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2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin

College of Social Work


Interim Dean: B. Craig Stanley; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: TBA; Associate Dean for Research: TBA; Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Keithen Mathis

The College of Social Work has a long standing tradition of excellence. Dr. Raymond F. Bellamy, professor of sociology from 1918 to 1956, first introduced social welfare content into the curriculum in 1926. Dr. Coyle Moore later became the first Dean of the School of Social Welfare which was established in 1949. By the mid-1930s, during the Great Depression, undergraduate courses in casework and group work were offered, as well as internships at the Leon County Welfare Association and the Leon County Unemployment Relief Council.

In June 1973, the social work program became identified as the School of Social Work and in 2005 it received the designation of College of Social Work, offering social work degrees at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) initially accredited the MSW degree program in 1950. The baccalaureate program was among the first of such programs accredited by CSWE in 1974. The PhD program in social work was approved by the Florida Board of Regents in 1974 and accepted its first student in fall of that year. There are presently approximately 160 undergraduates and 995 graduate students enrolled in the College, with thirty-seven faculty members. More than twenty students are engaged in active study for the PhD in social work.

Administratively, the College is directed by a Dean and two Associate Deans. Other administrative faculty is responsible for the BSW, MSW, PhD programs, international programs, and field education. Faculty committees oversee most areas of College functioning, with student representatives on most of these committees.

U.S. World and News Report ranks Florida State University's College of Social Work amongst the top Colleges of Social Work programs in the country and the most highly ranked College in the state of Florida. We are dedicated to the preparation of the outstanding social workers of tomorrow. The College offers an up-to-date, rigorous, academic curriculum and carefully selected internships that provide students with the opportunity to put into action the conceptual and practice aspects of social work.

Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS)

The College of Social Work adheres to accreditation standards established by the Council on Social Work Education. These standards are referred to as EPAS and were voted and put into effect December 2015 (replacing 2008 EPAS). For further details, refer to:

College of Social Work Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Florida State University College of Social Work to provide quality educational services at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels that prepare professional social workers to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of diverse populations with particular attention to the empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, or living in poverty. The College of Social Work also has as its purpose to contribute to the knowledge base that supports social work practice and social policy development and to provide leadership through community service at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Program

MSW Program Director: Fran Gomory, MSW

The curriculum at the MSW level is designed to educate professional social workers at the advanced level. Students may choose to concentrate their studies in either clinical social work or social policy and administration.

Goals of the Master's in Social Work (MSW) Program

The Master's in Social Work (MSW) program, nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), offers a broad professional education based on a systems perspective, which stresses how individuals live in their environment and how the environment affects them.

The goal of the MSW program is to educate students for advanced social work practice with diverse client systems and problems. Toward this end, the MSW program will prepare students to:

  • Assess and/or diagnose and intervene with client psychosocial problems through individual, couple, family, and/or group modalities;
  • Conduct autonomous empirical evaluations of their own practice interventions incorporating valid and reliable measures;
  • Analyze how policies impact clinical practice;
  • Critically evaluate, synthesize, and articulate empirical and conceptual literature related to an applied clinical context;
  • Provide leadership in organizations and communities within the public and private sectors;
  • Synthesize and apply theories and methods of policy analysis to advance social and economic justice;
  • Synthesize and apply theories of change and methods of program evaluation to assess the effectiveness of social programs;
  • Develop, provide, and assess effective administrative policies and practices;
  • Critically evaluate, synthesize, and articulate empirical and conceptual literature related to practice in social policy, program, and administrative contexts.

Master's Program Requirements

For full-time students, the requirements for the traditional Master of Social Work degree are normally completed in two years (five semesters) beginning in August of one year and ending in May of the last year. The degree is awarded upon completion of a minimum of sixty-one semester hours, including thirty-nine semester hours of on-campus instruction and twenty-two semester hours of field instruction. Some specializations may require Summer attendance between the first and second years. A part-time option also exists and students enrolled in this program are expected to take six hours a semester. The part-time format requires nine semesters to complete.

Advanced Standing

The college offers an advanced standing program for graduates of an undergraduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education who have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, and who meet certain other course, field practice, and related work/volunteer experience requirements.

The advanced standing students are admitted in the Fall and Spring semesters and the program is normally completed in three semesters for full-time students and six for part-time students. This program consists of a minimum of thirty-nine semester hours including twelve semester hours of field instruction. The student chooses to specialize in either social leadership or clinical social work.

Distance Learning Programs

The MSW degree is also offered at the Panama City campus as well as online for qualified applicants. Requirements are the same as for the full-time program. All distance learning programs are offered in the part-time format only.


Admission to the traditional master's program in social work is limited to August of each year for the face-to-face programs, except for transfer and advanced standing students (see below). Application for admission to the program must be completed by May 1 of the year in which admission is planned and must be made through graduate admissions at Florida State University. Applications for face-to-face advanced standing students are to be completed by May 1 for Fall admission and by October 1 for Spring. Prospective students may apply for admission to the traditional or advanced-standing online programs for Fall, Spring, and Summer start dates. Application deadlines are May 1, October 1, and February 1 respectively.

Minimum academic standards for admission to the MSW program requires: a bachelor's degree (with a liberal arts foundation) from an accredited college or university, a GPA of at least 3.0 in upper-division courses at the undergraduate level, and applicants must submit scores for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General test. Students who meet the following criteria may apply for a waiver of the GRE requirement: 1) Five years or more of social work experience in a traditional social work agency providing direct service delivery or macro services and a 3.0 undergraduate upper division GPA (advanced standing or traditional students) from a regionally accredited institution; 2) A completed Master's, J.D., M.D. or Ph.D. degree with a 3.0 (or better) cumulative GPA from a regionally accredited institution; 3) A 3.5 or higher undergraduate cumulative GPA from a regionally accredited institution; 4) Any earned or anticipated baccalaureate degree from Florida State University, with a 3.25 upper division GPA at time of application. Students who wish to be considered for the advanced-standing program must have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program.

University requirements for admissions must also be met. A limited number of exceptions to these requirements are available. For further information and application materials, see

Transfer Students

A limited number of students who have completed a full year of graduate study in an accredited College of Social Work may be admitted to the second year of graduate study. Applications should be completed before May 1 of the year in which admission is requested. Work completed more than seven years before the date of admission cannot be credited toward the Master of Social Work degree.

Grade Requirements

The College of Social Work expects graduate students to maintain a "B" average in each semester of classroom work and a grade of "S" in each field education course. Continuation in the program with less than a 3.0 GPA will require the approval of the Dean of the College of Social Work. Students may not be in a field placement with an "I" or "NG" on their graduate record.

Doctor (PhD) of Social Work Degree Program

Doctoral Program Director: Stephen Tripodi, PhD

The mission of the PhD program is to develop social work scholars and leaders in research and education who use systematic methods of inquiry and reasoned argument to advance knowledge. Specific goals of the program are:

  1. To offer courses and opportunities for experiential learning in systematic methods of inquiry that are sequentially integrated and foster independent capabilities.
  2. To offer courses and opportunities for experiential learning in adult pedagogy that are sequentially integrated and foster independent capabilities.


Admission to the PhD program as a full- or part-time student requires 1) a master's degree from a social-work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education; 2) "Good Standing" status as last school attended; 3) an official Graduate Record Examination taken within previous five years; and 4) a GPA of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale.

Each candidate for admission should also have completed at least two years of successful (paid) professional experience after having earned the first professional degree in social work, whether that first professional degree is a baccalaureate degree in social work or a Master of Social Work. (In special circumstances and in limited numbers, exceptions may be made to any of these requirements in conformance with University and college policy for such exceptions.) This requirement will ensure that applicants come with an experiential base of practice upon which they can draw during the period of doctoral study. All applicants will be considered on an individual basis. An interview may be requested. Students are admitted in the Fall term of each academic year.

For further information, interested persons may request materials and application forms from the Doctoral Program Director at

Doctoral Program Requirements

An individualized course of study that meets the needs and preferences of the student is prepared by the student in conjunction with faculty members. This shall include core courses required of all students. There is no foreign language requirement for the degree. Supervised practice in the content area of the student's major substantive interests is optional.

The University's minimum residency requirements must be met. A written and oral preliminary examination must be passed by the student prior to admission to candidacy.

Upon satisfactory completion of the required individualized course of study, including completion and successful defense of a dissertation which represents an original contribution to knowledge, the student will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work.

Program Opportunities

The College of Social Work offers other unique opportunities that afford students the ability to focus on specialized areas of interest. With the guidance of faculty and our graduate advisor, students create a program of study, which meets their specific educational and career goals. For more information and certificate applications, visit the College's Website at:

Child Welfare Practice Certificate Program

This certificate program offers both undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to focus their curriculum on issues related to child welfare. Coursework addresses: the prevention of neglect, abuse, exploitation, or delinquency of children; the protection of homeless, dependent, or maltreated children; the strengthening of families to maintain children in their own homes; the development of advocacy groups, and analysis of social policies and mental health issues related to this population. Child welfare practitioners provide a continuum of services in both public and private settings. For further information, visit

Leadership in Executive and Administrative Development in Social Work (L.E.A.D.)

The mission of this leadership certificate is to educate students about leadership theories and practices and provide students with leadership experience. Learning about leadership will give these students the skills that they will need for middle and executive positions in social service organizations. An in-depth curriculum that emphasizes leadership, decision-making, client-centered management, team building, negotiating, budget and finance, and the successful management of grants will guide our students in the direction of being able to successfully manage social service agencies. For more details, visit

Certificate in Gerontology

The mission of this certificate is to educate students about gerontological theories and practices and provide students with gerontological internship and service-learning experiences. These educational objectives will give students the skills that they need for frontline positions in practice and administrative positions in social service organizations.

Joint JD/MSW Pathway

This program is for students interested in combining an MSW with a degree in law. Persons graduating with this joint graduate pathway go into areas such as family law, child advocacy, domestic violence, public policy, and public defense. Students interested in this joint graduate pathway must be admitted simultaneously and independently to both FSU's College of Social Work and College of Law.

Joint MSW/MBA Pathway

This curriculum is structured for graduate students enrolled in the Social Leadership concentration in the MSW program and for students pursuing an MBA. The mission of this joint graduate pathway is to unite the strengths of both these degree programs and to educate students about leadership theories and practices, while also providing students with leadership experience from business and social-work perspectives. Mastering these skills will give these students the backgrounds that they will need for middle and executive positions in social-service organizations.

Joint MSW/MPA Pathway

Florida State University's Reuben O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy and the College of Social Work offer a Joint Graduate Pathway leading to the degree of Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Administration (MPA). This is one of the few Joint Graduate Pathways in these fields offered in the U.S. This program prepares students for positions in public, private and nonprofit human service organizations by gaining knowledge in social work and public administration. Students must be admitted to both graduate programs independently.

Joint MSW/MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice

The MSW/MS is a collaboration between the College of Social Work and the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The joint graduate pathway is for graduate students in both programs who wish to expand their understanding of the connection between these two fields of study and gain expertise through work with forensic clients. Students must be admitted to both graduate programs independently.

Field Education

Director of Campus-Based Field Education: Katrina Boone, MSW; Director of Online Field Education: Rosalyn Deckerhoff, MSW

The purpose of field education is to provide students with a structured learning opportunity for development and reinforcement of appropriate levels of competence in the field of social work. Field education allows students to apply knowledge, values, and skills learned in the classroom to social work practice settings. As students undertake learning tasks within the reality of agency life, a vehicle is established whereby knowledge and theories can be applied, attitudes and values examined, and skills developed and refined.

The field education component of the College of Social Work is designed to ensure that each student completes a high quality educational experience in a supervised agency placement. This learning experience is designed to enhance a student's ability to integrate theory into effective evidence-based social work practice, broaden the range of skills for performing social work functions, and strengthen awareness of attitudes, motivations, and judgments identified with the profession of social work. The Office of Field Education selects field placements based on the potential for providing the range and depth of learning experiences necessary to achieve the educational objectives established for those students. Agencies affiliating with the College of Social Work represent the diversity found in social services throughout our community. The College offers a wide array of internships in both public and private agencies, and with diverse populations of clients so that students will be provided opportunities for exposure to a wide range of social work roles and learning tasks.

Overseas Study

International Program Director: Neil Abell, PhD

Florida State University offers students the opportunity to study abroad and to gain valuable experience through international internships, study abroad classes, student exchanges, and Spring break service programs. For information concerning eligibility, fees, and other details of these programs, contact the College's Director of International Programs. Social work majors are encouraged to consider these opportunities for study overseas.

Professional Development

Professional Development Director: Carol Edwards, MSW

The Professional Development program at the College of Social Work is committed to life-long learning for social work practitioners. The goal of continuing education is to provide a continuum of instruction to professionals as an integral part of curriculum and practice.

Outstanding workshops and seminars are presented at the request of professionals, private and public agencies, and members of the College of Social Work.

The Professional Development program is an authorized provider through the Florida Department of Professional Regulation of continuing education units (CEUs). CEUs are awarded to all participants who successfully complete any continuing education presentation.

Student Organizations

The Student Association of Social Workers (SASW) is an organization of and for social work students. It is open to undergraduates as well as graduates and participation by all is welcome. The association is a good vehicle for socialization to the profession. It can be used as a channel for handling complaints and is an excellent way for students to get to know one another.

The Macro Social Work Student Network (MSWSN) is a social work student organization that promotes the value of macro social work practice through education, networking, and activism.

The Doctoral Student Organization (DSO) is an Official FSU student organization. Membership is awarded when students are admitted to the doctoral program. The DSO provides service to the College and community, selects a representative to participate in Doctoral Program Committee meetings, and advocates for the needs of students.

The Phi Alpha Honor Society serves as a means of recognizing outstanding academic students. The society involves itself in fundraising and community service.

The Sigma Phi Omega is an academic honor and professional society in gerontology. It recognizes excellence of those who study gerontology and aging and the outstanding service of professionals who work on behalf of older persons.

College of Social Work Scholarships

Instructions on applying for scholarships are made available in December each year from the College (phone 850-644-4751 or 1-800-378-9550). Applications are accepted January through February. Awards are for Fall semester only, except as noted (see Hurrle and Montgomery Scholarships). Deadline dates and applications are available on the College of Social Work Website, at

Citrus Health Network Scholarship

Established in 2002, this scholarship serves as a lasting tribute to the community services provided by Citrus Health Network, Inc. It is awarded annually to graduate students who are interested in working in the behavioral healthcare field in the Miami-Dade County area.

Mark DeGraff and Lula Hamilton DeGraff Scholarship

This award, first presented in 1985, is given to a senior undergraduate or graduate student who intends to conduct research on factors influencing the growth and development of youth, or who intends to work professionally with youth.

Joanna F. Gorman Scholarship

This scholarship was established to honor Dr. Gorman who had a deep commitment to the profession's development and a clear vision of social work's mission to create a more just society. Full-time social work students receiving this award show evidence of outstanding academic achievement, exemplify the highest standards of character and plan to work for one year in the area of child welfare, health, or mental health.

Herndon Scholars Program

The Herndon Scholars Program, sponsored by the Helios Education Foundation, is an endowed fund that was created in 2007 and first presented in fall 2008. It provides annual scholarships to graduate students in the FSU College of Social Work. Recipients of the award must be Florida residents. Preference is given to students who have social work practice experience prior to graduate school.

Walter W. Hudson Doctorial Scholarship

This scholarship honors Dr. Walter Hudson, a former faculty member who was named the first recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Social Work and Research in 1999. Dr. Hudson was an international leader in measurement theory, development and testing of assessment and outcome evaluation tools, statistics, evidence-based practice methodology, and computer applications for practice. This award is intended for a PhD student at the College of Social Work.

Margaret H. Jacks Scholarship in Aging

Ms. Jacks was a formidable and outspoken advocate for elderly Floridians for more than five decades. This award is directed to graduate students studying gerontology. Recipients must have completed one course on aging or demonstrated a commitment to the field of aging through volunteer or work experiences.

Richard M. King Scholarship in Social Work and Business Administration

This endowed scholarship was established by alumnus Richard King (MSW '69) to encourage graduate students who demonstrate interest in earning both an MSW and a Master's in Business Administration (MBA). Social work students who take electives in the College of Business are also eligible for the award.

James and Mary Koalska Undergraduate Scholarship

This memorial scholarship fund was set up by Professors Paul and Betty Piccard in memory of Betty's parents, James Koalska and Mary Brennan Koalska. The Koalskas were the children of Irish and Polish immigrants and entered the work force at a very young age. While they could not benefit from a college education themselves, they valued education and provided their daughters with opportunities in higher education – one in nursing, the other in social work. This award is intended to cover tuition for a social work undergraduate student whose parents did not attend college.

Joyce Harper Laidlaw Scholarship in Child Welfare

The Laidlaw Scholarship, established by FSU alumna Joyce Harper Laidlaw and her husband Don, was first presented in 2003. It is for graduate students who have decided to focus their studies on child welfare.

M. Sharon Maxwell Ferguson Scholarship in Family Violence

Dr. Maxwell retired in 2006, after serving nearly two decades on the faculty of CSW and establishing the Institute for Family Violence Studies (IFVS). She is a nationally recognized expert in intimate partner violence and a champion of community-based services for survivors and their children. This scholarship is designed to encourage undergraduates to work with the IFVS and explore career opportunities designed to help end family violence.

C. Aaron McNeece Field Education Scholarship

Separate application required. Applications are available online and in the CSW field office, 2510 UCC. The deadline is March 1. For information, contact Katrina Boone at or call (850) 644-4860 or 1 (888) 232-6416 (toll-free). Dr. McNeece retired in 2008 after serving on the CSW faculty for thirty years. He is internationally recognized for his work in chemical dependency and treatment for criminal offenders. He held various leadership positions at the College of Social Work and served as Dean from 2004 to 2008. This scholarship named in his honor was established by the CSW Field Advisory Committee to provide assistance to graduate and undergraduate students during their internships.

Coyle and Mabel Moore Scholarship

Dr. Coyle Moore came to Tallahassee in 1928 to develop a course of instruction in social work at the Florida State College for Women (FSCW). When FSCW became a University in 1947, Dr. Moore was appointed dean of the School of Social Welfare. Mrs. Moore, who had a degree in social work from the University of North Carolina, was an active advocate of community service. This award, created in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Moore, supports full-time undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate a commitment to the social work profession through strong character and service.

Sarah Sealey Morrill Scholarship

Mrs. Morrill graduated from the FSU School of Social Work in 1955 and was a pioneering activist who planned and established counseling and guidance services for children in Leon County. Later, she assumed leadership roles in planning and managing programs for the elderly. This scholarship serves as a tribute to Sarah Sealey Morrill's life-long commitment to community mental health services and is for undergraduate and graduate students specializing in community mental health.

MSW Class of '75 March Graduates Scholarship

The idea for this scholarship arose during a class reunion in March 2000, as attendees were sharing stories about their lives and they realized that FSU has had a defining influence on their successes. They created this award for full-time MSW students who are interested in community-based practice, advocacy, or public policy, with a demonstrated commitment to social justice concerns.

Bernhard Scher Undergraduate Scholarship

This scholarship, first presented in 1978, was established by the family of Dr. Scher. He served as dean of the School of Social Work from 1968–1973 and was a member of the faculty until his death five years later. The undergraduate recipient of this award demonstrates a strong commitment to social work values through actions and words.

Guy and Delores Spearman Scholarship

This scholarship was created by 1975 MSW Alumnus Guy Spearman and his wife to support exemplary undergraduate and graduate social work students who come to FSU from Brevard County, Florida. Mr. Spearman is well known as a legislative lobbyist and an enthusiastic supporter of FSU.

John P. and Jane W. Wakeman Memorial Scholarship for Arts in Social Work

This endowed scholarship has been established by Mary Wakeman in honor of her parents. It is for undergraduate or graduate students in the College of Social Work with an expressed interest in the study and practice of the arts in social work.

Victoria E. Warner Scholarship

This award was established to honor Dr. Victoria Warner, a long-time faculty member and chair of the Department of Social Work at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee. The scholarship is awarded to an MSW student who received a bachelor's degree from FAMU and intends to pursue a career working within the African-American community.

Patricia Vance Scholarship

Ms. Patricia V. Vance, MSW, "Pat" was the Associate Dean and served on faculty from 1966 to 1986 for the College of Social Work. Pat provided her gentle and thoughtful counsel with a tremendous level of support for students and other faculty members. She worked unstintingly to promote the profession of social work through her service and teaching. When she retired in 1986, she and her husband, Dr. Maurice Vance, established a scholarship for social work students to support their education. Upon Professor Kim Maddox's retirement, it is her wish to have this scholarship endowed.

Cheryl Roland Endowed Scholarship

This endowed scholarship was established by Cherie Roland, an alumna and a strong advocate for women. The award goes to a student with interest in women's studies and had the first recipient in 2013.

Dianne F. Harrison Scholarship

Created to honor former PhD Program Director and Dean, Dr. Harrison, this is a competitive award given to doctoral students with the best dissertation prospectus.

Lamar F. Everett Scholarship

This scholarship was established in 2009 as the result of a bequest from Mr. Everett's estate. The award is specifically earmarked to benefit economically disadvantaged and academically worthy undergraduate or graduate College of Social Work students.

Mary DiNitto Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Diana DiNitto established the Mary DiNitto Endowed Scholarship in honor of her mother's 90th birthday. This generous gift will provide support to students in the College of Social Work with strong interests in the profession and creative ideas for practice broadly defined. Preference will be given to students who exhibit financial need. An alumna and former faculty member of the College, Dr. DiNitto is the Cullen Trust Centennial Professor in Alcohol Studies and Education and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.

Violet Crook Scholarship

Opened in 2006 after Wendy Crook, a professor in the College of Social Work, created an endowment to support doctoral students in the college. Sadly, Dr. Crook passed away in 2007 prior to the pledge being fulfilled. At the passing of her mother in 2012, the scholarship was fulfilled to honor Wendy and her love for the college and social work.

John and Meg Paschal International Scholarship

The John and Meg Paschal Scholarship was created to provide support to Social Work students demonstrating integrity and passion for the profession, particularly in international settings, along with academic excellence and financial need.

Social Work Veterans Scholarship

This scholarship was created by 1975 MSW alumnus and veteran Guy Spearman and his wife Delores Spearman to support the military and the College of Social Work. The award is given to a post-graduate (current MSW or PhD) who was in the military, currently serving in the military, or who will be serving in the military after graduation.

Bill and Nolia Brandt Scholarship

Awarded to undergraduate or graduate students who are in good standing, are of high moral character, and have financial need. Students pursuing a dual MSW/MBA joint graduate pathway or the LEAD certificate are encouraged to apply.

Gomory Family Scholarship

Faculty members Dr. Tomi Gomory and Ms. Fran Gomory, MSW have created the Gomory Family Scholarship to be awarded to a student in the College of Social Work program that is an approved intern at the Leon County Homeless Shelter.

Christopher D. Hefren Child Welfare Endowed Doctoral Scholarship - Fund #8285

This scholarship will provide needed support to doctoral candidates whose primary research focus is in child welfare. The fund will serve as a lasting tribute to donor Judy Hefren's son Christopher.