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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA 2008-2009 graduate bulletin
graduate bulletin index

updated 8/15/2008

Dennis Poole, Dean
Miriam S. Johnson, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Beverly Simmons, Director of Administrative Operations
James D. Ward, Director of Field Education
Derek Brown, Director of Development

Deborah Duvall, Assistant to the Dean

Arlene B. Andrews, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1985
Miriam L. Freeman, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1985
Sadye Logan, D.S.W., Columbia University, 1980
Dennis Poole, Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1979

Associate Professors
Sandra J. Altshuler, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 1996
Nancy K. Brown, Ph.D., University of Albany, 1997
Gil No Choi, Ph.D., Tulane University, 1991
Naomi B. Farber, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1987
Melinda S. Forthofer, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1996
Miriam S. Johnson, Ph.D., University of Alabama, 1994
Rita Rhodes, Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1986
Terry A. Wolfer, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1995

Assistant Professors
Teri A. Browne, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2008
Rita Chou, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2006
Alex Espadas, Ph.D., University of Houston, 2005
Maryah Fram, Ph.D., University of Washington, 2003
Darcy Freedman, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2008
Yoon sook Ha, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2008

Johnny Jones, Ph.D., Florida State University, 2003
Jinseok Kim, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2004
David Pooler, Ph.D., University of Louisville, 2005
Edmon W. Tucker, Ph.D., Florida International University, 2007


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.


To promote social well-being and social justice with vulnerable populations through dynamic teaching, research, and service conducted in collaboration with diverse people of South Carolina, the nation, and the international community.


To become a leading institution for innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to educating social work practitioners and scholars, conducting research, and serving as a catalyst for positive social change.


Goal 1:

The college prepares M.S.W. graduates to work effectively and ethically within public and private agencies, including interdisciplinary settings, where they will serve primarily those vulnerable populations who experience problems related to economic and social deprivation and the consequences of institutional 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 and universities. Graduates are effective in transdisciplinary, community-engaged social work research and education and possess a commitment and a capacity to meet University and community service expectations through both graduate and undergraduate courses.

The college's social work minor prepares University undergraduate students from other academic programs for responsible citizenship by introducing them to social work as a means to helping people enhance their well-being.

Goal 2:

The college advances the knowledge base of the profession and translates research into practice in order to reduce poverty and oppression and promote social and economic justice in global society.

Goal 3:

The college provides faculty consultation and service to local, state, national and international organizations; student provision of services to consumers in supervised field agency settings; and leadership as a catalyst in positive social change.

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 mission of the College of Social Work MSW program is to prepare graduates to work effectively, ethically, and collaboratively in diverse settings, including public and private venues, where they will serve primarily those vulnerable populations who experience problems related to economic and social deprivation and the consequences of institutionalized discrimination and oppression. 

Program Goals

The program views its goals as supporting both practice competencies that are essential and unique to social work, and other professional competencies (e.g., critical thinking, communication) that sustain most professions.

Practice Competency Goals

Goal 1: The program produces social workers who act in accordance with the ethical mandates of the profession.

Goal 2: The program produces social workers who posses a strong professional identity, including the internalization of professional values and the commitment and ability to promote social and economic justice through policy and societal change.

Goal 3: The program produces social workers who are capable of effective practice with and for client systems with sensitivity to their diverse strengths, experiences, and needs.

Goal 4: The program produces social workers who possess knowledge and skills that can be applied across multiple settings; and with expertise either in working with individuals, families, and groups or in working with organization and communities.

Goal 5: The program produces social workers who are able to access, record, manage, analyze, and communicate information using practice-relevant technology.

Professional Competency Goals

Goal 6: The program produces social workers who demonstrate proficiency in independent reasoning and critical thinking.

Goal 7: The program produces social workers who are able to use various means of communication to effectively record, interpret, advocate, influence, convey and defend ideas, and inspire change across various settings and with different audiences and stakeholders.

Goal 8: The program produces social workers with the potential to assume leadership roles within the profession and the larger society.


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:

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

The following is submitted to the College of Social Work online:

  • supplementary application for admission;
  • 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. 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. 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.

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: (Spring) Advanced Year

725 (3)
726 (3)
784 (3)


735 (3)
736 (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)

Second Year

Fall: 722, 732, 781 (Saturdays, plus field)
Spring: 710, 742, 782 (Saturdays, plus field)
Summer (optional): Two electives and one required course (793)

Advanced Standing Curriculum

Summer Session I

712 (3)
791 (3)

Summer Session II

732 (3)
742 (3)

Advanced year 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 IELTS Intl. 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 Intl. 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 associate dean for academic affairs and M.S.W. curriculum chair, who assess 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.

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.

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 Activities

For many years the College of Social Work has been involved in a variety of international social work activities. Such activities are of growing importance to social work education for a number of reasons. The shrinking of the world requires that social workers have an understanding of social problems, issues, and social structures worldwide. Rapid globalization, facilitated in particular by developments in technology, has enhanced the interconnectedness of people around the world. Our clients come from an increasing number of cultures, and in order to serve them effectively, we need to have an understanding and appreciation of their backgrounds. The significance of international content in social work curricula is so important that the Council of Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation has mandated it.

One way in which the college has been involved at the international level is through the development of partnerships with universities in other countries. Beginning in 1988, with a partnership with Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, the college has expanded this program to include partnerships with 17 universities throughout the world. These partnerships make it possible for a large variety of collaborative activities to take place, including faculty exchanges, student exchanges, curriculum sharing, cross-cultural research, and joint service projects. Through these partnerships, a number of faculty members from foreign universities have come to South Carolina to study during their sabbaticals. Similarly, faculty members from this college have spent their sabbaticals in other countries. The enrollment of foreign students in our M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs has expanded dramatically as a result of these partnerships.

1. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, 1988
2. Kangnam University, Seoul, Korea, 1993
3. FachHochshule Lausitz, Brandenburg, Germany, 1995
4. Hallym University, Chun Chon City, Korea, 1997
5. Dan Kook University, Seoul, Korea, 1997
6. Induk Institute of Technology, Seoul, Korea, 1998
7. Korea Christian University, Seoul, Korea, 1999
8. Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, Korea, 1999
9. Chang-Shin College, Masan, Korea, 2000.
10. University of South Australia, Magill, South Australia, 2001
11. China Social Work Association, Beijing, China, 2002
12. Seowon University, Cheongju, Korea, 2002
13. Hannam University, Taejon, Korea, 2002
14. Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China, 2003
15. Janardan Rainagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan, Udaipur, India. 2004

16. Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta, India, 2004
17. Tata Institute of Social Sciences/Deonar, Mumbai India, pending 2007
18. Baku State University, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2007

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.

Another way in which the college has been involved at the international level is through its Korea-based M.S.W. program. At the request of the Korean Association of Social Workers, the college developed this program and began offering courses to the first cohort of students in 1993. Through this program the college offers its M.S.W. degree on-site in Seoul, Korea. The curriculum is exactly the same as that offered in South Carolina. However, all courses are taught in English and translated into Korean by Korean-American social work educators. Applicants to the program are not required to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination as would be true if they came to South Carolina to study. Since they plan to continue living in Korea, this requirement is waived.

Our college is the only school of social work to offer its master's degree in its entirety in a foreign country. The program has been fully approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Council of Social Work Education, and the Korean Ministry of Education. With the graduation of the fifth cohort of students in December 2006, more than 125 students have received their M.S.W. degrees through this program.

The Korea-based program has been beneficial to all parties. Nontraditional working students are able to receive M.S.W. degrees that would otherwise be unavailable to them from schools in the United States. Furthermore, it is considerably less expensive for students to enroll in this program than it would be for them to come to the United States to receive their M.S.W. degree. Faculty members from the college have enjoyed the experience of teaching abroad. They have found that they are better social work educators as a result of insights they acquire from living, studying, and teaching in another country. Similarly, faculty from Korean universities who participate in the program also benefit from these cross-cultural activities. Several faculty members from both countries have engaged in joint research projects, which have resulted in scholarly publications and papers presented at national and international conferences. This is an excellent example of how international partners can benefit from international exchanges and collaboration. The Korean program has two Web pages, one in English only, the other in both Korean and English.

Aretê: The Journal of the College of Social Work

Aretê, 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, Aretê 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. Aretê is published twice yearly and is circulated to 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 Dell PC 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. Classrooms are equipped with 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.

Additional Areas for Focused Study

Certificate of Graduate Studies in Drug and Addictions Studies

The College of Social Work administers the Graduate Certificate Program in Drug and Addiction Studies. This is an 18-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.

Graduate Certificate in Drug and Addictions Studies (18 hours)

Fifty percent of all courses taken have to be at the 700 level or higher.

CRJU 542 Drugs and Society
One of the following is required:
SOWK 758 Family Dynamics of Substance Abuse
PSYC503 Psychology of Drug Use and Effects
HPEB 540 Drug Education

One of the following is required, as approved by the student's academic advisor:
For students interested in counseling:
SOWK 752 Social Work Intervention in Substance Abuse
For students interested in research:
PSYC 860 Advanced Study of Selected Problems in Clinical Psychology

For students interested in prevention:
HPEB 742 Alcohol, Drugs, and Public Health Policy

Additional Electives:
An additional 6 credit hours in electives will also be required.

Internship or practicum is required for all students and may be arranged through any of the participating disciplines. Examples of internships include appointments with local agencies involved with drug issues or work on an active research project. Faculty mentors work closely with students to help them secure the practicum.

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 Certificate of Graduate Study in Women's Studies 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 political science 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, education, and behavior 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, education, and behavior 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--60 Hours Total over Three-Year Period

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--60 Hours Total over Three-Year Period

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--42 Hours over One-Year Period

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.) in the past 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) upon completion of four courses (SOWK 712, SOWK 791, SOWK 732, and SOWK 742). Admission is on a selective basis and is determined by the academic preparation and personal qualifications of the applicant. The four required courses (12 credit hours) are taken during two five-week sessions in the summer prior to entering the advanced courses.

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. These days are negotiable with the field instructor. 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. Summer block placements are taken during a 14-week period (5 full-time days per week) after students have completed the required classroom courses for the period of study (foundation or advanced). This opt\ion is made available early ay to early August 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 education.

Selection of field placement for students in the foundation year of study is made by the college on the basis of the learning needs of the students and the availability of foundation field agencies. For the final year of placement, students must specify their area of concentration (either practice with individual 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 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.

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. Students can also request a field placement in the geographic area in which they reside. This is possible with advanced planning and is also based on the availability of field agencies.

The Ph.D. Degree Program

The Ph.D. program focuses upon the preparation of social work scholars and educators through individualized and interdisciplinary advanced study.


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 qualifications and career goals that are consistent with the focus of the program. Requirements for admission include:

  • a master's degree in social work from an accredited graduate program;
  • a grade point average of 3.50 or above for graduate-level work;
  • evidence of scholarly potential and career interest in social work education as indicated by two letters of reference;
  • a personal statement reflecting a description of professional experience and career goals;
  • submission of GRE general scores or Miller Analogies Test scores;
  • 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 required course work, the student will take a qualifying examination in order to be admitted to candidacy. Examinations typically will take place after the second year of course work. While not course specific, the examination will require the student to demonstrate competence in the integration and application of content drawn from courses and a supplementary reading list.


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.

Minimum Course Requirements

Intellectual Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work Core: SOWK 800, SOWK 801, SOWK 802 (9 hours)
Research Methods Core: SOWK 890, SOWK 891, SOWK 892, SOWK 811 (12 hours)
Education and Leadership Core: EDHE 738, SOWK 831 (6 hours)
Substantive electives outside of the college (6 hours)
Advanced research methods electives (6 hours)
Professional seminar: SOWK 850 (2 hours)

Planning and design of dissertation research: SOWK 894 (2 hours)
Other electives (6 credits)
SOWK 899 (12 hours)

Total 61

Course Descriptions (SOWK)

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.
  • 726 -- Supervision and Case Consultation. (3) An in-depth study of modalities for overseeing the delivery of direct services in social agencies.
  • 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: Administrative Skills. (3) Skills for administration of a public or private social agency.
  • 734 -- Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities: Community Social Work. (3) Pro-active macro practice methods in several areas, including legislative advocacy and skills in persuasive communication.
  • 735 -- Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities: Social Planning. (3) Study of values, concepts, models, and skills of social planning.
  • 736 -- Advanced Practice with Organizations and Communities: Resource Development, Management, and Accountability. (3) Resource development and resource management of social programs.
  • 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 -- Diversity and Social Justice Issues for Social Work Practice. (3) Diversity, strengths, needs, and responses of oppressed populations from a social justice perspective, with emphasis on experiential learning and implications for social work practice at all system levels.
  • 745 -- Housing and Community Development. (3) Examination of housing and community development in contemporary society. Major issues and debates in the field are considered and critically examined.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 752 -- Social Work Intervention in Substance Abuse. (3) Knowledge and skills for substance abuse treatment for clients from diverse backgrounds with a focus on empirically based methods from a social work practice.
  • 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 health 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.
  • 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.
  • 766 -- Narrative Therapy in Social Work Practice. (3) (Prereq: SOWK 710, 722, 732) Introduction to narrative therapy as a social work practice approach for working with individuals, families, and groups and communities.
  • 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

  • 800 -- Intellectual Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work I: Historical Roots. (3) Examines across disciplines the theoretical and empirical foundations for social welfare and social work in historical, economic, social, and political contexts prior to the 20th century.
  • 801 -- Intellectual Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work II: Modern Developments. (3) Examines across disciplines the theoretical and empirical foundations of social welfare and social work in historical, economic, social, and political contexts from the early 20th century to the present.
  • 802 -- Intellectual Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work III: Conceptual Model-Building. (3) Examines the process of developing theory-based welfare and social work scholarship from a variety of research approaches, focusing on conceptual model-building.
  • 811 -- Qualitative Methods of Inquiry for Social Work Research. (3) Foundations of qualitative methods in social research with emphasis on intensive interviewing and grounded theory.
  • 822 -- Measurement and Instrument Design. (3) (Prereq: SOWK 891, 892) Advanced study to evaluate and design measurement and instrumentation in social work research. Restricted to social work doctoral students.
  • 831 -- Leadership for Social Change. (3) Examines theoretical and practical foundations of providing leadership for social change through organizations, communities, public policies, and social norms.
  • 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.
  • 850 -- Social Work Doctoral Professional Seminar. (2) Examines issues related to making a successful transition from doctoral student to professional social work scholar.
  • 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. (1) (Prereq: SOWK 890, 891, 892, 811) A seminar designed to provide intensive faculty supervision and peer consultation to the doctoral student in the preparation of the dissertation proposal. Repeatable: 2 credits required for the doctoral program.
  • 899 -- Dissertation Preparation. (1-12) (Prereq: SOWK 894)