Social workers encounter individuals and communities who have long and complex histories of abuse and violence, combined with pressing physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Even when we are not serving the most vulnerable, we still may be working with people who have endured a traumatic event that has affected their lives and their well-being. Whether pursuing a Clinical Practice focus or Leadership Practice focus, understanding trauma and trauma-informed care prepares students to care for the needs of clients and communities from a deeply holistic perspective.
Child and family social workers serve important roles in their communities by connecting families in need with services and monitoring the well-being of at-risk children. Graduate students in Social Work can pursue specialization in Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, or School Social Work.
Counseling focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness and emotional or other behavioral disturbances. Individual, group and family therapy are common treatment modalities. Counselors perform services in a variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, community mental health, primary care, and agencies. We offer ways to specialize your MSW education to focus on Health and Mental Health Social Work, Resilience and Trauma-Informed Practice, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, or Couples and Family Therapy.
Leadership is a primary focus for the Social Work profession. As leaders, we do advocacy work in many contexts, like leading or founding an organization, managing a social-services or government agency, or serving as an elected official.
The coursework prepares students for practice in hospice programs and in hospital social work in pediatric and adult oncology, palliative care units, long term care facilities and other social work settings focused on the needs of individuals at the end of life, their families and bereaved individuals.
Whether an MSW degree is your goal or you have your sights set on a PhD in Social Work, you can specialize your education to equip you for a career in research and/or classroom instruction in social work.
Students interested in Leadership Practice in an interdisciplinary field may pursue a credential in collaboration with another college, including the Tippie College of Business, College of Public Health, College of Law, or Urban and Regional Planning.