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Our Curriculum…

In 1966, Barry University established its first graduate school of social work program in South Florida. The MSW degree program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and the curriculum of the School is planned in accordance with the standards set by the council (program assessment results). The Master of Social Work degree program offers a curriculum that is framed in a trauma-informed resiliency framework. At the foundation level, students are introduced to a generalist practice perspective. At the advanced level, the program offers a single concentration in clinical social work practice.

BUSSW’s MSW curriculum has evolved to feature a NEW trauma-informed, resiliency-focused and competency-based framework. It is critical as social workers that we are sensitive to and respect the definitions of a “traumatic event” as stated by the client system. Our resiliency perspective focuses the student on the awareness of the inherent capacity of the client system to demonstrate strength and endurance in the face of multiple interpersonal, intrapersonal, and environmental stressors. Additionally, our competency-based instruction provides the infrastructure through which our students journey through the curriculum. Our curriculum moves beyond theory when examining why an intervention is being utilized by incorporating the knowledge-base and skill set necessary for students to demonstrate how to utilize a particular intervention in addition to demonstrating an understanding of the application of evidence-based practice principles. Although clinical in scope, our curriculum provides Barry MSW graduates with a foundation in policy practice, administrative leadership, and applied social research. Our graduates go onto seek and obtain employment in a variety of fields, including health, mental health, gerontology, substance abuse, local, state and federal government organizations, non-government organizations (NGOs), non-profit organizations, private practice, and trauma informed care systems with children, veterans, and victims of violence.

Download Course Descriptions


The Foundation– 31 credits

  • SW 503 Introduction to the SW Profession (3 credits)
  • SW 519 Ways of Knowing for SW Practice (3 credits)
  • SW 533 SW in the Social Service Environment (3 credits)
  • SW 529 Environmental Context for SW Practice (3 credits)
  • SW 537 Field Education I (3 credits)
  • SW 563 Models of Intervention in Clinical SW Practice (3 credits)
  • SW 539 Human Development (3 credits)
  • SW 545 Introduction to Clinical Assessment in SW Practice (3 credits)
  • SW 569 Introduction to Trauma and Resilience* (3 credits)
  • SW 577 Field Education II (4 credits)

The Concentration– 29 credits

  • SW 607 Psychopathology (3 credits)
  • SW 611 Advanced Clinical SW Practice with Individuals (3 credits)
  • SW 619 Advanced Clinical SW Practice with Families (3 credits)
  • SW 675 Field Education III (4 credits)
  • SW 677 Advanced Clinical SW Practice with Groups (3 credits)
  • SW 685 Evaluation of Clinical SW Practice (3 credits)
  • SW 687 Leadership, Advocacy and Policy Practice (3 credits)
  • SW Elective (3 credits)
  • Field Education IV (4 credits)
  • SW 689 Field Education IV (4 credits)
  • * students entering the Advance Standing MSW must also take SW 569

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