Advancing Health and Well-being across the Adult Lifespan

Promoting physical, mental and behavioral health for all adults.

Students in the Advancing Health and Wellbeing across the Adult Lifespan ("A-WELL") specialization area are prepared for leadership in social work practice with a broad range of vulnerable adult populations.

Curriculum

A-WELL students are educated and trained in the assessment and intervention skills necessary to address a range of complex psychosocial, health and mental health issues affecting individuals and families throughout adulthood. Specialized training provides state-of-the-art knowledge for effective multilevel practice with adults, the elderly, and their families.

For current class schedules, course descriptions and complete degree requirements, please see the Berkeley Academic Guide to Social Welfare.

Sample Plans of Study in the A-WELL Specialization

Full-time MSW, A-WELL Specialization

Full-time MSW students typically complete their 54-unit degree plan in four semesters, over two academic years (fall-spring).

Students are typically in field placement two days per week in the first year (foundation field), and three days per week in the second year (advanced field).

First Semester - Fall (17 units)

  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Policy (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 uints)
  • Choose ONE of the following courses:
    1. SOC WEL 205: Psychopathlogy & Psychosocial Problems (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 210C: Aging Processes (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)

Second Semester - Spring (12-13 units)

  • SOC WEL 238C: Health Policy: A Social Welfare Perspective (2 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following courses:
    1. SOC WEL 244: Direct Practice in Community Behavioral Health and Recovery Services across the Adult Life Span (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 245: Direct Practice in Health Settings across the Adult Life Span (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 282A: Seminar in Social Research (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)

Third Semester - Fall (12-13 units)

  • Diversity and/or Elective Courses (3-4 units total)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)

Fourth Semester - Spring (12-13 units)

  • SOC WEL 282B: Seminar in Social Research (2 units)
  • Diversity and/or Elective Courses (3-4 units total)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)

Concurrent MSW/MPH: MSW A-WELL Specialization + MPH Health and Social Behavior (HSB)

First Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (4 units)1
  • PB HLTH 200J: Health Policy and Management Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 203A: Theories of Health and Social Behavior (3 units)
  • PB HLTH 250A: Epidemiologic Methods I (3 units)1
  • PB HLTH 292: Health & Social Behavior Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Welfare Policy
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Second Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 200K: Environmental Health Sciences Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 205: Program Planning and Needs Assessment (4 units)
  • MPH Research Methods Course - chosen from approved list (2+ units)2
  • MPH Health, Race, and Social Equity Course - chosen from approved list (2+ units)2
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Intervening Summer Session

  • Public Health Field Placement

Third Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 297: Public Health Field Placement (3 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following courses:
    1. SOC WEL 205: Psychopathology & Psychosocial Problems (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 210C: Aging Processes (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)3
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fourth Semester - Spring

  • SOC WEL 238C: Health Policy - A Social Welfare Perspective (2 units)3
  • Choose ONE of the following courses:
    1. SOC WEL 244: Direct Practice in Community Behavioral Health and Recovery Services across the Adult Life Span (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 245: Direct Practice in Health Settings across the Adult Life Span (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fifth Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 218B: Evaluation of Health and Social Programs (4 units)
  • PB HLTH 292: Health & Social Behavior Seminar - Fall Capstone (2-3 units)
  • SOC WEL 275: Diversity-sensitive and Competent Social Work (or approved alternate)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Sixth Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 292.2: MPH Capstone Seminar (units vary)
  • PB HLTH 299: Independent Study - with PH Capstone Adviser (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 296: Independent Study - with SW Capstone Advisor (1 unit) 
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

1. PB HLTH 142 & PB HLTH 250A may be taken in the preceding summer. These requirements may also be fulfilled by passing an exemption exam or by completing an SPH-approved higher-level alternative course (see SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved alternatives.)

2. Students must choose at least one option from an approved list for each of these required MPH courses; multiple options may be offered in both fall and spring semesters. See the SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved options.

3. SOC WEL 200 & SOC WEL 238C may be waived with previously-taken course work; see "Approved Course Waivers and Substitutions" below.

Concurrent MSW/MPH: MSW A-WELL Specialization + MPH Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health (MCAH)

First Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (4 units)1
  • PB HLTH 200J: Health Policy and Management Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 200L: Health and Social Behavior Breadth (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 210: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health Policy, Practice and Science (3 units)
  • PB HLTH 210J: Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Journal Club (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 250A: Epidemiologic Methods I (3 units)1
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Welfare Policy (2 units)

Second Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 200K: Environmental Health Sciences Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 210K: Foundations of MCAH Leadership Seminar (2 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed to meet minimum unit enrollment requirements 

Intervening Summer Session

  • Public Health Field Placement

Third Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 297: Public Health Field Placement (3 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following courses:
    1. SOC WEL 205: Psychopathology & Psychosocial Problems (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 210C: Aging Processes (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)2
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fourth Semester - Spring

  • SOC WEL 238C: Health Policy - A Social Welfare Perspective (2 units)2
  • Choose ONE of the following courses:
    1. SOC WEL 244: Direct Practice in Community Behavioral Health and Recovery Services across the Adult Life Span (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 245: Direct Practice in Health Settings across the Adult Life Span (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fifth Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 210E: Practicum in MCH Data Analysis I (3 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following:
    1. MPH Methods of Measurement and Analysis Course - chosen from approve list3 (at least 2 units)
    2. MPH Applied Programmatic Skills Course - chosen from approved list3 (at least 2 units)
  • SOC WEL 275: Diversity-sensitive and Competent Social Work (or approved alternate)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Sixth Semester - Spring

  • PBHLTH 210F: Practicum in MCH Data Analysis II (3 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following:
    1. MPH Methods of Measurement and Analysis Course - chosen from approve list3 (at least 2 units)
    2. MPH Applied Programmatic Skills Course - chosen from approved list3 (at least 2 units)
  • PB HLTH 299: Independent Study - with Capstone Adviser (1 unit)
  • SOCWEL 296: Independent Study - with SW Capstone Advisor (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

1. PB HLTH 142 & PB HLTH 250A may be taken in the preceding summer. These requirements may also be fulfilled by passing an exemption exam or by completing an SPH-approved higher-level alternative course (see SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved alternatives.)

2. SOC WEL 200 may be waived with previously-taken course work; see "Approved Course Waivers and Substitutions" below.

3. Students must choose at least one option from an approved list for each of these required MPH courses; multiple options may be offered in both fall and spring semesters. See the SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved options.

Field Placements

A-WELL students develop advanced practice and leadership skills through 1,100+ hours of hands-on experiential learning available at a wide variety of agencies in the highly diverse San Francisco Bay Area.

Field placement settings include agencies serving older adults; adult protective services; community health centers and public health agencies; hospitals and clinics; inpatient community residential treatment; crisis intervention programs; and prevention programs.

Sample A-WELL Field Placements

  • Alameda County Behavioral Health Care
  • Alameda County Medical Center
  • Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay
  • Bay Area Community Services
  • Berkeley Mental Health
  • Family Caregiver Alliance
  • Glide Community Housing
  • Harm Reduction Therapy Center
  • Hospice by the Bay
  • Institute on Aging
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • La Clinica de la Raza
  • Larkin Street Youth Services
  • Lifelong Medical Care
  • Marin County Community Mental Health
  • Napa State Hospital
  • Project Open Hand
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • San Francisco Human Services Agency
  • UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals
  • UCSF Memory & Aging Center
  • VA Palo Alto Healthcare System

Careers

Employment of healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse social workers is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Healthcare social workers will continue to be needed to help aging populations and their families adjust to new treatments, medications, and lifestyles. Employment will grow as more people seek treatment for mental illness and substance abuse (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018).

80% of Berkeley Social Welfare graduates find full-time employment within six months of graduation, and over 90% are currently working in social welfare or related careers. Challenging and rewarding leadership positions are available to A-WELL MSW graduates in a wide variety of nonprofit, public and private settings.

Sample A-WELL Careers

Sample Career Possibilities

  • Addiction Treatment Specialist
  • Aging Specialist
  • Behavioral Health Care Coordinator
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Community Mental Health Educator
  • Geriatric Care Manager
  • Hospice & Palliative Care Social Worker
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Patient Navigator
  • Social Service Program Manager/Director
  • Wellness Manager

Sample Job Settings

  • Adult Protective Services
  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Hospitals & Health Systems
  • Public Social Service Agencies
  • Residential Care & Treatment Facilities
  • Senior Centers & Living Facilities
  • Schools, Colleges & Universities
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
  • Veterans Services

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