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Social Work, MSW

Department: Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology Department
College: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Social Work

About This Degree

The MSW degree is built on the advanced generalist philosophy and framework, which allows graduates to practice as social workers in a wide variety of environments. This means that rather than being limited to a specific type of graduate social work program, such as medical social work or child and family social work, students are able to use their degree to work in many different areas. Accordingly, the program instills in students the advanced generalist practice knowledge and skills essential to promoting social welfare, especially among vulnerable populations, in institutions such as education, health, employment, housing, and criminal justice. The department’s conceptualization of advanced generalist social work education emphasizes direct practice skills.

The advanced generalist model was adopted at USU for several reasons:

  • It fits well with Utah State University’s land-grant heritage and mission that mandates providing educational access to diverse statewide communities
  • Many of Utah’s communities are rural, where the need for MSW-level social workers is particularly acute, but access to MSW programs is severely limited
  • Studies have supported the efficacy of the generalist and advanced generalist curriculum not only for rural practice, but for practice in other settings as well.

Utah State University’s master of social work program is offered in both a full-time and part-time option. The two-year, full-time program is available to those attending the main USU campus in Logan. The three-year, part-time program is currently available at other locations throughout the state of Utah.


  • MSW - Logan Campus , Regional Campuses (Blanding, Brigham City, Kaysville, Logan, Moab, Price, Roosevelt (Uintah Basin), Tooele, Vernal (Uintah Basin))

Distance Education

The MSW is available through USU’s Regional Campuses.

A MSW is necessary to provide clinical services (e.g., psychotherapy) and for advancement to supervisory or administrative positions.

With an MSW, you will be able to work in the following areas:

  • Public welfare (administration and planning, case management, program evaluation, policy setting, public interest groups)
  • Criminal justice/corrections (counseling/therapy, rehabilitation, probation, parole, youth services, victim assistance, courts)
  • School social work (clinical social work, pupil personnel services, student advocacy, instruction)
  • Child welfare (case management, advocacy, intervention)
  • Family Services (adoption agencies, foster care organizations, etc.)
  • Private Practice (or private social service agencies)
  • Gerontology (advocacy/intervention, counseling, case management, programming, public policy)
  • Clinical (counseling, therapy, community mental health centers, community residential homes, residential treatment centers, substance abuse treatment programs)
  • Administration (management, policy development, planning)
  • Local, State, and Federal Government (courts, school systems, etc.)
  • Occupational (counseling, education, wellness promotion, employee assistance, organizational development, human resources, labor unions, health maintenance organizations (HMOs))
  • Developmental disabilities (case management, program planning and evaluation, policy development)
  • Health care (case management, counseling, program development, administration, research)
  • Community organization (program and community development, advocacy, politics, education, planning)

Admissions Requirements

Students from any undergraduate major can apply to this program. However, they must have completed at least 21 credits of coursework in the social/behavioral sciences.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE or MAT
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
  • Provide a personal statement – The statement will be used to assess your creativity, critical thinking, self-awareness, and writing skills; instructions for completing this form can be found at the program website
  • Provide a resume
  • Additional reference letters – In addition to the reference contacts required by the School of Graduate Studies, the department requires that an additional form be completed by two academic sources and one current/recent supervisor; information is available at the department website
  • Complete the MSW Supplemental Application form, which can be found on the department website 
  • Work experience is highly desirable but not required

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Admissions Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For priority review, students should have their applications in by the following deadline:

  • Fall semester - January 15
  • Full-time intake is every 2 years
  • Part-time intake is every 3 years

Contact the Social Work Program for more details.

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students receiving the MSW must complete this plan option:

  • The Plan C option, which consists of coursework and two practicum experiences; there is no thesis requirement.

Financial Assistance

Students apply for program financial assistance after they have been admitted. Limited financial assistance is available in the form of scholarships, stipends, and research assistantships.

A vareity of additional funding opportunities are available, including fellowships, scholarships, tuition awards, and travel support. Additionally, students may be eligible for subsidized health insurance through qualifying assistantships.

Program Requirements

Click here to see course requirements for the Master of Social Work.

Students must complete two practicum experiences, each one with a total of 500 hours. The Social Work Department will help students to find appropriate placement.


Derrik Tollefson
Associate Professor & Associate Dean, Program Coordinator
Office: USU Vernal campus
Phone: (435) 722-1752
Email: derrik.tollefson@usu.edu


Shannon Browne, MSW, Columbia University
Assistant Practicum Director, Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: Practiced clinical social work in numerous settings, including a residential treatment facility for substance-abusing adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system, a child guidance clinic, and a crisis program for children and adolescents
Office: Main 244A
Phone: (435) 797-1206
Email: Shannon.browne@usu.edu

Marcia Diane Calloway-Graham (CSW), PhD, U. of Utah
Field Practicum Director, Associate Professor
Area: gender, social work theory, social policy
Office: Main 239A
Phone: (435) 797-2389
Email: diane.calloway-graham@usu.edu

Sean Camp, PhD, U. of Georgia
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: child sexual abuse, adolescent sex offenders, child welfare, foster care/adoption, gay and lesbian parenting
Office: USU Brigham City campus
Phone: (435) 797-2121, ext. 282
Email: sean.camp@usu.edu

Moises Diaz, MSW, Eastern Washington University
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: Social Work in Educational Settings, Cultural Issues
Office: Main 240B
Phone: (435) 797-8258
Email: moises.diaz@usu.edu

Susan Egbert (CSW), PhD, U. of Utah
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: improving the welfare of children, strengthening families, adoption, foster care, prevention of child abuse, promoting human healing through direct social work practice, research, and systems change
Office: USU Tooele campus
Phone: (435) 882-6611
Email: susan.egbert@usu.edu

Shannon Hughes, PhD, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work
Assistant Professor
Area: Mental health
Office: MAIN 240 A
Phone: (435) 797-1286
Email: shughes5@msn.com

LaShawn Schultz, MSW, MPA, Marywood U.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: social work administration, criminal justice, child welfare, juvenile justice, cultural competence
Office: USU Tooele campus
Phone: (435) 882-6611
Email: lashawn.schultz@usu.edu

Kymberly Owens, MSW, University of Montana
Assistant Clinical Professor
Area: Mental health
Office: USU Moab education center
Phone: (435) 259-7432
Email: dustykym8@msn.com

Terry Peak, PhD, State University of New York at Albany
Associate Professor, Social Work Program Director
Area: Aging, health care, health policy, end of life issues
Office: Main 239 D
Phone: (435) 797-4080
Email: terry.peak@usu.edu

Derrik Tollefson, MSW, University of Utah
Associate Professor & Associate Dean, Program Coordinator
Area: Child welfare, family violence, troubled youth, clinical practice, program evaluation
Office: USU Vernal campus
Phone: (435) 722-1752
Email: derrik.tollefson@usu.edu

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

National Association of Social Workers: Students are strongly encouraged to become members of NASW, the largest social work organization in the United States. Its primary purposes include promoting the professional development of its members, establishing and maintaining professional standards of practice, advancing sound social policies, and providing services that protect its members and enhance their professional status.

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