Wayne State University

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FAQs

Choosing a career, and the education to get you there, is one of the most important decisions you'll make. You're bound to have questions. Here are some of the ones we're asked most often...

FAQs about the University

Is there really a difference between Wayne State University and Michigan's other research universities?
How does the research designation of Wayne State University influence social work education?

FAQs about the School of Social Work
Why does the School of Social Work describe itself as a practice school?
Where is the School of Social Work located and where are classes held?
Is the campus safe if I select night courses?

FAQs about the Faculty
What are the qualifications of the faculty who teach social work?
Will I just be a "number" at the school?
Will I have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member?

FAQs about Admissions and Admission Requirements
What are the minimum requirements to apply to the BSW program?
Can I enroll in graduate social work classes prior to admission?
I already have a master's degree in a related field and a number of years of experience. Can I waive some of the requirements of the MSW program or can I apply for the Pre-Candidate Master with Advanced Standing status?
What is the application deadline for the BSW program?
Are reference letters important to the admissions process?
Why do you ask for a personal interest statement?

FAQs about Financial Aid and Costs
Do you offer assistantships or other financial aid?

FAQs about Field Placements and Field Advisement
Can I arrange my own field placement?
Can I do my field placment work at my place of employment?

Do I have much say in the selection of my field placement?
What is the difference between the field instructor and the field adviser?
How much time is required in the field for an MSW student?
How much time is required in the field for a BSW student?
Can I request an evening or weekend placement?

FAQs about Program Requirements and Degree Completion
Does the school offer evening, weekend or online classes?
What is the average class size?
How long will it take to complete the BSW program?
How many credits do students take to fulfill requirements for the MSW degree and how long does it take to complete the MSW?
What kind of classes do students in the MSW program take?
What is a concentration?

FAQs about Research Requirements of the MSW Program
Do I have to take research in the BSW program?
Is Math required in the BSW program?

What are the research requirements in the MSW program?
Is a thesis required of students in the MSW program?
 

FAQs about the University

Is there really a difference between Wayne State University and Michigan's other research universities?
Yes. Wayne State University is located in an urban center that draws its student body from a very diverse population base. The university prides itself in its accessibility to members of diverse communities within the Metropolitan Detroit area and the region. Graduates of the university tend to remain within the region after graduation and many of the graduates of its professional schools, including the School of Social Work, form the service infrastructure of the state within key areas of education, health care, human services, law, business and the arts.

How does the research designation of Wayne State University influence social work education?
Faculty and staff members of the school offer an intimate and rich education that is responsive to the education of our students. We have been successful in combining this attribute with the very rich resources of a research university. For example, the school can offer curriculum options as certificate programs in the areas of infant mental health, gerontology, substance abuse treatment, and developmental disabilities because of the great scope of the university's curriculum and research resources.

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FAQs about the School of Social Work

Why does the School of Social Work describe itself as a practice school?
Wayne State University has great traditions in social work education and research developed over decades of contributions to the profession. These traditions and knowledge have been handed down from one generation of faculty to another so that current faculty members understand the importance of preparing students to enter a world of practice and to work effectively in their chosen area of social work intervention.

Where is the School of Social Work located and where are classes held?
The School of Social Work is at the south end of campus and located in a unique four-story historic building known as the Thompson Home. Here you will find the Office of the Dean, Office of Admissions and Student Services, Office of Field Education, Office of Student Organizations, faculty offices, conference/seminar rooms, computer lab, student mailboxes and lounge. Students often meet in the lounge for lunch or dinner (there is a refrigerator and a microwave available) and for study groups. It is home to the faculty and students. The majority of classes are held across the street in Old Main. Parking is available on the street or in lots next to and across from these facilities.

Is the campus safe if I select night courses?
The Wayne State University Department of Public Safety (DPS) is one of the university's best resources. All officers have a four-year college degree and are sensitive to the needs and concerns of students. We have several evening classes and social work students make every effort to look out for each other and the faculty. They have a sense of security and are able to make good use of the WSU campus facilities during the day, evening, and weekend hours.

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FAQs about the Faculty

What are the qualifications of the faculty who teach social work?
The faculty is composed of full-time and part-time members. The school's full-time faculty are doctorally prepared social work educators and researchers who assign equal importance to teaching and scholarly work. You can access the biographies of full-time faculty members through the Faculty Profiles page.

Faculty members have active research programs that focus on the advancement of social work practice, social services, and the profession. Expertise among faculty members is quite diverse including domestic violence, clinical intervention, school social work, family policy, aging and gerontological services, child welfare and family development. The majority of faculty members have extensive backgrounds as practitioners.

Will I just be a "number" at the School?
No! The school has a reputation for its student-centered educational opportunities. All full-time faculty teach and are recognized for innovations in teaching that help students master basic and advanced aspects of social work practice. Although there is considerable diversity among faculty members in terms of their research interests, the faculty is united around basic educational values that foster the development of each student as social work professionals.

Will I have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member?
Yes! There are several different options for students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. Students can select directed studies, group research projects, or theses as ways to work individually or in small groups with faculty members.

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FAQs about Admissions and Admission Requirements

What are the minimum requirements to apply to the BSW program?
Completion of prerequisites with a minimum grade point average of 2.50 on a 4-point scale. Students must have completed 60 credit hours at the time of admission.

Can I enroll in graduate social work classes prior to admission?
If you have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and have at least a 2.6 GPA (minimum GPA required for graduate admission), you may apply for graduate non-degree status. As a nondegree student you may enroll in a limited number of graduate social work courses, which may be transferred toward your MSW degree once admitted. Contact an academic advisor for more details.

I already have a master's degree in a related field and a number of years of experience. Can I waive some of the requirements of the M.S.W. program or can I apply for the Pre-Candidate Master with Advanced Standing status?
We do not give academic credit for life experience; however, your experience will help to strengthen your application. The Pre-Candidate Master with Advanced Standing is open ONLY to students who hold a BSW degree from an accredited institution. This policy is in compliance with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) standards and does not allow for any exceptions.

What is the application deadline for the BSW program?
The Priority Processing deadline for fall term admission is October 1. Student interested in admission to BSW Where Online Works! (WOW!) option must submit all application related materials by June 1.

Are reference letters important to the admissions process?
You should be thoughtful about your selection of individuals who will prepare your reference forms. At least one academic reference is expected for those students who are recent graduates or are taking courses to prepare for entry into one of the professional degree programs. BSW students are encouraged to ask their field placement instructor. Supervisors at your place of employment or volunteer agency are also good sources of reference. It is important for you to ask each reference to complete the reference form completely (front and back) to detail about your qualifications to become a professional social worker.

Why do you ask for a personal interest statement?
The personal interest statement offers you the opportunity to explain why you have chosen the profession of social work. It offers the professionals who are reading your admissions file to evaluate your rationale, the approach you take to organizing the statement, the quality of your writing, and your background and experiences. These attributes are all vital to evaluating you application. Please give considerable thought to your personal interest statement.  Students are strongly encouraged to carefully review and proofread the personal interest statement prior to submission as the quality and presentation of this document will be considered in the admission review process.   

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FAQs about Financial Aid and Costs

Do you offer assistantships or other financial aid?
We do not offer teaching or research assistantships. We do offer some private scholarships for social work students. Applications for these scholarships may be obtained from the School of Social Work Office of Admissions and Student Services. These forms can be accessed on the Application forms page. Students are required to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Note: early application is strongly encouraged.

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FAQs about Field Placements and Field Advisement

Am I responsible for finding my own field placement? Can I do my field placement work at my place of employment?
All field placements are coordinated by the WSU School of Social Work. Students may file a request to do their field placement at their place of employment if that agency is a social service facility. A school committee will review that request to determine its feasibility for placement and whether it meets our guidelines.

Can I arrange my own field placement?

No. While the OFE is always interested in new field placement sites and encourages suggestions for field placements from students, all field placements must be arranged by the OFE. Students are asked NOT to contact agencies to arrange field placements. Agencies must have a new agency field placement application on file and have a licensed, MSW-level social work practitioner available to provide supervision, among other requirements.  All application material for field placement sites is available from the OFE.

Can I do my field placement work at my place of employment?

Possibly. This is called a work site placement, and some students are eligible for this arrangement. Students interested in doing their field work with their current employer must submit an application to the Director of Field Education describing the agency, its programs, the position held and duties, the work schedule, and the name and title of the appropriate supervisor(s). The application and policy for work site placement are available from the OFE. All applications are considered on an individual basis and the final decision rests with the OFE.

What is the difference between the field instructor and the field advisor?

A field instructor is a Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW) with 2 years post-MSW experience and agency staff member who supervises students at the field placement agency.  The field instructor also evaluates students and provides feedback to the faculty advisor for grading.

A faculty advisor is assigned by the OFE to the agency in which a student is placed. The faculty advisor is either a full-time or a part-time faculty member who monitors and grades the student’s field work performance. The faculty advisor also provides assistance and feedback to the student at the agency and mediates placement-related issues, including any that might occur between the student and the field instructor.

How much time is required in the field for an MSW student?

Traditional students must be in field for a minimum of two days, 16 clock hours per week during times when their field instructor/task supervisor is also on duty and available to the students.  MSW Foundation Year students complete 225 clock hours per academic term for two terms.  MSW Advanced Year students complete 225 clock hours per academic term for two terms (when electing 4 credit hours) or 338 clock hours per academic term for two terms (when electing 6 credit hours).  All students are expected to have regularly scheduled field days. MSW Advanced Year student should consult their academic advisor prior to selection of additional credits in field.

How much time is required in the field for a BSW student?

Traditional students must be in field for a minimum of two days, 16 clock hours per week during times when their field instructor/task supervisor is also on duty and available to the students.  BSW Senior Year students complete 230 clock hours per academic term for two terms.  BSW WOW! Program students complete 460 clock hours over the course of one academic term.  BSW WOW! Program students must be in field for a minimum of four 8-hour field work days, 32 hours per week.  All students are expected to have regularly scheduled field days.

Can I request an evening or weekend placement?

Students entering the School under (or changing status to) full time student status are required to participate in field placement 16 hours per week. This requirement consists of two (regularly scheduled) eight hour field work days during the Monday through Friday work week extending the designated semester(s).

Students entering the School under (or changing status to) part time student status are required to participate in field placement 16 hours per week. This requirement consists of at least two (regularly scheduled) field work days that can be arranged at a more flexible field placement site during evening and weekends hours, if available. EVENING AND WEEKEND FIELD PLACEMENT OPPORTUNITIES ARE NOT GUARANTEED AND IF ARRANGED MAY RESTRICT OPTIONS

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FAQs about Program Requirements and Degree Completion

Does the school offer evening, weekend or online classes?
Yes, we offer evening, Saturday, online & hybrid courses primarily for part-time students. Full-time students are expected to enroll in day classes but may register for the evening sections. In the advanced year, some courses offerings available in Macomb, Wayne, and Oakland County

What is the average class size?
Classes may have as few as 15 students to as many as 35 students.

How long will it take to complete the BSW program?
BSW program is available during the fall (traditional face-to-face) and winter (full-time only online option) terms. Full-time studies can be completed over two years or four semesters. Part-time studies can be completed over 2.5 years or seven semesters. Admission to the winter BSW Where Online Works! (WOW!) option features five full-time semesters of coursework and a block field experience

How many credits do students take to fulfill requirements for the MSW degree and how long does it take to complete the MSW?
Those students who are enrolled in the MSW program full time will complete 60 credit hours over four semesters or two years. MSW part-time students will complete the required 60 credit hours over 10 semesters or four years. Those students coming in with the BSW and enrolled in the Pre-candidate Master with Advanced Standing program will take 38 credit hours over three semesters or 10 months while students enrolled in the part-time program will complete 38 credit hours over six semesters or two years.

What kind of classes do students in the MSW program take?
Students divide their credits among courses in human behavior and the social environment, social policy, research, social work practice, and field practice. In the advanced year, students concentrate in an area of social work practice and take advanced courses in their concentration. During the advanced year, students complete a concentration-specific field placement.

What is a concentration?
The concentration is not a specialization. However, it is an area of focus that offers students an opportunity to build their understanding of social work practice in a specific area. The school sponsors two concentrations for students in the advanced year of the MSW. Concentration Areas:

  • Interpersonal Practice Concentration focuses on preparation for direct social work practice in a range of social service settings. Students choose one theory and practice track: Family Systems, Psychodynamic or Cognitive Behavioral. Students can also choose a special interest area: families-at-risk, child welfare, substance abuse, schools, inpatient and outpatient mental health, health care, or aging/gerontology. Courses in this concentration support interventions that enhance the social functioning of client groups and address a range of social problems, including strains in family life, physical illness, life transitions, adjustment reactions and chemical dependency. Examples of field sites include schools, family mediation clinics, family service agencies, hospitals, transitional residences and outpatient mental health clinics.
  • Innovation in Community, Policy and Leadership (I-CPL) contextualizes student learning into three platforms of practice including developing and sustaining effective communities, developing and sustaining effective policies, and developing and sustaining effective organizations through leadership. I-CPL students will deepen their understanding of settings where this practice can take place through field placements that relate to urban social planning, community development, policy analysis and advocacy, program development, and system coordination. A full range of electives is offered to supplement the required sequence of courses, thus permitting students an opportunity to deepen and enrich their knowledge of particular areas of Innovation in Community, Policy and Leadership.

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FAQs about Research Requirements of the MSW Program

Do I have to take research in the BSW program?
Two semesters of research are required of all BSW students. The research courses integrate the research process within social work with data analytic approaches. The research courses link together and complement one another. They prepare students for more advanced research study in graduate social work education

Is Math required in the BSW program?
Students required to establish Math Competency (MC) at WSU are expected to have satisfied this requirement prior to enrollment in the BSW degree program. Effective fall term 2010, any newly admitted BSW student missing MC will be required to enroll in the proper WSU Math Competency course sequence based on full-time or part-time BSW enrollment status (see BSW course curriculum outline and BSW Plan of Work). Any student failing to enroll in the proper MC course during the required semester of enrollment will be academically withdrawn from the BSW program.

What are the research requirements in the MSW program?
All students complete 6 credit hours of research during their core year. One research course is required during the advanced year for students in the Innovation in Community, Policy and Leadership (I-CPL) concentration. Students can take waiver examinations for the core research courses and, if they pass, will elect other courses to fulfill the overall credit hour requirement of the MSW degree. There are other options available to students who complete the first two research courses during the core year and want a different research opportunity than what they may get from taking a third course. Students can select a thesis option, essay direction or a group research project.

Is a thesis required of students in the MSW program?
No. The thesis is selected by students as an option in the advanced year of the MSW program. Students selecting the thesis option typically want to investigate something of interest in the area of social work or they want to prepare for more advanced research study perhaps at the level of a Ph.D. Students must register for six hours of thesis credit and they work closely with faculty mentors who lead them through the process of individual research.

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Mission
We will create and advance knowledge, prepare a diverse student body to thrive, and positively impact local and global communities.