Who is this degree for?
Infants, young children, and their families are currently the fastest growing populations in the child welfare and mental health systems. An explosion of neurobiological, behavioral, and social sciences research has led to new possibilities and promise for early intervention. National emphasis on early childhood programs, new diagnostic classifications and evidence-based treatments, and dramatic demographic and socioeconomic shifts in the population all call for a new kind of social services professional.
Erikson’s dual degree program — the first of its kind in the country — is the ideal preparation for the professional who wants to advocate for and address the complex needs of vulnerable children and families in infant or child mental health, school, child welfare, child development, family support, pediatric/medical, and early intervention settings.
Offered in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work, the program combines theoretical, clinical, and practical training in child development in the context of culture, with knowledge of the structure and functions of social service systems.
Respond to the growing need for specialists working with infants and their families by adding the Infancy Specialization to the M.S. in Child Development portion of the dual degree.
Specializations offered by Loyola
Loyola University Chicago offers five specializations within its M.S.W. program: children and families, schools, mental health, health, and leadership and development in social services. For more information on these specializations, visit the Loyola School of Social Work’s website.
The program consists of three or four years of course work, including two internships, totaling 86 credit hours. Course requirements of both degrees have been slightly abbreviated in instances where content overlaps.
Sample course schedules
Most students choose the three-year option, which begins in the summer with a week-long course, Human Behavior in the Social Environment I, taught jointly by Erikson and Loyola faculty. During the first academic year, the primary curricular focus is child development. The second year of studies includes child development and social work courses with a two-semester field instruction/internship with young children and their families. The Erikson comprehensive examination is typically taken after the second year of course work. Students who complete the Erikson requirements and pass the comprehensive examination receive their Master of Science in Child Development after two years (or three years in the four-year option).
In the final year, students complete the social work course requirements and a second field instruction/internship in social work. Upon completion of the Loyola requirements, they receive their master of social work from Loyola. Please note: the Loyola requirements summarized below are intended only as a guide. Students must consult their Loyola adviser for official degree requirements.
- C410 – Social and Historical Perspectives on Early Care and Education
- C421 – Human Development I: Psychosocial Development in Infancy and Childhood
- C422 – Human Development II: Psychosocial Development from Early Adolescence through Adulthood
- C425 – Physical Growth and Development
- C426 – Development of Cognition, Language, and Play I: Cognitive Development
- C427 – Development of Cognition, Language, and Play II: Language Development
- C432 – Family and Culture
- C439 – Child Assessment
- D413 – Children, Family and Law (Co-taught by Erikson and Loyola faculty)
- D440 and D441 – Field Instruction I and II
- D452 and D453 – Supervision Seminar I and II
- Policy Elective: Loyola Course
- Social Work Electives: Loyola Course
- SOWK500E – Loyola Course: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
- SOWK501 – Loyola Course: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
- SOWK502 – Loyola Course: Ethnicity, Race and Culture
- SOWK503 – Loyola Course: Social Work with Individuals and Families I
- SOWK504 – Loyola Course: Social Work with Individuals and Families II
- SOWK505 – Loyola Course: Social Work with Small Groups I
- SOWK506 – Loyola Course: Methods of Social Work Research
- SOWK507 – Loyola Course: Social Welfare and Social Work
- SOWK509 – Loyola Course: Policies and Strategies for Community Interventions
- SOWK606 – Loyola Course: Practicum in Research
- SOWK612 – Loyola Course: Family Diagnosis and Treatment
- SOWK620 – Loyola Course: Clinical Social Work Practice with Children
- SWFI630 and 630-S – Loyola Course: Field Instruction III
- SWFI631 and 631-S – Loyola Course: Field Instruction IV