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No MSW, will a university hire you with just a PhD.?


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I am applying to PhD programs in Social Work.  My Master's is in Sociology.  My career goal is to teach and do research in a social work department at a 4 year University (either one that offers a BA in social work, terminal MA in social work or a PhD in social work).

Although some programs offer an accelerated MSW program, which leads into a PhD program (joint admission required), some programs only offer a PhD.

From what the students or faculty on this website have experienced, are universities receptive to hiring social work PhDs who do not have an MSW?  I am located in California and will eventually be applying to teach at universities within California (if there are differences in state regulation).  I also have spoken with faculty at several universities and they all provide differing answers or state that when they were hired they did/didn't need an MSW.

Thank you for your feedback.

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Based on what I see in faculty profiles at different schools, it seems it mostly depends which course you want to teach. I imagine you just wouldn't teach skills-based courses. Even then, it could depend on your professional experience? 

Good luck with applications!

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The Council on Social Work Education (the professional accrediting agency), requires two years of post-MSW practice in order to teach the practice courses. Basically, this means you will not be competitive at small departments or as competitive at very clinically oriented departments without a master's degree in social work and the professional experience. I would apply to the joint MSW/PhD programs.

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Thanks green_dots21.  I saw a similar trend in professorial backgrounds as well.  My professional experience is primary in non-profits, grants, program development, and heavily research based in sociology from a globalization/social justice/community building perspective.  I likely wouldn't be teaching applied classes (unless theyre research, development, or grant writing focused) and would primary focus on theory, methods, and my specialty (development/urban/quality of life).


Also thank you TheCrow.  I'm definately looking into the joint programs now - many programs seem to offer abbreviated MSWs that immediate transition to PhDs and it seems that certain types of research experience can be counted as applicable experience.  I am glad you both were able to affirm my thoughts that the MSW component is pretty necessary if one is interested in increasing their chances of landing a professorship. 

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