One-Year Accelerated Master's Degree Programs in Social Work
Accelerated master's degree programs in social work allow candidates to earn their degree in just one year. These programs are intended for candidates with prior social work education and focus exclusively on advanced topics in social welfare.
How to Earn a Master's Degree in Social Work in One Year
Many schools that offer a Master of Social Work (MSW) program feature an advanced standing track that students can complete in just one year. In order to be eligible for such a path, candidates need to have a bachelor's degree in social work, with most schools requiring that the degree be earned within a certain number of years. The advanced standing track allows students to skip past fundamental social work classes and instead begin pursuing more complicated topics as soon as they enroll.
This advanced course teaches students how to administer care to children, adolescents, and their families. The class can examine modern theory on family dynamics and introduce students to topics such as family interactions, contemporary social services, cultural competency, and methods of direct intervention. Students in this class also learn about the structural and strategic models used by social welfare professionals.
Practice with Populations
In this class, students focus on social welfare and its relation to particular communities and populations. The course could examine the social, economic, and racial factors that impact different populations and what methods can be used to combat these issues. Specific concepts covered in this course can include exclusion, resource scarcity, discrimination, and stigmatization.
International Social Welfare
This course takes a step back from the U.S. social welfare landscape and considers global social work issues. Students in this class gain a global perspective as they observe other nations and how they provide social services in the face of unique ethnic and geopolitical situations. Common subjects in this course can include urbanization, human rights violations, gender inequality, housing access, and poverty.
Social Welfare Policy
This course provides students with an advanced understanding of the political and social factors that shape social welfare policy and practice. Students can learn about legal regulations and the intricacies of the justice system as they explore the history of social welfare and the current state of the field. Other course offerings in this subject may focus on subsets of social welfare policy such as mental health, legislative processes, and social justice.
Clinical Social Work with the Aging
This hands-on course aims to teach the skills and knowledge needed to assist aging populations and their families. It utilizes a holistic approach and covers the mental, physical, and even spiritual aspects of aging and what social welfare professionals need to know in order to provide the best care possible. Students could learn about the many practice areas specific to elderly populations, such as retirement communities, adult day centers, and gero-psychiatry units.
In this course, candidates learn about different forms of mental illness and the methods used to prevent and treat them. The course provides information about the categories of mental illness and shows students how to diagnose mental illness and design a treatment plan. This course can feature an overview of the current diagnostic code (DSM-V).
Social Work Research Methods
Students in this course can receive training in the research methods and techniques used in social work practice. Students consider the merit of empirical research as well as the conceptual and administrative aspects of research. Some programs allow students to concentrate on research in a particular topic, such as child welfare or gerontology.
How to Apply to a One-Year Accelerated Master's Degree Program in Social Work
As stated above, advanced standing tracks are usually open only to candidates who already possess a bachelor's degree in social work. Some programs require that the degree be earned within the past five years, and applicants will need to provide copies of their transcripts to prove their credentials.
Candidates may also need to furnish proof of their practical experience by uploading documents related to the fieldwork that was completed during a student's undergraduate program. Other admissions requirements may include a professional resume, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose in which a candidate outlines his or her goals for the program.
One-year accelerated master's degree programs in social work allow candidates with prior knowledge of social work concepts to bypass foundational requirements. Students in these programs cover advanced topics and graduate with the skills and knowledge required for careers in social welfare.