Policy, Administration and Community Practice (PAC)

The Policy, Administration and Community Practice (PAC) concentration prepares students for leadership and effective practice in macro social work positions.

The curriculum is designed to provide students with knowledge, skill, and practice opportunities in the areas of program planning and evaluation, administration, policy analysis and advocacy, and community practice. PAC students are required to take five core courses plus a 480 hour field practicum in macro social work. In addition, PAC students take three free electives to complete the concentration year. These electives can include courses in other disciplines such as Public Affairs, Nonprofit Leadership, Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, or Justice Studies, as long as those courses are taught at the graduate level. The three electives allow students to develop individualized courses of study for their advanced year. 

The central purpose of the macro interventions taught in PAC is to further social and economic justice. 

Major theoretical perspectives that guide the PAC curriculum include ecological systems theory, strengths perspective, critical theory and inclusivity practice. Reflective practice, mission-directed organization development, empowerment through participatory decision-making, respect for and responsiveness to diversity, asset-based community development, and participatory research are stressed.

Where do PAC Graduates Work?

PAC graduates from the ASU School of Social Work find positions as program specialists, administrators and supervisors, grant and fund developers, community outreach coordinators, advocates, researchers, mediators, educators, CEOs, policy analysts, curriculum developers, and community organizers. They have been employed in positions and agencies such as:

  • Program Manager, Arizona Department of Economic Security
  • Senior Vice President, United Way
  • Representative, Senator, Arizona State Legislature
  • Director of Student Services, University
  • Executive Director, Social Service Agency

PAC Field Practicum

PAC field practicum sites include advocacy organizations, programs or units within public and not-for-profit social service agencies, NASW, prevention services, community collaborations, tribal social services, governmental offices, and foundations.


Fall Semester

SWG 681: Social Work Administration
SWG 682: Community Participation Strategies
SWG 685: Program Planning in Social Services
SWG 643: Advanced Practicum / PAC I
SWG 686: Developing Grants and Fundraising Elective (recommended) or other elective

Spring Semester

SWG 623: Program Evaluation
SWG 632: Advanced Policy Practice
SWG 644: Advanced Practicum / PAC II
XXX XXX: Elective
XXX XXX: Elective

The PAC Portfolio

PAC students develop portfolios in their field practica documenting their mastery of PAC objectives and expectations. Each portfolio includes work products created by the student, and other materials demonstrating the projects and assignments the student carried. The student writes an integrative critical essay synthesizing the educational accomplishments reflected in the portfolio.

NSWM Human Services Management Certificate (Graduate level)

The ASU School of Social Work is one of 18 University Partners for The Network for Social Work Management’s Human Services Management Certificate program. NSWM is an international membership organization focused on strengthening and advancing social work management within health and human services. NSWM provides members a platform to communicate, collaborate, and encourage one another to grow within their professional careers. You can read more on NSWM here:https://socialworkmanager.org/

By completing the PAC curriculum at the ASU School of Social Work, students are automatically eligible to receive the NSWM Human Services Management Certificate. Certificates are emailed electronically to students by their graduation date. There is a one-time cost to the student of the Certificate that is based on the number of students who purchase the certificate. This price is given to students each Spring semester in April. One aim of the Certificate is to support macro MSW graduates in their career search and professional development by providing them with a recognized certificate based in NSWM’s Human Services Management Competencies.

PAC students and alumni can also join NSWM by filling out the online form (Membership is free):https://socialworkmanager.org/membership/join-now/

For more information on the NSWM Human Services Management Certificate, please contact Dr. Kristin Ferguson-Colvin at Kristin.Ferguson@asu.edu

Professional Licensure 

The School of Social Work offers programs that lead to professional licensure with the state of Arizona. Since  licensure requirements vary from state-to-state, we recommend that you visit the ASU licensure website to determine if the program meets the requirements of the individual state licensures that interest you. Contact our admissions team for more information: mswadmissions@asu.edu.