Social Work Practice in Schools

The LSU School of Social Work Graduate Specialization in Social Work Practice in Schools provides advanced year students with specialized training in the field of School Social Work. There is an increased demand for highly trained school social workers, as schools are becoming overwhelmed with students’ needs. Increased reports of suicide, self-harm, bullying, anxiety, depression, and community unrest leave many students vulnerable and without adequate services. School social workers have an abundance of skills and are responsible for a student’s overall well-being (academic, emotional, and physical needs). 

Through the Specialization in Social Work Practice in Schools, students will strengthen abilities in identifying and reporting abuse and neglect, improving classroom behavior/compliance, decreasing bullying, addressing and linking resources for trauma exposure, combating truancy, and addressing academic deficiencies.


Participation in the Social Work Practice in Schools is open to any campus advanced MSW student in good standing.

Credit Hours

The Specialization in Social Work Practice in Schools requires completion of nine (9) credit hours of graduate coursework that focus primarily on practice with children and youth. For students electing to complete a thesis project, 6 elective credits will be used for work directed toward the thesis, and 3 elective credits will be in coursework that focus primarily on practice with children and youth. Students must take the Social Work Practice in Schools as one of the required electives.

Required Courses

  • SW 7404 Social Work Practice in Schools

Optional Courses

  • SW 7306 Advanced Social Work Treatment of Individuals
  • SW 7307 Direct Practice with Children and Adolescents
  • SW 7309 Advanced Methods of Group Treatment
  • SW 7406 Social Work with LGBTQ People
  • SW 7415 Child/Family
  • SW 7416 Child/Family
  • SW 7807 Special Topics: At-risk Youth
  • SW 7807 Special Topics: Crisis Intervention
  • SW 7807 Special Topics: Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work Practice
  • SW 7807 Special Topics: Developmental Disabilities

Field Placement

Students completing the Certificate in Social Work with Children and Youth will also complete second year field placements in agencies serving students in the school setting. Services for which students are trained may be in direct and/or indirect practice roles. These placements are the agencies’ primary responsibility to provide services to students in a school setting, and where services are rendered across the social-ecological context of children’s development. The field office maintains a list of these agencies.

Rotations & Other Projects

Students must engage in four rotations and/or projects through their advanced-year internship. Rotations and projects will provide learning opportunities beyond what students not in the specialization should otherwise have.


Additional Notes

  • Students should note that earning a specialization does not guarantee the availability or attainment of a job in that field.
  • Faculty may, but are not required to, excuse students to participate in specialization activities. Students who are not excused from class to participate in a specialization activity must be provided with an equitable alternative activity.


Brandi Conrad, DSW, LCSW-BACS