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School of Social Work grad student works on computer.

Master of Social Work

Areas of Emphasis

Areas of Emphasis Scholars

Clinical social workers are found in many settings and are skilled at working with diverse populations. St. Thomas MSW students are prepared for clinical social work practice in all settings as well. MSW students are also able to focus on specific practice areas through their choices of electives, field practica, focus of course assignments and clinical research project (as an optional elective).

In addition to areas of specialization such as mental health, working with children and families, and working in an integrated healthcare setting (to name a few), our MSW students may apply to become an Area of Emphasis Scholar in a critical, emerging clinical practice area:

  • Gero-Social Work Practice
  • Practice with People of Immigrant and Refugee Backgrounds

Elective courses taken in each Area of Emphasis program are also open to non-scholars, so any MSW student can take a course related to these specific populations.

Areas of Emphasis Scholars

AEIR Scholars Write for Immigrant Rights

Build On Your Skills

Lead as an Area of Emphasis Scholar

Participation as an Area of Emphasis Scholar includes:

  • Courses, course assignments and events specific to the relevant population
  • Leadership opportunities within each Scholars cohort
  • Field practicum in a setting that serves the relevant population
  • Course assignments and/or clinical research paper specific to the area of emphasis
  • Tuition remission of $1,000

Areas of Emphasis

Each Area of Emphasis program provides networking, collaboration and leadership opportunities designed as two-year experiences. Apply to the program in the spring before the final two years of your St. Thomas MSW program.

Area of Emphasis in Aging (AEA) Scholars will focus on social work practice with older adults, or gerontological social work/gero-social work, primarily focused on maintaining and enhancing the quality of life of older adults and their families and communities.

Area of Emphasis in Practice with People of Immigrant and Refugee Backgrounds (AEIR) Scholars will build experience working with and serving the immigrants and refugees populations.