Alternative Title

Analysis of MSW programs in United States

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type

Qualitative content analysis


School for Social Work


Social work education-United States, Social work administration-Study and teaching (Graduate)-United States, Clinical social work education, Preparation, Administrative leadership


The purpose of this study was to explore graduate level clinical social work programs’ preparation of students for administrative leadership. Relevant literature shows that social workers are attaining positions in management and administrative leadership without the needed skills and knowledge to competently perform the job. Further, even when clinical social workers are not in positions of management or administration, they are asked to perform duties related to management and administration, for which they are often not trained. This lack of training has contributed to the underrepresentation of clinical social workers in administrative leadership positions at agencies in which they are employed. A content analysis of the course catalogs of 30 clinical social work graduate programs was performed to determine if clinical social work education is preparing students, in any form and to any degree, for administrative leadership.The findings indicate that while opportunity is available to clinical social work students to engage in management/administration coursework, this opportunity is promoted at very few schools, and such coursework is required at even fewer institutions. Despite this, schools state that social workers often do assume management/administrative roles following graduation, with many schools stating that their graduate education prepares their students for leadership roles. The implications of the findings are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.




iv, 36 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 32-36)

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