Master of Social Work

Advanced Standing Program

The Master of Social Work Program mission is to prepare graduate students for professional advanced practice in becoming leaders through the provision of social work services that promote social and economic justice, and human rights locally, nationally and globally. The program further expects graduates the contribute to the empowerment of people/groups that experience discrimination and oppression.

Saint Leo University's innovative one-year, full-time Advanced Standing M.S.W. program is designed for students who have completed a B.S.W. degree from a CSWE-accredited program within the last five years.

If you do not hold a B.S.W. degree, you may be interested in our M.S.W. with an Advanced Clinical Practice Concentration, which is available as either a two-year, full-time program or a three-year, part-time program.

Build upon your existing understanding of social work practice, and learn advanced methods for engaging, assessing, intervening with and evaluating individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

Our program prepares you be a leader in advanced clinical social work practice, serving all populations—including the elderly, military personnel, members of the workforce, and peoples and groups that experience discrimination and oppression.

Saint Leo's M.S.W. courses explore:

  • Social work practices in the military, including issues facing military service members and their families
  • Clinical practice with couples and families, including issues of gender, ethnicity, empowerment and multiculturalism
  • Ethical foundations in social work practice
  • Psychopathology
  • Relationships between the social environment, cultural influences, and emotional and mental health
  • Evidence-based social work research methods, including single case designs, needs assessment, program evaluation, and application of evaluation methods results

The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).


Degree Requirements

The M.S.W. program is only available to students who are residents and physically living in the states of Florida, Georgia and Virginia. Classes are attended via webcam and presented online, which allows for face-to-face interaction in the convenience of your own home. Given this innovation of a full-time graduate online program, students should enter the program knowing that they will have to meet for weekly evening classes via webcam, be available for daytime internship hours, attend one weekend seminar on University campus in the summer, and adjust their lives to meet the demands and expectations of the Saint Leo University MSW full-time online program. Please review the one year program curriculum and all MSW Program information on the Saint Leo website to make an informed decision regarding meeting the demands of the program (www.saintleo.edu/masterofsocialwork).

If you have not completed a B.S.W. degree from a CSWE-accredited program within the last five years, you can apply to enroll in Saint Leo's M.S.W. with an Advanced Clinical Practice Concentration, which is available as either a two-year, full-time program or a three-year, part-time program.

MSW ASP Summer (3 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • SWK 610 Leadership (One weekend On-campus attendance required) 3

    The purpose of this course is to help students become more effective leaders and to better understand the demands of leadership. The student will learn leadership knowledge and skills required to succeed in the workplace. The course defines leadership as a process of influencing an organized group to accomplishing its goals. Major research findings will be presented that can give leaders insight about how to become more effective in analyzing and responding to situations. The course builds on macro content taught in social work courses and theories of individual and group behavior presented in foundation courses on human behavior in the social environment. *(required for all second-year and advanced standing students)

MSW ASP Fall (12 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • SWK 615 Advanced Clinical Practice with Individuals 3

    This course builds upon the comprehensive understanding of the interactions of human behavior and the social environment explored in foundation practice courses. SWK 615 is designed to facilitate competent practice in the planned change process with greater depth and breadth and specificity for generalist social work practice. It provides increased knowledge and skills for the integration of values and ethics that will enable students to practice using an ecological perspective at the advanced level. Evidence-based practice is emphasized in the application of theory and the evaluation of practice.

  • SWK 620 Ethical Foundations in Social Work Practice 3

    This course builds upon the basic concepts and methods of scientific inquiry used to facilitate knowledge and evaluate practice. The following topics are explored: single case designs, needs assessment, program evaluation, and application of evaluation methods results to social work practice in both clinical and managerial settings.

  • SWK 625 Psychopathology 3

    This course is an advanced practice class that is required in both the advanced clinical practice and management concentrations. The course provides an overview of mental health assessment and diagnostic tools, including the Diagnostic Statistical Manual diagnostic criteria, and examines treatment strategies and techniques. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between the social environment, cultural influences, and emotional and mental health.

  • SWK 635 or SWK 655 : (3 Credits)3
    • SWK 635 Social Work Practice in the Military (Elective)

      This course provides a comprehensive and in-depth examination of the practice of military social work. This course provides a historical context and a thorough review of the specific practice of social work with the branches of the U.S. military. The course examines the unique culture of the military community and the issues facing military service members and their families.

    • SWK 655 Substance Abuse Assessment and Intervention (Elective)

      This is an elective course which is available to M.S.W. students who have completed the foundation curriculum. The course provides a comprehensive introduction to the assessment and treatment of persons with substance-related disorders. Attention is directed to the pharmacology and etiology of substance abuse and dependence, assessment tools and processes, and treatment options. Other topics explored in the course will include family dynamics, adult children of alcoholics, co-occurring disorders, and populations at risk of substance-related disorders. This course will implement the strengths perspective in the assessment and treatment of addiction. Students will be expected to examine their own values, beliefs and behaviors in response to clients labeled as “addicts”. Students will have the opportunity to explore how their values and beliefs about addiction can facilitate or limit their ability to do effective social work practice with people involved in addictions. Students should leave this course with a better understanding of themselves and of those affected by addictions.

MSW ASP Spring (10 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • SWK 630 Advanced Clinical Practice with Couples and Families 3

    This course links theory and practice in consideration and application of the major models of family therapy. Family and couples issues of gender, ethnicity, empowerment, and multiculturalism are explored, as are intervention strategies in correcting maladaptive couple and family interactive patterns. The course illustrates the relationship between, and the integration of, micro and mezzo, with an emphasis on ethical decision making and issues of diversity in social work practice.

  • SWK 640 Evidence-Based Social Work Research Methods 3

    This course builds upon the basic concepts and methods of scientific inquiry used to facilitate knowledge and evaluate practice. The following topics are explored: single case designs, needs assessment, program evaluation, and application of evaluation methods results to social work practice in both clinical and managerial settings.

  • SWK 645 Field Practicum III 4

    The purpose of Field Practicum III is to give the student the opportunity to implement advanced social work practice theory and skills in either the advanced clinical practice concentration or the management concentration. The student is expected to participate at their field agency placement two days a week (16 hours a week). The student is expected to carry a caseload of 3-5 cases in order to implement interventions integrating advanced theories and interventions on all levels: micro, mezzo, and macro. Students will be prepared for autonomous advanced social work practice. A seminar will be offered in conjunction with the field practicum. It will facilitate the process of integrating social work knowledge, skills, values, and a liberal arts base into a set of practice competencies necessary for the performance of advanced social work practice. The seminar will meet one hour per week for sixteen weeks. *SWK 645 Field Practicum III (16 normal daytime work hours per week for 16 weeks = 256 hours plus 1-hour seminar)

MSW ASP Summer (7 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • SWK 633 or SWK 647 : (3 Credits)3
    • SWK 633 Advanced Clinical Social Work with Older Adults (Elective)

      This course provides an intensive examination of practice issues related to strengths based, empowerment-oriented social work practice with older adults and their families. Students gain an understanding of developmental issues of adulthood and late life, as well as the application of empirically-supported assessment and interventions in real life situations. Students will apply a cultural competent approach by gaining an increased understanding of the needs, strengths and sociocultural diversity of older adults and their caregivers and applying culturally competent assessments, interventions, and evaluations.

      Prerequisites: Successful completion of all foundation courses and SWK 610, SWK 615, SWK 620, SWK 625, SWK 635 or SWK 655, SWK 630, SWK 640, and SWK 645

    • SWK 647 Social Work with Deployed and Re-Deployed Military and thier Families (Elective)

      This course provides an in-depth examination into the impacts of deployments on military members and their families. It includes a comprehensive review of new and emerging evidence-based individ- ual, family, and community interventions designed to help military members and their families re-cover and adapt to these deployments. Students will obtain a thorough understanding of combat-related Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), Secondary PTSD, along with suicidality, substance abuse, and domestic vio-lence among these member and their families. This course will enable graduate students to under-stand the prevalence, severity, impacts, and treatments of these conditions and problems. Students will be able to apply material from this course to their future clinical practice with active duty, Na- tional Guard, Reserve, retired, and separated military members and their families. They will be equipped for entry-level social work within on-post/base mental health and social service clin- ics/hospitals, Veteran’s Affairs clinics/hospitals, community social service/mental health agencies, and private practice clinics.

      Prerequisites: Successful completion of all foundation courses and SWK 610, SWK 615, SWK 620, SWK 625, SWK 635 or SWK 655, SWK 630, SWK 640, and SWK 645

  • SWK 660 Field Practicum IV 4

    The purpose of Field Practicum IV is to give the student the opportunity in implementing advanced social work practice theory and skills in either the advanced clinical practice concentration or the management concentration. The student is expected to participate at their field agency placement two days a week (16 hours a week). The student is expected to carry a caseload of 3-5 cases in order to implement interventions integrating advanced theories and interventions on all levels: micro, mezzo, and macro. Students will be prepared for autonomous advanced social work practice. A seminar will be offered in conjunction with the field practicum. It will facilitate the process of integrating social work knowledge, skills, values, and a liberal arts base into a set of practice competencies necessary for the performance of advanced social work practice. The seminar will meet one hour per week for sixteen weeks. *SWK660 Field Practicum IV (16 normal daytime work hours per week for 16 weeks = 256 hours plus 1-hour seminar)

Total Credits 32