • The Academic Policies and Standards can be found here.