SP2 ranked #8 among Schools for Social Work
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New MSW Elective Courses

MSW student and child

Student Life


SP2 is committed to remaining current and forward-thinking. In order to do so, the faculty and staff of the MSW program continually develop new elective courses to meet student interests and remain up-to-date in the field.

The study and practice of social work is expanding and ever-evolving. Penn’s MSW program is an intense yet practical academic experience that blends the classroom curriculum with a robust urban field placement and rich extracurricular opportunities on campus and in Philadelphia. While the program follows the core curriculum set by the Council on Social Work Education, students in Penn’s MSW program have the opportunity to take a variety of clinical- and macro-focused elective courses.

Since 2015, nine new courses have been launched, including six in Spring 2016:

  • Gender and Social Policy: This course places specific emphasis on utilizing theoretical frameworks to evaluate the intersection between social policy, history, and social science in relationship to gender issues.
  • Housing Policy and Social Inclusion: Students will examine the challenges to creating integrated housing and community opportunities for adults with complex needs, such as physical and mental health challenges, homelessness, and transitioning out of foster care.
  • Social Work Practice in Schools: Students will learn about education law, delivery of mental health services, advocating on behalf of students, and other complex issues that are part of the unique training needed by school social workers to assist students, parents, and schools.
  • Social Work Practice with Groups: This course will train students to facilitate therapeutic, psychoeducational, task, and decision groups, while helping them explore how to start, manage, and terminate groups in various social work settings.

According to the Director of the MSW Program, Dr. Joretha Bourjolly, “our curriculum prepares students to position themselves in diverse settings as competent social work practitioners and agents of social change.”