Evaluation and Supporting Inquiry Courses in MSW Programs

Mary O’Brien McAdaragh, John M. LaVelle, Lixin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To examine the extent to which evaluation and supporting inquiry courses are included in master of social work (MSW) curricula. Methods: This study analyzed the course titles and descriptions for 674 courses across 262 Council on Social Work Education accredited colleges and universities that offer MSW training in the United States and Puerto Rico. Results: The results indicate a robust presence of evaluation-specific courses in MSW programs, as well as skills that are further supported by inquiry and analysis courses; 51.1% of MSW programs required at least one evaluation course (n = 134) for at least some of their students. On average, MSW programs required 2.0 credit hours in evaluation and 4.5 credit hours in inquiry courses for at least some of their students. Discussion: The findings suggest that evaluation education research should include social work programs and that educators should discuss the role of inquiry and evaluation in social work practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-759
Number of pages10
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • MSW
  • curriculum
  • evaluation
  • inquiry
  • social work

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