How do I Choose the Best Social Worker Classes?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 March 2018
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Determining the best social worker classes may depend on a number of factors. These include the level of study of the student; some students are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, while others are studying for their master’s or doctorate in social work (MSW and DSW). Additionally, many people possess a license in social work, usually a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) designation and may need to take classes as part of continuing education requirements. These considerations are matched by others, like requirements of a program or interest in different types of social work.

In any formal education setting certain social worker classes might be required for graduation. These will vary depending on the school and the level of degree being earned, but most people will have to take some required courses. At the same time, there is usually a certain amount of elective material, and what is offered at each college may differ slightly.

For those people working on a bachelor’s in social work and planning to eventually earn an MSW, elective courses that could be attractive include graduate level work. It’s possible that taking some senior level or graduate work may shorten a master’s program by as much as a year. Students will need to verify this with colleges to which they plan to apply.


At the MSW level, elective social worker classes often help people determine what area of the profession they’d like to enter. They could take classes that focus on family systems therapy, other forms of psychotherapy, community organization, or medical social work, for example. If people haven’t yet made a decision about how they’ll pursue their social work career, experimenting and taking classes in a couple of areas is advised.

Many MSW and DSW programs have thesis or dissertation requirements. This might also be a way people choose social worker classes. It can make sense to take courses that are closely tied to thesis/dissertation topics, since these may help with gaining more knowledge about particular subjects.

Some social workers are particularly interested in getting as much work experience as possible. Though most programs have a work component, there may be elective classes that allow for more opportunities to work in different fields. This could be of interest to certain students.

LCSWs typically have continuing education requirements. Some subjects might also be non-elective, particularly if there are major changes in regional laws to which a social worker will have to adhere. Other courses are very open and there are many potential electives.

Inexpensive classes might be offered through regional social worker licensing boards and some of these are online, taking little time to complete. Social worker classes of many other types exist and are taught by numerous sources. Professionals should simply verify that any classes meet regional board requirements



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