Electives, Research, & Policy

Electives

  • Full-time and Part-time MSW students complete five electives
  • Advanced Standing MSW students complete four electives
  • Clinical students must take SWRK 760: Mental Health Diagnostics as one of their five electives.
    • SWRK 760 is offered every term (Spring, Summer, Fall). Students may take it at any time, but it is recommended that students who are pursuing the clinical concentration take it as their Foundation Year spring elective, since some advanced year field placements require students to have completed it. The other four electives may be of their choosing.
    • Clinical concentration students are welcome to enroll in macro electives. Clinical students should be aware that some states require several clinical courses in order to obtain the LCSW, and they may face application difficulties if SWRK 760 is the only clinical elective they take.
  • Macro students must take a designated macro practice elective as one of their five electives. The other four electives may be of their choosing.
    • Macro concentration students are welcome to enroll in clinical electives.
  • Up to two electives may be taken outside SP2, provided they are level 500 or higher and have been approved by the student’s academic advisor.
    • Reasons an outside elective may not be approved include: substantial overlap of content with a course a student has already taken or lack of relevance to social work.
    • Dual-degree students who are cross-counting courses taken outside of SP2 towards their MSW degree are not eligible to take additional electives outside of SP2.
    • MSSP and NPL courses are not  subject to the non-SP2 restriction. In other words, students who take an MSSP course as one of their electives are still eligible to take two courses outside SP2 with advisor permission.
  • Students may search for courses in other departments through Penn in Touch or on the Registrar’s departmental roster.

Clinical Electives

SWRK 702: Social Work Practice in Health Care
SWRK 722: Practice with Children and Adolescents
SWRK 724: Developmental Disabilities
SWRK 726: Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention
SWRK 727: Practice with Families
SWRK 731: Clinical and Macro Child Welfare Practice
SWRK 738: Anxiety and Depression
SWRK 739: Illness and Family Caregiving
SWRK 742: Practice with At-Risk Youth
SWRK 757: Loss through the Life Cycle
SWRK 758: Faith-Based Practice and Management
SWRK 759: Substance Abuse Interventions
SWRK 760: Mental Health Diagnostics
SWRK 761: Spirituality and Social Work Practice
SWRK 763: Global Human Rights and US Immigration: Implications for Policy and Practice
SWRK 765: Superdivision and Leadership in Human Services Organizations
SWRK 772: Post-Colonial Social Work Practice: International Social Work in India
SWRK 777: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
SWRK 778: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
SWRK 782: Introduction to Mental Health Practice with U.S. Veterans
SWRK 783: Advanced Mental Health Practice with U.S. Veterans
SWRK 786: Social Work Practice and Trauma
SWRK 788: Harm Reduction on the Borders: Substance Abuse and HIV Treatment in Puerto Rico
SWRK 792: Psychodynamic Theory and Clinical Social Work Practice
SWRK 794:
Practice with Older Adults and Families
SWRK 796: Family Economic Mobility: Problems and Policies
SWRK 798: Effective Interventions with Latino Youth and Families
SWRK 798: Social Work Practice with Couples
SWRK 798: Clinical Consultation with Children, Adolescents, and Families
SWRK 798: Loss and Crisis Intervention
SWRK 798: Play Therapy
SWRK 798: Social Work Direct and Macro Practice in the Affordable Care Act Era
SWRK 798: School Social Work
SWRK 798: Social Work Practice with Groups

Macro Electives

SWRK 703: Impacting Government Policy in Pennsylvania
SWRK 730: Community Mapping
SWRK 731: Clinical and Macro Child Welfare Practice
SWRK 736: Building Community Capacity
SWRK 740: Strategic Planning
SWRK 742: Practice with At-Risk Youth
SWRK 746: Political Social Work
SWRK 758: Faith-Based Practice and Management
SWRK 763: Global Human Rights and US Immigration: Implications for Policy and Practice
SWRK 765: Superdivision and Leadership in Human Services Organizations
SWRK 769: Aging: The Intersection of Policy and Practice
SWRK 772: Post-Colonial Social Work Practice: International Social Work in India
SWRK 788: Harm Reduction on the Borders: Substance Abuse and HIV Treatment in Puerto Rico
SWRK 793: Global Health and Health Policy
SWRK 796: Economic Family Mobility: Problems and Policies
SWRK 798: Philanthropy and Fundraising Tools for Managers of Nonprofit Organizations
SWRK 798: Social Work Direct and Macro Practice in the Affordable Care Act Era
SWRK 798: School Social Work
SWRK 798: Social Work Practice with Groups

Research Options

In addition to SWRK 615: Introduction to Social Work Research, students must take a research option.

  • Research options are offered in the summer and fall sessions.
  • Part-time students take their research option in their first summer.
  • Advanced Standing students take their research option in their first summer.
  • Full-time students take their research option in the fall. However, full-time students may enroll in summer research options if:
    • seats are available after part-time and advanced standing students have registered, and
    • they have discussed with the SP2 Office of Financial Aid how taking a summer course will impact their loans and/or financial aid.
  • Courses that qualify as a research option are marked with an “R” on the PDF of the SP2 schedule, noted as “Research Option” on the MSW course descriptions page, and include the designation “Fulfills MSW Research Option” on the Registrar’s MSW course roster.
  • A course that is being used to fulfill another MSW degree requirement may not also fulfill the research option requirement.
  • Students may take a second research option as one of their electives.

Research Courses

SWRK 712: City Limits: The Impact of Urban Policy
SWRK 729: Social Statistics
SWRK 743: Action Research
SWRK 744: Direct Practice Research
SWRK 774: Program Evaluation
SWRK 781: Qualitative Research
SWRK 798: Measuring Sensitive Topics
SWRK 798: Social Work Research Practicum & Seminar

Policy Options

  • Policy options are only offered in the spring.
  • Full-time and part-time students take their policy option in the spring of their first year. Advanced Standing students take SWRK 711 in the summer in lieu of a policy option.
  • Courses that qualify as policy options are marked with a “P” on the PDF of the SP2 schedule, noted as “Policy Option” on the MSW course descriptions page, and include the designation “Fulfills MSW Policy Option” on the Registrar’s MSW course roster.
  • A course that is being used to fulfill another MSW degree requirement (e.g., macro practice elective) may not also fulfill the policy option requirement.
    • Note: this does not apply to courses being used to fulfill SP2 specialization requirements. (Example: SWRK 785 can count as both the student’s policy option and a required course for the Criminal Justice specialization.)

Policy Courses

SWRK 701: Health and Mental Health Policy
SWRK 706: Policies for Children and their Families
SWRK 711: Contemporary Social Policy
SWRK 741: Gender and Social Policy
SWRK 763: Global Human Rights and US Immigration: Implications for Policy and Practice
SWRK 780: Policy and ‘Difference’ in Postmodernity
SWRK 785: Criminal Justice Policies: Implications for Social Work
SWRK 796: Family Economy Mobility: Problems and Policies
SWRK 798: Housing and Social Inclusion
SWRK 798: LGBTQ Communities and Social Policy
SWRK 798: Social Work Direct and Macro Practice in the Affordable Care Act Era
SWRK 799/URBS476: Bankers, Activists, and Government: The Making of Housing Policy in America