School of Social Welfare FAQ

The following FAQs relate directly to the School of Social Welfare. For questions about more general UAlbany-SUNY policies—with regard to admissions, financial aid, housing, and other services—visit Ask UAlbany FAQ.

Why should I consider a career in social work?

If you’re passionate about making a serious impact on people’s lives—by helping those in need, leading social service organizations, or setting social welfare policy—social work may be for you. As a social worker, you might provide counseling, find services for seniors, advocate for affordable housing, serve as head of a community service agency, or work in the New York State Legislature, among other things. Find out more about careers in social work.

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Why study at UAlbany-SUNY?

UAlbany-SUNY’s School of Social Welfare consistently ranks among the nation’s most distinguished social work schools. As a student, you will take part in classes and research led by internationally known scholars. The program enables you to:

  • Acquire hands-on experience through hundreds of community partnerships
  • Learn state-of-the-art social work techniques in a quality educational experience
  • Take advantage of unique international opportunities in such countries as South Africa, Russia, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Peru

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What practice areas can I specialize in?

After the second semester of core courses, MSW students select one of two concentrations: Clinical or MACRO (Management Efficiency, Advocacy and Empowerment, Community Building, Resource Development, and Outcome Evaluation). While our students have specialized in areas across the spectrum of social work, we have particularly dynamic programs in aging (including the Internships in Aging Project), children and families, diversity, addictions, and mental health.

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What degrees do you offer?

The School of Social Welfare’s BSW and MSW programs lead to a wide range of careers in social work practice. Graduates of the Ph.D. program typically move into academic and research careers.

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Are your degree programs accredited?

UAlbany-SUNY’s BSW and MSW programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

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Can I earn a Master’s in Social Work and another degree at the same time?

At UAlbany-SUNY, students can earn an MSW and another degree in several fields: a Master’s in Criminal Justice, Public Health, or Bioethics, a JD degree, or a Ph.D. in Social Welfare.

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I earned my BSW in 2008. Could that help me earn my MSW more quickly?

It could. Qualified students with a recent bachelor’s degree (from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education) can take advantage of our Advanced Standing Program, which grants them 21 credits toward the MSW—and the opportunity to complete the degree in a summer and one academic year.

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Will my MSW from UAlbany-SUNY make me eligible for certification or licensing?

The MSW meets the educational requirement for achieving the first level of licensing or certification. (Usually, candidates must also pass an exam.) Beyond that, most states require social workers to complete post-master’s degree work under the supervision of a licensed or certified social worker to attain the highest level of credentials.

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Can I complete my MSW degree part-time?

Yes. The Master’s of Social Work degree can be completed full-time in two years, or in a structured part-time program that takes four years.

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Does the School participate in international research and programs?

Yes. Many graduate students embark on unique international experiences—in South Africa, South Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, Peru, and other nations—then bring back the lessons learned to the U.S. Our faculty have trained mental health professionals in Indonesia, conducted highly acclaimed dementia research in Ireland, addressed aging issues in China and Russia, and funded sewing machines for village women in Peru, to name just a few projects.

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What types of field practica are available?

Each year, the School teams with hundreds of community partners to offer practica in aging, children and families, health care, substance abuse, mental health, homelessness, and other fields. MSW students engage in two year-long practica during their degree program, concurrent with their coursework. The first covers a broad range of activities in social work; the second complements the student’s concentration in either clinical or MACRO practice. (Undergraduate students take one practicum during their senior year.) In addition, MSW candidates can take advantage of the internationally acclaimed Internships in Aging Program. Visit our field education page for more details.

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