Social Work

Degree offered

  • Master of Social Work

Nature of the Program

The mission of the M.S.W. Social Work Program at West Virginia University is to train graduate students in advanced social work practice either with individuals, families, and groups or in community organizing and social administration. The focus of this training is to produce competent and effective practitioners committed to enhancing social well-being and quality of life with particular emphasis on vulnerable and oppressed populations in small towns and rural areas characteristic of the Appalachian region.

All M.S.W. students complete coursework in social work practice, social welfare policy, human behavior and the social environment, social work research, and field instruction. In addition, students select a practice track—direct practice or community organizing and social administration.

Direct practice students gain the knowledge and skills to provide direct and clinical services to individuals, families, and small treatment groups. Community organizing and social administration students gain knowledge and skills to provide leadership to communities in the development, administration, and support of service programs.

Students have the opportunity to complete their field internships with agencies throughout West Virginia and adjacent areas. In addition, a dual degree option is offered in conjunction with the Department of Public Administration. Graduate certificates are available in the areas of gerontology and non-profit management ( All degree programs offered by the university are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

The School of Social Work supports both full-time and part-time graduate study at the campus in Morgantown and part-time graduate study at several extended campus sites, including Charleston, Beckley, Keyser, Wheeling, and Martinsburg. Regular-standing students—those with degrees in areas other than social work or those with social work degrees who do not meet the criteria for advanced-standing status—begin the program in fall semesters. It takes two years to complete the program on a full-time basis (including two summer sessions between the first and second years of the program) and three years to complete the program on a part-time basis (including summer sessions). Full-time advanced standing students (those with a qualifying B.S.W. degree) begin the program in January and complete the program in sixteen months. Part-time advanced-standing students begin in the fall semester and finish in just under two years.

Applicants to the M.S.W. program come from a variety of academic disciplines and have varying degrees of experience in the field of social work. Students interested in applying should consult the website: or contact:

M.S.W. Admissions
School of Social Work
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6830
Morgantown, WV 26506-6830

Phone: (304) 293-3501

Application information is also available on our website:

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the M.S.W. program are employed throughout the United States and internationally. They work as individual, family, and group treatment specialists, planners, community organizers, and social researchers. They also work as social work educators and as administrators in a variety of programs such as mental health clinics, hospitals, correctional institutions, courts, delinquency programs, aging programs, family counseling agencies, child protective agencies, public welfare departments, child development programs, drug and alcohol abuse programs, public schools, community action agencies, settlement houses, city governments, state government planning agencies, federal administrative agencies, and private research and development organizations concerned with human problems.

There has been a constant growth in the need for professional social workers. It is anticipated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other research bodies that the employment demand for social workers will continue to increase in numbers and in varieties of programs. The WVU social work curriculum is designed to help students prepare for these careers.

M.S.W. Admission Process


The School of Social Work has adopted an online application process. Please carefully read and follow all instructions as outlined.

Application Deadlines

Please remember that all required materials must be received and processed by the following deadline dates. Keep in mind transcripts, references, and test scores often take longer than anticipated to arrive. 
March 1 is the priority deadline. Applications submitted by March 1 will be given preference for graduate assistantships and scholarships.
April 1 is the standard deadline. All applications must be submitted by April 1 for consideration.
May 1 is the late application deadline. All applications must be submitted by May 1, and late application acceptance is based upon available space.


Note: Materials marked with an ' * ' must be uploaded/submitted at in the Supplemental Material section.

College Prep

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

Prerequisite Courses

  • Successful completion of thirty hours of courses in the liberal arts, including the social, behavioral, and biological sciences
  • Evidence of study related to diverse cultures, social conditions, social problems, and individual lifespan


Applicants who have received a B.S.W. from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program within the last eight years may apply for advanced-standing. Advanced-standing enables the baccalaureate-holding social worker to move directly to the program’s advanced curriculum, waiving twelve credits of foundation-level courses as well as the foundation field experience.
The School of Social Work does not give academic credit for work or life-experience.

Grade Point Average

  • At least a 3.0 overall GPA
  • A 3.0 or higher GPA for advanced-standing applicants in their undergraduate social work courses

Application and Application Fee*

  • Complete the combined WVU Graduate/School of Social Work application
  • $60 application fee


  • Submit official transcripts to the WVU Office of Graduate Admissions at P.O. Box 6009, Morgantown, WV 26506


  • Submit a current resume including employment and volunteer experience

Letters of Recommendation*

Three letters of recommendation are required. Contact information for these individuals should be provided within the online Graduate Application. Please submit a recommendation from each of the following categories:

  • Academic
  • Social Work/Human Service Experience (volunteer or paid)
  • Employer

Advanced-standing applicants must submit a supporting recommendation from the director of their undergraduate program.


Applicants with an undergraduate GPA above 3.0 do not have to take the General Requirements Examination (GRE).
Applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 must take the GRE. Official copies of test scores must be sent directly from Educational Testing Services (ETS) to WVU. Our Institution code is 5904.

International Students whose first language is not English must take the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The GRE is also required if GPA is below 3.0.

Admission Essay*:

All applicants must submit an Admission Essay. Please read the detailed description below.

Admission Essay Guidelines

This essay is one essential part of the student's admission application. This is the student's opportunity to communicate with the Graduate Program Committee members about their professional goals. Before submitting, make certain that the essay gives the reader a clear picture of your personal interests, experiences, and professional objectives. Once complete, please upload the Admissions Essay to your online application under the “Personal Statement” tab.

The Admission Essay must address each of the following:

 Human Services and Community Work 

Please discuss any volunteer or paid experiences in human services, community work, and/or other experiences that contributed to your choice of social work as a profession. The Program Committee is looking for evidence of some leadership ability, experience, or interest in working with diverse populations or oppressed groups; commitment to social and economic justice; and other interests congruent with WVU’s School of Social Work mission and social work practice in a rural setting.

Professional Ethics

The NASW Code of Ethics includes the following statement:

“Social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers promote clients’ socially responsible self-determination. Social workers seek to enhance a client’s capacity and opportunity to change and to address their own needs. Social workers are cognizant of their dual responsibility to clients and to the broader society. They seek to resolve conflicts between client’s interests and the broader society’s interests in a socially responsible manner consistent with the values, ethical principles, and ethical standards of the profession.”

Using a specific experience you have had with someone/some group different than you (in terms of race, socioeconomic background, gender, religion, sexual orientation, culture, age, etc.), discuss what challenges you had and what lessons you learned from this. How did the interaction affect your personal views about this individual/group? How will you reconcile any conflicts between your personal values and the requirement of the profession?

 Social Work Practice

Please describe an aspect of social work that interests you most and explain how you became interested in this issue. Identify how you think social work, as a profession, should respond to this issue. Feel free to describe a response at the policy, program, or practice levels of social work.


If necessary, applicants should submit an addendum that addresses any gaps or deficiencies in their academic record, including incomplete grades, withdrawals from courses, etc.

Advanced-Standing Applicants must also address:

Please choose a practice example on individuals, group, family, or organization and describe it, disguising names and identifying information. Please introduce the example with a brief paragraph describing the agency, its function, and its purpose. Please limit your response to 500 words.

 Your description headings should include the following:

Assessment – A summary of the essential case data, including age, ethnicity, race, presenting problem, history of the problem, coping abilities. (If the assessment is based on a group or organization, describe the type of group/organization, membership makeup, and purpose.)

Case Plan – Describe the plan and how it relates to the assessment evaluation.

Interventions – Describe and analyze your practice interventions and how they are related to the case plan or assessment formulation.

Evaluation – Critically analyze the strength and limitations of your intervention. With hindsight, how might you have intervened differently and why?

Admission Essay Guidelines have been compiled and adapted from the following institutions: University of Maine, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland at Baltimore, and the University of Michigan.

Dual M.S.W/M.P.A.

A dual degree option resulting in the master of social work (M.S.W.) and master of public administration (M.P.A.) is available through the School of Social Work and the Division of Public Administration. For a student admitted to the regular M.S.W. program, a total of eighty-two credit hours are required to meet the dual degree requirements. For a student admitted to the advanced standing M.S.W. program, a total of sixty-nine credit hours are required to meet dual degree requirements. Many students complete such requirements through one or more additional semesters of study beyond the semesters required for the M.S.W. degree.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of each program. Acceptance by one program does not guarantee acceptance by the other. Additional information and descriptive materials about the dual degree program are available from either of the following:

M.S.W. Admissions
School of Social Work
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6830
Morgantown, WV 26506-6830


Division of Public Administration
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6322
Morgantown, WV 26506-6322

Master of Social Work

Major Requirements                                       

Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.
SOWK 682Advanced Field Experience12
Complete either the Regular Standing or Advanced Standing Requirements:18-34
Regular Standing Requirements (34 hours)
Social Work Research Methods
Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Social Welfare Policy and Services
Generalist Social Work Practice
Generalist Field Experience
Human Behavior/Diversity and Social Justice
Social Policy Analysis
Area of Emphasis Requirement (12 hours)
Advanced Standing Requirements (18 hours)
Social Work Research Methods
Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Social Welfare Policy and Services
Generalist Social Work Practice
Human Behavior/Diversity and Social Justice
Social Policy Analysis
Total Hours42-58

Direct Practice Area of Emphasis

SOWK 618Personal Practice Assessment3
SOWK 643Psychopathology and Social Work Practice3
SOWK 649Advanced Practice with Individuals and Families3
SOWK 650Families and Groups3
Total Hours12

Community Organizing & Social Administration Area of Emphasis

SOWK 616Evaluation Research in Social Work3
SOWK 651Community Organization Theory and Practice3
SOWK 654Social Agency and Program Administration3
SOWK 656Non-profit Financial Management3
Total Hours12

Dual M.S.W/M.P.A.

A dual degree option resulting in the master of social work (M.S.W.) and master of public administration (M.P.A.) is available through the School of Social Work and the Division of Public Administration. For a student admitted to the regular M.S.W. program, a total of eighty-two credit hours are required to meet the dual degree requirements. For a student admitted to the advanced standing M.S.W. program, a total of sixty-nine credit hours are required to meet dual degree requirements. Many students complete such requirements through one or more additional semesters of study beyond the semesters required for the M.S.W. degree. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of each program.

Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is available to students who meet WVU graduate admission requirements and have an interest in learning more about the aging processes and older people. The certificate affords students an opportunity to explore the basic biological, psychological, and sociological processes of aging; the effects on needs and experiences of older people; and the impact of social policies related to human aging. An understanding of the unique problems and needs of older adults in Appalachia and other rural areas is emphasized.

  • The certificate requires fifteen graduate credits as detailed below.
  • A 3.0 grade-point average must be maintained in all certificate coursework.

Coordination of the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology was assumed by the Beatrice Ruth Burgess Center for WV Families and Communities of the WVU School of Social Work in Fall 2009. As Certificate requirements are reviewed, it is possible that some of them may be modified. You may want to check this site periodically or contact Dr. Kristina Hash, Director of the Gerontology Certificate Program, for the latest information about program requirements.

Students must apply to be enrolled in the certificate program. An application form is available on this website or may be obtained from Dr. Hash who may be contacted at (304) 293-8807.

Those interested in the Gerontology Certificate may also want to explore the Summer Institute on Aging.

Curriuculum Requirements for Gerontology Certificate Program are as follows:

A grade of B or better must be earned in all required courses
Required Courses9
Public Policy of Aging
Rural Gerontology
GERO 628Aging Women & Cultural Issues3
GERO 695Independent Study1-6
PHAR 751Geriatrics2
Electives (Select two)6
End of Life Care
Contemporary Issues in Aging
Fundamentals of Gerontology
Decision Analysis in Healthcare
Total Hours21-26

For further information, please consult the School of Social Work's website,, or contact Dr. Kris Hash at

Graduate Certificate in Integrated Mental and Behavioral Health

Admission and Performance Standards

The goal of the program is to train students to become effective mental and behavioral health care providers. To be admitted to the Certificate program, applicants must demonstrate graduate student status at West Virginia University (either degree or non-degree) and be in good standing. The requirements for participation in the required Capstone course also impact admission criteria. The capstone course requires students to complete an individualized project that applies content learned in the certificate program to their target population of focus. In order to complete this capstone course, students must have access to field placement, clinical practicum, internship, or employment setting in which they have the ability for "hands-on" practice with the target population. Applicants will be asked to explain and document their anticipated access to this type of  experience at the time they would be completing the capstone course. To continue their progress in the Certificate program, students must maintain a grade of "B" or higher in certificate coursework.

Program Requirements:

The Graduate Certificate in Integrated Mental and Behavioral Health will consist of 15 credit hour:

SOWK 649Advanced Practice with Individuals and Families3
SOWK 650Families and Groups3
SOWK 626Child Mental Health3
Select one of the following:3
Brief Therapy
Substance Abuse
Social Work with Groups
Social Work with Veterans
Family Victimology
SOWK Course Advanced Practice in Integrated Healthcare (still to be developed)3
Total Hours15

Graduate Certificate in Non-profit Management

The School of Social Work, in cooperation with the other units of the School of Applied Social Sciences, offers a fifteen-hour graduate Non-profit Management Certificate Program. The program consists of two required three-hour courses, six hours of electives, and a three-hour capstone project.

Required Courses  

All students must enroll in SOWK 654 and SOWK 655.


Students enrolled in the certificate may choose a wide variety of electives, including appropriate courses in their field of study, employment, volunteer history, or other interests. In the past, certificate students have elected courses in public administration, social work, sociology, political science, geography, agriculture, journalism, and other disciplines.

Please consult the School of Social Work's website for more information:.


Upon completion of the required and elective coursework, each student is required to do an individual capstone project in order to complete the certificate requirements. Students in public administration typically do their non-profit capstone requirement concurrently with a similar departmental requirement there. Dual-degree and social work students frequently develop their capstone projects in conjunction with their field placements.

Candidates for the graduate certificates must meet regular WVU graduate admission requirements. Program participants must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in certificate coursework.

For more information on the Graduate Certificate in Non-profit Management, please contact Dr. Helen Hartnett at helen.hartnett or by calling (304) 293-8808.

School of Social Work
105 Knapp Hall
P.O. Box 6830
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV 26506-6830
(304) 293-3501

Field Instruction

Field instruction provides the student with an opportunity to test classroom knowledge as well as to develop and refine advanced-practice skills. Field instruction opportunities are available throughout West Virginia and adjacent areas as well as in a select number of settings outside the region.

Full-time regular-standing M.S.W. students have a generalist field experience during the second semester of study. Advanced-field placement is typically completed on a concurrent plan requiring sixteen–twenty-four hours of field instruction activity each week throughout the second year of study according to degree plans.

Students are required to take at least three credits of classroom coursework concurrently with the advanced field placement and to complete assignments designed to facilitate the integration of field and classroom study. Decisions regarding the field placement assignment are jointly reached by the student, faculty advisor,and field instruction coordinator. Only sites on the School of Social Work’s list of approved agencies may be used for field instruction.

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Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements for Good Standing

All graduate courses must be completed with a grade of B or better; students may repeat any course for which the final grade is less than B one time only. Students are required to maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.00 (on a four-point scale) to continue in the program, to be eligible for field instruction, and to be eligible for graduation.

Required Course Credits30
Generalist Field Credits 4
Generalist Field Experience
Advanced Field Credits12
Advanced Field Experience
Electives Credits12
Total Hours58
Required Course Credits18
Advanced Field Credits12
Advanced Field Experience
Electives Credits12
Total Hours42


SOWK 513. Social Work Research Methods. 3 Hours.

(Research course.) Basic concepts in social research methods. Emphasis on conceptualization of social work problems for research, role of social science theories in research, measurement options in research design, and analysis of data.

SOWK 520. Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 3 Hours.

PR: Admission to the MSW program. Study of theoretical concepts underlying human behavior using a systems model and including the major systems in society with a primary focus on the impact of human diversity on human behavior and social interactions.

SOWK 531. Social Welfare Policy and Services. 3 Hours.

(Policy course.) Introduction to the history, development, and implementation of social policy in the United States. Special emphasis is given to those policies which have the greatest impact on non-metropolitan areas and the Appalachian region.

SOWK 540. Generalist Social Work Practice. 3 Hours.

PR: Admission to the MSW program. Focuses on developing the basic framework of social work practice theory and professional values for working with individuals, groups, families, and communities.

SOWK 547. Multicultural Social Work Practice. 3 Hours.

Understanding and appreciating human differences as encountered in professional practice. Practicing with sensitivity to influences such differences may present to the social worker.

SOWK 572. Contemporary Issues in Aging. 3 Hours.

Intended for students who have an interest in health and aging. The opportunity to attend a broad array of workshops on current issues and skills related to practice with older adults and their families.

SOWK 581. Generalist Field Experience. 1-14 Hours.

PR or CONC: SOWK 513 and SOWK 520 and SOWK 531, and SOWK 540 and Consent. Graduate foundation field instruction in selected settings under the general direction of the faculty.

SOWK 593A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

SOWK 616. Evaluation Research in Social Work. 3 Hours.

(Research course.) PR: SOWK 513 or consent. Methods of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data on the need for implementation and effects of social interventions. Examination of the effects of political, ethical, and resource variables on the research process.

SOWK 618. Personal Practice Assessment. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 513 or consent. the use of single-system evaluation methods to assess the effectiveness of social work interventions, with an emphasis on using these tools to guide practice decision making.

SOWK 619. Social Work in Vietnam and Cambodia. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 520 and SOWK 540 and SOWK 513 and SOWK 531 and SOWK 621 and SOWK 633. Travel course which examines issues related to assessment and intervention in community health/mental health in Vietnam and Cambodia.

SOWK 621. Human Behavior/Diversity and Social Justice. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 540 and SOWK 540 or advanced standing. Advanced content on human behavior in the social environment with special emphasis on vulnerable populations and social justice issues of concern to social workers.

SOWK 625. Social Work in Northern Ireland. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 520 and SOWK 513 and SOWK 540 and SOWK 531 and SOWK 621 and SOWK 633. Travel course which examines issues related to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

SOWK 626. Child Mental Health. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 513 and SOWK 520 and SOWK 531 and SOWK 540. Elective course which examines the structure of the United States' public mental health system for children, related policy issues and intervention options.

SOWK 627. Advanced Clinical Practice in Integrated Healthcare. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 581 and SOWK 621 and SOWK 633 and SOWK 649. The course will introduce students to the essential practice skills needed to effectively address the challenges of integrating services, care and support for persons with health, mental health and substance use problems.

SOWK 633. Social Policy Analysis. 3 Hours.

(Policy course.) PR: SOWK 531 or consent. Skill development in techniques of social policy analysis. Selection of analytical methods and issues offered in different sections.

SOWK 641. Social Work with Groups. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 621 or consent. Theory and skills for working with a variety of groups and settings. Focus on dynamics and roles of social workers and group members.

SOWK 643. Psychopathology and Social Work Practice. 3 Hours.

(Practice course.) PR: SOWK 540 or consent. Nature, presenting characteristics, and intervention with the major forms of mental and emotional maladjustment that impact social functioning, adaptation, and life satisfaction from the perspective of the social work profession.

SOWK 644. Brief Therapy. 3 Hours.

Solution Focus Therapy and how it is applied to working with individuals, couples and families. Content: Assessment, stages, goal setting, conducting sessions, interventions, tailoring therapy to address problems, family preservation, abuse, neglect, substance abuse and divorce.

SOWK 645. Supervision in Social Work. 3 Hours.

Practice course. PR: SOWK 621 or consent. Functions, conflicts, and dynamics of supervision of professionals, and the relationship of ethical and value principles.

SOWK 649. Advanced Practice with Individuals and Families. 3 Hours.

(Practice course.) PR: SOWK 540 or consent. Theories, concepts, and value issues associated with providing direct clinical social work services to individuals. Students will also be involved with skill building exercises through classroom activities.

SOWK 650. Families and Groups. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 649. This course is designed to advance the student's knowledge in the direct practice procedures used in group and family therapy. Required course for DP students.

SOWK 651. Community Organization Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 513 and SOWK 520 and SOWK 531 and SOWK 540. Practice issues in skill development and community organization and development with special emphasis on rural communities.

SOWK 653. End of Life Care. 3 Hours.

Online course focused on social work with those who are dying and bereaved by death. Elective course to prepare the student for social work practice with clients coping with terminal illness, loss and grief.

SOWK 654. Social Agency and Program Administration. 3 Hours.

(Practice course.) PR: SOWK 540 or consent. Practice issues and skill development in programming, budgeting, staffing, organization, and control of social agencies and programs.

SOWK 655. Non-Profit Management and the Third Sector. 3 Hours.

Understanding the role and place of the third sector in post-industrial society.

SOWK 656. Non-profit Financial Management. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 531 or consent. Intensive examination of the current state-of-the-art of non-profit financial management, with attention to accountability, budgeting, cost measurement, and related topics.

SOWK 657. Grant Development. 3 Hours.

Course offers broad overview of external funding for social service agencies, emphasis on nonprofit sector. Students will have opportunity to find funding sources, develop grant proposals write, edit, and prepare to submit a request for funding.

SOWK 658. Social Work with Veterans. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to advance the student's knowledge concerning the needs of veterans and their families.

SOWK 673. Legal Issues in Social Work. 3 Hours.

This course will explore in detail the legal and ethical obligations of social workers in practice. Review of common legal issues in social work practice and legal issues clients may face.

SOWK 674. Community Mental Health. 3 Hours.

(Field of practice course.) PR: SOWK 621 and ((SOWK 643 and SOWK 649) OR (SOWK 651 and SOWK 654)). An overview of the field of mental health which addresses major policy, program, practice, theory, and research issues. Current federal and state issues are examined.

SOWK 675. Substance Abuse. 3 Hours.

SOWK 675. Substance Abuse. The course explores issues pertaining to substance abuse and treatment by the social work professional. Introduction to terminology, pharmacological, cultural and social issues in substance abuse with socio-political and historical aspects of substance abuse.

SOWK 677. Social Work Practice Children/Families. 3 Hours.

CoReq: SOWK 682. Analyzes the population at risk, examines family theory, major programs, services and polices. Examines family theory, major programs, services and policies. Examines gaps in services and major styles of family intervention in social work roles.

SOWK 678. Family Victimology. 3 Hours.

(Practice course.) PR: SOWK 621 or consent. The interface of social work practice in family victimology, with emphasis on victim welfare policy and service, victim compensation programs, and victim prevention. Social concern for physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and related topics.

SOWK 679. Social Work with Couples/Families. 3 Hours.

(Practice course.) PR:SOWK 621 or consent. This course explores social work practice focused on couples or families as a unit. Emphasis on intervention models oriented to couple and family relationship counseling and on clinical social work techniques.

SOWK 680. Child Welfare Continuum. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 621 or consent. Exploration of policy and service issues in child welfare practice includes family preservation and home-based services, adoption, foster and residential care, community based practice and intervention in rural and cross-cultural contexts.

SOWK 681. Social Work in Health Settings. 3 Hours.

PR: SOWK 621 and ((SOWK 643 and SOWK 649) OR (SOWK 651 and SOWK 654)). Comprehensive strategies for serving clients, including the aged, with physical and/or emotional problems and their families with an emphasis on direct practice approaches. Practice in traditional and nontraditional settings is examined.

SOWK 682. Advanced Field Experience. 1-14 Hours.

PR: (SOWK 621 and SOWK 633 and SOWK 643) or (SOWK 651 and SOWK 649) or SOWK 654 and consent. Graduate advanced field instruction in selected settings under the general direction of the faculty.

SOWK 692. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

SOWK 693A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

SOWK 694A-L. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

SOWK 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

SOWK 696. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

SOWK 697. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

SOWK 698. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision during the writing of student reports (698), or dissertations (798). Grading is normal.

SOWK 699. Graduate Colloquium. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. For graduate students not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use of the University's facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled, through enrollment in their department's 699/799 Graduate Colloquium to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all of the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is P/F; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.

SOWK 930. Professional Development. 1-6 Hours.

Professional development courses provide skill renewal or enhancement in a professional field or content area (e.g., education, community health, geology). These tuition-waived continuing education courses are graded on a pass/fail grading scale and do not apply as graduate credit toward a degree program.



  • Elise Fullmer - Ph.D. (University at Albany, The State University of New York)


  • Karen V. Harper-Dorton - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
    Professor and Chair, Title IV-E Project in Child Welfare, Rural Social Work, Social Administration
  • Leslie Tower - Ph.D. (Barry University)
    Domestic Violence, Women’s Issues, Health Care Administration
  • Michael Zakour - Ph.D. (Washington University)
    Associate Director of the Nova Institute, Organizations and Communities, Non-profit Management, Disaster Response

Associate Professor

  • Helen P. Hartnett - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
    M.S.W. Director, Communities and Organizations, Homelessness
  • Kristina Hash - Ph.D. (Viginia Commonwealth University)
    Aging, Family Care Giving, Gay and Lesbian Issues
  • Neal Newfield - Ph.D. (Texas Tech University)
    Strategic Therapy, Hypnosis, Solution-focused Therapy, Social Documentary Photography
  • Carrie Rishel - Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
    Child Mental Health, Program Evaluation

Assistant Professor

  • HaeJung Kim - Ph.D. (University of Maryland)
    Non-profit Management, Social Policy
  • Mariann Mankowski - PhD, Smith College
    Military Issues, Women's Issues, Aging
  • JiYoung Tabone - PhD, University of Chicago
    Risk and Resilience, Program Evaluation

Clinical Associate Professor

  • Patricia Chase - Ed.D (West Virginia University)
    Child Welfare
  • Linda Ferrise - M.S.W. (West Virginia University)
    Baccalaureate Program Director, Clinical Practice, Community Mental Health

Senior Lecturer

  • Eveldora Wheeler - M.S.W. (University of Pittsburgh)
    Management, Training, Deliberation and Dialogue

Instructors and Faculty Equivalents

  • Carol Amendola - M.S.W. (West Virginia University), L.C.S.W.
    B.S.W. Program Coordinator, Clinical Practice, Child Welfare
  • Jacqueline Englehardt - M.S.W. (West Virginia University), L.C.S.W.
    Professional and Community Education. Non-profit Management
  • Rhonda Hayes - M.S.W. (West Virginia University)
    Wheeling M.S.W. Coordinator, Clinical Practice, Teaching Instructor
  • Samuel J. Leizear - M.S.W. (West Virginia University), L.C.S.W.
    Field Education Coordinator, Human Diversity, Health Care and Aging, LGBT Issues
  • Alysha Nichols - M.S.W./M.P.A. (West Virginia University)
    Teaching Instructor
  • Erica Shell - M.S.W. (West Virginia University)
    Martinsburg M.S.W. Coordinator, Spirituality, Mental Health, Poverty Issues
  • Debra Young - Ed.D (Marshall University)
    Charleston M.S.W. Coordinator, Community Organization and Social Administration

Research Associate

  • Rebekah Bledsoe - M.S.W. (West Virginia University)
    Title IV-E, Child Welfare

Emeritus Faculty

  • Marjorie H. Buckholz-Cleveland - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
  • Barry Locke - Ed.D (West Virginia University)
  • Roger A. Lohmann - Ph.D. (Brandeis University)
  • Nancy Lohmann - Ph.D. (Brandeis University)
  • Caroline T. Mudd - M.S.W. (University of Pennyslavania)