Students seeking a master's degree in social work within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex are about to have a second option for their education.
The department of social work at Texas Christian University is offering a master’s degree program starting in fall 2013.
The University of Texas at Arlington is the only other university within the metroplex to offer the degree.
“Most urban areas of this size have probably four to nine master of social work programs in their area,” David Jenkins, professor and chair of the department of social work at TCU, said. “It’s time for some competition in this metropolitan area.”
According to the university's social work department website, the department will begin admitting students into its traditional master of social work program this fall. This program is for students with an undergraduate degree in a field other than social work. These students will begin a 60-credit program designed for full-time students to complete in two years.
In the fall of 2014, the department will start admitting social work majors into the master’s program, according to the department's website. Students with a bachelor's in social work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program will be admitted into the advanced standing master's program. These students will be exempt from the first year of the program, only requiring the completion of 30-credits.
The department of social work plans to admit an initial class of about 15 to 20 students into the traditional program this fall and another class of similar size into the advanced standing program the following year, Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he believes the anticipated small size of the program will provide an advantage and attract applicants to the university.
“If you have a choice of going to a school with 700 or a school with 15 or 20, you might want to hide, or you might want to get individual attention and actually work with a professor who knows your name and really helps you choose your research area and field placement options,” Jenkins said. “I think that individual attention would make you a stronger graduate when you get out of here.”
Jodie Sutton, a senior social work major, said she originally planned on attending UTA because of its master's program, but now that TCU will also be offering the same program, she hopes to return.
“I love TCU. I love the professors. I love the campus, and I would really love to stay here and come back,” Sutton said.
Sutton said she plans to work full-time next year before applying for the advanced standing master's program in 2014.
Taylor Fulk, a 2012 TCU graduate currently working toward her master's degree at UTA, said she wished TCU offered the master’s program when she graduated.
“I probably wouldn't have applied anywhere else," she said. "I love TCU and the faculty there. I think TCU is a wonderful place to have a master's program. It gives a great alternative to UTA when you are wanting to stay in the DFW area.”
The deadline for submitting applications for the master's program is April 4.
To find more information and to submit an application, visithttp://www.socialwork.tcu.edu/master_admission.asp.