Master of Social Work (MSW) Program

  • Offers only one concentration—clinical social work practice.

By emphasizing only clinical practice, the MSW program prepares MSW students for specialized practice.

  • Has a special focus--strengths-based practice.

Strengths-based practice, simply stated, honors the client’s strengths and resiliency, which the social worker acts as a facilitator for change. Because the entire curriculum is designed to support the strengths perspective, students acquire a higher than usual level of skill and higher level of self-confidence in their ability to enter clinical practice upon graduation.

  • Offers more specialized courses on selected practice models than is typical of MSW programs.

Students receive special clinical training in solution-focused, motivational, behavioral, and cognitive-behavioral practice models.

  • Utilizes practice labs as an interface between course content and field instruction.

Rather than simply teaching concepts and models in class and expecting the student to determine how to apply them to the field placement, each clinical course at UNCW has a practice lab where students practice the techniques included in the models of practice.

  • Places students into the same field placement agency for both years of study.

Because students are placed in the same agency for both the foundation field placement and the advanced field placement, they are able to devote more time to higher levels of clinical practice.

  • Is small so that students can really get to know the faculty.

Each student is assigned a faculty mentor who is available for consultation as needed.

Our MSW curriculum is a very focused and advanced clinical practice curriculum. Students gain in depth knowledge and practice skills from a strengths based curriculum. Students will become highly skilled in practice using solution-focused, motivational and cognitive-behavioral approaches. They will be able to apply these to working with individuals, families and groups as well as a wide range of populations and circumstances such as crisis intervention, trauma and grief, children, severe and persistently mentally ill, addictions, and other important issues. Students who are interested in a truly advanced curriculum that prepares them with the knowledge and skills to engage clients appreciate this advanced and in depth curriculum. In addition students spend three semesters in the same field agency so that they gain expertise and have the time to engage clients in a meaningful manner.

This curriculum requires a full time two year commitment. We believe that the preparation provided will advance these students quickly in the profession and begin their professional work at a very high level of skill and knowledge

Candidacy and Accreditation

Social work education is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
( The UNCW MSW program is fully accredited by CSWE.

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