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Change Starts with You

Student Handbook

The student handbook for students enrolled in the MSW Program at Binghamton University can be found here (.pdf)

Performance Standards for Admission, Matriculation and Graduation

The Department of Social Work has developed a list of Performance Standards for Admission, Matriculation and Graduation which must be clearly and consistently observed and followed, in order for students to be successful in the program.  They can be found here


Student Advancement Policy

This policy creates a process which allows a timely and positive intervention when students are identified by faculty, field instructors or student peers as experiencing problems that interfere with their progress in the MSW program. Through this policy, the MSW program exercises its responsibility to the social work profession and its clients to determine whether students have demonstrated the required level of achievement in the areas of classroom performance and professional and ethical behavior that are necessary to interact positively with client systems. For detailed information, see MSW Student Advancement Policy.

Changing Curriculum Tracks

Part-time students who wish to transfer to the full-time curriculum should make their request known to the Director of Admissions and Student Services.  Decisions on whether to approve such requests are determined by a first come, first serve basis and whether there is space available in the desired cohort.

Independent Study (SW 597)

An independent study is a learning experience that allows a student an opportunity for self-directed learning related to an area of academic and/or professional interest. The independent study will involve, in a broad sense, critical analysis and application or development of theories and concepts relating to the area of inquiry chosen by the student. Although the student may engage in creative projects or field research, such endeavors must be accompanied by the previously described academic approaches and written assignments.

To qualify for an independent study, a student must meet all of the following criteria:

To apply for an independent study:

Other considerations for an independent study:

A copy of the student’s cover sheet and proposal will be placed in the student’s academic file.

Independent studies are graded with either normal grading option or pass/fail. The grading option is determined at the discretion of the faculty sponsor. After it is instituted, the grading option cannot be changed without the approval of the faculty sponsor, advisor and department chair.

Independent studies can be taken for one to three credits. As a general guideline, a three-credit study will require written assignment(s) of at least 20 pages.

An independent study cannot be undertaken if a course is available or offered in the intended areas of study.

Faculty Sponsor

The faculty sponsor must be a current faculty member of the Department of Social Work If the faculty sponsor is an adjunct faculty member, a current full-time faculty member must sign the independent study proposal and read and grade the final product.

The faculty sponsor is responsible for supervising the independent study. The faculty sponsor must approve the independent study proposal, ensure that the proposal is implemented properly and submit the final grade to the Registrar’s Office.

The faculty sponsor will be available for regular contact with the student during the independent study.


The Independent Study Cover Sheet (.PDF, 97KB) must be accompanied by a typed proposal which addresses the following questions:

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Last Updated: 3/24/14