Master of Science in Social Work 63-hour Online

The UTRGV MS in Social Work prepares graduates for advanced practice with Latino individuals and families, and groups or advanced practice with organizations and communities.

Ranked #1 for Most Affordable Online Masters in Social Work by Eduref.net (2020)
Ranked #6 for Best Online Master of Social Work Programs by socialworkdegreeguide.com (2020)
Ranked #32 for Best Online Masters in Social Work by Intelligent.com (2020)
Ranked #1 for Most Affordable Online Master's in Social Work Programs by Socialworklicensure.org (2019)
Ranked #2 for Best Online Master's in Social Work by Bestcolleges.com (2018)

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About the Program

The Department of Social Work is committed to preparing entry-level generalist (BSWs) and advanced professional social workers (MSSWs) to meet the needs of a bi-national and multicultural community. The program has two concentrations: Direct Practice with Latino Individuals, Families and Groups, and Administration and Community Practice. The program emphasizes multicultural awareness, professional competence, ethical practice, knowledge building acquisition, and social services that promote social and economic justice in a bi-national environment.

The department implements the mission statement through the goals and objectives that guide the curriculum.

Program Goals and Objectives

The Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) Program at The University of Texas-Pan American is designed to meet the social service needs of the diverse populations that the program graduates will serve. The program complies with the requirements of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The mission of the Department of Social Work is closely bound to the missions of the University and College. As part of its mission, the University is committed to serving the higher education needs of South Texas. The mission of the College of Health Professions is to enhance the quality of life and health care in the lower Rio Grande Valley binational border community and region.

The department’s mission, the program objectives and the requirements of our accreditation agency provide the foundation for the Master of Science in Social Work Program and for the course content. The desired student learning outcomes are articulated in the objectives and syllabi and are disseminated through student advisement orientation sessions and admission guidelines, as well as in the Graduate Catalog, the Student Handbook and the Field Education Manual.

The social work master’s program seeks, as its major general objective, to prepare competent and effective social work professionals for advanced social work practice with Latino individuals and families who are guided by social work values and ethical principles.

Graduates are of the Master of Science in Social Work are expected to master the following core competencies as required by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education:

Educational Policy 2.1.1- Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly

Educational Policy 2.1.2 – Apply ethical principles in practice

Educational Policy 2.1.3 - Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments

Educational Policy 2.1.4 - Engage diversity and difference in practice

Educational Policy 2.1.5 - Advance human rights and social and economic justice

Educational Policy 2.1.6 - Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

Educational Policy 2.1.7 - Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment

Educational Policy 2.1.8 - Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.

Educational Policy 2.1.9 - Respond to contexts that shape practice.

Educational Policy 2.1.10(a)–(d) - Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

The MSSW Curriculum

The Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The master’s in social work is a 63-hour degree consisting of 33 hours of professional foundation courses and 30 hours of advanced professional social work courses.

The foundation curriculum consists of three hours of Introduction to Professional Social Work, nine hours of Generalist Social Work Practice, three hours of diversity, six hours of Human Behavior and the Social Environment, three hours of Research Design and Analysis, three hours of Social Welfare Policy, and six hours of Field Education.

The curriculum of the Direct Practice with Latino Individuals, Families and Groups concentration consists of six hours in Advanced Family Practice, three hours in Social Work Practice with Latinos, three hours in Advanced Clinical Assessment, three hours In Advanced Policy Analysis and Development, three hours in Advanced Practice with Individuals, three hours in Advanced Practice with Groups, six hours of Concentration Practicum, and three hours in electives.

The curriculum of the Administration and Community Practice concentration consists of three hours in social work practice with Latinos, six hours in the area of macro practice assessment and evaluation, three hours in advanced practice with organizations, three hours in advanced practice with communities, three hours in advanced policy analysis and development, six hours in a macro practicum and six hours in social work electives. In addition to full-time study, extended study options are available for the 33-hour advanced standing program and the 63-hour program. The 33-hour advanced standing program can be completed in a two-year extended study period. Similarly, the 63-hour program can be completed in a three year of extended study period.

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Courses

This course focuses on the reciprocal relationships between social environments and human behavior with an emphasis on individuals, families and small groups. Multiple theoretical and empirical perspectives are used to analyze the biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions of human development across the life span among diverse groups with an emphasis on at-risk and vulnerable populations. Attention is given to factors that contribute to risk and resilience and the role of social and economic justice in promoting human well-being.
This course focuses on the reciprocal relationships between social environments and human behavior within large social systems. Theoretical and empirical perspectives are used to analyze the impact of the natural and physical environments, social structure, social institutions, communities and formal organizations on the well-being of diverse, at- risk and vulnerable populations. The course emphasizes processes of social change to challenge the inequitable distribution of power and resources.
Examination of the dimensions of social welfare policy, including conceptual frameworks for understanding policy formulation and the analysis of social policies. Special emphasis on policy issues that affect service delivery to families.
This course traces the philosophy and historical development of social work and presents a general overview of the social work profession. The basic knowledge, values, ethics, necessary for generalist social work practice, along with the many and varied roles and competencies in which social workers function across different fields of practice, will be presented. Students are introduced to social work’s commitment to understand and appreciate human diversity; to understand and combat the dynamics and consequences of social and economic injustice; to achieve individual and collective social and economic justice for populations-at-risk. Prerequisites: Graduate standing with admission to the MSSW Program
This course prepares students for effective professional intervention in a diverse world, and provides an understanding of how discrimination and oppression operate to limit the life opportunities of members of minority, vulnerable, at risk, and disenfranchised groups. A conceptual framework for understanding diversity, discrimination and oppression is presented and used to understand discrimination based on factors such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexual orientation. Selected theoretical perspectives are used to critically analyze the manifestations of discrimination and oppression and their impact on affected populations. Social world’s responses to discrimination and inequality, including strategies for intervention, are also examined.
The course is an introductory course in direct practice methods and skills of social work intervention with individuals. Attention is given to the historic development of social work practice, the nature and application of social work values and ethical principles in practice, the theoretical frameworks of helping methods and the helping process of assessment, planning, intervention, termination and evaluation. Emphasis is on a generalist and ecosystems approach. Prerequisites: Graduate standing with admission to the MSSW Program and/or permission of the instructor.
This course presents a systems-ecological perspective on social work practice with families and small groups. The course emphasizes using both identified strengths and evidence-based approaches to working with clients. Students will have the opportunity to learn skills and apply knowledge and ethics to case material. Prerequisite: SOCW 6321.
This course is designed to help students understand communities and the knowledge bases of social work generalist practice for interventions at this level. It provides an opportunity to explore selected macro models of practice and learn about human service organizations, which often serve as an immediate context for community practice. Prerequisites: Graduate standing with admission to the MSSW Program and SOCW 6321 taken concurrently with SOCW 6371.
Examination of the various scientific methods for research, with special attention upon survey research methodology, beginning practice assessment and the statistical application of related procedures, including correlations, T- test, Chi Square, analysis of variance and the visual presentation of data.
This course, which is the first of two foundation internships, requires completion of 200 clock hours in an approved field setting which prepares students for generalist social work practice. Prerequisite: Approval of the Office of Field Education and completion of SOCW 6321, 6300 and 6311.
This course, which is a continuation of the first internship experience (SOCW 6370), requires completion of 200 clock hours in an approved field setting which prepares students for generalist social work practice. This course is taken concurrently with SOCW 6323. Prerequisites: Approval by the Office of Field Education and completion of SOCW 6321, 6300, 6301, 6302, 6381, 6311 and 6322.
Social work practice implications of the characteristics of the Latino population of the Southwest. The course will analyze distinctive practice in engagement, communication, and service with Latino clients, differential modalities and helping processes for clinical and macro practice with this population.
A variety of methods to assess macro social systems are studied and experiences are provided to develop macro assessment skills. This includes the logic frameworks for assessment, organizational assessment and use of standardized measures for documenting organizational functioning. The course teaches community asset mapping and traditional community needs assessment methods. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation curriculum or admission and advanced standing
Students gain advanced skills in organizational administration and management. Organizational assessment, human resources development, financial and board management, fund raising, policy planning and development, project management, and program evaluation are addressed. Students explore "use of self" as they develop leadership skills and a commitment to excellence necessary for strengthening agencies and improving human services critically needed in the Border Region of South Texas and beyond. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation curriculum or admission into advanced standing.
Students gain advanced skills in community organizing and social advocacy. Community assessment, volunteer management, fund raising, campaign management, networking and project management are addressed. Students will continue to explore their "use of self" as they further develop the leadership skills necessary to strengthen at-risk Latino community groups in the Border Region of South Texas and beyond. SOCW 6341 taken concurrently with SOCW 6379.
This course provides advanced skills in policy formulation, analysis, evaluation, advocacy, social marketing, lobbying, international development policy, and social action mobilization. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation curriculum or admission into advanced standing.
This practicum course requires completion of 250 clock hours in an approved field setting which prepares interns for community practice and administration. Course may be taken concurrently with the second internship course (SOCW 6379). Prerequisites: Approval by the Office of Field Education.
This practicum course requires completion of 250 clock hours in an approved field setting which prepares Interns for macro practice. SOCW 6379 may be taken concurrently with SOCW 6378 or after completing SOCW 6378. SOCW 6379 must be taken concurrently with SOCW 6341. Prerequisites: SOCW 6315, 6336, & 6340; any outstanding courses which are required for graduation must be taken concurrently with this course.
Emphasis on processes for monitoring and evaluating for evidence-based programming. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation curriculum or admission into advanced standing.
This course, which is the first of two family practice courses, focuses on theories and evidence-based practice models for working with populations-at-risk. Family practice models are critiqued with respect to their efficacy for work with Latinos. The course builds on a generalist foundation which includes a theoretical framework for working with families.
This course is taken concurrently with the concentration internship (SOCW 6375 or SOCW 6975) and focuses on the application of evidence-based family practice models with populations-at-risk. This entails formulating family assessments, developing treatment plans, establishing therapeutic relationships, applying intervention strategies and evaluating outcomes using relevant family therapy approaches that can also be adapted for work with couples and individual clients. Prerequisites: SOCW 6330 Advanced Family Practice I.
Social work practice implications of the characteristics of the Latino population of the Southwest. The course will analyze distinctive practice in engagement, communication, and service with Latino clients, differential modalities and helping processes for clinical and macro practice with this population.
This course examines diverse ways to assess mental health functioning with an emphasis on understanding, analyzing and assessing mental disorders and formulating treatment plans according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (latest edition). Attention is given to the significance of gender, race and ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and culture in assessing mental health and mental disorders. Assessment models are analyzed in terms of their consideration of biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual aspects of human behavior. Coping strategies, adaptation and resiliency are addressed in the assessment process and a strengths-based perspective is used in formulating treatment plans. Attention is also given to the role of psychopharmacology in treatment. Criticisms and debates regarding the DSM are addressed. Prerequisites: Completion of foundation curriculum or admission into advanced standing program.
This course provides advanced skills in policy formulation, analysis, evaluation, advocacy, social marketing, lobbying, international development policy, and social action mobilization. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation curriculum or admission into advanced standing.
This course focuses on knowledge and skills needed for advanced clinical social work practice with individual clients. Emphasis is given to the therapeutic process, empowerment and strengths perspectives, and clinical strategies for change. A variety of therapeutic models are examined with attention given to their efficacy for work with Latinos and vulnerable and at-risk populations. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation curriculum or admission into advanced standing.
Emphasis is on the use of group dynamics and techniques to treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, conditions and addictions. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation curriculum or admission into advanced standing
This practicum course requires completion of 250 clock hours in an approved field setting which prepares interns for family focused practice with Latino individuals and families. Course may be taken concurrently with SOCW 6377. Prerequisites: Approval by the Office of Field Education and completion of SOCW 6330, 6332, 6335, 6338.
This practicum course requires completion of 250 clock hours in an approved field setting which prepares interns for family focused practice with Latino individuals and families. SOCW 6376 and 6377 may be taken concurrently or SOCW 6376 can be taken first, followed by SOCW 6377. SOCW 6377 must be taken concurrently with SOCW 6331. Prerequisites: Approval by the Office of Field Education and completion of SOCW 6330, 6332, 6335; any outstanding courses must be taken concurrently with this course.

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Tuition & Financial Aid

UT Rio Grande Valley's 100% online accelerated graduate programs offer affordable tuition, and financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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*We estimate that tuition and fees will total no more than the rates shown above; however, rates are subject to change.

Scholarships

For more information on our Graduate Scholarships, please visit our Scholarships page.

Financial Aid

UTRGV is an equal opportunity institution in the administration of its financial aid programs. In keeping with this policy, financial aid is extended to students without regard to race, creed, sex, national origin, veteran status, religion, age or disability. For additional information regarding funding please visit our Financial Aid for Accelerated Online Programs page.

Additional Fees

No Application Fee
Graduation Fee: $50


Admissions

Please review all the admission requirements for the Master of Science in Social Work 63-hour Online degree program. For specific questions or more details, contact an enrollment specialist at 1-833-887-4842.

Admissions Criteria

Online Application

Submit your application online.

Official Transcript

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GPA

3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)

References

3 References from Professional or Academic sources