Since Fall 2016, the Department of Social Work has offered a Master of Social Work degree program.
The program is designed to accommodate working professionals who have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or related field such as counseling and psychology. The program consists of 60 hours for the two year generalist component designed for those coming from a related discipline, and a minimum of credit 30 hours for those admitted to the Advanced Standing program. The Area of Specialized Practice program option is Behavioral Health. The program has one delivery option which is face to face on the main Marshall University campus in Huntington West Virginia. Courses are broadcast in real time via distance education to Marshall University campuses in South Charleston and Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia. Regular full-time students can expect to graduate within two years and advanced standing students will be able to complete the program in one calendar year. Part-time options will be available to those who cannot attend full time classes. C
MSW Program Director, Dr. Peggy Proudfoot Harman, said "The idea is to provide an academic venue that is learner friendly and emphasize integrated behavioral health which willl prepare our MSW graduates to work in a variety of settings with a variety of populations."
Harman maintains that "with the new guidelines requiring medical personnel, pharmacy, nursing, and all facets of health professions to coordinate physical and mental health services, graduates of the program will be prepared to provide the necessary skills to assist these disciplines in understanding one another and working in a collaborative environment. MSW graduates work directly with clients and serve as the liaison between health care professionals and patients. It is a cutting edge program with curriculum that is designed to prepare social work professionals for the 21st century.”
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) notes that “a MSW degree is often required for social work positions in health care. Health care social workers most often work in hospitals: anything from pediatrics to oncology. Their caseload includes people who need to come to grips with difficult diagnoses, locate resources, and make life’s big decisions. While the main focus is not necessarily mental illness, these social workers sometimes diagnose or treat concurrent mental conditions.”