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Information on this page is for Fall 2020-2021 applicants. If you were admitted prior to Fall 2020 please click here to view information accurate to your curriculum.

Social Work in School Settings

This is a popular specialization for On-Campus MSW Students. In order to complete a school social worker specialization, MSW students must complete the following requirements:

  • MSW from the University of Michigan School of Social Work
  • Interpersonal Practice or Welfare of Children and Families Pathway *
  • SW 626 School Social Worker Assessments
  • SW 628 School Social Worker Interventions AND
  • 500 Field hours of direct practice with children and youth (these hours do not have to be done in a school setting).

* Exceptions can be made for students in the Community Change pathway and the Global pathway if the field placement can accommodate 500 hours of direct practice with children and youth and a meeting is held with Beth Sherman to formulate a specific plan.

There is no application process for this specialization; if the SSW Specialization required course work and field hours are completed, the specialization is earned at the time of graduation. Upon conferral of the MSW degree, students who have met the requirements will receive a letter, via email, stating they are eligible for a recommendation to the Michigan Department of Education recommending temporary approval as a school social worker(SSW Form 310). If a graduate has not recevied this SSW Form 310 within 5 weeks of degree conferment, they may contact the School's Registrar Office.

Having the SSW specialization completed during the MSW is usually helpful to obtaining credentialing in another state, but not always sufficient. Requirements for school social workers vary from state to state. If a student plans to practice, after graduation, in a state other than Michigan, it is important to research the other state's school social worker requirements in order to fulfill these requirements during the MSW program if possible. For example, the state of Michigan does not require that field hours be done in a school setting, while the state of Illinois does. It is often possible to fulfill any additional requirements with advance planning.

If students are interested in a field placement in a school setting, please see the Office of Field Education for instructions about school placements.

Students should talk with their academic advisor and consult with the school social worker faculty, Associate Clinical Professor Beth Sherman (shermanb@umich.edu) if additional guidance is needed.

Information on Social Work in School Settings for MSW Graduates

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