Jun 16, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2012 - 2013 
Graduate Catalog 2012 - 2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, MSW

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Joint Program with the University of Akron

School of Social Work

Chester Building 302
(216) 687-4560

Maggie Jackson, Graduate Program Coordinator

The Program

The mission of the Joint MSW program is to prepare students for specialized, advanced-level, self-critical, accountable, and autonomous practice with oppressed, at-risk, and vulnerable populations. The program provides a rigorous intellectual base, an opportunity for effective skill development, and an educational perspective that views human diversity as desirable and enriching to society. Students are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values appropriate to the social work profession, the conceptual base of professional social work, the broad-based research strategies of the field, and the various social work roles and intervention strategies used in social work practice. The student may enroll in the program on a full-time, part-time, or advanced-standing basis, if qualified.

Distance Learning

The program is delivered through distance-learning technology, which transmits live-action video signals between the two campuses. Students and instructors at the two locations see each other through television monitors and speak to each other through an associated audio system. Each campus has a dedicated classroom equipped with three fixed cameras; an overhead document camera to display print materials, opaque objects, and transparencies; one camera facing the instructor; and one camera facing the students to capture their questions, comments, and reactions. Classrooms are equipped with three television monitors, one of which is used to view the students at the remote location. The technology is designed for maximum participation by students and ease of operation by the instructor.

Faculty Research and Publications

The faculty members of the joint Master of Social Work program conduct applied and basic research on a variety of major contemporary social issues, including drug abuse, aging
populations, health and mental health, juvenile offenders, family and children issues, social work practice, social policy analysis, and community service. In the past few years, faculty members have authored a number of books and journal articles. The research has been supported by several large federal and foundation grants and a number of smaller state and local awards. Opportunities exist for student involvement in this work.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Careers in Social Work

Graduates of the joint Master of Social Work program hold a variety of positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The alumni roster includes directors of local agencies and other nonprofit organizations, as well as program planners and managers working in a broad spectrum of human service agencies.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of graduate assistantships and graduate tuition grants are available to qualified students. Interested students should contact the School of Social Work Program Director.

Admission Information

In addition to the College of Graduate Studies admission requirements at Cleveland State

University and The University of Akron, the joint MSW program requires of all applicants:

  1. An undergraduate major in social work or a related field;
  2. A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in social work and behavioral science courses taken prior to application for admission;
  3. A minimum of eight courses in the social and behavioral sciences;
  4. Three letters of reference;
  5. An essay of three to five typed pages explaining:
    1. a. Why the student wants to be a social worker;
    2. Why a graduate degree is felt to be necessary to fulfill the applicant’s personal or professional objectives;
    3. The applicant’s views regarding diversity in society;
    4. A situation in which the student was the recipient/provider of help, emotionally, socially, or economically; and
    5. A description of the applicant’s previous social work/human service work experience.

Note: No credit is given for work or life experience.

  1. Notification, in writing, of:
    1. Preference for the day, evening, or advanced standing program;
    2. Preference for full-time or part-time program;
    3. Intended second-year Area of Concentration—Micro (Direct) Practice or Macro Practice; and
    4. Preference for advanced standing. To qualify for advanced standing, the applicant must have an undergraduate degree in Social Work, a 3.5 grade-point average in the social work major, and 3.2 accumulative GPA.

The application deadline is February 28. Submit materials to the Cleveland State University Graduate Admissions Office.

Students are expected to adhere to the program format under which they were admitted (day/evening, micro/macro, full-time/part-time, advanced standing). Any changes in this admission status will be based on the program’s ability to accommodate the change. Changes must be requested before the beginning of the academic year.

Note: Applicants should be aware that having a prior felony conviction or prior sanctions for unprofessional conduct may impact future potential for obtaining field placements, social work employment, and licensure.

Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/gradcollege/admissions/apply.html

Testing-Out Policy

To assist students in avoiding duplication and redundancy of course content during the foundation year, the MSW program allows students the opportunity to test out of the following courses:


Students who wish to test out of one or more of the above courses must notify the MSW Program Director at least three weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the course is typically taught. The proficiency exam must be taken no later than the end of the first week of classes in that semester. There is no fee or penalty associated with taking exams. However, each exam may be taken only once. These exams are available in the school offices at both sites. Students are still required to complete a total of 60 graduate credit hours.

Transfer of Credit

Up to one-third of the total credits required for the MSW degree may be transferred from another accredited social work graduate program at an accredited college or university. All transfer credits must be at the “A” or “B” level. The credits must fall within the six-year time limit to complete degree requirements. Relevance of the credits will be determined by the MSW faculty. Credit hours must not have been applied toward a previous graduate degree. Transfer students from other social work programs must submit fieldwork evaluation(s) and official transcripts at the time of application for admission. A maximum of nine graduate credit hours in the socio-behavioral sciences may be transferred as electives.

Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society

An MSW student at Cleveland State who has completed at least four courses with a GPA of 3.5 qualifies to join as a Life Member of the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society, Delta Zeta chapter. Induction ceremonies are held twice a year. For more information, contact Professor Murali Nair, Faculty Advisor, at (216) 687-4570 or e-mail at m.nair@csuohio.edu, or visit the Web site at http://www.csuohio.edu/class/socialwork/phialpha/index.html.

Degree Requirements

Each student must complete a minimum of 60 graduate credits of approved required and elective courses in social work. There is no foreign language requirement. Students must complete an approved program of study, which includes the following required courses:

Full-time Program

Four-Year Part-Time Program


Third Year Spring Semester Micro (Direct) Practice

  • Two Electives

Third Year Spring Semester Macro Practice

Fourth Year Spring Semester Micro (Direct) Practice


The scheduling of courses depends on the availability of rooms equipped with distance-education technology. The days and times courses are offered vary from year to year. Students enrolled in either the full-time or part-time program must be prepared to be flexible when the schedule of classes changes.

Micro Concentration

Refers to advanced social work practice with small client systems (individuals, families, and groups) and collateral persons, professionals, and organizations relevant to practice with these small systems. Micro field practicum assignments involve in-depth assessment of client systems and resources; application of intervention theories and skills; formulation of short-term and long-range goals; and evaluation of intervention outcomes.

Macro Concentration

Refers to advanced social work practice with large client systems (organizations, neighborhoods, and communities) and focuses on social change through advocacy and impacting the legislative process. Macro field practicum assignments may include developing methods of needs assessment; program development, identification of strategies and outcome measures; participation in grant preparation, design and/or implementation of programs and service-delivery systems; involvement in program evaluation; work with client groups for the purpose of community organizing and/or social/legislative policy change; and evaluation.

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