Military and Veteran Affairs Focus

The Military and Veteran Affairs Focus is the first specialization for the Master of Social Work degree at Hawai'i Pacific University. Beginning Fall 2018, this focus will concentrate on strategies for helping military personnel and veterans, many of whom face multiple challenges that require special knowledge and skills. Some of these challenges include relocations, family separation, financial difficulties, and wartime trauma (i.e., post-traumatic stress disorders). Other issues facing veterans include homelessness, substance abuse and myriad mental health problems. MSW students specializing in military social work and veterans' affairs will take three specialized courses plus two field plaement courses in a military or veteran services venue.*


*Depending upon the number of students in this focus, we cannot always guarantee a military or veteran's placement. 

The profession of social work promotes human and community well-being. Social workers focus on social and economic justice at the local, national, and global level. They are often pioneers - challenging the status quo and working tirelessly to help others help themselves. Social workers have many options for specialization. Choose what impassions you in areas such as: child or adult protective services, health care, mental health, individual and family counseling, criminal justice, community organizing, or social agency administration. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions with demand for social workers projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026. This is the perfect time to get an MSW degree. 


For years, HPU has specialized in helping military service members, their families, and veterans achieve their educational goals. In 2015, HPU was recognized by the Military Times rankings as one of the Best for Vets universities; and was the only Hawai'i university on the list. HPU is located within easy access to most active-duty bases on O'ahu and offers classes taught by professors who can provide real-world expertise from their own social work practices treating veterans. Students in this focus will receive specialized course instruction on the needs of active military personnel, veterans, and their families. 

The Military Social Work courses include: 

  • SWRK 6801: Military and Veteran Social Work Practice
  • SWRK 7301: Research methods in Military Social Work and Veteran Affairs
  • SWRK 7351: Integrative Seminar in Military Social Work and Veteran Affairs
  • SWRK 7902: Military and Veteran's Affairs Practicum III
  • SWRK 7903: Military and Veteran's Affairs Practicum IV


Students interested in obtaining an MSW with a focus in Military and Veteran Affairs can apply through HPU Graduate Admissions for the regular MSW Program. Once admitted and enrolled, the student must notify their advisor of their interest in obtaining a focus area and follow the steps highlighted in the attachment below.