Master of Social Work

Admission Requirements | Degree Requirements | Faculty | Course Descriptions

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh have established a Collaborative MSW Program that prepares social workers for advanced practice as facilitators, partners and leaders in planned change activities with service users and community service providers. The program's goal is to educate professionals ready to assume leadership roles within this region's increasingly diverse and transforming rural and metropolitan environments.
The program aims to prepare practitioners who can work to strengthen families through services and policies supportive of family and community well being; who can engage in interdisciplinary learning and coordinated interprofessional practice; who can provide leadership in the community and in civic life; and who can encourage and guide the inclusion and representation of Native Americans and members of other cultures in the region.
Program graduates provide leadership in the social work field:

  • through their expertise in the use of skills associated with "best practice" models, particularly those that are family-focused and that serve diverse clientele;
  • by taking action to improve services, particularly in the public and tribal practice sectors and in rural social work practice;
  • by regularly utilizing research to critically analyze, improve and develop services within their areas of expertise;
  • by developing and refining services through collaborative efforts with diverse clientele;
  • by developing ongoing and innovative strategies for support of professional peers.

The program offers a full-time curriculum which can be completed in two calendar years for students entering at the foundation level or one year for students entering at the advanced level.  A part-time program is also available, which can be completed in nine semesters for students entering at the foundation level or five semesters for students entering at the advanced level. To meet the needs of working students, most courses in the program are offered evenings or on Saturday. Students also integrate and apply their classroom learning in a sixteen-hour-a-week field experience. Most social work courses are offered at the UW Fox Valley campus in Menasha, a central location for most students from Northeastern Wisconsin. Some additional elective and interdisciplinary courses will be available on either the UW-Oshkosh or UW-Green Bay campus. Other Appleton locations may be used when space needs cannot be met at UWFV. Please check the semester schedule of classes for specific information on course offerings.

Areas of Emphasis

In addition to requiring a common foundation of courses, the Collaborative MSW Program offers students a choice of two concentrations as part of the Advanced Curriculum: Advanced Direct Practice and Administration/Management. The Advanced Direct Practice concentration prepares students for leadership in the field through their work with and on behalf of individuals, groups and families. Work with vulnerable families who face multiple life challenges is emphasized.  The Administration/Management concentration admits students who are interested in providing leadership in their supervisory and management responsibilities, particularly in public and tribal social service settings. The Social Work Administration and Management practice course (SOC WORK 722) will be offered when there is sufficient student interest.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Collaborative MSW Program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a cumulative undergraduate gpa of 2.75, with 3.0 in the last two years of study;
  2. Have an academic background in the liberal arts and have completed a minimum of 18 credits in the social sciences from among courses in at least three of the following disciplines: psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science (BSW students meet this criterion);
  3. Through a written statement, three references (including one academic reference), and a relevant professional work/volunteer background, provide evidence of interest in and ability to work with social work clientele and in social work settings; documentation of breadth and depth of professional and/or volunteer experience (usually includes post-baccalaureate experience) that has prepared the applicant for advanced level practice;
  4. Have completed course work in:  human biology, statistics, research methods, and life span development or submit plans for completing this work prior to taking the Advanced Curriculum in the program;
  5. For advanced standing, have graduated from an accredited baccalaureate social work program within the last eight years.

The program has a two-stage admissions process. Applicants complete a Pre-Admissions process by submitting: a Pre-Admissions Application Packet, Personal Essay, Work Resume, and contact information for three references to the Collaborative MSW Program. These materials are available at:

Applicants who are recommended for acceptance by the Collaborative MSW Program then go on to complete additional application procedures at either the UW-Green Bay or UW-Oshkosh campus.

Degree Requirements

For program applicants who do not have a BSW degree completed within the last eight years, 60 credits are required for graduation. This includes a 28-credit two-semester foundation curriculum (fall and spring), and a 32-credit three-semester advanced curriculum (fall, spring, and summer).  Applicants who have completed a BSW degree within the last eight years receive advanced standing and recognition for having completed all foundation requirements.

Part Time Option

Students entering the Foundation Program complete the part time option in four years. Students entering the Advanced Standing curriculum complete the part time option in two years.

  1. completed in first year
  2. completed in second year

Foundation Curriculum Requirements, 28 credits

Foundation Courses:

A 28-credit set of foundation courses is required for all non-BSW students and for BSW students who received their degree more than eight years before entering the program. Eight credits of the foundation curriculum involve a field practicum in which students practice as social workers in a supervised field setting, carrying out a variety of generalist practice responsibilities.

  • (1)Soc Work 701    Ethical Issues in Contemporary Social Work, 3 cr.
  • (2)Soc Work 702    Generalist Practice I, 3 cr.
  • (2)Soc Work 703    Skills Lab with Individuals, Families and Small Groups, 1 cr.
  • (2)Soc Work 704    Generalist Practice II, 3 cr.
  • (2)Soc Work 705    Skills Lab with Large Groups and Communities, 1 cr.
  • (1)Soc Work 706    Social Welfare Institutions, 3 cr.
  • (1)Soc Work 707    Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 3 cr.
  • (1)Soc Work 708    Social Welfare Policy: Contemporary Approaches, 3 cr.
  • (2)Soc Work 709    Field I: Foundations Social Work Field  Practicum, 4 cr.
  • (2)Soc Work 710    Field II: Foundations Social Work Field Practicum, 4 cr.

Advanced Curriculum Requirements, 32 credits

All students are required to take 12 credits of required advanced course work. In addition, Advanced Direct Practice students are required to take 6 credits of required course work and 6 credits of additional electives. Administration/Management students are required to take 9 credits of required course work and 3 credits of additional electives. Eight credits of the advanced curriculum are associated with a field practicum in which students practice as social workers in a supervised field setting, with either advanced direct practice or with administrative responsibilities.

Advanced Requirements: Required For All Students, 20 credits

  • (1)SOC WORK 720    Practice Competence in a Diverse Community, 3 cr.
  • (1)SOC WORK 728    Advanced Social Welfare Policy Analysis, 3 cr.
  • (2)SOC WORK 729    Field III: Advanced Social Work Field Practicum and Integrative Seminar, 4 cr.
  • (2)SOC WORK 731    Advanced Research Applications in Social Work Practice, 3 cr.
  • (2)SOC WORK 732    Field Research Project, 1 cr.
  • (2)SOC WORK 733  Field IV: Advanced Social Work Field Practicum and Integrative Seminar, 4 cr.
  • (2)SOC WORK 734   Field Research Consultation, 2 cr.


Advanced Requirements: Direct Practice Concentration, 12 credits

  • (2)SOC WORK 721    Multi-Level Family Intervention, 3 cr.
  • (1)Advanced HBSE Selection, 3 credits:
    •    PSYCH 530 (UWOSH) Adult Development and Aging, 3 cr.
    •    Women’s Studies 550 (UWOSH)  Women, Race and Class, 3 cr.
    •    EDUC 552 (UWGB)  Social and Family Influences on Early Development and Learning, 3 cr.
    •    PSYCH 690 (UWOSH) Special Topics (see MSW Coord.), 3 cr.
    •    SOC WORK 727  Psychopathology and Strength-based Assessment, 3 cr.
  •  (1)Electives, 6 credits


Advanced Requirements: Administration/Management Concentration, 12 credits

  • (2)SOC WORK 722    Social Work Management and Supervision in the Social Services, 3 cr.
  • (1 or 2)MPA 752 (UWOSH) Public and Nonprofit Budgeting, 3 cr.

Advanced HBSE Selection, 3 credits:

  • (1) MANAGMNT 753  (UWGB) Organizational Theory and Behavior, 3 cr.
  • (1) MPA 723 (UWOSH)Organizational Structure and Behavior, 3 cr.

(1)  Elective, 3 credits

Advanced Requirement: Professional Project

Students in the program meet professional project requirements by completing a research project during their final semester in the program (SOC WORK 732).  Students develop their project proposal in the Advanced Research Applications course (SOC WORK 731), and finalize their project proposals in the Field Research Consultation course (SOC WORK 734). This field-related research project is completed when students finish their two-semester Advanced Social Work Field Practica (SOC WORK 729 and 733).


Altepeter, Donna, UW-OSHKOSH, Lecturer. BA Theology (1981), MSW(1983) St. Louis University, CICSW and ACSW.
Fields of interest: social work in health care and severe mental illness.

Bates, Cheryl, UW-OSHKOSH, Assistant Professor.  BA Psychology (1984) University of Washington; MSW (2001) University of Alabama; Ph.D. Social Work (2008) University of Alabama. 
Fields of interest:  working with minority populations such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT); juvenile sexual offenders; understanding how the subtle forms of oppression and discrimination are carried out through exclusion from legislative protection and social policy.

Ebert, Thomas G., UW-OSHKOSH, Associate Professor. BA (1973), MSSW (1974) University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ph.D. Urban Social Institutions (1998) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Fields of interest: mental health, program evaluation research, scholarship of teaching, social welfare history.

Giesler, Fredi, UW-OSHKOSH, Associate Professor. BA Social Welfare (1981) Pacific Lutheran University; MSW (1991), Ph.D. Social Welfare (2002) University of Washington Seattle.
Fields of interest: prevention science, child welfare, community-based program evaluation.

Groessl, Joan, Lecturer and M.S.W. Field Coordinator. B.S.W. (1984) University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; M.S.W. (1989) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; LCSW.
Fields of interest: working in mental health (particularly seriously and persistently mentally ill); working with the forensic and homeless populations and administration.

Hand, Carol, UW-OSHKOSH, Associate Professor. BA Social Work (1983) University of Wisconsin-Madison; MSSW (1984) University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ph.D. Social Welfare (2003) University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Fields of interest: community and organization practice, program development and evaluation, urban Native American health, First Nations child welfare and Liberatory praxis.

Hansen, Colleen, UW-OSHKOSH, Associate Professor. BA Social Work (1994) University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; MSW (1996) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Fields of interest:  oncology, palliative care and hospice.

Higgins, Doreen, Assistant Professor. B.S.W. (1990) University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; M.S.S.W. (1991) University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ph.D. Social Work (2008) University of Kansas. 
Fields of interest: asset building; the racial wealth gap; health care policy; community reentry of aging ex-offenders.

Jick, Karen, Lecturer. B.S. Social Work (1972), M.S.S.W. (1974) University of Wisconsin-Madison.  LCSW; ACSW.
Fields of interest: child welfare; behavior health issues for children; marriage and family therapy; field education for social work students.

Martin, Judith A., Professor. B.S. Sociology (1968) University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.S.S.W. Social Welfare (1972) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Ph.D. Social Work (1978) University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Fields of interest: child welfare service and policies;  child abuse; marital violence; attachment issues; gender, racial and ethnic issues in foster care and adoption.

Mattila, Matthew, Child Welfare Coordinator. B.S.W. (1977) Pacific Lutheran University; M.S.W. (1985) Portland State University.
Fields of interest: direct practice with children and families, family and divorce mediation, child welfare, forensic social work, and adult education.

Sallmann, Jolanda M., Assistant Professor. B.S.W. (1992), M.S.W. (1996) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Ph.D. (2005) University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
Fields of interest: violence against women across the life course, including its broader effects on mental health, substance use, criminal justice involvement, poverty and homelessness.

Schneider, Nicole, Lecturer, B.S.W. Field Education Coordinator. B.S.W. (1997) Loyola University of Chicago, M.S.S.W. (1998) Columbia University. 
Fields of interest: social services program design and evaluation, practice with diverse populations, grantwriting, racial health disparities.  

Sullivan, Quintin E., UW-OSHKOSH, Associate Professor and Program Chair. BA Social Welfare (1975) University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; MSSW (1984), Ph.D. Social Welfare (1989) University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Fields of interest: administration, program evaluation, poverty, programs targeted at low income adolescents which aim to prevent welfare dependence.

Trimberger, Gail E., Lecturer. B.S.W. (1981) University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; M.S.S.W. (1982) University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin LCSW. 
Fields of interest:  end-of-life, aging, grief, hospice and palliative care, bioethics.

Williams, Amy F., UW-OSHKOSH, Academic Staff and Undergraduate Field Coordinator.  BA Psychology (1992) Concordia University; MSW (1999) University of Minnesota.       Fields of interest: school social work practice, grant procurement, and program evaluation.

Course Descriptions

Descriptions for Social Work Courses