Curriculum

Our online Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) program offers the same rigorous, interdisciplinary and comprehensive curriculum as our top-ranked on-campus program.

With two program tracks and three paths of study, our online MSSA is designed to equip future social work leaders like you with the skills needed to drive change at the individual, regional and national levels.

Program Tracks

Depending on your educational background, you can pursue one of the following tracks:

Traditional Track

You will take 18 credit hours of generalist courses and 42 hours of advanced practice and specialized courses for a total of 60 credits. This track can be completed in as few as two and a half years.

Advanced Standing

If you’ve earned a bachelor’s in social work within the last seven years from a CSWE-accredited institution, you will automatically be considered for advanced standing status. This means we will apply up to 21 credits toward your master’s in social work so you can complete the program in as few as a year and a half.

Field Education

Connect what you learn in the classroom to your community. The fieldwork component is a big piece of your MSSA experience, because it helps you develop clinical skills, build your confidence in the field and explore different social work or nonprofit paths. With access to more than 1,000 placement sites, our field placement team will work with you to find a site in or near your community. You may be eligible to complete your field education at your current place of employment.

Given that COVID-19 has impacted procedures regarding field education, we are still considering options for the Spring 2021 semester and making accommodations as needed, putting safety and health first. Reach out to our admissions teamvia email at admissions@mandelonline.case.edu or +1-855-997-2972 with questions.

Field Education Courses

You will complete fieldwork in 14-week-long experiences that allow you to apply the social work theory, skills, values and ethics acquired in the classroom in a real-world agency setting.

Traditional track

Traditional track students are required to complete 900 hours of fieldwork.

  • SASS 495V Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit
  • SASS 495VA Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar II, 1 Credit
  • SASS 651 Field Education I, 2 Credits
  • SASS 652A Field Education II, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 652B Field Education II, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653A Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653B Field Education III, 1.5 Credits

Advanced standing

Advanced standing students are required to complete 500 hours of fieldwork.

  • SASS 496V Advanced Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit
  • SASS 653AA Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654A Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654B Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits 

General Courses

These foundational courses (18 credits) are required for all traditional track MSSA students:

  • SASS 502 Change Agent Intensive (CHAI), 1 Credit
  • SASS 503 Foundations of Social Policy and Service Delivery, 2 Credits
  • SASS 504 Theories of Human Development and Human Diversity, 2 Credits
  • SASS 507 Community Theory & Practice, 2 Credits
  • SASS 508 Individual Theory & Practice, 2 Credits
  • SASS 509 Group Theory & Practice, 2 Credits
  • SASS 515 Family Theory & Practice, 2 Credits
  • SASS 528 Evidence-Informed Practice, 2 Credits
  • SASS 495/495V Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit
  • SASS 651 Field Education I, 2 Credits

Advanced Practice Courses

All online MSSA students will complete the following advanced practice courses (12 credits) before beginning their specialist coursework:

  • SASS 542 Evaluating Programs and Practice, 3 Credits
  • SASS 566 Assessing and Engaging Community for Social Change, 3 Credits
  • SASS 547 Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis, 3 Credits
  • SASS 549 Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work, 3 Credits

Choose from Three Paths of Study

The online MSSA program offers three paths of study—two direct practice and one macro—for you to hone your skills and prepare to become a social work leader at the clinical and systems-wide levels.

Choose a curriculum

Children, Youth and Families | Mental Health with Adults | Community Practice for Social Change

Children, Youth and Families Concentration

Provide individuals and families with a diverse range of services, including marital therapy, family counseling, parent education and child welfare.

Specialized Courses – Traditional Track

  • SASS 517 Family System Interventions, 3 Credits
  • SASS 585 Social Work with Groups, 3 Credits
  • SASS 550 Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice with Children & Families, 3 Credits
  • SASS 579 Cognitive Behavioral Interventions, 3 Credits
  • SASS 529 Child and Family Policy & Service Delivery, 3 Credits
  • SASS 582 Social Work with Child Abuse & Family Violence, 3 Credits
  • SASS 652A Field Education II, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 652B Field Education II, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653A Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653B Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654A Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654B Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 495V Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit
  • SASS 495VA Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar II, 1 Credit

Specialized Courses – Advanced Standing

  • SASS 517 Family System Interventions, 3 Credits
  • SASS 585 Social Work with Groups, 3 Credits
  • SASS 550 Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice with Children & Families, 3 Credits
  • SASS 529 Child and Family Policy & Service Delivery, 3 Credits
  • SASS 582 Social Work with Child Abuse & Family Violence, 3 Credits
  • SASS 505 Adoption: Practice & Policy, 3 Credits
  • SASS 653AA Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653B Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654A Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654B Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 496V Advanced Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit

Mental Health with Adults

Prepare to meet the growing demand for skilled clinicians in community-based mental health practice, including hospitals, substance abuse treatment programs and mental health centers. 

Specialized Courses – Traditional Track

  • SASS 564 Social Work Practice in Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse, 3 Credits
  • SASS 583 Social Work Practice in Mental Health: Adults, 3 Credits
  • SASS 587 Integrative Seminar in Mental Health: Adults, 3 Credits
  • SASS 514 Mental Health Policy & Service Delivery, 3 Credits
  • SASS 562 Social Work Intervention in Co-occurring Mental & Substance Abuse Disorders, 3 Credits
  • SASS 579 Cognitive Behavioral Interventions, 3 Credits
  • SASS 652A Field Education II, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 652B Field Education II, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653A Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653B Field Education III, 1.5 Credits 
  • SASS 654A Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654B Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 495V Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit
  • SASS 495VA Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar II, 1 Credit

Specialized Courses – Advanced Standing

  • SASS 564 Social Work Practice in Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse, 3 Credits
  • SASS 583 Social Work Practice in Mental Health: Adults, 3 Credits
  • SASS 587 Integrative Seminar in Mental Health: Adults, 3 Credits
  • SASS 514 Mental Health Policy & Service Delivery, 3 Credits
  • SASS 562 Social Work Intervention in Co-occurring Mental & Substance Abuse Disorders, 3 Credits
  • SASS 579 Cognitive Behavioral Interventions, 3 Credits
  • SASS 653AA Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653B Field Education III, 1.5 Credits 
  • SASS 654A Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654B Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 496V Advanced Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit

Community Practice for Social Change

Drive systemic change on a broad scale by addressing some of society’s biggest social justice issues, such as poverty, human and women’s rights, cultural and racial diversity and oppression.

Specialized Courses – Traditional Track

  • SASS 407 Nonprofit Revenue Planning & Development, 3 Credits
  • SASS 567 Strategic Power Building with Communities, 3 Credits
  • SASS 569 Planning & Implementing Social Change, 3 Credits
  • SASS 561 Community Practice Policy: Analyzing & Changing Social Policy, 3 Credits
  • SASS 425 Nonprofit Financial Management, 3 Credits
  • SASS 521 Supervision, 3 Credits
  • SASS 545 Program Design, 3 Credits
  • SASS 652A Field Education II, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 652B Field Education II, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653A Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653B Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654A Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654B Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 495V Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit
  • SASS 495VA Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar II, 1 Credit

Specialized Courses – Advanced Standing

  • SASS 407 Nonprofit Revenue Planning & Development, 3 Credits
  • SASS 567 Strategic Power Building with Communities, 3 Credits
  • SASS 569 Planning & Implementing Social Change, 3 Credits
  • SASS 561 Community Practice Policy: Analyzing & Changing Social Policy, 3 Credits
  • SASS 531 Collaboration & Strategic Partnership, 3 Credits
  • SASS 425 Nonprofit Financial Management, 3 Credits
  • SASS 545 Program Design, 3 Credits
  • SASS 653A Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 653B Field Education III, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654AA Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654B Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 496V Advanced Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar, 1 Credit

Interested in learning more about each course that students in Online Social Work at CWRU will take while enrolled? View full course descriptions here.