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Master of Social Work

An Advanced Generalist Program

Our Mission

The mission of the UAA MSW program is to develop a community of MSW professionals located across rural and urban Alaska who are dedicated to advancing human rights, engaging in anti-racist and anti-oppressive social work practice, and pursuing justice, equity, and inclusion for all. Through a collaborative online learning environment and field practica, students develop advanced generalist social work values, knowledge, and skills in direct practice, leadership, critical scientific inquiry, and policy advocacy to address the complex health and social welfare needs in Alaska and the Circumpolar North. 


Beginning with admission for the 2016-2017 academic year, the UAA MSW program will be delivered entirely through distance education. The School of Social Work will have a single, distance-delivered MSW program, and we will no longer have a campus-based MSW program. Students must physically reside in Alaska to attend the MSW program. Students can complete the MSW degree in two to four years. Students with a BSW degree from an accredited university are eligible to apply for advanced placement and can complete the program in one to two years.

The UAA MSW program is an advanced generalist MSW program. The advanced generalist concentration is the ideal curriculum model to meet the significant and complex needs spanning across the remote, rural, and small metropolitan community needs of Alaska. Social workers in Alaska are required to assume multiple roles and responsibilities in their work, frequently serving as the only social worker in their agencies, and quite possibly, the only social worker in their geographic region. As a result, an advanced generalist social worker needs to be able to perform multiple roles in the direct, organizational, and community practice arenas. The advanced generalist curriculum is divided into the foundation curriculum and the concentration curriculum, and it includes five course sequences across the curriculum: social work practice, policy, human behavior in the social environment, research, and field practicum. The foundation curriculum prepares students to engage in generalist social work practice, and the concentration curriculum prepares students to engage in advanced generalist practice.


The UAA MSW program prepares advanced generalist social workers who:

  • are leaders who assume multiple practice roles to address health and social issues in Alaska;
  • engage in practice consistent with the values and ethics of the social work profession;
  • demonstrate attunement, sensitivity, and respect for people from diverse backgrounds;
  • intervene differentially with, and on behalf of, populations at risk or who experience discrimination, economic deprivation, and/or oppression;
  • develop and conduct research to inform practice;
  • develop and evaluate social policies that promote social, economic, and environmental justice;
  • engage in planned change using theory and evidence-based practice processes to provide competent and effective services across system sizes; and
  • integrate contextual knowledge into the development, implementation, and evaluation of social work services in Alaska. 



2021-2022 MSW Student Handbook and Field Manual

  Handbook and Field Manual


Information sessions for 2023 admissions

Do you have questions about the UAA MSW program and the admissions process? Please join MSW program coordinator Dr. Mary Dallas Allen for a virtual MSW information session via Zoom. Sessions will be held on the third Tuesday of each month from noon to 1:00 PM or 4:00 to 5:00 PM.


Portrait of Mary Dallas Allen

Mary Dallas Allen
MSW program coordinator