Social Work

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

School of Social Work

On-Campus and Hybrid Options Contact: Shelley Cohen Konrad, Director

Online Option Contact: Martha Wilson, Dean

 

On-Campus and Hybrid Options: For program and curricula questions, please contact the School of Social Work administrative office at 207-221-4508.  Application materials may be obtained from the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions at 207-221-4225.

A traditional on campus face-to-face option where students attend classes on the Portland, Maine campus.  The on campus option also offers hybrid courses that meet every third week on campus and in the intervening weeks meet online.

The School of Social Work in conjunction with the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions provides Information Sessions for the Master of Social Work degree program throughout the year.  Some take place on campus and include presentations by students and faculty followed by question and answer sessions and the opportunity to meet one-on-one with faculty or staff, while others take place online in the form of chats.  Please contact the School of Social Work at 207-221-4503 for a schedule of events, or learn more at the Social Work Department Website.

Online Master of Social Work Option: For program and curricula questions, as well as application information, please contact the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at 207-221-4143 or at socialworkonline@une.edu.

Mission

Vision:

The University of New England School of Social Work envisions a world where social workers are at the forefront of advocating with individuals and communities for human dignity and social inclusion by mobilizing efforts to end inequities, exploitation, and violence. 

Mission:

The mission of the School of Social Work is to provide transformative and collaborative learning that embraces the values of social inclusion and promotes enhanced quality of life for individuals and communities. 

Values:

Our values promote social inclusion1 conceptualized as actions taken to improve quality of life, access to equitable resources, enhancement of human bonds within the context of cultural diversity, and engagement of people, populations, and communities to fully participate in society. Towards this end:

  • We promote culturally informed practice that is respectful of the complexity and diversity of people’s lives and circumstances.
  • We recognize that social exclusion prevents people from full and just participation in their communities as a consequence of inequities, discrimination, and disadvantage arising from adversity in early life and continuing across the life course.
  • We practice social responsibility by raising public awareness of social exclusion, challenging discrimination and acting with and on behalf of groups, populations, and communities.
  • We support person-centered collaborative practices and partnerships that bring together diverse workers and community members to meet the best interests of individuals, families, and groups.
  1. “The process of improving the ability, opportunity, and dignity of people, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society.” (2013, World Bank Publication)

References:

  1. Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity, World Bank, 2013
  2. The Promotion of Social Inclusion, The Charity Commission, England and Wales, 2001
  3. Dimensions of Social Inclusion and Exclusion In Yukon 2010, Yukon Bureau of Statistics, 2010
Program Description

The School of Social Work prepares people for advanced professional practice and is accredited to offer the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree by the Council on Social Work Education. MSW graduates learn to understand the potential for individual and collective human development when people live with dignity and social justice; to identify people's strengths across diverse populations and how to build upon them; to understand the multiple social, cultural, political and economic factors influencing the design, development and evaluation of social policies and programs; to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out multiple social work interventions consistent with the School's mission and the profession's ethics; and to develop intervention strategies that empower individuals, families, groups, or communities.

The MSW degree offers graduates the opportunity to play active roles in health and mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, poverty and public welfare, women's and children's services, domestic violence, homelessness, corrections, applied arts and social justice and other emerging areas of service delivery. The program prepares graduates to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in an array of settings and with diverse populations. The values and commitments embedded in the School's Mission Statement permeate our work in every area.

Program Goals

Prepare competent Master-level professional social workers who at every system level provide leadership to:

  • Promote social inclusion to enable people, populations and communities to fully participate in society.
  • Create person-centered collaborative and sustainable relationships across diverse communities and practice settings.
  • Develop and apply ethical reflection, critical consciousness and shared decision-making based in social work values and with consideration of the broader contexts of the world in which we live. 

These goals are integrated into the social work curriculum. Through their presence in courses, fieldwork internships, and internal School governance we bring our Mission Statement to life.

Accreditation

The School of Social Work at the University of New England is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education to offer the master's degree in social work.

Curricular Requirements

Students in the campus-based option may choose to complete their degree in as little as 16 months through the accelerated track.  Students may also attend for the traditional 2 years, or attend part-time for up to 4 years. 

At no extra cost, on campus students may also earn a Certificate in Applied Arts and Social Justice or Trauma Certificate by utilizing their electives to explore these specific areas of interest.

In addition, the School of Social Work offers advanced standing status to qualified graduates of accredited BSW programs (See Advanced Standing). Advanced Standing in all delivery options have are able to complete the program enrolled as full-time or part-time.

All traditional students are required to complete 64 credit hours of graduate study divided between classroom and fieldwork education. Field placements, or internships, consist of four semesters of supervised practice in approved social work settings; each semester includes 280 hours of practice experience. The curriculum is designed to provide an integrated foundation or knowledge base and advanced skills for social work practice within a concentration (Clinical Practice, Community Practice, or Integrated Practice).

Foundation Year courses emphasize an integrated social work perspective involving the social context and its impact on social policy, programs, and the social work profession. Courses include Human Behavior and the Social Environment I and II; Social Work Policy and Programs I and II; Social Work Practice I and II; Research I and II; and Field Integrating Seminars I and II. In addition, students spend 560 hours in a field setting, which permits students another learning mode through placements in social agencies and programs with structured on-site professional supervision.

Concentrations are offered in Clinical Practice, Community Practice, and Integrated Practice.  The Clinical Concentration prepares students with knowledge and skills for advanced practice primarily focused on individuals, families, and groups in multiple settings.   The Community Concentration provides students with knowledge and skills in an array of advanced practice roles in the areas of program and policy development, administration, supervision, political advocacy, community practice, and evaluation.  The Integrated Concentration combines the core curriculum of both the Clinical and Community Practice Concentrations. All concentrations prepare graduates for professional leadership positions within their communities, and all are enriched by a selection of electives.

Traditional STUDENT PROGRESSION

Credits

Foundation

 
SSW/SSWO 501 Human Behavior & the Social Environment I 3
SSW/SSWO 502 Human Behavior & the Social Environment II 3

SSW/SSWO 503 Social Work Research I

3

SSW/SSWO 504 Social Work Research II

3
SSW/SSWO 505 Social Welfare Policy and Programs I 3
SSW/SSWO 506 Social Welfare Policy and Programs II 3
SSW/SSWO 510 Social Work Practice I 3
SSW/SSWO 511 Social Work Practice II 3
SSW/SSWO 520 Field Practicum I/Seminar 4
SSW/SSWO 522 Field Practicum II/Seminar 4
Foundation Year Total 32
   
Concentration  

SSW/SSWO 552 Contemporary Theory of SW Practice: Individuals and Families (Clinical & Integrated)

OR

SSW/SSWO 564 Program Dev & Community Practice (Community & Integrated)

3

SSW/SSWO 553 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (Clinical & Integrated) 

OR 

SSW/SSWO 685 Community Organizing & Social Inclusion (Community & Integrated)

3

SSW/SSWO 597 Advanced Psychosocial Assessment (Clinical & Integrated) 

OR  

SSW/SSWO 608 Grant Research & Program Writing (Community)

3

SSW/SSWO 565 Administration and Supervision (All Concentrations)

3
SSW/SSWO 580 Field Practicum III/Seminar (All Concentrations) 4
SSW/SSWO 582 Field Practicum IV/Seminar (All Concentrations) 4

Elective (All Concentrations)

3
Elective (All Concentrations) 3
Elective (Clinical & Community) 3
Elective (Clinical & Community) 3
Concentration Year Total  32
Total Program  64

Advanced Standing Progression (Online and On-Campus)

Credits
Foundation Year waived with BSW from CSWE accredited program  

SSW/SSWO 526 Integrating Clinical/Community Practice Frameworks

*Campus Advanced Standing students take this course at the end of August, prior to the New Student Orientation and start of the Fall semester.

3

SSW/SSWO 552 Contemporary Theory of SW Practice: Individuals and Families (Clinical & Integrated) 

OR  

SSW/SSWO 564 Program Dev & Community Practice (Community & Integrated)

3

SSW/SSWO 553 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (Clinical & Integrated) 

OR 

SSW/SSWO 685 Community Organizing & Social Inclusion (Community & Integrated)

3

SSW/SSWO 597 Advanced Psychosocial Assessment (Clinical & Integrated) 

OR  

SSW/SSWO 608 Grant Research & Program Writing (Community)

3

SSW/SSWO 565 Administration and Supervision (All Concentrations)

3
SSW/SSWO 580 Field Practicum III/Seminar (All Concentrations) 4
SSW/SSWO 582 Field Practicum IV/Seminar (All Concentrations) 4
Elective (All Concentrations) 3
Elective (All Concentrations) 3
Elective (Clinical & Community) 3
Elective (Clinical & Community) 3
Total Advanced Standing Online and On-campus Program 35

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete all courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 prior to graduation and fulfill all curriculum requirements.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the UNE SSW will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and leadership in the following:

1.   Practice social inclusion to enable people, populations, and communities to fully participate in society, enhance human bonds in the context of cultural diversity and ensure improved quality of life and equitable resource distribution.  

2.   Engage in culturally-informed relationship building respectful of the complexity and diversity of contexts and circumstances. 

3.   Utilize theories of human behavior, social systems and social inclusion when offering interventions with people and their environments. 

4.   Promote ethical reflection, critical consciousness and shared decision-making based in social work values and with consideration of the broader contexts of the world in which we live. 

5.   Balance the roles of helpers, activists, and advocates through collaboration with communities to build healthy and sustainable resources. 

6.   Engage as critical consumers and producers of research and evaluation applied to clinical and community practices. 

7.   Practice person-centered and collaborative community partnerships across diverse settings. 

Transfer Credit

Petitions for transfer credits for graduate social work courses must be submitted at the time of acceptance to the School of Social Work.

  • Up to nine (9) credits may be transferred for courses deemed equivalent to UNE SSW foundation courses with a minimum grade of “B”. 
  • P/F courses will not be accepted for transfer credit. 
  • Course electives are not considered for transfer credit nor are courses from programs outside of social work.
  • All courses must have been completed within seven (7) years of anticipated enrollment in the School.
  • Academic credit is not given for life experiences and previous work experience.
  • Applicants who will be petitioning for transfer credits must include the following as a part of their application to the program:
    • Your professional statement should include a discussion of why you are requesting transfer to the University of New England School of Social Work.
    • A syllabus for each course being submitted for transfer credit.
    • Three letters of reference including:
      • Two letters from someone of your choice (preferably in a faculty or supervisory role) who speaks to your professional qualifications for an MSW program. 
      • A third letter of good standing from the dean/director (or her/his designee) of the School of Social Work from which you are transferring
  • ​Adherence to the degree-requirement progression plan in effect at the time of your admission. Note: Individualized provisions may, at times, increase the total credit hours required for graduation from the School of Social Work.
  • The SSW reserves the right to require transfer students to enroll in SSW 526 Integrating Clinical\Community Frameworks as part of their progression plan.
  • Consideration of transfer credit beyond nine (9) credits and 7-year matriculation may be considered on a case-by-case basis at the time of admission to the School.

Experiential Learning

Applicants may not receive academic credit for work experience in the field or for life experience.

 

Advanced Standing

Advanced Standing

Qualified graduates of BSW programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may be considered for Advanced Standing under the following conditions:

  • Graduation from a CSWE accredited BSW program within seven (7) years of enrollment in the School of Social Work, Masters degree program, is preferred. Exceptions to this time frame may be made on a case-by-case basis depending on work experience and the quality of the application materials.
  • It is strongly preferred that Advanced Standing applicants have received a “B” or better in all BSW courses. If you do not meet this expectation you must address this in your professional statement.
  • Evidence of work or volunteer experience working with people in a human service environment
  • Three letters of reference including:
    • A letter from a faculty member within the BSW program who can speak to your academic abilities;
    • A letter from a supervisor/instructor from the BSW internship/field site or social service employment position;
    • A third letter from someone of your choice who speaks to your professional qualifications for an MSW program.
  • Field Evaluations must be submitted, documenting the grade and hours completed in the BSW field placement. If the applicant’s BSW program is not able to supply the original Field Evaluations, a letter must be provided confirming that the student received a passing grade and the number of field hours documented.
  • Students admitted into advanced standing for the campus-based option must enroll in the required SSW 526 – Integrating Clinical/Community Practice Frameworks 3-credit course to be completed during the first 2 weeks of August prior to starting the fall semester. (Advanced Standing online students will take SSW 526 during their first semester in the program not prior to the start of the program.)
Admissions

Academic/Experience Requirements

To be considered for admission, you must have:

  • Completed a Bachelor’s degree from a US regionally accredited college or university or international equivalent. (If degree is in progress at time of acceptance, degree must be completed prior to matriculation.)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is preferred.  (If your GPA is lower, you must address this in your professional statement.)
  • Evidence of work or volunteer experience working with people in a human service environment is required.
  • Demonstration of graduate-level writing skills as evidenced by the required professional essay.
  • While interviews are not required, the Admissions Committee may request an interview with follow-up questions after reviewing your application.

Note: Before matriculation, accepted/deposited on campus and hybrid students will be expected to meet all health immunization requirements and; to obtain a physical examination with proof of up-to-date immunization status. Please visit Student Health Care for details. 

As required by field placement sites, students may be subject to criminal background checks and drug screens prior to entering field placement sites, and periodically throughout their field placement.

On Campus and Hybrid Options: Procedures And Policies

Applications for admission are submitted through UNE’s online application(Applicants must certify that all information submitted in the admission process, including the application, the professional essay, and any other supporting materials, is their own work, factually true and honestly presented).  

  • A completed application includes:
    • Professional essay written using APA standards (no more than 6 pages, 12 point font, double spaced with 1-inch margins) specifically addressing  all of the following:
      • With reference to UNE’s Mission Statement and the definition of “social inclusion” provided therein, please share your views on how you understand social inclusion and its connection to social justice, cultural diversity, and human dignity.
      • Please share two examples that you have observed in society where social inclusion was absent.  What are your recommendations for how to address these issues?
      • Your own assessment of your personal strengths and areas in need of development relative to becoming a professional social worker
      • Please refer to a time you were working in a professional social service setting (employment or volunteer) and you made a mistake or were not able to meet expectations associated with the tasks assigned to you and provide the following:
        • Briefly describe this situation and share what, if anything you would do differently.
        • Describe how this experience has impacted you as a professional.       
    • The names and emails of two (2) education/professional reference letter writers as part of the application. Reference letters from friends and family members are not acceptable.
    • Submission of a current resume.

Advanced Standing for qualified graduates of BSW programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education

  • Graduation from a CSWE accredited BSW program within seven (7) years of enrollment in the School of Social Work, Masters degree program, is preferred. Exceptions to this time frame may be made on a case-by-case basis depending on work experience and the quality of the application materials.
  • It is strongly preferred that Advanced Standing applicants have received a “B” or better in all BSW courses. If you do not meet this expectation you must address this in your professional statement.
  • Evidence of work or volunteer experience working with people in a human service environment
  • Three letters of reference including:
  1. A letter from a faculty member within the BSW program who can speak to your academic abilities;
  2. A letter from a supervisor/instructor from the BSW internship/field site or social service employment position;
  3. A third letter from someone of your choice who speaks to your professional qualifications for an MSW program.
  • Field Evaluations must be submitted, documenting the grade and hours completed in the BSW field placement. If the applicant’s BSW program is not able to supply the original Field Evaluations, a letter must be provided confirming that the student received a passing grade and the number of field hours documented.
  • Students admitted into advanced standing for the campus-based option must enroll in the required SSW 526 – Integrating Clinical/Community Practice Frameworks 3-credit course to be completed during the first 2 weeks of August prior to starting the fall semester. (Advanced Standing online students will take SSW 526 during their first semester in the program not prior to the start of the program.)

 

  • Applications are reviewed as they are completed. Only those applications completed by the application deadline will be considered for admission. Decisions are made on a rolling basis. Once an applicant is accepted, a deposit will be required to hold a seat in our class. 
  •  International applicants and applicants with international degrees must have transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited US institution. . See International Admissions.
  • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university.  UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, (see International Admissions). If an applicant cannot prove English Proficiency in another way, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required and must be submitted as a part of the completed application.
  • Applicants to the on-campus option must submit official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions, 716 Stevens Avenue, Portland, ME, 04103.
  • Since field planning is an important part of our program and on campus students enter field during their first semester, applicants are encouraged to apply early to give us time to help you find the field placement just right for you.
  • Scholarship funds are limited and are awarded on a rolling basis upon acceptance. Funds are currently available for our campus-based program only. Scholarship awards are merit based. Students interested in being considered for a scholarship award must submit a letter of request at the same time of application to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. 

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the School of Social Work website.

 

Online Option: Procedures And Policies

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or its equivalent. See International Admissions for details regarding evaluation of international degrees for grade and degree equivalency
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Sufficient computer skills to navigate the worldwide web and effectively participate in an on-line program.
  • Own or have regular access to a computer with internet connection and with appropriate hardware and software requirements.

Please note in addition to the requirements listed above, Advanced Standing applicants must also have completed:

  • CSWE accredited BSW program (within the last seven (7) years is preferred)
  • Equivalent coursework at the undergraduate level to UNE's Foundation courses completed with a "B" of better strongly preferred

APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Completed online application
  • Submission of the non-refundable application fee
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Goal Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts reflecting conferral of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.  All transcripts are to be submitted from the original institutions.

Please note in addition to the requirements listed above, Advanced Standing applicants must also submit:

  • Copies of field evaluations and verification of field hours completed

Note:  Transcripts for any coursework appearing as transfer credit on the transcript of the conferred degree can be waived if the coursework is unrelated to the degree being sought.  The program admissions committee defines all coursework not eligible for waiver.​

 

PROCEDURES AND POLICIES

  • Applications for admission are accepted through UNE’s online application only. Detailed instructions are included in the online application.
  • Official transcripts, as well as other documents to support the application, must be submitted to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, 716 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME, 04103
  • Students are admitted to the MSWO program three (3) times a year:  Summer A, Fall A, Spring A.
  • Applications received and completed by the respective deadlines will be given full consideration.  Applications submitted and/or completed after the deadline will be reviewed for the next available term.
  • Admissions are rolling and decisions are made by the program admissions committee throughout the cycle.
  • International applicants and applicants with international degrees must have their transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited US institution.  See International Admissions.
  • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university.  UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, see International Admissions.  
  • If an applicant cannot prove English Proficiency in another way, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required and must be submitted as a part of the completed application. 

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the Online Master of Social Work website

 

Policy Exceptions

The Master of Social Work program and the SSW Admissions Committee in collaboration with the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case-by-case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

 

The Online Master of Social Work program and the MSWO Admissions Committee in collaboration with the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

Financial Information

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2017-2018 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication April 28, 2017.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.