Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

Research-intensive MSW programs?


lunary
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm currently in the process of applying to MSW programs for Fall of 2019.

I'm particularly interested in macro-level practice, policy, and research. I'm one of those rare Social Work students that actually enjoyed my undergraduate classes in statistics and research methods, and I'm very interested in contributing to evidence-based practices in the future. I'm wondering if there are any schools that place more of an emphasis on this area of Social Work.

I'd love to be able to conduct some sort of research during graduate school, but I'm not sure if there are certain programs that allow for these kinds of opportunities more than others.

Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been many years ago and I don't recall the schools, but when I was looking at programs some had the option of a thesis instead of a comprehensive exam to graduate. The University of Tennessee is the only one I recall off hand because that's where I attended. I did the comprehensive exam, but knew a couple of students who did a thesis instead because they were considering a PhD later. I don't particularly recall seeing any programs that I would call "research-intensive" because the MSW is a professional degree. You would probably want to consider a PhD after your MSW.

Having said that, one option could be to make sure you attend a school that offers an MSW and a PhD as that might increase the likelihood you would be able to contribute to research. Get to know the professors and express interest in research early on.

Edited by louise86
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What are your goals after your MSW? I was in the same boat. I went to UChicago, push hard to get out of the required research courses (such I could take more advanced courses in other parts of the university). Ultimately, I just didn't find that there was enough time in the day to do research, and there was basically only one available field placement that was real research. Honestly, I'm not sure that the PhD in social work is rigorous enough for real research in many cases. I published and got a research grant while in my MSW program, but only by working solely with faculty outside of social work.

One recommendation I would have, as you think about your goals, is to separate what credentials you need from what skills you need. As a credential, UChicago is great and so is Columbia (which you can do online). Neither master's program is likely to teach you much about research, but you can also push for that training outside of the formal curriculum. 

If you do not need licensure in social work, it may also be prudent to consider other options. I think UPenn's social work school offers a non-MSW master's in social policy. 

I see you are in Ohio. I would make sure to also look at Case Western, since they seem to have more funding than many other schools and more research opportunities than many other programs. Another consideration is, again, your goals. A degree from a lot of top name schools can be very expensive, and may not be worth it if you're not interested to moving to somewhere like Chicago or DC.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, TheCrow said:

What are your goals after your MSW? I was in the same boat. I went to UChicago, push hard to get out of the required research courses (such I could take more advanced courses in other parts of the university). Ultimately, I just didn't find that there was enough time in the day to do research, and there was basically only one available field placement that was real research. Honestly, I'm not sure that the PhD in social work is rigorous enough for real research in many cases. I published and got a research grant while in my MSW program, but only by working solely with faculty outside of social work.

One recommendation I would have, as you think about your goals, is to separate what credentials you need from what skills you need. As a credential, UChicago is great and so is Columbia (which you can do online). Neither master's program is likely to teach you much about research, but you can also push for that training outside of the formal curriculum. 

If you do not need licensure in social work, it may also be prudent to consider other options. I think UPenn's social work school offers a non-MSW master's in social policy. 

I see you are in Ohio. I would make sure to also look at Case Western, since they seem to have more funding than many other schools and more research opportunities than many other programs. Another consideration is, again, your goals. A degree from a lot of top name schools can be very expensive, and may not be worth it if you're not interested to moving to somewhere like Chicago or DC.

 

Thank you so much for this response - it's really helpful.

UChicago is actually my first choice. I applied about a week ago. I have family and friends in that area, and it's not too far from home.

I'm familiar with Case Western and actually spoke to a recruiter who really wanted me to apply. I wasn't too interested at the time because I'd honestly like to get out of Ohio, but it may be worth a second look. I'll be sure to do some more research into Columbia and UPenn as well. Pitt is very close to me and I would be automatically admitted due to my grades, but I'm not sure that it's the best fit for what I'm looking to do.

Ultimately, I'd really like to conduct research that informs social work practice and policy. I've excelled in my Social Policy and Social Welfare courses, and have had several professors encourage me to pursue macro-based practice. I've tried looking into some Social Work-focused academic journals for inspiration, but it seems that much of the research conducted in our field is sort of scattered.

It's kind of interesting, because it isn't like research isn't being conducted by and for social workers. You'd think that at least a few programs would emphasize this portion of Social Work, but it seems to be consistently overlooked from what I've seen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got my Master's in Social Work from Abilene Christian University, and I actually work there now as the Recruiting and Advising Specialist! Our program is one of 5% of MSW programs that has a required thesis requirement in which you get to work with a committee of three experts specifically assigned to your research as you plan, conduct, and evaluate it while in field.

Also, we pay for graduating students to go present their thesis research (or any other research conducted during their time in the program) at conferences all expenses paid, even up to a year after graduation! If you click on this link, you can also see the tremendous reach of the published theses by our social work students for the past three years. (Theses prior to 2015 were not published online, but were published in print). As you can see on the map, our students' social work research is constantly being downloaded by education, government, and organizational institutions across the world! Also, our faculty are incredible researchers and many are doing incredible internationally-recognized research in various fields within social work. See the following links for more information!  We offer very competitive scholarships and Graduate Assistantships to help students afford school as well.

If you'd like to get more information about our program (and our remote-learning online option), please don't hesitate to email me at socialwork@acu.edu. I'd be happy to give you more information!

List of ACU BSW and MSW Research Presentations and Publications

Faculty member Dr. Wayne Paris conducting research on the very first trials of xenotransplantation

Faculty member Dr. Wayne Paris international presentations on xenotransplantation

Community Research Partnerships

MSW Student Implements State-wide Research Project on Foster Care

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.