School of Social Work Professional and Academic Advising
Beginner or seasoned professional—we can support your work.
Undergraduate and Transfer Students
As an undergraduate or transfer student, you’ll be supported with professional social work advising from the time you’re admitted until you complete your degree requirements. This advisement is designed to:
- Help you think through your choice of social work as a career
- Assess your capabilities to successfully pursue social work as a vocation
- Guide you in selecting field placements that will best meet your educational needs and professional aspirations
- Monitor and evaluate your academic and field performance
As a first-year, sophomore or transfer student, you’ll meet with the director of the undergraduate program. The director serves as your adviser, helping you with your schedule and course of study, until you enter the School of Social Work during your junior year. During this time, you’ll follow an academic path that prepares you to begin taking social work courses as a junior.
Whether you’re a transfer student or a continuing student, you’ll then be assigned to a faculty member who will serve as both your faculty adviser and your field liaison. The director of the undergraduate program will continue to serve as a backup to your adviser after placement.
You’ll be introduced to your adviser during our Field Instruction Orientation, and your adviser will give you a Student Handbook and Field Education Manual, and address the following topics:
- Academic and field requirements
- The adviser’s role as faculty field liaison
- Adviser availability
- Ongoing student/adviser conferences
- Adviser office hours
- Voicemail communication
Faculty advisers have a minimum of six office hours per week that are spread over three days. Our faculty generally plan their office hours around their class schedules to be available to both their advisees and the students they are teaching. Office hours are changed each semester to accommodate new teaching schedules, and faculty have extended hours during registration periods each semester. During your senior year, or second year of field placement, you’ll be assigned to a different faculty field liaison.
Professional social work advising is a priority in the master’s program, guiding you through course and field placement choices. In addition, our advisement is designed to enhance learning, contribute to the development of your professional identity and support your career goal decisions. We think of advisers as the gatekeepers for the profession of social work. You’ll be required to confer with your adviser when making decisions about registration, course planning and field assignments. At a minimum, meetings occur:
- Upon acceptance into the M.S.W. program
- Each semester during registration
Students in field education are assigned a faculty field liaison who serves as both an academic adviser and a field liaison. If you are only taking course work, you’ll be assigned an academic adviser.