Apr 18, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2022-2023 
Academic Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Social Work

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Pacific’s MSW program offers an advanced generalist degree based on the purpose of the social work profession—to promote human and community wellbeing. From a person-in-environment construct, a global perspective, a respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, Pacific’s MSW program is guided by its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons.

The small class sizes at Pacific allow for individualized instruction and mentoring from professors, and our geographic location provides opportunities to explore social work practice in both rural and urban settings.

The MSW program at Pacific is grounded in the social work professions’ values and ethical principles of service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry. We seek to produce culturally responsive, advanced generalist social workers who are prepared to respond to, and prevent, the urgent problem of health disparities in the areas of emotional, community, mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. We are equally committed to preparing our students to work with diverse populations with special focus on enhancing quality of life, equity, and social justice among immigrant and native Latino peoples.

The website for the social work program at Pacific University is: http://www.pacificu.edu/as/msw/index.cfm

Program Goals
Our program goals are derived from our mission statement and provide delineation for our mission in 12 different arenas. We are proud to say that our unique community has a strong influence upon the existence of four of our goals (numbers 2, 5, 9, and 11). Specifically, the MSW program at Pacific seeks to:

  1. Prepare generalist social workers to enter practice, at an advanced level, under professional supervision in the fields of social services, health care, and mental health.
  2. Prepare advanced generalist social workers with cultural competence skills to practice with the largest diversity groups of the Pacific Northwest: African American, Asian, Latino, and Native American individuals and families, including special preparation for work with recently-arrived Latino families through attainment of at least a third-year college level of Spanish language fluency and in-depth cultural knowledge.
  3. Prepare advanced generalist social workers to apply social work theories and interventions using the “person-in-environment” and “ecological, multilevel systems” perspectives across practice settings.
  4. Prepare advanced generalist social workers to intervene effectively in a variety of human and social problem areas and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
  5. Address the critical shortage of social workers in child welfare by preparing advanced generalist social workers with the skills necessary to enter the social welfare system as child welfare workers in various roles, such as entry-level employees in the Department of Human Services (DHS) of the State of Oregon to work with families troubled by the issues of child abuse and neglect.
  6. Prepare generalist social workers to understand current social policies impacting clients and to advocate for desired changes at all levels of society and government.
  7. Prepare advanced generalist social workers to understand and utilize the ethical standards of the profession embodied in the code of ethics of the National Association of Social Work (NASW) and to practice within the values of the social work profession.
  8. Facilitate the entry of nontraditional students into the social work profession by offering the MSW degree program in formats which can allow nontraditional students, particularly employed persons and persons from oppressed groups, the opportunity to work toward the MSW degree.
  9. Recruit faculty members who have in-depth knowledge of the needs of recent Latino immigrants and other marginalized persons who personify the highest ethical, academic, and professional practice standards in order to develop a culture of excellence for social work faculty, staff, and students.
  10. Develop strong linkages and feedback processes with the social work practice community through an active Professional Advisory Board, a professional-to-student mentoring program, a continuing education program, and an international education program encouraging participation by both practitioners and students.
  11. Strengthen the social service delivery system of the Pacific Northwest by engaging agencies in the social work educational process of field instruction, by offering a continuing education program determined by agency needs, and by involving outstanding agency administrators in the Professional Advisory Board.
  12. Prepare generalist social workers to compete successfully for admission to doctoral programs in Social Welfare and related fields.

Field Education
Field Education (or “Practicum” or “Field Work”) is the heart of our MSW program at Pacific University. After students are accepted into the MSW program, placements in social service organizations (e.g., governmental; nonprofit; for-profit) are established and then monitored by the MSW field director. During both the foundation and concentration years of the program, students perform social work in agencies under the supervision of an MSW field instructor and the administration of the MSW field director. Students will spend the equivalent of two to three full days per week for four consecutive semesters (920 hours total). In addition to the time dedicated to agency placements, students attend a seminar class. Seminar affords an interactive setting where students can process, integrate classroom knowledge with practice, and address professional issues and development.

A field education placement application will be made available to all students admitted to the MSW program immediately after notification of admission. Students are responsible for completing and returning the application to the MSW Program by the deadline provided. Each student is required to read and be familiar with the contents of the MSW Field Manual.

It is the belief of the MSW program that field education, which takes place in an approved social service agency, is an integral component of student’s learning experience. It has been well established that this type of experience is crucial to successful social work education. This intensive experience is designed to integrate theory, skills, values and ethics under the guidance of both a field instructor and a university Field Faculty. The practicum is more fully discussed in the Field Manual available on the Social Work Program’s Field Education homepage. 

Admission: Master of Social Work

Enrollment in the Pacific University master of social work program is limited, and admission is selective. We seek academically strong candidates with excellent oral and written communication skills and a passion for helping others. Participation in community programs, leadership experience, and the ability to work as an effective team member also are highly valued.

The program uses a holistic review process, including such factors as:

  • Academic record
  • Community service and social work related experience
  • Communication skills
  • Strength of interview
  • Ability to work as an effective team member
  • Letters of evaluation/recommendation
  • Commitment to the profession

Please contact Sara Summers, ssummers@pacificu.edu with questions about the program or application process.

Admissions Cycle (Fall entry)

Preferred application deadline Dec 17
Final application deadline March 25
Interview invitations sent out Early March
Interviews Mid-March
Admission notification Early April
Confirmation deadline Late April
Program start Early September

More information can be found at: http://pacificu.edu/future-graduate-professional/colleges/college-arts-science/areas-study/master-social-work-msw/how-apply

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required for admission to the Master of Social Work program. The degree does not need to be in the social sciences. A BSW does not guarantee admission to Pacific’s MSW program.

Specific courses are not required, but ideal applicants will have completed a minimum of two courses from each of the following three categories:

  • Natural Sciences: Anatomy, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics
  • Social and Behavioral: Anthropology, Latino Studies, Counseling, Economics, History, Human Development, Native American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s Studies
  • Humanities and Arts: Art History, Film Studies, Oral Communication, Critical Thinking, Dance, English, Foreign Language, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Sign Language, and Theatre

The last 45 semester hour GPA must be 3.00 and the minimum cumulative GPA must be 2.75. Exceptions may be granted by the Admissions Committee if a student’s most recent grades show significant improvement over earlier ones. For example, if an applicant had a 2.4 GPA for the first 45 semester credits and a 3.5 GPA in the next 45 semester credits, he or she would be given serious consideration.

Advanced Standing:
Students may be considered for Advanced Standing only if they earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program (or those recognized through its international Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors). Preference for Advanced Standing will be given to those students who completed their BSW degrees no more than five years prior to application. Students completing the BSW in social work more than five years before applying to the MSW program must demonstrate that they have engaged in continuing education and professional social work practice during a majority of the years since their baccalaureate education. A BSW does not guarantee applicants admission to Pacific’s MSW program.

Application Process
The following is required for each application to the MSW program;

  • Completed application (available here)
  • $55 application fee (online)
  • Professional resume 
    • including all paid employment and relevant volunteer experience. Include and describe additional/relevant qualifications such as honors received, memberships in school, community or professional organizations, leadership positions, and offices held, and publications.
  • Official transcripts from each college/university attended* 
    • Official electronic transcripts can be sent to me at msw@pacificu.edu directly from the school/transcript service or you can have official sealed transcripts sent by mail to:

      Pacific University
      MSW Admissions
      30 E. 33rd Ave #5389
      Eugene, OR  97405
  • Proof of English proficiency (if applicable)
  • Two completed evaluations
    • Evaluation forms from two individuals who know you well and can comment objectively about your ability to grow professionally in Pacific’s MSW program. It is recommended at one evaluation be from current employment or professional source and the other from an academic source, such as a college faculty member or advisor. We also ask applicants to include contact information for one additional reference that we may contact as needed.
    • Essay 2-4 pages in length, 1.5 or double-spaced with your full name and date on the first page addressing the prompt below;
    • Analyze a social problem that is of great concern to you and is relevant to the practice of social work. Discuss the key factors contributing to the social problem, and the current policies responding to the problem. Share ideas you have for how the problem may be addressed or prevented, and the leadership role(s) you might take as a social worker addressing the problem.
    • Applicants with a BSW degree will submit an additional essay with their Advanced Standing Application – 2-3 pages in length, double-spaced, including your full name and date, addressing the following topic: 
    • Please describe how your BSW field placement or work in the field has prepared you for the level of work required for the MSW program.

GRE scores are not required. Admission is contingent upon successfully passing a background check.

The accuracy, completeness, and neatness of your application are determining factors in our admissions decision.

English Language Proficiency Policy
A satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission to all programs at Pacific University. All applicants, including resident aliens and citizens, must meet the English language proficiency requirement prior to admission. A candidate’s proof of English language proficiency does not equate to admission into a program. All other admission requirements must be met in addition to proving English language proficiency.

Valid Proof of English Language Proficiency
Applicants must meet one of the following conditions for valid proof of English language proficiency:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, or professional degree at a regionally accredited college or university where English is the primary language of instruction. Note: Individuals who are in the process of earning a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution may be admitted conditionally.
  • Achieving the minimum required official score on the International Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Pacific University Institutional TOEFL, or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.
Paper-based Computer-based Internet-based  
600 overall
Minimum per section:
54-55 reading
55 listening
55 structure/written expression
250 overall
Minimum per section:
21 reading
22 listening
22 structure/writing
100 overall
minimum per section:
20 reading
21 listening
22 writing
22 speaking
7.0 overall
Minimum sub scores per section:

 Note: According to the Education Testing Services (ETS) policy the institutional TOEFL can only be offered to that institution’s students and thus is only valid at the institution. Thus, the Pacific University Institutional TOEFL can only be offered to Pacific University students and is only valid at Pacific.

Test scores are valid for two years after the test date. A test score more than two years old will be considered valid if the score exceeds the minimum requirements (overall and sections) and the candidate has maintained continuous residency in a country where English is the primary language since the exam date.

Invalid Proof of English Language Proficiency

  • Test score less than Pacific’s minimum requirement
  • Test score more than two years old (unless the candidate has lived in the United States since the exam date)
  • Institutional TOEFL score from any school except Pacific
  • Completion of an English as a Second Language (ESL) program at any school
  • Successful completion of English, writing, or literature courses at any college or university
  • An associate’s degree from a community college in the United States

Policies: Master of Social Work

Transfer Credit
Up to nine semester credits of letter-graded work earned at a regionally accredited institution and not previously used to obtain another degree may be used to fulfill MSW degree requirements (coursework graded P/NP are not transferable). Credit is not granted for employment, life experience, or for a practicum taken as part of a non-accredited degree program.

Faculty may request a temporary course grade of Incomplete (I) only when all of the following three conditions have been met:

  • Health or other emergency reasons prevent a student from finishing all requirements of the course, and
  • A large portion of the course has been completed satisfactorily and/or the student has a passing grade at the time of the petition, and
  • The student is able to complete the remaining work on an individual basis with the instructor. Re-enrollment in all or part of the same course during subsequent semester is not allowed as part of the Incomplete Grade Contract.

Course Load
Nine credits or more is considered full-time, and part-time enrollment is not permitted at this time. Students are expected to enroll in 16 or 17 credits each term.

The following grades are used. Grade point equivalents and percentages are as follows:

A 4.0 93-100%
A- 3.67 90-92%
B+ 3.36 87-89%
B 3.0 83-86%
B- 2.67 80-82%
C+ 2.33 77-79%
C 2.00 73-76%
F 0.0 less than 73%

Satisfactory Academic Progress
MSW students maintain academic good standing by meeting or exceeding Social Work Program requirements. Satisfactory progress in the MSW program is maintained with:

  1. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. Earning a grade of B- or higher in each course. However, a grade of C is acceptable provided that the student maintains a cumulative 3.0 GPA during each semester. Failure to have a 3.0 GPA will require students to re-take any course where they earned less than a grade of B-.
  3. Record of successful field placements (with grade of B or higher)
  4. Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics.
  5. Adherence to the MSW Code of student conduct outlined in the MSW Program Handbook.

All MSW students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA per semester in order to remain in good academic standing. For all courses the student must earn a grade of B- or higher however, a grade of C is acceptable provided that the student maintains a cumulative 3.0 GPA during each semester and must also complete all the course work with a cumulative 3.0 GPA for degree completion. Failure to have a 3.0 GPA will require students to re-take any course where they earned less than a grade of B-. The one exception to this policy is that all Practicum Seminar Courses must be completed with a B or higher.

Depending on the nature and severity of the violation of the standard, the student may be placed on probation, suspension, or be terminated from the MSW program. Note: Please see Practicum Manual for procedures on being removed from a field placement or terminated from the field program.

Students who have been on Probation and who fail to meet one or more of the standards in any subsequent semester may be dismissed from the MSW Program. Dismissal will follow the process outlined below.

Dismissal from Field Placement or Practicum
All graduates of the Social Work Program must complete all required MSW courses. The MSW Program will not accept waivers or substitutions for the practicum experience.

Grounds for dismissal:
On rare occasions, a student is deemed to be unprepared to complete a practicum or field experience. A student may be required to terminate a field placement or practicum if:

  1. The student’s performance in the classroom and/or field demonstrates that the student show little likelihood of succeeding, either in completing the degree or in professional practice. This may be a matter of academics or skills.
  2. The student’s attitudes or values are incompatible with the practice of professional social work.
  3. The student persists in conduct in the field that endangers clients, the agency, the University, other students, or the student him/herself.
  4. The student commits a serious violation of the NASW Code of Ethics.
  5. The student is consistently unable to form productive working relationships with clients, field instructors, or other students.
  6. The student’s personal problems preclude effective social work practice.
  7. The student engages in serious academic dishonesty as outlined by the Academic Integrity Guidelines in the University Student Handbook.

In such instances, the Director of Field Education will meet with the student and inform him/her of the areas of concern. The student may then be placed on Warning status.

Removal from Practicum

Students who are removed from a Practicum placement must follow these steps:

  1. Meet with the Director of Field Education to determine if the problems that led to removal from the field can be resolved. If the problems do not appear amenable to satisfactory resolution, the student will be terminated from the MSW Program and major (please see below).
  2. If the problems leading to removal from the Practicum appear amenable to resolution, the student and the Director of Field Education will develop a written plan, including timeline, to address the problems. This plan must be in writing and signed by both the student and Field Director. This written plan will be kept on file with the Field Director.
  3. Based upon the established timeline for readmission to the field and the student’s progress in meeting that timeline, an evaluation of the student’s potential completion/graduation date will be made. The student and the Director of Field Education will make this determination in agreement with the MSW Program Director.
  4. The student will meet with the Director of Field Education at regular, specified intervals to assess progress toward resolution. The student must obtain a written re-admission to the field from the Director of Field Education before returning to a practicum placement.
  5. Students who are unable to resolve issues to the satisfaction of the Director of Field Education will be terminated from the Social Work Program. Students may appeal the decision of the Director of Field Education through the appeals process outlined below

Dismissal from the MSW Program
A student who fails to maintain good standing within the program (as previously outlined) may be removed from the Social Work program. All students are expected to adhere to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (SHB pp. 31-54). Violation of the Code may result in dismissal from the MSW program.

Students may appeal a termination decision through the appeals process outlined below.

Appeals Process
Students have the right to appeal MSW Program decisions and restrictions. Please see the MSW handbook for processes and procedures.

Tuition: Master of Social Work

Fall Semester $788 per credit
Fall Semester, Advanced Standing students $788 per credit
Spring Semester, all students $788 per credit
Audit, per credit hour $450

Students should allow about $500 per semester for books. SOCWK 631 - Immersion in Latin American Cultures , incurs additional travel costs.

Scholarships and Assistantships
The Pacific University Master of Social Work program has limited scholarship available. These are competitive single-year scholarships offered to selected students. Award amounts vary.

Students in the MSW program can apply for federal direct unsubsidized loans and federal graduate PLUS loans of up to the entire cost of attendance minus other aid received. Visit the financial aid website for more information. Do not wait to be accepted into your program to apply for financial aid.

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