A group of people sitting in a support group session.

Master of Social Work / Master of Arts

Social Work / Criminal Justice

Program of Study

Choose either the clinical or management macro practice concentration for your dual MSW/MA Criminal Justice 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 MSW/MA in Criminal Justice program in three years.

Two students studying in the UAlbany east garden.

Social Work Curriculum

  • Social Welfare Policy Practice
  • 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 (currently unavailable)
  • Justice Systems
  • Problem Solving Analysis

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.
For more information, call 518-442-4210 or email [email protected] or [email protected].

This program is approved for licensure or certification in New York State and the institution has not made a determination regarding the educational requirements for any other state.



The MSW 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.


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.

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


Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: February 29 at 11:59pm
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: February 29 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
      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.