About

Are you interested in furthering your career in Social Work? Are you concerned with the human rights and social justice issues that are facing our society?

The mission of the master of social work at East Carolina University is to educate students for knowledgeable and competent practice, to encourage the development of high standards of personal and professional achievement, and to have appreciation for human diversity. The school provides a research and technological base for students to participate in research to enhance professional activities.

Professional social workers are found in every facet of community life - in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, senior centers, elected office, private practices, prisons, military, corporations, and in numerous public and private agencies that serve individuals and families in need. Professional social workers are the nation's largest group of mental health services providers. Social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. The profession is expected to grow by 25 percent between 2010 and 2020. More than 650,000 people currently hold social work degrees.

ECU Advantage

The master of social work offers flexibility with three types of program formats: regular track, advanced standing, and part-time. One of the hallmarks of the master of social work program at ECU is personalized attention from faculty. Students find faculty members to be accessible and interested in their professional development. MSW students spend approximately half of their time in field agencies which places an emphasis on social work practice that prepares our students for advanced careers through hands-on learning.The master of social work offers flexibility with three types of program formats: regular track, advanced standing, and part-time. One of the hallmarks of the master of social work program at ECU is personalized attention from faculty. Students find faculty members to be accessible and interested in their professional development. MSW students spend approximately half of their time in field agencies which places an emphasis on social work practice that prepares our students for advanced careers through hands-on learning.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Paige Averett (222 Rivers Building; 252-328-4183; averettp@ecu.edu)

The School of Social Work offers a program of classroom study and fieldwork that leads to the master of social work (MSW) degree. The program is based on a relational perspective for advanced professional practice, leadership, and innovation in service delivery. A single concentration, Clinical Community Social Work, is offered which is augmented and focused through elective courses selected by the student in consultation with his or her faculty advisor. Paramount to this perspective is a commitment to economic and social justice. The curriculum leading to the MSW degree is built on a liberal arts perspective. The MSW program at East Carolina University has been developed in accordance with the policies and guidelines provided by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The School of Social Work offers two curriculum options: regular track and advanced standing. The regular track program is designed as a two year course of study that requires the completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours. The initial year, referred to as the foundation year, is comprised of 30 semester hours focusing on developing the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to become professional social workers. This foundation is applicable across different practice settings, problem areas, and population groups. The foundation curriculum includes material on populations-at-risk, human diversity, and social and economic justice, and is provided in courses addressing the areas of human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, and social work research. In addition, a foundation practicum provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and values taught in the first year in a supervised practice setting.

The second year of the regular track program

Generally referred to as the advanced year, builds upon the foundation year and provides more thorough knowledge of complex policies, practice skills, evaluation skills, human behavior and the social environment, and field education. While the foundation curriculum introduces Clinical-Community Social Work, the advanced curriculum enhances the students’ understanding of the perspective and further develops their skills for practice.

In addition to 9 semester hours of electives, regular track students will complete the following courses:

  • SOCW 5001 - Human Behavior and Social Environment for the Human Service Professions
  • SOCW 5900 - Foundations of Social Work and Social Welfare
  • SOCW 5910 - Foundation Skills in Social Work Practice
  • SOCW 6110 - Social Work Practice: Interpersonal Foundations
  • SOCW 6111 - Social Work Practice: Community Foundations
  • SOCW 6140 - Advanced Practice: Individuals and Families
  • SOCW 6141 - Advanced Practice: Community Partnerships
  • SOCW 6550 - Integrative Seminar
  • SOCW 6701 - Biopsychosocial: Social Work Perspectives on Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  • SOCW 6702 - Social Work's Response to Human Differences
  • SOCW 6711 - Critical Thinking in Social Work Research
  • SOCW 6940 - Field Instruction I
  • SOCW 6950 - Field Instruction II
  • SOCW 6960 - Field Instruction III
Students who have graduated from a CSWE accredited bachelor of social work (BSW) program

May apply for admission to the advanced standing MSW program of study. Those accepted into this program attain the MSW degree after the completion of a minimum of forty-two semester hours over the course of one calendar year. Full time advanced students enroll in the summer, completing 12 semester hours (SOCW 6110, SOCW 6111, SOCW 6701, SOCW 6711). The remaining 30 semester hours are completed within the context of the advanced year curriculum. A field practicum is required for both semesters of the advanced year.

In addition to 9 semester hours of electives, the advanced standing students will complete the following courses:

  • SOCW 6110 - Social Work Practice: Interpersonal Foundations
  • SOCW 6111 - Social Work Practice: Community Foundations
  • SOCW 6140 - Advanced Practice: Individuals and Families
  • SOCW 6141 - Advanced Practice: Community Partnerships
  • SOCW 6550 - Integrative Seminar
  • SOCW 6701 - Biopsychosocial: Social Work Perspectives on Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  • SOCW 6711 - Critical Thinking in Social Work Research
  • SOCW 6950 - Field Instruction II
  • SOCW 6960 - Field Instruction III
Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in foundation and advanced content through the successful completion of a comprehensive assessment.

For the MSW degree, the successful completion of SOCW 6550 serves as the comprehensive assessment.

    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Social Work
    • Counselors
    • Child Social Workers
    • Adult Social Workers
    • School Social Workers
    • Probation Officers
    • Correctional Treatment Specialists
    • Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary
    • Public Administration and Legal Services
    • Education and Training
    • Marriage and Family Therapists
    • Social Work

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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