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Academics & Curriculum FAQ

  1. Are international or out-of-state field placements possible?

    Yes, international or out-of-state field placements are possible, but require some extra planning. The School offers special programs such as the Global Activities Scholars Program, Jewish Communal Leadership Program, National Community Scholars Program, and Masters International Volunteer Program which all include field placement experience outside of Michigan. If you are interested in such placements you should apply to these programs early and contact the Office of Global Activities: (734) 936-1964 or

  2. Can I have a minor?

    Students may complete a minor in a Practice Method but not in a Practice Area. Students have the option of selecting a Minor Practice Method in any one of the three Practice Methods in which they do not concentrate. Minor method requirements include two advanced method courses and 171 hours of advanced field work related to the minor method. Selecting a minor may limit field placement options and also limits elective course options.

  3. Do I have to write a thesis to graduate from the MSW program?

    No, a thesis is not required in the MSW program. There are two research/evaluation courses required (522 & 683) that prepare students to design and implement research projects, and most assignments for these courses will be research papers, but a formal thesis is not required. Students may set up an independent study course to receive credit for completing an optional formal thesis.

  4. Does the School of Social Work offer online courses/distance learning?

    No. All courses must be taken at the School of Social Work in Ann Arbor. We do, however, allow for students to complete field placements outside of Ann Arbor, so commuter students would only need to travel to the school a few days each week for courses.

  5. Does the school offer evening or weekend classes?

    The School offers some classes in the evening and some mini courses may be schedules on weekends. Students must be able to complete coursework and fieldwork during the day during the week to complete the MSW program at Michigan.

  6. Does the University of Michigan have a bachelor of social work program?

    The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor does not; however, the University of Michigan Flint offers a BSW program. Undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor may enroll in MSW courses in their junior and senior years with the permission of the instructor.

    The University offers an LSA-approved minor for undergraduate students interested in community action and social change. Please view our website for information on the CASC Undergraduate Minor.

  7. Does the University of Michigan offer a clinical social work program?

    Yes, the majority of our MSW students concentrate in Interpersonal Practice. Students interested in clinical social work are encouraged to select the Interpersonal Practice method. Coursework in Interpersonal Practice is focused on improving the skills social workers utilize in providing direct service to individuals, small groups, and families. Interpersonal Practice course offerings include Interpersonal Practice with Individual Adults, Interpersonal Practice with Children and Youth, Interpersonal Practice with Groups and Interpersonal Practice with Families. Other courses of interest to students with a clinical social work focus include:

    • Death, Loss and Grief
    • Mental Health and Mental Disorders of the Adults and the Elderly
    • Mental Health and Mental Disorders of Children and Youth
    • Treatment Strategies for Sexual Dysfunction
    • Special Topics in Family Violence
    • Interpersonal Practice with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Clients
    • Practice Seminar in Child Maltreatment: Assessment and Treatment
    • Integrative Seminar on Child Maltreatment
    • Interpersonal Practice Mini-Courses (SW 790)
  8. Does the University of Michigan offer a dual degree program?

    Yes, official dual degree programs offered include:

    • MSW/JD (Law School)
    • MSW/MPH (School of Public Health, Health Behavior/Education)
    • MSW/MPP (School of Public Policy)
    • MSW/MBA (School of Business Administration)
    • MSW/MUP (College of Architecture and Urban Planning)
    • MSW/MSI (School of Information)

    Students also may set up specialized student initiated dual degree programs. Student initiated dual degree programs have been set up by MSW students with natural resources, architecture, southeast Asian studies, education etc., in the past several years. Separate application materials are required by each school/college and are reviewed independently according to their criteria.

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