Master of Social Work

The mission of the UAA Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to prepare advanced generalist social workers who address health and social issues in Alaska. Alaska’s unique and rich multicultural populations, geographic remoteness, and frontier status allow the real potential for skilled social work professionals to make a profound impact on social, economic and environmental injustice in our state. The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The program is reviewed by CSWE for reaffirmation on a regular basis.

The MSW program is structured to allow students to participate in part-time or full-time graduate studies plans requiring from one to four years of study. The MSW program is an advanced generalist MSW program, and the curriculum has two components: the generalist curriculum and the advanced generalist curriculum. MSW students complete social work field practicum placements in the generalist curriculum and in the advanced generalist curriculum.  

The generalist curriculum is composed of 31 semester credits and is completed in the first year of the full-time program, and the first two years of the part-time program. Students with a BSW degree who are admitted with advanced standing are waived from the courses in the generalist curriculum, with the exception of SWK 624 Research Methods.

The advanced generalist curriculum is composed of 31 credits and is completed in the second year of the full-time program and the second two years of the part-time program. The advanced generalist curriculum is the curriculum completed by students with a BSW degree who are admitted with advanced standing. All students must successfully complete all courses in the advanced generalist curriculum.

The MSW program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

Admission Requirements

  • Satisfy the Admission Requirements for Graduate Degrees
  • The application deadline is January 15. Applications are accepted and reviewed once a year.
  • Applications must be submitted online. Paper applications will not be accepted.
  • The MSW program reserves the right to request additional materials and/or interviews pertaining to program admission. Admission to the MSW program is based on the professional judgment of the MSW Admissions Committee. Only applicants eligible to be licensed as a social worker in the state of Alaska will be admitted to the MSW program. Please contact the School of Social Work for further information.

Additional Criteria for Admission to the Full MSW Program:

Additional Criteria for Admission to the MSW Program with Advanced Standing: Applicants who do not meet the criteria for advanced standing may apply to the full MSW program.

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree completed within the past five years from a baccalaureate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Services, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors.
  • 3.50 GPA in BSW program core courses (course work in human behavior, policy, research, practice, and practicum).
  • Grade of “A” or equivalent in each field placement course.
  • Two prerequisite courses (completed with a grade of “C” or better): 

Academic Requirements

To maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree, a student in the MSW program is expected to achieve a GPA of 3.00 or better on a 4.00 scale with no individual course grade lower than a C and to adhere to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Students must earn a grade of B or better in all field practicum courses: SWK A639, SWK A644, SWK A645, SWK A646 and SWK A647.

Candidacy for a Master of Social Work

  1. Refer to Advancement to Candidacy criteria.
  2. Successfully complete MSW comprehensive examination, which is completed in SWK A635.

Graduation Requirements

Program Requirements

Students admitted to the program on a part-time basis take from 2 to 7 credits each semester, including summer.

Students admitted to the program on a full-time basis may take up to 7 credits each summer, and 12 to 16 credits in fall and spring semesters.

Generalist Curriculum: Complete, test out of or waive the following required courses*:

SWK A607Social Welfare Policy and Services3
SWK A624Foundation Research Methods4
SWK A630Practice I: Individuals3
SWK A631Introduction to Social Work Practice3
SWK A632Practice II: Families and Groups3
SWK A636Practice III: Organizations and Communities3
SWK A642Human Behavior in the Social Environment3
SWK A643Human Diversity in Social Work Practice3
SWK A644Social Work Practicum I3
SWK A645Social Work Practicum II3

Advanced standing students are required to complete SWK A624 Foundation Research Methods, but they are waived from taking SWK A607, SWK A630, SWK A631, SWK A632, SWK A636, SWK A642, SWK A643, SWK A644 and SWK A645

Advanced Generalist Curriculum: All MSW students are required to complete the courses in the advanced generalist curriculum and two social work-related electives at the 600-level with advisor approval. 

SWK A608Social Policy for Advanced Generalist Practice3
SWK/HS A628Program Evaluation3
SWK A629Advanced Generalist Practice I: Individuals3
SWK A633Advanced Generalist Practice II: Families and Groups3
SWK A634Advanced Generalist Practice III: Organizations and Communities3
SWK A635Transformational Leadership Capstone3
SWK A638Practice Evaluation Lab1
SWK A646Advanced Generalist Practicum I3
SWK A647Advanced Generalist Practicum II3

A minimum of 35 credits and a maximum of 62 credits is required for the degree.

Licensure and/or Certification

Graduates completing the Master of Social Work program are eligible to sit for the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) examination within the state of Alaska immediately after graduation. They are also eligible to sit for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) examination within the state of Alaska after completion of requisite practice hours and supervision of those practice hours.

Students planning to seek a professional license or certificate in a state other than Alaska are required to contact the UAA offering department before enrolling to determine if the program meets the licensing/certification requirements of the state in which they wish to practice.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The Master of Social Work program prepares advanced generalist social workers who:

  • Are leaders who assume multiple practice roles to address health and social issues in Alaska.
  • Engage in practice consistent with the values and ethics of the social work profession.
  • Demonstrate attunement, sensitivity and respect for people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Intervene differentially with, and on behalf of, populations at risk or who experience discrimination, economic deprivation, and/or oppression.
  • Develop and conduct research to inform practice.
  • Develop and evaluate social policies that promote social, economic and environmental justice. 
  • Engage in planned change using theory and evidence-based practice processes to provide competent and effective services across system sizes.
  • Integrate contextual knowledge into the development, implementation and evaluation of social work services in Alaska.