The Catholic University of America

Why Choose the Clinical Military, Veterans, and Families Specialization?

Military & Veterans Social Work at NCSSS-CUA

At National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) of The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC, we have BSW, MSW, and PhD programs, each of which has some focus on military personnel, veterans, and military families.

  • In our BSW and MSW programs, we have recent veterans attending CUA through Yellow Ribbon funding. We offer a 1-credit (4-week) course in Military Culture for all students, including foundation year MSW students and senior BSW students.
  • In our MSW program, we have created a 61-hour Specialization in Social Work with Military, Veterans, and their Families, which is part of the advanced year Clinical Concentration in Social Work. The requirements for this MSW specialization are the completion of the 30-hour foundation year, plus:
     
    • 3-credits of Applied Theory for Social Work Practice with Military, Veterans, and Families (advanced theory course);
    • 3-credits of Policy Related to Military Personnel and Veterans (advanced policy course);
    • 1-credit in Military Culture (elective course available for all levels of students);
    • 6-credits (2 semesters) of Advanced Field Education and Integrative Seminar:
      • This military specialization seminar is held in conjunction with the 20 weekly hours per semester clinical field placement.  Please note:  field placements in military settings are very competitive and we cannot guarantee that all students will be accepted for an advanced year placement in a military setting.
      • Given our DC location, we have a growing number of military field placements, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, MD, and the Veteran’s Administration in Washington, DC;
    • 3-credits of Cognitive Behavioral Theory and Social Functioning (advanced theory course);
    • 3-credits of Clinical Social Work with Families: Strengths-Based Model (advanced practice course);
    • Four other 3-credit courses required for all MSW clinical students
      • Ethical Issues in Contemporary Social Work, 
      • Evaluation of Social Work Practice,
      • Two of four advanced practice courses in either Clinical Social Work with Adults, Clinical Social Work with Older Adults, Clinical Social Work with Children, or Clinical Social Work with Adolescents and Young Adults;
    • Elective courses in Social Work Responses to Trauma, Attachment Theory and Neurobiology, Death, Treatment for Chemical Dependency, Drug Abuse: Public Health and Public Policy Considerations, and Homelessness: Individual and Social Concerns are offered for students who wish to extend coursework beyond their 61-credit MSW specialization.

• Our PhD program is the third oldest social work doctoral program in the country.  For over 20 years, it has collaborated with the Child and Family Study Fellowship Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, to offer active duty military social workers the opportunity to pursue their PhD during the fellowship, graduating within three years.

In addition to our MSW specialization and our PhD collaboration with Walter Reed, we have a Military Social Work Initiative Center. This group focuses on curriculum, research, service, and continuing education. It is open to both students and faculty, and we have a national advisory board to aid us in our planning. The wider Catholic University of America also has a group for veteran students, and we are in the early stages of creating an inter-disciplinary post-graduate continuing education program for clinicians working with military personnel, veterans, and their families.