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


This concentration allows students to focus their coursework on policies, practice methods and issues affecting their unique professional interests.

The Individualized path is designed to support students whose interests in a particular population or issue are not represented within our existing concentrations. With the help of their academic advisor and the Individualized concentration chair, students will have the support they need to craft a cohesive curriculum that reflects their professional goals and interests while fulfilling critical social work  competencies.

Students who individualize their concentration may elect to combine two concentrations or designate their own course of study. Students will structure their concentration using a pre-approved curriculum model; this approach ensures that coursework addresses each of the core competencies necessary for a career of comprehensive and sustainable impact.

Concentration Requirements: 21 Credits

Students will work with an advisor to select coursework that meets the unique needs of their chosen population while fulfilling the following competencies:

  • Theory, Problems, and Issues (3 credits)
  • Social Policy (3 credits)
  • Practice Methods (9 credits)
  • Leadership and Management (3 credits)
  • Evaluation (3 credits)

You will also have 9 elective credits, which can be used to broaden your expertise in other areas or to pursue additional electives aligned with your concentration.

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 an agency aligned with the individualized concentration’s focus.

Trish Kohl

Concentration Chair

Jennifer Harpring is a teaching professor and the Associate Dean for Social Work, in addition to chairing the Individualized concentration. Harpring focuses on community-engaged teaching, creating collaborative learning environments, advising, and higher education administration. A winner of the Excellence in Advising award, she works intently working with students to achieve their goals. Throughout her career in community engagement, she has held positions at a public health department, city housing department, and non-profit organizations.



Meriel Shire


Featured Graduate

“I chose to individualize my concentration, Integrative Healthcare, to make the most of my degree. By customizing my curriculum, I was able to fine-tune my MSW to secure a strong set of skills in medical and mental health upon graduation. It is incredibly important to take advantage of opportunities that may help guide you into your next steps as a professional.”



—JoNathan RiecK, MSW '19, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Social Worker, St. Louis ChildRen's Hospital