University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

Master of Social Work


UTEP’s MSW program prepares students for advanced social work practice and leadership. The program offers a concentration in Social Work in the Border Region, and students are trained to address the many social and health needs of families and communities in the Paso del Norte region and beyond. Upon completion of the curriculum, students are eligible to sit for the national licensed master social worker (LMSW) exam.

Admissions Requirements

The MSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  Students considered for admission to the Master of Social Work program must meet the following criteria:

  • An earned Bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional or international accrediting body
  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0
  • An undergraduate course in statistics (within the past 5 years from point of admission with a grade of C or better)
  • An undergraduate course in general biology, anatomy or physiology (grade of C or better

Applicants from countries where English is not the first language are required to demonstrate English proficiency. Please consult the graduate school website for required scores.

For advanced Standing (see description below), the following additional criteria must be met to be considered for admission to the Advanced Standing degree plan:

  • A BSW from a college or university that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) obtained within 5 years for admission to the Advanced Standing Program
  • In addition to an overall GPA of 3.0, students must have a 3.5 GPA in social work courses
  • Satisfactory assessment of the core social work competencies as measured by the Competency Assessment Form for Advanced Standing

The following explanation is provided to describe how additional requirements are used to make an admission determination:

  • A grade of C or better in undergraduate biology or anatomy and physiology is necessary to demonstrate exposure to and understanding of human biology fundamentals used in a biopsychosocial assessment (i.e., primary assessment tool used in social work practice).
  • A grade of C or better in Statistics is necessary to demonstrate an understanding of numerical data analysis necessary to conduct evidence-based research, as well as to evaluate evidence-based research in the literature to guide social work practice.
  • The Advanced Standing degree plan is only available to students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree.  The two years of the BSW Program are considered by the Council on Social Work Education to be equivalent to the first year (Foundation coursework) of the MSW Program.  Therefore, students admitted to Advanced Standing enter in the second year (Concentration coursework) of the MSW Program and are only required to take the 30 credits associated with the Concentration coursework rather than the 60 credits required for the Full-time and Part-time degree plans.
    • The requirement of a BSW degree from an accredited college is a regulation set forth by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
    • The requirement of a BSW within 5 years of admission is necessary because of the rate at which new knowledge is generated within the profession
    • A GPA of 3.5 in his/her BSW major is necessary to demonstrate that student excelled in the Foundation content associated with the first year of the MSW program.  By entering the MSW program in the Concentration year (i.e, the second year of the program), students will be expected to perform at the same level as MSW students who have completed the first year of the curriculum
    • CSWE requires all MSW Programs to evaluate student success according to nine competencies.  These assessments are conduct for both the Foundation and Concentration content.  The Competency Assessment Form for Advance Standing must be completed by the applicant's clinical social work supervisor (if the applicant is working within a social service agency as a practitioner) or his/her MSW field education supervisor while in the BSW program to assess the student's competencies.  This form is similar to the one used in the evaluation of competencies within the field education settings while enrolled in the MSW program.

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 60

Master of Social Work Major (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
SOWK 5300The Social Work Profession3
SOWK 5313Research Project3
SOWK 5315Clinical Assessment3
SOWK 5316Culturally Grounded Social Wk3
SOWK 5331SOWK Theory & Pract w/Indiv3
SOWK 5332SOWK Theory & Pract w/Families3
SOWK 5333SOWK Theory & Pract w/Groups3
SOWK 5357Social Policy I3
SOWK 5360Social Policy II3
SOWK 5370Social Work Research3
SOWK 5380Social Work in the Bdr Regn3
SOWK 5382Multicultral Macro Practice II3
SOWK 5383SOWK Th & Pract-Hum Srv Org3
SOWK 5335Foundation Practicum I3
SOWK 5336Foundation Practicum II3
SOWK 5345Advanced Practicum I3
SOWK 5346Advanced Practicum II3
Select nine hours of the following:9
Independent Study
Social Work & the Aging
Independent Study
Administration & Supervision
Special Issues in Social Work
Total Hours60