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    Columbia Campus
  Jul 13, 2024
2014-2015 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2014-2015 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

College of Social Work|

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Anna M. Scheyett, Dean
Naomi Farber, Interim Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs
Felissa Carter-Moore, Chief Fiscal Officer
Terry Wolfer, PhD Program Coordinator
Naomi Farber, MSW Program Coordinator
Sung Seek Moon, MSW Korea-based Program Director
Daniel Freedman, Interim Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Melissa Reitmeier, Director of Field Education
Caryn Little, Director of Development
Deborah Duvall, Assistant to the Dean

International Activities
M.S.W. and Ph.D. Programs Technology Resources of the College of Social Work
Additional Areas for Focused Study Child Welfare Consortium Scholars Program
Grants, Contracts, and Research M.S.W. Plans of Study
The Center for Child and Family Studies Field Education
South Carolina Center for Gerontology Courses
The I. DeQuincey Newman Institute for Peace and Social Change Website


The College of Social Work has offered graduate professional education at the master’s level at the University since 1969. The doctoral program admitted its first class in fall 1987. The college has offered its master’s degree in Seoul, South Korea, since 1992. The Master of Social Work degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education.


To promote social well-being and social justice with vulnerable populations through dynamic teaching, research, and service conducted in collaboration with diverse people of South Carolina, the nation, and the international community.


To become a leading institution for innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to educating social work practitioners and scholars, conducting research, and serving as a catalyst for positive social change.


Goal 1:

The College prepares M.S.W. graduates to work effectively and ethically within public and private agencies, including interdisciplinary settings, where they will serve primarily those vulnerable populations who experience problems related to economic and social deprivation and the consequences of institutional discrimination and oppression.

The College also produces Ph.D. graduates who are able to perform all the role expectations of academicians within social work degree-granting colleges and universities. Graduates are effective in transdisciplinary, community-engaged social work research and education and possess a commitment and a capacity to meet University and community service expectations through both graduate and undergraduate courses.

The College enrolled its first BSW student cohort in the fall of 2009. The purpose of the program is to prepare graduates for ethical, competent, and culturally relevant generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The College is in candidacy status for its Bachelor of Social Work program with the Council on Social Work Education. The College’s social work minor prepares University undergraduate students from other academic programs for responsible citizenship by introducing them to social work as a means to helping people enhance their well-being.

Goal 2:

The College advances the knowledge base of the profession and translates research into practice in order to reduce poverty and oppression and promote social and economic justice in global society.

Goal 3:

The College provides faculty consultation and service to local, state, national and international organizations; student provision of services to consumers in supervised field agency settings; and leadership as a catalyst in positive social change.

M.S.W. and Ph.D. Programs

Additional Areas for Focused Study

Grants, Contracts, and Research

Faculty of the College are active in securing external funding through grants and contracts to expand their capability for scholarly production and community service and to provide stipends for students who wish to focus their graduate work in particular areas of study. Students benefit significantly from projects such as these. Financially, they benefit through receipt of stipends and graduate assistantships; educationally, they benefit from the stimulation of working with faculty who are concerned with current social problems and issues.

The Center for Child and Family Studies

The Center for Child and Family Studies was created in 1986 in the College of Social Work to address issues related to children and families. Since that time, the Center has gained prominence for its curriculum development and training, research and program evaluation, conference planning, and social work education initiatives.

The mission of the Center is to improve the well-being of children, adults, and families in South Carolina and the nation through the discovery and application of the best practices in health and human services.

The Center operates through three divisions. The Training Division develops curricula and provides expert training to promote more effective service delivery in public and private human-service organizations. The Research, Planning and Evaluation Division engages in a multifaceted set of activities composed of research studies, demonstration projects, program evaluations, and training evaluations. The Education Division provides specialized enhancements to master’s level social work education in order to increase the number of professionally trained social workers in South Carolina’s public service agencies and provide them job-specific training. The Center provides a full range of products and activities that support the work of health and human service agencies, such as conference planning services, video production, preparation and dissemination of publications, collaborative proposal development and provision of evaluation services for funded projects, and workshop presentations.

South Carolina Center for Gerontology

Created legislatively in 1984, the South Carolina Center for Gerontology is a consortium of state-supported institutions of higher education and is administered by the College of Social Work. The general purpose of the consortium is to use the expertise of gerontology and geriatrics faculty from a variety of academic disciplines to assist in furthering the quality of life for older South Carolinians.

The major objectives of the consortium are to:

  • promote and strengthen research and research expertise in gerontology and geriatrics
  • promote and strengthen instructional activities in gerontology and geriatrics
  • promote and strengthen alliances among faculty and service providers with gerontological and geriatric interests from public and private sectors throughout the state
  • systematically identify available gerontological and geriatric research, educational, and service resources within the state
  • systematically identify needs and potential needs related to gerontology and geriatrics in the state
  • facilitate dissemination of new information to professionals involved in teaching, research, and service in gerontology and geriatrics.

Faculty of consortium universities demonstrate continued success in obtaining grants and contracts to advance gerontology/geriatrics research and educational programs. Publication of books, chapters, monographs, and scientific journal articles reflect the highly significant aging research and scholarship of faculty in South Carolina universities. Numerous faculty make research presentations at both national and international scientific and professional conferences, further disseminating the results of their studies and projects on aging.

Policy Board members consult with and collaborate on research, educational, and training initiatives with colleagues in state and national aging organizations. Members serve on state and local aging agency boards and committees to assist personnel around such issues as Alzheimer’s disease education, service delivery, family caregiving, legislative advocacy, and senior center development.

The I. DeQuincey Newman Institute for Peace and Social Change

In honor of the memory of the great humanitarian the Reverend I. DeQuincey Newman, the institute was established in the College of Social Work to continue his mission of promoting the causes of social justice through interdisciplinary education, consultation, and research at the community, state, national, and international levels. The institute, which is an outgrowth of the I. DeQuincey Newman Chair, was conceived in partnership with the University, the College of Social Work, and interested community groups.

To address the myriad concerns and issues related to social justice, the institute carries out work in four areas:

  • culturally relevant ethnographic and program effectiveness research
  • curriculum development of graduate social work programs; in-service training for practitioners, and dissemination of related written materials
  • consultation and technical assistance to social agencies, government, business, and industry in matters such as race relations and the enhancement of economic growth through human service development
  • policy development and reform in areas relevant to the needs of the oppressed and populations at risk.

The institute’s current goals flow directly from its priority areas. The goals are to:

  • cultivate more responsive human service organizations
  • promote quality services to the elderly, especially those residing in rural areas
  • promote quality housing for low-income families
  • promote quality education for low-income children and families
  • research, develop, and teach principles of planned peaceful changes.

International Activities

For many years the College of Social Work has been involved in a variety of international social work activities. Such activities are of growing importance to social work education for a number of reasons. The shrinking of the world requires that social workers have an understanding of social problems, issues, and social structures worldwide. Rapid globalization, facilitated in particular by developments in technology, has enhanced the interconnectedness of people around the world. Our clients come from an increasing number of cultures, and in order to serve them effectively, we need to have an understanding and appreciation of their backgrounds. The significance of international content in social work curricula is so important that the Council of Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation has mandated it.

One way in which the college has been involved at the international level is through the development of partnerships with universities in other countries. Beginning in 1988, with a partnership with Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, the college has expanded this program to include partnerships with 17 universities throughout the world. These partnerships make it possible for a large variety of collaborative activities to take place, including faculty exchanges, student exchanges, curriculum sharing, cross-cultural research, and joint service projects. Through these partnerships, a number of faculty members from foreign universities have come to South Carolina to study during their sabbaticals. Similarly, faculty members from this college have spent their sabbaticals in other countries. The enrollment of foreign students in our M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs has expanded dramatically as a result of these partnerships.

1. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, 1988
2. Kangnam University, Seoul, Korea, 1993
3. FachHochshule Lausitz, Brandenburg, Germany, 1995
4. Hallym University, Chun Chon City, Korea, 1997
5. Dan Kook University, Seoul, Korea, 1997
6. Induk Institute of Technology, Seoul, Korea, 1998
7. Korea Christian University, Seoul, Korea, 1999
8. Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea, 1999
9. Chang-Shin College, Masan, Korea, 2000.
10. University of South Australia, Magill, South Australia, 2001
11. China Social Work Association, Beijing, China, 2002
12. Seowon University, Cheongju, Korea, 2002
13. Hannam University, Taejon, Korea, 2002
14. Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China, 2003
15. Janardan Rainagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan, Udaipur, India. 2004
16. Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta, India, 2004
17. Tata Institute of Social Sciences/Deonar, Mumbai India, pending 2007
18. Baku State University, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2007

Recognizing the impact of globalization in all spheres, including social work education and practice, the college intends to continue developing international linkages. Without doubt, having relationships with institutions of higher education in other parts of the world benefits all of the parties involved.

Another way in which the College has been involved at the international level is through its Korea-based M.S.W. program. At the request of the Korean Association of Social Workers, the College developed this program and began offering courses to the first cohort of students in 1993. Through this program the College offers its M.S.W. degree on-site in Seoul, Korea. The curriculum is exactly the same as that offered in South Carolina. However, all courses are taught in English and translated into Korean by Korean-American social work educators. Applicants to the program are not required to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination as would be true if they came to South Carolina to study. Since they plan to continue living in Korea, this requirement is waived.

Our College is the only school of social work to offer its master’s degree in its entirety in a foreign country. The program has been fully approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Council on Social Work Education, and the Korean Ministry of Education. With the graduation of the sxth cohort of students in December 2010, more than 125 students have received their M.S.W. degrees through this program. The seventh Korean MSW cohort began studies in the summer of 2011.

The Korea-based program has been beneficial to all parties. Nontraditional working students are able to receive M.S.W. degrees that would otherwise be unavailable to them from schools in the United States. Furthermore, it is considerably less expensive for students to enroll in this program than it would be for them to come to the United States to receive their M.S.W. degree. Faculty members from the College have enjoyed the experience of teaching abroad. They have found that they are better social work educators as a result of insights they acquire from living, studying, and teaching in another country. Similarly, faculty from Korean universities who participate in the program also benefit from these cross-cultural activities. Several faculty members from both countries have engaged in joint research projects, which have resulted in scholarly publications and papers presented at national and international conferences. This is an excellent example of how international partners can benefit from international exchanges and collaboration. The Korean program has two Web pages, one in English only, the other in both Korean and English.

Technology Resources of the College of Social Work

Technology resources of the College of Social Work include two state-of-the-art computer labs for social work students. These labs contain Dell PC computers and other hardware with access to the Internet, e-mail, and research databases. Software programs are available to all faculty and students for use in the classroom and social work practice. Classrooms are equipped with various technologies to create multimedia classrooms. The College is also focusing on how to integrate technology in every course in the curriculum so that students will have knowledge and skills to use information technology in all areas of their social work practice. The College administers the most heavily used Internet database for social workers, the Social Work Access Network (SWAN), which also serves as an excellent networking and information resource.

Child Welfare Consortium Scholars Program

The USC College of Social Work is a member of the South Carolina Professional Development Consortium, a partnership with seven colleges and universities in the state and the Department of Social Services (SCDSS) whose purpose is to strengthen the workforce that serves children and families in South Carolina. The Child Welfare Consortium Scholars Program is an initiative to recruit, educate and prepare BSW and MSW students for public child welfare practice. As an incentive, participants earn a stipend in exchange for a commitment to work at SCDSS for a specified period after graduation.

M.S. W. Plans of Study

The MSW program of study prepares students to meet personal and professional goals while also achieving standards established by The Graduate School and the Council on Social Work Education. This program includes foundation level and advanced level curricula. There are several plans, listed below, by which the MSW curriculum requirements of the College of Social Work may be satisfied.

Full-Time Enrollment—60 Hours Total over Two-Year Period

The traditional pattern for completion of M.S.W. requirements is to register for 15 hours per semester and complete all 60 hours of course work over four semesters. Many students take courses in the summer after completing their first two semesters to lighten their load in the final year.

Part-Time Extended Programs

The Part-time Extended Programs of the College of Social Work are designed to meet the needs of the student who cannot enroll on a full-time basis on the Columbia campus. Part-time programs require a longer time to complete degree requirements and may require that students enroll in summer courses.

To meet the needs of part-time students, the College offers many of its required MSW courses, both foundation and advanced level, in the evenings and on weekends, and in classrooms in Charleston and Greenville as well as Columbia.

Courses for the 60-hour program include 21 credits of required foundation level classroom courses, 15 hours of required advanced level classroom courses, 12 credits of elective coursework, and 12 credits of field practica.

Advanced Standing—42 Hours over One-Year Period

The College of Social Work has a program of advanced standing whereby a student who has received a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) in the past five years from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may enter into the last 30 hours of study (advanced course work) upon completion of 12 credits of required bridge courses in the summer.

Courses for the advanced standing program include 15 credits of required advanced level classroom courses, 9 credits of elective coursework, and 6 creditrs of field practica.

Part-time Extended Advanced Standing—42 Hours over 24-Month-Period

Advanced Standing students who select the part-time extended program begin their program of study in the summer, taking SOWK 712 and SOWK 791. In the fall and spring of the first year they complete their foundation year courses (SOWK 732 and SOWK 742), as well as two electives. Additionally, students begin a two year field practicum, which typically meets one day a week, for a total of six credit hours. In the second year students complete SOWK 723, 724, 725,  726 , and 792 if they are in the Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups concentration, or SOWK 733, 734, 735, 736, and 793 if they are in the Practice with Organizations and Communities sequence. Students in both concentrations are required to take SOWK 718.

Field Education

Since field practice is considered a vital component of education for the social work profession, all MSW students enrolled in the College of Social Work are assigned to field practicum settings where they develop, practice, and improve their professional skills. The standard schedule is for students in foundation classes to be in an agency on Thursdays and Fridays and for students in advanced classes to be in placement on Mondays and Tuesdays. Often these days are negotiable with the field instructor. Nevertheless, the College cannot guarantee the availability of placements either on weekends or during evening hours as many agencies are not open on weekends or evenings and most agencies do not provide MSW supervision after 5 p.m.

Students are required to complete approximately 16 hrs per week at a field agency during the agency’s regular workweek. Students remain in the same agency setting for the duration of the school year.

Although most M.S.W. students prefer to complete their field placement concurrently with their other courses as described above, it is possible for students with two years of work experience in social work to elect the option of a block placement. Summer block placements are taken during a 14-week period (5 full-time days per week) after students have completed the required classroom courses for the period of study (foundation or advanced). This option is made available early May to early August to meet the needs of qualified students whose circumstances make concurrent placements impractical or impossible; it requires special approval in advance and should be discussed with the Director of Field Education.

Selection of field placements for students in the foundation year of study is made by the College on the basis of the learning needs of the students and the availability of foundation field agencies. For the final year of placement, students must specify their area of concentration (either advanced practice with individual families, and groups or advanced practice with organizations and communities).  They are also asked to indicate if they would like to be considered for placement in a specific agency. Every effort is made to accommodate the student’s field of practice interest. It is a basic expectation of the College that the advanced year field placement will relate directly to the area of concentration specified by the student and that it will expose the student to opportunities to integrate advanced practice knowledge and skills.

Every student in field placement is supervised by an experienced master’s-level social worker. In addition, each student has a faculty representative assigned to function as a liaison between the agency and the College and to serve as an educational consultant to the field instructor.

Most placement agencies are located in the Columbia area; however, the college also places students at other sites in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. Efforts are made to place students in the geographic location they prefer, or within commuting distance, when possible.


Click the link below to view courses administered by the College of Social Work.

Courses for the College of Social Work|  

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