Master of Social Work Program
The mission of The Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at the University of North Florida (UNF) is to prepare students to serve leadership roles in clinical practice, community practice, administration and policy-making positions with diverse client systems in the North Florida region, the state, and beyond. Further, the program seeks to enhance students’ understanding of and sensitivity to economic and social inequalities. Graduates of UNF’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program will demonstrate specialized practice knowledge and skills to successfully serve individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Advanced generalist practice integrates greater theoretical and methodological knowledge, as well as research and evaluation sophistication at micro, mezzo and macro levels. Advanced generalist practitioners competently engage in independent and culturally responsive application of advanced social work knowledge, theories, skills, values, and ethics into assessment and intervention. The MSW program seeks to prepare students to serve the state’s most vulnerable populations in areas such as mental health, substance abuse, hospice and palliative care, crisis intervention, child welfare, disaster relief, and criminal justice. These settings demand that students synthesize and apply inter- and multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills in an ethical and competent manner to address needs in complex, multi-system service environments. The program prepares graduates for engagement in practice-informed research and research-informed social work practice through its emphasis on community-informed and community-based research.
In accordance with our mission, the MSW program aims to prepare advanced generalist practitioners who:
1. Are self-reflective and competent to engage in autonomous and ethical social work practice with multiple systems and diverse populations;
2. Continually strive to increase cultural appropriateness including understanding of and sensitivity to economic and social inequalities;
3. Demonstrate a commitment to serve and advocate for those who are vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed;
4. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research;
5. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate their own practice and programs based upon critical analysis and assessment.
MSW Program of Study
The UNF MSW Program is limited access program, admitting a cohort of 25 traditional students and 20 advanced standing students on an annual basis for the Fall semester of each academic year. Admitted students may opt for a two-year full-time program of study. All required social work courses are offered on campus during late afternoon and evening hours. Some diversity or major elective courses may be available online. More information regarding the program academic requirements, policies, and procedures may be found in the MSW Student Handbook 2017-2018.
MSW Admission Apply Now or View Criteria for the Two-Year Traditional Program and the Advanced Standing Program.
Advanced Standing Program begins in Summer Session A only. Applications for Two-Year Traditional Program are accepted for the Fall term only. Please see the Admissions Checklist Two-Year Traditional Program (please note the deadline has been extended from May 1st to May 18th, 2018) and the Admissions Checklist Advanced Standing Program for details about the application process.
Application Deadline for Advanced Standing Program is March 1, 2018 and application Deadline for Two-Year Traditional Program has been extended to May 18, 2018. Early decisions are anticipated for February 1, 2018.
Master of Social Work (MSW) Competencies
As prescribed by the CSWE's (2015) Educational Policy & Accreditation Standards, all UNF MSW students will demonstrate the following nine core competencies:
Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
Social workers understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards, as well as relevant laws and regulations that may impact practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Social workers understand frameworks of ethical decision-making and how to apply principles of critical thinking to those frameworks in practice, research, and policy arenas.
Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
Social workers understand how diversity and difference characterize and shape the human experience and are critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including but not limited
to age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status.
Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
Social workers understand that every person regardless of position in society has fundamental human rights such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers understand the global interconnections of oppression and human rights violations, and are knowledgeable about theories of human need and social justice and strategies to promote social and economic justice and human rights.
Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
Social workers understand quantitative and qualitative research methods and their respective roles in advancing a science of social work and in evaluating their practice. Social workers know the principles of logic, scientific inquiry, and culturally informed and ethical approaches to building knowledge. Social workers understand that evidence that informs practice derives from multi-disciplinary sources and multiple ways of knowing.
Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice
Social workers understand that human rights and social justice, as well as social welfare and services, are mediated by policy and its implementation at the federal, state, and local levels.
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social workers understand that engagement is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social workers understand that assessment is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social workers understand that intervention is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social workers understand that evaluation is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Social workers recognize the importance of evaluating processes and outcomes to advance practice, policy, and service delivery effectiveness. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge in evaluating outcomes. Social workers understand quantitative methods for evaluating outcomes and practice effectiveness.
MSW Field Education
Field Education is the “signature pedagogy” of MSW education. Field placement or practicum in the UNF MSW Program is based on a concurrent model with classroom education and allows each student the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge and skills with actual practice in a human services agency. The field placement for MSW students constitutes 900 hours for students in the two year program and 450 hours for Advanced Standing students evenly divided over each semester for full-time MSW students. More information about field policies and procedures may
be found in the MSW Field Manual. Direct all MSW Field Education questions for
Professor Akanke Omorayo-Adenrele, MSW; Field Education Director, at (904)
620-5368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capstone Project Requirements
The MSW Capstone Project provides advanced year MSW students with an exciting opportunity to contribute to the knowledge-base of the profession and to develop and enhance professional presentation skills through the creation and delivery of oral presentations and the writing of an executive summary describing the project. Students work with their academic advisor, agency field instructor or task supervisor, and inter-disciplinary UNF faculty to design and implement the Capstone Project and to create and deliver their presentation.
MSW Program Accreditation
The MSW program has applied for candidacy status to become accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) . The program is currently in candidacy.
For more information about the MSW Program:
Please view the Frequently Asked Questions. MSW Information Sessions will be offered this fall.
If you have questions related to the MSW Program, please e-mail email@example.com or contact:
Dr. Jennifer Spaulding-Givens, PhD., MSW
Associate Professor & MSW Program Director
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Social Work
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL. 32224
or you may call Ms. Dana McCoy, Program Assistant at (904) 620-2867.