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Academics & Curriculum FAQ

  1. Does U of M offer proficiency exams for Foundation Courses?

    No, proficiency exams are not offered. However, if you have extensive prior coursework in relevant areas you may qualify for an exemption.

  2. How many credit hours will I take every semester?

    Our students typically complete about 14 – 17 credit hours per semester. Full time students average 15 credit hours per semester. The number of credit hours students enroll in varies depending on which track you have chosen.

    Typical Advanced Standing Schedule:

      Fall Term
    Year 1
    Winter Term
    Year 1
    Spring/Summer Term
    Year 1
    Credit Hours of Courses 12 12 9
    Credit Hours of Fieldwork 4 4 4
    Total Credit Hours 16 16 13


    Typical 16 Month Schedule:

      Fall Term
    Year 1
    Winter Term
    Year 1
    Spring / Summer Term Fall Term
    Year 2
    Credit Hours of Courses 15 12 6 12
    Credit Hours of Fieldwork 0 3 8 4
    Total Credit Hours 15 15 14 16


    Typical 20 Month Schedule:

      Fall Term
    Year 1
    Winter Term
    Year 1
    Fall Term
    Year 2
    Winter Term
    Year 2
    Credit Hours of Courses 12 12 12 9
    Credit Hours of Fieldwork 3 4 4 4
    Total Credit Hours 15 16 16 13
  3. How many students are in the School?

    Approximately 380 new students are enrolled each fall term. Total size of the MSW program is about 650 in the fall term, 500 in the winter term and 300 in the spring/summer term.

  4. I have many years of human service related experience; can I get any credit for that?

    No, the Council on Social Work Education does not allow accredited MSW programs to provide credit for work experience. However, experience does make it more likely that an applicant will be admitted and some scholarship aid is provided based on extensive experience..

  5. Is the MSW program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)?

    Yes, the MSW program has been accredited by the CSWE since 1922.

  6. Is the MSW program more research or clinically oriented?

    Because students choose a practice method concentration, a practice area, and fieldwork that best fits with their career ambitions, students may choose to focus more on theoretical and research coursework or on practice coursework. Many practice courses are offered in Interpersonal Practice, Community Organization, Management of Human Services and Social Welfare Policy and Evaluation. Many students in the MSW program focus primarily on developing skills for social work practice on the clinical or macro levels of intervention. Our faculty and curriculum emphasize evidenced-based practices, meaning that our students will not only be able to utilize the best practices, but also design and research them.

  7. What does it take to earn my master of social work from U of M?

    The MSW program is a 60 credit hour program, typically taken over 4 semesters. The 60 credit hours cover the following:

    • 18 credit hours of Foundation coursework (pending possible exemptions)
    • 1 credit hour in a Foundation Field Seminar
    • 2 credit hours in Foundation Fieldwork
    • 6 credit hours in your Practice Method Concentration
    • 9 credit hours in your Practice Area
    • 3 credit hours in advanced evaluation
    • 12 credit hours are required in Advanced Fieldwork
    • 9 credit hours of electives

    Advanced Standing students are automatically exempt from 15 credit hours of foundation coursework and fieldwork, and thus are only required to complete 45 credit hours to graduate.

  8. What does the internship process entail, and how many are available?

    Over 400 internship sites, termed field placements, are available. Students are required to submit a goal statement, resume, and a list of top placement choices to the Office of Field Instruction (OFI). Students are assigned a field educator with whom they will work closely with to set up a field placement. MSW students are required to complete 912 clock hours (684 hours for Advanced Standing students) of fieldwork related to their practice area and practice method concentrations. Please visit the OFI's website for additional information.

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