Master of Social Work



Our MSW program gives you maximum career flexibility within its approach of working with others and the skills to be an effective advocate for children, adults, and diverse communities. Whether you want to work with the elderly, lead a non-profit, or work in a school, St. Ambrose has a program for you.

Our graduates work in social services, with children and families, for lawmakers, in addiction services, with veterans, and more. They run non-profits, launch organizations, and initiatives that are meeting basic human needs and improving the world. In the past 20 years, we have educated more than 500 MSW students who are now actively helping individuals, families, communities, and society.

2021-22 MSW Handbook and Policy Manual (pdf)


Ambrose Advantages

  • Nationally Accredited by CSWE
  • Focus On Empowerment, Social Justice, and Advocacy
  • Outcome-Oriented

person talking

Field Seminar

Social Welfare Class

SAU provides education and training that is on the cutting edge of modern social work practice, yet remains firmly rooted in knowledge and advocacy. Our MSW faculty offer a program that is dynamic, alive, and lets you reach beyond campus and into the community.

Read Our MSW Program Fact Sheet


Master of Social Work
Students share why they wanted an MSW degree from SAU

"In my gut, I knew this was the place for me."

Learn about the Empowerment Method


More Information on the Master of Social Work Program

What is empowerment social work?

SAU established the first MSW program with an empowerment specialization in the U.S.

The empowerment method focuses on the achievement of goals and change of systems by utilizing available strengths, resilience, and resources. By focusing on competence rather than deficits in individual or social functioning, the empowerment model supports resourcefulness and the development of skills to remove social barriers for individuals and communities.

Visit the Empowerment page to learn more

Let our students tell you more about the Empowerment Method. Watch this video. 

What will I learn in this program?

Generalist Foundation courses emphasize empowerment, cultural competence, and social justice. You will learn how to assess, plan and intervene; affect change in groups, organizations, and communities; practice with diverse groups in diverse communities; collaborate with clients and focus on strengths; and create solution-focused dialogue.

During your second year, you'll study change strategies including case management, mediation, solution-focused approaches, use of community resources, psychotherapy and play therapy, systems approaches, organizational and community change strategies, and advocacy and networking.

You choose your electives. You can learn more about social policies affecting the elderly, couple and family therapy, child welfare, mental health services and case management, social work in schools, and more.

All students complete field placements, and our Director of Field Education works closely with you to find an organization that fits your interests and goals. Students in the two-year, full-time program work 16 hours per week in different placements each academic year. Students in the Advanced Standing Program work one year in full-time residence. Part-time students work 16 hours per week during their second and third years of study. 

We prepare you for the Master of Social Work licensure exam by including the exam review in our curriculum, and exam pass rates are strong.

If you want to expand your skills further, we offer a three-year MSW-MBA program (the only one in Iowa). Scroll down to learn more.

Read about Stephany (Robinson) Schroeder '08, LCSW, whose individualized field placements led to a career working with veterans and their caregivers.

Learn more about why our MSW students chose SAU. Watch this video.

Tell me more Ambrose Advantages
  • Unlike most universities, we don't ask you to pick a specific track of social work practice to study. Instead, we give you a wide range of skills by teaching the empowerment method, which prepares you to work with any population. With our program, you get maximum career flexibility.
  • We give you choices. Take classes full-time, part-time, or through advanced standing and complete your degree more quickly. 
  • We have community connections with more than 400 regional agencies and organizations for field placement. Our Director of Field Education helps coordinate a placement that fits your educational goals.
  • You can work directly with patients at the St. Ambrose Interprofessional Healthcare Clinic. Here, you team up with graduate students in Speech-Language Pathology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies programs to provide comprehensive patient care to local residents. Watch this SAUtv story about the Interprofessional Health Clinic
  • We have great tools for learning. You get to hone your interpersonal skills in state-of-the-art observation labs.
  • Our students create and complete projects that have significant community impact. In the past, MSW students advocated for major changes to Iowa drug court policies; organized town hall meetings with citizens and legislators; raised funds for nonprofits; and more. Student capstone projects have expanded research and discussion about challenges same-sex couples face in adoption; trauma and mental health; Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) in schools; and trauma-informed residential treatment models. Learn how two of our students were promoting environmental justice. Click here to read the Quad-City Times story.
  • Every year, the SAU School of Social Work organizes an annual conference and coordinates several on-campus continuing education programs for professional social workers. You can attend these events for free, and doing so can deepen your education while networking with your peers in the field.
  • Throughout the year, St. Ambrose University hosts a number of community presentations, events, town hall meetings and other activities on topics that are closely tied to social justice. You can also attend many of these events for free. 
  • Immerse yourself in a different culture and learn the role social services play in other countries. We offer a three-credit, elective winterim course. Every other year, our students travel to India and learn about mental health practices and policies. On alternate years, students travel to Ecuador.
  • In our MSW program, Kayzia Teal '19 learned how to make a difference. "So many good things come out of this program," she says. "Seeing the different things people here are doing in their communities, I really learned that policy and advocacy are important. I feel St. Ambrose has given me that voice to say 'I can do this. I can stand up for what I believe in.'" Read Kayzia's story
  • Want to learn more? Mark Leveling shares why he choose to attend St. Ambrose. Click to Watch

We invite you to contact us for more information. Come and visit us, sit in on a class, talk with a faculty member or student, and learn first-hand what makes us stand out.

Learn more about the value of our program from our students. Click to watch

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Stephany (Robinson) Schroeder '08, LCSW, is the home telehealth coordinator at the Robert J Dole Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Wichita, KS. She was recently named Social Worker for the 2nd Quarter by the Association of VA (Veteran Affairs) Social Workers. Read her story.
  • Jabari Woods '02, '05 MSW, is the Associate Director of Human Resources and Equity for the Davenport School District. Prior to taking that position, he launched YAH's Dollar Project, a charitable organization that helps the less fortunate.
Faculty

Katie Van Blair, PhD, Professor and Director, SAU School of Social Work

Wafa Alhajri, PhD, Asst. Professor
Johny Augustine, PhD, Professor
Kyle Bennett, PhD, Asst. Professor
Jennifer Boedeker, MSW, Director of Field Education and Clinical Asst. Professor
Lisa Fortner, Online Program Coordinator 
Jennifer Green, Administrative Assistant
Christie Kostichek, Administrative Assistant
Kathryn Lally, Clinical Instructor
Kristi Law, PhD, Assoc. Professor, BSW Director
Chris Martin, PhD, Assoc. Professor and Admissions Coordinator
Andrew Repp, PhD, Asst. Professor

Professors Emeriti
Pamela Long, ACSW, LISW, LCSW, Professor Emerita
Michael Jerin, PhD, Professor Emeritus
Michael O'Melia, MSW, Professor Emeritus

Adjunct Instructors
Kayla Behrens, LMSW, Case Management-Social Worker, Unity Point
Tesha Dobling, LMSW, Linn County Mental Health/Development Disability Central Point Coordination
Chelsey Haley, LMSW, BSBA, Black Hawk Area Special Education District
Lauren Gil Hayes, LMSW, Director of Supportive Services, The Project of the Quad Cities
Breann Hirst, LMSW, Family Therapist, Youth Service Bureau
Anne M. McNelis, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services, Transitions Mental Health Services
Angela Moody, MSW, Retired CEO, Arrowhead Youth and Family Services
Melanie Rice, MSW, School Social Worker, Geneseo Community School District #228
Nicholas Swanson, LMSW, School Social Worker, Mississippi Bend AEA
Gary E. Weinstein, LCSW, CEO, Transitions Mental Health Services

How much does this program cost?

We know a graduate education is a personal, professional and financial commitment. The cost can seem daunting, but there are many ways to reduce, and finance, the cost of your education.

Tuition for the 2021-22 academic year is $760/credit hour, and there are some additional costs.

Graduate students are usually eligible for low-interest federal loans. Contact our Financial Aid Office to learn more. 

You may be eligible for some scholarships offered through our department. Or, consider working with our faculty as a graduate assistant. See the MSW Financial Aid page for more details.

Graduate Fees

2021-22 Fees

Graduate level students taking 9 or more credit hours $280/yr. ($140/semester)
Graduate level students taking 8 or less credit hours $140/yr. ($70/semester)

Degree Options

Full-time

This program calls for two academic years of study (18 months, exclusive of summers) and completion of 60 credit hours. Students ordinarily spend two consecutive days per week on campus taking classroom courses and 12-16 hours per week in social work agencies or settings gaining social work experience under supervision.

These combined experiences help the student synthesize and integrate social work theory and practice. Practicum education accounts for 14 academic credit hours, and classroom experience accounts for 46 academic credit hours of the MSW degree. Usually, practicum placements can be developed for students in agencies within the region they live or work. Practicum placements are 12-16 clock hours per week.

First Year (Generalist) Curriculum

1st Year Fall I Term - Generalist 
MSW 510 Generalist Practice I (3 credits)
MSW 610 Human Behavior Theories (3 credits)
MSW 591 Field Instruction I and Seminar (1.5 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 12 clock hours per week 

1st Year Fall II Term - Generalist 
MSW 710 Social Work Research Design (3 credits)
MSW 810 Social Welfare Policy (3 credits)
MSW 591 Field Instruction I and Seminar (1.5 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 12 clock hours per week 

Total Fall Semester 1st year = 15 credits 

1st Year Spring I Term - Generalist 
MSW 520 Generalist Practice II (3 credits)
MSW 620 Diversity and Social Systems (3 credits)
MSW 592 Field Instruction II & Seminar (1.5 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 12 clock hours per week

1st Year Spring II Term - Generalist 
MSW 720 SW Program Evaluation (3 credits)
MSW 820 Social Policy Analysis (3 credits)
MSW 592 Field Instruction II & Seminar (1.5 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 12 clock hours per week 

Total Spring Semester 1st Year = 15 credits 


Second Year (Empowerment Specialization) Curriculum

2nd Year Fall I Term - Empowerment Specialization
MSW 530 Empowerment Practice I (3 credits)
MSW *** Elective (3 credits) 
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: SW Ethics (1 credit)
MSW 593 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week 

2nd Year Fall II Term - Empowerment Specialization
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: Social Work Ethics (1 credit)
MSW 593 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week
MSW *** Elective (3 credits)

Total Fall Semester 2nd Year = 15 credits 

2nd Year Spring I Term - Empowerment Specialization 
MSW 540 Empowerment Practice II (3 credits)
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision Making (1 credit)
MSW 594 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week
MSW *** Elective (3 credits)

2nd Year Spring II Term - Empowerment Specialization 
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision-Making (1 credit)
MSW 594 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week 
MSW *** Elective (3 credits) 

Total Spring Semester 2nd Year = 15 credits 


Four electives will be completed during the regular semesters, over winterim, or in the summer sessions based on the student interest and course availability. 

Empowerment Concentration Electives (3 credits)
MSW 550 Empowerment Social Work in Mental Health
MSW 560 Empowerment Social Work in Child Welfare
MSW 570 Couple and Family Therapy
MSW 580 Empowerment Social Work in Aging
MSW 590 Social Work with Veterans and Families 
MSW 840 Exceptional Child for Social Work
MSW 850 Empowerment Social Work in Schools
MSW 860 Economic and Social Justice
MSW 870 Supervision/Management in Human Services
MSW 910 Mental Health Practices and Policies - India
MSW 920 Empowerment Social Work with Substance Using Disorders
MSW 930 SW and Social Welfare - Ecuador
MSW 940 Feminist Social Work
MSW 950 Empowerment Social Work in Health Care
MSW 970 Spirituality and Social Work
MSW 980 Trauma Informed Social Work

***School Social Work required electives between Generalist and Specialization years and in Fall I- Specialization Year 

Generalist Year Practicum

2 days per week 
12 clock hours per week in Field Practicum
Fall and Spring Semesters

Empowerment Year Practicum

2 days per week
16 clock hours per week in Field Practicum
Fall and Spring Semesters

Part-time

St. Ambrose University School of Social Work has a part-time program offered in hybrid, making it possible for the highly-motivated student to obtain the MSW degree on a part-time basis over three years, including summer sessions.

When progressing through the part-time program, students take courses either online or on Saturdays. Practicum placement requirements take place concurrently with the required social work theory and practice courses in the second and third year during fall and spring semesters (9 credits), and can likely be taken in your area.

Most part-time courses follow a hybrid format, which means they meet online and on campus throughout the semester. Schedules vary based on the ratio of online to on campus classes. Some elective courses are taught fully online.

Some students find that a four-year schedule is necessary due to personal responsibilities, but the MSW program encourages students to graduate within the three-year time frame. Students must fulfill all degree requirements within four years from date of initial enrollment.

First Year Generalist Curriculum

1st Year Fall I Term - Generalist 
MSW 510 Generalist Practice I, 3 credits

1st Year Fall II Term - Generalist 
MSW 610 Human Behavior Theories, 3 credits

Total 1st Year Fall Semester = 6 credits 

1st Year Spring I Term - Generalist 
MSW 520 Generalist Practice II, 3 credits

1st Year Spring II Term - Generalist 
MSW 620 Diversity and Social Systems, 3 credits

Total 1st Year Spring Semester = 6 credits


Second Year Generalist Curriculum

2nd Year Summer - Generalist (in some cases - variable)
MSW *** Elective 
MSW *** Elective 

Summer up to 6 credits 

2nd Year Fall I Term - Generalist 

MSW 710 Social Work Research Design, 3 credits
MSW 591 Field Instruction (1.5 credits), 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 12 clock hours per week 

2nd Year Fall II Term - Generalist 
MSW 810 Social Welfare Policy, 3 credits
MSW 591 Field Instruction I (1.5 credits), 2 days a week in Field Practicu, 12 clock hours per week 

Total 2nd Year Fall Semester - 9 credits 

2nd Year Spring I Term- Generalist 
MSW 720 Social Work Program Evaluation, 3 credits
MSW 592 Field Instruction II & Seminar (1.5 credits). 2 days a week in field, 12 clock hours per week 

2nd Year Spring II Term - Generalist 
MSW 820 Social Policy Analysis, 3 credits
MSW 592 Field Instruction II & Seminar (1.5 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 12 clock hours per week 


Empowerment Specialization Curriculum

3rd Year Summer - Empowerment Specialization (variable) 
MSW*** Elective (3 credits) 
MSW*** Elective (3 credits) 

3rd Year Summer up to 6 credits of Electives


Third Year Specialization Curriculum

3rd Year Fall I Term - Empowerment Specialization 
MSW 530 Empowerment Practice I, 3 credits
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: SW Ethics, 1 credit 
MSW 593 Field Instruction III (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week 

3rd Year Fall II Term - Empowerment Specialization 
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: Social Work Etics (1 credit) 
MSW 593 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week 
MSW *** Elective (3 credits) IF NEEDED 

Total 3rd Year Fall Semester = 9-12 credits

3rd Year Spring I Term - Empowerment Specialization 
MSW 540 Empowerment Practice II, 3 credits
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision Making, 1 credit 
MSW 594 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week 

3rd Year Spring II Term - Empowerment Specialization 
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision-Making (1 credit) 
MSW 594 Field Instruction (2 credits) 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week
MSW *** Elective (if needed) 

Total 3rd Year Spring Semester = 9-12 credits

Four electives will be completed during the regular semesters, during winter, and inbetween semesters or in the summer sessions based on the student interest and course availability.

Electives - 3 credits
MSW 550 Empowerment Social Work in Mental Health
MSW 560 Empowerment Social Work in Child Welfare
MSW 570 Couple and Family Therapy
MSW 580 Empowerment Social Work in Aging
MSW 590 Social Work with Veterans and Families 
MSW 840 Exceptional Child for Social Work
MSW 850 Empowerment Social Work in School Settings
MSW 860 Economic and Social Justice
MSW 870 Supervision/Management in Human Services
MSW 910 Mental Health Practices and Policies - India
MSW 920 Empowerment Social Work with Substance Using Disorders
MSW 930 SW and Social Welfare - Ecuador 
MSW 940 Feminist Social Work
MSW 950 Empowerment Social Work in Health Care
MSW 970 Spirituality and Social Work
MSW 980 Trauma Informed Social Work Practice
MSW 590 Social Work with Veterans and Families 


***School Social Work has a required elective between Generalist and Specialization years in the summer and one in the Fall I Specialization Year. 

Generalist Year Practicum

2 days per week
12 clock hours per week 
Fall and Spring Semesters

Empowerment Specialization Year Practicum

2 days per week
16 clock hours per week
Fall and Spring semesters

Advanced Standing

The MSW Program at St. Ambrose University offers an accelerated curriculum option available to highly-qualified graduates of baccalaureate social work programs accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.

Consideration for Advanced Standing is given only to those social work graduates with superior academic standing and exceptional references. Applicants for Advanced Standing must meet all the admissions criteria required for standard admission. Additionally, Advanced Standing applicants must have graduated from an accredited baccalaureate social work program with a B- grade in all required social work courses.

When a number of years have passed between an applicant's BSW graduation and their MSW application date, it is expected that the applicant will have been working in a social work field in the interim (to be determined on a case by case basis). Applicants should submit an official transcript of their undergraduate work for review by the Admissions Committee of the MSW Program.

Course Requirements for the Advanced Standing Program

Prior to completion of two semesters of the Empowerment Specialization curriculum, Advanced Standing students will register for two courses (6 credit hours) in a preceding summer session. Advanced Standing students will complete requirements for the MSW degree with 36 credit hours. This is apportioned over three semesters with 6 credits in the summer, 15 in the fall, and 15 in the spring. The 6-credit-hour summer session courses present generalist content in an accelerated format prior to the empowerment specialization courses.


Summer Session - Empowerment Courses (start mid-June)
MSW 690 Diversity and Social Policy, 3 credits
MSW 720 Social Work Program Evaluation, 3 credits
Total Summer = 6 credits 

Empowerment Specialization Curriculum

Fall I Term - Empowerment Specialization (starts end of August)
MSW 530 Empowerment Practice I, 3 credits
MSW *** Elective, 3 credits
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: SW Ethics, 1 credit
MSW 593 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week

Fall II Term - Empowerment Specialization
MSW 603 Field Seminar III Social Work Ethics (1 credit)
MSW 593 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week
MSW *** Elective (3 credits) 

Total Fall Semester = 15 credits

Spring I Term - Empowerment Specialization 
MSW 540 Empowerment Practice II, 3 credits
MSW *** Elective, 3 credits
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision Making, 1 credit
MSW 594 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week 

Spring II Term - Empowerment Specialization 
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decsision- Making (1 credit) 
MSW 594 Field Instruction (2 credits). 2 days a week in Field Practicum, 16 clock hours per week 
MSW *** Elective (3 credits) 

Total Spring Semester = 15 credits 


Four electives will be completed during the regular semesters, over winterim, or in the summer sessions based on the student interest and course availability. 

Electives (all 3 credits)
MSW 550 Empowerment Social Work in Mental Health
MSW 560 Empowerment Social Work in Child Welfare
MSW 570 Couple and Family Therapy
MSW 580 Empowerment Social Work in Aging
MSW 590 Social Work with Veterans and Families 
MSW 840 Exceptional Child for Social Work
MSW 850 Empowerment Social Work in School Settings
MSW 860 Economic and Social Justice
MSW 870 Supervision/Management in Human Services
MSW 910 Mental Health Practices and Policies - India
MSW 920 Empowerment Social Work with Substance Using Disorders
MSW 930 SW and Social Welfare - Ecuador 
MSW 940 Feminist Social Work
MSW 950 Empowerment Social Work in Health Care
MSW 970 Spirituality and Social Work
MSW 980 Trauma Informed Social Work Practice 

***School Social Work has a required elective in the first Summer for Advanced Standing students, and one in Fall I. 

Specialization Year Practicum

2 days per week
16 clock hours per week
Fall and Spring Semesters 

Dual Degrees

MSW-MBA

This dual degree program pairs management and empowerment so that you are uniquely poised to explore and tackle social issues while also having a savvy and ethical business sense.

As the only MSW-MBA program in Iowa, St. Ambrose University provides a degree program that is relevant and important in today's business climate and within various social work outlets. You graduate with the ability to execute systemic skills that move agencies and corporations forward in an ever-changing market.

Admission Requirements

Students must be admitted to both the MBA and MSW programs. MSW students enter the MBA program in the second year of the three-year curriculum.

MBA Admissions 

Course Sequence

Credit Summary (85 credits)

  • 58 MSW (3 MBA credits apply)
  • 27 MBA (12 MSW credits apply)

Students will use 9 credits of the MSW for MBA elective and 3 credits of articulated coursework. Students will use 3 credits of the MBA for an MSW elective.

Course Sequence

Year 1

Fall semester
MSW 510 Generalist Practice I, 3 credits
MSW 610 Human Behavior Theories (Articulated MBA 621), 3 credits
MSW 710 SW Research Design (Articulated MBA Elective), 3 credits
MSW 810 Social Welfare Policy, 3 credits
MSW 601 Field Seminar I, 1 credit
MSW 591 Field Instruction I, 3 credits
Total semesters hours = 16

Spring Semester

MSW 520 Generalist Practice II, 3 credits
MSW 620 Diversity and Social Systems (Articulated MBA Elective) 3 credits
MSW 720 SW Program Evaluation (Articulated MBA Elective), 3 credits
MSW 820 Social Policy Analysis, 2 credits
MSW 602 Field Seminar II: Policy Practice, 1 credit
MSW 592 Field Instruction II, 3 credits
Total semester hours = 15

Year 2

Fall Semester

MBA 600 Data Analysis for Decision Making, 3 credits
MBA 606 Accounting for Managers, 3 credits
MBA 615 Ethical & Social Responsibility, 3 credits
MBA 621 (3 credit hours from MSW 610)
MBA 626 Managerial Economics, 3 credits
Total semester hours = 12

Spring Semester

MBA 741 Fundraising & Resource Development, 3 credits
MBA 680 Marketing Management, 3 credits
MBA 800 Strategic Management (Articulated MSW Elective), 3 credits
Total semester hours = 12
3 Electives (9 credits) for MBA, articulated from MSW 710, MSW 620, MSW 720

Year 3

Fall Semester

MSW 530 Empowerment Practice I, 3 credits
MSW 870 Management in Human Services (Elective), 3 credits (credit in MBA articulated)
MSW *** Elective (MBA 800 Strategic Management articulated), 3 credits
MSW 593 Field Instruction III, 4 credits
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: SW Ethics, 2 credits
Total semester hours = 15

Spring Semester

MSW 540 Empowerment Practice II, 3 credits
MSW *** Elective, 3 credits
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision Making, 2 credits
MSW 594 Empowerment Specialization Field Instruction, 4 credits
Total semester hours = 12 

MSW-MPH

The dual master's degree program incorporates competencies of public health and social work education and practice to provide an epidemiologic/populations-based approach to preventing, addressing, and solving social health problems. This dual degree trains students in population-based prevention and multi-level intervention. Additionally, students gain practical experience in inter-professional practice, cultural competency, social justice, empowerment, leadership and management, research and evaluation, and policy development.

Dual degrees can lower the total cost of both degrees (when taken separately) and articulates an intentional path for social workers wanting to explore the practice of public health. Together, these two degrees elevate social work's strengths in cultural and community responsiveness, empowerment, inter-professional teamwork, and care coordination through public health's strategic and epidemiological approach to caring for the underserved and most vulnerable.

Admission Requirements
Students typically enter the dual degree via the MSW Program then apply to the MPH program in their first year of MSW studies. Staggering application meets admissions standards for both programs and multiple decision points for students. Please see the MPH or MSW director if you wish to begin with the MPH.

Review MPH Admission Requirements

Review MSW Admission Requirements

Course Sequence

Year 1

Fall
MSW 510 Generalist Practice I, 3 credits
MSW 610 Human Behavior Theories, 3 credits
MSW 710 SW Research Design, 3 credits
MSW 810 Social Welfare Policy, 3 credits
MSW 591 Field Instruction and Seminar I, 3 credits
Total semesters hours = 15

Spring 
MSW 520 Generalist Practice II, 3 credits
MSW 620 Diversity and Social Systems, 3 credits
MSW 720 SW Program Evaluation, 3 credits
MSW 820 Social Policy Analysis, 3 credits
MSW 592 Field Instruction and Seminar II, 3 credits
Total semester hours = 15

Year 2

FALL
Fall I - First 8 Weeks
MPH 510 Global PH Concepts/Practice, 3 credits
MPH 515 Health Promotion & Communication, 3 credits
MPH 516 Applied Practicum Experience Planning,  credit 1
(synchronous-blended)
Total hours = 7

Fall II - Second 8 Weeks
MPH 520 Epidemiology, 3 credits
MPH 540 Behavioral-Social-Environmental Health, 3 credits
Total hours = 6

SPRING
Spring I - First 8 Weeks

MPH 525 Biostatistics-Quant Research, 3 credits
MPH 620 Global Health Policy, 3 credits
Total hours = 6

Spring II - Second 8 Weeks
MPH 530 Qualitative research, 3 credits
MPH 630 PH Equity and Ethics, 3 credits
Total hours = 6

SUMMER
Summer I - First 8 Weeks

MPH 610 EBP in PH, 3 credits
MPH 670 Global Health Systems, 3 credits
Total hours = 6

Summer II - Second 8 Weeks
MSW 550 Empowerment SW in Mental Health, 3 credits (elective)
Total hours = 3

Year 3

Fall 
MSW 530 Empowerment Practice I, 3 credits
MPH 680 Management and Leadership in PH systems, 3 credits (counts as MSW Elective)
MPH 690 Community Health Analysis and Promotion, 3 credits (counts as MSW Elective)
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: SW Ethics, 2 credits
MSW 593 Field Instruction III, 4 credits
Total semester hours = 15

Spring 
MSW 540 Empowerment Practice II, 3 credits
MSW *** MSW Elective, 3 credits
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision Making, 2 credits
(Capstone project to be focused on public health social work)
MSW 594 Field Instruction IV, 4 credits
Total semester hours = 12

*Substitution available.

Ready to Apply?

Take the next step in earning your master's degree in social work by applying today!


Jennifer Pielak '18 MSW


Jennifer is an Adult Clinical Therapist at Transitions Mental Health Center in Moline, Illinois. She discovered her strengths in our MSW program. Today, she uses her education to help her clients do the same.

Read Jennifer's Story
laura siddall mobile sized laura

Laura Siddall

Master of Social Work,MSW field placement: Iowa City VA Healthcare System, Intensive Outpatient Program for Substance Use Disorder and Graduate Assistant to the School of Social Work Director,Class of 2018


Laura believes moral and ethical principals give value and meaning to our lives. She joined our MSW program because she is committed to economic and social justice, maintaining human rights, and wants to play a part. SAU established the first MSW with an empowerment specialization in the U.S., which gives Laura the skills to help individual clients and create change in the world. We'll help you gain the skills to achieve your goals, too.

See My Story

Apply Visit Info

Contact


Katherine Van Blair, PhD, Director and Professor

Master of Social Work
North Davenport Education Center
1950 E. 54th St.
Davenport, IA 52807
563-333-3910
MSW@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.