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School of Social Work: Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) Program
Social Work 910
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  Camden Graduate Catalog 2019-2021 School of Social Work: Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) Program Social Work 910 Degree Requirements  

Degree Requirements

The master of social work (M.S.W.) curriculum is divided into the generalist curriculum (30 credits) and the specialized curriculum (30 credits). A total of 60 credits is required for graduation. Included in these 60 credits are both coursework and fieldwork.


All students, except those with baccalaureate degrees from programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, are required to take all of the generalist curriculum  courses. These courses contain a body of knowledge, values, and skills essential for social work practice. This common base is transferable among settings, population groups, and problem areas. The generalist curriculum consists of courses in generalist social work practice with corresponding field instruction; human behavior and the social environment; psychopathology; introductory social research methods; social welfare policy and services; and a course focused on diversity and oppression. Successful completion of the generalist curriculum is required before beginning the specialized curriculum.

The required generalist curriculum courses are:

  19:910:500,501  Social Work Practice I,II (3,3)

  19:910:502  Human Behavior and Social Environment (3)

  19:910:504  Social Welfare Policy and Services I (3)

  19:910:505  Methods of Social Work Research I (3)

  19:910:506  Diversity and Oppression (3)

  19:910:507  Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis (formerly Psychopathology) (3)

  19:910:508,509  Field Education Practicum I,II (3,3)

  19:910:___  General Elective (3)

All students are required to meet the statistics prerequisite before they register for specialized curriculum courses. 


The specialized curriculum consists of a specialization in a method of advanced practice, an advanced research course, advanced field instruction, and electives. Only after successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses can students begin the specialized curriculum. Students must select a specialization.

Students without an introductory statistics course may not begin the specialized curriculum until they complete such a course.

Specializations.  Specializations build on, are related to, and extend the generalist curriculum. A specialization focuses on advanced methods of social work practice by size and type of client system. Specializations are designed to develop greater depth in knowledge and skills building upon the generalist curriculum. Students may specialize in clinical social work or management and policy. Students must select a specialization prior to entering the specialized curriculum. Either specialization requires two advanced-practice methods courses (6 credits) and a minimum of 6 credits of advanced field instruction.

Clinical Social Work Specialization. The specialization in clinical social work prepares students to conceptualize, provide, and supervise the delivery of social work services to individuals, couples, families, and small groups. Emphasis is on developing competence in those helping processes used to prevent problems and to enhance, develop, and restore social functioning. Courses required for the specialization, which must be taken concurrently with a clinical social work field practicum, are:

  19:910:511  Clinical Social Work I (3)
  19:910:512  Clinical Social Work II (3)

Management and Policy Specialization. The specialization in management and policy is designed to prepare social workers to perform administrative functions or planning, organizing, and policy functions within organizations, communities, and in the larger society. Courses required for the specialization, which must be taken concurrently with a  management and policy field practicum, are:

   19:910:535  Management Practice and Theory (3)
   19:910:536  Program and Strategic Planning (3)

Advanced Research. All students take an advanced research course that builds upon the basic knowledge acquired in the generalist curriculum research course. Major emphasis is on the evaluation of practice models, individual practice, and agency programs.

Advanced Field Practicum. The advanced field practicum is specialization specific. During two semesters, students take 6 credits of advanced fieldwork in the specialization of their choice. The advanced field practicum must be taken concurrently with the appropriate advanced practice course.

Elective Courses. All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits of electives.

Advanced Distribution Requirements. All students are required to complete one advanced practice distribution requirement (3 credits) and one human behavior distribution requirement (3 credits).


Addiction Counselor Training Certificate Program (ACT)

The ACT certificate program's primary goal is to educate master's and doctoral-level clinicians who wish to prepare for licensing in their mental health profession and as addictions counselors (LCADC). Dual-credentialed clinicians are in great demand in our state and across the country, particularly for leadership positions in organizations that treat both mental health and substance abuse disorders.

  The Addiction Counselor Training (ACT) certificate program provides:
  • all the required LCADC education hours in a six-course curriculum
  • convenient hybrid course format that reduces in-class hours to four or five days per semester
  • courses on Fridays or Saturdays in New Brunswick or Saturdays in Camden and Newark
  • all the required supervised field hours in a DMHAS-approved treatment organization
  • preparation for the application process and licensing exams
  • individualized advising and specialized workshops while enrolled in the program
  • mentorship from dual-credentialed clinicians and other addiction professionals

Eligibility requirements:

  • clinicians with a master's or doctorate in a counseling/mental health discipline who wish to earn their LCADC
  • incoming M.S.W. students who wish to earn their LCADC education hours while taking the courses required for the M.S.W. degree
  • incoming master's or doctoral students in other counseling disciplines wishing to earn their LCADC education hours while completing their degree

The M.S.W. Certificate in Aging and Health

The M.S.W. certificate in aging and health is a special program within the School of Social Work for graduate students who seek focused training in aging. The program does not require students to complete any additional work beyond the credit requirements of the core M.S.W. program curriculum; instead, it requires students to focus activities that fulfill general requirements of the M.S.W. curriculum specifically on gerontology and aging issues.

In addition to the benefit of the educational experiences that the certificate program facilitates, students who complete the certificate program receive a document that certifies their completion of the program. The receipt of this certificate can be listed on students' résumés. The certificate also allows students to affiliate with a professional network in gerontological social work within the school, university, state, and beyond. This network provides key resources that support dynamic careers in aging, particularly within social work.
The program is open to students in both clinical social work and management and policy  specializations.

Requirements for Completion of the Aging and Health Certificate

  • One field placement in a setting relevant to aging in the advanced program year, for example in a nursing home, hospital, hospice, or county office on aging.
  • Completion of the course 19:910:542 Social Welfare Policy and Services II: Health and Aging (3), using the older population as the primary focus for papers, class presentations, case analyses, etc.
  • Completion of the course 19:910:547 HBSE: Loss Across the Life Span as their HBSE distribution requirement.
  • Completion of another approved graduate elective related to aging within the School of Social Work such as 19:910:525 CSW: Aging or 19:910:572 Aging Services, A Critical Perspective.
  • Completion of another approved graduate elective related to health within the School of Social Work such as 19:910:516 CSW: Health or 19:910:562 Chronic Illness and Disability.
Students should declare their intention to work toward the certificate before the beginning of their specialized curriculum to ensure their ability to meet the certificate's requirements. Student must apply for enrollment in the aging and health certificate.

M.S.W. Certificate in Promoting Child and Adolescent Well-Being  

The certificate in promoting child and adolescent well-being prepares social work students to critique and implement developmentally informed interventions with infants, children, and adolescents, regardless of their practice specialization and across a range of domains and systems.

Students either choose to focus their coursework and internship experience on a single child-serving system, multiple systems, or a specific youth population. Wherever they focus, they will develop and enhance skills to serve as change agents for children and adolescents in high risk environments.    

M.S.W. students take:

  • Four advanced year courses, including one of two certificate courses: Developmental Perspectives on Child Well-being or Adolescents at Risk
  • A specialized field placement focused on child and youth settings
  • Several approved electives focused on infants and toddlers, children, adolescents, and transition-age youth

Students are required to complete a two-semester field placement with guaranteed experience in a setting focused on at least one of the following areas:

  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Preschool 
  • Middle childhood
  • Pre-adolescents
  • Adolescents
  • Emerging adults/transition to adulthood

Students also participate in one service activity or enrichment event during the academic year.

The certificate is now available to students enrolled in the traditional or the blended M.S.W. programs. For more information about applying, please email

Violence Against Women and Children Certificate

Through its Center on Violence against Women and Children (VAWC), the Rutgers School of Social Work is pleased to offer a certificate program for M.S.W. students. The certificate program is intended to offer students the opportunity to specialize their advanced year learning about issues of violence against women and children in order to be prepared to enter the field upon graduation. Students accepted for the certificate program will receive notation of completion of the certificate program on their transcripts.

Requirements for Completion of the VAWC Certificate

Students interested in completing the VAWC certificate program must be entering their advanced year in the M.S.W. program and must complete the following requirements:

  • Complete the following required VAWC coursework (12 credits)
    1. HBSE II: Violence and Abuse in Adulthood or HBSE II: Violence and Abuse in Childhood
    2. Two electives related to violence against women and children, as approved by VAWC staff
    3. Advanced Social Welfare Policy and Services II: Violence Against Women and Children

  • Fieldwork must be at a VAWC-related placement that focuses on key areas related to violence against women and children, including prevention, practice, nonprofit management, and policy. This will be arranged in conjunction with the field office and VAWC.


Students interested in applying for the VAWC certificate program should contact the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at


Students in the M.S.W. program must choose a specialization before they begin the specialized curriculum, the second half of the M.S.W. program. Students must choose either the clinical social work or management and policy specialization.

In addition to the requirements for their specialization, students may also wish to develop an area of emphasis. M.S.W. students may opt to complete an area of emphasis as they complete their course requirements. An area of emphasis focuses on a student-identified and student-driven topic, population, or specialization. An area of emphasis involves three relevant courses and a field placement. The courses may include a combination of electives, advanced distribution requirements, and an advanced social policy course. These courses also count toward general academic requirements.

Students may also opt to enroll in relevant graduate-level courses from another Rutgers University graduate/professional school. Students must seek prior approval from the School of Social Work's Office of Student Affairs for courses taken from other departments to ensure that courses will be applied toward their M.S.W. degree. An area of emphasis is optional. Areas of emphasis are not predetermined by the School of Social Work. Students are able to develop their own individual, unique area of emphasis. Specific information about the policies and procedures for the area of emphasis will be provided at new student orientation.
For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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