Location: Mathematics-Education-Psychology Center 203
Email Addresses: MSW@nku.edu
Interim School Director: Linda Ault
Other Key Personnel:
Program Director - Bachelor of Social Work: Megan Lindsey
Program Director - Masters of Social Work: Amanda Dishon Brown
Bachelors (or Undergraduate) Advisors: Deborah Henry
Social Work Graduate Coordinator: Heidi Waters
Department Coordinator: Melanie Hall
Academic Assistant: Christina Waters
Full-Time Faculty: Linda Wermeling Ault, Jessica Averitt-Taylor, Amanda Brown, Vanessa Hunn, Suk-hee Kim, Megan Lindsey, Kevin Lotz, Caroline Macke, Tara McLendon, Katherina Nikzad-Terhune, Reiko Ozaki, Holly Riffe, Karen Tapp, James Taylor, Dave Wilkerson
- Social Work, MSW
- Social Work, B.S.W.
- Social Justice Studies Minor
Return to: Colleges
Thinking about the discipline
Social workers are found in every facet of community life, including schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, senior centers, elected office, private practices, prisons, military, corporations, and in numerous public and private agencies. Social workers help clients with problems such as disabilities, housing and food inequality, substance abuse, domestic conflicts, and trauma. Social workers conduct research, advocate for improved services, engage in systems design or are involved in planning or policy development. Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting.
Social workers work in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and social service agencies, hospitals, corrections and juvenile justice, community development programs, and private practices. Although some social workers only need a bachelor’s degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and 2 years of post-master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed by the state in which they practice.
The programs’ goals emphasize student mastery of the basic processes of social work practice, which occurs through team based learning and critical thinking in which students implement scientific inquiry and evidence-based practice to inform client interventions. Social work ethics include the values of service, social and economic justice, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, and life-long learning. The Burau of Labor Statistics finds the median annual wage for social workers was $50,470 in May 2019.
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) prepares students for generalist practice, through learning the importance of professional social work knowledge, values, and skills with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. An appreciation of students’ understanding of a person-in-environment perspective is operationalized via their exposure to the diverse practice settings in the area in which they live or intend to practice. The curriculum emphasizes social work values of self-determination and the worth and dignity of all people. Students will learn about the inherent potential for growth and change for individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. BSW admission requirements include: declaring social work as a major; a minimum overall GPA of 2.75; completion, with a grade of C- or higher SWK 105 Social Work and the Community, SWK 106 Introduction to Social Justice, SWK 460 Ethics and Advocacy, STA 205 or STA 205R or STA 113 and one of the following biology courses: BIO 100G, BIO 120, BIO 123, BIO 125, BIO 126, BIO 208, or BIO 209.
The Master of Social Work (MSW)
The MSW area of concentration is Behavioral Health and Community designed to prepare students to become specialized practitioners emphasizing Trauma Informed Care, diagnosis and assessment, and applied research. Students learn to be clinical professionals, advancing the qualities of social work practice, and therapeutic processes. Effective advanced practice requires integration, synthesis, and application of a broad range of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge and skills. The MSW has a Traditional curriculum of sixty (60) hours and Advanced Standing track of thirty (30) hours. The Traditional track is for students without a BSW from a CSWE accredited program or for those not meeting Advanced Standing admission requirements.
Advanced Standing admission requires a BSW from an accredited institution within ten (10) years with a minimum overall 3.0 GPA; a statistics course with a C or better and a GPA in SWK courses of at least a 3.5 or higher.
Special opportunities for our students:
Field Education as our signature pedagogy in both the BSW and MSW programs. Field placement occurs in settings that reinforce students’ identification with the profession’s purposes, values, and ethics; foster empirical and practice-based knowledge integration. Field education promote and require students demonstrate the professional competencies detailed by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Field placements happens in agencies specified in individual student learning contracts and based on each student’s interest and career goals. Student field experience in the BSW and MSW foundation courses emphasize generalist skills. Bachelor of Social Work placement requires 400 hours in a community-based agency during the final semester of the BSW curriculum. The MSW advanced curriculum field experiences occurs after the foundation courses and happens in placements that call for advanced clinical skills.
You should also know:
Student criminal background check: several agencies used for clinical placements require students to undergo criminal background checks by an external agency. Agencies may deny clinical access to students convicted of felonies and certain misdemeanors.
The School of Social Work is accredited by:
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
Contact CSWE at:
1701 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314-3457