Women's Studies and Gender Studies (MA)/Social Work (MSW)
Loyola University Chicago is one of a very few institutions offering a dual degree in Social Work and Women's Studies and Gender Studies. Earning both an MA in Women's Studies and Gender Studies and an MSW in Social Work together allows students to complete these degrees more quickly by taking courses that carry credit in both fields. This dual degree program enables women's studies students to utilize their course work in an applied setting and allows social work students to enhance their capacity to work with women in social work settings after graduation.
Students interested in the dual degree in Social Work and Women's Studies and Gender Studies must apply to each school simultaneously and be admitted based on the criteria for admission to each school. Students are encouraged to contact the program directors from both schools at the time of admission.
The Dual Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies and Master of Social work requires 18cr hours in Women's and Gender Studies as well as the 49cr hours required for the MSW curriculum.
MA in WSGS Course Requirements
|Women's and Gender Studies Required Courses|
|WSGS 401||History of Feminist Thought||3|
|WSGS 402||Foundations of Women's Studies||3|
|Global Feminisms course 1||3|
|Migration, Identity, Sexuality|
|Select Three WSGS Electives 2||9|
The third core requirement is a course that explores feminism in a global dimension; a number of different courses can satisfy this requirement.
Some graduate level electives are offered through other departments, including English, History, Philosophy, Sociology, Political Science, Theology, Communications, Law, and Social Work. Electives recommended for students in the MA/MSW program include WSGS 480 Queer Theory, SOCL 426 Sociology of Gender, THEO 480 Seminar in Christian Ethics, and LAW 425 Feminist Jurisprudence.
Master of Social Work (MSW)
The MSW program requires the completion of 49 credit hours, including two internships totaling 1,000 hours. The program takes two years to complete for students who attend full-time or four years to complete for students who are attending part-time (two classes per semester).
The first internship is 400 hours, performed at the rate of 16 hours per week on Tuesday and Thursday during normal business hours. The second internship is 600 hours performed at the rate of 24 hours per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during normal business hours.
There are three internship timeframes: fall-spring, spring-summer, or summer block. The summer block consists of 35-40 hours per week, Monday–Friday, during normal business hours.
There are no prerequisites for the MSW program.
The MSW curriculum is split up by year with generalist and specialized courses.
Generalist MSW Curriculum
26 Credit Hours
|Community Immersion Program (1-Week Community Immersion Program)||0|
|SOWK 500||Life Span Development, Human Behavior, Trauma, & Theory||3|
|SOWK 501||Assessment of Client Concerns in Context||3|
|SOWK 502||Power, Oppression, Privilege, and Social Justice||3|
|SOWK 503||Practice Skills with Individuals and Families||3|
|SOWK 504||Integrated Micro/Mezzo/Macro Theory and Practice||3|
|SOWK 505||Group Work Practice in SW: Micro/Mezzo/Macro||3|
|SOWK 506||Research and Evaluation in Social Work Practice||3|
|SOWK 509||Social Work Policy and Community Intervention||3|
|SWFI 530||Internship I & Simulated Experience||.5|
|SWFI 531||Internship II & Simulated Experience||.5|
|SWFI 530S||Integrative Seminar||1|
23 Credit Hours
|Courses Required of All Students|
|SOWK 680||Advanced Micro-Level Practice||3|
|SOWK 681||Advanced Mezzo & Macro Practice||3|
|SWFI 632||Internship Instruction III & Simulated Experiences||0.5|
|SWFI 632S||Integrative Seminar||1|
|SWFI 633||Internship Instruction IV & Simulated Experiences||0.5|
|Micro Practice Specialization|
|Schools/Professional Educator’s License (PEL) Track|
|CIEP 401||The Exceptional Child||3|
|SOWK 609A||School Social Work Policy and Practice I||3|
|SOWK 609B||School Social Work Policy and Practice II||3|
|Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors (CADC) Track|
|SOWK 722||Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drug Disorders||3|
|SOWK 621||Clinical Practice in Addiction||3|
|SOWK 622||Substance Abuse Treatment in Groups||3|
|Migration Studies Track|
|SOWK 730||Immigration Dynamics and U.S. Social Policy||3|
|SOWK 731||Social Work Practice with Refugees and Immigrants||3|
|SOWK 732||Migration, Social Justice, and Human Rights||3|
|Advanced Clinical Track|
|3 Track Courses||9|
|See Course Options1 for the Advanced Clinical Track|
|Leadership, Mezzo & Macro Practice (LMMP) Specialization|
|Leadership, Community, Advocacy, and Policy (LCAP) Track|
|SOWK 650||Leadership & Supervision in Service Organizations||3|
|SOWK 652||Organizations, Program Development, and Evaluation||3|
|SOWK 653||Community Organizing and Policy Practice||3|
|All students will choose to take two electives. Any 600 or 700-level course may be considered an elective.||6|
Specializations & Tracks Options
The Master of Social Work program have the following specialization and track options:
- Leadership, Mezzo, and Macro Practice (LMMP) Specialization
- Micro Practice Specialization
Social Work Internship Placements
Students in the dual degree program must complete two social work field placements, one each year, which are focused on women. This means that the placements must provide students with experience in modalities of treatment that are women focused and/or involve students in advocacy activities in areas of concern for women. While there are some agencies that clearly meet these criteria by virtue of their focus and service population, other agencies may be considered if at least 50% of the student's activities in these agencies meet the required criteria. All placements must be supervised by social workers with an MSW.
The required SOWK internships fulfill the required WSGS capstone experience for dual-degree students, but you must take WSGS 599 Capstone Presentation, the zero-credit-hour course that corresponds with the final capstone presentation, during your final semester. Upon completion of the program, all WSGS students do a capstone presentation, reflecting on the culmination of their work in the program as well as future applications of their WSGS curriculum, at the biannual WSGS capstone ceremony and celebration. Along with the capstone presentation, students are required to submit a brief synthesis paper and annotated bibliography of ten sources in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies that have been influential to their work.
Dual Degree Programs
Students in dual degree programs are responsible for abiding by academic policies and graduation requirements of both academic units to which they are enrolled. It is strongly recommended that students schedule regular meetings with academic advisors from both units to ensure timely degree completion. Dual degree programs may have slightly different degree requirements from the standard for one or both of the degrees earned. Students should closely read through all degree requirements and ask for clarification as needed.
Graduate & Professional Standards and Regulations
Students in graduate and professional programs can find their Academic Policies in Graduate and Professional Academic Standards and Regulations under their school. Any additional University Policies supercede school policies.
MSW Program Learning Outcomes
Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
Social workers understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards, as well as relevant laws and regulations that may impact practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Social workers understand frameworks of ethical decision-making and how to apply principles of critical thinking to those frameworks in practice, research, and policy arenas. Social workers recognize personal values and the distinction between personal and professional values. They also understand how their personal experiences and affective reactions influence their professional judgment and behavior. Social workers understand the profession’s history, its mission, and the roles and responsibilities of the profession. Social Workers also understand the role of other professions when engaged in inter-professional teams. Social workers recognize the importance of life-long learning and are committed to continually updating their skills to ensure they are relevant and effective. Social workers also understand emerging forms of technology and the ethical use of technology in social work practice. Social workers:
- make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context;
- use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations;
- demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication;
- use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes; and
- use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior.
Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
Social workers understand how diversity and difference characterize and shape the human experience and are critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including but not limited to age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status. Social workers understand that, as a consequence of difference, a person’s life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim. Social workers also understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values, including social, economic, political, and cultural exclusions, may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create privilege and power. Social workers:
- apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels;
- present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences; and
- apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.
Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
Social workers understand that every person regardless of position in society has fundamental human rights such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers understand the global interconnections of oppression and human rights violations, and are knowledgeable about theories of human need and social justice and strategies to promote social and economic justice and human rights. Social workers understand strategies designed to eliminate oppressive structural barriers to ensure that social goods, rights, and responsibilities are distributed equitably and that civil, political, environmental, economic, social, and cultural human rights are protected. Social workers:
- apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels; and
- engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.
Competency 4: Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
Social workers understand quantitative and qualitative research methods and their respective roles in advancing a science of social work and in evaluating their practice. Social workers know the principles of logic, scientific inquiry, and culturally informed and ethical approaches to building knowledge. Social workers understand that evidence that informs practice derives from multi-disciplinary sources and multiple ways of knowing. They also understand the processes for translating research findings into effective practice. Social workers:
- use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research;
- apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings; and
- use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.
Competency 5: Engage in Police Practice
Social workers understand that human rights and social justice, as well as social welfare and services, are mediated by policy and its implementation at the federal, state, and local levels. Social workers understand the history and current structures of social policies and services, the role of policy in service delivery, and the role of practice in policy development. Social workers understand their role in policy development and implementation within their practice settings at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels and they actively engage in policy practice to effect change within those settings. Social workers recognize and understand the historical, social, cultural, economic, organizational, environmental, and global influences that affect social policy. They are also knowledgeable about policy formulation, analysis, implementation, and evaluation. Social workers:
- Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services;
- assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services;
- apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social workers understand that engagement is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers value the importance of human relationships. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge to facilitate engagement with clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand strategies to engage diverse clients and constituencies to advance practice effectiveness. Social workers understand how their personal experiences and affective reactions may impact their ability to effectively engage with diverse clients and constituencies. Social workers value principles of relationship-building and inter-professional collaboration to facilitate engagement with clients, constituencies, and other professionals as appropriate. Social workers:
- apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies; and
- use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social workers understand that assessment is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge in the assessment of diverse clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand methods of assessment with diverse clients and constituencies to advance practice effectiveness. Social workers recognize the implications of the larger practice context in the assessment process and value the importance of inter-professional collaboration in this process. Social workers understand how their personal experiences and affective reactions may affect their assessment and decision-making. Social workers:
- collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies;
- apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies;
- develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies; and
- select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social workers understand that intervention is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are knowledgeable about evidence-informed interventions to achieve the goals of clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge to effectively intervene with clients and constituencies. Social workers understand methods of identifying, analyzing and implementing evidence-informed interventions to achieve client and constituency goals. Social workers value the importance of inter-professional teamwork and communication in interventions, recognizing that beneficial outcomes may require interdisciplinary, inter-professional, and inter-organizational collaboration. Social workers:
- critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies;
- apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies;
- use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes;
- negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies; and
- facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social workers understand that evaluation is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Social workers recognize the importance of evaluating processes and outcomes to advance practice, policy, and service delivery effectiveness. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge in evaluating outcomes. Social workers understand qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating outcomes and practice effectiveness. Social workers:
- select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes;
- apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes;
- critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes; and
- apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.