Addictions Practice

This specialization is a broad overview of addictions, substance use and abuse in the U.S.  The focus is on micro and macro knowledge, understanding, and skills acquisition to develop professional relationships with diverse clients with alcohol, drug abuse and/or behavioral addictions. Classes cover material on behavioral addictions, addictive substances, and macro practice in addictions.  Field placements may include work within agencies providing inpatient, outpatient, or co-occurring mental health and addictions treatment. The Addiction specialization pairs well as a dual specialization with just about any other specialization, as addictions are pervasive in every area of social work.

Child Welfare

This specialization prepares students for working with children and families who have experienced child maltreatment. Many also experience poverty, domestic violence, mental illness, and substance abuse. Interventions focus on individual and family strengths; preventing and alleviating the consequences of child maltreatment; and promoting the safety, permanence, and well-being of children who have suffered, or are at risk of, child maltreatment. Content includes trauma-focused child welfare and policies, laws, and rules that impact children and families involved in the child welfare system. Field placement opportunities include public and private child welfare agencies, juvenile justice programs, court settings, substance abuse treatment, schools, and foster care/adoption agencies.


This specialization centers on social work practice in healthcare settings, including clinics, hospitals, home health and hospice agencies, and skilled nursing facilities. Medical social work has grown significantly in the last 20 years, especially with the aging of the baby boomer population. Students will learn about grief and loss, in addition to being offered a course on medical terminology. Experiences in the field may include working in a dialysis clinic, conducting intakes in the emergency room of a hospital, facilitating groups on death and dying at a hospice facility, working with veterans, and more.

Mental Health

This specialization prepares students to provide psychotherapy services for individuals, families, and groups in rural and small town settings. Students learn applicable theories for working in a behavioral health setting and have multiple opportunities to practice the application of those theories. Specific content on trauma-focused practice is included, in addition to content on macro practice in community mental health settings. Field placement opportunities include community mental health agencies, inpatient mental health settings, private and public behavioral health agencies, schools, and substance abuse treatment. Pairs well with Addictions or Child Welfare specializations.