Dec 06, 2022  
2022-2023 General Catalog 
2022-2023 General Catalog

Social Work (Graduate Program)


For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here.   

Program Overview

The LSU School of Social Work was founded in 1937 in the era of the “New Deal” programs, reflecting a growing need for professional social workers. The school has a reputation for excellence in professional education and a long tradition of service to the professional community. The focus of the school is to educate competent, professional social workers and early childhood specialists and to use research to enhance the effectiveness of social work practice and practice in the fields of child and family studies and early childhood administration and leadership. The school has a commitment to culturally competent practice, an equally strong commitment to the social work profession’s core values of social and economic justice, respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, and the centrality of human relationships to well-being. The research infrastructure of the school includes active programs in the areas of juvenile justice, poverty, mental health, addictions, gerontology, community development, child welfare, and sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. The school is a charter member of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and its master’s program has maintained continuous accreditation with this body since its inception. The School also offers a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree. Since 2012, the School includes the Child and Family Studies Program (BS and MS), and is recognized by the National Council on Family Relations as a Certified Family Life Education program. The School offers a concentration in Child Life Specialist and adheres to the guidelines set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals in offering the Child Life Concentration. 


Pamela Monroe, Director
Denise Chiasson, Graduate Advisor (MSW Program)
Scott Wilks, Program Director Graduate Advisor (PhD)
Laura Ainsworth, CFS Program Director and Graduate Advisor (Masters in Child and Family Studies; concentration in Child Life Specialist)
Traci Lilley, Director of Field Education
Elaine M. Maccio, MSW Program Director
Jahanna Bailey, BSW Program Director
Brittany Wittenberg, Child Life Specialist Coordinator
TELEPHONE 225-578-5875
FAX 225-578-1357


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Office of Graduate Admissions. Official transcripts and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Student Services, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

Applications for admission are received and evaluated by the department. Applicants must adhere to the application deadlines established by the Graduate School and the School of Social Work. Students seeking admission must submit satisfactory credentials from previous study, and three letters of recommendation. International students whose native language is not English must also submit an acceptable TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

The Baton Rouge on campus MSW program has an application deadline date of March 1 for Advanced Standing and March 31 for the Full-time and Part-time programs. The application deadline for the MSW Online Program accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. Please visit our website for more information. Full-time and part-time students are admitted for the fall semester of each year. MSW Online students are admitted at six different points during the year. Admission decisions are based on the applicant’s academic record, academic and professional letters of recommendation, letter of intent, work and volunteer experience, and resumé. A genuine interest in people  as well as personal emotional stability are also important qualifications for admission to the school. No academic credit is granted for work or life experiences.

The following are requirements that must be completed prior to, but do not guarantee, admission to the MSW program:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Demonstration of a liberal arts undergraduate preparation through completion of at least 12 credit hours in the social and behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, anthropology, human geography, economics, political science, curriculum & instruction, etc.), and at least nine hours in the humanities (literature, languages, history, women’s studies, art or music history, philosophy, cultural and comparative studies, communication studies, etc.).
  • “C” or better in an introductory statistics course in any undergraduate department.
  • A 3.00 cumulative GPA on undergraduate coursework.
  • Evidence that the applicant possesses the personal qualities and aptitudes essential for the social work profession.
  • Information concerning these qualities will be obtained from the student’s application materials and from present or former employers, teachers, and other persons acquainted with the applicant.
  • Other materials as required in the application process:
  1. A completed LSU Graduate School online application (found on the Graduate School website).
  2. The MSW letter of intent (found on the application portal).
  3. Three recommendation forms (found on the application portal).
  4. Official copies of all transcripts in sealed envelopes (all transcripts required, whether or not credit was earned or is desired sent to the LSU Graduate School.
  5. Professional resumé.

The PhD Program has a priority deadline date of February 1 and admits students for the fall semester of each year. Applications received after March 1 and/or incomplete by March 1 will be considered on a space-available basis. Admission decisions are based on the applicant’s academic record, GRE scores, personal qualifications, and proposed departmental-level academic course plan.

The following are requirements that must be completed prior to admission to the PhD program:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with typical liberal arts, social sciences, introductory statistics, and human biology courses;
  • An acceptable grade point average in undergraduate coursework (as evaluated by the School of Social Work and the Graduate School);
  • A master’s degree in social work from a CSWE accredited program or a closely related discipline. Preference will be given to applicants with the MSW. Students without the MSW will be required to enroll in SW 7004 Human Diversity and Oppression (3) . Please contact the PhD Director for further information.
  • A GPA in graduate studies of at least 3.00.
  • Acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) of at least 1000 or higher (old test) approximately 150 on both the quantitative and verbal sections (new test)
  • Completion of a graduate research course with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Other materials as required in the application instructions (items 1, 2 and 3 must be completed online):
    1. The completed LSU Graduate School online application (found on the Graduate School website).
    2. The completed School of Social Work PhD application (found on the Social Work website).
    3. A completed plan of doctoral study, a 4-6 page (2000-2500 word) typed statement that addresses the following:
      1. Describe your career goals in social work and how a PhD in social work will further those goals. Please state whether you plan to enroll on a part-time or full-time basis. If you plan to enroll full time, please clarify whether you hope to receive funding from the School and whether you plan to work part- or full-time while enrolled. Describe any relevant financial supports in place to assist you.
      2. What are your areas of interest and your ideas for research? If you have plans for dissertation research, please describe them. Identify any faculty members that share your area of interest(s). Faculty information can be obtained at
      3. What are your professional/scholarly areas for improvement, as you perceive them? Please describe your professional/scholarly strengths and abilities that you think will serve you well as a doctoral student.
      4. Please supply the admissions committee with one samples of your professional/scholarly writing that best illustrate your capacity for analytic and critical thinking. Briefly describe in your Plan of Doctoral Study why your writing selection is representative of these latter abilities.
    4. Three letters of reference.
    5. Two official copies of all transcripts in sealed envelopes (all transcripts are required, whether or not credit was earned or is desired, sent to the LSU Graduate School and the School of Social Work).

For more information on admission to the MSW or PhD program, please visit our website at

The following requirements must be completed prior to admission to the Child and Family Studies (CFS) graduate program:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 on all undergraduate work or in the final 60 credit hours;
  • Evidence that the applicant possesses the personal qualities and aptitudes essential for the CFS profession;
  • A genuine interest in people and emotional stability;
  • Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.

How to Apply

Applicants with missing application materials by the LSU Graduate School deadline will not be considered. A completed application is the LSU Graduate School application, fee payment, CFS letter of intent, three letters of recommendations, resume, and receipt of official transcripts by the Graduate School’s deadline dates. Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.

Applicants must submit the following: 

  • Graduate School Application and Fee
  • Letter of Intent (instructions located within the Graduate School application portal)
  • Current resume or vita
  • One official copy of all transcripts from all universities attended. Transcripts may be mailed in sealed envelopes to Graduate School, 114 David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 or sent electronically from a university to  All transcripts are required, whether or not credit was earned or is desired. Official transcripts of work taken at LSU are not required.
  • For international applicants whose native language is not English, scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • A total of three (3) recommendation forms are required for your admission file to be complete by the appropriate deadline. A letter of support is optional. These forms are located in the Graduate School application portal. Recommendations must be an Academic (college instructors, internship supervisors) or Professional (Work/Volunteer) reference.  Family friends, clergy, therapist and high school teachers are not appropriate.
    • It is strongly recommended that if an internship/practicum was part of the degree program and the internship/practicum has been completed at the time of application, a recommendation from the internship/practicum supervisor be included as the professional recommendation. 

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to some students. Support may be available through the student’s home department or other units in the form of research or teaching assistantships. A student should contact his or her home department for more information on available assistantship positions. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all application materials should be submitted in accordance with admission deadlines for the appropriate program.

Graduate Faculty

(check current faculty listings by department here

Laura Ainsworth •  School mental health, grant writing, community assessment and intervention, program evaluation
Priscilla D. Allen (M) • Gerontology, nursing homes, long-term ombudsman programs, policy issues
Johanna Bailey (PA ) • Children and youth mental health; childhood trauma; school social work
Canfield, James (6A) Children and youth homelessness; policy issues and implications related to homelessness; homeless children in school setting.
Cassandra Chaney (M) • African-American Family Dynamics; Narratives among Dating, Cohabiting, and Married African-American Couples; Religiosity/Spirituality and African-American Families; Black male-female relationship dynamics in popular forms of media (television, movies, song lyrics); Qualitative Methods
Chien-Jen Chiang (6A) • Child maltreatment and improving child maltreatment through intervention and policy, child abuse and neglect, and child protection.
Brandi Conrad (PA) • School social work, children’s mental health, childhood trauma.
Cassie Dinecola (PA) • Program evaluation and intervention research, crisis and suicide intervention, adolescent and adult autism spectrum disorders and mental health counseling.
Cecile C. Guin (EM) • Death penalty mitigation, truancy issues, grant writing, juvenile justice
Erin Harmeyer (PA) • Impact of parenting practices on early childhood outcomes, child and family issues related to development
Youn Kyoung (Lily) Kim (6A) • Resilience and behavioral health problems, HIV/AIDS and risky sexual behaviors among youth, international social work.
Catherine Lemieux (M) • Substance abuse assessment and intervention, evaluation of correction-based substance abuse programs, role of social support in recovery, development and testing of innovative teaching strategies that emulate core social work competencies, service-learning
Michelle Livermore (M) • Poverty and related policies, social development, community social capital, civic engagement, employment of women living in poverty
Elaine M. Maccio (M) • Gay and lesbian issues, gender and women’s issues, diversity and multiculturalism, substance use/abuse and addictions
Logan McIlwain (PA) • Mental health counseling, children and adolescent mental health, child custody mediation, intervention strategies in parenting/co-parenting.
Brij Mohan (EM) • Mental health, social theory, philosophy of science, human diversity, oppression, international and comparative social welfare
Pamela Monroe (M) • Family policy, poverty, welfare reform, women’s labor force participation, economic revitalization/work force development
Catherine Moon (6A) • Parenting interventions and childhood maltreatment, children and families at risk for child maltreatment, and child abuse and neglect.
Rhonda Norwood (PA) • Infant mental health, effective interventions with child welfare services, mental health counseling and parental representation of their children in the child welfare system.
Timothy F. Page (EM) • Child and family treatment, attachment theory, vulnerable children, narrative methodologies with young children, clinical practice
Hannah Plauche (PA) •Families and finance, divorce and reconciliation, family stress and crisis management, and disaster recovery and relief.
Greg Purser (6A) • Substance abuse, mental health issues across the lifespan, older age substance abuse, and effects of substance abuse on housing.
Samuel Robison (3F) • Program evaluation and intervention research, school and community prevention and early intervention, life pathways of at-risk-children, political psychology of decision makers, foreign policy analysis, and conflict studies.
Jennifer Scott (6A) • Poverty, immigration, sociopolitical determinants of poverty, inequality and migration, international social work.
Scott Wilks (M) • Coping and resilience among dementia caregivers, custodial grandparent issues, gerontological social work
Brittany Wittenberg (6A) • Child Life Specialist, children’s stress and transitions in pediatric healthcare settings, children with autism spectrum disorder
Miyoun Yang (7yM) • Poverty, child abuse and neglect, child well-being​


    Master of ScienceMaster of Social WorkMaster of Social Work/Master of Public HealthDoctor of PhilosophyJuris Doctor/Graduate