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MSW Program: Social Work - Specialized Practice

M.S.W. program


The Master of Social Work offered at SFA is a 64 credit hour program designed to be completed in two years of full-time academic study. A part-time program of study also is offered, but all degree requirements must be completed within four calendar years from the date of enrollment. The program does not require an undergraduate degree in social work for admission but does require that students who are deficient in the liberal arts perspective complete additional course work in order to prepare them for the social work professional generalist practice courses.

Undergraduate content in human biology, multicultural studies and social statistics are specifically required before students are allowed to enroll in graduate courses that require knowledge of that content. All prerequisite course work must be completed prior to or during the first semester of enrollment in the program.


The M.S.W. program curriculum comprises generalist practice and specialized practice content. The first full-time year of the program is generalist in perspective and emphasizes a problem-solving method in the helping relationship.  The first year provides the social work professional generalist practice similar to that provided in a B.S.W .program and serves as a base upon which the advanced-level content builds knowledge and skills.

The M.S.W. program offers one specialized practice, which is completed during the second full-time year of the program. The specialized practice offered is advanced generalist practice in a rural context. Advanced generalist skills are applied to practice within the rural context and with people having rural lifestyles. The importance of examining issues of diversity and difference, values and ethics, social and economic justice, populations at risk and rurality is emphasized throughout the program.

For more details and information regarding specific course requirements, see the M.S.W. Program Student Handbook.

Nonadvanced vs. Advanced Standing

Nonadvanced Standing
To be considered for clear nonadvanced standing admission, applicants should have an overall GPA of at least 2.5 and a GPA of 3.0 for their last 60 hours. Applicants who demonstrate outstanding qualifications on other admission criteria may be admitted on a probationary basis with an overall GPA of 2.5 and 2.8 GPA for their last 60 hours.

Advanced Standing
A limited number of students may be admitted to the advanced standing program. To be considered for advanced standing, applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Applicants admitted on a probationary status are not eligible for advanced standing.

To receive advanced standing, an applicant must have made a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 credits of undergraduate coursework and a 2.5 GPA overall. Decisions on course equivalency credit will be made by the M.S.W. program director. Advanced standing credit is not automatic and students may be required to submit course equivalency information or successfully complete a competency examination before receiving credit for a course.

For more information, see the M.S.W. Program Student Handbook.

Application Process

There are two parts to the M.S.W. application process. We must receive all information in order to review your application.

The deadline to file an application is May 30 for advanced standing applicants and July 10 for nonadvanced standing applicants.

U.S. Students

  1. Go to the ApplyTexas website and complete the application for the Graduate School.
  2. Download and complete the M.S.W. application packet. (The packet includes submission of official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a supplemental application for the M.S.W. program and a written statement of interest in social work.) Follow the submission instructions.

International Students

  1. If you are an international student, please contact the Office of International Programs for the international admissions process.
  2. Download and complete the M.S.W. application packet. (The packet includes submission of official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a supplemental application for the M.S.W. program and a written statement of interest in social work.) Follow the submission instructions.
  3. Please contact the School of Social Work at 936.468.4040 if you have any questions.

M.S.W. program mission statement

The mission of the M.S.W. program at SFA is to prepare competent and effective professional social workers committed to advanced generalist practice and able to respond to the needs of rural communities and to the challenges faced by people with rural lifestyles. The program is committed to providing leadership for the region, particularly in identifying and addressing community needs and issues, including those related to the alleviation of poverty and oppression within the context of rurality, cultural diversity and social and economic justice. In support of its educational endeavors, the program is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, lifelong learning and community service. The program's mission and goals are the same across all program options.

M.S.W. program goals

The M.S.W. program has six distinct program goals that directly support the school's mission. The goals are:

  1. Prepare professional social workers who will demonstrate integration and autonomous use of social work knowledge, values and skills in advanced generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities within a rural and global context.
  2. Prepare professional social workers who will demonstrate critical thinking and ethical social work practice with systems of all sizes within a rural context based upon the knowledge, values and skills that encompass a generalist perspective and advanced generalist practice.
  3. Prepare professional social workers who will identify with the profession and take an active role in professional leadership within their local communities and larger systems, and be lifelong learners.
  4. Prepare professional social workers with research knowledge and skills to evaluate and advance social work practice, influence rural policy, advocate for social and economic change with attention to diversity, rural communities and people with rural lifestyles, and add to the knowledge base of rural social work practice.
  5. Maintain reciprocal relationships with social work practitioners, groups, communities and organizations in the region, nationally and globally.
  6. Strengthen rural social work through the school's professional and community service, and scholarship.


School of Social Work
M.S.W. Program

Dr. Emmerentie Oliphant, M.S.W. program director

420 E. Starr Avenue

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6104, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

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