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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 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 518-442-4210 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: January 30 at 11:59pm
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: January 30 at 11:59pm
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE or LSAT test scores
  • Personal statement
    Please write a three to four page statement (double spaced, 12 point font) reflecting on the definition of social work and the School’s mission as noted below. In addition to reflecting on the definition of social work and the School’s mission, be sure to address the three questions below.  

    Definition of Social Work 
    Social Work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in legislative process. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; research and evaluation; of social and economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors (From National Association of Social Workers Website).  

    School of Social Welfare Mission Statement 
    The School of Social Welfare advances baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and post-graduate education that develops social work leaders, generates knowledge through research, and furthers social and economic justice.  Located in a public research university, our diverse faculty, staff, and students collaborate with local, national, and global partners to enhance human well-being. 
    • ​​​​​​​Describe your reasons for pursuing a career in social work. 
    • How does your work and your volunteer experience prepare you for starting a professional degree program in social work? 
    • Given the mission of the School of Social Welfare, explain why you think you are a good fit for this school. 
  • CV/Resume
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.