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 specializations, 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 governmental levels.

Program Tracks

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

Traditional Track

You will take 24 credit hours of general courses and 36 hours of 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 full or partial advanced standing status: up to 24 credits toward your master’s in social work and the ability to complete the program in as few as two years

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. 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.

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.

  • 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
  • SASS 654A Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits
  • SASS 654B Field Education IV, 1.5 Credits 

General Courses

These foundational courses (24 credits) are required for all traditional track MSSA students:

  • SASS 426 Research Methods in Social Work, 3 Credits
  • SASS 440 Human Development I: Child & Adolescent, 3 Credits
  • SASS 441 Human Development II: Adult, 3 Credits
  • SASS 470 Social Policy, 3 Credits
  • SASS 477 Direct Practice Foundation Methods and Skills, 3 Credits
  • SASS 478 Macro and Policy Practice Skills, 3 Credits
  • SASS 484 Theories of Oppression and Social Justice, 3 Credits
  • SASS 495V Field Education Seminar, 1 Credit
  • SASS 651 Field Education I, 2 Credits

Choose from Three Specializations

The online MSSA program offers three specializations—two direct practice and one macro—for you to hone your skills and prepare to become a social work leader. 

Choose a curriculum

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

Children, Youth and Families Concentration

Help individuals and families through 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 547 Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis, 3 Credits
  • SASS 549 Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work, 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 530 Practice Evaluation, 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

Specialized Courses – Advanced Standing

  • SASS 517 Family System Interventions, 3 Credits
  • SASS 547 Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis, 3 Credits
  • SASS 549 Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work, 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 530 Practice Evaluation, 3 Credits
  • SASS 582 Social Work with Child Abuse & Family Violence, 3 Credits
  • SASS 505 Adoption: Practice & Policy, 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

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 and Advanced Standing

  • SASS 547 Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis, 3 Credits
  • SASS 549 Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work, 3 Credits
  • 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 530 Practice Evaluation, 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

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 diversity, and oppression.

Specialized Courses – Traditional Track

  • SASS 532 Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation, 3 Credits
  • SASS 534 Theoretical Contexts Shaping Community Practice, 3 Credits
  • SASS 407 Nonprofit Revenue Planning & Development, 3 Credits
  • SASS 567 Assessing, Building & Organizing Community, 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

Specialized Courses – Advanced Standing

  • SASS 532 Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation, 3 Credits
  • SASS 534 Theoretical Contexts Shaping Community Practice, 3 Credits
  • SASS 407 Nonprofit Revenue Planning & Development, 3 Credits
  • SASS 567 Assessing, Building & Organizing Community, 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 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

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