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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Foundation Curriculum

GSSW's 39-credit-hour MSW foundation curriculum provides you with a generalist perspective on social work practice. You'll develop solid basic skills for working with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Classroom and field instruction take place simultaneously.

Classroom instruction

All foundation courses are required. They focus on:

  • individual development and behavior
  • the interaction between individuals and social systems
  • ethical social work practice
  • commitment to social justice
  • multiculturalism, diversity and the impact of oppression
  • social work skills for engagement, assessment and intervention in clinical and community settings
  • the impact of social policy
  • research as a tool to evaluate practice and programs

Supervised field instruction

Your foundation field internship allows you to apply the theories you learn to actual clinical and community practice situations. To accomplish this, the placement you choose will provide opportunities to work with many different client populations and to apply your skills in working with individuals, small groups and larger systems.

Foundation schedule

  • You'll attend classes on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • During three quarters—fall, winter and spring—you'll complete 16 hours of field internship per week, generally on Mondays and Tuesdays.

See a sample foundation schedule and watch a video preview of your foundation year.