Master of Science in Social Work

Major: SW
Degree Awarded: MSSW
Unit: GK
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/kent

Program Information

Accreditation of the M.S.S.W.

The Master of Science in Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Master of Science in Social Work with a Specialization in Couple and Family Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Education.

General Information

The Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work prepares students to work in a society with complex social problems and needs. Rapidly becoming one of the top research social work programs in the country, the School is able to provide current research information in the preparation of its students for work with individuals, families, and communities.

Social work is a profession concerned with the prevention and amelioration of social problems and the enhancement of the quality of human life. Social workers achieve these goals through direct practice with individuals, families, groups, and community organizations; advocacy; social planning; social policy analysis and formulation; research; and administration. Social work practice helps people mobilize their resources to deal with present circumstances and to enlarge their prospects for the future. Since problems of the individual cannot be seen in any meaningful way in isolation from the broad social and community context in which they occur, social work also takes a leadership role in bringing about institutional and social change.

Admission Procedure

Persons interested in admission to the Kent School should visit http://www.louisville.edu/kent, or attend a prospective student session. Please consult the Kent School website for a list of scheduled prospective student sessions.

Kent School seeks mature students with a demonstrated ability to work with people, emotional stability, good interpersonal skills, good health, and the ability to perform well academically. To ensure that entering students meet these standards, the faculty has set the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning;
  • A minimum of 27 credit hours in the social sciences, i.e. communications (6), natural sciences (3), humanities (9), and social sciences (9);
  • A minimum of three (3) credit hours in each of the following courses: statistics, research methodology, and human biology.

Additionally, an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 is recommended to be considered for admission to Kent School. While we consider applicants whose undergraduate GPA does not meet this standard, applicants with a GPA less than 2.75 must take the Miller Analogies Test or the Graduate Record Exam.

The application file is complete when all of the following are received by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292:

  1. Completed Graduate Admission application. Application forms are available on-line at http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply
  2. An official academic transcript is required from each college/university you have attended, including those at which you were enrolled for academic credit as a non-degree student and/or credits which you transferred to another college. All transcripts must bear the official seal and signature of the institution attended. You must request these transcripts directly from the Registrar or an appropriate officer of each institution and ask that they send them directly to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions, University of Louisville, 2211 South Brooks St., Houchens Building, Suite 105, Louisville, KY 40292. If you are a University of Louisville graduate, your U of L transcript will be provided automatically, with no request needed from you. Applicants with a cumulative grade point average less than 2.75 are required to submit an acceptable Miller Analogies Test (MAT) score or an acceptable Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score with their application. Dates of MAT tests and test links to the GRE are available at louisville.edu/testing.
  3. Advanced Standing Admissions: Applicants who obtained a BSW. within the last seven years from an undergraduate social work program accredited or in candidacy by CSWE with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 and a social work GPA of 3.25 may be eligible to apply to the Advanced Standing 30 credit hour program.  BSW applicants with less than a cumulative 3.0 GPA and a social work GPA of less than 3.25 will rarely be considered for the 30 credit hour program and will rarely be allowed to transfer social work coursework from their undergraduate degree toward their MSSW degree.  Additionally, if an Advanced Standing applicant received a grade of “C” or lower in any social work foundation courses as a BSW, they may be asked to re-take these courses by the Admissions Committee as a condition of admission.  Applicants who wish to be considered for 30 credit hour Advanced Standing program must submit their BSW Practicum Field Evaluation and one of their three letters of recommendation must be from their Director of Field Education.
  4. Writing Sample - Please see the MSSW Admissions section of Kent's website to find detailed information about Kent's Writing Sample requirements at www.louisville.edu/kent
  5. Agreements Packet--Please read, complete and sign all agreements in the Agreements packet found in the MSSW Application Checklist on Kent's website www.louisville.edu/kent (MSSW Admissions).  Please include any required Addendums if relevant and emailed the completed packet to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions at gradadm@louisville.edu The Agreements in the packet are as follows:
    1. Academic Dishonesty Statement 
    2. Release and Waiver
    3. Ethical Standards of Behavior Agreement
    4. Personal Commitment Contract
    5. Technology Agreement
    6. Title IX Agreement
    7. Practicum Agreement
  6. Resume: Please include current/past employment as well as volunteer and service roles served. This can be emailed to gradadm@louisville.edu after you have submitted your online application.
  7. Addendum to Personal Statement: Submit an Addendum if you fulfill any of the following categories:  ALL aapplicants: If there are gaps or deficiencies in your academic record or if you have ever had an academic review, please explain (recommended for all applicants with a GPA  of 3.0 or less)
  8. Three recommendations - each submitted on a University of Louisville Recommendation of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies form in a sealed, signed envelope or by selecting the “online” option when completing the online graduate admission application. Applicants are encouraged to submit at least one academic recommendation. If the applicant has not enrolled in classes within the past five years, this requirement may be waived and an additional work reference substituted. Evaluations should be submitted from persons who have been directly responsible for assessing and supervising your human service related work/volunteer experience and academic performance.  Avoid personal references (co-workers, mentors, advisors, friends, clergy, personal therapists, etc.). The Kent School requires three recommendation forms, however, letters accompanying the forms are welcomed and strongly encouraged. Applicants who wish to be considered for the 30 credit hour Advanced Standing program must submit their BSW Practicum Evaluation and one of their three letters of recommendation must be from their Director of Field Education, on-site Practicum Supervisor, or Practicum/Practice Instructor. The school reserves the right to request additional supportive material from persons acquainted with the applicant's academic and/or practice capabilities.
  9. Specializations: If you wish to be considered for any specializations, please check the MSSW Academics page of at our website http://www.louisville.edu/kent for any additional admission procedures, documents, and deadlines necessary for consideration for admission to a particular specialization. Admission to these programs follows admission to Kent School but is not automatic. Please refer to the early deadline noted on the specialization's website. Students accepted into the ONLINE MSSW program are not eligible for the Couple and Family Therapy or School Social Work specializations, as they are not offered online.
  10. Dual Degrees: If you wish to be considered for any of the dual degree programs, you must also complete the other unit's application process. Students accepted into the ONLINE MSSW program are not eligible for dual degrees.
  11. International students for whom English is not their primary language must show English proficiency by demonstration of a specified level of proficiency on the TOEFL exam or by successfully completing the exit examination for the advanced level of the Intensive English as a Second Language Program at the University of Louisville or by demonstration of a degree award from an acceptable English language institution.  A score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL or a score of 79-80 on TOEFL is required. Scores must be submitted before a decision will be made on an application. More information at http://louisville.edu/graduate/futurestudents/international-applicants. A minimum score of 6.5 is required if taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  More information at www.ielts.org and www.ets.org/toefl International applicants may be required to be interviewed by the Admissions Committee for admission consideration. International students may be required to have their transcripts evaluated by a credential evaluation service in the U.S. Two possible services include: World Education Services, Inc., at www.wes.org and Educational Credential Evaluators at www.ece.org. Students may be required to participate in a brief telephone interview as part of the admissions process. When completing the I-20, students should note that they will be placed in a practicum as part of their education. Admitted students should contact the University of Louisville's International Center to determine if any other immigration documentation is necessary to begin practicum at http://louisville.edu/internationalcenter 
  12. MSSW Online U.S. Citizens Living Abroad and Outside of Kentucky:  Applicants who live outside of the U.S. will need to consult with Kent's Director of Field Education, Lynetta Mathis, in advance of applying to the MSSW program to ensure the feasibility of meeting the practicum placement requirements in accordance with CSWE policies at lynetta.mathis@louisville.edu. A qualified practicum supervisor must be readily available (eg, the supervisor has an MSSW/MSW degree from a CSWE accredited institution or similar CSWE type accreditation) and/or the applicant must participate in identifying a qualified practicum supervisor with the support of the Field Education Office.  Both applicants outside of the U.S. and outside of Kentucky must be willing to participate in the process of identifying a qualified practicum supervisor with the support of the Field Education Office.  MSSW Online applicants in rural areas must consider that they may be required to travel to their practicum placements if no qualifying practicums are available in their local area. All of the above materials must be received in the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions by one of the deadlines listed below in the year in which you hope to begin coursework.

M.S.S.W. Admission Application Date and Admission Deadlines

Consideration of applications begins in November. Please see the M.S.S.W. Application Checklist on Kent's website for relevant deadlines at www.louisville.edu/kent

M.S.S.W. Admission Status

The graduate curriculum is organized into a four semester, 60 credit hour sequence of classroom courses and field education over a 16 month period, progressing from a generalist base to advanced practice. Students who are admitted and do not have a Council on Social Work Education accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree enter the REGULAR PROGRAM [60 credit hour program]. Students who have graduated within the previous seven years from an undergraduate social work program accredited or in candidacy by CSWE with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, cumulative 3.25 in all social work foundation courses, and who have demonstrated good academic performance in their social work courses may be enrolled in ADVANCED STANDING and complete the 30 credit hour advanced portion of the program. No academic credit is given for life or work experience.

Classes are available on campus during the day, evening, on Saturdays and online.  Part-time students must enroll for a minimum of six (6) credit hours each semester. All students enrolled in Kent School must complete the program within six years. For more information about all of the possible curriculum plans, please refer to the Kent School’s Website in the M.S.S.W. Academics section of the website, http://www.louisville.edu/kent

M.S.S.W. Dual Degree Programs (not available to online students or to 30 credit hour Advanced Standing students)

The Kent School also offers joint degrees with the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville (M.S.S.W./J.D.), the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (M.S.S.W./M.Div.), the Department of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville (M.S.S.W./M.A.) and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Louisville (M.S.S.W./M.A.) and the Department of Philosophy/Medical Humanities and Bioethics (M.S.S.W./M.A.). Applications must be submitted independently to each academic unit/institution. Additionally, the Kent School offers the opportunity to earn a specialization in Couple and Family Therapy (CFT), School Social Work, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health, Psychosocial Oncology or Military Social Work while obtaining the M.S.S.W. degree. In general, these programs require the student to take prescribed electives in a particular concentration, take a targeted advanced practicum, and participate in integrative seminars and/or supervision with the specialization cohort.  Dual degree programs require additional coursework, while the specializations may require extra integrative seminars or supervision, as well as specified coursework. For a complete description of these programs, please refer to the M.S.S.W. Academics section of the Kent School website: http://www.louisville.edu/kent

M.S.S.W. Specializations

The Kent School offers specializations in:  Couple and Family Therapy, Gerontology, School Social Work, Psychosocial Oncology, Mental Health, Military Social Work and Alcohol & Drug Counseling.  For a complete description of these specializations, please refer to the M.S.S.W. Academics section of the Kent School website:http://www.louisville.edu/kent

Curriculum

M.S.S.W. 60 Credit Hour Regular Program

Students who are admitted and do not have a Council on Social Work Education accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree enter the 60 credit hour REGULAR PROGRAM. This program can be completed in different ways of which the shortest period is two years and the longest period is three years. Specific plans are outlined under Curriculum Plans in the Kent School catalog found in the M.S.S.W. Academics section of the Kent School website, http://www.louisville.edu/kent. The next listing provides a basic description of the courses needed to complete this program (all courses are 3 credit hours each):

Foundation Coursework

Course #  DescriptionCredit Hours
SOC 601 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I (HBSE) 3
SOC 619 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (HBSE)3
SOC 602 Social Welfare Institutions, Policies and Services3
SOC 622 Issues in Policy & Service Delivery3
SOC 603 Social Justice Practice3
SOC 604 Social Work Practice I3
SOC 605 Social Work Practice II3
SOC 670 Practicum I3
SOC 671 Practicum II3
SOC 626Research Methodology3
Minimum Total Credit Hours30

Advanced Coursework

(Pre-requisite: all Foundation Courses)

Course #  DescriptionCredit Hours
SOC 641 Advanced Social Work Practice I 33
SOC 640 Advanced Social Work Practice II 33
SOC 677 Advanced Social Work Practice III 33
SOC 668 Adv Research Practice I 33
SOC 669 Adv Research Practice II 33
SOC 672 Adv Practicum I 33
SOC 673 Adv Practicum II 33
Electives (3 electives are required - 9 credit hours) 9
Minimum Total Credit Hours30

Minimum total hours for 60-hr regular M.S.S.W. program 60

M.S.S.W. 30 Credit Hour Advanced Standing Program

Students holding a CSWE accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 and a 3.25 cumulative GPA in all social work foundation courses and who have demonstrated good academic performance in their social work courses may be enrolled in the 30 credit hour ADVANCED STANDING Program. This program equates to completing the 30 credit hour advanced portion of the 60 credit hour program. No academic credit is given for life or work experience. Advanced Standing is limited to applicants who have earned B.S.W. degrees within the last seven years, at the time of enrollment in the Kent School. This program can be completed in different ways of which the shortest period is one year and the longest period is two years. Specific plans are outlined under Curriculum Plans in the Kent School online catalog found in the M.S.S.W. Academics section of the Kent School website, http://www.louisville.edu/kent. The next listing provides a basic description of the courses needed to complete this program.

Advanced Coursework

Course #  DescriptionCredit Hours
SOC 641 Advanced Social Work Practice I3
SOC 640 Advanced Social Work Practice II3
SOC 677 Advanced Social Work Practice III 3
SOC 668 Adv Research Practice I 3
SOC 669 Adv Research Practice II 3
SOC 672 Adv Practicum I 3
SOC 673 Adv Practicum II 3
Electives (3 electives are required - 9 credit hours) 9
Minimum Total Credit Hours30

Faculty

Becky Antle

Associate Professor

Adrian Archuleta
Assistant Professor

Coordinator, Mental Health Specialization

Anita Barbeee
Professor

Distinguished University Scholar

Lisa Barrett

Instructor

Crystal Collins-Camargo

Associate Professor

Wanda Lott Collins
Professor

Director of BSW Program

Annatjie Faul
Professor

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Shantel Crosby

Assistant Professor

Andy Frey
Professor

Coordinator, School Social Work Specialization

Laura Frey

Assistant Professor

Maurice Gattis

Assistant Professor

Seana Golder

Associate Professor

Martin Hall

Assistant Professor

Lesley Harris
Assistant Professor

Coordinator, Gerontology Specialization

Barbara Head

Affiliated Associate Professor

David Jenkins

Dean

Eli Karam

Associate Professor

Karen Kayser
Professor

Coordinator, Psychosocial Oncology Specialization

Tom Lawson
Professor
Coordinator, Military Specialization

Director International Studies Program (MSSW)

Lynetta Mathis
Instructor

Director, Field Education

Larry Michalczyk

Instructor

Jennifer Middleton

Assistant Professor

Shawnise Miller

Assistant Professor

Heehyul Moon

Assistant Professor

Sharon Moore

Professor

Armon Perry

Associate Professor

Sunshine Rote

Assistant Professor

Sharon Sanders

Instructor

Bibhuti Sar
Professor
Coordinator, Credit for Learning

Director of Doctoral Program

Tara Schapmire

Affiliated Assistant Professor

Emma Sterrett-Hong
Assistant Professor

Director, Couple and Family Therapy Specialization

Riaan Van Zyl
Professor

Associate Dean of Research

Kim Wadlington

Instructor

Pamela Yankeelov
Professor

Associate Dean of Student Services