The BSW program has two goals: (a) to prepare students for beginning-level generalist practice and (b) to prepare students for advanced social work education. The program combines both academic course work and field practicum in a two-year course of study beginning in the junior year. The curriculum is predicated on and extends the liberal arts perspective.
To be admitted to the BSW program on a full-time basis, the applicant must (a) have been admitted to the University of Hawai'i at Manoa; (b) have completed the University's General Education Core requirements (special consideration is given to second semester sophomores for early admission); (c) have completed the knowledge-based courses identified by the school; (d) have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5; and (e) provide evidence of motivation for and commitment to social work education (e.g., personal, volunteer, and/or social-work-related experience).
In addition, the applicant must submit transcripts of all postsecondary academic work completed and a School of Social Work application.
Students are admitted to the program in the fall and spring semesters. All BSW application material should be sent to the School of Social Work by April 1 for fall and November 1 for spring semester.
To qualify for the BSW degree, the student must (a) fulfill all University core requirements (54-56 credit hours); (b) complete the required undergraduate social work curriculum (see below); (c) earn an aggregate of no less than 124 credit hours; and (d) have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
Candidates for the BSW degree must complete the following curriculum requirements:
1. The following social work knowledge-based courses must be included in the General Education Core or as lower division electives: a specified political science course, PHIL 110, PSY 260, and one biology course that emphasizes human biology.
2. Social work major courses (41 credit hours), which include SW 200, 302, 303, 325, 326, 360, 361, 391, 402, 403, 440, 490, and 491.
3. Electives required in upper division liberal arts courses (21 credit hours) including one course in each of the following areas: (a) small group, community, or organizational theory; (b) analysis of a social institution, problem, or issue; (c) ethnic or cultural factors; (d) American values; (e) women's issues; (f) research design and methodology; and (g) other related topics.
4. Other electives (6-8 credit hours).
The MSW program, which prepares students for professional advanced social work practice, requires 57 credit hours. This course work needs to be completed within a four-year period, of which four semesters of practicum and completion of the research requirement (Plan A or Plan B) are required. Students may waive some foundation courses by examination and reduce the number of credits needed to receive their degree.
The foundation curriculum covers social welfare policies and services; human behavior in the social environment; research; social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities; and the practicum. The advanced curriculum is organized around four concentrations: child and family, gerontology, health, and mental health. Emphasis in the justice system is also available. Elective courses are provided in such areas as family therapy, substance abuse, justice system, child abuse and neglect, therapeutic strategies with the elderly, human sexuality, and ethnic and minority content.
Career opportunities include direct practice, supervision and administration, research, and other positions in public and private agencies in Hawai'i and other states and countries.
Admission to the MSW program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or its equivalent from a recognized foreign institution of higher learning; a liberal arts background; a scholarship record that indicates the ability to do satisfactory graduate work; evidence of personal qualifications, social work and/or related experiences, motivation; and interest that indicates potential for successful graduate social work education and professional practice. Admission occurs for the fall semester only. Completed applications are reviewed in the order they are received by the school. All required application documents must be received by the school no later than February 1 for fall semester admission.
For further information about the school's program and application for admission, refer to the Bulletin of the School of Social Work, write to the school, or check the Web site.
The purpose of the doctoral program is to prepare students for leadership roles in the profession of social work and field of social welfare. The doctoral program advances the school's mission to understand the relationship between cultural characteristics and effective professional practice. The program encourages scholarly inquiry to enhance knowledge of culture, particularly the cultures of the Asia Pacific region, and the societal structures intended to enhance well-being. The PhD curriculum exposes students to a program of study and investigation that places its highest priority on independent inquiry and the enhancement of intellectual, creative, and analytical abilities. Each student will obtain the ability to conduct independent research on a critical social problem.
The doctoral program is designed to provide sufficient structure to allow students to progress smoothly through the program and, at the same time, provide the flexibility and rigor that are the hallmark of doctoral education. The organization of the curriculum is divided into required courses, to ensure that all students are equipped with comparable basic knowledge; specialization work, in which students largely design their own curriculum; electives; a dissertation design requirement; and the dissertation. The PhD in social welfare requires 36 hours of course credit excluding dissertation credits.
Considerations for admissions will begin upon receipt of the completed application. For more information, contact the chair of the PhD program.