Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work Program Overview

Transform a Passion for Helping Others Into a Fulfilling Profession

Want to help those in need acquire food, education, healthcare, a place to live, and other life essentials? There’s a master’s degree for you—with no GRE required. 

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) prepares you to excel in clinical social work in healthcare and behavioral healthcare settings, with an emphasis on rural areas. During your program studies you’ll explore relevant and timely topics including social work research methods, supervision, and administration; psychopathology; social welfare programs; racism; foundations of social justice; and group work. You can also choose elective courses dedicated to working with children and adolescents, Latinx families, and other specialized areas of study. 

What You’ll Gain

Our full-time MSW program empowers you to: 

  • improve access to quality health and mental health care for culturally diverse individuals and families across socioeconomic domains.
  • provide and advocate for ethical, evidence-based interventions that add value to healthcare teams.
  • extend services beyond healthcare settings to improve quality of life and long-term community stability. 

In addition to mastering social work practices and concepts, you’ll discover how to nurture yourself and your career with the ability to self-advocate in the workplace, avoid burnout, manage your time, practice self-care, and find a niche in the field that aligns with your professional goals. 

Expand Your Expertise in Real-World Settings

Each semester of our program, you’ll complete 15 hours per week in a field practicum. This provides the opportunity for you to both observe and participate in social work in real-world settings. In some cases, you may be able to have an internship at your place of employment. You’ll find the practicum experience invaluable as you exit our MSW program and transition into a new professional role. 

Key Benefits of UTPB’s Online MSW Program 

  • Enjoy personalized attention with our 12:1 student-faculty ratio.
  • Complete online classes at any hour of the day, from any location.
  • Receive assistance with Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) exam preparation.
  • Count on career entry guidance and resources.

Live in the Permian Basin area? Click here for a special scholarship opportunity. 

Potential Career Paths

Clinical social work is a common career goal for graduates of this degree, but it’s only one of many rewarding roles you might enjoy. View related job titles and estimated salaries now:

Year One Fall

13 credits.

Courses
Duration
Credits
SOWK 6100 - Clinical Social Work Practice I
16 weeks
3
This course is the first in two- part sequence of practice courses that introduces students to the purpose, function, methods, and foundational theories of social work practice with individuals, families, groups and communities. Content will include a thorough review of social work ethics and ethical dilemmas. Students will demonstrate competence in interviewing, engagement, assessment, and intervention planning.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2024 Whole Fall 2026
SOWK 6110 - Social Welfare Programs and Policies
16 weeks
3
This course examines social welfare policy and its implications on micro and macro level systems in historical and current day perspectives, and in the context of political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of society. This course centers on policy practice, including advocacy, and the process of policy formulation/development, implementation, and evaluation/analysis at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Special attention is placed on policy development and implementation, including but not limited to racism, sexism, ageism, faithism, ableism, classism, and heterosexism. Additionally, the course will review the history of social work from the early 1900’s and the profession’s response to human need and social conditions across the lifespan in the context of U.S. social welfare policies.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2024 Whole Fall 2026
SOWK 6510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment
16 weeks
3
This course focuses on theories from the biological, social, and behavioral sciences that help explain human functioning across the lifespan, and in the context of the social environment at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Students will learn to apply theory to various dimensions of human life, including culture, class, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, spirituality, and gender. Content will prepare students to assess clients and client systems in a person- in-environment perspective as the foundation for social work practice.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2024 Whole Fall 2026
SOWK 6410 - Practicum I
16 weeks
3
Practicum I is the first in a sequence of five Practicum courses, where students learn to apply theoretical and conceptual frameworks through externship experiences in clinical settings. In Practicum I, the focus is on orienting students to the field and establishing a professional use of self. Students are expected to demonstrate an introductory level of skill across the nine social work competencies. Practicum I require students to complete 240 hours of supervised clinical practice in an agency or organization. Co-requisites: SOWK 6100
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2024 Whole Fall 2026
SOWK 6420 - Practicum Seminar I
16 weeks
1
Students enroll in Practicum Seminar I along with Practicum I.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2024 Whole Fall 2026
Year One Spring

13 credits.

Courses
Duration
Credits
SOWK 6220 - Clinical Social Work Practice II
16 weeks
3
This course build on SOWK 6100 by advancing knowledge and skill in the intervention and evaluation stages of practice with individuals, families, and groups. Students will be introduced to the history and theoretical basis of three commonly used evidence-based interventions: Trauma Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing and Critical Time Intervention. In this course, students are expected to incorporate elements of human behavior, culture, identity, oppression and privilege into their application and evaluation of clinical interventions.
Prerequisites: SOWK 6510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment SOWK 6100 - Clinical Social Work Practice I
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2025 Whole Spring 2027
SOWK 6520 - Human Behavior in Global Contexts
16 weeks
3
This course expands on Human Behavior in the Social Environment by examining the impact of socio-economic environments on people in and outside of the United States, particularly those experiencing or escaping poverty, war, or climate influenced hardship. Content will include the relationship between local and migrating populations and the implications for clinical social work practice in culturally, economically, diverse rural communities, with particular attention to the Permian Basin.
Prerequisites: SOWK 6510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2025 Whole Spring 2027
SOWK 6620 - Foundations of Social Justice
16 weeks
3
This course examines the historical and contemporary marginalization and oppression of people based on race, culture, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, appearance, and age. Students will examine how these experiences impact health, mental health, and access to critical resources. Content will include strategies for addressing disparities in social work practice and policy.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2025 Whole Spring 2027
SOWK 6430 - Practicum II
16 weeks
3
Students continue their field practicum education in Practicum II expanding their competency to integrate theoretical and conceptual frameworks of social work practice in a professional social work practice setting under the supervision of a social worker/field supervisor.
Prerequisites: SOWK 6440 - Practicum Seminar II
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2025 Whole Spring 2027
SOWK 6440 - Practicum Seminar II
16 weeks
1
Practicum Seminar II compliments and supports Practicum II. In this course, students critically examine practicum experiences in assignments, group work and seminar style discussions. Students’ field practicum experiences will serve as the basis for in depth application of theory, research and professional practice. Co-requisite: SOWK 6430
Prerequisites: SOWK 6100 - Clinical Social Work Practice I SOWK 6410 - Practicum I
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2025 Whole Spring 2027
Year One Summer

7 credits.

Courses
Duration
Credits
SOWK 6230 - Rural Social Work Practice
10 weeks
3
In this course students examine social norms, social welfare problems, social welfare programing and policy in the context of rural communities. Rurality as a cultural construct is introduced and integrated into the helping process to inform best practices for serving rural populations. Established evidence-based social work practice methods are critically examined for their applicability to rural contexts. Students will learn additional skills, theory, and assessment techniques applicable to people who identify with rurality.
Prerequisites: SOWK 6100 - Clinical Social Work Practice I SOWK 6220 - Clinical Social Work Practice II
Semesters Offered: Whole Summer 2025 Whole Summer 2027
SOWK 6450 - Practicum III
10 weeks
3
This course is taken in the summer following year one and requires students to complete 150 hours of supervised social work practicum experience. Drawing upon achievements from year one practicum and course work, students are expected to demonstrate competence in clinical social work practice with individuals, groups, and families under the supervision of a practicum educator. Students continue to gain insights and feedback on their practice through assessment of the nine competencies that frame their practicum education. Co-requisite: SOWK 6460
Prerequisites: SOWK 6430 - Practicum II
Semesters Offered: Whole Summer 2025 Whole Summer 2027
SOWK 6460 - Practicum Seminar III
10 weeks
1
Practicum seminar III is taken along with Practicum III where practice theories skills, ethics and practice of social work are further integrated though case reviews, critical analysis and evaluation of evidence-based practices, and self-reflective processes. Practicum three will include emphasis on the students’ understanding and use of supervision, and their contribution to macro level practices in the practicum setting. (1 credit) Co-requisite: SOWK 6450
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Summer 2025 Whole Summer 2027
Year Two Fall

13 credits.

Courses
Duration
Credits
SOWK 6310 - Social Work Research Methods
16 weeks
3
This course will focus on the methodological and philosophical foundations of scientific inquiry. Content will include ethical and culturally responsible research methods and approaches to quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. Students will understand the importance of research in expanding the social work knowledge base and to enhance human well-being. Students will understand how to use research to analyze data, evaluate programs, and inform practice.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2025 Whole Fall 2027
SOWK 6610 - Social Work Supervision and Administration
16 weeks
3
This course provides students the skills and knowledge for social work supervision, leadership, management, and administration of human service programs. Students will learn the standards of supervision within the context of professional ethics, identity, and role. The course will introduce students to the administrative skills of fundraising, budgeting, strategic planning, and program evaluation.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2025 Whole Fall 2027
SOWK 6250 - Psychopathology and Diagnosis for Social Work Practice
16 weeks
3
This course expands on Human Behavior in the Social Environment by examining the impact of socio-economic environments on people in and outside of the United States, particularly those experiencing or escaping poverty, war, or climate influenced hardship. Content will include the relationship between local and migrating populations and the implications for clinical social work practice in culturally, economically, diverse rural communities, with particular attention to the Permian Basin.
Prerequisites: SOWK 6510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2025 Whole Fall 2027
SOWK 6470 - Practicum IV
16 weeks
3
This course is taken in year two and requires students to complete 240 hours of supervised clinical experience in an approved field practicum site. This course is the final live Practicum course. Drawing upon achievements from year one Practicum and course work, students will demonstrate advanced competence in clinical social work practice with individuals, groups, and families under the supervision of a Practicum Educator. Students continue to gain insights and feedback of their practice through assessment of the nine competencies that frame their practicum education. Emphasis will include ensuring students have opportunities to engage in and demonstrate understanding of macro practice in the agency setting. Students will have the knowledge and skill necessary to choose and implement evidence based interventions in their work with clients and client systems. Co-requisites: SOWK 6480
Prerequisites: SOWK 6460 - Practicum Seminar III SOWK 6450 - Practicum III
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2025 Whole Fall 2027
SOWK 6480 - Practicum Seminar IV
16 weeks
1
Practicum Seminar IV is taken concurrently with Practicum IV. Social work practice theories skills, ethics and practice of social work are further advanced in this course though case reviews, critical analysis of evidence-based practices, and self-reflective processes. In this seminar course students are introduced to the process of professional licensure, preparation for the licensing exam, and the importance of advanced practice post graduate education. (1 credit) Prerequisite: SOWK 6343, SOWK 6143 Co-requisites: SOWK 6344
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2025 Whole Fall 2027
Year Two Spring

13 credits.

Courses
Duration
Credits
SOWK 6320 - Applied Social Work Research
16 weeks
3
In this course students will apply qualitative, quantitative and mix methods research to social work practice. Students will gain competence in culturally responsive research methods designed to examine micro, mezzo and macro social welfare problems and practice. Ethical scientific inquiry that respects and acknowledges research “subjects/participants” as partners and beneficiaries of research will ground this course. Students will complete a research project that examines a social welfare or practice topic relevant to a rural region.
Prerequisites: SOWK 6310 - Social Work Research Methods
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2026
SOWK 6240 - Social Work in Healthcare Settings
16 weeks
3
In this course students will learn practice models, theories, and interventions applicable to healthcare settings. Practice knowledge will include understanding the subjective experience of chronic/acute illness, pain, disability, death and dying, grief and loss, particularly in rural and culturally diverse communities, and the inherent ethical issues and dilemmas posed for professional caregivers. Various settings will be explored including inpatient, outpatient, community clinics, home healthcare, and hospice. Students will learn methods of interdisciplinary collaboration with healthcare professionals in the context of social work ethics and values, both on the front lines and in administration. Course content will prepare students to advocate for ethical, equitable and effective policies in healthcare.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2026
SOWK 6351 - Group Work Theory and Practice
16 weeks
3
Building on content from SOWK 6100 and 6220, this course provides students in depth knowledge and skills for group work. The course includes content on group process and practice, including skills required for effective group leadership, stages of group development, and ethical considerations. Students will apply an understanding of human development and practice theories to group practice. Attention is given to utilizing group methods in clinical social work practice with vulnerable populations. Prerequisites: SOWK 6100, SOWK 6220
Prerequisites: SOWK 6100 - Clinical Social Work Practice I SOWK 6220 - Clinical Social Work Practice II
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2026
SOWK 6490 - Practicum V
16 weeks
3
This course is taken in the spring of year two and represents the culmination of the Practicum experience. Students are required to complete the remainder of their practicum hours (30) using simulation technology either remotely or in person at the UTPB College of Health Sciences and Human Performance Labs. In the first week, students and their instructor will formulate individually customized plans to address competencies students need to strengthen following their Practicum I-IV courses. Simulations will provide exercises in advanced clinical practice, ethical dilemmas, advocacy, supervision, and group work. By the end of Practicum V, students will have accumulated 900 clock hours of Practicum. Prerequisite: SOWK 6470, SOWK 6480 Co-requisites: SOWK 6500
Prerequisites: SOWK 6470 - Practicum IV SOWK 6480 - Practicum Seminar IV
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2026
SOWK 6500 - Practicum Seminar V
16 weeks
1
Practicum seminar V is taken concurrently with Practicum V. Students will review their simulation work with classmates and their instructor, showing evidence of advanced competence in all nine social work competencies. Students will further advance in skill through analysis of simulation technology through case presentations with peers, and self-reflective evaluation. In this final seminar course students will continue preparation for the licensing exam and produce a capstone assignment demonstrating integration of theory, knowledge, and skill across competencies (1 credit) Prerequisite: SOWK 6470 Co-requisites: SOWK 6490
Prerequisites: SOWK 6470 - Practicum IV SOWK 6480 - Practicum Seminar IV
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2026
Year Two Summer

6 credits. Electives (choose two).

Courses
Duration
Credits
SOWK 6364 - Special Topics in Social Work
10 weeks
3
This course allows students to create an independent course of study in an area of their choice, with suggested topics that align with health or mental health in rural settings. Topics students may consider include intimate partner violence, substance use disorder, housing and homelessness, food instability, migrants, aging, end of life care, veterans, disabilities, issues related to LGBTQ and BIPOC populations.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Summer 2026
SOWK 6363 - Social Work with Children and Adolescents
10 weeks
3
This class builds on the practice courses to provide in depth content on the development, health, mental health, education, safety and wellbeing of children and adolescents. Course content will prepare students for work in primary and host settings serving children, and for effective professional interagency collaboration when working across service settings. The course examines the experiences of children and families in the child welfare system, with attention to culturally responsive and ethical practice.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Summer 2026
SOWK 6361 - Social Work with Latinx Families
10 weeks
3
This course will examine evidence-based practices with Latinx families from a regional and international perspective. The social construction of Latinx families in the U.S. will be examined to allow for more accurate assessments and interventions. Latinx families from around the world will be examined to provide students with an expanded understanding of the diversity of the “familia.” The impact of migration, acculturation, and assimilation of Latinx people will inform family functioning models and intervention approaches.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Summer 2026

Admission Requirements

The UT Permian Basin online MSW program requires: 

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution or proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale on the last 60 hours of coursework leading to the baccalaureate degree.

Our MSW program does not require the GRE exam for admission.

Conditional Admission Requirements

To be considered for conditional admission, applicants must provide evidence of their ability to succeed in graduate study, demonstrate adequate preparation for the proposed graduate program, and provide a favorable recommendation from the Graduate Admissions Committee of the college/school/department in which the student expects to pursue graduate study, with final approval by the dean of graduate studies and the director of the MSW program.

Official Transcripts

Official copies of transcripts must come directly from the school in a sealed envelope and should be mailed to:

UT Permian Basin
Graduate Studies Office
4901 E. University Blvd.
Odessa, TX 79762

Official transcripts in electronic format can be sent to gradstudies@utpb.edu

Supporting Documents
All supporting documents related to a graduate program, such as letters of recommendation, essays, statements of interest, resumes, professional work experience, and awards should be sent to the Graduate Studies Office:

UT Permian Basin
Graduate Studies
4901 E. University Blvd.
Odessa, TX 79762-0001

Electronic versions of supporting documents may be emailed to gradstudies@utpb.edu. 

Application Fee

The application fee is $40.

 

 

Assistant Professor
MSW Field Director/Interim MSW Director
Department of Social Work
reynolds_s@utpb.edu

Dr. Stacey d’Aonne Reynolds is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Originally from the DFW Metroplex, Dr. Reynolds graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s in social work from The University of Texas at Arlington and her doctorate in social work from the University of Kentucky, along with a secondary master’s in organizational leadership from Northcentral University.

Since 2012, Dr. Reynolds has worked in victim services, mental health, medical social work, skilled nursing, hospice, and primary care. Dr. Reynolds is passionate about mental health recovery, mental health policy, and leadership in social work. Her research interests are related to the mind-body connection, stress, and chronic illness, as well as spirituality. She enjoys volunteering and mentoring. She is interested in writing for scientific journals, as well as books related to mental health recovery and self-help.

Adjunct Faculty
Department of Social Work

Dr. Barnes received their graduate degree from the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. They hold licensure as a Clinical Social Worker and Supervisor (LCSW-S).

With a wealth of experience across diverse settings, Dr. Barnes has worked in medical/hospital and rehabilitation social work, psychiatric in-patient settings, and nursing facilities. They have also served as a social service consultant for various nursing facilities, a role that remains vital in rural areas. Dr. Barnes has a clinical practice in nursing facilities and on Alzheimer's units, where they find fulfillment in interacting with staff, families, and residents throughout their healthcare journeys. Additionally, Dr. Barnes has experience in hospice care and is a Certified Mediator.

In addition to their clinical work, Dr. Barnes holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD.) with an industrial/organizational emphasis. Their research interests span mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and the study of Carl Jung's theories, particularly in dream analysis. They have conducted research on the utilization of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in special education classrooms, reflecting their interest in autism research and the application of MBSR in educational settings.

LengthApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Whole Fall8/12/248/19/248/23/24 8/26/2412/13/24
LengthApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Whole Fall8/11/258/18/258/22/258/25/2512/12/25

You may also be interested in

CONNECT WITH US