Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work
Dean: Noreen Mokuau
General InformationThe Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work is comprised of the Department of Social Work, the Center on Aging, and the Office of Public Health Studies.
VisionAchieving social justice and health equity for the people of Hawai‘i and citizens in a changing world.
*N. Mokuau, MSW, DSW—Dean, Asian/Pacific Islander health issues
P. Adams, MA, MSW, DSW
Myron “Pinky” Thompson earned his MSW from UH in 1953. A noted leader in the struggle for the preservation of the Hawaiian culture, he was at the vanguard of the Hawaiian Renaissance movement in the 1970s. While at the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, he helped revitalize traditional healing practices such as ho‘oponopono and dream work. Along with Kumu Mary Kawena Puku‘i and others, he helped create Nana I Ke Kumu, a two-volume reference manual on indigenous healing practices. He helped start Alu Like and Papa Ola Lokahi, was a Bishop Estate Trustee, and served as president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. The UH Board of Regents approved the naming of the School after him in 2008.
Social work, one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation, is a profession concerned with the prevention and resolution of problems for individuals, families, groups, and communities. Those who are committed to social justice and improving the quality of life for society’s most vulnerable citizens would find this curriculum stimulating. Students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and values that facilitate the prevention or resolution of such problems as mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness, crime and delinquency, and poverty.
The school has been providing quality social work education in Hawai‘i for over 80 years. The department has a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral program. The BSW and MSW programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and our PhD program is approved by UH Manoa Graduate Division. Our school is recognized nationally and internationally for its award-winning faculty, research and publications, and specialty areas that focus on the expressed needs of the community (health, mental health, child and family, and gerontology).
The mission of the Department of Social Work is to provide educational excellence that advances social work with its focus on social justice. The principal responsibility is the generation, transmission, and application of knowledge for the global enterprise with special attention to Native Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander, and Asian populations in our state and region.
Freshmen and sophomores who are interested in learning more about the social work profession and/or our BSW program have several ways to do this: (1) The Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center is a walk-in resource center staffed with advisors trained to help students clarify career goals, select a major, plan course work, research professional programs, gain relevant experience, and apply to schools. See: manoa.hawaii.edu/undergrad/pac/. (2) Social Work faculty advisors are available by appointment to assist with pre-admissions academic advising. Contact the Department of Social Work Admissions Office for more information: email@example.com or (808) 956-7182. (3) Online resources for BSW, MSW, and PhD programs, admissions, and degree requirements: Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work website (www.hawaii.edu/sswork/programs.html); MBT SSW Bulletin (www.hawaii.edu/sswork/bulletin.html). Hard copies of admissions information and materials may be requested from the SSW Admissions Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 956-7182.
It is important that students seek out information on financial aid, including scholarships, stipends, student employment, etc., as early as possible. Deadline dates can vary and may require additional documentation and/or interviews.
The UH Manoa Financial Aid Services is dedicated to making it possible for degree-seeking admitted students to attend UH Manoa regardless of their economic circumstances. See www.hawaii.edu/fas/. Please review this website thoroughly as it contains many links to additional and outside sources for financial aid.
The Department of Social Work also has a limited number of scholarships available to social work students. This information can be located: (1) under each program’s “Financial Aid” and “Forms” sections on the SSW website: www.hawaii.edu/sswork/, and (2) in the MBT SSW Bulletin: www.hawaii.edu/sswork/bulletin.html.
Bachelor of Social Work Program Mission
The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work Program is to provide students with the knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes of the social work profession, integrated with a liberal arts education. Utilizing a generalist framework, the BSW Program provides the basis for practice within the context of a multicultural environment to help alleviate suffering and promote social and economic justice. Special attention is given to Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Asian communities of our state and the Pacific region, as they interact within a global context.
BSW Program Goals
Graduates of the BSW Program are prepared to be competent, beginning level professionals and generalist practitioners capable of integrating the knowledge, skills and values of social work, based on a liberal arts foundation. Additionally, graduates are also prepared for the challenges and rigor of advanced social work education.
At the completion of classroom and field education, graduating BSW students:
The applicant must: (a) have been admitted to UH Manoa; (b) have completed UH Manoa’s General Education Core requirements (special consideration is given to second semester sophomores for early admission); (c) have completed the knowledge-base 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).
Students are admitted to the BSW program in the fall and spring semesters.
February 1 for the fall semester; October 1 for spring.
The student must (a) fulfill all UH Manoa Core requirements; (b) complete the required undergraduate social work curriculum listed below; (c) earn an aggregate of no less than 120 credit hours; and (d) have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
Candidates must complete the following curriculum requirements:
Master of Social Work
The MSW curriculum prepares students for professional advanced practice and requires 57 credit hours. The course work must be completed within a 4-year period, of which 4 semesters of practicum and completion of the research requirement are mandatory. Students may waive some generalist level courses by examination and thereby, reduce the number of credits necessary to receive their degree.
The generalist curriculum includes courses in social welfare policy, human behavior in the social environment, research, social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities, and field education. The specialist curriculum is organized around four specialized areas of practice: behavioral mental health, child and family, gerontology, and health. Elective courses augment the generalist and specialization curricula; electives may include courses in marriage and family therapy, substance abuse, criminal justice, Native Hawaiian cultural practices, and other offerings relevant to the student’s chosen specialization.
Admission requirements are: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or its equivalent from a recognized foreign institution of higher learning, a 3.0 GPA, a liberal arts background, the motivation for a career in social work, and evidence of ability to manage the rigors of graduate school.
February 1 (MSW admission occurs in the fall only).
Neighbor Island and Guam Distance Education MSW Delivery Option
February 1 for fall admission.
The MSW degree is now available to neighbor island residents via distance education technology. Classes include instruction via interactive television, computer-based delivery, face-to-face onsite, and hybrid or blended approaches. It is a 3-year program.
PhD in Social Welfare
The PhD program prepares students for leadership in the advancement of social welfare education, practice, policy development, and research. The program promotes social justice and global understanding through scholarly inquiry using indigenous and mixed method approaches. Emphasis is placed on knowledge development that enhances the well-being of Native Hawaiians and the diverse people and communities of Hawai'i and the Asian-Pacific Region. The curriculum and program of study place highest priority on independent inquiry and the enhancement of intellectual, creative, and analytical abilities. Each student will develop the ability to conduct independent research on a critical social problem.
The program is designed to provide sufficient structure to guide students as well as the flexibility and rigor that are the hallmarks of doctoral education. The curriculum is divided into required courses ensuring that all students are equipped with comparable basic knowledge; specialization work, in which students largely design their own curriculum; teaching and research practica; electives; a dissertation design and proposal requirement; and the dissertation. The PhD in social welfare requires 46 hours of course credit excluding dissertation credits.
January 15 (PhD admission occurs in the fall only).
Please note: This Catalog was prepared to provide information and does not constitute a contract. The University reserves the right to change or delete, supplement or otherwise amend at any time and without prior notice the information, requirements and policies contained in this Catalog.
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