May 27, 2024  
2020-2022 Graduate School Catalog 
2020-2022 Graduate School Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Social Work (MSW), Program Information

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Program Faculty

Department Chair

Melissa B. Littlefield, PhD, MSW 

Chair, MSW Department 

Jenkins Behavioral Sciences Building, Room 346 

Tel: (443) 885-4608; Fax (443) 885-8241 



Program Faculty


Sharlene Allen, PhD, MSW



Sandra Austin, EdD, MSW 

Associate Professor


Linda Darrell, PhD, MSW 

Assistant Professor


Denise McLane-Davison, PhD, MSW 

Assistant Professor


Anthony Estreet, PhD, MSW 

Assistant Professor


Margaret Pittman, EdD, MSW 

Assistant Professor


Michael Sinclair, PhD, MSW 

Assistant Professor 


M. Taqi Tirmazi, PhD, MSW 

Assistant Professor 


Laurens Van Sluytman, PhD, MSW 

Assistant Professor

Program Description

The MSW Program prepares beginning generalist and advanced social work practitioners to practice competently and effectively with urban families, groups, organizations, and communities.  The program is committed to the alleviation of human suffering and the improvement of the quality of life for urban residents. Because African Americans make up a substantial percentage of the urban population, and are also overrepresented among urban residents facing unrelenting social and economic problems, the program has a major focus on preparing its graduates to address, systematically and strategically, issues of poverty and socioeconomic disadvantage, interpersonal and community violence, substance abuse and mental health problems, social injustice and discrimination.


To be eligible for admission to the MSW Program in the School of Social Work, an applicant must submit the following:


  • Transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended.  Transcripts must be sent from the college directly to the MSU School of Graduate Studies in order to be considered official.


    • A 3.0 cumulative grade point average is required for regular admission.

    • Students with a 2.5 – 2.9 GPA may be admitted conditionally.


  • Three letters of recommendation.  Recommendations are to be from employers, professors or volunteer/internship supervisors, rather than colleagues or personal references.  Electronic reference forms are provided, and recommendation letters may also be submitted digitally.

  • Personal Background Statement.  This statement is to include professional and personal goals, career objectives, and discussion of a social issue of importance to the applicant.  An outline of the contents of the Personal Statement may be found on the Admissions page of the School of Social Work website:

  • Resume.  Include education, professional and volunteer experience, academic achievements and professional accomplishments, particularly those that are relevant to social work.

  • In addition, a personal interview may be requested by the MSW Admissions Committee.


Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements and submitting all the required documents does not guarantee that an offer of admission will be made to the applicant.  The decision of the Program Admissions Committee involves a review and analysis of all the elements of the application as well as the availability of positions in the program.  The committee then recommends to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies that an offer admission should be made based on that review.

General Requirements

Candidates for the Masters of Social Work degree must complete a minimum of forty-eight (48) academic credit hours and 12 credits of supervised internship.

Additional Requirements

The Master of Social Work Program expects all students to behave ethically and honestly in their academic conduct as indicated in university policies.  Professional conduct is both inclusive of and broader than academic conduct and integrity. It fundamentally requires students to behave in a manner consistent with the ethical principles and standards of the social work profession, as formalized in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics (see the NASW website @

Advanced Standing.  Applicants who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) within the previous five (5) years may apply for Advanced Standing in the MSW Program. Students applying for Advanced Standing must have their undergraduate social work courses evaluated for acceptance toward the MSW degree requirements. Students admitted with Advanced Standing will enter the advanced year of the MSW Program, and must complete the 30 credit advanced year curriculum to earn the MSW degree.

Program Course Requirements

MSW 60 Credit Hours (Advanced Standing 30 Credit Hours)

Area of Specialized Practice Courses 9 credits

Total Credits 60

Suggested Curriculum Sequence

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