Health Concentration

The Health Concentration prepares students to address the health, psychosocial, and mental health care needs of individuals, families, and communities in health care and integrated health care settings.

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

Students will understand how social and environmental contexts affect health equity and the implementation of health care interventions. Graduates will be skilled at adapting, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based 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.


  • Health Behavior & Health Promotion (3 credits)
  • Health Administration and Policy (3 credits)
  • Clinical Interventions in Health & Integrated Health Settings (3 credits)
  • Principles & Practices of Differential Diagnosis (3 credits)
  • Management & Leadership of Organizations (3 credits)
  • Social Policy Analysis & Evaluation (3 credits) or Evaluation of Programs and Services (3 credits)
  • One of the following:
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (3 credits)
    • Applied Group Work Practice (3 credits)
    • Principles, Practices & Services in Substance Use Disorder Treatment (3 credits)
    • Developing Programs in Health & Social Service Settings (3 credits)

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

  • Pharmacology for Social Workers (3 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing (3 credits)


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:

  • Behaviorial Health Network
  • St. Louis Children’s Hospital
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital
  • Perinatal Behavioral Health
  • Centene Corporation
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Hope Clinic for Women
  • Integrated Health Network
Wendy Auslander

Concentration Chair

Wendy Auslander is the Barbara A. Bailey Professor of Social Work and Chair of the Health concentration. Her research focuses on psychosocial and behavioral 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. Specifically, she has expertise in adapting and testing the effectiveness of interventions for at risk populations.


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.”