Health Concentration | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Health Concentration

The Health concentration prepares students to address the health care needs of individuals, families, communities and other groups.

Students will learn about health care organizations and services, prevention strategies, health behavior, and clinical treatment of individuals, families and other groups facing health care issues.

Students will understand how social context affects health and the uptake of health care interventions, and they will learn strategies to increase health equity. Graduates will be skilled at adapting evidence-based clinical treatments for diverse populations and health care settings.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has named health social work not only as the fastest growing career in social work, but also in health care in general. The Health concentration opens the door to an array of clinical and management health care careers, including behavioral health, in fields such as primary care, community clinics, hospitals and disease-specific organizations.

Concentration Requirements: 21 Credits

  • Health Behavior & Health Promotion (3 credits)
  • Health Administration and Policy (3 credits)
  • Principles of Clinical Interventions in Health (3 credits)
  • Social Work Practice and Services in Health Care (3 credits)
  • Applied Group Work Practice (3 credits)
  • Three credits of leadership- and management-focused coursework
  • Social Policy Analysis and Evaluation (3 credits) or Evaluation of Programs and Services (3 credits)

You will also have 9 elective credits, which can be used to broaden your expertise in other areas or to pursue additional health-related electives, such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (3 credits)
  • Health Terminology and Communication (1 credit)

Concentration Practicum

The MSW program requires 600 hours of concentration practicum (in addition to 360 hours of foundation practicum). The concentration practicum must take place in a health-related setting. Sample Health practicum sites include:

  • Barnes Jewish Hospital-Palliative Care
  • Centene Corporation
  • East Side Health District
  • Integrated Health Network
  • Jefferson County Health Department
  • St. Louis Children’s Hospital
  • Saint Louis University Cancer Center


Wendy Auslander

Concentration Chair

Wendy Auslander is the Barbara A. Bailey Professor of Social Work and co-chair of the Health concentration. Her research focuses on issues across the spectrum of health care and health behaviors, including HIV prevention among adolescents at risk, diabetes prevention, minority health and health promotion, and the intersection between mental health and health.

Elin Cogan

Featured Graduate

“The Brown School offers broad exposure to factors that impact patient care and positive outcomes. Graduates are equipped to view patients with their unique strengths and vulnerabilities, impacted by education, policy, family dynamics, and spiritual and economic factors.”



—Elin Cogan-Adewunmi, MSW ’92, LCSW, Team Leader Social Services - St. Louis Network, SSM Health
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