Jun 19, 2024  
2014-2015 General Catalog 
2014-2015 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work (Graduate Program)

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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, and child welfare. The school is a charter member of the Council on Social Work Education and its master’s program has maintained continuous accreditation with this body since its inception.


  • A nationally ranked master’s program
  • The only social work PhD program in Louisiana
  • Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar. The first faculty member from LSU to be selected as well as the first from the state of Louisiana
  • Graduate selected as a Presidential Management Fellow by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • 2011 LMSW passing rate for first time test takers was 78% with the state average being 57% and a national average of 83%. 2011 LCSW passing rate was 81% with a 71% state average and a 78% national average.


  • Participating in the BRAVE Project (Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination) along with law enforcement officials, residents, and social service providers to improve crime by targeting violent offenders as well as drug offenders in the city’s 70805 ZIP code
  • Establishing the Louisiana Poverty Initiative for research on the causes and outcomes of poverty, which focuses on academic research and individual and community actions to create pathways out of poverty for children and families
  • Improving Louisiana’s child welfare professionals through the Louisiana Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce Project to improve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and youth by building the capacity of Louisiana’s child welfare professionals and by improving the systems to recruit, train, supervise, manage, and retain them
  • Meeting the critical need for more professionals skilled in the area of addictions by partnering with the Capital Area Human Services District on the Addictive Disorders Training Initiative


Over 50 percent of all credentialed social workers in Louisiana have graduated from LSU and 77 percent of our graduates remain working in the state

  • Students provide an estimated 100,000 hours of service to community agencies annually. There are more than 300 approved community agencies throughout every part of Louisiana serving as field placement sites
  • Gerontology & Children/Youth Services Certificate programs address the educational needs of students who want to be engaged in planning, administration, and/or provision of services for older adults and children/youth


Wesley Church, Director
Denise Chiasson, Graduate Advisor (MSW Program)
Tim Page, Graduate Advisor (PhD)
TELEPHONE 225-578-5875
FAX 225-578-1357
WEBSITE www.socialwork.lsu.edu


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School: www.lsu.edu/gradapply. Official transcripts, official test scores, 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, acceptable GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. International students whose native language is not English must also submit an acceptable TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

The MSW Program has an application deadline date of March 1 for Advanced Standing and Online Advanced Standing and March 31 for Full-time, Part-time, and Online Part-time Programs. The School admits students for the fall semester of each year. Admission decisions are based on the applicant’s academic record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, letter of intent, work and volunteer experience, resumé as well as a personal interview. A genuine interest in people and 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 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.).
  • An undergraduate human biology course that covers humans as well as other animals.
  • “C” or better in an introductory statistics course in any undergraduate department.
  • A 3.00 cumulative GPA on undergraduate coursework and acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Evidence that the applicant possesses the personal qualities and aptitudes essential for the social work profession.
  • A genuine interest in people and emotional stability are also important qualifications for admission to the school.
  • 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, from pre-admission interviews on campus and an on-site writing sample.
  • Other materials as required in the application process (items 1, 2 and 3 must be completed online):
    1. A completed application for graduate study.
    2. The MSW letter of intent.
    3. Three letters of reference.
    4. One official copy of all transcripts in sealed envelopes (all transcripts required, whether or not credit was earned or is desired).

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 will be considered on a space-available basis. Admission decisions are based on 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 course work (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.
  • 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 introductory statistics course with a grade of “B” or better;
  • Completion of a graduate introductory 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 PhD application for admission.
    2. 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 www.socialwork.lsu.edu.
      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 three 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 selection of writings is representative of these latter abilities.
    3. Three letters of reference
    4. One official copy of all transcripts in sealed envelopes (all transcripts are required, whether or not credit was earned or is desired)
    5. One sample of professional/scholarly writing

For more information on admission to the MSW or PhD program, please visit our website at www.socialwork.lsu.edu.

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 listings by department by clicking this link

Priscilla D. Allen (M) • Gerontology, nursing homes, long-term ombudsman programs, policy issues
Annahita Ball (6A) • Research Interests: School social work; school-family-community partnerships; racial and ethnic disparities in education; school-based and -linked mental health services
Juan Barthelemy (3P) • Adolescent aggression and school violence, antiracism, recruitment and retention of minority graduate school students
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
Wesley Church (M) • Juvenile delinquency, mental health delivery in the juvenile justice system, stigmatized incarcerated populations, family systems, and family dynamics
Charles Grenier (EM) • Medical, mental health, research methodology
Cecile C. Guin (3F) • Death penalty mitigation, truancy issues, grant writing, juvenile justice
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
Younghee Lim (M) • Evaluation of anti-poverty policies and programs, welfare reforms and well-being of families and children, poverty issues
Michelle Livermore (M) • Poverty and related policies, social development, community social capital, civic engagement, employment of women living in poverty
Elaine Maccio (M) • Gay and lesbian issues, gender and women’s issues, diversity and multiculturalism, substance use/abuse and addictions
Loren Marks (M) • Religion and family, African-American families, qualitative methods
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
Timothy F. Page (M) • Child and family treatment, attachment theory, vulnerable children, narrative methodologies with young children, clinical practice
Sarah Pierce (6A) • Experiences in the parent-child relationship and in the teacher-child relationship; Developmental Systems Theory
Katherine Stamps-Mitchell (6A) • Primary Areas of Research Interest: Sociology of Families and Children, Life Course, Social Demography, Stratification, Fertility, Education, Public Policy
Scott Wilks (M) • Coping and resilience among dementia caregivers, custodial grandparent issues, gerontological social work
Mi Youn Yang (6A) • Poverty, child abuse and neglect, child well-being 


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of Social Work

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