Master of Social Work Concentrations

The MSW Program at Appalachian State University offers two concentrations:

  • Individuals and Families
  • Community and Organizational Practice

The specific objectives for the two concentrations are as follows:

Individuals and Families Concentration

This concentration is designed for those students who intend to go into advanced direct and clinical practice upon graduation. This concentration prepares students for agency-based practice with diverse children, adolescents, adults, and families. Coursework in this concentration integrates social work values and ethics, and focuses on the development of the professional relationship, theoretical perspectives, advanced clinical assessment, evidence-based practice and intervention. 

Advanced field education for the Individuals and Families Concentration is offered in a wide range of settings, such as child and family agencies, schools, hospitals, employee assistance programs, veterans settings, mental health and substance abuse clinics, correctional facilities, older adult and child welfare settings, homeless shelters and multi-service community centers. These settings provide opportunities for in-depth learning about diverse populations in an urban or rural setting, further development of clinical assessment skills within the agency context, and practicing specific intervention models such as crisis intervention and various brief and long-term treatment modalities.

Community and Organizational Practice Concentration

The  Community  and  Organizational  Practice  Concentration prepares  students  for advanced practice in the range of settings that focus on social problems and social change at the community, organizational, and societal levels. The emphasis is on developing and implementing services, social programs, and social policies based within the social work value system while providing leadership within communities and organizations. Coursework in this concentration focuses on community organizing and development, social planning, political and social action, government and nonprofit agency administration, and resource development.

Advanced field education for Community and Organizational Practice takes place in settings such as non-profit and grassroots organizations, non-governmental and community-based organizations, community planning and development organizations, legislative offices, advocacy agencies, and other public and private human service agencies. These settings provide opportunities for students to develop skills related to program development and administration, community assessment, development and organizing, legislative advocacy, employee assistance, and grassroots leadership development.