School of Social Work

Our Graduate Courses

SWO 501 Multicultural Social Work

This introductory course provides content on culturally diverse populations and serves as the basis for the infusion of cultural diversity issues throughout the graduate curriculum. The premise of this course asserts that the United States is a multicultural society in which social work cannot function effectively unless there is an understanding of how diversity strengthens and enriches us all. Open to non-matriculated graduate students. Cr 3.

SWO 502 Critical Thinking about Human Behavior I

This course examines the theories which address human behavior in mezzo and macro systems. The cultural context of behavior at all levels is an integral and underlying theme of the course. Systems theories, conflict theories, and social constructionist theories are presented. Open to non-matriculated graduate students. Cr 3.

SWO 503 Generalist Social Work Practice I

This course provides the student with an opportunity to acquire beginning generalist practice knowledge and skills in working with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Emphasis is placed on the development of basic practice, interpersonal, self-reflection, and communication skills. Corequisite or prerequisite: SWO 501. Cr 3.

SWO 504 Social Welfare Policy I

This introductory policy course provides an overview of the history of social welfare as well as an introduction to current social policy issues and dilemmas. Emphasis is placed on historical continuities in analyzing the American system of social welfare provision and lack of provision. Corequisite or prerequisite: SWO 501. Open to non-matriculated graduate students. Cr 3.

SWO 505 Social Work Research I

This course introduces a body of knowledge, skills, and attitudinal perspectives designed to produce a high level of competence in the use of social scientific methods of knowledge building. Structured, analytical processes of inquiry are introduced, as well as a rigorous adherence to social work values and ethics. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry are discussed. Prerequisite: SWO 501. Open to non-matriculated graduate students. Cr 3.

SWO 552 Critical Thinking about Human Behavior II

The course is designed to locate the interplay of biological, psychological, and sociological influences on human behavior within the broader context of culture. Cultural diversity and oppression are seen as central to understanding human behavior and evaluating human behavior theories. The course explores a range of psychological theories such as psychodynamic, narrative, cognitive, and behavioral to understand the person within the complexity of his/her life circumstances. Prerequisites: SWO 501, SWO 502. Open to non-matriculated graduate students. Cr 3.

SWO 553 Generalist Social Work Practice II

This course builds on the concepts presented in Practice I. This course further develops students’ values, knowledge, and skills for planned change with a particular focus on work with populations of special concern to social work. The course content emphasizes practice within organizations and communities. Prerequisite: SWO 503 (Social Work Practice I) and SWO 554 (Field and Field Seminar I). Cr 3.

SWO 554 Field Work and Field Seminar I

A graduate internship in an approved community agency, designed to relate social work theory to practice under professional supervision. Fall semester. Corequisite: SWO 503. Cr 3.5.

SWO 555 Field Work and Field Seminar II

A continuation of SWO 554. Spring semester. Corequisite: SWO 553. Cr 3.5.

SWO 522 Community Services In Belize

This service-learning course provides students with an opportunity to understand and appreciate the diverse Belizean culture while collaborating with local agencies to address identified social needs. Service sites include an orphanage, a home for elderly, and work with a women’s group. Wintersession only—2 Saturday classes prior to departure. Prerequisite: SWO 201 or permission of instructors.

SWO 575 Gender and Aging

A theoretical and practical course that informs students about aging issues affecting women and men differentially. Students will analyze the manifestations of aging and apply concepts drawn from the behavioral and social sciences. Cr 3.

SWO 585 Sexual Abuse of Children and Adolescents

This course introduces the specialized knowledge and skills needed for social work practice relative to child sexual abuse, with a strong focus on understanding the dynamics when sexual abuse occurs in trusted relationships within families, organizations, and institutions. The course provides students the opportunity to integrate current research and theories around etiology, impact, and treatment within issues of resiliency, family strength, social support systems, diversity, value dilemmas, and social justice. This course stresses the need to base a practice approach on the holistic strengths-risks-based assessment of the child and the family and highlights the collaborative roles various providers play at all levels of the response systems including investigation, validation, intervention, and prevention. Cr 3

SWO 583 Social Work with Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers

Considers migration patterns and flows across the globe, introduces critical concepts in immigration and US immigration policies. Community based services will be explored with a focus on concepts such as cultural competence, diversity, empowerment, anti-oppressive social work and critical multicultural approaches. Service delivery efforts/approaches with the population will be considered. Cr 3.

SWO 591 Mind/Body/Spirit Connections in Social Work Practice

Examines mind/body/spirit connections in social work practice with regard to stress and its management (meditation, breath-control, other relaxation techniques), stress-related illnesses and personalities; complementary therapies (mainstream and culturally specific); and spirituality. This course is an elective in both the undergraduate and graduate social work programs. Cr 3.

SWO 596/696 Topics in Diversity

A variety of elective courses under this title are offered to facilitate students’ development of competency in working with different population groups such as those oppressed by race and ethnicity, language, nationality, social class, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical ability, spiritual and religious affiliation, and other factors. Prerequisite: SWO 501 or equivalent as determined by the instructor. Additional prerequisite may be required for some elective courses. Cr 3.

SWO 597 Independent Study

This is an individualized course of study, during the foundation year, on some aspect of social work or social welfare to be selected as a result of consultation between a student and a faculty member. Cr 1-3.

SWO 598/698 Topics in Community Social Work Practice

A variety of elective courses under this title are offered to cover a wide spectrum of micro and macro practice issues. These courses facilitate students’ exploration of new practice areas or enhancement of advanced practice skills. Prerequisite: SWO 503 or equivalent as determined by the instructor. Additional prerequisite may be required for some elective courses. Cr 3.

SWO 603 Social Work Practice III: Group Practice

This course focuses on social group work practice that builds upon students’ foundation level social work practice skills. The course emphasizes theory about groups and group process and demonstrates the skills necessary for effective practice. Prerequisites: SWO 553, SWO 555. Cr 3.

SWO 604 Social Welfare Policy II

This course provides a theoretical and critical model of analyzing policy processes. It contains an overview of policy analysis with particular emphasis on social conflict theory and social constructionist theories of policy formation. Prerequisites: SWO 504, SWO 554, SWO 555. Cr 3.

SWO 605 Social Work Research II: Social Data Analysis

This course provides an interactive learning environment in which students learn to analyze quantitative and qualitative existing social data. The goal of this course is to increase the analytical competencies of students in the planning, and eventual execution, of a community-based research project. Prerequisite: SWO 505. Cr 3.

SWO 651 Social Work Practice IV: Individuals and Families

This course contextualizes the facilitation of change with individuals and families within organizations and communities. Approaches to social work practice are taught within an ecosystems, strengths-based framework that reflects a commitment to the values of social and economic justice, cultural diversity, and individual and collective self-determination. Corequisite or prerequisite: SWO 603. Prerequisite: SWO 555. Cr 3.

SWO 652 Social Work Research III: The Research Project

This course involves the utilization of the research knowledge and skills learned in SWO 505 Social Work Research I and SWO 605 Social Work Research II, and their application to selected social problems or issues of relevance to the needs of special populations or to the social work profession. Prerequisite: SWO 605. Cr 3.

SWO 654 Field Work and Field Seminar III

A graduate internship during the concentration year at an approved community agency, designed to relate social work theory to practice under professional supervision. Fall semester. Corequisite or prerequisite: SWO 603 or SWO 651. Cr 4.5.

SWO 655 Field Work and Field Seminar IV

A continuation of SWO 654. Spring semester. Corequisite or prerequisite: SWO 651or SWO 603. Prerequisite: SWO 654. Cr 4.5.

SWO 660 Advanced Biopsychosocial Assessment

This course is designed to facilitate the acquisition of practice skills specific to in-depth biopsycho-social assessment. Assessment is viewed as the process of understanding a person in order to formulate a practice approach rather than a fixed descriptive category. This course relies heavily upon theories presented in SWO 502 and SWO 552. Consideration of persons within a cultural context is emphasized throughout. Cr 3.

SWO 695 Thesis Option

In lieu of SWO 652, students may apply to the Research Sequence Curriculum Committee for permission to take the Thesis Option. This option provides structure and assistance to students wishing to complete a formal thesis rather than a research project. Upon completion, the student will present a verbal summary of the thesis at a formal thesis defense meeting. This option may be especially attractive for those students contemplating advanced doctoral-level education in social work or in other social sciences. Cr 6.

SWO 697 Independent Study

This is an individualized course of study, during the concentration year, on some aspezct of social work or social welfare to be selected as a result of consultation between a student and a faculty member. Cr 1-3.