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Aging in Social Work

7 core (required) credit hours

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  • 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.


  • Students must take one additional Practice class outside their primary Area of Focus (AOF) to meet graduation requirements. For example, if Aging is the student’s primary AOF, they would be required to take an additional Practice course in another AOF such as Child Welfare in Social Work, Forensic Social Work, Global Social Work, Health in Social Work, Mental Health in Social Work, or Substance Use in Social Work.
  • The Aging AOF is not available to students in the Three-Year or Online Programs.
  • 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 two-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: 7/18/22