COVID-19 Information

Eligibility

Eligibility

Specialization Requirements

Specialization Requirements

Students customize their course of study, with guidance from specialization faculty, by choosing from a wide range of electives while completing the following requirements:

  1. Health policy course. Students may choose one of the following, which is usually taken as the MSW policy option in the spring semester of the foundation year: SWRK 7010: Health and Mental Health Policy, SWRK 7690: Aging: The Intersection of Policy & Practice, or SWRK 7930: Global Health and Health Policy.
    1. If the decision to complete SWIHCS is made after taking a non-SWIHCS policy course as the MSW policy option in the foundation year spring semester, a student may take a policy option the following year as one of their MSW electives.
    2. Advanced Standing students take a SWIHCS policy course as their MSW policy option in the spring semester.
  1. Advanced Year field placement in a setting that offers exposure to health care social work practice, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and community health clinics.
  2. SWRK 7210: SWIHCS Proseminar. The proseminar is a required, non-credit course offered at no cost to students. The Proseminar offers SWIHCS students targeted learning opportunities, guest lectures, health-focused case consultation, and interprofessional training. Students must email the SWIHCS program director before the start of the fall semester of their advanced concentration year to request a registration waiver and be approved for the proseminar.
  3. Completion of two approved electives. Students must complete at least two of the pre-approved electives.

Pre-approved Electives

  • SWRK 7020: Social Work Practice in Health Care
  • SWRK 7240: Developmental Disabilities
  • SWRK 7260: Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention
  • SWRK 7370: Bioethics in Social Work Healthcare Settings
  • SWRK 7390: Illness and Family Caregiving
  • SWRK 7570: Loss through the Life Cycle
  • SWRK 7860: Social Work Practice and Trauma
  • SWRK 7940: Practice with Older Adults and Families
  • SWRK 7980: Loss and Crisis Intervention
  • SWRK 7980: Brief Mental Health Treatments for Primary Care Settings

Electives outside of SP2*:

  • BIOE 6010: Introduction to Bioethics
  • BIOE 5520: Anthropological Topics in Bioethics
  • BIOE 5560: Evidence in Bioethics and Health Policy
  • PUBH 5010: Introduction to Biostatistics
  • PUBH 5050: Public Health Policy & Administration
  • PUBH 5210: Program Evaluation in Public Health
  • PUBH 6370: Media, Advocacy, and Public Health
  • PUBH 5390: Designing Interventions to Promote Health and Reduce Health Disparities
  • PUBH 6090: Management & Leadership in Public Health

Recommendations

SWRK 7020: Social Work Practice in Health Care

*Note: although these courses are pre-approved to count towards the SWIHCS, students must receive permission from their academic advisor before enrolling in a course outside of SP2.

Courses not on the list, either at SP2 or in other schools at the University, may be approved towards the SWIHCS on an individual basis. Students should contact the specialization director for permission.

Students in the SWIHCS will work closely with the specialization director and their academic advisor to ensure that they choose courses of interest that meet both the specialization and degree requirements. At least one elective must be in the student’s area of concentration (clinical or macro). Clinical concentration students are required to take SWRK 7600: Mental Health Diagnostics. SWRK 7600: Mental Health Diagnostics does not count as an elective towards fulfilling the SWIHCS concentration.

Sample Field Placements

Sample Field Placements

Students in the SWIHCS complete their advanced year field placement in a healthcare setting. Examples of agencies in which SWIHCS students might be placed include, but are not limited to hospitals, community-based health services, education settings, health clinics, public health departments, home health care agencies, hospice settings, health policy organizations, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, disability services, health law services, and youth health services.

Declaration of Intent

Declaration of Intent

Submission of the Declaration of Intent does not guarantee a seat in the required or recommended for-credit courses, or a qualifying field placement. It is the student’s responsibility to register for and complete the requirements. If a student is not on track to complete the specialization requirements by the end of add/drop of their final fall semester, their Declaration of Intent will be voided. There is no penalty for not completing the specialization after submitting the Declaration of Intent.

Contact Us

Allison Werner-Lin, PhD, LCSW

Faculty Director, SWIHCS

awer@upenn.edu