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MSW Specializations

All MSW students must complete 30 credits of the professional foundation course work. In the Advanced Program (second half), students must choose a specialization.

A specialization focuses on advanced methods of social work practice by size and type of client system and are designed to develop greater depth in knowledge and skills building upon the generalist foundation.

Students may concentrate in Clinical Social Work or Managment and Policy. Students must select a specialization prior to entering the advanced curriculum. Both concentrations require two advanced practice methods courses (six credits) and a minimum of six credits of advanced field instruction. 

Clinical Social Work Specialization

Students get in-depth, comprehensive skills in engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and groups. It is important to recognize that we broadly define clinical social work to encompass more than traditional, office-based, private practice psychotherapy.

At Rutgers, clinical social work is about helping social work clients change behaviors, or resolve emotional problems that are a function of the interface between person and environment.  By this definition, client groups that are not traditionally thought to receive clinical services, such as child welfare families with parents mandated to improve their childrearing skills, are clients for clinical practice. Clinical skills are essential to all aspects of social work that involve direct client contact and all situations in which clients seek support, behavioral change, and emotional relief such as hospice patients, those in the criminal justice system, and clients who typically receive case management services. 

The Clinical Social Work specialization correlates with our mission of enhancing individual and family well-being. Read more about the core competencies and practice behaviors for clinical specialization. 

Management and Policy Specialization 

Coursework is designed to build and enhance knowledge, skills, and competencies of current and future leaders of nonprofit and public service organizations and to assist them in strategically managing the many challenges presented in today's human services environment. Students can expect to gain valuable skills and knowledge about planning, organizing, supervision, and policy functions to prepare them to work within organizations, communities and in the larger society.

Learn the core competencies.

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