Today's graduate-level social worker must be able to work with a diverse clientele, engage in practice at multiple levels. and use a range of interventions to effectively address both personal and family issues and problems relating to larger social systems, public policies, and societal forces. Within Montana and in similar states and regions, social workers seldom have the resources they need to address the wide range of concerns they frequently encounter. Consequently, they are often involved in the creation and delivery of knowledge about the social context of practice.
The challenging terrain of social work practice calls for a particular kind of practitioner-one who is prepared to address issues of poverty, oppression, and social injustice confronting many residents of the region; one who engages individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in the process of strengthening personal capacities, social programs, and public policies; and one who recognizes the inseparability of private troubles and public issues. Well-prepared MSW practitioners must be able to integrate direct-practice skills, community building, public advocacy, and research. The University of Montana's MSW program and its concentration in advanced integrated practice is a logical and appropriate response to these special needs and challenges. It draws from state-of-the-art social work theory and practice to create a learning experience best suited to prepare students to advance the goals and values of the profession, meet twenty-first century challenges, and address the complex social welfare concerns of residents of Montana and Rocky Mountain West. The program's curriculum in advanced integrated practice is designed to integrate the profession's commitment to value-based social work practice and the promotion of social and economic justice by:
1.) Grounding students in social work values, critical thinking, and self-reflexivity
2.) Providing students with frameworks for examining historical, political, and cultural processes, constructions of difference, and forms and mechanisms of oppression that shape social relations, problems, interventions and possibilities for social-justice-oriented action
3.) Providing students with the knowledge and skills to integrate direct practice and community work
4.) Requiring students to continually bring knowledge and skills of research, policy analysis and advocacy to bear in their practice regardless of setting, problem area, or specific job description
5.) Preparing students to assume positions of leadership in the profession and community and to promote empowering, participatory, social-justice-oriented practices, policies, and programs
The University of Montana MSW program is a two-year program. The foundation year provides content and learning experiences related to social work values and ethics, diversity, populations-at-risk, social and economical justice, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, generalist social work practice, research, and field education. That is, core content is addressed in individual core courses and also integrated throughout the curriculum. Students are also provided a framework for integrating social work and social justice in all aspects of practice.
The concentration year emphasizes the application of advanced integrated practice and deepens students knowledge and skills in the areas of direct practice, social policy analysis, program evaluation, and organizational leadership. In the concentration year, students further their knowledge and skills of integrated practice by developing an individualized learning plan (ILP) in consultation with their faculty advisor. The plan addresses: formation of individual student learning goals consistent with overall program goals and objectives; selection of an optional area od emphasis and relevant elective of concentration practicum objectives and activities. Thus, the concentration year is structured both to respond to the individual professional goals of adult learners and to ensure that students have acquired the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills required for effective integrated practice.
M.S.W. Social Work
Students receive a master's degree after successfully completing 60 semester credits, 900 practicum hours and the professional portfolio.
Applying to The University of Montana's MSW program is a two-step process and involves fulfilling the requirements of UM's Graduate School and the requirements of the School of Social Work. Carefully follow the instructions outlined in areas one and two below before submitting your application.
The application deadline is February 15th of the year in which you plan to enroll.
1. UM Graduate School Application Requirements
- A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. (Submit transcripts of all college course work taken beyond high school)
- Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for all undergraduate work, based on a 4.00 scale.
- Three statements of recommendation - must include reference forms AND letters -) completed and submitted by persons outside the applicant's extended family who have direct knowledge of the applicant's character and abilities. One reference must be academic. (We prefer electronic submission through the Admission Application. If the electronic method is used there is no need to send paper copies to the department.)
•Complete online Graduate School Application at http://life.umt.edu/grad The Graduate School will forward application information to the School of Social Work.
2. MSW Program Application Requirements
In addition to the online application process required by the Graduate School, the School of Social Work requires the following:
- Evidence of a solid foundation in the liberal arts and the sciences, including course work in or knowledge of the social and behavioral sciences.
- Responses to the two essay questions below in lieu of the Graduate School's Personal Statement. Applicants submit two separate essays, each 3-4 typed, double-spaced pages (12 pt font).
- Having read the mission of the UM-MSW program, how are your career goals consistent with the mission?
- Describe a social problem that is of interest to you and describe the contribution you plan to make toward the resolution of the problem.
- A current résumé, which includes the following sections and specifies the dates of education, employment, volunteer experience, and community involvement
- Paid experience
- Volunteer experience and community involvement
- See information in the International Admission section on this web site.
NOTE: The School of Social Work no longer requires the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as part of the application process. However, for applicants with a GPA of less than 3.0, the School recommends submission of GRE scores as an additional source of data regarding readiness for graduate-level education.
3. Assistantship Application
Instructions for applying for an assistantship are included in the admission materials. See website for current information.
Child Welfare Partnership
This assistantship is open to graduate students who are strongly committed to working with children and their families. See website for current information and application materials http://www.health.umt.edu/schools/sw/default.php
4. International Students
See information in the International Admission section on this web site.
For additional information about financial assistance, see the Financial Information section on this web site.
A limited number of teaching assistantships are available to qualified applicants who have been admitted to the MSW program. Please refer to the website for further information http://www.health.umt.edu/schools/sw/default.php.
Check the school's website for scholarship information.
Jeannette Rankin Hall Room 004
Federal Express Delivery - Street Address
32 Campus Drive
Missoula, MT 59812
MSW Program Director
James C. Caringi
For Program Information Contact:
Fax: (406) 243-5275