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Aging in Social Work

7 core (required) credit hours  


  • Critically evaluate the aging experience as psychologically, socially and culturally constructed and address values and biases.
  • Describe the contributions of a variety of disciplines to the study of aging.
  • Recognize how diverse health/illness conditions, populations, and conditions impact social work practice with older adults and their families.
  • Promote older adult clients’ right to dignity and self-determination, and engage in ethical decision making.
  • Utilize evidence-based approaches to a) assess the social, psychological, environmental and economic situation of older adults and their families, and b) develop appropriate treatment plans.
  • Work effectively within geriatric inter-professional teams.
  • Help older adults and their families navigate fragmented systems of care to ensure that they receive available social and health care resources.
  • Provide medical, social and other care management services to facilitate the transition of an older adult from institutional care, such as a hospital, to another setting, or to help him or her remain at home.
  • Serve as administrators, advocates and policy analysts within public and private agencies and institutions.
  • Advocate on behalf of older adults and their families to help overcome barriers to care and develop “real world” solutions.
  • Analyze aging policies within the political, economic, and social trends that influence health care delivery in the United States and in comparative and global contexts.
  • Promote use of research to enhance and evaluate the effectiveness of social work practice and aging-related services.

Core Courses

Fall Semester

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
SW6220 Diversity and Social Justice: Reflexive and Ethical Social Work Practice II 3.0
SW6750 Aging Practice I: Social Work with Older Adults 3.0
SW6521 Advanced Field Practicum I 4.0

Spring Semester

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
SW6751 Aging Practice II: Chronic Health and Mental Health Conditions in Older Adults 3.0
SW6754 Interdisciplinary Seminar Series on Aging 1.0
SW6522 Advanced Field Practicum II 4.0



  • All students must take one practice class outside their Area of Focus as an elective.
  • Students may take up to 16 credit hours in any one semester, without requiring pre-approval from the MSW Program Director.
  • Students in the Advanced Standing program must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours.
  • Students in the 2-Year Program must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • Students must earn a passing grade of C+ or better.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in order to be in good academic standing.

Types of Practicum Placements: Inpatient, residential, outpatient and community-based mental health and
health programs serving older adults.

Last Updated: 11/12/21