Health Sciences Bulletin

School of Social Welfare

DEAN: Shari E. Miller, Ph.D
OFFICE: HSC Level 2, Room 093
PHONE: (631) 444-2139

Office of SSW Student Services: Health Sciences Tower, Level 2, Room 093
Phone: (631) 444-2138


Minors or other majors of particular interest to students majoring in Social Work: Anthropology (ANT), Ecosystems and Human Impact (EHI), Environmental Studies (ENS), Globalization Studies and International Relations (GLI), Health & Wellness (LHW), Health, Medicine, and Social Change (MHS), Leadership Development (LDR), Political Science (POL), Psychology (PSY), Sociology (SOC), Sustainability Studies (SUS), Women & Gender Studies (WST)

  • Mission & Goals

    Mission and Goals

    Mission Statement

    The School of Social Welfare is committed to building a more equitable society based on the values of human dignity, inclusiveness, diversity, equality, and on economic, environmental and social justice. 

    By advancing knowledge, engaging in systematic inquiry, and developing professional skills, we prepare students for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and governments in a global context.  The School teaches a person-in-environment perspective, community advocacy, therapeutic intervention, individual and group empowerment, and the affirmation of strengths as a means of promoting individual and social change. As an integral part of our student-centered and evidence informed pedagogy, we prepare students to identify and analyze the nature and extent of structural inequality. We focus in particular, on social welfare leadership as a pathway to enhance emotional, psychological and social well-being. We work closely with the university and greater community to fulfill this mission.

    We recognize that structural inequality exists in multiple and overlapping layers of discrimination including class, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, age and disability, among others.  We therefore seek to remediate the impact of interpersonal and historical trauma, to foster human relationships that are grounded in social justice; human dignity and mutual respect; to develop new and just organizational forms; to transform already existing structures to reflect values that affirm and enhance human dignity and social diversity; and to identify new ways to influence social, economic and political systems to equitably distribute power, resources, rights and freedom.

    Program Goals

    MSW Program Goals

    The goals of the program are to:

    1. Prepare advanced generalist practitioners who demonstrate ability to use their knowledge, values, and skills to work at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice within local, national and global contexts;
    2. Educate graduates to utilize social justice and human rights frameworks in their work and to embrace social action practice;
    3. Inspire graduates who lead efforts to improve health and wellness in the lives of all people and to create a more just and life-affirming society. 
    4. Promote the ability of graduates to engage in critical, self-reflective and ethical practice;
    5. Develop practitioners who utilize strengths-based, person-in-environment and empowerment approaches in all their work that are informed by a respect for human dignity, diversity, and inclusiveness; and
    6. Educate practitioners who are able to engage in research-informed practice models and who are able to contribute to the creation of knowledge in the field of Social Work by engaging in practice-informed research processes.

    The goals for our MSW program are clearly derived from our mission statement, and reflect the values, emphases, and perspectives articulated there.  The first goal purposefully aligns with our stated premise to educate for all systems levels of practice in local, national, and global contexts. The second goal emphasizes the importance of social justice and human rights frameworks in our graduates’ ability to embrace social action.  The third goal is an expression of our commitment to leadership in improving health and wellness for both individuals and in the society—this affirms our commitment to social and environmental justice as well as a reflection of our location within a health sciences infrastructure. Our fourth goal reflects the importance of social workers practicing ethically and from a value base. Our fifth goal expresses a commitment to compel graduates to use frameworks that are informed by human dignity, diversity and inclusiveness.  Our sixth goal commits us to educate practitioners who seek and utilize knowledge in their work at all levels. 

    BSW Program Goals

    The BSW Program aims to prepare generalist social work practitioners who are prepared for professional, entry-level positions across the various areas of social work practice. The BSW Program goals are: 

    1. Prepare generalist social work practitioners to use their knowledge, values, and skills in professional entry-level positions in human services across the various domains of social work practice;
    2. Inspire graduates to apply a global human rights framework, and empowerment models in their practice across systems;
    3. Educate students to utilize, at every systems level, cultural sensitivity and with an understanding of how racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, and other forms of oppression and discrimination affect clients and the client –worker relationship; and
    4. Prepare students to employ their understanding of how social, political, and economic factors influence social problems, social policies and programs, and organizational procedures and practices in client, organizational, community, and social change efforts; 
    5. Develop graduates’ ability to understand and utilize evidence based practice models in their work.

    The goals for our BSW program are clearly derived from our mission statement, and reflect the values, emphases, and perspectives articulated there.  The first goal clearly states that the program prepares students to practice as generalists, i.e. with all systems, in entry level positions.  The second goal aligns with our School’s commitment to global human rights and empowerment practice.  Our relationship with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights has helped to strengthen and enrich this particular goal.  The third goal embodies our mission’s commitment to educate graduates who are particularly attentive to issues of culture and oppression.  The fourth goal encapsulates our mission’s dedication to graduate BSW students who put their understanding of social, political, and economic change into their work at every level.  The fifth goal is aligned with our mission’s obligation to scientific inquiry and the use of evidence based practice. 

    CSWE Competency Framework

    The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the accrediting body for schools of social work, has identified core competencies for social work education. These competencies guide and inform curriculum and course content.

    1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
    2. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
    3. Engage Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) in Practice
    4. Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice
    5. Engage in Policy Practice
    6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families Groups, Organizations, and Communities 

    Each competency is represented by a set of practice behaviors at the Foundation and Advanced levels of the curriculum. The practice behaviors will be used in various forms of assessment to determine the degree to which students have achieved competency in these nine (9) areas. Overall assessment is reported, in aggregate, on the school’s website.

  • Programs


    The Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare was established in 1970 and has been continuously accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1973. The School is located within a rich interdisciplinary environment, one of five schools within the Health Sciences campus of the University, along with the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Nursing, Health Technology and Management.

    The School offers the BSW, MSW, and PhD degrees on the Stony Brook University campus in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island, and has an extension center MSW program in New York City. The New York City program is offered at the SUNY College of Optometry, the only public Optometry College in New York State.  

    MSW and BSW Program Overview

    The MSW and BSW programs of the School are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

    The MSW program is registered with the New York State Education Department as qualifying for the LMSW and LCSW credentials.

  • Practicum Education

    practicum Education

    Field and class work are integral parts of a single educational experience and a well-rounded education in social welfare is best obtained by the integration of theory and practice. Therefore, throughout a student’s tenure in the program, they must be enrolled concurrently in required social work practice courses with thirty-three weeks of practicum education. The requirements for MSW graduation include a minimum of 16 credits in practicum education that are accrued each year at the rate of 4 credits per term, 14 hours per week. Advanced Standing students are required to complete 21 hours per week over a 33-week academic year, 6 credits per term. The requirements for BSW graduation include a minimum of 12 credits in practicum education that are accrued in the senior year at the rate of 6 credits per term, 14 hours per week. 

    practicum education typically takes place Monday through Friday during the day and early evening. Some placements accept blocks time of less than 7 hours per day, but no placement will be arranged with blocks of less than 4 to 5 hours at a time. practicum education experiences are available in a broad range of human service programs that meet the needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities and are located throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties, and the greater metropolitan New York area. Placements that offer all evening and/or Saturday hours are few and therefore students should be prepared to offer day hours for placement purposes.

    In order to measure student competency in practicum education, the school requires written evaluations at the end of each semester, completed by their field instructor. The School has developed a set of behaviors that comprise each competency, and students are evaluated on each behavior of each competency. Students are rated on each practice behavior, and these scores are added together for a score on each competency, using a Likert scale.  Each of the evaluations (Generalist and Advanced Generalist) use the same rating scale ranging from: IP (1) – Insufficient Progress: Has little understanding of the competency; rarely demonstrates the behavior but has had multiple opportunities to demonstrate; UP (2) – Uneven Progress: Demonstrates a beginning understanding of the competency and struggles with implementation of the behavior in their work; IC (3) – Increased Consistency: Shows evidence of understanding the competence required and continues to strengthen consistency by applying behaviors in their work; C (4) – Competence: Understands the competency required and is consistent in applying the behaviors in their work; and  OC (5) – Outstanding: Demonstrates an exceptional ability to effectively integrate the behavior into their practice.

  • Admissions


    The criteria for admission to the graduate and undergraduate programs include academic achievement, commitment and concern for social justice and social change, involvement in social welfare and social change activities, and demonstrated potential for successful completion of the program.

    Applicants to the undergraduate program must have completed 57 credits as well as having met general University requirements.

    Applicants to the graduate program must hold a Bachelor’s degree.

    Applicants with a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.5 will not be considered for admission to the graduate and undergraduate programs.

    Applications are accepted for admission only for the fall semester. BSW Program - Priority deadline is January 15 and final deadline March 15. MSW Program - Priority deadline is March 1 and final deadline May 1. 

    Ninety-five percent of enrolled MSW students and 98 percent of enrolled BSW students complete the requirements for the degree. A survey of MSW graduates indicated that 90 percent of those responding to the questionnaire were employed in social work and 85 percent had obtained employment within three months of graduation.

    View Admissions Requirements
  • Financial Information

    Financial Information

    Applications and inquiries about financial aid should be made through the Graduate and Health Sciences Admissions. For more information, refer to COST & AID in this Bulletin.

    Scholarship Awards and Programs

    The School distributes information and/or applications for various scholarships and awards as soon as they become available. Incoming and/or continuing students are eligible for the following scholarships. The school recommends selected students to the appropriate scholarship committee.

    W. Burghardt Turner Fellowship

    This award, funded by the SUNY Fellowship Program for Underrepresented Graduate Students, is for incoming underrepresented students who have demonstrated very high academic achievement. It provides full tuition and a stipend for two full years of study. The stipend is $10,000 each year for two years. Applicants interested in being considered for this scholarship must submit by December 15. Applicants being considered for this fellowship will need to submit an additional essay upon notification by the school.

  • Policies


    Academic Integrity and Professional Performance

    The Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare requires its students to behave in accordance with the Student Conduct Codes of Stony Brook University and the School of Social Welfare, including the School’s Technical Standards and Academic Expectations. Students are also expected to embrace the NASW Code of Ethics during the course of their professional education. 

    Academic and Professional Standards apply to the academic program, practicum education placements and all activities related to students’ participation in the program and/or as members of the university community.  Students are expected to maintain conduct that is in accordance with these standards of practice, the practicum education agency, and the professional regulations of the State of New York.  Students who engage in activities that are contrary to these standards are subject to review and possible disciplinary action by the School of Social Welfare and the University. 

    The School has set forth professional standards, alcohol, drug and gambling policies, academic dishonesty policies, and social media policies found in our handbooks. BSW/

    Finally, we have established policies for grading and performance in Practicum Education.

    A. Stony Brook University Student Conduct Code

    The University Student Conduct Code and Campus Policies document states:

    “Regulations make it possible for people to live together and function in an orderly way, protecting the rights of the community while respecting the rights of each individual. You should be able to carry on your daily business safely, peacefully, and productively while you are here; these rules and regulations have been designed to accomplish that goal. For all students, the Student Conduct Code supports compliance with the state and federal laws related to drugs, alcohol, weapons, discrimination, sexual assault or abuse, and racial, sexual, or sexual preference harassment.”

    All students of Stony Brook University are expected to know the provisions of and to comply with the University Student Conduct Code available as a downloadable document at ( Information regarding campus regulations and disciplinary proceedings as well as procedures for filing a complaint, contact the university hearing officer in the Office of University Community Standards Room 347, Administration Building or call (631) 632-6705.

    B. School of Social Welfare Student Conduct Code

    The regulations set forth in this document apply to the academic program, practicum education placements and all activities related to students’ participation in the program and/or as members of the university community.

    Students are expected to maintain conduct that is in accordance with standards of practice defined by the School of Social Welfare, Stony Brook University, the practicum education agency and the professional regulations of the State of New York. Students who engage in activities that are contrary to these standards will be subject to review and possible disciplinary action by the School of Social Welfare and the University.

    C. School of Social Welfare Academic Expectations

    The School of Social Welfare sets guidelines for the creation of a community of learning based upon a culture of collaboration and respect that honors rights, safety, and the dignity and worth of each person. In addition, as part of an academic institution, and in preparation for professional practice, the School of Social Welfare holds the following expectations.  

    • Members of Faculty facilitate your learning. The School of Social Welfare seeks to prepare students for high standards of professional practice. Assistance is available to any student who is seeking to improve their professional skills – either written or verbal. Those seeking help with professional writing and those who wish to improve their writing proficiency may obtain assistance from a variety of resources that are listed below.
    • Class discussion and interaction are an integral part of your education. Students are required to attend all classes on time and remain for the full session. This expectation relates to our belief that everyone’s participation provides a valuable contribution to the learning. The classroom is not just a place for you to receive information; it provides an opportunity for you to learn from your colleagues and for them to learn from you. To achieve this, attendance and participation of all involved is a requirement.
    • As participation in class discussions is strongly encouraged, doing the required and supplementary readings for mastering the course material and being prepared for class discussion is required. In support of these aims, the use of technology supports such as laptop computers and audio-recorders are at the permission of the individual professor. Cell phone use during class time, unless for emergencies, is prohibited. Likewise, texting, except for emergencies, is also prohibited.
    • Each student is expected to pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty members are required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty and to follow school-specific procedures. Plagiarism is defined as representing another’s words as your own or falsification of credit for submitted work. Any specific questions such as co-authorship, etc. must be discussed with the faculty member(s) involved. In general, it is not permissible to use papers written for one class to be used again for another, but components may be built upon and reformulated as appropriate. This must be discussed with the professors involved. Stony Brook University provides useful and comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty at the following link

    Blackboard contains SafeAssign for faculty and students to compare submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. It is recommended to students that they familiarize themselves with this useful tool.

    Students are also strongly encouraged to utilize Purdue University’s reference guide regarding issues related to plagiarism. This information can be accessed at the following site: Another source that discusses how to avoid plagiarism is:

    Language often expresses institutional racism, sexism, etc.  Sensitizing ourselves and becoming consciously aware of these expressions is important in achieving the goal of eliminating these.  Therefore, as part of your professional preparation, we ask that you use verbal and written language that is non-racist, non-sexist, etc. Several examples of what is meant by inappropriate language may help to make the expectation more explicit:

    • comments are made that express racial, sexual, class, heterosexual and other stereotypes;
    • written work uses masculine pronouns when reference to both males and females is intended;
    • terms are used that put people in one-down position, e.g., when terms like “girl” or boy” are used in reference to adults or young adults.

    Papers and other written work should conform to college standards of written English and paper assignments should be typed unless otherwise specified by your professors. There are many resources available to help you ensure that your papers are grammatically correct and properly formatted.

    • The Stony Brook Writing Center, 2009 Humanities Building, offers advice and support to all students. Contact information: (631) 632-7405.
    • Use the spell check capability of your word processors and refer to dictionaries for spelling, manuals of style for footnotes, bibliographies, etc. 

    • For citations, the School requires that students adhere to APA (The American Psychological Association) format. This is available at and also on the Purdue University On Line Writing Lab. Please refer to the following web site for information regarding this format:

    • The Health Sciences Library offers useful information and tutorials. For example, resources exist on how to use EndNote, a program for references and citations ( This software and other resources are available free of charge to students via SOLAR. These resources can be accessed at:
    • In addition, the Health Sciences Library has a special site that provides important professional links related to social work. Follow the prompts at

    • The School expects its constituents to demonstrate commitment to all the social work values that place high value on the worth and dignity of all people.

    • We assume that everyone is always trying to do their best and that we all are striving to improve our understanding of each other’s world views. This means that we expect our classrooms to create safe places for open discussion through our demonstration of respect for each other as we broach difficult and complex topics and issues.

    D. NASW Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

    The National Association for Social Workers (NASW) is the national professional organization for social workers in the United States. The NASW Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers.  This Code includes four sections.  The first section, “Preamble,” summarizes the social work profession’s mission and core values.  The second section, “Purpose of the NASW Code of Ethics,” provides an overview of the Code’s main functions and a brief guide for dealing with ethical issues or dilemmas in social work practice.  The third section, “Ethical Principles,” presents broad ethical principles, based on social work’s core values, which inform social work practice.  The final section, “Ethical Standards,” includes specific ethical standards to guide social workers’ conduct and to provide a basis for adjudication. You are expected to familiarize yourself with and adhere to the Code of Ethics. The Code may be downloaded from

    We encourage you to review the NASW Practice Standards for a range of topics: example, students’ attention is drawn to the NASW Standards on Cultural Competence:

    In an increasingly international environment, it is important to view our profession from these global perspectives. Two central documents are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( and the Code of Ethics of the International Federation of Social Workers ( Both of these documents provide insights into the call for our profession to act on issues of social justice, human rights and social development. 

    E. Stony Brook University Sexual Harassment Policy Statement

    The University reaffirms the principle that students, faculty, and staff have the right to be free from discrimination based upon gender, commonly known as "sexual harassment.”

    Harassment on the basis of gender is a form of sexual discrimination, and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

    The University is responsible for and fully committed to the prevention and elimination of gender harassment. Supervisors and department heads are responsible for promoting an atmosphere that prohibits such unacceptable behavior.

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and verbal or physical conduct of an abusive, sexual nature constitute harassment when such conduct interferes with an individual's work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment. Harassment of employees by supervisors, or of students by faculty or administrators, is unlawful. Conversely, harassment of supervisors by employees, faculty by students, or individuals by co-workers, is also unlawful.

    The University does not tolerate gender harassment and treats it as a form of misconduct. Sanctions are enforced against individuals engaging in such behavior.

    Individuals who are affected by, or are aware of, suspected cases of sexual harassment are urged to bring such situations to the University’s attention by contacting the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action. The Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action has professional staff trained to investigate and provide assistance regarding issues of sexual harassment, and can be reached by calling (631) 632-6280.

    F. School of Social Welfare Policy Statement Concerning Heterosexism and Homophobia

    The Mission of the School of Social Welfare is grounded in the basic principle of the absolute dignity and equality of all persons. Therefore, consistent with the Council on Social Work Education Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards and the National Association of Social Workers Policy on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, the School of Social Welfare believes that heterosexism and homophobia are anti-ethical to the profession of social work.

    The Council on Social Work Education requires that social work educators prepare students to understand and value human diversity.  It is essential for social workers to have an understanding of the dynamics and consequences of social and economic injustice including all forms of human oppression and discrimination.

    The School of Social Welfare provides students the opportunity to develop the knowledge, values and skills to promote social change to implement a wide range of interventions that further the achievement of individual and collective social and economic justice.

    Given the School’s Mission and the requirements of the Council on Social Work Education, the curriculum must present theoretical and practice content about patterns, dynamics, impact and consequences of discrimination, economic deprivation and oppression of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders must be acknowledged.

    Students must demonstrate in their conduct and activities the integration of the principles elucidated above.  Failure to abide by these principles will be considered grounds for disciplinary action.

    G. Bias and Hate CRimes or Bias-Related Incidents

    It is a Stony Brook University Police mandate to protect all members of our community by preventing and persecuting bias or hate crimes that occur within the campus’s jurisdiction. The University is also committed to addressing bias-related activities that do not rise to the level of a crime.  These activities, referred to as bias incidents, and defined by the University as acts of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation directed at a member or group with the University community based on national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, military (new status/protected class) veteran status, color, creed, or marital status, may be addressed through the State University’s Discrimination Complaint Procedure or the campus conduct code.

    Please see program handbooks for more information on Academic Integrity and Professional Performance. MSW Handbook/BSW Handbook


to top