Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Foundation Courses

SOWK 390: Research and Evaluation in Social Work Practice

Credit Hours



Senior status, Social Work majors & minors, Human Services majors. Prerequisites for BSWs: "C" or higher in SOWK 200, 201 or 307, 305, 350, and 370.


Social work practitioners need research literacy and research skills in order to be accountable and evaluate their own practice, programs, and service delivery in the field. Toward that end, this course introduces the methods of social work research, including problem formulation, research ethics, research designs, measurement, data collection, sampling, and data analysis. Through a social justice/anti-racist/global perspective, we focus on the application of critical thinking skills and research methods that support practice at the micro/mezzo/macro levels including practice effectiveness research, the evaluation of social work programs and services, and developing the knowledge base for social work practice. Students will build skills in critically reviewing and analyzing research studies using both qualitative and quantitative methods to prepare for their professional roles as critical consumers of research in social and behavioral science. This course will also provide students with experience in proposing evaluation research studies related to their internship (as available). Ultimately, their proposals may be relevant to the practice world; in the best-case scenario, student proposals developed in this course can provide community agencies with a significant step forward in obtaining knowledge about how their programs function.

SOWK 390 Syllabus