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Focused Area of Study

Puerto Rican/Latin@ Studies in Social Work Focused Area of Study

This area of study is designed to provide a social work perspective on contemporary issues affecting the Puerto Rican/Latin@ population with a focus on their resiliency and strengths. Some of the courses are also offered to non-degree students.

The curriculum highlights multidimensional aspects of various Latin@ groups such as immigration, migration and health status and disparities; the strengths of Latin@ families as protective factors; the influence and practice implications of the political, social, economic, and cultural realities on Latin@ communities.

The area underscores the importance of addressing issues of class, acculturation, discrimination and oppression and aspects of homophobia among the various Latin@ groups. Special attention is given to the needs and contributions of Latina women and the social action taken by Latin@ communities.

Specific course requirements:

A total of nine elective credits,* and a one year-long field placement working with Latin@ populations** is required to complete this focused area of study.

  • *HBEL 5328: Ethnic Minorities and Social Work Practice: The Puerto Rican/Latin@ Experience (required) (3 credits) only offered in the fall term
  • **One year-long field placement in a field of practice with Puerto Rican/Latin@ populations (required)

The additional six credits can be selected from the following list of elective course offerings from UConn School of Social Work:

  • HBEL 5367: Culture and Health/Mental Health Disparities: A Micro and Macro Perspective (3 credits) *only offered in the spring term
  • HBEL 5376: Puerto Rican/Latina Women and their Reality (3 credits) offered every other spring term
  • SWEL 5310: Services to Immigrants
  • SWEL 5333: Travel and Study for Social Work in Puerto Rico (3 credits) offered every two years – will be offered in 2017
  • SWEL 5348: International Social Work Global Issues
  • SWEL 5371: Women, Children, and Families
  • SWEL 5377: Urban Policy Issues
  • SWEL 5385: Human Rights and Social Work
  • IS 5394: Independent Study for 1 to 3 credits (requires advance approval by the Puerto Rican/Latin@ Studies Project Director)

Relevant graduate electives from other departments or professional schools of the University may be used toward the focused area of study with permission of the Puerto Rican/Latin@ Studies Project Director. 

For a full listing of focused areas of study please see the Focused Areas of Study