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 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.

Program Information

The MSW program has received continuous accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education since 1940. The MSW program prepares graduates for advanced social work practice within a variety of settings. The MSW degree is recognized for licensure for independent social work practice in the United States. More information regarding licensure and certification can be found on local Department of Health and Human Services websites.

Program Contact Information

Ciara Warden, LISW, MSW Coordinator
206 College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) 
402.554.3639
cwarden@unomaha.edu

Jeanette Harder, Ph.D., Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
206 College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) 
402.554.2893
jharder@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Admissions

Application Deadlines (Fall 2021)

  • Fall: January 15

Program-Specific Requirements

  • Transcript(s)-Undergraduate weighted cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Recommendation requests are generated from your online application.  These recommendations should be from professional and academic sources who are directly familiar with your skills and experience. At least one reference should be from an immediate professional supervisor. If you have graduated from an academic program within the past three years, at least one reference should be from a faculty member who can speak directly to your academic preparation for graduate social work education. References from family members, family friends, personal friends, personal therapists, or other non-professional/academic sources will not be scored.
  • Resume
    • Applicants are highly encouraged to have professional experience in the human service field.  Please submit a professional resume that identifies:

      • Professional experiences, especially in human services

      • Educational experiences since high school

        • List start and end dates with month and year
        • Identify whether the position is part or full-time
        • Identify whether the position is paid or volunteer
        • Field placements, internships or practicums
        • Honors or distinctions received
  • Statement of Purpose
    • The statement of purpose is an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of and fit for the social work profession, as well as your aptitude for graduate-level social work education. The Admissions Committee pays close attention to both content and writing skills. In your statement of purpose, please address each of the items listed below, and should be no more than five (5) pages, double-spaced, in a 12-point font. Your response to each of the items should be roughly the same length. If your statement of purpose does not clearly and directly address each of the items or does not follow the instructions, it may not be considered.
      • Why have you chosen social work? Your response should demonstrate a basic understanding of the social work profession, including what distinguishes it from other helping professions.

      • Social work is a values-based profession dedicated to mitigating inequality and enhancing human wellbeing, especially for vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed populations. From the core values and ethical principles identified in the NASW Code of Ethics, identify and discuss one that resonates with you and one that may challenge you.

      • Social workers are self-reflective, strengths-based, and growth-oriented. Identify a strength that you possess and an area for growth. Discuss how you became aware of these, how they show up in your current professional practice, and how they may influence your future professional practice.

      • The social work profession is rooted in social justice. Social workers adopt a stance of cultural humility and strive towards cultural awareness. Discuss a time when you realized that one of your personal or cultural identities influenced your reaction to a social situation.  Reflecting on that experience, how might it influence your future social work practice? 

      • If you have a compelling autobiographical story relevant to your application, but that falls outside of the items addressed within the statement, you may add a letter to the Admissions Committee. Your letter will be considered, but will not be scored.

  • Writing Sample
    • Applicants who have a BSW or BSSW degree from a CSWE accredited program are required to submit a researched, APA-style, original essay addressing a social issue relevant to social work practice. Your social issue essay should be no more than five (5) pages of content, double-spaced, in a 12-point font, with a reference page. Your essay should address each of the following components:
      • Identify a contemporary social problem and its relevance to social work practice
      • Discuss the origins and causes of the social problem
      • Discuss potential solutions to the social problem
      • Evaluate potential solutions to the social problems in the context of the core values and ethical principles of social work.
  • Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English.  Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the United States, OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a predetermined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.
    • A minimum TOEFL score of 550 paper-based; 80 internet-based; 53 PTE, or 6.5 IELTS is required for this program.

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 AND 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 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM I 13
SOWK 8170GENERALIST SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM II 13
Total Credits24
Required Advanced Courses
SOWK 8190RESEARCH & COMPUTER APPLICATIONS3
SOWK 8220CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK WITH INDIVIDUALS3
SOWK 8230CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK WITH GROUPS3
SOWK 8290SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH3
SOWK 8650HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH POLICIES FOR SOCIAL WORK3
SOWK 8510SOCIAL WORK LEADERSHIP3
SOWK 8540PLANNING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE3
SOWK 8400ADVANCED SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM I 13
SOWK 8410ADVANCED SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM II 13
Advanced Research Course
SOWK 8940EVALUATION OF SOCIAL PROGRAMS3
or SOWK 8950 RESEARCH METHODS IN CLINICAL PRACTICE
Electives9
Select 9 credit hours. 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.
SOCIAL WORK WITH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY
WORKING WITH MINORITY ELDERLY
ETHNIC DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH FAMILIES
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH OLDER ADULTS
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH SEXUAL CONCERNS
ADVANCED SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM III
TREATMENT ISSUES IN CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL ADVOCACY
ADVANCED COMMUNITY PRACTICE
ADMINISTRATION OF SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCIES
PERMANENCE FOR CHILDREN
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY VIOLENCE
TRAUMA AND RESILIENCE
MEDICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF ALCOHOL/DRUG USE AND ADDICTION
ASSESSMENT AND CASE MANAGEMENT IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE
SOCIAL WORK AND THE LAW
SPIRITUALITY AND SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
CRISIS INTERVENTION
HOSPICE & OTHER SERVICES FOR THE DYING PATIENT/FAMILY
TOPICAL SEMINAR IN SOCIAL WORK
SPECIAL STUDIES IN SOCIAL WELFARE
RESEARCH OTHER THAN THESIS
MASTER'S THESIS

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. 

Academic Policies and Standards

  • The Academic Policies and Standards can be found here.