About the MSW Program
The mission of the graduate program of the UALR School of Social Work, building on a strong generalist foundation, is to prepare graduates for leadership roles in clinical practice and in management and community practice within the social welfare system in Arkansas. Our commitment is to discover and disseminate knowledge, embrace diversity, to serve our communities and organizations, and to eliminate the barriers that oppressed and vulnerable people face.
As our mission states, the MSW program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock prepares its graduates for highly specialized roles in either clinical, or managerial and community practice. Many schools of social work across the country are facing a challenge in finding faculty with real-world practice experience. The UALR Graduate Social Work program is proud to have faculty who possess a wide range of practice experience. For example, instructors who teach our core foundational practice courses have an average of 19 years direct practice experience. Instructors in our clinical concentration have an average of 29 years clinical social work experience and our instructors in the Management and Community Practice concentration have an average of 25 years experience. Many of our professors who teach in both the foundation and concentration year continue to practice in their chosen fields. When students are exposed to professors with such a vast range of experience, they are being taught by those who can competently demonstrate, in class, the knowledge, behavior and skills that are components of professional social work practice. Experienced instructors also serve as positive role models in terms of professional values, and being able to draw from their own practice experience, are better equipped to link theory taught in the classroom, with actual client situations students are encountering in the field.
The MSW curriculum consists of 60 hours of graduate work, including 32 core hours, 22 concentration hours, and six elective hours. Field instruction is an integral part of the curriculum design, totaling 18 hours of course work or 1200 practice hours by graduation (1056 hours for advanced standing students). Advanced standing students are given credit for 17 hours of graduate work and need 43 hours to graduate.
The School of Social Work also offers two Graduate Certificates, one in Marriage and Family Therapy, and the other in Gerontology. In addition, the program also offers highly specialized psychotherapy courses in The Psychotherapy Training Center, which is a co-sponsored program through the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI), and the UALR School of Social Work.