Two women having a discussion

Master of Arts / Master of Social Work

Criminal Justice / Social Work

Program of Study

Choose either the clinical or management macro practice concentration for your dual MA Criminal Justice/MSW studies. In both tracks, your coursework will focus on topics including micro and macro practice in social work, research design, theories of crime and social welfare policy. Learn to conduct interventions with individuals, families and groups if you complete the clinical concentration or develop competencies in managing and advocating for social service programs when you follow the macro practice track.

Customize your curriculum with an elective concentration like crime causation, prevention and intervention or justice systems to match your career goals.

You can complete the combined MA in Criminal Justice/MSW program in three years.

Two students studying in the Downtown Campus courtyard

Social Work Curriculum

  • Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • Human Behavior and Social Environment I and II
  • Micro Practice in Social Work I and II
  • Macro Practice in Social Work I and II
  • Field Instruction I, II, III, IV
  • Concentration courses in clinical practice or social work management

Clinical Practice Concentration Courses

  • One Advanced Policy Course
  • Three Advanced Clinical Practice Courses

Macro Practice Concentration Courses

  • Human Service Organizations in a Changing Environment
  • Managing Systems in Human Service Organizations
  • Research Methods in Program Evaluation for Social Welfare Management

Criminal Justice Curriculum

  • Applied Statistics I
  • Research Design
  • Theories of Crime
  • Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Justice
  • Master's Capstone Seminar in Criminal Justice


Concentration Electives

(9 credits) Pursue a variety of elective courses or focus in one of four concentration areas:

  • Crime Causation, Prevention, and Intervention
  • Information Technology
  • Justice Systems
  • Problem Solving Analysis

    See the Graduate Bulletin for details.
    For more information call 518-442-5210 or email [email protected] or [email protected].

    Content

    Gain Social Work Experience in Criminal Justice Settings

    The master’s in social work program requires you to complete two 500-hour agency practicums under the supervision of an experienced and licensed field instructor. 

    Your first internship (Field Instruction I and II), provides you with a foundation understanding of social work practice and relational skills. Through your advanced internship (Field Instruction III and IV), you’ll gain first-hand experience working in agencies where programs and services are focused on needs of  victim or offender populations. 

    Potential internship locations include: addiction treatment facilities and halfway houses, jails, parole and probation offices, child and adult protective service agencies, and courts.

    UAlbany students conducting research with inmates at the Albany County Correctional Facility

      Career Paths

      Content

      This combined master’s program prepares you to succeed in social work jobs that require specialized knowledge of criminology and American systems of law enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, sentencing, and corrections.

      Common employers include: criminal, drug, juvenile, domestic violence, and family courts; prisons and jails; addiction treatment facilities and halfway houses; detention centers; parole and probation offices; protective services agencies; alternative and community corrections programs; and restorative justice organizations.

      ​​​​​​​Sample Job Titles
      • Drug Court Social Worker
      • Rehabilitation Program Director
      • Inmate Substance Abuse Counselor
      • Alternative Incarceration Administrator
      • Youth Offender Probation Officer
      • Reentry Transition Coordinator
      • Crime Victim Assistance Clinician
      • Detention Center Operations Supervisor
      • Human Trafficking Trauma Therapist
      • Protective Services Case Manager
      • Child Forensic Interviewer Specialist

      Admissions Requirements

      Deadlines

      Departmental Assistantship Consideration

      Fall: January 31 at 11:59pm
      Spring: Not Available
      Summer: Not Available

      No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

      Fall: January 31 at 11:59pm
      Spring: Not Available
      Summer: Not Available

      Required Application Materials
      • Transcripts from all schools attended
      • Resume/CV
      • Three letters of recommendation
        • Recommenders should have a professional relationship to you, such as a supervisor or a professor. They should NOT have a personal relationship to you, such as a friend or family member.
        • Recommenders should be able to speak to any one or more of the following areas regarding the applicant's: Potential for professional social work practice; Experience in human service (work or volunteer); or Academic ability.
      • Statement of Background and Goals
        • INSTRUCTIONS:
          Please write a 3-5 page, double spaced essay in 12-point font that incorporates your responses to the three areas listed below. Do not write three separate responses. Overall, we are looking for you to show that you understand the social work profession, are committed to its mission, and are ready for graduate-level field education and coursework.
        • Self-Awareness in the Service of Others
          In the field of social work, one’s values, attitudes, and beliefs can influence our practice with clients. The experience of graduate social work education includes constant self-awareness and personal growth.  Describe a situation in which your values, attitudes, and beliefs were challenged. How did you respond?  How can challenging yourself to examine your values, attitudes, and beliefs improve your ability to provide services for clients, families, communities, and organizations as a social worker in the future?
        • Social Justice Values
          Describe how you have incorporated the social work value of social justice into an experience within one of the following areas: academic setting (e.g. classroom discussions, peer interactions); professional setting (volunteer or paid work); community setting (e.g. social group, self-identity group, family, hobby).
        • Readiness for Coursework and Field Education
          Identify your areas of strength and areas for improvement relevant to managing multiple responsibilities, receiving constructive feedback, and maintaining personal and professional boundaries. Discuss your plans for simultaneously managing the rigorous demands of graduate education and fieldwork.
        • OPTIONAL: Additional Information
          Note: This section only applies if you have any additional information that you would like to discuss in your statement of background and goals.
          In one page or less, please include any additional information that you would believe would help us understand you as an applicant including, but not limited to:
          transcripts (e.g. undergraduate GPA lower than a 3.0, multiple graduate degrees, failed field internship); resume (e.g. gaps in employment, little or no paid work or volunteer experience, changes in career or major); recommendations (e.g. no academic or professional reference, use of a personal reference); goals statement (e.g. did not answer one of the questions); or any other circumstance you would like the review committee to take into consideration.
      Special Notes

      This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions.  If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

      Program Statement

      The dual master’s in criminal justice and master’s in social work program provides excellent preparation for clinical or managerial social work careers within the United States criminal justice system, or in community-based programs focused on crime prevention.

      Equipped with both degrees, you’ll be ready to provide trauma-informed interventions, assist people with  addiction and behavioral health problems, or manage programs focused on social justice and equity.