May 21, 2024  
2021-22 NSU Graduate Catalog 
2021-22 NSU Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Social Work, M.S.W. *

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OSRHE Program Code: 164
CIP Code: 440701
Major Code: 9818
Option Codes:

  • 9811 - Advanced Standing Pathway
  • 9819 - Traditional Pathway


The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree academically prepares competent and effective professionals by offering advanced standing and traditional pathways.  The social work curriculum is designed to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, and values of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) competencies and behavioral indicators with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics.  These key foundations prepare our graduates to practice social work in a wide range of social work agencies and allied settings with diverse client systems and people.  The MSW degree at NSU has a unique focus in its integration of addressing social work practice with Native American populations.

Specialty Accreditation

The Master’s of Social Work (Social Work, M.S.W.) is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314-3457, 703-683-8080). 

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes are aligend with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) expectations. These outcomes are detailed in the Social Work Program Outcomes  document.

Credential Requirements

There are five levels of social work licensure in Oklahoma. Four licenses require a master’s degree, while the LSWA credential requires only a bachelor’s degree. All candidates for licensure must pass an exam from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Certain licenses also require supervised experience, and all candidates for licensure must submit an application and pay fees. Licensed social workers often find positions in healthcare, education, and the legal system.

Social workers in Oklahoma do not need a clinical license to work independently. While professionals must attain clinical licensure for private practice, a licensed social worker (LSC) and the licensed social worker administration (LSW-Adm) credentials also qualify holders for independent social work practice.

The Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers (OSBLSW) issues provisional licensure after candidates submit their application and fee. Provisionally licensed professionals must pass the exam within a year. Oklahoma does not have a reciprocity agreement with other states, but there is a system in place for out-of-state social workers to gain licensure. Students are encouraged to talk with their faculty mentor about licensure requirements and to consult the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers for more information.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context.
  2. Apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experience.

Admission, Retention, and Graduation

Admission. Beyond the admission requirements for the Graduate College, admission to the Social Work, M.S.W. program requires:

  • MSW Advanced Standing Pathway applicants must have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  • MSW Traditional Pathway applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited or internationally listed college or university with a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of ­3.00 on a 4.00 scale. 

*Conditional Admission. Applicants with a cumulative GPA of 2.80 - 2.99 may be granted conditional admission. Students admitted conditionally must earn a 3.5 GPA during their first 9 hours of the program to advance to regular admission.

Retention and Graduation. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better to remain in good standing in the program.  Students are expected to comply with the Code of Ethics established by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and to demonstrate professional behavior.  Students who fall below a minimum GPA of 3.00 will be placed on academic probation.  The grade report will show the student’s probation. To be removed from probation, the student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 by the end of the next semester or next nine hours of enrollment. Candidates for the Master of Social Work degree must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Continue to meet the Graduate College’s retention standards. See the Academic Information page for more information.
  2. Monitor degree progress using the degree audit system in the goNSU portal.
  3. Meet Graduate College policies detailed in Academic Information and Master’s Degree Requirements regarding GPA, minimum grades, coursework age, residency and institutional / state regulations governing degree conferral.

Structure of the Degree Plan

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