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graduate bulletin index

Leon H. Ginsberg, Interim Dean
John T. Gandy, Associate Dean
Lois W. Wright, Assistant Dean
James D. Ward, Director of Field Instruction

Arlene B. Andrews, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1985
Gerald L. Euster, D.S.W., University of Pennsylvania, 1969
Miriam L. Freeman, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1985
John T. Gandy, Ph.D., University of Denver, 1975
Leon H. Ginsberg, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 1966
Carolina Distinguished Professor
Paul Kim, Ph.D., Tulane University, 1972
Sadye Logan, D.S.W., Columbia University, 1980
Frank B. Raymond III, Ph.D., Tulane University, 1971
Lois W. Wright, Ed.D., College of William and Mary, 1977

Associate Professors
Gil No Choi, Ph.D., Tulane University, 1991
Naomi B. Farber, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1987
Miriam S. Johnson, Ph.D., University of Alabama, 1994
Jerry L. Randolph, D.S.W., University of Utah, 1976
Rita Rhodes, Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1986
Terry Tirrito, Ph.D., Fordham University, 1989
Terry A. Wolfer, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1995

Assistant Professors
Nancy K. Brown, Ph.D., University of Albany, 1997
Michelle M. Carney, Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1996
Bruce O. Dalton, Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1995
Karen Gray, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2001
Goutham M. Menon, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1996
Julie Miller-Cribbs, Ph.D., Washington University, 1999


The College of Social Work has offered graduate professional education at the master's level at the University since 1969. The doctoral program admitted its first class in fall 1987. The college has offered its master's degree in Seoul, South Korea, since 1992. The Master of Social Work degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education.


The profession of social work seeks to restore, preserve, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and the larger society. The University of South Carolina College of Social Work seeks to prepare its graduates for effective role performance as social work practitioners (M.S.W.) and social work educators (Ph.D.) and to enhance other graduate or undergraduate students' preparation for responsible citizenship. The college also recognizes its responsibility to contribute to the profession's body of knowledge and to serve the profession and the general public through the provision of educational, consultative, research, and other assistance offered at the local, state, national, and international levels.


The college has articulated three goals that emanate from our mission and represent different pathways through which we pursue them.

Goal I: The college prepares M.S.W. graduates to work effectively and ethically within public and private agencies, including interdisciplinary settings, where they primarily serve those vulnerable populations who experience problems related to economic and social deprivation and those consequences of institutionalized discrimination and oppression.

The college also produces Ph.D. graduates who are able to perform all the role expectations of academicians within social work degree-granting colleges or universities. Graduates are effective classroom teachers, are able to engage in productive research and scholarship, and possess a commitment and a capacity to meet university and community service expectations. In addition, the college prepares University students from other academic programs for responsible citizenship.

Goal II: The college builds and disseminates knowledge, maintaining and further developing its reputation for excellence in those activities.

Goal III: The college offers social work services to consumers, social agencies, the profession, the local community, and the state, national, and international communities to enhance the overall quality of life.

M.S.W. Degree Program

Currently the master's degree enrollment of the college is approximately 325 full-time and 130 part-time students, including the South Korea-based program. Since its first class graduated in 1971, the college has awarded the M.S.W. degree to more than 3,500 women and men. Over 90 percent of all graduates are currently employed as professional social workers, and those who are not employed in the field are voluntarily out of the job market. The employment picture continues to be a bright one for our graduates. While most graduates pursue employment in South Carolina or nearby southeastern states, an increasing number are living and working in other parts of the country and internationally.


The admission policy for the M.S.W. degree program shall apply to every applicant--full-time, part-time, and advanced standing--regardless of the location at which the applicant plans to attend classes. (See the following section entitled "Part-time Program.") The College of Social Work is committed to diversity in the student body. An applicant for admission as a degree candidate in social work must fulfill the general admission requirements of both The Graduate School of the University and the College of Social Work prior to registration. Therefore, the applicant will complete application forms for both The Graduate School and the College of Social Work.

The applicant must submit the following to The Graduate School:

1. graduate application form;
2. two letters of reference from professors or employers (the same reference letters may be used for both applications);
3. two official transcripts from each college or university previously attended.

The following must be submitted to the College of Social Work:

1. supplementary application for admission;
2. an autobiographical statement.

It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that all required application materials have been received. Admissions for advanced standing will be closed on February 1, while full-time and part-time will close on March 1. All application materials must be received by these dates. Full-time and part-time admissions are available only for the fall semester.

Admission to the master's degree program is on a selective basis and is determined by the academic preparation and personal qualifications of the applicant. The applicant must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. A grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on all advanced undergraduate courses is normally expected. It is also expected that the applicant will have a sound educational foundation with a liberal arts perspective. The applicant should have completed courses in social and behavioral sciences that provide knowledge about social, psychological, and biological determinants of behavior and of diverse cultures, social conditions, and social problems. Intellectual maturity, emotional stability, and motivation and capacity to work with people are essential qualifications. An interview with a member of the faculty may also be required. An applicant who has not attained the required undergraduate grade point average must submit a score of at least 800 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination as additional evidence of capacity to pursue graduate study. The Graduate Record Examination must have been taken within the past five years.

Openings for admission are limited, and competition is considerable. Persons will be selected who have the strongest qualifications in terms of the college's admission criteria: grade point ratio, GRE scores, autobiography (content and writing quality), references, work and volunteer experience, and commitment to social work values.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the M.S.W. degree include the completion of 60 hours of course work with an average grade of B or better on all classroom courses and satisfactory grades in all field courses.

All work for the M.S.W. degree must be completed within a four-year period, and two consecutive semesters must be in full-time status (9 hours per semester). Other general requirements for the M.S.W. degree are the same as those established by The Graduate School and are in accordance with accreditation standards established by the Council on Social Work Education.

Full-Time Curriculum

Students who pursue the entire M.S.W. program (60 hours) on a full-time basis will take courses according to the following schedule:

Semester I (Fall): Foundation Year

712 (3)
722 (3)
732 (3)
741 (3)
781 (3)

Total 15

Semester II (Spring): Foundation Year

710 (3)
716 (3)
742 (3)
791 (3)
782 (3)

Total 15

Semester III (Fall): Advanced Year

723 (3)
724 (3)
783 (3)


733 (3)
734 (3)
785 (3)

793 (3)
Elective (3)

Total 15

Semester IV: Advanced Year

725 (3)
747 (3)
784 (3)


735 (3)
748 (3)
786 (3)

718 (3)
Elective (3)

Total 15

Part-Time Curriculum: Foundation Content

Students who pursue the entire M.S.W. program (60 hours) on a part-time basis will take the foundation courses according to the following schedule. Advanced courses will be taken on a full-time basis, as described above.

First Year

Fall: J741, J712 (on TV)
Spring: J791, J716 (on TV)
Summer I: 742

Second Year

Fall: 722, 732, 781 (Saturdays, plus field)
Spring: 710, 782 (Saturdays, plus field)
Summer (optional): Two electives and two required courses (747 or 748, and 793)

Advanced Standing Curriculum

Summer Session I

700 (2)
702 (2)
704 (2)

Summer Session II

701 (2)
703 (2)
705 (2)

Advanced courses will be taken on a full-time basis as described above.

International Students

The College of Social Work requires applicants whose native language is not English to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the University of Cambridge's IELTS Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 230 (computer-based) or 570 (paper-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5. For more information, international students should contact International Programs for Students, University of South Carolina, Byrnes Building, Columbia, SC 29208. Telephone: 803-777-7461.

Transfer From Other Programs

An applicant who wishes to transfer from another M.S.W. program must complete the same admissions process and meet the same admission requirements as other degree candidates. A formal written request for transfer must be made at the time of application for admission. A maximum of 30 semester hours (foundation content) of graduate credit may be transferred from other institutions accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Acceptance of graduate transfer credit is determined by the college's admissions committee, which assesses potential transfer courses in terms of their equivalence with courses in this graduate program and the adequacy of the applicant's performance in these courses. A grade of less than B in any course will disqualify that course from consideration for transfer. Credit will not be given for work or life experience.

Grants, Contracts, and Research

Faculty of the college are active in securing external funding through grants and contracts to expand their capability for scholarly production and community service and to provide stipends for students who wish to focus their graduate work in particular areas of study. Students benefit significantly from projects such as these. Financially, they benefit through receipt of stipends and graduate assistantships; educationally, they benefit from the stimulation of working with faculty who are concerned with current social problems and issues.

The Center for Child and Family Studies

The Center for Child and Family Studies was created in 1986 in the College of Social Work to address issues related to children and families. Since that time, the center has gained prominence for its curriculum development and training, research and program evaluation, conference planning, and social work education initiatives.

The mission of the center is to improve the well-being of children, adults, and families in South Carolina and the nation through the discovery and application of the best practices in health and human services.

The center operates through three divisions. The Training Division develops curricula and provides expert training to promote more effective service delivery in public and private human-service organizations. The Research, Planning and Evaluation Division engages in a multifaceted set of activities composed of research studies, demonstration projects, program evaluations, and training evaluations. The Education Division provides specialized enhancements to master's level social work education in order to increase the number of professionally trained social workers in South Carolina's public service agencies and provide them job-specific training. The center provides a full range of products and activities that support the work of health and human service agencies, such as conference planning services, video production, preparation and dissemination of publications, collaborative proposal development and provision of evaluation services for funded projects, and workshop presentations.

The University Specialty Clinic for Social Work

The University Specialty Clinic for Social Work was established in 1998. The clinic collaborates with the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Social Work Solutions to help find and apply creative methods that improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Since its inception the clinic has gained a reputation for policy analysis, program evaluation, quality assurance, and research efforts on behalf of private and state human-service agencies.

The clinic operates using multidisciplinary work teams, including many faculty from the College of Social Work. Each project work team is selected to address the specific needs of the client and project. The diverse backgrounds, education, and experience of team members ensure that all aspects of the project are considered. The clinic is committed to social work education and provides field placement and/or graduate assistantship opportunities for social work students desiring to serve individuals, families, communities, and organizations.

The clinic provides high-quality products that are affordable, easy to use, and meet the needs of our clients. Currently the clinic is involved in projects such as:

Utilization-focused evaluation of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under Title XXI of the Social Security Act, to assess the impact of the Medicaid law change in securing health care for children, to determine the best method of implementing the expansion of Medicaid, and to compile the necessary information to meet the March 2000 Health Care Financing Administration evaluation requirements;

Community Service Project, to improve outcomes for children and families in targeted communities;

Emotionally Disturbed Children's Services Outcome Project, to support and assist in the development of outcomes for Emotionally Disturbed Children's Services;

Respite Project, to document any existing need for respite care and to determine preferences for in-home and institutional care.

South Carolina Center for Gerontology

Created legislatively in 1984, the South Carolina Center for Gerontology is a consortium of state-supported institutions of higher education and is administered by the College of Social Work. The general purpose of the consortium is to use the expertise of gerontology and geriatrics faculty from a variety of academic disciplines to assist in furthering the quality of life for older South Carolinians.

The major objectives of the consortium are to:

  • promote and strengthen research and research expertise in gerontology and geriatrics
  • promote and strengthen instructional activities in gerontology and geriatrics
  • promote and strengthen alliances among faculty and service providers with gerontological and geriatric interests from public and private sectors throughout the state
  • systematically identify available gerontological and geriatric research, educational, and service resources within the state
  • systematically identify needs and potential needs related to gerontology and geriatrics in the state
  • facilitate dissemination of new information to professionals involved in teaching, research, and service in gerontology and geriatrics.

Faculty of consortium universities demonstrate continued success in obtaining grants and contracts to advance gerontology/geriatrics research and educational programs. Publication of books, chapters, monographs, and scientific journal articles reflect the highly significant aging research and scholarship of faculty in South Carolina universities. Numerous faculty make research presentations at both national and international scientific and professional conferences, further disseminating the results of their studies and projects on aging.

Policy Board members consult with and collaborate on research, educational, and training initiatives with colleagues in state and national aging organizations. Members serve on state and local aging agency boards and committees to assist personnel around such issues as Alzheimer's disease education, service delivery, family caregiving, legislative advocacy, and senior center development.

Technology Center

The Center for Technology in Social Work Education and Practice (CTSWEP) pursues new ways of applying communication and information technologies to enhance the life experiences of individuals, families, and communities. The center reaches out to the social work education and practice communities through focused research, expert consultancy, and practical training.

The center has the following objectives:

  • examine which technologies will best benefit distance education and instructional technology endeavors of schools/colleges of social work
  • consult with institutions of higher education and social service agencies on the adoption of communication/information technologies
  • examine the utilization of communication/information technologies in micro and macro settings to enhance social work practice
  • train human service workers in the utilization of technology for practice
  • inform policy and develop guidelines for the ethical use of technology in education and practice
  • transfer knowledge to the profession through publications, conferences and educational programs.

The I. DeQuincey Newman Institute for Peace and Social Change

In honor of the memory of the great humanitarian the Reverend I. DeQuincey Newman, the institute was established in the College of Social Work to continue his mission of promoting the causes of social justice through interdisciplinary education, consultation, and research at the community, state, national, and international levels. The institute, which is an outgrowth of the I. DeQuincey Newman Chair, was conceived in partnership with the University, the College of Social Work, and interested community groups.

To address the myriad concerns and issues related to social justice, the institute carries out work in four areas:

  • culturally relevant ethnographic and program effectiveness research
  • curriculum development of graduate social work programs; in-service training for practitioners, and dissemination of related written materials
  • consultation and technical assistance to social agencies, government, business, and industry in matters such as race relations and the enhancement of economic growth through human service development
  • policy development and reform in areas relevant to the needs of the oppressed and populations at risk.

The institute's current goals flow directly from its priority areas. The goals are to:

  • cultivate more responsive human service organizations
  • promote quality services to the elderly, especially those residing in rural areas
  • promote quality housing for low-income families
  • promote quality education for low-income children and families
  • research, develop, and teach principles of planned peaceful changes.

International Partnerships

The College of Social Work had established partnerships with colleges and universities in several countries. These partnerships have resulted in a number of activities, including faculty exchanges, student exchanges, curriculum sharing, cross-cultural research, and joint service projects. These international partnerships include:

  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, 1988
  • Kangnam University, Seoul, South Korea, 1993
  • FachHochshule Lausitz, Brandenburg, Germany, 1995
  • Hallym University, Chun Chon City, South Korea, 1997
  • University of Suwon, Hwa Sung-Gun, South Korea, 1997
  • Dan Kook University, Seoul, South Korea, 1997
  • Induk Institute of Technology, Seoul, South Korea, 1998
  • Korea Christian University, Seoul, South Korea, 1999
  • Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, South Korea, 1999
  • Chang-Shin College, Masan, South Korea, 2000.

Recognizing the impact of globalization in all spheres, including social work education and practice, the college intends to continue developing international linkages. Without doubt, having relationships with institutions of higher education in other parts of the world benefits all of the parties involved.

International Study Program

The college's international study program has operated continuously since 1986, involving more than 600 social workers, students, and their friends and family. Participants may receive undergraduate (SOWK 306) or graduate (SOWK 757) credit from the University of South Carolina. In-state tuition applies for all registrants. For social work professionals, five continuing education units (CEUs) or 50 contact hours are available. Accompanying family members and friends are welcome.

The international program began in 1986 when the University started a major program in Mexico. In 1991 the University signed a formal agreement with the Autonomous University of Mexico for faculty exchanges, and the Autonomous University sent three social work faculty members to USC to visit the campus and to execute the formal agreement between the two institutions.

The college has offered study-abroad courses every year since 1986. The courses have always included both graduate and undergraduate students from the University of South Carolina as well as students from other U.S. colleges and universities, faculty members from various universities, and social work practitioners. University credit is given by USC, as well as CEUs and contact hours for social work licensing purposes. Some universities and colleges also give credit for participation in the course. Several hundred social workers and students have participated in these international courses over the years.

In 1992 the college sponsored a section of a study-abroad course in Israel. In 1994, the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico was the course destination. In 1995, the college's international offering was Greece. In 1996, the college sponsored two sections of the course--a new one in England and a return trip to Greece. In May 1997, 70 social workers participated in the college's course in Scotland, England, and France. For the first time special attention was given to gerontology programs in these nations, and a group of gerontology students participated. In May 1998, 55 participants from all over the United States traveled to Russia and Sweden with the College of Social Work program. The enthusiastic responses of the participants both during the trip and after returning persuaded the college to offer the same trip again in 1999. In 2001 the college sponsored study-abroad courses in England, Scotland, France, and Ghana.

Korea-based M.S.W. Program

The College of Social Work has offered its master's degree program on site in Seoul, South Korea, since 1992 in collaboration with Kangnam University. Several other Korean universities have joined this partnership in recent years including Hallym University, University of Suwon, Dan Kook University, Induk Institute of Technology, Korea Christian University, Sookmyung Women's University, and Chang-Shin College. Through this program, nontraditional students can complete their studies for the M.S.W. degree on a part-time basis over a three-year period. Korean social workers who are unable to come to the United States to study on a full-time basis because of work responsibilities, family circumstances, and cost are able to benefit from this arrangement.

Students who apply to the program must meet all of the normal admission requirements for the M.S.W. program at the University of South Carolina with the exception of passing the TOEFL, since the students have no intention of living or working in the United States. Like their counterparts in the part-time program in South Carolina, the students in the Korean program work full-time and attend classes in the evening. Faculty from the College of Social Work travel to Korea to teach at times when they are not on duty in South Carolina. Prior to teaching in Korea, these faculty participate in a cultural training program in order to enhance their knowledge of Korean customs, norms, and traditions and to facilitate their interaction with the Korean students. All classes are taught in English and are translated into Korean. In order to ensure the validity, meaningfulness, and cultural relevance of the content, the college employs translators who are native Koreans, hold M.S.W. and Ph.D. degrees from U.S. schools, and teach social work education in the United States.

The Korea-based M.S.W. program has been carefully evaluated from its inception. Outside consultants, as well as a representative of the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education, have visited the program; met with students, faculty, and representatives of the Korean community; and analyzed outcome data. In 1996 the Council on Social Work Education and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education granted authorization for the program to continue.

Three cohorts of students have completed this program, and a fourth group is currently matriculating.

Arete: The Journal of the College of Social Work

Arete, the professional journal of the University of South Carolina College of Social Work, focuses on problems, issues, and new developments in social work practice, social work education, and social welfare. In addition to full-length articles, Arete features an education digest section focusing on brief, descriptive reports of innovative ideas in social work education, new techniques or teaching methods, and evaluations of existing teaching approaches.

First published in 1970, this highly respected, refereed journal is one of the oldest social work journals published by a graduate school of social work. Arete is published twice yearly and is circulated to undergraduate and graduate social work programs, libraries, and individuals throughout the United States and the world.

Technology Resources of the College of Social Work

Technology resources of the College of Social Work include two state-of-the-art computer labs for social work students. These labs contain both IBM and Macintosh computers and other hardware with access to the Internet, e-mail, and research databases. Software programs are available to all faculty and students for use in the classroom and social work practice. The college recently purchased a course management software system that allows students to participate in classroom activities via the Internet. Classrooms are equipped with "smart carts," which integrate various technologies to create multimedia classrooms. The college is also focusing on how to integrate technology in every course in the curriculum so that students will have knowledge and skills to use information technology in all areas of their social work practice.

The college administers the most heavily used Internet database for social workers, the Social Work Access Network (SWAN), which also serves as an excellent networking and information resource. The college also manages the Web sites for four national and international social work organizations: the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research, the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education, and the Council on Social Work Education’s International Commission.

Additional Areas for Focused Study

Certificate of Graduate Studies in Drug and Addiction Studies

The College of Social Work participates in the University's Drug and Addiction Studies Certificate program. This is a 21-credit hour, interdisciplinary program. The goals of the program are to impart basic knowledge in prevention, education, treatment, and research and to offer the opportunity to develop competence in this subspecialty.

Certificate of Graduate Study in Gerontology

The College of Social Work participates in the University's Gerontology Certificate program. This is a 21-credit hour, interdisciplinary course of study aimed at preparing professionals from a number of fields for specialized work with older adults. Some of the elective courses of the M.S.W. program can be used to fulfill the requirements for the certificate.

Certificate of Graduate Study in Women's Studies

The College of Social Work participates in the University's Women's Studies Certificate program. This is an 18-credit hour, interdisciplinary course of study. The program is for professionals who wish to obtain information and skills in women's studies to aid them in their professions.

Dual M.S.W./M.P.A. Degree Program

The College of Social Work and the Master of Public Administration program in the Department of Political Science offer a dual degree for students desiring to earn both the M.S.W. and the M.P.A. The program allows students to use electives in one program as degree fulfilling requirements in the other. Students are able to complete both degrees in fewer hours than would be required to complete the two separately. Advanced-standing students are able to complete the two programs in even fewer hours.

For details, please refer to the Public Administration section of this bulletin.

Dual M.S.W./M.P.H. Degree Program

The joint M.S.W./M.P.H. degree program is intended to permit students to earn two complementary and distinct graduate degrees. This dual degree program offers students two options in their course of study: 1) an M.S.W. focus on individuals, families, and groups and an M.P.H. focus on health promotion and education or 2) an M.S.W. focus on communities and organizations and an M.P.H. focus on health administration. Students are allowed to utilize electives taken in one program as degree-filling requirements in the other.

Students complete the M.S.W./M.P.H. focus on communities and organizations/health administration in 81 hours as opposed to the 99 hours that would be required to complete the two degree programs separately. Students complete the M.S.W./M.P.H. focus on individuals, families, and groups/health promotion and education in 84 hours instead of the 105 hours required to complete the two degree programs separately.

Dual Degree M.S.W./M.P.H. (HSPM) Required Courses

Health Administration Core-12 hours
Public Health Residency-3 hours

For details, please refer to the School of Public Health section of this bulletin.

Dual M.S.W./J.D. Degree Program

The joint M.S.W./J.D. degree program provides students an opportunity to complete these complementary professional programs in 135 semester hours of course work. Normally the two degrees, if taken separately, would require a minimum of 150 semester hours of study. The School of Law accepts up to 9 hours of social work courses as electives in its program, and the College of Social Work accepts up to 6 hours of law courses towards the M.S.W. degree. Formal admission to both programs under the standards established by each is required. The first year of law studies must be completed at one time. For details, please refer to the law school bulletin.

Plans of Study

There are several plans by which the basic curriculum requirements of the College of Social Work may be satisfied. These are listed below.

Full-Time Enrollment--15 Credit Hours Each Semester

The traditional pattern for completion of M.S.W. requirements is to register for 15 hours per semester and complete all 60 hours of course work over four semesters.

Part-Time Program

The Regional and Evening Program of the College of Social Work is designed to meet the needs of the student who, because of financial, family, or work commitments, cannot enroll on a full-time basis. It provides an opportunity for students to take 30 hours of the 60-hour M.S.W. degree program on a planned part-time basis. For most students, this means that the foundation year of the program (first 30 hours) is completed over two academic years. One must complete the advanced curriculum as a full-time student.

The college offers many of its required M.S.W. courses in the evenings and on weekends. Four of the foundation courses and several advanced courses are regularly made available at all USC campuses and most state technical colleges through the use of interactive, closed-circuit television. Thus, students residing in many areas of the state can complete most of the required foundation courses in their own communities.

Students pursuing the M.S.W. degree on a part-time basis are subject to the same admissions criteria and other policies as other degree candidates. The University's residence requirement must be met at some point during enrollment in the M.S.W. program. Students must also enroll for at least two courses per semester for two consecutive semesters per year.

Because part-time students must comply with college and The Graduate School policies when scheduling courses, they are strongly advised to work closely with their academic advisor in planning their course of study. The part-time schedule lists times the four foundation courses (designated as "J") are offered on interactive television. These courses must be taken either prior to or concurrent with the foundation methods courses and the field courses. Typically, students choosing to take these courses over television can register for two courses in the fall, two courses in the spring, and a classroom-based course on the Columbia campus in the summer. In the following year, they enroll for the methods courses (taught in Columbia on Saturdays) and the field courses which entail two days of supervised practice experience in a human service organization. After successful completion of the 30 foundation hours, they enter advanced course work.

Advanced Standing

The College of Social Work has a program of advanced standing whereby a student who has received a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) within five years from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may enter into the last 30 hours of study (advanced course work). Admission is on a selective basis and is determined by the academic preparation and personal qualifications of the applicant. Students admitted to this program are required to successfully complete six integrative seminars (12 credit hours) during the summer prior to entering the advanced courses. The six integrative seminars (SOWK 700, SOWK 701, SOWK 702, SOWK 703, SOWK 704, and SOWK 705) are offered during two five-week sessions.

Field Instruction

Since field practice in a social agency is considered a vital component of education for the social work profession, every student enrolled in the College of Social work spends two days a week in a social agency developing, practicing, and improving professional skills. The standard schedule is for students in foundation study to be in an agency on Thursdays and Fridays and for students in advanced study to be in placement on Mondays and Tuesdays. Students remain in the same agency setting for the duration of the school year.

Although most M.S.W. students prefer to complete their field placement concurrently with their other courses as described above, it is possible for students with two years of work experience in social work to elect the option of a block placement. Block placements are taken during a 14-week period after students have completed the required classroom courses for the period of study (foundation or advanced). This option, made available to meet the needs of qualified students whose circumstances make concurrent placements impractical or impossible, requires special advance approval and should be discussed with the director of field instruction.

Selection of field placement for students for the year of foundation study is made by the college on the basis of the learning needs of all students during this period. For the final year of placement, students must specify their area of concentration (either practice with individuals, families, and groups or practice with organizations and communities). They are also asked to indicate their requests for specific agencies for their possible placement. Every effort is made to meet the requests made by students. It is a basic expectation of the college that the advanced study field placement will relate directly to the area of concentration specified by the student and that it will expose the student to opportunities to integrate advanced practice knowledge and skills. Advanced standing students are not permitted to have a work-study placement.

Every student in field placement is directly supervised by an experienced master’s-level social worker. In addition, each placement agency has a faculty representative assigned to function as a liaison between the agency and the college and to serve as an educational consultant to the field instructor.

Most placement agencies are located in the Columbia area; however, the college also places students at other sites in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. Although efforts are made to place students in the geographic location they prefer, this is not always possible. Some students will be required to travel to an out-of-town placement during one of their two placements at the college.

The Ph.D. Degree Program

The Ph.D. program focuses upon the preparation of social work educators through intensive advanced study. Courses include both seminars and experiential learning. An individualized course of interdisciplinary study provides the in-depth knowledge necessary for teaching in one or more areas of the social work curriculum.


Admission to the Ph.D. program is highly selective; only a small number of applicants will be admitted for each fall semester. Candidates are sought who possess both attributes and career goals that are consistent with the focus of the program. Requirements for admission include:

1. a master's degree in social work from an accredited graduate program;
2. a grade point average of 3.50 or above for graduate-level work;
3. evidence of scholarly potential and career interest in social work education as indicated by two letters of reference;
4. a personal statement reflecting a description of professional experience and career goals;
5. submission of GRE general scores or Miller Analogies Test scores;
6. a personal interview with one or more members of the doctoral admissions committee;
7. a sample of the applicant's scholarly writing.

Social work practice experience is normally expected.

Doctoral students will be admitted in the spring to begin full-time study in the fall. A class will be selected with every effort made to choose a group of individuals with high potential to learn from each other as well as from the faculty.

Course of Study

The doctoral program in social work is designed so that course requirements can be completed in two to three years. Students must enroll full-time (nine hours per semester) during the first calendar year in residence. Full use is made of summer course scheduling.

The foreign language requirement (or its statistics or computer equivalent) may be met at any time during the student’s course of study but not less than 60 days prior to the date at which the student expects to receive the degree. Academic regulations are consistent with those that apply to other doctoral programs within The Graduate School.

Admission-to-Candidacy Examinations

Following successful completion of the first 18 hours (two full-time semesters of study) the student will take an admission-to-candidacy exam. Examinations will take place immediately after the spring semester and, while not course specific, will require the student to demonstrate competence in the integration and application of content drawn from courses.

After having successfully passed the admission-to-candidacy examination, the student will meet with the advisory committee to formulate a program of study for subsequent courses.


Within five years following successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the student must present a dissertation based on research that has been approved by a committee of professors in the major field and by the dean of The Graduate School. The dissertation must be successfully defended before an examining committee appointed by the dean of the college and approved by the dean of The Graduate School. The examining committee will consist of at least four members, one of whom must be from a department or college other than social work.

Schedule of Doctoral Courses

Semester I (Fall)

SOWK 892 (3)
SOWK 811 (3)
EDHE 738 (3)

Semester II (Spring)

SOWK 801 (3)
SOWK 890 (3)
SOWK 841 (3)

Semester III (Summer)

EDHE 730 (3)
SOWK 870 (3)
SOWK 871 (3)

Semester IV (Fall)

SOWK 891 (3)
SOWK 872 (3)
Elective (3)

Semester V (Spring)

Electives (6)
SOWK 894* (3)

Subsequent Semesters as Required

SOWK 899 (12)

Total 57

*SOWK 894 is a prerequisite for SOWK 899

Course Descriptions (SOWK)

Advanced Standing Seminars

  • 700 -- Integrative Seminar: Social Work Practice I. (2) (Prereq: Presented to students with advanced standing) Review of generalist practice with individuals, families, and groups: assessment, planning, intervention, termination, and follow-up; culturally competent practice.
  • 701 -- Integrative Seminar: Social Work Practice II. (2) (Prereq: Presented to students with advanced standing) Review of generalist practice with organizations, neighborhoods and communities, and the larger society, including the contexts and components of effective change processes.
  • 702 -- Integrative Seminar: Social Work Research I. (2) (Prereq: Presented to students with advanced standing) Review of research methods, including problem formulation, measurement, sampling, group designs, survey research, qualitative approaches, writing reports, and evaluating the research of others.
  • 703 -- Integrative Seminar: Social Work Research II. (2) (Prereq: Presented to students with advanced standing) Review of descriptive statistics, binomial and normal distributions, plotting and graphing data, and single-system designs used in evaluating practice.
  • 704 -- Inegrative Seminar: Social Welfare Policy and Services. (2) (Prereq: Presented to students with advanced standing) Review of social problems, the history of social welfare and the social welfare system, and policy analysis.
  • 705 -- Integrative Seminar: Human Behavior in the Social Environment. (2) (Prereq: Presented to students with advanced standing) Review of traditional and contemporary theories of human behavior, with emphasis on the reciprocal interactions between larger social systems and families or individuals of diverse backgrounds.

Foundation Courses

  • 710 -- Foundations of Social Work Practice in Groups. (3) (Prereqs: SOWK 722, 732) Introduction to social work practice with groups at the interpersonal, organizational, and community levels.
  • 712 -- Human Behavior and the Social Environment I. (3) Study of institutions, communities, and organizations as social systems relevant to social work practice.
  • 716 -- Human Behavior and the Social Environment II. (3) A systems approach is used to study the family and individual development. Cultural and structural variability are emphasized.
  • 722 -- Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families. (3) Methods of social work intervention with individuals and families within the social environment.
  • 732 -- Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities. (3) Social work practice in organizations and communities, especially skills in problem identification and solving.
  • 741 -- Social Welfare Problems and Policies. (3) Analysis of the definition, etiology, and historical and current responses to social problems; a study of the policy process applied to social problems.
  • 742 -- Social Welfare Policy Analysis. (3) (Prereq: SOWK 741) Analysis of social welfare policies, including their development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • 781 -- Field Instruction I: Generalist Social Work Practice. (3) An agency-based study of the community social welfare system and the social agency's place in delivery of services; a beginning involvement in agency practice. (Pass-Fail grading)
  • 782 -- Field Instruction II: Generalist Social Work Practice. (3) An agency-based study of the community social welfare system and the social agency's place in delivery of services; a beginning involvement in agency practice. (Pass-Fail grading)
  • 791 -- Social Work Research Methodologies. (3) Examination of social work research contexts, designs, and strategies.

Advanced Courses

Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups Concentration

  • 723 -- Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals. (3) Advanced study of social work intervention with individuals.
  • 724 -- Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups. (3) Advanced study of social work intervention with groups, including treatment, educational, self-help and mutual aid.
  • 725 -- Advanced Social Work Practice with Families. (3) Social work practice roles with parents, couples, and families, including services to culturally diverse and vulnerable family populations.
  • 747 -- Concepts of Advanced Practice with Organizations and Communities. (3) Overview of approaches and issues relating to management and planning utilized in practice with organizations and communities.
  • 783 -- Field Instruction III: Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups. (3) Advanced experience in social work practice with individuals, families, and small groups with focus on treatment process and differential use of alternative modalities of intervention. (Pass-Fail grading)
  • 784 -- Field Instruction IV: Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups. (3 each) Advanced experience in social work practice with individuals, families, and small groups with focus on treatment process and differential use of alternative modalities of intervention. (Pass-Fail grading)

Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities Concentration

  • 733 -- Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities I: Social Planning. (3) Study of values, concepts, models, and skills of social planning.
  • 734 -- Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities II: Community Social Work. (3) Pro-active macro practice methods in several areas, including legislative advocacy, program budgeting, and skills in persuasive communication.
  • 735 -- Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities III: Administrative Skills. (3) Skills for administration of a public or private social agency.
  • 748 -- Concepts of Advanced Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups. (3) Overview of small systems practice. Examines issues relating to supervision of practice and to the organizational context for small systems practice.
  • 785 -- Field Instruction III: Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities. (3) Advanced experience in social work practice with organizations and communities with focus on one or more of the following: program development, planning and evaluation, advocacy, public relations, administration. (Pass-Fail grading)
  • 786 -- Field Instruction IV: Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities. (3) Advanced experience in social work practice with organizations and communities with focus on one or more of the following: program development, planning and evaluation, advocacy, public relations, administration. (Pass-Fail grading)

All advanced students take the following.

  • 718 -- Systems Analysis of Social Work Practice. (3) Integration and application of social work theories, skills, and values in preparation for the transition to professional practice.
  • 793 -- Evaluation Research in Social Work. (3) Methods of evaluating social work practice.


A total of two electives is required for graduation from the College of Social Work. These may be taken at any time during the student's years of attendance at the college. Electives are the only advanced courses that may be taken before entering the final year of the program. Electives must be graduate-only courses. An Elective Review form must be completed in consultation with your advisor if an elective outside the college is used in your program of study.

Many part-time students take two of their electives prior to entering the final year of the program. This makes it possible for a student to schedule one day or one-and-a-half days of class attendance per week.

Elective offerings vary from year to year based on the interest of the students and the availability of faculty. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a comprehensive listing of all future electives. Electives that have been offered in previous years are listed below.

  • 714 -- Discrimination and Deprivation. (3) Examination of the impact of poverty and discrimination upon minorities and women, and methods of achieving change through social policy strategies.
  • 753 -- Ethics and the Health Sciences. {=PHIL 710, NURS 794, DMED 620, PUBH 710} (1-4) An introduction to the formal and informal codes of professional conduct of the helath science disciplines and a discussion of their implications for interprofessional research, clinical practice, and administration.
  • 754 -- Victimization and Survivor Services. (3) Dynamics of victimization and survivor services systems with emphasis on psychosocial perspectives.
  • 755 -- Satir's Growth Model. (3) An exploration of Virginia Satir's growth model as an intervention approach with individuals, families, and organizations.
  • 756 -- Social Work Practice and Developmental Disabilities. (3) Explores values, addresses psychosocial issues and examines assessment and intervention tools important for practice with persons with disabilities, their families and the community.
  • 757 -- Seminar on Social Work Education and Human Services in Another Nation. (3) Travel to and in another nation including visits to historic sites, social agencies, and participation in an international conference with nationals of another nation and U.S. social workers on differences and similarities between the two systems.
  • 758 -- Family Dynamics and Substance Abuse. (3) An examination of the family dynamics of drug abuse, including the etiology, assessment approaches, and prevalent treatment methods. Special emphasis on the role of the family as a contributing factor and vehicle for positive change.
  • 759 -- Interdisciplinary Health and Human Services. (3) Methods for case teamwork, interorganizational planning and program development, and collaborative public policy development are considered.
  • 760 -- Psychopathology for Social Work Practice. (3) Study of the major syndromes in mental illness, their etiology and treatment.
  • 761 -- Supervision and Case Consultation. (3) An in-depth study of modalities for overseeing the delivery of direct services in social agencies.
  • 762 -- Loss, Grief, and Social Work Intervention. (3) Losses encountered throughout the life cycle, normal and pathological grieving, and intervention techniques.
  • 763 -- Foundations of American Juvenile Justice. {=CRJU 751} (3) Examination of causative factors, behavioral manifestations, social services available in the community, legal sanctions, and treatment programs in youth services.
  • 764 -- Independent Study. (3) For advanced graduate students.
  • 765 -- Sexuality Issues for Social Work Practice. (3) Sexuality in the context of social functioning and its relationship to problems encountered by social work practitioners. Emphasis on problems of sexual oppression.
  • 767 -- Feminist Perspectives for Social Work Practice. (3) Examines the application of feminist theories, concepts, and principles to social work practice. Assesses women's experiences in society and the impact of social, political, and economic structures. Investigates feminist interventions pertaining to individuals, families, organizations, communities, and the larger social environment.
  • 768 -- Seminar in Social Work. (3) An in-depth study of selected issues, social concerns, and application of behavioral implications for practice. May be repeated for credit when the topics covered or subject matter is different.
  • 769 -- Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Child Abuse and Neglect. {=CRJU 743, =HPRE 769, =EDCE 769, =NURS 726} (3) Current knowledge about child abuse and neglect, including typologies, etiology, effects, and current practice interventions.
  • 770 -- Volunteerism with Older Adults. (3) Examination of historical, social, and political factors of the American volunteer movement. Emphasis on the planning, development, and management processes using youth, older adults, church/synagogue, and corporate sector volunteers.
  • 771 -- Psychosocial Approaches to Gerontology. {=PSYC 700} (3) Introduction to gerontology from the fields of demography, psychology, sociology, social welfare, and economics.
  • 772 -- Programs and Services for Older Adults. (3) Examination of the policy/planning issues relating to older adults, including current trends in services, base for social service development, and evaluation of services for older adults.
  • 773 -- Social Work Intervention with Older Adults. (3) Application of social work theories, concepts, and practice principles for working with older adults and their families in groups and within the community.
  • 774 -- Social Welfare Issues Related to Children and Families. (3) Examination of social welfare issues organized around three areas of concern: family violence, neglect and exploitation; marriage, divorce, and variant family forms; and crises in families.
  • 775 -- Social Programs and Services for Children and Families. (3) Examination of social service delivery systems for children and families. Consideration is given to the various limitations on service delivery and methods of changing service delivery systems.
  • 776 -- Social Work Intervention on Behalf of Children and Families. (3) Study of existing strategies for intervention with children and families, and identification of appropriate strategies for future social work practice.
  • 777 -- Social Welfare Issues Related to Health/Mental Health. (3) Examination of the etiology and current status of social welfare programs related to major health/mental health problems and issues in the United States.
  • 778 -- Social Programs and Services in Health/Mental Health. (3) Examination of the social service components of health/mental health delivery systems. Particular attention is paid to the role of the social worker in delivery of services to various populations at risk.
  • 779 -- Social Work Intervention in the Health/Mental Health Setting. (3) Study of the structure and function of the health/mental health team and the social worker's role in interdisciplinary practice. Emphasis is placed upon coordination of services among professionals and among health/mental health agencies.
  • 792 -- Research Data Analysis. (3) Statistical analysis of social work data.
  • 795 -- Research on Child Welfare Policy. (3) Supervised small group research on current or proposed child welfare legislation.
  • 797 -- Group Research Project. (3) Participation in an applied research project relating to community problems, social agency programs, welfare services, or methods of social work intervention. (Pass-Fail grading)

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work

  • 801 -- Theoretical Analysis of Social Work Practice. (3) A critical analysis of the philosophical and theoretical bases of intervention models currently in use within social work practice.
  • 811 -- Theoretical Analysis of Human Behavior. (3) A critical analysis of theories which seek to explain behavior as influenced by a variety of systems.
  • 841 -- Theoretical Analysis of Social Policy. (3) A critical analysis of theories of social policy development and models of social policy evaluation.
  • 870 -- The Social Work Educator in the University. (3) (Prereq: EDLP 738) Examines the etiological development of social work education in the United States and analyzes the current issues confronting the social work educator.
  • 871 -- The Social Work Education Curriculum. (3) (Prereq: SOWK 870) Examines the forces and issues related to curriculum construction for social work education at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.
  • 872 -- Social Work Education Practicum. (3) (Prereq: SOWK 871) A wide range of supervised classroom, field, and other learning experiences designed to prepare the student for work as a social work educator.
  • 890 -- Analysis of Social Work Data. (3) Approaches to the organization, analysis, interpretation, and utilization of data sets available from social agency records or from existing empirical research.
  • 891 -- Advanced Analysis of Social Work Data. (3) Analysis of complex data sets from social services agencies and other research sources. (Restricted to doctoral students in the College of Social Work).
  • 892 -- Design and Critical Analysis of Social Work Research. (3) Advanced study of research methods commonly employed in the development of knowledge for social work practice and education. Critique of published social work research using a standardized critique model.
  • 893 -- Information Technology for Social Work Research. (3) Classroom and experiential learning in use of computer software packages for research and scholarly production in social work.
  • 894 -- Planning and Design of Dissertation Research. (3) A seminar designed to provide intensive faculty supervision and peer consultation to the doctoral student in the preparation of the dissertation proposal.
  • 899 -- Dissertation Preparation. (1-12) (Prereq: SOWK 894)