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MSW Advanced Core Curriculum

During the specialization year, all MSW students, regardless of their specialization, take two unique classes together to advance human rights and social justice into their professional social work practice:

  • SW 627 Implications of Social Justice and Human Rights
  • SW 669 Applications of Social Justice and Human Rights

The purpose of this two-course sequence is to guide students in their understanding and analysis of the principles and theories of social justice and human rights, and the implications of those principles and theories for social work professional knowledge, values and skills. Building on the School of Social Work’s theme of strengths-based empowerment practice, students examine the dynamics of power and the structural conditions that enhance or constrain human capabilities. This course culminates in students’ implementation of a project that advances social justice and human rights for a population of their choosing as appropriate to their concentration area and practice interests.

This course leads students to frame a preferential option with the oppressed within a praxis of social justice and human rights. This course explicitly focuses on the implications of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25:

  1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

SW 627 develops students’ knowledge of social justice and human rights principles and theories. Students analyze the implications of those principles and theories for the profession of social work as they develop a proposal for the implementation of social justice and human rights in either an agency based, creative, or research focused project.

SW669 guides students in the practice and application of social justice and human rights theories within their concentration-specific engagement with social work. Within this course students undertake the implementation of a project that advances social justice and human rights as appropriate to their concentration area and practice interests.

Core Competencies and Practice Behaviors

In accordance with the Council on Social Work’s Education Educational and Accreditation Standards, the following core competencies and practice behaviors are critical to successful outcomes in these courses:

  • Competency 2 – Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  • Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  • Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities