Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Health Specialization

Loyola University’s School of Social Work is implementing a curriculum change this fall 2021 which will include students who began the program in spring 2021 or later. Spring 2021 admits can expect to receive additional communications about these changes. Continuing students that began the program in summer 2020 or earlier will not be impacted by the curriculum change, and should follow their advising template as planned, with the exception of SOWK 507 if that class has not been taken yet.

The Health specialization is designed to train students to practice in a wide variety of health settings. Through coursework in methods and policy, as well as internships in a health setting, students develop an integrated knowledge base. They learn how policy affects practice and become acquainted with the changing health care environment. The design of the courses places emphasis and delivery of health services to diverse populations, including vulnerable and oppressed groups as well as those populations considered at risk for biological, psychological, social and environmental difficulties. Students are educated to participate in an array of clinical roles. These include:

  • The changing and expanding roles of social workers in health settings
  • Case management
  • Discharge planning
  • Utilization reviews
  • Program development
  • Roles related to crisis intervention
  • Counseling
  • Education
  • Networking

Student trainees participate in preventative care, palliative care and rehabilitation. They develop competency in providing services in acute area settings as well as in long term care. The completion of the specialty entails mastery of the specialized course work and internships in health settings. In summary, advanced practice in the health field includes a knowledge base in such areas as health care systems, the epidemiology of the disease, the health care policy, the impact of illness on the patient and family functioning, transference and counter- transference issues, and the various competencies that relate to these knowledge areas.

The curriculum for this program is as follows:

  • All students opting for this concentration in the second year must have completed the foundation courses and plan on taking the two required courses.
  • One course, which evolves from the Methods Sequence, is Clinical Social Work Practice in Health Care (SOWK 614). The content is built upon the foundation knowledge provided in Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SOWK 500 and 501), as well as Individuals and Families and Small Groups (SOWK 503, 504, and 505).
  • Health Policy (SOWK 602) evolves from the Policy Sequence. Students must also select a field placement, which has been approved by the committee (or Internship Coordinator) on the Health Option. Students at the Loyola's MSW at Carthage take the SOWK 602 and the SOWK 614 courses on the Loyola Campus to meet the requirements of the Health specialization if they are not available at Carthage.

Students are advised by their field supervisor as the health requirements (inoculations, medical exam and insurance) of the particular setting.

Elective Recommendations

  • SOWK 603: Seminar in Brief Treatment
  • SOWK 612: Family Assessment and Intervention
  • SOWK 618: The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Psychotherapy
  • SOWK 626: Issues in the Treatment of Persons with Severe Mental Illness
  • SOWK 632: Clinical Social Work with Older Adults
  • SOWK 645: Crisis Intervention
  • SOWK 722: Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drug Disorders