Health, Equity and Wellness

Do you want to improve health and wellness for individuals and communities, advocate for policy reform across health care delivery systems or promote well-being for the most marginalized individuals? Complete the next step toward becoming an integrated health practitioner by earning a Master of Social Work (MSW) online with a concentration in Health, Equity and Wellness. 

As a student in the online MSW program, you will learn a variety of practice skills, theories and evidence-based modalities. Your new knowledge will enable you to incorporate problem-solving and integrative, strength-based approaches to your social work practice, keeping in mind health care trends, the mind-body connection, interdisciplinary collaboration and social justice in health.

If you are applying to the September 2023 start term or any future start dates, your curriculum has been restructured in order to provide more flexibility and customization of your MSW pathway. This differs from students who start in the March or June 2023 terms, however course offerings will remain similar for all students in the MSW program. 

As an Online MSW student, you will take 81 credit hours. During the first half of your program, you’ll focus on the foundation curriculum, developing a generalist perspective and basic skills for working with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. In your second half, you’ll customize your Advanced Social Work Practice concentration to match your interests and career goals.

As an Online Advanced-Standing MSW student, you will take 54 credit hours and can customize your Advanced Social Work Practice concentration to match your interest and career goals. Your first four courses are rooted in social justice.

Please note that not all classes offered on the on-campus MSW program will be offered in the online MSW@DEN program. For additional details and information, please reach out to your Admissions Counselor or After reviewing the new curriculum, if you are interested in applying to the online MSW@DEN program, please start your application here.

Why Specialize in Health, Equity and Wellness?

A social work career in health and wellness will prepare you to work in dynamic settings where you can help improve health and quality of life for individuals and communities at micro, mezzo and macro levels while focusing on the principles of health equity.

Social workers are problem-solvers who research and advocate for community resources, such as access to culturally responsive health care, to assist and improve a client’s well-being. They develop and evaluate programs and services to ensure that basic client needs are met.

After completing the Health, Equity and Wellness concentration, you will be prepared to sit for the licensure exam to become a social worker in medical and integrated health and wellness settings, including hospitals, hospices, outpatient clinics, school-based health clinics and experiential treatment settings. 

Health, Equity and Wellness Concentration Courses 

Health, Equity and Wellness degree coursework highlights the history of health and health disparities and prepares students for culturally responsive social work practice with an interdisciplinary team. The curriculum also focuses on clinical skills, leadership and advocacy in health and wellness administration, and policy practice. 

As a student in the Health, Equity and Wellness concentration, you will complete the following courses:

  • Social Work Practice in Health
  • Evolving Perspectives and Trends in Health
    and Wellness
  • Integrated Health Care: Models and Practice
  • Assessment of Mental Health Across the
    Life Span
  • Mental Health and Health Care Policy
  • Methods for Evaluating Practice/Programs
  • Leadership and Supervision Skills
  • Applied Practice Evaluation Research
  • Integrated Health Care: Models and Practice
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Micro- and Macro-level Perspectives in Health, Equity and Wellness

In the Health, Equity and Wellness concentration, you will have the opportunity to choose courses that focus on the well-being of individuals and communities at both micro and macro levels. Our micro-level courses focus on helping individuals through one-on-one guidance and support, while macro-level courses seek to understand the systemic causes of health, equity and wellness disparities through large-scale interventions that include policy and practice reforms.

Micro-level Course Spotlight:

Social Work Practice in Health

This course is designed to explore and develop advanced social work knowledge, skills and practice in diverse health-care settings. It includes an examination of the social work role on interdisciplinary teams and how to implement change in the health-care system as well as support positive health outcomes for patients and their families.

Macro-level Course Spotlight:

Evolving Perspectives and Trends in Health and Wellness

This course provides an overview of the frameworks that inform social work practice in the area of health and wellness. The concept of health is broadly examined for its understanding and meaning within communities and cultures, along with the historical and conceptual bases of public health. There is a focus on understanding racism in health alongside the impact of health inequities for historically marginalized and oppressed communities.

Demand for Health and Wellness Professionals 

Health and wellness industry statistics indicate growth for the global health and wellness market with an expected 6% increase from 2018 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because the industry growth rate is increasing, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that health care social work jobs are projected to grow by 14% between 2019 and 2029. 

An article on Business Wire states that market growth is a result of the growing urban population and an increase of mental illness, which can lead to adverse effects on an individual’s lifestyle and health. As professionals and organizations seek to combat mental illness, the overall health and wellness industry growth rate will continue to increase. Social workers are recognized in the industry as the professionals who contribute to effective teams and patient satisfaction. 

Careers in Health and Wellness 

An MSW with a concentration in Health, Equity and Wellness prepares you to work in diverse settings, including:

  • hospitals and integrated health clinics
  • comprehensive and specialized health care clinics (oncology, dialysis, etc.)
  • hospice and long-term care facilities
  • public health clinics and programs
  • wellness and preventative health care centers

Health and wellness career paths could include:

  • health and wellness counselor
  • public health educator
  • corporate wellness coordinator
  • community health social worker
  • health services manager
  • health coach
  • medical social worker
  • integrated behavioral health provider/consultant  

Health and wellness salaries for social workers vary depending on many factors, such as education, experience, workplace and location.