Master of Social Work

As stated by the Council on Social Work Education, the profession of social work promotes human and community well-being. Socials workers focus on social and economic justice at the local, national, and global level. They are often pioneers - challenging the status quo and working tirelessly to help others help themselves. 

  • Social workers have many options for specialization. Choose what impassions you in areas such as: child or adult protective services, health care, mental health, individual and family counseling, criminal justice, or social agency administration. 

  • Career opportunities include health care services, schools and universities, youth development, senior services, adoptions and foster care, community development, child and family services, mental health services, government and not-for-profit organizations. 

The MSW program's goal is to prepare graduates to become advanced generalists with a focus on culturally competent practice. The program provides structure with the knowledge, values, and skills needed for advanced practice and leadership. Because HPU sits at a global crossroads, students have firsthand experience providing services to diverse populations. 

  • The learning environment at HPU is truly multi-cultural, with students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries. 

  • HPU understands the needs of working adults and offers flexible scheduling options. In addition to evening and weekend classes, students can also choose from online and hybrid courses. 

  • In addition to being committed teachers, researchers, and scholars, faculty in the MSW program are also veteran practitioners. You will greatly benefit from their experience as community leaders and advocates. 

BSW GOALS/CORE COMPETENCIES AND PRACTICE BEHAVIORS

COMPETENCY 1: STUDENT DEMONSTRATES ETHICAL AND PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR. 

  • PB 1.1: Student makes ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context. 
  • PB 1.2: Student uses reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations. 
  • PB 1.3: Student demonstrates professional demeanor in behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication. 
  • PB 1.4: Student uses technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes.
  • PB 1.5: Student uses supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior. 

COMPETENCY 2: STUDENT ENGAGES DIVERSITY AND DIFFERENCE IN PRACTICE. 

  • PB 2.1: Student applies and communicates understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. 
  • PB 2.2: Student presents themselves as learners and engages clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences. 
  • PB 2.3: Student applies self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.

COMPETENCY 3: STUDENT ADVANCES HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE. 

  • PB 3.1: Student applies their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels. 
  • PB 3.2: Student engages in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice. 

COMPETENCY 4: STUDENT ENGAGES IN PRACTICE-INFORMED RESEARCH AND RESEARCH-INFORMED PRACTICE. 

  • PB 4.1: Student uses practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research. 
  • PB 4.2: Student applies critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings. 
  • PB 4.3: Student uses and translates research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery. 

COMPETENCY 5: STUDENT ENGAGES IN POLICY PRACTICE. 

  • PB 5.1: Student identifies social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services. 
  • PB 5.2: Student assesses how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services. 
  • PB 5.3: Student applies critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. 

COMPETENCY 6: STUDENT ENGAGES WITH INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND COMMUNITIES. 

  • PB 6.1: Student applies knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies. 
  • PB 6.2: Student uses empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to engage effectively with diverse clients and constituencies. 

COMPETENCY 7: STUDENT ASSESSES INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND COMMUNITIES. 

  • PB 7.1: Student collects and organizes data, and applies critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies. 
  • PB 7.2: Student applies knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies. 
  • PB 7.3: Student develops mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies. 
  • PB 7.4: Student selects appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies. 

COMPETENCY 8: STUDENT INTERVENES WITH INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND COMMUNITIES. 

  • PB 8.1: Student critically chooses and implements interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies. 
  • PB 8.2: Student applies knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies.
  • PB 8.3: Student uses inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes.
  • PB 8.4: Student negotiates, mediates, and advocates with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies. 
  • PB 8.5: Student facilitates effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.  

COMPETENCY 9: STUDENT EVALUATES PRACTICE WITH INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND COMMUNITIES. 

  • PB 9.1: Student selects and uses appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes. 
  • PB 9.2: Student applies knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes. 
  • PB 9.3: Student critically analyzes, monitors, and evaluates intervention and program processes and outcomes.
  • PB 9.4: Student applies evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. 

Graduate Assistantships

HPU's Graduate Assistantship (GA) program provides a limited number of assistantships each year to qualified full-time graduate students. Once a student is awarded a GA they can keep it for the duration of their 2-year degree. GA's are available to full-time domestic and international MSW students.

GA's may engage in academic research with a social work faculty member or be involved in limited classroom teaching experiences. A 25% tuition scholarship is based on 9 hours of weekly work while a 50% tuition scholarship involves 18 hours of weekly work.

 

To Apply: 
  • Students must apply to the regular or advanced standing MSW program. Graduate certificate and post-masters students are not eligible to receive assistantships.
  • Students must be in good academic standing and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 from an accredited university. Full-time course enrollment is required during Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Students must submit a Graduate Assistantship Application and resume. 

 

Deadlines: 

January 15th for first consideration

March 15th for second round consideration

*For more information about Graduate Assistantships, email Dr. Peter Mataira at pmataira@hpu.edu or call (808) 544-1487. 

Admission Deadlines for Fall Entry
  • January 15 (priority)
  • March 15 (deadline)
  • May 1 (late deadline - if space available)
Required Application Materials
  • Completed on-line application including personal statement
  • $50 non-refundable application fee (paid online)
  • Two reference forms with accompanying letters
  • Original official transcripts from previous undergraduate colleges and universities; and if applicable, graduate colleges and universities. The official transcripts (with the college/university seal) must be submitted directly from the colleges or universities. Notify the Office of Graduate Admissions if your transcript is under a former name. 

 

Criteria for Admissions

For Regular MSW Status: 
  • Conferred baccalaureate degree with at least 30 credit hours in Liberal Arts from an accredited four-year institution
  • Minimum overall GPA of a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Completion with a  grade of a "C" or high in (a) statistics and (b) research methods course
 For MSW Advanced Standing Status
  • Conferred baccalaureate degree from a CSWE-accredited BSW program at a four-year institution. The degree should be completed no more than five years before initial enrollment in the MSW program. 
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in social work courses
  • Completion with a grade of a "C" or high in (a) statistics and (b) research methods course
  • One reference form an an accompanying letter from a former BSW faculty member who can attest to your ability to successfully perform advanced standing graduate work
  • Copy of BSW field evaluations demonstrating successful field performance

Additional Requirements

In addition to the general admissions requirements, international applicants must also submit: 

  • TOEFL scores for applicants whose first language is not English

  • International transcript evaluation: All international transcripts not from an English-speaking institution must be translated and evaluated by a reputable credential evaluation service

*Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions for additional materials required for admission to Hawai'i Pacific University

Applicant must be enrolled or have recently enrolled in a graduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In addition to the requirements for regular MSW status (or MSW Advanced Standing status) transfer applicants must submit: 

  • A personal statement that reflects reasons for wanting to transfer to the School of Social Work at Hawai'i Pacific University

  • Letter of good standing from the Dean or the Director of the program (or their designee)

  • Field evaluation of any fieldwork accomplished up to this point

  • A syllabus and course catalog description for each course you wish to transfer for credit (up to 15 credits). *Note: these documents are required only after being accepted into the program. 

Applicants whose overall GPA is below 3.0, on a 4.0 scale may be considered for admissions on a case-by-case basis. Students in this category will be restricted to nine credit hours of course work during the first semester and must earn a B grade or higher in each of the courses. Students who fail to earn a B grade or higher in each course will be dismissed from the MSW program at the end of the fall semester. 

 Join the Social Work Club! 

The mission and purpose of the social work club is to foster a safe learning environment to anyone interested in the social work profession and its primary function of advocating for persons living in the micro, mezzo and macro level, and provide the community with support. 

The Hawai'i Pacific University Social Work Club is a student-led organization designed to provide students with opportunities to connect with other social work students and the surrounding community. Activities and fundraising events provide an environment to learn about community outreach organizing, empowerment of the self and for others, social self-awareness and the impact these experiences can have for students at Hawai'i Pacific University, all people of this island and our global cohorts.