The Master of Social Work (MSW) Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The MSW degree is designed to prepare students for advanced social work practice and leadership with a focus on issues concerning children, families, the military, and mental health. The program is designed to prepare students to practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations in rural, urban, and military settings, and to empower social work students with the knowledge, values and skills needed to alleviate social and economic injustice. Students are prepared to utilize evidence-based practice in prevention and intervention, research, policy, and administration that promote human well-being. The program also seeks to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to alleviate oppression, poverty, and discrimination in a multicultural society and in the global community. Students matriculate in an environment that promotes, understands, and utilizes diversity, and stimulates a desire for lifelong learning by bringing together faculty, field instructors, social work professionals, and students for collaborative training and learning.
The program goals are:
1. To prepare students for advanced social work practice, research, and leadership by concentrating on children and family services or in mental health services in urban, rural, and military settings and across all system levels.
2. To equip social work students with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to alleviate oppression, poverty, and discrimination in a multicultural society and global community.
3. To develop social workers who seek and promote social justice in a multicultural society through professional development and involvement in professional and/or community organizations.
4. To inculcate in students the importance of continuous professional development as lifelong learners, and involvement in professional communities and organizations.
5. To prepare students for leadership as scholar practitioners.
The MSW degree can be obtained through three cohorts: one-year Advanced Standing program, two-year program offered to full-time students, and a three-year weekend part-time program offered to those wishing to pursue their MSW degree while employed.
- To prepare students for advanced social work generalist practice, research, and leadership in urban, rural, and military communities by enhancing the foundation courses and electives available, but also expanding access to specialty certificates.
- To equip social work students with the knowledge, skills, and values to alleviate oppression, poverty, and discrimination in a multicultural society and global community.
- Develop social workers who seek and promote competency in advocating social and economic justice in a multicultural society through professional development and involvement in professional and community organizations.
The MSW Program provides opportunities for students who have been admitted to the MSW Program having successfully completed the equivalents of SWRK 601 and/ or SWRK 602 with a B or higher from a non-CSWE accredited program to test out of up to two courses. Permission to test out will be granted to students who are admitted to the MSW Program and who have taken and earned a “B” or above in SWRK 601 - Social Welfare Policy and Services and/or SWRK 602 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I . Eligible students must successfully complete written examinations. Credit hours are not awarded to students who successfully test out. Students must complete additional elective courses to earn the required 61 credit hours.
For specific requirements and procedures for matriculating through the MSW Program, please contact the School of Social Work MSW Program Director or refer to the MSW Program Student Handbook. In order to have sufficient time for course and field planning, the MSW Program admissions application deadline is January 13 for the advanced standing option and March 31 for the two-year full-time option and the three-year part-time option. All documents pertaining to admission must be received by the application deadline.
The program requires 61 semester credit hours, including a minimum of 960 hours of field practicum (internship). During the first year, students acquire foundation knowledge. Foundation knowledge is supported by courses in social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations, social welfare policy and services, diversity, populations at risk, social and economic justice, research, and field education. During orientation, students are provided information on the two specialty certificate programs. The required certificate courses cannot be used as social work electives if the student is working toward the MSW degree and a certificate.
The MSW Program offers three options for completing the MSW degree curriculum including advanced standing (one-year option), the two-year full-time option, and the three-year part-time option. Advanced standing status is only awarded to graduates of baccalaureate social work programs accredited by CSWE. Advanced standing is a one-year full-time academic program. Students must have completed their bachelor’s degree in social work within five years of expected enrollment in the MSW Program and have a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to be eligible for advanced standing. It is expected that an advanced standing student will have mastered the foundation and have demonstrated the ability to perform in an accelerated learning program. Advanced standing students begin course work during the first summer session and enroll in 6 credit hours. Students enroll in SWRK 606 - Social Work Practice Seminar (3 s.h.), and SWRK 608 - Statistics and Research Seminar (3 s.h) courses. Students enroll in 16 credit hours in the fall and 13 credit hours in the spring.
The two-year full-time option is designed such that students enroll in the following credits each term: Foundation Year 1 (Fall semester: 16 credit hours; Spring semester: 16 credit hours); and Advanced Year 2 (Fall semester: 16 credit hours; Spring semester: 13 credit hours). The three-year weekend part-time option is designed such that students enroll in the following credits each semester: Foundation Year 1 (Fall semester: 9 credit hours; Spring semester: 9 credit hours); Foundation Year 2 (Fall semester: 13 credit hours; Spring semester: 10 credit hours; and Advanced Year 3 (Fall semester: 10 credit hours; Spring semester: 10 credit hours). The MSW program is consistent with the university’s mission and institutional goals, and the Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Graduate Certificate Programs
The school has offered a Graduate Certificate in Military Behavioral Health and a Graduate Certificate in Substance Abuse Studies for several years. The Substance Abuse Studies curriculum requires 12 credit hours. The Military Behavioral Health curriculum requires 18 credit hours. For students in the MSW Program, each of the Certificate Programs includes at least one course that is part of the Advanced Curriculum for the MSW degree.
MSW Degree and Certificate Completion Requirements
It is important for students to be aware that the MSW Program and the Graduate Certificate Program are two separate credentials that have differentiated requirements that must be completed. Students who are completing the MSW degree concurrent with a certificate program must simultaneously complete all the separate requirements of both the MSW degree program and the certificate program in order to graduate from both programs without delaying graduation.
If a student is enrolled in the MSW Program and a certificate program at the same time but cannot complete the requirements of the certificate program at the same time as the MSW Program, then the student must detach the certificate program from their MSW Program (see Advisor/Mentor for this process). Students may finish their certificate program after their MSW degree requirements have been completed and their degree has been conferred. If the certificate is not completed in the summer after the MSW degree is conferred, the student must apply to the university to complete the certificate program.
Online Degree Completion
Pending system approval, the MSW can be completed online.
- Social Work, Children and Family Services Concentration Full-Time Advanced Standing, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Children and Family Services Concentration Full-Time, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Children and Family Services Concentration Part-Time, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Mental Health Concentration Full-Time Advanced Standing, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Mental Health Concentration Full-Time, M.S.W.
- Social Work, Mental Health Concentration Part-Time, M.S.W.