USF Sarasota-Manatee will soon accept applications to Master of Social Work program.

USF Sarasota-Manatee to hold open house for Master of Social Work degree program

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: September 05, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 05, 2019) – The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee will hold an open house on Thursday, Sept. 12, to provide information about the next cohort for the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program.

The open house is set for 6 p.m. in the campus’ Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. To attend, contact Daniel Nguyen at or (813) 974-1372.

MSW classes are scheduled to begin in summer 2020. Applications to the program will be accepted shortly after the open house. The registration deadline is Feb. 15.

Affiliated with the University of South Florida School of Social Work in Tampa, the MSW degree program is based on a strengths-based teaching philosophy that is designed to prepare students for meaningful careers at hospitals, social service agencies, schools and other clinical settings. The program will be offered at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s campus and online.

USFSM to launch master’s of social work degree program

Dr. Jane Roberts

“This will be an evening program for working individuals,” USFSM social work instructor Jane Roberts, PhD, said.

Upon acceptance to the program, students will be assigned faculty mentors.

“People often come to the MSW program from a variety of backgrounds,” Roberts said. “You do not need to have a social work background. The common denominator here is that social workers want to help people and have the aptitude to understand aspects of policy, programming, counseling and research that align with social work and human services values and ethics.

“The program’s overall aim is to produce professionals who have a well-rounded, yet deep understanding of the profession of social work,” she said.

The 2½-year program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Classes will include instruction in human behavior, diversity and social justice, social welfare and policy, one-on-one counseling and group therapy, and health, illness and disabilities, among other studies.

Students will work toward their master’s degree over eight semesters, with clinical internships assigned after the first semester. Students will work at agencies, hospitals and schools at least 10 hours weekly, performing bio-psychosocial assessments, counseling and group therapy, among other tasks.

As mental health professionals, social workers often work with people in hospitals and hospice programs, veterans, families in crisis or grieving, in school systems, with seniors and with people struggling with drug, alcohol, or mental health problems.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the social work profession is expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate through 2020.The Sarasota-Manatee community has several specific needs and social workers can certainly help to ameliorate some of those necessities:

  • Increased poverty (in some areas)
  • Retiring baby boomers
  • Unemployment and psychiatric needs
  • Alcohol and drug usage

    Cheryl Hamlin

“Social work is an amazing career that allows a student to make a real impact in someone’s life,” MSW Field Coordinator Prof. Cheryl Hamlin said. “In my career, I have worked with disadvantaged and troubled young adults, developmentally disabled individuals and clients in medical and psychiatric hospitals. I’ve also worked in outpatient therapy with individuals, families and groups, as well as seniors, caregivers and persons diagnosed with early cognitive changes.”

For more about the MSW program, visit

To apply to the program, contact Senior Academic Advisor Amy Weisz at or (813) 974-7292.

Read more news stories below or view as a list