Non-U.S. MSW?
August 13, 2010 5:34 AM   Subscribe

What are some good MSW programs outside the US?

A friend wants to pursue a career in counseling, and is looking at MSW programs here in the US (it seems the MSW degree offers the greatest flexibility in licensing), and is definitely not interested in a PhD in psychology. My friend has an undergraduate degree in fine arts, and was thinking about studying overseas for the 2-3 year degree. What english language degrees would allow her to pursue a career in counseling back home in the US? Are the differences between US health care and other countries so great as to make the curriculum too different? I thought England, Australia, NZ, but couldn't drill down any deeper. Any advice would be appreciated.
posted by youchirren to Education (4 answers total)
If I understand the question I believe the answer is none. In order to receive a MSW you must graduate from a Masters level program at a school that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Accreditation (CSWE) and then take a test in the State in which you wish to practice ( I think). CSWE, to the best of knowledge, only accredits programs in the US. Individual States may grant a waiver for the MSW but that would need to be researched State by State. Other countries offer similar degrees but I am not sure how portable they are. My guess is that a MSW can not be awarded but one might receive a license at the Master's level in a related counseling field. Please feel free to email if I can be helpful. It is probably the words and specific degree MSW that will be a stumbling block. If you wish to do further research you really need to look at the specific requirements of individual states. The advantage of an MSW is its portability with in the US because of the common accreditation of schools.
posted by rmhsinc at 10:27 AM on August 13, 2010

Why overseas? Just for a different life experience? I wonder if McGill's MSW would fit her critera? She could pick up a bit of French and be exposed to a differnet culture without too much of a culture shock. She would then have to look into equivalency at the state level (which is something they will be familiar with).
posted by saucysault at 1:20 PM on August 13, 2010

Best answer: My advice, as a recently graduated MSW: The job market is crummy in the US right now, and it may well be crummy 2-3 years from now. One way many people who graduated with me got jobs was through connections they'd made at their practicums (internships). It's not the only factor, but it was a big help in many cases. If your friend goes overseas for her degree, she may run into difficulties getting a job in the States post-graduation. This becomes a bigger issue because in the USA, in order to get paid by private insurance as a therapist, you have to be licensed at the independent level. That means two years of work experience after you've been licensed at the master's level. If your friend wants to practice in the US, my strong advice is to pick a grad school close to where she'd like to be living/working after graduation.
posted by epj at 2:32 PM on August 13, 2010

Smith college has a highly respected msw program. Their structure is to do their classwork during summers so that their students can pick from a national pool of internships from September to April or May. I'm not sure if they have international internships, but it wouldn't be hard to find out.
posted by DTHEASH1 at 4:14 PM on August 15, 2010

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