MSW Program Mission and Goals

Social work promotes the personal and social development of people in their communities based on the values of social, economic, and environmental justice; civil and human rights; democracy; and full access to educational, social, economic, and political participation. The Master of Social Work (MSW) program educates social workers as competent and compassionate agents of change who, guided by professional knowledge, skills, and values, practice ethically and effectively with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Graduates of the MSW program are prepared to translate research into practice; to provide leadership in the profession and in their communities; and to collaborate with local and global communities in building an inclusive and just society,

MSW Degrees

The Department of Social Work offers the following MSW Programs: 

Plan of Study (60 credits)

The MSW program may be completed in two or three years of fulltime study, including 1,100 hours of field practice. Employed students are encouraged to select the three year plan.

In their first year, MSW students develop knowledge, skills, and values for generalist social work. They then prepare for clinical social work in one of the following fields of practice:

  • Children and Families

  • Elders and Families

  • Mental Health and Substance Use: Co-occurring Disorders

  • Social Work in School Settings

Field Education

MSW students integrate theory with practice in two professionally-supervised field placements that extend through the fall and spring semesters of two academic years. The first field placement consists of 500 hours of generalist social work practice. The second field placement consists of 600 hours of clinical social work in the student’s specialized field of practice. Field placements must be arranged and approved by the Field Education Office.

Course Schedules

MSW students may schedule their coursework on evenings, on one weekday per week, or on weekends. Some courses are offered in hybrid (on campus and online) formats. Please note, however, that field placements are typically scheduled during weekdays (20 to 24 hours per week) in accordance with agency needs.

For specific MSW degree requirements and course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog


Applicants for the MSW program complete all admissions materials required by both the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Social Work Department. All application materials must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by December 15 for admission in the following year.

Non-Martriculated and Post-Graduate Students

Non-matriculated Social Work students may take up to 9 credits in the following courses: SWK 510, 550, and 551. Social workers who hold an MSW degree may enroll in any Social Work course except field practicum (SWK 570, 571, 572, or 573) on a space-available basis with permission of the instructor.