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Welcome message from Dr. Katherina Terhune, MSW Program Director

Dr. Katherina Terhune,
MSW Program Director

Welcome to the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at Northern Kentucky University, which offers a one-year advanced standing program as well as a two-year standard program. As a generalist practice MSW program, we offer a specialization in clinical behavioral health and community practice.  This includes 600 (Advanced Standing Program) or 900 (Standard Program) hours of direct field experience, as well as the opportunity to earn micro-credentials in trauma-focused care, forensic social work, gerontology, veteran services, and more. Guided by the NASW Code of Ethics, our faculty and staff are passionate about social work, community engagement and advocacy, your learning experience in the program, and your success in the field post-graduation. Our faculty areas of research and clinical expertise include trauma, interpersonal violence, food insecurity, aging and mental health, gerontology, international social work, direct practice, policy, research, team-based pedagogy, clinical diagnoses, forensic social work, and more!

Please review our website for additional information regarding the educational and direct-practice opportunities our program has to offer, and contact us if you have any additional questions at We look forward to hearing from you! 



What You Can Do


A graduate degree in social work (MSW) prepares students to effectively serve vulnerable populations and people across the lifespan. Guidelines for licensure upon successful completion of an MSW program can be found on the Association of Social Work Boards' website.  While not exhaustive, the list below provides examples of employment opportunities for graduate-level social workers:

  • Clinical work in mental health and behavioral health care
  • Forensic social work
  • Medical social work
  • Social justice initiatives and policy work
  • Gerontology


Program Contact Information


Advanced Standing MSW Students:

To contact advisor Heidi Waters please email

Schedule an Appointment

Standard MSW Students:

To contact advisor Emma Bernardi please email,

Schedule an Appointment

To contact MSW Field Director Kelly Fallon, please email

To contact MSW Program Director Dr. Katherina Terhune, please email


NKU’s BSW & MSW Programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation.  

Learn More


Beyond the Classroom


MSW students gain valuable professional experience working with experienced social work practitioners in a variety of field settings prior to graduation.  Field education is key to integrating and demonstrating knowledge, values, and skills of the profession. With program oversight and approval, students are able to select their own placement sites.


Please contact MSW Field Director Kelly Fallon for more information about the field placement program at

Students are encouraged to enhance their professional networks through membership in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and participation in other social and economic justice endeavors at the community, national, and international levels.

Field placement students will use the InPlace software while in the program.  Current field placement students may access the InPlace website by clicking this link: