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MSW Degree Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 57 credit hours, all letter graded.

  2. Completion of foundation requirements.

  3. Completion of advanced year (specialization) requirements.

  4. Completion of four (4) semesters (at least 900 total clock hours of field education & field integration seminar (FIS).

Degree requirements must be completed within four (4) years from the time of admission to the MSW program.

Certain foundation courses may be waived through examination to reduce the number of credits required for the degree. Click on this link for more information about the MSW Waiver Exam Program.

MSW Program Overview

The University of Hawaiʻi (UH) awards a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Students may complete their degree requirements through a full-time or part-time program. The program requires 57 credit hours of course work to be completed within a four-year period, including four semesters of field education (practicum) and completion of the advanced research requirement (Plan B: Non-Thesis).

The MSW curriculum of the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work has been developed to both reflect and promote the advances of contemporary social work practice. Curriculum design and materials incorporate theory and practice approaches that have been developed throughout the country as well as those that have been created by faculty and practitioners to meet local and Pacific/Asian needs.

Upon graduation, students perform a wide range of tasks related to the provision and management of direct service, the development of social policy, and engagement in research-informed practice and practice-informed research that promotes social and economic justice. The MSW curriculum also prepares students to practice with diverse populations, respecting the knowledge, wisdom, problem-solving practices, and other resources that reside in the cultures and traditions of those with whom they serve. In addition, students develop competence in working in specialized areas of practice so that they graduate from the program with in-depth knowledge and skills necessary to practice in a particular specialization.

MSW Program Objectives

The MSW program objectives reflect the 10 competencies identified as crucial to practice by the Council on Social Work Education (2015; https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Standards-and-Policies/2015-EPAS) and the MBTSSW (2014). These objectives were affirmed by the MSW Program Committee and integrated into courses across the MSW curriculum.
  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.

  2. Engage diversity and difference in practice.

  3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

  4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.

  5. Engage in policy practice.

  6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  7. Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  10. Engage, honor, and respect indigenous culture towards decolonized professional practice

Foundation (Generalist) Curriculum

The foundation courses present an orientation to social work practice and provide the necessary base upon which to build the more advanced body of knowledge, practice, principles, and skills offered by the specializations. The foundation (generalist) curriculum is designed to provide an integrated system of courses that collectively introduce students to the components of the profession. There is emphasis on social work as a diversified profession with many functions and a variety of approaches.

The foundation courses present content in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policies and services, research, social work practice, and field education. Thus, students complete the foundation curriculum prepared to intervene at the individual, family, organization, and community level.

Advanced (Specialization) Curriculum

The specializations are the major focus of the advanced curriculum. They are organized around specialized areas of practice or populations in which social workers are often employed – Behavioral Mental Health, Child and Family, Gerontology, and Health.

Students select a specialization area by the end of their foundation-level course work. However, not all specializations are available through the Distance Education (DE) option.

The advanced curriculum includes two practice courses focused on the chosen specialization area, an advanced policy course, advanced research, one year of field education, and a specialization approved elective. Click on this link to see options for completing the Advanced Research requirement.

All specializations teach certain common advanced skills with a focus on individuals and families (e.g., direct intervention, expertise in functioning within organizations, assessment, interpersonal skills, and expertise in a range of social work roles). In addition, each specialization presents content specific to its field of practice.

Specialization Area Descriptions

Behavioral Mental Health

The goal of the Behavioral Mental Health Specialization is to develop and deepen knowledge and skills relevant to the critical roles social workers play in assessment, treatment planning, service delivery, consumer advocacy, culturally resonant practice, evaluation of services, and policy development in behavioral mental health. Utilizing the advanced practice framework, the BMH specialization’s educational objectives are designed to accomplish this goal as well as the advanced curriculum learning outcomes.

Required courses for BMH specialization are: SW 724 - Seminar in Social Work Practice in Mental Health; SW 725 - Social Work Practice in Mental Health; SW 797 - Advanced Policy; SW 741 - Review of Research or through an independent study (SW 743/744, 746); a specialization approved elective on BMH; and SW 790/791 - Field Education specific to BMH.

BMH specialization courses integrated with field instruction prepare students for contextualized social work practice with individuals experiencing severe and persistent mental illness and accompanying substance abuse issues. This re-empowerment oriented, client-centered approach, purposefully addresses the recommendations of the New Freedom Commission Report on Mental Health, emphasizing consumer recovery, collaborative treatment planning, elimination of service barriers, and evidence-based, best practices that are culturally resonant.

Students interested in the Behavioral Mental Health Specialization may contact Dr. Susan Nakaoka, Behavioral Mental Health Specialization Chair, at snakaoka@hawaii.edu.

Child and Family

The Child and Family (C&F) Specialization prepares students for practice in multicultural communities with children and youth within the context of their families, who are facing challenges resulting from issues of poverty, social injustice, oppression, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, community violence, mental health, immigration issues, or grief and loss. Because of the multicultural environment of Hawaiʻi, culturally competent social work practice will be emphasized in the class with attention to indigenous ways of knowing and doing. Thus, the child and family specialization is designed to provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of relevant practice theories, and evidenced based and best practices with children and families in various contextual situations. The emphasis is that of the ecological and family social work perspectives in which the child is seen in the context of family, communities, and the larger society to enhance engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation skills.

Required courses for C&F specialization are: SW 717 - Social Work Practice with C&F; SW 718 - Seminar in Social Work Practice with C&F; SW 797 - Advanced Policy; SW 741 - Review of Research or independent study (SW 743/744, 746); a specialization approved elective with C&F; and SW 790/791- Field Education placement specific to C&F.

The specialized practice courses complement the advanced policy, field education, and research courses as students not only develop deeper understanding and skills relevant to social work practice, but an appreciation for the influence of key policies governing services to children and their families as well as having the competence to critically view intervention research on their applicability on children and families given their cultural context.

Students interested in the Child and Family Specialization may contact Dr. Meripa Godinet, Interim Child and Family Specialization Chair, at meripa@hawaii.edu.

Gerontology

The Gerontology Specialization provides students with the requisite knowledge and skill development for respectful and evidenced-based professional practice and research with older adults and their families in the context of the community and larger society. Building on the literature on normative aging from a life course and diversity perspective, we focus on both the well aged as well as those facing increasing dependencies due to poverty, elder abuse, depression, and dementia. Special attention is given throughout the two courses to the needs of Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander elders, Asian American aged adults, older women and the frail aged.

Required courses for the Gerontology specialization are: SW 726 - Social Work Practice with the Aged; SW 727 - Seminar in Social Work with the Aged; SW 797 - Advanced Policy; SW 741 - Review of Research or through an independent study (SW 743/744, 746); a specialization approved elective on aging; and SW 790/791 - Field Education specific to gerontology.

Students have varied field education experiences from working with the well aged to the very frail, from home and community based services to institutional care, and in settings that provide learning experiences in practice, program planning and administrative roles. Some examples of our agency partners include but are not limited to: The State of Hawaiʻi Executive Office on Aging, Leahi Hospital, the Elderly Affairs Division of the City and County of Honolulu, the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic and Center for Aging, Kahala Nui Retirement Community, St. Francis Hospice, and Child and Family Services of Honolulu.

Students enrolled as Gerontology Specialization students may be eligible to apply for scholarship funds through the Chair of the Gerontology Specialization and generously provided by Kahala Nui Retirement Community. For other potential scholarships, please contact the Chair.

The curriculum of the specialization is annually reviewed by members of the Hoʻola I o na Kupuna ʻIhi (Respect our Elders) Advisory Council, composed of some of the community’s most respected gerontological social work leaders who are committed to quality gerontological social work education.

We welcome you to the aging demographic revolution! For more information, please contact Dr. Colette Browne, Professor and Chair, Gerontology Specialization, at 956-6126 or by email at cbrowne@hawaii.edu.

Health

Health social workers play a vital role in promoting the holistic wellbeing of individuals, families, groups, and communities. The bio-psychosocial-spiritual orientation to health is common to contemporary health social work practice across diverse practice settings. This orientation to holistic health contrasts with the profession’s historic beginnings in hospitals where the Western biomedical paradigm of health as the absence of disease predominated and where care focused on physical ailments, with little or no emphasis on underlying socioeconomic, psychological, relational, cultural, or spiritual issues.

In contemporary times, new and diverse opportunities have opened up in health social work due to factors such as federal, state, and local policy changes, shifting epidemiological trends of health and disease, and evolving roles of other healthcare professionals. In the 21st century, health social workers practice in community-based, state, and federal health agencies, as well as in hospitals, acute, primary, long-term, hospice, and other care facilities. In such diverse settings, health social workers provide services across the health continuum aimed at wellness promotion, prevention of disease risk, support for the treatment and control of disease conditions, treatment adherence counseling and education, as well as the design, oversight, and evaluation of organizational systems tasked with improving health and healthcare. In the health specialization, graduate students are prepared for entry into this critical and increasingly, diverse arena of social work.

Required courses for the Health specialization are:

  • SW 722 - Social Work Practice in Health Care;
  • SW 723 - Seminar in Social Work Practice in Health Care;
  • SW 797 - Advanced Policy;
  • SW 741 - Review of Research or independent study (SW 743/744, 746);
  • a specialization approved elective in health; and
  • SW 790/791 - Field Education placement in health.

The Health specialization curriculum includes all advanced-level courses in practice, research, policy, and field education, which together advance understanding of knowledge areas, skills, and priorities needed for entry-level practice in health settings. Development of knowledge, skills, and facilitative attitudes are contextualized within a health-related ecological framework and are relevant to social work practice across the health services continuum from health promotion to illness and disability management and ultimately, to dying, death, and bereavement. Substantive foci include:

  1. health and healthcare policies;
  2. bioethical issues;
  3. cross-cultural aspects of health social work practice;
  4. delivery of health services in clinical, community, and organizational systems;
  5. inter-professional collaborative team practice;
  6. use of evidence-based practice/best and promising practices from field and/or Indigenous communities; and
  7. community-based participatory research approaches.

Students interested in the Health Specialization may contact Dr. Lana Kaʻopua, Health Specialization Chair, at lskaopua@hawaii.edu.

Elective Courses

Students are required to take a minimum of nine (9) elective credits to meet the minimum 57 credits required for the MSW degree. At least one elective course (or three-credit equivalent) must be taken in the specialization area. Additional courses may be used to fulfill the requirement for a specialization area elective if approved by the appropriate specialization chair. Other options for elective credits in the specialization area include excess credits taken beyond the minimum three (3) credits required for SW 790 (1st semester specialization practicum; see below), SW 791 (2nd semester specialization practicum; see below), or advanced research (SW 743 and SW 744, or SW 746;.

Click on this link for a list of Approved MSW Electives (pdf)

Field Education

Field education is an integral part of the School’s total educational program and provides each student with the opportunity to apply concepts, principles, and theories learned in the classroom to practice at a field education (practicum) site. It is the signature pedagogy of the MSW education (CSWE EPAS). The major focus is on the development of practice knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes while working with diverse client systems in a service setting. Field education encompasses two required components: 1) agency field education placement, and 2) the Field Integration Seminar. The field education experience is guided by the curriculum goals and objectives. However, it is further individualized by the student and the field education instructor through the completion of a learning agreement that is approved by the Field Education Office. Students are expected to demonstrate a professional level of responsibility, good judgment, responsiveness to the supervision of their work, and appropriate interpersonal skills in all aspects of their field education performance.

Integral to the field education experience is a mandatory Field Integration Seminar (FIS) that is taken concurrently with students' field placement. The FIS course work builds upon the generalist curriculum for foundation-year field education students and the specialization curriculum for advanced-year field education students. FIS is designed to assist in translating theory, research, and policy into practice and provides a space for discourse on skills acquisition, implementation, and evaluation as well as on professional development. Seminars are offered bi-weekly for one hour either through the online or in-person modality. These seminars count toward the student’s total number of field education hours each semester.

The foundation year of field education is considered to be a generalist approach to social work and is integrated with the student’s foundation (generalist) practice courses. The advanced (specialization) year of field education is integrated with the student’s field of practice and is coordinated with the student’s specialized practice courses (Behavioral Mental Health/Child & Family/ Gerontology/ Health).

Field education is available only to classified students admitted to the MSW degree program. Students are required to complete four semesters of field education (SW 690 and SW 691 in the foundation year and SW 790 and SW 791 in the advanced year) totaling a minimum of 900 clock hours. No field education clock hour credits or waivers are given for prior paid or volunteer social work practice experience.

All foundation classroom course work must be completed prior to or concurrently with the foundation field education. It is strongly recommended that SW 606 & SW 690 and SW 607 & SW 691 be taken concurrently. SW 690 and SW 691 cannot be taken prior to SW 606 and SW 607, respectively. Similarly, all specialization-level course work must be completed prior to or concurrently with the specialization field education.

A summer block field education experience of SW 690 and 691 or SW 790 and 791 is an option for those students who elect to participate in field education after completing their respective foundation or advanced year courses. Summer block field education consists of 450 clock hours over thirteen weeks.

Students are assigned to field education sites by the Field Education Office. BSW graduates and more experienced students are placed in sites commensurate with their prior education and work experience. All students are required to participate in a field education orientation meeting, which precedes involvement in the field setting. The field education orientation meeting is held at the beginning of each semester. Student attendance at the field education orientation program is counted toward the student’s total number of field education hours each semester.

Foundation-year (generalist) students attend field education sixteen hours per week for a minimum of 225 clock hours a semester and earn three credits per semester.

Advanced-year (specialization) students have the option to increase their field education hours beyond the required minimum of three credit hours (225 clock hours) per semester if their agency field instructor agrees. The additional credits may be used as elective credits in the specialization area.

  • 300 clock hours per semester (20 clock hours per week) = four credit hours, or
  • 375 clock hours per semester (25 clock hours per week) = five credit hours

Field Education (Practicum) courses are available to students during the fall, spring, and summer terms. The opportunity for students to take a block field education experience off-island, on the mainland, or internationally will be considered on an individual basis, but will only be allowed for students who have completed their relevant foundation and/or specialization course work. Students must contact the Field Education Office about other requirements for field education site certification for placement in agencies not on the island of their graduate program.

UH Mānoa holidays, rather than agency holidays, will be observed in the practica. This includes the allotted weeks designated for semester breaks and the one-week spring recess.

Students participating in field education cannot be defended or indemnified by the State of Hawaiʻi or the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in the event of any legal action. Consequently, the School requires that students have professional liability insurance through the School’s group professional liability coverage plan.

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Independent Study

The school encourages independent study whenever students are prepared to pursue a special interest. SW 699 Directed Reading and Research is available for this option. Students are encouraged to explore independent study with their faculty advisor. A maximum of 9 credit hours of SW 699 may be applied toward the MSW degree.

Advanced Research

Plan B (Non-thesis): The Plan B offers three (3) options for completing the research requirement of the advanced year (specialization) curriculum.

PLAN B OPTIONS
(minimum 3 credits)
Option 1: SW 741 – Review of Research in Social Work (3 credit hours)
Option 2: Two-semester research project: +

SW 743 – Individual or Group Research Project* (2-3 credit hours)
and
SW 744 – Individual or Group Research Project* (2-3 credit hours)
Option 3: One-semester research project:

SW 746 – Individual or Group Research Project* (3-4 credit hours)
Must be completed within one semester.
Cannot be converted to SW 743 or SW 744.

+ Advanced Standing students typically have only two (2) Plan B options, SW 741 or SW 746, to be completed during the second semester. SW 650 is required as a prerequisite for advanced research and must be completed during the first semester. A two-semester research project may be an option if an Advanced Standing student takes an additional term or summer to complete their degree or if the first semester SW 650 requirement is waived by examination (MSW Waiver Exam Program) or is otherwise completed prior to the first semester in the MSW program.

* Research projects must target a topic related to the student’s specialization area and must be monitored by a SW faculty member. Additional SW 743+744 or SW 746 credits beyond the three (3) credits required to fulfill the Plan B research requirement may be used as elective credits in the specialization area.

Course Organization

The standard full-time MSW program at the Mānoa campus is a two-year schedule consisting of the foundation (generalist) curriculum in the first year (Click on this link for a Foundation, Full Time, Year 1 Sample Schedule) and the advanced (specialization) curriculum in the second year (Click on this link for a Specialization, Full Time, Year 2 Sample Schedule) and requiring a minimum of 57 credits.

Students in the Distance Education option follow a three-year academic plan (Click on this link for a DE Option, 3 Year Sample Schedule).

The Advanced Standing schedule (30 credits) is a modification of the specialization year that includes a required elective (ASIST, Advanced Standing Integrative Seminar & Training; not required for Advanced Standing students entering the MSW program in Fall 2017) and also requires SW 650 from the foundation curriculum. Click on this link for a Advanced Standing Sample Schedule.

Mānoa campus-based students who are employed or have other commitments are encouraged to consider part-time study (Click on this link for the Part-Time Study Sample Schedules).

Students are admitted to the program in the fall semester and must complete all requirements within four years of admission to the MSW program.

To provide flexibility, the school makes every effort to schedule evening as well as day-time sections for required courses held at the Mānoa campus. For the Distance Education option, classes are held on weekday evenings (with the possibility of Saturdays, as space and time slots permit). Advisors will assist students to plan schedules in accordance with students’ needs, sequencing requirements, and specialization areas. Flexible field education placements and hours are contingent on availability of placements.

Foundation Year (Full-time, Year One)

First Semester
Course Course Title CR HRS
SW 606
SW 630
SW 640
SW 659
SW 690
Social Work Practice with Individuals
Social Welfare Policy and Services
Introduction to Scientific Methods & Principles in Social Work
Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
Practicum
3
3
3
3
3
Second Semester
Course Course Title CR HRS
SW 607
SW 631
SW 650

SW 660
SW 691
Social Work Practice with Families and Groups
Social Work Practice in Communities & Organizations
Research Designs & Data Analyses for the Evaluation of Practice Effectiveness (also required for Advanced Standing students)
Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
Practicum
3
3
3

3
3

All foundation courses must be completed before beginning specialization course work.
Students may waive certain foundation courses if criteria are met.

Advanced (Specialization) Year (Full-time, Year Two)

All foundation courses must be completed before beginning specialization course work.

Third Semester
Course Course Title CR HRS
SW 790V
Electives
Practicum
Elective course(s)
(v 3-5)
(v)
Select One
SW 717
SW 722
SW 724
SW 726
Specialization Practice Course
Social Work Practice with Children and Families
Social Work Practice in Health Care
Seminar in Social Work Practice in Mental Health
Social Work Practice with the Aged

3
3
3
3
Select One
SW 741
SW 743V

SW 746V
Advanced research (may be taken in 3rd and/or 4th semester)
Review of Research in Social Work
Individual or Group Research Project (first course of a two-semester sequence: SW 743-744)
Individual or Group Research Project (must be completed in one semester)

3
(v 2-3)

(v)
Fourth Semester
Course Course Title CR HRS
SW 791V
SW 797
Electives
Practicum
Social Welfare Policy and Change
Elective course(s)
(v 3-5)
3
(v)
Select one
SW 718
SW 723
SW 725
SW 727
Specialization practice course
Seminar in Social Work Practice with Children and Families
Seminar in Social Work Practice in Health Care
Social Work Practice in Mental Health
Seminar in Social Work Practice with the Aged

3
3
3
3
Select one
SW 741
SW 744V
SW 746V
Advanced research (may be taken in 3rd and/or 4th semester)
Review of Research in Social Work
Individual or Group Research Project (prerequisite: SW 743)
Individual or Group Research Project (must be completed in one semester)

3
(v 2-3)
(v)

Advanced Standing (minimum 30 credits)

Elective course
Fall Semester
Course Course Title CR HRS
SW 680* ASIST course (Advanced Standing Integrative Seminar & Training)
* Not required for Advanced Standing students entering the MSW program in Fall 2017.
2*
SW 790V
SW 650

Elective
Elective
Practicum
Research Designs & Data Analyses for the Evaluation of Practice
Effectiveness
Elective course
Elective course
(v 3-5)
3

(v)
(v)
Select one
SW 717
SW 722
SW 724
SW 726
Specialization practice course
Social Work Practice with Children and Families
Social Work Practice in Health Care
Seminar in Social Work Practice in Mental Health
Social Work Practice with the Aged

3
3
3
3
Spring Semester
Course Course Title CR HRS
SW 791V
SW 797
Elective
Practicum
Social Welfare Policy and Change
(v 3-5)
3
(v)
Select one
SW 718
SW 723
SW 725
SW 727
Specialization practice course
Seminar in Social Work Practice with Children and Families
Seminar in Social Work Practice in Health Care
Social Work Practice in Mental Health
Seminar in Social Work Practice with the Aged
3
3
3
3
Select one
SW 741
SW 746V
Advanced research
Review of Research in Social Work
Individual or Group Research Project (must be completed in one semester)
3
(v)

Please note:

  • SW 650 in fall is a prerequisite for SW 741 or 746 in spring.
  • The ASIST course (SW 680) counts toward MSW “elective” credits but is mandatory for Advanced Standing students. * ASIST is not required for Advanced Standing students entering the MSW program in Fall 2017.

Distance Education (DE) option 3-year Schedule (57 credits)

Fall Semester Spring Semester
First Year
SW 630 (3)
SW 640 (3)
SW 659 (3)
SW 650 (3)
SW 660 (3)
Elective (3)
Second Year
SW 606 (3)
SW 690 (3)
Elective (3)
SW 607 (3)
SW 631 (3)
SW 691 (3)
Third Year
SW Specialization (3)^
SW 741 (3) or Advanced Research*
Elective (3)
SW 790 (3-5)
SW Specialization (3)^
Advanced Research*
SW 797 (3)
SW 791 (3-5)

* Advanced Research options in the 3rd year:
SW 741 in fall semester, or SW 746 (one-semester research project) in the fall or spring semester, or SW 743 in the fall semester followed by SW 744 in the spring (two-semester research project).

^ Not all specializations are available in the DE option.

Part-time study (Mānoa campus option)

Mānoa campus-based students may choose to complete the MSW program under a part-time (three- or four-year) academic plan, keeping in mind minimum credit loads (if any) established by funding sources, when applying for financial aid.

Sample 3-year schedule:

Refer to the DE 3-year schedule above as an example. Mānoa campus students have additional options in that they may choose any of the four specialization areas, may take SW 741 in the fall or spring semester, and often have more elective choices.

Sample 4-year schedule:

Fall Semester Spring Semester
First Year
SW 640 (3)
SW 659 (3)
SW 650 (3)
SW 660 (3)
Second Year
SW 606 (3)
SW 630 (3)
SW 690 (3)
SW 607 (3)
SW 631 (3)
SW 691 (3)
Third Year
SW Specialization (3)
*Advanced Research
Elective (3)
SW Specialization (3)
*Advanced Research
SW 797 (3-5)
Fourth Year
SW 790 (3-5)
Elective (3)
SW 791 (3-5)
Elective (3)

* Advanced Research:

SW 741 or 746 may be taken either in the fall or spring semester OR

SW 743 may be taken and must be followed by SW 744 the following semester.

Advanced Standing Option

Graduates from a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work program who have been admitted with Advanced Standing in the MSW Program enter into the advanced (specialization) year of the program.

MSW Degree requirements for Advanced Standing students:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours (all letter graded)
    • Twenty-four of the required 30 credits must be at 600-level or above.
    • Foundation year courses cannot be used as electives.
  2. Completion of SW 650: Research Designs & Data Analyses for the Evaluation of Practice Effectiveness
  3. Completion of advanced curriculum requirements
    • Including two semesters (minimum 450 clock hours) of field education
    • Including Plan B Advanced Research requirement
    • Includes seminar requirement (fulfilled through specialization practice course)
  4. Completion of Advanced Standing Integrative Seminar & Training (ASIST)
    Exception: ASIST is not required for Advanced Standing students entering the MSW program in Fall 2017 and may be substituted with another MSW elective.

Distance Education Option
for Neighbor Island Residents

For information about the Distance Education option:


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MSW Waiver Exam Program

The MSW waiver exam program offers incoming students the opportunity to waive certain foundation course requirements prior to the first semester of enrollment. If successful, the student will have a reduced number of required credits to complete for the MSW degree.

The following courses may be waived by examination by students entering into their foundation (generalist) year of study.

  • SW 630: Social Welfare Policy and Services

  • SW 640: Introduction to Scientific Methods and Principles in Social Work

  • SW 650: Research Designs & Data Analyses for the Evaluation of Practice Effectiveness (must pass SW 640 waiver exam)

  • SW 659: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I

  • SW 660: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (must pass SW 659 waiver exam)

Advanced Standing students only need to consider SW 650, as the rest of these courses are automatically waived. However, for Advanced Standing students only, passing the SW 650 exam will not reduce the number of credits for graduation; thirty (30) credits will still be required to earn the MSW degree, but an additional elective may be taken in place of SW 650, if waived.

Waiver exams are offered only to newly admitted students during Orientation Week.

Post-Baccalaureate Unclassified Students

(Mānoa campus option)

Students may begin a plan of study in the fall or spring semesters (post-baccalaureate unclassified status) without being formally admitted into the MSW program. Selected foundation and elective courses are open (on a space-available basis) to unclassified students. By petition to the Office of Graduate Education, a maximum of 12 credit hours earned while in unclassified status (B grade or better is required) may be applied toward fulfillment of the advanced degree requirement.

To apply for post-baccalaureate unclassified status, please contact the Graduate Student Services at (808) 956-8544 or graduate.education@hawaii.edu, or visit their website at: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/applying-pbu-student

Transfer of Credits

No work may be transferred from another institution unless the grade is B- or higher. Grades for transferred courses are not counted in the grade point ratio required for continued registration. All transfer of credits must be processed by the first semester of enrollment into the program. Credits more than seven years old are not transferable.

Credits from institutions other than UH Mānoa or taken as a post-baccalaureate unclassified (PBU) at UH Manoa may be considered for transfer, subject to approval by the chair of the MSW program and by the UHM Office of Graduate Education. Students cannot receive course credit for previous work or life experience.

For more information about UH Mānoa graduate transfer credit policies, see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/transfer-pbu-credits and http://www.catalog.hawaii.edu/grad-ed/credit.htm.

Graduate Certificate Programs

There are a number of certificate programs offered through UHM that may be of special interest to Social Work students. Information on graduate certificate programs such as Conflict Resolution, Pacific Island Studies, Public Administration, Resource Management, Disability and Diversity Studies, and Women’s Studies is available at www.catalog.hawaii.edu/ (click on “Degrees, Minors and Certificates Offered at UHM”).

Students interested in pursuing a graduate certificate must discuss their academic plan with advisors in both programs (MSW program and certificate program) to ensure that credits are counted appropriately (see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/double-counting-credits) to avoid unexpected delays in graduation.

How to Apply

For MSW admission requirements and application information, please refer to the MSW Admissions Information section of this website.

Continuing Education Program

The school provides continuing education in various formats to assist practitioners in acquiring current knowledge and undertaking new professional roles. Opportunities include:

  • workshops, seminars, and symposia
  • credit courses in the MSW program
  • advanced courses intended especially for practitioners
  • training for new and continuing field education instructors
  • training designed, under contract, for specific agency needs

For more information, please review the information on this site, or contact Jennifer Kishida, MSW and PhD Program Assistant, at jenkishi@hawaii.edu or (808) 956-3831.

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Page Navigation
Degree Requirements
Program Overview
Program Objectives
Foundation Curriculum
Advanced Curriculum
Specializations
Elective Courses
Field Education
Independent Study
Advanced Research
Course Organization
Foundation YR (FT, YR 1)
Advanced YR (FT, YR 2
Advanced Standing
DE Option 3YR
PT Study (Mānoa)
Adv Standing Option
DE Option Information
MSW Waiver Exam
Post-Baccalaureate Unclassified Students
Transfer of Credits
Graduate Certificate
How to Apply
Continuing Ed Program