Social Work - Graduate Programs

MSW Program Goals

Goal 1: The MSW Program prepares students to practice effectively and ethically with the full range of social systems, emphasizing evidence-informed practice, a strengths approach, diversity, social justice, empowerment, and a critical thinking perspective.

Goal 2: The MSW program prepares students who understand the global and organizational contexts of social work practice and who are prepared to assume the responsibility for leadership positions, as well as engaging in life long-learning.

Goal 3: The MSW Program prepares students, by valuing social work history and the integration of social work knowledge, to understand professional social work and to be prepared for advanced level concentration in either:

Concentration 1: Direct Practice with a specialization in one of four areas, including:

  1. Aging 
  2. Children and Families 
  3. Health
  4. Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Concentration 2: Community and Administrative Practice.

MSW Foundation Objectives

  1. Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice.
  2. Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles, and practice accordingly.
  3. Practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
  4. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.
  5. Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues.
  6. Apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice with systems of all sizes.
  7. Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand individual development and behavior across the life span and the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  8. Analyze, formulate, and influence social policies.
  9. Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions.
  10. Use communication skills differentially across client populations, colleagues, and communities.
  11. Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice.
  12. Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems and seek necessary organizational change.

MSW Advanced Year Objectives

Direct Practice Concentration Educational Objectives

By graduation, students specializing in Direct Practice will achieve the foundation objectives and the following advanced concentration objectives:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in direct practice with an area of specialization: aging, children and families, health, or mental health and substance abuse.
  2. Complete multidimensional, bio-psycho-social assessments with client systems and groups in their area of specialization, taking into account client strengths, diversity and social justice.
  3. Develop and apply appropriate, evidence-informed, empowerment-based intervention plans within their area of specialization.
  4. Critically analyze theoretical models of micro practice to challenge societal oppression and discrimination, as well as for decision-making in practice.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, culture, and other client characteristics, in conducting culturally sensitive, competent, and ethical social work practice.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate practice activities by use of outcome and process techniques, using the results to modify practice.
  7. Demonstrate ability to integrate micro and macro practice, policy and research into their area of service delivery in order to enhance client well-being.
  8. Engage in life-long learning and activities to update and improve professional knowledge and skills.

Community and Administrative Practice Concentration Educational Objectives

By graduation, students specializing in Community and Administrative Practice will achieve the foundation objectives and the following advanced concentration objectives:

  1. Build on generalist skills in community assessment to design an intervention strategy including mission, goals, objective, budget, logic model, and evaluation.
  2. Identify, critically evaluate, and apply appropriate, evidence-informed interventions at the agency or community level.
  3. Critically analyze and apply a variety of community and administrative theories to practice.
  4. Demonstrate skills in ethically and empowerment-based social work practice, taking into account the impact of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, culture, religion, national origin and other client characteristics in organizations, and communities.
  5. Design practice evaluation activities to improve human service interventions in organizations and communities.
  6. Demonstrate ability to integrate micro and macro practice, policy, and research into their area of service delivery in order to enhance client well-being.
  7. Prepare to engage in life-long learning and activities to update and improve professional knowledge and skills.

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work Program Goals

The mission of the PhD program is to prepare competent scholars to advance knowledge and scholarship, pursue excellence, and provide leadership and service and to promote social and economic justice and cultural competence with diverse populations.

The program builds on the premise that social welfare must be scientifically and theoretically based and continually responsive to changing local and global societal needs.

The primary goal of the program is to prepare scholars to advance knowledge development and dissemination for the profession of social work. The program seeks to provide students with an opportunity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field and the profession in order to provide more effective and efficient services in social welfare and qualify for leadership positions in teaching, research, and administration. Graduates of the program are expected to make a significant contribution to the profession of social work through continued research, scholarship, teaching and service.

Ph.D. Program Objectives

Upon completion of the Ph.D. Program students will display competency in:

  1. Theory and theory development.
  2. Knowledge and skills in research methods and data analysis.
  3. Theory, research, and policy as applied to a specialty practice area.
  4. Understanding and commitment to the underlying values, ethics, and social and economic justice perspectives in the scientific inquiry in social work.
  5. Theory and research as applied to social work practice, policy and social work education.

Admission Requirements

Please contact the MSW Admissions Office (sswadmissions@uta.edu) to obtain the complete application checklist and information concerning specific application deadlines. Applicants may also visit the MSW Admissions webpage for more information (http://www.uta.edu/ssw/academics/msw/admissions). Students are admitted to the MSW program for Fall or Spring semester with the excecption of students that qualify for advanced standing with their undergraduate social work degree. Advanced Standing students can be admitted for a fall, spring or summer semester.The admissions process is the same for all MSW programs, including the Distance Education Cohorts.

*Please note that the School of Social Work’s deadline for application is different from the published deadlines of the Graduate School.

Admission to the Master of Social Work Program

There are two methods for application to the MSW Program:  the Quick Admissions Process, and the Traditional Admissions Process.

Quick Admissions: 

This process awards the bachelor-level applicant who has earned a 3.0 or better GPA in the last 60 hours of her/his undergraduate degree program a head start by requiring only a two-step process. In step 1, the applicant submits the online Apply Texas Application (applytexas.org). In step 2, the applicant must submit all official transcripts to the Office of Records and Registration. Once all transcripts have been received and evaluated, students whose GPA is 3.0 or better are generally admitted to the Master of Social Work Program.

Advanced Standing students applying for Quick Admission should follow the same process described above and identify themselves as having earned (or will earn by enrollment) the BSW. The BSW degree is verified by the Office of Records and Registration, and included with other application materials. Advanced Standing status is only granted to individuals who have graduated within the past 6 years from a BSW degree program accredited by CSWE. The same evaluation criteria are used for applicants seeking admission to the Advanced Standing MSW program. 

Traditional Admissions: 

In the second admission method, applicants deemed ineligible for Quick Admission to the MSW program (based on the 3.0 GPA requirement) will be considered via the Traditional Admission Process for the traditional program only. Traditional Admission includes, but is not limited to the satisfactory presence of the following six qualifications:

  1. Possession of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or its equivalent, with a satisfactory GPA of 2.7 or higher.
  2. Submission of three letters of reference indicating professional or academic promise.
  3. Submission of narrative essay of three double-spaced pages or less that responds to the following prompt: Social work practice is often classified as either micro or macro.  Explain what is meant by micro practice and macro practice, and why addressing both micro and macro issues is essential to effective social work practice.  Use three outside sources to support your statement and include complete citations for each.
  4. Submission of GRE test scores.
  5. For applicants whose native language is not English:  Submission of satisfactory scores on the TOEFL or the TSE*

*Applicants must submit a score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, a score of at least 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, a minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a minimum TOEFL iBT –Internet Based Test total score of 79 with sectional scores that meet or exceed the following:

  • 22 for the writing section
  • 21 for the speaking section
  • 20 for the reading section
  • 16 for the listening section

Financial Aid

Scholarships are awarded annually and administered by the School of Social Work. For information about scholarships available through the School of Social Work, please visit https://www.uta.edu/ssw/student-resources/scholarships.

A limited number of traineeships are available through the Center for Child Welfare's Title IV-E Program.

Graduate Fellowships

Candidates for fellowship awards must have a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 undergraduate credit hours and in any graduate credit hours, and must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours in both long semesters to retain their fellowships.

Degree Requirements

The MSW curriculum provides students with a generalist perspective in the foundation curriculum and allows students to specialize in one of five practice areas through the advanced curriculum.   Students must complete required foundation courses prior to taking most advanced courses. Students in the advanced curriculum select a concentration area:  Direct Practice or Community and Administrative Practice.  Direct Practice students also select a specialty within their concentration: Children and Families, Health, Aging, or Mental Health and Substance Abuse. 

The program leading to the degree of Master of Social Work degree requires the completion of 61 semester hours of graduate work including class and field instruction, as well as thesis or integrative seminar (non-thesis option).

In addition to the general graduate admission requirements of the University, each graduate student in the social work program must:

  1. maintain at least a B (3.0) overall GPA in all coursework;
  2. demonstrate suitability for professional social work practice; and,
  3. demonstrate knowledge of and adherence to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and the Code of Conduct published by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners.

 The Professional Standards Committee will monitor and examine potential violations of ethical violations or lack of professional behavior.

Advanced Standing

An applicant meeting all regular admissions requirements who has graduated from an accredited undergraduate program in social work within the previous six years will be considered for advanced standing status in the graduate program. Foundation coursework will be waived for students who are granted advanced standing status.

Credit Hour Waivers

An applicant meeting all regular admissions requirements who has completed graduate coursework at an accredited master’s program in social work within the previous six years may be able to receive credit hour waivers for comparable courses, provided that the grades in those courses are B or better. Students may receive course waivers for more than 23 credit hours, but only 23 hours may be applied to the 61-hour MSW degree.  Waivers will be granted on a case-by-case basis contingent upon evaluation of transcripts, syllabi, and any other required supporting information.

Dual Degree Programs 

Students in social work may participate in one of six dual degree programs whereby they can earn a Master of Social Work and:

  1. a Master of City and Regional Planning,
  2. a Master of Public Administration,
  3. a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs,
  4. a Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice, 
  5. a Master of Arts in Sociology, or
  6. a Master of Business Administration

By participating in a dual degree program, students can apply some semester hours jointly to meet the requirements of both degrees, thus reducing the total number of hours which would be required to earn both degrees separately. The number of hours which may be jointly applied ranges from 6 to 18 hours, subject to the approval of the Academic Advisors or Graduate Advisors from both programs.

To participate in the dual degree program, students must apply separately to each program and must submit a separate Program of Work for each degree. Those interested in a dual degree program should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor(s) for further information on course requirements. See also information on Dual Degree Programs in the Advanced Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Joint Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH)

The Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) joint degree is a collaborative program between The University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work and The University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH). The MSW/MPH joint degree program was developed to respond to the need for a greater integration of the knowledge and skills shared by social work and public health professionals. The MSW/MPH program prepares students to integrate social work and public health knowledge and skills in their professional lives as practitioners and researchers.

By taking a specified number of approved courses in both programs, it is possible for students to complete both degrees in three years (two years for Advanced Standing students), while customizing the program to meet their interests and educational goals. 

Students seeking admission to the MSW/MPH program must meet the application requirements of each University, apply and be admitted to both degree programs before being considered for acceptance into the dual degree program. Please note: admission to one program does not ensure admission to the other, and application deadlines vary by program.

Students are responsible for tuition and fee payments for courses taken in both schools, and upon successful completion of the degree requirements will receive a diploma from each university. Current MSW or MPH students may decide to add the joint degree option to their educational plan and receive credit for courses. MPH students must declare their intent to enter the program by the completion of their second semester. Traditional MSW students must declare their intent to enter the program by the completion of their first semester in the MSW program, while Advanced Standing MSW students must declare their intent to enter the program prior to beginning their first semester due to application deadlines in the MPH program. 

MSW Programs - Distance Education Programs

UT Arlington Fort Worth Center MSW Cohort Program

The UT Arlington School of Social Work offers an MSW Degree with a Concentration in Direct Practice that includes a specialization in Children and Families with a Certificate in Administration through our Fort Worth Center location. This program prepares students to work directly with families and children while also acquiring knowledge in administration that will enhance their ability to assume leadership and administrative positions in social service agencies.

Classes will be offered twice each week in the evening (scheduling may be subject to change during the summer semester as well as the intersessions). The program of work for the degree is scheduled to be completed in 2 years. A new cohort of students will be admitted to the MSW program at the UTA Fort Worth Center every fall.

Students applying to this program must meet all regular admissions requirements. The application process is the same as for students applying to the traditional MSW program.

MSW ONLINE PROGRAM

The MSW Online Program is designed as a cohort that begins every fall.  Both full and part-time programs are available for students in the Direct Practice with Children and Families and the Direct Practice with Mental Health and Substance Abuse specializations. All classes in the MSW Online Program are online, though students are required to complete field practicums, which is the only face to face requirement.  

This program is open for anyone who qualifies for admission into the MSW Program. At this time you must be a Texas resident currently living in Texas to apply to the MSW Online Program (Please ask about changes to this requirement when seeking admission).

UT Arlington / Lubbock Christian University Cooperative MSW Program

The UT Arlington School of Social Work in conjunction with LCU offers an Advanced Standing MSW Degree with a Concentration in Direct Practice that includes a specialization in Children and Families.

This program is designed the needs of students in the Lubbock area. Students applying to this program can expect to complete the required courses both on the LCU campus and online through UT Arlington.

Students applying to this program must meet all regular admissions requirements. An applicant meeting all regular admissions requirements who has graduated from an accredited undergraduate program in social work and meets the Advanced Standing criteria will be eligible for this program. 

UT ARLINGTON / Angelo State UNIVERSITY COOPERATIVE MSW PROGRAM

The UT Arlington School of Social Work in conjunction with Angelo State University (ASU) offers an Advanced Standing MSW Degree with a Concentration in Direct Practice that includes a specialization in Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

This program is designed the needs of students in the San Angelo area. Students applying to this program can expect to complete the required courses both on the ASU campus and online through UT Arlington.

Students applying to this program must meet all regular admissions requirements. An applicant meeting all regular admissions requirements who has graduated from an accredited undergraduate program in social work and meets the Advanced Standing criteria will be eligible for this program. 

Part-Time Students

Admission and degree requirements for part-time students are the same as those for full-time students. Likewise, part-time students must maintain the performance level required of full-time students.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program, an applicant must have:

  • A Master's Degree:
    • Master's Degree in Social Work
    • Applicants who do not have a Master's Degree in Social Work are expected to have work or volunteer experience in human services and complete an introductory social work course and diversity course prior to beginning the program.
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work documenting:
    • ​Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 minimum, on the last 60 hours as calculated by the Office of Records and Registration
    • Masters GPA of 3.4 minimum as calculated by the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration.
  • A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score that evidences an ability to do satisfactory graduate work.
  • Curriculum Vitae which outlines (1) work and volunteer experiences in human services; (2) participation in professional organizations and conferences; and (3) publications, if applicable.
  • Statement of academic goals consistent with the goals of the Social Work PhD Program goals.
  • Professional writing sample that provides evidence of the applicant's writing skills and critical thinking skills.
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from persons holding Ph.D. degrees, addressing applicant's skills in the areas of analytical thinking and writing skills.
  • A score of 500 on the written TOEFL Examination or 213 on the commuter version if English is not the applicant's first language or a minimum TOEFL iBT total score of 90 with sectional scores that meet or exceed 23 for the writing section.
  • An interview will be conducted with applicants meeting the basic admission criteria above.

An application for admission, transcripts of previous academic work and Graduate Record Examination  scores must be submitted to Graduate Admissions. An additional separate application and supporting materials must be sent to the Graduate Advisor, Ph.D. in Social Work Program.

PhD Degree Requirements

The program leading to the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work covers nine semesters (three years) of full-time study and requires the completion of 48 semester hours of graduate work including coursework, a qualifying examination, a comprehensive specialty examination and a dissertation. Students and their faculty supervisory committee together develop a plan of study geared to the students’ interests. Included in this plan are a set of required and elective courses in which students pursue their specialized interests.

  1. 18 hours of Core coursework.
  2. The core coursework qualifying examination must be satisfactorily completed before progressing in the program.
  3. Six hours of Research Practicum.
  4. Six hours electives selected from relevant graduate courses offered outside the School of Social Work.
  5. Upon completion of 36 hours of required or elective coursework, the specialty comprehensive examination is taken prior to application for candidacy and registration for dissertation.
  6. Three hours of dissertation tutorial taken upon successful completion of comprehensive specialty examination.
  7. Nine total hours of dissertation must be taken for a student to graduate.

Successful completion of both the core qualifying examination and the comprehensive specialty examination in the area of study to advance the student to candidacy at which time he or she devotes time to the completion of the dissertation. The last step before the degree is awarded is the successful final defense of the dissertation.

Doctoral students must demonstrate knowledge of and adherence to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and the Code of Ethics as currently published by the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 PhD Part-Time Program

A PhD Social Work part-time program is forthcoming.