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MSW Student Handbook


Introduction #

Welcome to the Indiana University School of Social Work (IUSSW) and the Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The MSW Student Handbook has been designed as a set of documents that provide a guide for your graduate education. The Handbook supplements the Bulletin of the School of Social Work and other University materials. The MSW Student Handbook provides the historical background of the School, curriculum information, and policies and procedures for all students accepted into the graduate program, regardless of campus. Each campus has its own supplement that helps students identify campus-specific services as well as any minor nuances in program delivery at that site.

The central administrative offices of the IUSSW are located in the state capital on the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IU Indianapolis) campus. These include the Office of the Dean and other administrative personnel that provide support to programs on all campuses. This Handbook will address statewide administrative functions and policies. Students should also review their own campus supplement for additional administrative and faculty support information.

Indiana University School of Social Work: A History of Tradition and a Future of Excellence #

In the late 19th Century, the State of Indiana began developing its unique set of organizations and institutions. Still predominantly rural, the population was beginning to shift from farms to towns and cities. As industrialized centers began to emerge, what is now Indiana University was first organized as a seminary by legislative provision in 1820. As time went on, the college remained a small liberal arts institution with the addition of a law school. In 1908, the new University School of Medicine was launched in Indianapolis, the state capital.

The early 1900’s were a time when scientific and technical knowledge expanded rapidly, and school enrollments increased as young people came to see the value of education for entry into professions and specialized work. Indiana University President William Lowe Bryan recognized this in his 1902 inaugural address. “What people want is open paths from every corner of the

state, through the school, to the highest and best things which men (sic) can achieve.” In 1909, Indiana University was admitted to the American Association of American Universities. Bryan said this would not have occurred if the University had failed to expand its offerings into professional fields (Rogers, 1982).

In 1911, the first courses in the field of social work practice were offered through the Department of Economics and Sociology. Between 1911 and 1944 various administrative and curricular changes were put into effect, and degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels were offered. In 1944, the Indiana University Division of Social Services was established by action of the Trustees of Indiana University. The organizational status was changed in 1966 when the Graduate School of Social Service was created. In 1973, the name was changed to the School of Social Service and, in 1977, the Indiana University School of Social Work, in order to reflect more clearly its identification with the profession.

The IU School of Social Work has been accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1923 with the most recent reaffirmation of accreditation in 2021. The Education Policy and Accreditation Standards (2015) of the Council on Social Work Education is available for viewing at CSWE. The Master of Social Work Program is currently offered on seven campuses of the Indiana University system: Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IU Indianapolis); Indiana University Bloomington ; Indiana University Northwest in Gary; Indiana University East in Richmond; Indiana University South Bend, Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, and Indiana University Fort Wayne. The IU School of Social Work also offers MSW Direct, an accredited fully-online MSW program.

The main campus of the Indiana University School of Social Work is housed on the campus of IU Indianapolis. IU Indianapolis is an innovative experiment in higher education. Created in 1969, it represents a unique merger of two major state universities, Indiana University and Purdue University. IU Indianapolis draws upon the traditional strengths of each institution, bringing together in downtown Indianapolis the best of both universities. Purdue University oversees educational programs in science, engineering, and technology, while Indiana University assumes responsibility for academic programs in art, medicine, nursing, optometry, physical education, dentistry, law, public and environmental affairs and social work. For budgetary and administrative management, IU Indianapolis is housed within Indiana University.

IU Indianapolis is a vast and complex educational institution. Each year approximately 30,000 students enroll in courses. Approximately 350 degree programs are offered at IU Indianapolis. Educational resources include a state-of-the-art library, sophisticated computer technology centers available in convenient locations around the campus, and nearby access to the headquarters of major industries and to state government. IU Indianapolis is an urban university that is involved with communities throughout the city of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana.

The Profession of Social Work and the MSW Program at Indiana University #

The Preamble of the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (2017) states:

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual well- being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.

Social workers promote the social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. “Clients” is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation, administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals’ needs and social problems. (p.1)

Social workers and social work students practice within the fundamental values and ethical principles of the social work profession. The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (2017) is the primary guiding document.

Through professional social work education that is based upon a liberal arts perspective, graduates acquire the essential knowledge, learn to apply the fundamental values and ethics of the profession, and learn to use the integral skills of social work in competent professional practice. Graduates of the IU Master of Social Work (MSW) program are prepared for social work practice across the continuum of clinical to community, or micro to macro, areas of practice. Additionally, students complete specialized coursework in one of six focus areas: 1) Children, Youth and Families; 2) Health; 3) Leadership; 4) Mental Health and Addictions; 5) Schools, or 6) Special Practice Areas in Social Work. Different campuses offer different areas of focus, and only Indiana University East and MSW Direct offer Special Practice Areas in Social Work as their area of focus.

Social Work Policy on Nondiscrimination #

Based on the tradition of the social work profession, and consistent with Indiana University’s Equal Opportunity Policy, the Indiana University School of Social Work affirms and conducts all aspects of its teaching, scholarship, and service activities without discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, socioeconomic status, marital status, national or ethnic origin, age, religion/creed, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity. The School of Social Work has a strong commitment to diversity and nondiscrimination. Indeed, diversity is celebrated as strength. This perspective is demonstrated by the composition of its faculty and student body, curriculum content, recruitment and retention activities, participation in University committees dealing with oppressed populations, numerous service activities including advocacy on behalf of the disadvantaged, selection of field practicum sites, and School policies related to promotion and tenure of its faculty.

MSW Program Structure and Roles #

The Dean of the IU School of Social Work provides overall administrative oversight and decision-making for all programs, fiscal affairs, university and community relations. The Associate Dean supports the Dean in this role with primary responsibility for internal and academic affairs.

The Senior MSW Program Director in coordination with MSW Program Directors and/or Coordinators on the IU Fort Wayne, IU North, IU South Bend and IU Indianapolis campuses, as well as a Director for MSW Direct, provides administrative leadership on their respective campus, including implementation of the classroom and field curriculum, course scheduling, admissions, financial aid, orientations, advising, and student services. Administrative leadership for the IU Fort Wayne, IU South, and IU East campuses falls under the IU Indianapolis directorship. As a team convened by the Associate Dean, the Senior MSW Program Director and the Directors/Coordinators provide overall administrative and curriculum leadership for the MSW Program statewide, assuring program delivery that is in compliance with accreditation standards of the CSWE.

The Faculty of the School of Social Work consists of full- and part-time members on each of the seven campuses. The Faculty Senate is the governing body from which a Chairperson of the MSW Curriculum Committee is appointed to coordinate faculty involvement in all aspects of MSW curriculum planning and program assessment.

The MSW Student Services Coordinators and the Director of Admissions work in all aspects of student services, including MSW student recruitment and admissions, as well as registration, new student orientation, financial aid, commencement, and special events. The Child Welfare Scholars program has a Student Services Coordinator specifically assigned to that program, as does MSW Direct.

Field Coordinators are faculty that specialize in delivering field education at IUSSW. The IU Indianapolis campus currently has MSW Field Coordinators who, in addition to the generalist focus, have specialized focuses based upon the current MSW focus areas. One MSW Field Coordinator currently serves students on all campuses who are pursuing international field placement opportunities. The Child Welfare Scholars Program Field Coordinator and MSW Direct Field Coordinators manage field assignments for MSW students in those programs.

Field Liaisons are faculty members assigned to students when they enter each field placement. Field liaisons serve as the educational link to help students integrate classroom learning with the agency experience and are also the institutional links between the placement site and the School of Social Work.

Program support staff include the MSW Recorders and Student Services staff who perform much of the record-keeping and handle the processing of paperwork for such things as student address changes through the university, grade changes, removals of incomplete grades, etc.

The MSW Senior Field Secretary of Field Education coordinates the paperwork related to field placement agencies, student field records, field liaison assignments, and provides communication with students, field liaisons, and students. The Administrative Secretaries on all campuses provide direct support to the MSW Directors/Coordinators and faculty, including the Child Welfare Scholars Program.

A comprehensive list of program administrators, faculty, and staff appears on the IU School of Social Work.

Mission of the Indiana University School of Social Work MSW Program #

The mission of the Indiana University School of Social Work MSW program is to educate students to be prepared for practice with specialized expertise that includes advocating for social, racial and economic justice; to be critically-thinking, research-informed, continuously- learning, ethical, and competent social workers at a rural, urban and global level.

Goals of the MSW Program #

The mission and goals of the MSW Program at Indiana University are consistent with the purposes, values, and ethics of the social work profession, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation standards, and the unique needs of the State of Indiana which the University serves. Program goals guide the educational preparation of students in ways that assure adherence to professional knowledge, values and skills. These goals reflect attention to promoting the general welfare of all segments of society and promoting social and economic justice, utilizing competency-based education.

The Master of Social Work program goals are to:

Educate students to be effective and knowledgeable professionals prepared for advanced social work practice.

Build upon a liberal arts perspective to prepare students to continue their professional growth and development through a lifetime of learning, scholarship, and service.

Educate students to understand and apply the fundamental values and ethics of the social work profession in their practice.

Prepare students for social work practice with diverse populations and with client systems of all sizes.

Educate students about the social contexts of social work practice, the changing nature of those contexts, the behavior of organizations, and the dynamics of change.

  • Engage in scholarly activity including the discovery, integration, application, dissemination, and evaluation of knowledge for practice.
  • Promote and advocate for social and economic

MSW Program Competencies #

The MSW Program, in compliance with the educational policy of the Council on Social Work Education is a competency-based educational program. At the end of their curriculum, all MSW students will demonstrate mastery of the nine core social work competencies as operationalized by advanced practice behaviors measured in the concentration and field curriculum.

The core competencies are:

  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  2. Engage diversity and difference in practice
  3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  5. Engage in policy practice
  6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  7. Assess with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Curriculum #

Overview of the Curriculum #

The MSW curriculum includes three distinct levels through which students progress toward the advanced degree in social work. Upon admission, students enter into seven courses that constitute the generalist foundation of social work practice:

  1. SWK 502 – Research I (3 CR)
  2. SWK 505 – Social Policy Analysis and Practice (3 CR)
  3. SWK 506 – Introduction to the Social Work Profession (1 CR)
  4. SWK 507 – Diversity, Human Rights, and Social Justice (3 CR)
  5. SWK 508 – Generalist Theory & Practice (3 CR)
  6. SWK 509 – Social Work Practice with Organizations, Communities, and Societies (3 CR)
  7. SWK 555 – Field placement of 320 hours (3 CR)

Students who have already achieved a Bachelor of Social Work degree may be granted a waiver of this foundation curriculum if they are offered Advanced Standing status.

The second level of preparation is the Clinical and Community Practice concentration curriculum, which entails seven courses:

  1. SWK 517 – Assessment in Mental Health & Addictions (3 CR)
  2. SWK 518 – Clinical Theory & Practice (3 CR)
  3. SWK 519 – Community and Global Theory & Practice (3 CR)
  4. SWK 618 – Social Policy and Services (in the focus area) (3 CR)
  5. SWK 623/624 – Practice/Program Evaluation (in the focus area) (3 CR)
  6. SWK 651/652 – Field placement of 600 hours (in the focus area) (8 CR)
  7. SWK 661 – Executive Leadership Practice (3 CR)

The purpose of the concentration curriculum is to prepare students with more breadth and depth in their knowledge base for working across the micro to macro continuum and preparing for multiple types of clinical or community practice environments. In addition, the concentration curriculum serves to advance students’ critical thinking and practice skills for entry into specialized areas of practice.

The MSW program offers multiple scheduling paths, including full-time and part-time options on the IU Indianapolis, IU Bloomington, and IU South Bend campuses, part-time only options on the IU North, IU South, IU East, and IU Fort Wayne campuses, and a fully online option with MSW Direct. Students complete the first 31 credit hours of the curriculum in a cohort with other students following the same sequence of classes (note MSW Direct students are not placed in cohorts). When entering focus area courses, students are no longer in cohorts and class times vary depending on the focus area chosen.

Advanced Standing #

Students who have received a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program no more than five years prior to the intended MSW program start date are eligible for advanced standing admission.

Students may also qualify for advanced standing if they received a BSW from a CSWE- accredited program no more than 10 years prior to the intended MSW program start date, and have social work practice experience or have maintained active social work licensure during the five years prior to the intended MSW program start date.

Students who received a BSW outside this time frame or who have a bachelor’s degree other

than a BSW are eligible for regular standing admission.

Focus Areas #

Following the first 31 hours of the curriculum, students enter into one of six focus areas. Four of the focus areas are direct practice/clinical in nature: Children, Youth and Families; Health; Mental Health and Addictions; and School Social Work. Community and Organizational Leadership has a macro focus and prepares students for roles in supervision, administration, policy advocacy, and community planning. The sixth area, Special Practice Areas in Social Work, applies an advanced generalist model to specific populations often served in social work practice.

The courses in the focus areas are offered throughout the week at a variety of day and evening times. It is imperative that each student understand that this schedule will be driven by the individual choice of specialization, not by their entering cohort. Therefore, each student can anticipate that in the final year of coursework, classes may need to be taken during the daytime and evenings. The IU School of Social Work tries to provide as much variety in course offerings as possible, but cannot guarantee offerings at any specific day or time.

Part-time students are accepted into the MSW program on a three year schedule. The first year of course work is spread over two years. The final year requires students to take nearly a full- time course load. This means that part-time students must be prepared to complete a 2- semester practicum during the day, or a full-time block practicum along with coursework, during their final year. If any student requests to spread the third year over two years in order to continue or proceed on a part-time schedule, all course work must be completed entirely before the practicum ends. This may mean that the start of practicum is delayed. Please remember that all MSW degrees must be completed within six years of matriculation.

The best way for students to appreciate the scope of practice within each area is to speak to a faculty member who practices and teaches in that area. The IUSSW Faculty and Staff Directory, found on the IUSSW (, provides information that might guide students to the appropriate instructors. Here is an overview of each area:

Students in this focus area understand at an advanced level mandates of the children, youth, and family service systems and learn to effectively intervene within the current framework of state and federal legislation. They are able to assess the impact of trauma and assess for risk and resilience with children, youth, and families and design effective interventions that build on best-practices and strengths with individuals, families and communities. They identify and apply interventions that address trauma, risk, and resilience in advanced practice with children, youth, and families. They evaluate the impact of the forms, mechanisms, and consequences of oppression and discrimination in the systems that impact children, youth, and families, including the impact on people of color, women, LGBT individuals, and other populations at risk as well as those groups distinguished by age, ethnicity, culture, class, religion, region, gender identity, and physical or mental ability.

Students who elect to practice in the health arena, apply the knowledge and skills of advanced social work practice to build and work effectively with multi-disciplinary teams that include physicians, nurses, dentists, psychiatrists, and other health care professionals. Students learn the medical terminology to conduct bio-psycho-social assessments based on myriad disease entities and patient dynamics. As social workers, they understand how healthcare is financed in the United States, analyze how financial resources for healthcare affect individual patient care, and advocate for change that improves access for all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other factors.

Students in this focus area assess mental health and addictions issues from person-in- environment, consumer focused, strengths-based, recovery-oriented, and other relevant perspectives. Students become competent in formulating intervention, prevention, or support and maintenance plans collaboratively with clients. Students gain preparation to serve as case managers, counselors, clinicians, and advocates for and with mental health and addictions consumers. Also, they are able to seek, discover, and evaluate relevant research studies and apply findings in evidence-based social work practice. Within the context of their practice, they conduct empirical evaluations of the effectiveness of interventions and services.

School social workers are certified educators/licensed mental health professionals who provide to school communities specialized expertise in social-emotional learning, trauma-informed care, children and adolescent behavioral health, family systems, and community services. School social workers provide culturally responsive clinical supports to vulnerable student populations who have a high risk for truancy and dropping out of school. These student populations may include homeless and foster children, migrant populations, students transitioning between school and treatment programs or the juvenile justice system, and students experiencing violence. They collaborate with teachers, administrators, parents, and other educators to provide coordinated interventions and consultation designed to keep students in school and to help their families access the supports needed to promote student success.

Often students with some experience in human services seek to prepare themselves for supervisory and administrative roles in one of the systems represented in the other focus areas or in some other arena of practice. By selecting the Leadership focus area, students opt to immerse themselves in an educational experience focused predominantly on indirect and macro-level practice. The Leadership skill set focus includes strategic planning, grant writing, financial management and budgeting, advanced policy analysis and advocacy, community organizing and development, among others.

This focus area is offered only at Indiana University East and MSW Direct. Social Workers gain employment in a wide range of practice fields and work with diverse client systems. Their work requires multi- dimensional, contextually sensitive, evidence-informed applications which are performed through a variety of social work roles. Special Practice Areas in Social Work provide students an opportunity to explore and develop expertise with practice issues that intersect with populations and agencies.

Academic Policies and Procedures #

Advising #

Once admitted, students are assigned an advisor to guide them in course sequencing and requirements for graduation. Advisors are also the first contact when students experience difficulty in coursework or timely completion of requirements, request for exceptions to curriculum policy, or change of status. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor in their first year, but may request a meeting at any time. Advisors work with the MSW Program Director, who has the authority on their respective campus to take into account students’ extenuating circumstances linked to policies related to admission, enrollment, and academic progress and/or appeals.

Class Attendance and Participation #

Regular attendance in classes and practicum course meetings is viewed as the personal and professional responsibility of each MSW student. Active participation in course activities is the expected norm. In participating, it is expected that students reflect interest in and respect for their colleagues in a manner that is congruent with the values, ethics, and skills of the social work profession. It is unacceptable to be absent from classes except for illness. All absences from class must be discussed with individual instructors. Refer to course syllabi for explicit classroom attendance and participation policies.

Bereavement Policy #

In keeping with the mission of Indiana University School of Social Work (IUSSW) to promote health and well-being for all, it is the IUSSW policy to recognize the effects that a significant loss can have on a student and their academic work.

In the event that a student experiences the death of a family member, relative, or other significant loss, the student will be excused from class for bereavement for up to seven (7) calendar days. Requests for bereavement leave and/or additional days, e.g. for travel, cultural, or faith traditions, must be made to the program director or the designee for the campus in which the student is enrolled. The student must provide the request in writing via email. The program director or designee will notify the student’s instructors of the request. Upon return, the student must contact each faculty member to arrange to make up any missed assignments.

Students who are in a practicum placement must also notify their Field and/or Task Instructor to negotiate absences from their agency. Students must make up any hours missed in order to accumulate the required number of hours for each practicum.

In exceptional situations, absences in excess of what is covered by this policy may significantly impede a student’s ability to successfully complete a course. In such cases, the student should first discuss options for course completion or withdrawal with their instructors. If the student determines they are not able to return after 7 days, they should contact their program director or designee about possible options.

If a student will be absent because of a significant loss, the student is responsible for notifying the program director or designee as soon as possible of the absence. The program director or designee will communicate with the individual’s course instructors of record about the bereavement leave of absence. The program director or designee may ask for additional documentation if necessary.

Students facing grief and loss benefit from supportive, empathetic environments in which they can process their experience. See Section University Services for supportive services on each campus.

This policy applies to all classes offered by the IUSSW. The program director or designee will request that students’ other professors also honor and respect the terms of this policy. It is the right of other professors outside of the IUSSW to follow or not follow this policy. The School of Social Work cannot enforce this policy outside of our system school. A student could petition the Office of Academic Affairs on their respective campuses regarding other classes if needed.

Academic Course Load #

A student enrolled in 9 credit hours during the fall or spring term is considered a full-time student in graduate school. However, the MSW program on many of our campuses uses a cohort model, which may require more credit hours. For example, the full-time cohort at IU Indianapolis requires 15-16 credit hours in order to graduate in two years. A student enrolled in 6 credit hours during the fall or spring term is considered a part-time student. Students are typically permitted to enroll in up to 6 credit hours during the summer. Any student seeking to enroll in more than the maximum should seek special approval from their advisor and/or program director prior to enrollment.

Timeline for Program Completion #

The MSW program must be completed within six years. Students enter the program with a planned graduation date, but may temporarily stop out or change cohort if needed with permission from their academic advisor. Stop-outs or cohort changes do not extend the six year limit. Special circumstances may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

No Credit for Life Experience #

Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given in whole or in part toward the social work degree.

Transfer of Credits #

Transfer students from other CSWE-accredited MSW programs may apply to the IUSSW

Master’s program at any time. The following documentation is required:

  • A letter from the previous MSW Program Director stating that the applicant left in good standing and verifying competence in the field of social work.
  • A transcript reflecting all completed MSW
  • A course syllabus from every completed MSW

The completed application goes through committee review. If accepted, the transcript and course syllabi are reviewed to determine which credits earned will transfer to Indiana University. In all circumstances, students must complete all required courses in the chosen curriculum.

An admitted student with graduate credits in a behavioral science field may potentially transfer one three credit hour course to the MSW program with the following caveats:

  • The school must approve it as an
  • The course must not be more than five years old at the time of MSW
  • The coursework is not part of a conferred graduate or undergraduate

Intercampus Transfers #

MSW students may transfer to another IU campus one time during the MSW program, pending sufficient space in the requested program and the approval of both program directors. To request a transfer, students must be in good standing in their current program. Students may be requested to complete at least one semester at the original campus before transferring to a second campus at the discretion of the program director.

If interested in transferring to another campus or MSW Direct, students should first consult with their advisor to receive a copy of the MSW Campus Transfer Request Form. Along with the form, students should submit a written statement of the reason for their requested transfer.

Social Media Policy for MSW Students #

Students are expected to adhere to the standards and guidelines of the social work profession when interacting with classmates, field instructors, and colleagues using social media or social networking sites. Establishing informal relationships with faculty and clients through social media and networking sites can make it difficult to maintain professional boundaries and are thus not appropriate.

Students should be aware that all social networking postings can potentially be made available to the public at large including their prospective clients, employers, colleagues and court proceedings. Privacy settings are never absolute, and confidential or personal information about peers, clients, and faculty should not be posted online. It is expected that students follow confidentiality standards in both face to face and online environments. For policies related to the Use of Technology in Field Placements, please refer to the MSW Field Manual.

Before communicating online, students are cautioned to think through carefully their postings which reflect on themselves, their field agency, the IUSSW and the social work profession itself. All postings should be professional and respectful in tone including those “private” posts between site members. Violations of the NASW Code of Ethics as evidenced online can result in disciplinary action including an official student review and/or possible dismissal. Please note the applicable portions of the NASW Code of Ethics.

Scholarly Writing #

In written assignments, students are expected to prepare documents in a scholarly and professional manner. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), Sixth Edition, serves as the definitive guide for style and format of all papers submitted in the MSW program. For example, paper submissions should be typewritten in double-spaced format and carefully edited for spelling and grammar. All direct quotations, paraphrases, empirical research findings and other statements of the research, scholarship or creative work of others must be appropriately annotated using the standard bibliographic citation methods set out by the most current APA manual.

Competent and effective social work practice requires well-developed and refined communication skills, including the use of the written word. Writing well helps social workers communicate information accurately and concisely to others involved in helping client systems. For this reason, formal writing assignments in social work courses will be evaluated on both the quality of the scholarly content as well as the quality of its presentation. Students experiencing writing difficulties are advised to seek assistance at their campus writing center.

Academic Dishonesty #

Plagiarism, or the use of another’s work without proper citation, is academic dishonesty and treated as a very serious matter in the School and larger University. Some students are not as familiar as they need to be with what constitutes acts of plagiarism and therefore plagiarize as a result of this lack of knowledge. Other students simply cheat. Neither form of plagiarism is tolerated at IUSSW and may be grounds for immediate dismissal from IUSSW and Indiana University.

An area that potentially allows for student problems to emerge is in the process of giving and taking help. The process of learning is as important as the actual outcome. Sharing projects, term papers, book reports, or other assignments denies the student the opportunity to learn and is considered cheating. It is very important to understand the difference between appropriate group work and the notion of sharing assignments.

Very rarely do faculty members allow the submission of the same paper in two courses. Students should discuss any exception to this rule with both instructors beforehand and demonstrate how the submission goes beyond requirements and serves the learning expectations of each course. Otherwise, duplicate submissions will be treated as academic dishonesty and may be grounds for immediate dismissal from IUSSW and Indiana University.

Grades of Incomplete #

(Revised and adopted by the Faculty Senate, February 2010)

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned by an instructor only when exceptional circumstances such as an illness, injury, or a family emergency prevents a student from finishing all the work required for the course. The grade of Incomplete may be considered only when a substantial portion of the course work has already been completed, the coursework is of satisfactory quality, and no more than one major exam or assignment is outstanding. The student who does not meet these requirements should meet with their advisor to withdraw from the course(s) in question. The student should refer to the Registrar’s Office on their respective campus regarding the policies and deadline for automatic withdrawal for the semester in question.

The student is responsible for initiating the request for a grade of Incomplete. If the instructor agrees, the instructor and student complete and sign a Record of Incomplete and Contract for Completion of Course Requirements form to ensure that a sound educational plan and time frame for completion of course requirements have been established. Failure to fulfill the terms of this contract within the stipulated time frame may result in a failing grade. For removal of a grade of Incomplete, the student is subject to the IUSSW policy, which has precedence over the University policy. The student in the School of Social Work is expected to complete outstanding course work expeditiously, since many courses serve as prerequisites for others. Additionally, the following apply:

  • Students must satisfactorily complete all foundation courses or have an approved contract for removing grades of Incomplete before taking any concentration
  • Students must satisfactorily complete all concentration courses (except for 618 and 623, since those are offered in specific focus areas) before entering a specified focus area.
  • Generally, students may carry no more than one grade of Incomplete at any given However, in cases of severe crisis, a student may work with their advisor to request grades of Incomplete in multiple courses.

Independent Study #

MSW students may seek permission to substitute a course of independent study for an MSW elective under the direction of an IUSSW full-time professor. The student must seek permission from their academic advisor and the full-time faculty member prior to enrollment in the independent study. Independent study affords a student an opportunity to explore a topic not addressed in classroom courses or to examine a subject in greater depth. Sometimes the independent study involves research of human subjects. When that is the case, the proposed research project must receive formal approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to course registration (website information is provided under Academic and Scholarly Guidelines below).

Please consult with your advisor to obtain the necessary forms for requesting an independent study. Faculty members, advisors and program directors will generally take the following into account when formally agreeing to a student’s proposal for independent study:

  1. The proposed course of independent study bears a direct relationship to professional social work and requires graduate level scholarship.
  2. The student’s academic advisor initially approves the independent study as relevant to the student’s focus area.
  3. The course of independent study is not duplicative of work done in another course taken for MSW credit.
  4. The course of independent study is not to be used to meet requirements for another
  5. The level and amount of work required is comparable to the number of graduate credits to be earned. A general guideline is that about three clock hours of work per week are needed for each credit (total effort must be approximately 45-50 hours per credit hour per semester).
  6. A full-time faculty member must be consulted in the planning and agree to oversee the independent study.

Human Subjects in Scholarly Research #

Any student involved in research with human subjects must adhere to the policies and procedures set forth by the Indiana University Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). As stated on its website, “the overarching mission of the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) at Indiana University is to protect the rights and welfare of human research participants recruited to participate in research conducted under the auspices of Indiana University. Rather than ensuring mere compliance with the federal regulations, IU’s HRPP strives to adhere to the highest ethical standards in its protection of human research participants and seeks to further develop the methods and mechanisms for protecting human research participants. The Human Subjects Office ensures that each human subject receives respect, beneficence, and justice during their involvement in research.” Students should access relevant information at IU Research Compliance.

MSW Policy on Student Continuation, Review, and Dismissal #

(Revised and Adopted by the Faculty Senate, February 2010)

All students are admitted to the MSW Program based on evidence in their admissions applications that they have the potential academic ability and personal suitability for completing the professional graduate social work program. Once admitted, all students in the MSW Program are expected to maintain the standards established by the School of Social Work and those held by the social work profession.

Student Continuation #

Students must adhere to the following:

  1. Earn at least a “C” in each Social Work course;
  2. Repeat the course in which they earned a C- or below;
  3. Maintain a minimum 0 cumulative GPA in graduate Social Work courses;
  4. Have satisfactorily fulfilled any and all contracts for grades of Incomplete (see policy on Grades of Incomplete);
  5. Earn a passing grade (S555) or “Satisfactory” (S651& S652) in any practicum.

Please note that this policy means students can be placed on academic probation and/or dismissed from the program for failing to meet any of these requirements. Students who fail to meet these requirements will be required to meet with the MSW Program Director and/or designee.

Students are expected to behave in a manner consistent with the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct Handbook, the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, and other professional guidelines established in the Handbook. Refer to the section below that outlines some examples of conduct that violates professional and ethical standards.

Ongoing Academic Student Performance Review #

At the end of each academic semester (December and May), at the end of each summer session (June and August), or at any time a delayed grade is submitted, the student’s advisor will review academic performance for adherence to the academic and professional requirements.

Academic Probation #

The Senior MSW Program Director and/or Program Director/Coordinator may place a student on academic probation if they violate any of the academic and professional requirements. The condition of probation for each requirement shall be:

  1. If a student earns a grade lower than “C” in any social work course, they must repeat that course in timely fashion in order to progress in the A failing grade due to academic dishonesty is a distinct case and subject to automatic dismissal from the program.
  2. If a student’s GPA falls below the required 0, they will have 12 additional credit hours of coursework to raise it to 3.0. The student must thereafter maintain a 3.0 GPA or be subject to automatic dismissal.
  3. If a student receives a grade entry of Incomplete in any one semester, the advisor and Program Director will monitor the timely completion of the course. If the same student receives grades of Incomplete in subsequent semesters, the Program Director will place the student on academic probation and advise the student that they cannot progress in the program until all Incompletes are satisfied.
  4. There is no probationary period or condition for a student who earns a failing grade in any practicum. Students who fail a practicum will be dismissed from the program. If a student feels in jeopardy of not passing a practicum, they should seek guidance from their field liaison and advisor to remedy the situation.

Conduct that Violates Academic, Professional and Ethical Standards #

The following list provides examples of academic and professional conduct that may subject a student to a performance review, probation, or dismissal:

  1. Conduct that is not congruent with the values and ethics of the social work profession (e.g., NASW, NABSW, CSWE) and the academic code of conduct for students at Indiana University. This includes behavior in the student’s field work and the classroom that is not appropriate or professional.
  2. Behavior that interferes with the student’s functioning and/or jeopardizes the welfare of those to whom the student has responsibility, such as clients, colleagues, and co-
  3. Failure to communicate effectively, both verbally and in written form, including interviewing skills and interpersonal skills, which permit comfortable interaction with other people.
  4. Failure to adhere to the School’s field policies or practicum agency’s policies and professional standards.
  5. Failure to use sound judgment, both in work with clients and colleagues, and in regard to oneself, such as failure to seek professional help for physical or emotional problems which interfere with professional functioning.
  6. Academic dishonesty, including cheating on examinations or plagiarism, which involves presenting the work of someone else as one’s own. Plagiarism typically results in a failing grade that makes the student subject to automatic dismissal on academic grounds as well.
  7. A request by a faculty member for a review due to student’s poor course work performance or classroom behavior.

Procedures for Review of Academic and Professional Performance and Dismissal #

The MSW Program has established mechanisms to respond to requests for students’ performance reviews. A request for a student performance review can be initiated at any time by a faculty member, advisor, field coordinator, field instructor or liaison, the student their self, or the Program Director/Coordinator. The request is made to the Program Director/Coordinator on the student’s campus – IU Indianapolis (including IU Fort Wayne and IU East) and IU South Bend, or IU North and may be reviewed by the Senior MSW Program Director. The performance review is conceptualized as a mechanism to address as early as possible any developing problems with a student’s academic and/or professional performance.

Upon receiving the request, the Program Director/Coordinator will form a committee comprised of the individual(s) making the request, the student and the student’s advisor, at a minimum, and an additional faculty member if appropriate. The Program Director may decide to chair the committee. If deemed appropriate by the Program Director, the student may invite up to 2 guests to attend, but only those with direct information about the issue may speak. The committee determines what, if any, course of action could bring the student’s performance into compliance with School and professional standards. In situations where such action is feasible and desirable, a contract will be created. The contract will set forth problems to be solved, actions to be taken to solve said problems, and a time period for completion of designated actions and re-evaluation of student performance. Consequences for non-performance also will be included in the contract. The advisor will then work with the student and other relevant parties.

If the student fails to fulfill the contract, or, if while working on the contract some serious impropriety or failing academic performance occurs, the Program Director/Coordinator may decide that the student cannot continue in the MSW program. Discontinuance can occur during any semester of enrollment in the MSW Program, including the last semester of enrollment. The Program Director/Coordinator will send an email and a letter by certified mail to the student indicating that they has been discontinued from the program for non- compliance with the contract and explain the due process procedures. Copies of the letter will be forwarded to the student’s advisor and student file. Such notice will occur in sufficient time for the student to withdraw from classes in the subsequent semester.

In the case of academic probation, the Program Director/Coordinator is not required to convene a performance review committee for each student, but may review the progress of all probationary students with their advisors to decide if conditions are met. The Program Director/Coordinator will then inform students in writing of release from probation or dismissal.

Reinstatement Procedures #

Within 15 working days following receipt of a letter of dismissal, the student who wishes reinstatement must petition to the Program Director. The petition should be presented in writing and should address two major points. First, the student should identify extenuating factors, if any, which contributed to the reasons for dismissal. Second, the student should discuss the steps which they would take to alleviate the impact of those factors and to improve performance if permitted to continue in the program.

Upon receiving the student’s petition, the Program Director/Coordinator will review the case, including consultation with the Senior MSW Program Director, appropriate faculty such as the student’s advisor, and make a decision about whether the process for reinstatement will go forward. The Program Director/Coordinator controls the process and outcomes for all petitions for reinstatement. They may decide to readmit or utilize a performance review committee to assist in the decision if one had not been previously formed to address the student issue. If the Program Director/Coordinator accepts the petition, they will advise the student and advisor of the decision via email and certified mail. The letter will include a statement that the student must comply with all academic and professional requirements as a condition of reinstatement and that no further opportunities for reinstatement will be considered. If the Program Director/Coordinator denies the petition, they will also advise the student of their right to petition for reconsideration by the Dean’s Office or their designee.

Appeal Procedures at the Dean’s Office Level #

Within 15 days of receiving a Program Director/Coordinator’s decision to deny a petition for reinstatement, the student may send a written appeal to the Dean’s Office. The appeal is reviewed by the Dean or their designee, typically the Senior MSW Program Director unless the Senior MSW Program Director was involved at an earlier level of review. The Dean’s Office is the final option for appeal within the Indiana University School of Social Work.

In conducting a review of the case, the Dean or their designee may decide to convene an Appeal Committee if more information is needed. This step is entirely at the discretion of the Dean (or designee). The Appeal Committee will consist of at least three full-time faculty members who are not primary actors in the reason for the student’s dismissal.

If an Appeal Committee is convened, the Chair of the Committee will inform all parties involved. The student will receive at least two weeks’ notice by email and certified mail of its meeting date. The student will have the right to:

  1. Present information on their behalf;
  2. Have up to two additional guests present. The student should inform the Chair of the Committee in advance regarding the names of guests and the nature of information they The Chair reserves the right to structure the hearing and the length of time each party can speak. Generally, only those guests with information relevant to the issue that led to the dismissal are invited to speak. The student and student’s guests may be present only for the information-giving portion of the meeting and must leave prior to deliberation by the Committee.

The student’s advisor will meet with their prior to the hearing and, in the hearing, present comprehensive information concerning the student’s overall academic/professional performance. To prepare this background statement, the advisor shall secure performance information from classroom and field faculty who have taught the student. The advisor may ask questions at any time during the hearing, including during the committee’s deliberations. The advisor may also recommend actions to resolve the performance problem. However, the advisor shall not have a vote in the proceedings.

The recommended actions of the Appeal Committee shall be forwarded in writing to the Dean’s Office of the School of Social Work. Copies will be sent to the student, student’s advisor, and placed in the student’s file. The action by the Dean or their designee is final.

Grade Appeal Policies and Procedures #

If a student believes that a semester grade was an error, improper, or unwarranted, they need to use the following steps to seek resolution of the matter:

  1. The student must first try to contact the instructor of the course within 10 business days of receiving the grade, in an attempt to resolve the matter.
  2. If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student, or if the student does not hear back from the instructor after two attempts, they should discuss the issue with the respective campus MSW Program Director or Coordinator within 15 working-days after their second attempt. The director/coordinator may request written documentation. The director/coordinator will then try to meet with the student and instructor separately or together to attempt a resolution. The program director/coordinator will thereafter advise the student and the instructor of the outcome of their decision in writing. If the program director/coordinator is the instructor of the course in question, the student would be referred to the Senior Program Director.* The student would be referred to the Associate Dean if the Senior MSW Program Director is the instructor of the course in question.
  3. If the decision does not result in a mutually agreeable solution, the student may submit a formal appeal to the Senior MSW Program Director. If the Senior MSW Program Director has already been involved, the appeal should go to the Associate Dean of Academic However, if the Associate Dean has already been involved in the grade issue because the instructor is the Senior MSW Program Director, the appeal will be handled by the Dean or their designee.
  4. If the appeal is denied, the student may consult the University grade appeal policies and procedures for further action.

*Students on the Gary campus follow the IU Northwest appeal process which involves the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. Information regarding the appeal process on the campus can be found in the IU Northwest supplement of this handbook.

Grievance Petition Procedures #

If a student believes that they have been treated unfairly or unprofessionally by a faculty or staff member, or that a policy or procedure is unjust or unwise, then the student may submit, in writing, a formal grievance petition. Students are encouraged to first consult the National

Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics and then discuss their concerns with the person involved before writing a petition. Should the issue remain unresolved or if it poses a concern, a formal grievance petition should be submitted to the MSW Program Director/Coordinator, unless it involves that director/coordinator. If the Director/Coordinator of that campus is involved, the petition should go to the Senior MSW Program Director. If the grievance involves the Senior MSW Program Director, the petition should be sent to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. However, if the Associate Dean has already been involved in the grade issue because the instructor is the Senior MSW Program Director, the appeal will be handled by the Dean or their designee.*

Grievance petitions are reserved for those issues or incidences that warrant formal and thorough investigation. Such petitions should be submitted in a professional manner, consistent with social work values and ethics.

Student complaints regarding discrimination, sexual harassment, racial harassment, and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation have established complaint procedures available in the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. The Code is also available at

*Students on the Gary campus follow the IU Northwest appeal process which involves the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. Information regarding the appeal process on the campus can be found in the IU Northwest supplement of this handbook.

Guidance on Online Courses and Programs #

Courses in the on-campus MSW program are primarily offered in-person. Sections of some courses may be offered online, however. Due to financial aid restrictions, students in an in- person program must complete 51% of their required credits (contact hours) on campus.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the academic year 2020 – 2021 is not calculated into the courses. SWK-S555, SWK-S651, and SWK-S652 are not considered online. Students enrolled in MSW Direct must complete 80 – 100% of their coursework online. Students should monitor the number of online credits in collaboration with their advisor. For more information about university policy related to the above see more. Students should also consult the policies on their campus.

Confidentiality #

In accordance with applicable requirements, all procedures must be carried out in a manner that assures protection of the student’s right to privacy regarding information about their academic records, performance, or any of their personal affairs. All written documents prepared for dismissal or review will be placed in the student’s permanent file. The student has the right to review all written information that is presented to either the Performance Review or the Appeal Committee.

Members of the committees are expected to maintain confidentiality with regard to all aspects of the process. Actions of the committee, the Director and the Dean are to remain confidential and are to be shared only with those persons involved with the student in an educational capacity.

Student Rights and Responsibilities #

Graduate students are viewed as competent adults who have a right to participate in decision- making activities about the educational program and School in which they have enrolled. Students regularly contribute to the continued development and growth of our programs. Indeed, the School values student input in several critical areas: faculty evaluation, School committee work, faculty hiring, and student field placements.

Course and Faculty Evaluation #

Faculty of Indiana University School of Social Work subscribe to the principle that a course syllabus constitutes a contract with the students and that constructive feedback represents an essential process for healthy social systems. The course syllabi will contain learning activities, experiences, assignments and evaluation procedures that relate logically to the course competencies and objectives. Toward the end of the semester, formal course/instructor evaluations are distributed electronically to all students. When completed, these evaluations are forwarded to the School’s administration for aggregation, review, and analysis before being forwarded to each instructor. These formal course/instructor evaluations are used for numerous purposes, including promotion and tenure decisions, merit raises, and various faculty development activities. These are important to complete and provide essential information to the instructor, Program Director, and the School about the course and instructor quality.


  • Students have the opportunity to meet both informally and formally with any candidates being considered for faculty positions.
  • Students have the right to provide feedback about school policies and procedures as well as the behavior of faculty and staff (In providing either positive or critical feedback, students are expected to follow professional social work norms, values and ethics). Students should contact the Program Director with concerns or questions about school policies, procedures, or faculty and staff.
  • If a student believes that she or he has been treated unfairly or unprofessionally by a faculty or staff member, or that a policy or procedure is unjust or unwise, then the student may submit in writing a formal grievance petition to the Dean of the School of Social Work. Grievance petitions are reserved for those issues or incidences that warrant formal investigations and full exploration, and such petitions should be submitted in a professional manner, consistent with social work norms, values and ethics.
  • Student complaints regarding discrimination, sexual harassment, racial harassment, and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity have established complaint procedures available in the Indiana University code of student ethics.

University and IUSSW Policies #

Equal Opportunity #

Indiana University and the Indiana University School of Social Work are equal opportunity, affirmative action educators, employers and contractors.

Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct Handbook #

This document explains procedures and regulations for which each student is held responsible while enrolled in Indiana University programs as well as their rights. This IU Handbook is available on the web at IU code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, & Conduct.

Sexual Misconduct #

IU Does not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and all forms of sexual violence. If you have experienced sexual misconduct, or know someone who has, the University can help. It is important to know that federal regulations and University policy require faculty to promptly ensure that appropriate measures are taken and resources are made available. The University will work with you to protect your privacy by sharing information with only those that need to know to ensure the University can respond and assist. If you are seeking help and would like to speak to someone confidentially, you can make an appointment with a Mental Health Counselor on campus (contact information available at IU Stop Sexual Violence. For more information about sexual violence, including campus and community resources, see IU Stop Sexual Violence.

Criminal Offense Disclosure and Sexual Offenders Policy #

As part of the application process, students provide a disclosure statement regarding past criminal offenses. Master of Social Work graduates are eligible to apply for legal licensure by the State of Indiana. While such disclosure does not pre-empt an admissions decision, admitted students must realize that a criminal history may affect their eligibility for licensure.

It is the policy of the School of Social Work that no student or applicant who has been convicted of sex offenses against children shall be eligible for admission or matriculation into the BSW, MSW or PhD programs. Any student who is already in an IUSSW program and whose name appears on the Registry during the time of matriculation, or has been convicted of an offense for which the student can be listed on the Registry, shall be ineligible for continuation or completion of the MSW degree. Any faculty member, student, field instructor, or other person within the school who becomes aware of such a situation should bring it to the attention of the respective program director for appropriate action.

Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to preclude the School from taking other appropriate action in such cases, or in the case of applicants or students involved in other conduct or criminal activities not covered in this policy. Any applicant or student already admitted to one of the Indiana University School of Social Work programs who is deemed ineligible for admission or continuation based upon a record of criminal conviction may appeal to the Dean of the School for reconsideration if they believe there are extenuating circumstances that might mitigate the findings. The Dean will appoint a review panel of three full-time faculty members to consider the student’s appeal. The review panel, in consultation with the office of University Counsel, will consider all pertinent information and make a ruling that shall be considered final.

Student Organizations and Professional Associations #

Students are encouraged to be involved with both School sponsored organizations and professional associations. Some of the organizations are listed below. Students should check on their campus for campus-specific student organization and leadership opportunities.

The purpose of Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work. Information on selection processes is available from the Program Director on the student’s campus. For more information, email

An active IUSSW Alumni Association affords graduates the opportunity for continued participation in the improvement of the MSW Program and the achievement of the School’s progressive goals. An executive committee and officers are selected biennially. The Associate Director for social work is Karen Deery-Jones (317-274-8959). The School invites alumni to become involved through IU Indianapolis’s Alumni Office or by starting a group on the campus from which they graduated.

Master of Social Work students have organized a Student Association on the Indianapolis Campus and membership is open to students on all campuses. The School recognizes the student organization as an integral component of professional education. Although the organization is autonomous, the MSW Program Director and the MSW Student Services Coordinator serve as advisors and facilitators for the organization in order to encourage group identification and student participation in the formal decision-making process of the School.

MSW students elected by their peers participate as full voting members in School standing committees. Through these memberships, students contribute to the formulation and modification of policy affecting academic and student affairs, and participate in the ongoing evaluation of the MSW program. Email for more information about the MSWSA.

The State of Indiana now requires all practicing social workers to be licensed. In order to fully adhere to the intent of the law, each student should:

  • Obtain a copy of the Social Work Licensure Law (HB 1961).
  • Be aware that a person convicted of a criminal offense may not be eligible for
  • Apply to take the required written examination after completion of the MSW

Social Work licensure in Indiana is regulated by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA). Procedures on how and when to apply for a license and other information are available by contacting the IPLA at 317-232-2980 or Indiana Professional Licensing Agency website (

If residing in other states, students should inquire with their state licensing organization to ensure they know the regulations and licensure laws in their specific state.

Professional Membership Opportunities #

NASW has over 145,000 members worldwide. As members, students receive all of the benefits and privileges of a regular member at a reduced cost. Members receive the Social Work Journal, the monthly newsletter, the State Chapter newsletter, group rate health and disability insurance coverage, discounts on all NASW specialty journals, and other valuable information. Joining NASW as a student offers the new graduate transitional dues for 2 years after graduation if the student membership remains current.

The purpose of the organization is to:

  • Strengthen and unify the profession
  • Promote the development of social work practice
  • Advance sound social policies

The contact information for NASW National Headquarters is: National Association of Social Workers, 750 First Street, N.E., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20002-4241. Telephone number: 800-742-4089. Website: National Association of Social Workers (

The contact information for the Indiana Chapter of NASW is: Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, 1100 West 42nd Street, Suite 226 Indianapolis, Indiana 46208, Telephone number 317- 923-9878, Website: NASW Indiana Chapter (

NABSW was established in May of 1998 in San Francisco, California, to promote the welfare, survival, and liberation of the Black community. Membership is open to any African-American social work student and African-American employed in a social work capacity. Others not employed but working in a voluntary capacity in a social work setting or program that accepts and adheres to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association are also welcome.

The purpose of the organization is:

  • To provide a structure and forum through which Black social workers, any workers in related fields of social service, and interested citizens may exchange ideas, offer their services, and develop or refine skills in the interest of the Black community and the community-at-large.
  • To work in cooperation with, or to support, develop, or sponsor community welfare projects and programs that will serve the interest of the Black community and the community-at-large.
  • To strengthen human services in all service systems in all aspects pertaining to the Black community, and to ensure that services are available to Black individuals, families, groups, and the community.
  • Support services for graduate social work students

For information regarding the Indianapolis Chapter of the NABSW, contact: National Association of Black Social Workers, Central Indiana Chapter, Inc., P.O. Box 20149, Indianapolis, Indiana 46220-0149, Voice mail: 317-767-5502.

The National Rural Social Work Caucus is a network of social work educators and practitioners who advocate for effective services and policies inclusive of rural areas. The Caucus convenes an annual Institute for Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas in July of each year at various locations around the nation. For more information, contact Dr. Barb Pierce at, Dr. Virginia Majewski at, or visit National Rural Social Work Caucus.

University Services #

Adaptive Education and Disabilities Services #

Each campus of the Indiana University system has its own office that coordinates support services for students with disabilities. Within this group are students who are hearing impaired or deaf, visually impaired or blind, learning disabled, orthopedically disabled, medically disabled, temporarily disabled or disabled veterans. Medical disabilities include chronic illnesses, traumatic injuries, emotional disorders and rehabilitation from chemical or substance abuse. Efforts and services are directed toward enabling students to achieve their academic goals by augmenting their existing strengths and abilities.

Adaptive Education and Disabilities Services will not provide direct services until the student has documented need. A “documented” student is one who has filed with the office the appropriate forms and supporting information such as test results, evaluations by medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, high school teachers, principals and/or counselors or appropriate service agencies. The primary method by which the office identifies students with disabilities is self-identification soon after admission. Students who discover disabilities while in college may document their disabilities even up to their final semester at Indiana University.

Indiana University School of Social Work strives to maintain a supportive, constructive relationship with Adaptive Education and Disabilities Services offices to ensure that otherwise qualified students with disabilities can achieve their professional education goals. For more information, visit campus websites.

International Student Affairs #

The Office of International Affairs on the IU Indianapolis campus is located in the Education/Social Work Building, Room 2126, 317-274-7000. This office provides the following services to IU Indianapolis students:

  • Admission processing for all foreign applicants and permanent resident applicants with fewer than two years of study in a U.S. high school
  • Student ID cards for international travel
  • Non-immigrant documentation for foreign students
  • Advising on opportunities and scholarships for study and internship programs
  • Advising on nonimmigrant regulations, employment authorization, university procedures, housing, and adjustment to life in Indiana
  • Orientation activities and programs
  • Additional information is available at IU Indianapolis Office of International Affairs.

Students on other campuses may reference the above information. IU South Bend students may reference IU South Bend Office of International Student Services.

Indiana University Indianapolis (IU Indianapolis) Supplement #

School of Social Work Facilities at IU Indianapolis #

Administrative offices of the Dean, Associate Dean, and Program Directors (PhD, MSW, BSW) are located on the southern end of the Education/Social Work (ES) Building off New York Street. The reception area is located in ES 4138 and may be reached by the elevator located at Entry 4 of the Educational/Social Work Building. Faculty offices are found along the long hallways that define the physical space of the School.

University Hall (AD building) opened its doors in June 2015. Students have the following space dedicated to them: AD 2010 – open area lounge; AD 2012 – kitchen area; and AD 2014 – computer lab. The MSW and BSW Student Associations share the maintenance of the lounges and they appreciate voluntary assistance in making this a pleasant and welcoming environment.

All School of Social Work facilities are typically accessible from 8am-5PM Monday through Friday, but doors may be locked at other times.

IU Indianapolis Supports/Services #

Each IU Indianapolis social work student is assigned a mail folder. The mail folders provide a means for the program director, faculty, recorder, student services, field coordinators and others to communicate readily with students. Mail folders are located in the University Hall, AD 2010 student lounge and should be checked frequently.

Email is the primary means of communication and is done only through the IU Indianapolis email account. Students must apply for a User ID and password that will allow use of email as long as the student is enrolled at IU Indianapolis. To access and activate your account go to University Information Technology Services. For questions or further assistance, go to the UITS helpdesk located in the IT building or call 317-274-HELP [4357]. Additionally, you are able to forward your IU Indianapolis e-mail to your personal email account. Instructions for forwarding your IU Indianapolis email are available through the above mentioned link.

Student Services Coordinators are faculty who provide academic advising to MSW students. They work closely with students on planning class schedules, determining focus areas, and resolving any struggles that arise for students during their time in the MSW program.

Part-time regular standing students are accepted into the MSW program on a three year schedule. The first year of course work is spread over two years. The final year requires students to take nearly a full-time course load, including a practicum placement, although there are options for taking some courses in the summer to reduce the load during the final practicum. Similarly, advanced standing students may enter the beginning of the program in a full or part-time program, but their final year of the program requires nearly a full-time course load. This means that students must be prepared to complete a 2-semester practicum during the day, or a full-time block practicum in one semester, along with coursework during their final year. These practicum placements are typically available Monday through Friday during day and some evening hours. Students must be flexible enough in their schedules to meet the course and practicum requirements. If any student requests to spread the third year over two years in order to continue or proceed on a part-time schedule, all course work must be completed entirely before the practicum ends. This may mean that the start of practicum is delayed. Please remember that all MSW degrees must be completed within five years of matriculation. Consult your advisor if you need assistance scheduling your classes.

As the signature pedagogy for social work education, faculty members, referred to as Field Coordinators, specialize in delivering field education at IUSSW. Field Coordinators, located on all campuses and MSW Direct, are responsible for a variety of functions, including creating and sustaining community partnerships to support field placements; recruiting and training field instructors who supervise students in field practica; and engaging with students to identify and plan for individualized experiential learning opportunities that promote students’ progression toward becoming competent practitioners. By monitoring field placement sites, Field Coordinators ensure that students have ample opportunities to integrate their classroom knowledge and develop proficient practice skills. The Child Welfare Scholars Program provides additional support for students admitted under the Federal Title IV-E Grant. The Child Welfare Scholars Program Field Coordinator ensures and maintains the quality of the MSW field practicum placements in the Child Welfare Scholars Program by recruiting field agencies and field instructors, engaging students in the field planning process and arranging specific children, youth and families and leadership student field practicum placements.

The School of Social Work students have access to computers and printers located in the student lounge, University Hall, Room AD 2014. The doors are usually open during regular business hours (8 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday). However, access is available with the use of your IU Indianapolis Crimson Card (student ID) at any time the building is open.

In addition, students have access to computer clusters in ES 2116 (Windows) or ES 2124 (Macintosh) for their academic needs. The clusters are open many evenings and weekend hours. Other computer clusters may be found at various locations on the Indianapolis campus. Check online at UITS Student Technology Centers Lab Hours for more information on lab hours.

The Office of Adaptive Educational Services, Taylor Hall, UC 100, (317) 274-3241, provides the means for otherwise qualified students to overcome the consequences of their impairments rather than avoid the realities of them. Efforts are directed toward enabling students to realize and achieve their goals by augmenting their existing strengths and abilities.

The Office of Adaptive Educational Services provides the following:

  • Specialized orientation to the campus
  • Registration assistance
  • Note takers, readers, and interpreters
  • Coordination of financial support and services through Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Approval for special area parking permits
  • Learning Resources Room for blind and visually impaired students

Additional information can be obtained at IU Indianapolis Adaptive Educational Services. TTD/TTY: (317) 278-2050.

The IU Indianapolis campus student ID card is called the Crimson Card. Campus Card Services is located at 420 University Blvd, CE 217, (317) 274-5177.

Students will need this card to access the computer lab in University Hall, when checking out books at any campus library, when student identification is required at campus facilities and events, and for available memberships and concession sales at the Natatorium. Students can also arrange for the card to be used as a debit card. The IU Indianapolis Crimson Card is accepted at the Campus Bookstore, most campus copiers and vending machines, most food services on campus, as well as businesses off campus. Students can add or re-stock the balance at any time. There is no charge for the first photo ID . Replacement IDs are $25.00. Additional information can be obtained online at IU CrimsonCard.

University Information Technology Services (UITS) develops and supports the IU Indianapolis campus technological environment, offering a single point of contact for all centralized computing, telephone, and media services. It is located at IT 129, Support Center (317) 274-4357.

Important information about UITS is available in the IU Indianapolis schedule of classes or via their website at University Information Technology Services. There is free 24- hour support for issues with Canvas, One, and other computer issues by calling (317) 274-HELP (4357).

The Student Technology Centers (STC) offer the latest in hardware and software, as well as on- duty consultants ready to assist you should you have any questions or problems. There’s even a 24-hour STC available for your convenience!

UITS IT Training offers free technology training to IU Indianapolis students. This includes online and in- person training that covers a broad range of topics: Access, email basics, Excel, Canvas, Photoshop, PowerPoint, statistics (SPSS), Web development, and Word. Low-cost training is also available to students through UITS partners, Pluralsight and Skillsoft. Additional information is available at UITS IT Training.

Affordable and up-to-date software for students, faculty, and staff is readily available, thanks to IU’s license agreements with companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, Corel and Symantec. Offerings include operating systems, antivirus programs, and software for word processing, spreadsheets, Web development and more. Visit the IUware for more information.

The IU Indianapolis library system is composed of the following libraries:

  • University Library – 755 Michigan St; Indianapolis, IN 46202-5163; (317) 274-8278
  • School of Dentistry Library – 1121 Michigan St; Indianapolis, IN 46202-5186; (317) 274-7204
  • Herron School of Art Library – 735 New York St., Indianapolis, IN 46202-5195; (317) 278-7484
  • Ruth Lilly Law Library – 75 West New York; Indianapolis, IN 46202-5194; (317) 274-4028
  • Ruth Lilly Medical Library – 975 Walnut Street; Indianapolis, IN 46202-5121; (317) 274- 7182

While all libraries on the IU Indianapolis campus are open to all students, social work students tend to use the resources available at the University Library. You may go to the library in person, or access the library resources electronically via University Library. Most of the library resources are IP-restricted, making them non-accessible from off-campus unless you do one of the following:

  1. Authentication: Once you click on a database or e-journal link on the library webpage, a pop-up screen will appear that prompts you to authenticate yourself as being affiliated with IU Indianapolis. You should enter your IU Indianapolis login and passphrase to authenticate yourself. As long as you keep your browser window open, you should not have to re-authenticate.
  2. Set up a VPN link IU Knowledge Base VPN Instructions. A Pulse Secure VPN link will configure your computer to the IU network from an off- campus or a wireless network connection. As long as you are logged in to Pulse VPN, you can open and close browser windows just as you would on campus. You will be able to access library resources as if you were on campus.

For resources not available in full-text electronically or in-person at the library, you may use interlibrary loan to access other IU libraries as well as other libraries throughout the country. This interlibrary loan service is connected to the statewide online catalog for the IU Indianapolis library system and all the libraries of Indiana University, which contain over one million items (monographs, serials, electronic databases and indexes, audio-visual materials, special collections, and federal government publications) accessible through IUCAT. The staff at the University Library can help you locate books at other libraries. You may also connect with the libraries via the Internet through IUCAT.

For individualized assistance using the library resources, please contact Kathleen Hanna, Social Sciences Librarian, at University Library,, or (317) 278-2300.

Barnes & Noble is located at the IU Indianapolis Campus Center, 420 University Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202. The bookstore handles textbooks for courses offered at IU Indianapolis. It stocks books needed by students and sells computers and software at discount prices. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM-9:00 PM, Saturday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

For more information, contact the bookstore directly at (317) 278-2665. To purchase books and products online, visit IU Indianapolis Bookstore.

The IU Indianapolis Writing Center is located at Cavanaugh Hall, Room 425 or University Library, Room 2125. To schedule tutorial appointments call (317) 274-2049. Grammar Hotline: (317) 274-3000.

Students are invited to bring any writing project to the center when help is needed in finding a topic, focusing, organizing, writing, revising, or overcoming writer’s block. The following services are available:

  • Drop-in help – Immediate help is available if all instructors are not occupied with appointments
  • Reference library
  • Writing Center Hotline – The hotline will answer your questions concerning grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, formats, or any aspect of the writing process.
  • Tutorial appointments – Call ahead for a one-half hour tutorial
  • Handouts
  • Workshops

Additional Information is available online at University Writing Center.

Up-to-date information about tuition rates in effect at registration time is available through One.IU. Students may expect an increase in tuition fees annually. The University and the School of Social Work reserve the right to change rates at any time without notice, as necessitated by University and legislative action. Tuition rates are posted on the Bursar’s web page at  IU Indianapolis Office of the Bursar.

The IU Indianapolis Office of Student Financial Services is located in the Campus Center, Suite 250. The MSW Program at IU Indianapolis has its own financial aid counselor for MSW students. The MSW Financial Aid Liaison, Angelina McDonald, may be contacted via email at

There are two primary forms of financial aid available to graduate students via the federal aid program: Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Work-Study. The IU Indianapolis Office of Student Financial Services administers these and other federal aid programs. To be considered for aid, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (completed online at Federal Student Aid website using federal school code 001813), meet eligibility requirements, and be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program. The priority deadline for submitting the FAFSA is March 10; however, the FAFSA can be filed later in the year. Please note that eligibility for Work-Study funds may be limited for late filers. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is limited to $20,500 per academic year for eligible graduate students. Additional federal loan funds may be available to students who reach this annual maximum. Total aid eligibility amounts are determined based on a student’s enrollment status coupled with standard cost of living allocations. Additional information can be obtained online at IU Indianapolis Office of Student Financial Services.

The IU Indianapolis Office of Student Scholarships can assist students with the best methods for searching for scholarship opportunities. The Office of Student Scholarships is located at 420 University Blvd, Campus Center (CE) Room 264. The office can be reached at, (317) 274-5516, or IU Indianapolis Scholarship Opportunities .

The School of Social Work also awards a number of graduate scholarships each year. Announcements are sent to students via the email listserv at the time applications are accepted.

The IU Indianapolis Center for Young Children, 321 North Limestone Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, (317) 274-3508, is a licensed preschool that provides learning activities for children ages 3 through 12. The center is available to school-aged children during vacations and summer time. The center is open from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm year-round (except major holidays) and serves the children of students, staff, and faculty. Children are enrolled on a full-time basis. The center currently maintains a waiting list, and enrollment is limited. Additional information can be obtained online at IU Indianapolis Center for Young Children.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), at the Walker Plaza, 719 Indiana Avenue, 2nd floor, (317) 274-2548 offers IU Indianapolis students counseling services at minimal fees. Students who are finding life stressors are interfering with academic or personal success may contact CAPS. CAPS also performs evaluations for learning disabilities and ADHD; fees are charged for testing. Additional information can be obtained online at Counseling and Psychological Services.

In addition to the vending machines located throughout campus, food service is available at the Campus Center located at 420 University Blvd, JAG Connection (2nd floor BUS/SPEA), Jaguar Java Café (1st floor University Library), and The Law School Café. Food service is also available at University and Riley Hospitals. Additional information and hours of operations can be obtained online at IU Indianapolis Dining Services.

The Parking and Transportation Services office is located in the Vermont Street Garage, 1004 West Vermont Street, which is adjacent to the Campus Center. Contact information for Parking & Transportation Services: 317-274-4232, IU Indianapolis Parking Services, or

An “ST” permit is the most popular student permit and allows the convenience of parking on the main campus. “ST” permit holders can park in any “ST” or “NC” space, as well as the Blackford, Barnhill, Gateway, Lockefield and Riverwalk Garages. “NC” permits are the least expensive parking permit and allow parking in the north campus lots along Indiana Avenue. Other options include permits for specific garages as well as reserved spaces. For information about different permit options and where each one is eligible to park, please visit and click on “Where can I Park?” in the student tab.

Fees charged for parking in these areas are published each semester in the Schedule of Classes. Permit fees are assessed if you designate that you want a parking permit when you register. You can obtain your parking permit online and it will be mailed to you. Vehicles parked in any lot for which an incorrect permit is displayed will be ticketed and, in cases of continued illegal parking, may be towed at the owner’s expense. Unpaid parking fines may prevent you from registering for classes.

The Office of Parking and Transportation Services provides motorist assistance, including jump- starts, air for your tires and help getting gas. Please keep in mind you must be parked in a university lot to obtain these complimentary services. In addition, the IU Indianapolis Police Department offers lockout and a safe walk escort service to IU Indianapolis students.

If you have a physical disability, you may be eligible for a special parking permit. Additional documentation is required to obtain a disabled permit. Please visit and click on “Where can I Park?” in the student tab for more information.

For information contact the Office of Housing and Residence Life, 415 Porto Alegre Street, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Visit IU Indianapolis Housing and Residential Life or email

Adverse weather conditions may cause university classes to be cancelled. Campus closures will be announced by means of area television and radio as well as social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook (if you have ‘liked’ IU Indianapolis on either or both of those sites). IU Indianapolis has also established a special phone number and website which will give the latest information about campus closures (317-278-1600 or IU Emergency Information. You may also elect to receive campus notifications of closures or other emergencies by cell, email, home phone, or text notification by adding your information to: One.IU>Emergency Notification Settings.

Students should also use Canvas to check if their specific class has been cancelled, as many faculty will post a notice there informing students of changes to schedules as well as changes in assignments due to cancellations. They can also contact the IUSSW Receptionist at (317) 274- 6705 to find out about any Social Work class cancellations.

IU Indianapolis students may be seen in the Office of Student Employee Health Service, Coleman Hall, 1140 W. Michigan St., on a fee-for-service basis, or the Campus Center. All labs, x-rays or referrals are the responsibility of the student. Appointments can be made by calling (317) 274- 8214. The clinic is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Applications for health insurance are available at the clinic as well. Additional information is also available online at IU Indianapolis Campus Health.

IU Indianapolis offers student insurance coverage from two insurance companies. Insurance coverage is provided through Aetna. IU Indianapolis students should choose from the options as they pertain to each student’s individual situations. The health insurance policies are determined through negotiations of the IU Benefits office in Bloomington and the insurance providers. If you have further questions, please contact IU Benefits Office in Bloomington by email at or by calling (812) 856-4650. For more information, please visit Student Affairs Student Health Insurance.

Because the goal of a social work education is employment as a social worker, career planning should start when your education begins. In order to facilitate this goal, the IU School of Social Work provides a multitude of resources which can be used proactively throughout your time in the MSW program and continue to be available to you as an alumnus. These can be accessed on our website: IU School of Social Work Career Services.

The School of Social Work maintains an active job bank, Social Work Talent, where all students are registered. It is your responsibility to update your profile and keep it current. This affords you the opportunity to start researching employers and job opportunities as soon as you enter the program. Lunch and learn workshops are scheduled on various topics throughout each semester to provide skills needed for social work career seekers and highlight employers in the Indianapolis area and beyond. Licensure workshops provide guidance on legal mandates for social work licensing. Career services offerings, including workshops and job postings, are highlighted via the MSW listserv on Fridays when school is in session. It is a student’s responsibility to review the Career Services section of the IUSSW website and to be familiarized with events as well as tips and resources for your career path.

There is also an annual Social Work Job Fair, held in April of each year, for students from all campuses to attend, meet with potential employers, and learn more about the job market firsthand. Many employers advertise current openings through this fair. Students should dress professionally and bring plenty of copies of their professional résumé. Many former students have reported that they were able to secure employment through connections they made at the Job Fair.