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School Social Work Career Path

dl2According to the School Social Work Association of America, “School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services team. School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators, as well as provide individual and group counseling. School social workers are instrumental in furthering the mission of the schools, which is to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence.”

The School Social Work Career Path in the University of Utah College of Social Work’s MSW Program consists of two classes and a school-based practicum:

This course offers an orientation to social work practice in schools. Students will become familiar with traditional and changing social work roles and practices in schools, as well as with larger systemic trend, which impact school settings and school-based social work. This course is designed to help students acquire knowledge, values, and skills appropriate for social work practice within primary and secondary school settings. Special attention will be given to working with students, teachers, parents, administrators, and the community.

This course focuses on the knowledge, micro skills, and values appropriate for social work practice within the school setting. Emphasis is placed on the tasks of social assessment for educational and behavioral planning, the formulation of goals and objectives, and accessing school resources and external referrals. Theoretical approaches include evidence-based practices for behavioral interventions, problem solving, brief and group treatment, and utilizing school data to link with age-appropriate interventions.

MSW students will be placed in a practicum setting where they will have direct contact with an experienced school social worker. They will be able to apply their classroom knowledge and skills in working with students in primary and/or secondary school settings.



After completing the School Social Work Career Path’s required courses and practicum and earning an MSW, students will be eligible to apply for School Social Work licensure through the Utah State Board of Education.

The School Social Work Career Path is open to MSW students entering their Specialist Year. An application is required as space is limited. Eligible MSW students must apply no later than January 29 to be considered for the following fall. Title IV-E MSW Students will incur an additional cost approximately up to $500, depending on current tuition rates. Additionally, Title IV-E students who might choose to complete the School Social Work Career Path are still expected to complete their contractual employment obligation with DCFS/DJJS after graduation.

Applications for Fall 2024 will open on January 22, 2024.

Acceptance decisions will be sent by February 7, 2024.


Questions? Contact your academic advisor.

Dr. Tasha Seneca Keyes and Prof. Richie Landward talk about why they love school social work and explain how MSW students can pursue this fulfilling career path.


apply here

Last Updated: 1/23/24