The University at Albany's School of Social Welfare is a nationally ranked program that offers outstanding education for the social work profession -- one of the most in-demand career choices for the next two decades. SSW faculty and students have won many honors for their dedication to solving human problems. Social work is a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options -- a rewarding profession devoted to helping people to function their best in their environment. Through social work, you can provide direct service or therapy to people, or work for change to improve social conditions.
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The Master’s in Social Work curriculum is a two-year (60 credits) sequence that prepares students for professional social work practice. The M.S.W. program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students acquire the knowledge and skills that enable them to help alleviate social problems, gain a broad perspective in assessing social needs, and acquire the skills necessary to address needs and challenges of individuals, groups, and communities. Graduate social workers should be able to help others reach the most satisfying social adjustment possible and to work for social conditions that will provide an equitable opportunity for individual fulfillment.
For students who graduated not more than six years ago from a baccalaureate degree program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students receive advanced standing credit for up to 21 credits (must have B or better in comparable undergraduate courses).
The dual master's program brings together the resources of the School of Criminal Justice and the School of Social Welfare. The dual master's program is directed at students who wish to combine expertise in criminal justice policy and research with the study of direct practice or management of human services. The joint degree broadens the range of student perspectives and interests in each of the schools, and widens the educational program available within each unit.
The joint Master's in Social Work and Juris Doctor program (MSW/JD) combines a law degree with the MSW with a concentration in Clinical or MACRO. Students are able to earn both degrees in, at most, four years of full-time study, rather than the usual five. Recipients of the joint J.D./MSW degrees hold professional credentials for a broad range of careers in government, consulting, teaching, research, and law. Course work, a minimum of 125 credits (51 MSW credits and 74 JD credits), includes core and specialized courses in both schools and field placements in social work settings. The JD program requirements during the first and fourth years of study are completed at Albany Law School. The second and third years combine courses from Albany Law School and the School of Social Welfare. The coursework leading towards this joint degree must begin at Albany Law School.
The School of Social Welfare and the School of Public Health have joined resources to offer students an opportunity to combine the M.S.W. (MACRO Concentration) and M.P.H. (Department of Health Policy, Management & Behavior: Management or Health Policy track) for a strong specialization in health policy, management and administration. This dual degree is primarily targeted at medical students who are interested in acquiring knowledge in the public health field. The marriage between medicine and public health skills will enable physicians to be better practitioners and leaders in the fields of medicine and public health. The program will build upon the existing relationship between Albany Medical College and the School of Public Health to prepare physicians to be aware and capable of addressing public health problems and to create public health professionals adept at clinical knowledge and practice.
The joint M.S.W./Ph.D. program permits exceptionally qualified students "with a high level of demonstrated academic competence, leadership potential, and a strong interest in scholarship in social welfare research" to reduce the 96 serial credits required for the M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs in Social Welfare to 84 credits.
Ph.D. students in social work collaborate with faculty of international reputation while conducting research in the areas that intrigue them most—anything from developmental disabilities to homeless GLBT youth. After graduation, they are in great demand as faculty, researchers, practice leaders, and initiators of social welfare policy, as well as in other capacities.