2017-18 University of Hawaii at Manoa Catalog main menu
Home About UH Academic Calendar Courses Undergraduate Education Graduate Education Degrees, Minors, & Certificates Colleges, Schools, & Academic Units


General Information


Undergraduate Program

Graduate Program

Public Health Sciences


Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work

Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Social Work

The primary goal of the BSW program is to prepare students 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. The program’s secondary goal is 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.

Admission Requirements

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).

Application Deadlines

Students are admitted to the BSW program in the fall and spring semesters.

February 1 for the fall semester; October 1 for spring.

Degree Requirements

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.

BSW Curriculum

Candidates 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: any political science course, PHIL 110 or 111, any psychology course, SW 200, and a biology course that emphasizes human biology.
  2. Social work major courses (38 credit hours) including SW 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) the U.S. experience; (b) social dynamics and group interaction; (c) politics, government, and economies; (d) research; and three courses in (e) diversities.
  4. Other electives (2-4 credit hours).

For information on the BSW Program, visit our website at www.hawaii.edu/sswork/bsw.html. For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Graduate Programs

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 practicum. The specialist curriculum is organized around four concentrations: behavioral mental health, child and family, gerontology, and health. Elective courses augment the generalist and concentration 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 concentration.

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.

Application Deadline

February 1 (MSW admission occurs in the fall only).

For further information, write to the school at Gartley Hall 203, 2430 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, call (808) 956-7182, email sswadmit@hawaii.edu, or check the website at www.hawaii.edu/sswork.

Neighbor Island and Guam Distance Education MSW Delivery Option

Aplplication Deadline

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.

For more information, call (808) 956-9470, visit the website www.hawaii.edu/sswork/de/, or email sswde@hawaii.edu.

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.

Application Deadline

January 15 (PhD admission occurs in the fall only).

For more information, call (808) 956-3831, email sswadmit@hawaii.edu, or check the website at www.hawaii.edu/sswork/phd.html.

SW Courses



2017-18 University of Hawaii at Manoa Catalog footer