The MSW at Baylor is a research-based program that prides itself in having a research-focused faculty with hands-on experience in the field. Being research-driven, the curriculum in the MSW program is the best of both time-tested methodology and cutting edge discovery. Our faculty and staff are the best and the brightest, with a passion for encouraging students and accompanying them as they learn to ethically integrate faith and social work practice.
The Garland School of Social Work offers four graduate degree options, two academic specializations, and several concentrations. The standard two-year MSW program offers a strong foundation for direct practice, administration, and community development, as well as practical experience through two year-long internships and numerous courses in a student’s chosen social work specialty. There is also an Advanced Standing program for students with a BSW from an accredited CSWE program earned within the last five years. This program offers students more opportunities for research and more options for field placement.
Other graduate degree options include a Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work, Master of Theological Studies/Master of Social Work, and Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration.
Baylor’s MSW students can choose to specialize in either Clinical Practice or Community Practice.
Specialization — Clinical Practice
The clinical practice specialization prepares students for advanced social work practice in health care settings working with interdisciplinary teams. Students apply evidence-based practice models in advanced case management and in mental health treatment with a focus on ethics and religious faith and health. Graduates are prepared for direct practice and health care administration and planning roles.
The community practice specialization prepares students for working with public and/or nonprofit organizations, communities, congregations, and religiously affiliated agencies. Students learn to apply evidence-informed and asset-based community practice frameworks and methods of intervention to develop responsive human resource systems, sustainable physical and social environments, and just public and institutional policies.
Baylor’s MSW concentrations are an option designed to develop a student’s knowledge base more comprehensively in one area of social work practice. Concentration options are connected with initiatives and students may choose from the following: Diversity, Gerontology, Congregational Social Work, Trauma, International Social Work, or Integrated Behavioral Health. The concentration will go more in-depth into one of the areas of practice listed above, but it does not replace the clinical practice specialization.
The MSW program is comprised of 60-course hours and is offered through both in-person and live online classroom learning. Students at the Baylor Waco campus will experience a full-time, residential, and a more traditional on-campus experience.
At Baylor University, we have a dedicated Field Placement Office and faculty because we realize that a student’s experience with their field placement can alter the entire course of their social work career, and we want to make sure it is the best possible experience. All of our Field Placement faculty are carefully chosen and dedicated entirely to helping our students with their field education, from placement to completion.
Once accepted to the MSW program, students immediately begin work with a field placement advisor to identify strengths and areas of interest. Students are then matched based on availability and their desired field of study.
Field placement is often a turning point for many MSW candidates because it offers hands-on experience and the opportunity to discover first-hand if this particular concentration or specialization is right for them. Students are placed in concentration-specific field placements and given the opportunity and responsibility to apply the knowledge, values, and skills learned in the classroom to real-life interactions with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.
Students begin their field placement internship the first semester of their MSW program. MSW Foundation students intern for 240 hours a semester for a total of 480 hours. MSW Advanced students intern for a total of 550 hours across two semesters. It is also important that an MSW program is capable of securing high-quality field placements for their students. This comes from maintaining good relationships with placement sites. Baylor’s placement sites include private and public agencies, religiously affiliated organizations and non-sectarian settings, generalist and advanced practice settings, and local and distant sites. For instance:
While some MSW programs require a related bachelor’s degree or a large number of prerequisite classes, the Garland School of Social Work welcomes anyone with an undergraduate degree to apply. There is no requirement for an undergraduate degree in social work or a related field. We feel that this only adds to the intellectual diversity of our classes and contributes to our holistic approach to education.
Additionally, students will need to complete the following requirements for application to the program:
The LMSW is the second level of licensure recognized in the state of Texas and comes with a higher pay scale and increased responsibilities. After completing a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college, you will need to complete the following steps to become licensed:
Licenses in the stat of Texas must be renewed every two years in order to remain active and for social workers to continue to legally practice. To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 clock hours of continuing education.
We know that funding a graduate degree is a challenge for many people, but we also understand the value that an MSW can add to your professional career as a social worker. At Baylor, we are committed to subsidizing student costs in order to make it more affordable to obtain your MSW.
To help you get the largest amount of financial assistance, we recommend that you apply early. Due to a limited number of scholarships and financial aid options at Baylor, the order in which applications are received helps us to determine who and how much funding can be given.
As part of every application, students are required to complete the FAFSA. This application helps both the Federal and State government, as well as our financial aid department to determine a student’s ability to pay for their degree. By weighing several factors, such as family income, size, obligations, assets, debts, and liabilities, FAFSA calculates what a student can contribute to their own education and recommends amounts that the government and other institutions can contribute to funding their degree.
Other options for financing your MSW degree at Baylor University include applying for grants, loans, and other merit-based scholarships. Students are considered for all of these options simply by completing the application process.
Grants are free gifts of money that do not need to be repaid upon completion of your degree. In addition to applying for federal financial aid and applying for financial assistance from the school, grants are the next best option for financing your education. Grants are often need-based, meaning that the student must demonstrate a need for financial assistance, which is primarily determined by the FAFSA. Grants can come from the federal and state government, the college or university, or other private and non-profit organizations.
After applying for grants, the next best source of funding comes from merit-based scholarships. These are generally supported by individual institutions (both public and private), as well as non-profit organizations. Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on a student’s academic or other achievements. Like grants, these do not need to be repaid. There are thousands of scholarships students can apply for and several websites that can help you determine which scholarships you can apply for, but the best practice is to begin applying early and apply to as many as you can.
A loan is money that is given to a student to be used for tuition and other academic expenses but is expected to be repaid with interest upon completion of a student’s degree. If you have no other options, loans can be a great way to get started with your graduate degree, but be aware that you will need to have a plan in place to begin paying the borrowed money back as soon as you receive your diploma. Also, make sure that you look into the terms and conditions of the loan before signing. Compare which loans offer you the best interest rate and what their repayment options include.
Your desire to do good through helping others is a gift worth sharing. Because of people like you, individuals and communities in our world who are struggling are able to find hope and support. To be the best possible advocate that you can be, it is important to arm yourself with the best education and tools. At Baylor University, our Master of Social Work degree is grounded in research, supported by expert faculty, and flexible enough for the busiest working professional.
The resources offered through one of our degree programs will help you to become the most effective advocate you can be for those you wish to serve. We can’t wait to meet you and help you get started on your path to bettering the world.