Master of Social Work

The MSW program has HLC approval and is in the CSWE accreditation process.

“The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-in-environment framework, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice, the creation of conditions that facilitate the realization of human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of life for all persons, locally and globally. To fully realize our commitment to social justice, social workers must engage in anti-racist, culturally responsive social work practice at the individual, family, group, organizational, community, research, and policy levels, informed by the theories and voices of those who have been marginalized. In an ever-shifting social and environmental context, social work is agile, responsive, and generative.

Social work education at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels shapes the profession’s future through the education of competent professionals, the generation of knowledge, the promotion of evidence-informed practice through scientific inquiry, and the exercise of leadership. Social work education prepares competent policy practitioners to develop socially responsible policy, address the policy implications of their work, and implement strategies that result in a more engaged public and better educated policymakers to address inequalities and inequities.

Social workers share a commitment to promoting social welfare, ​helping people of all backgrounds overcome their unique challenges, advocating for social and economic justice for all members of the community, and embodying a professional code of ethics” (CSWE, 2022).

Professional social workers are found in a wide variety of settings including schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, senior centers, elected office, private practices, prisons, military, corporations, and in numerous public and private agencies that serve individuals and families in need. They often specialize in one or more of the following practice areas: 

  • Psychiatric Social Work (mental health centers, medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals)

  • Child welfare (abuse and neglect; adoption, foster care)

  • Alcohol and drug abuse, addictions, substance abuse treatment centers

  • Medical Social Work (inpatient and outpatient hospitals, health clinics, specialty clinics)

  • School Social Work (public or private schools K-12)

  • Geriatric facilities (nursing homes, home health, Alzheimer's units)

  • Military & Veterans services (United States & International)

  • Hospice & Palliative Care (end of life care)

  • International Social Work (United Nations, WHO - global social work; economic stress; liberation, community organizing)

  • Forensic Social Work (jails, prisons, courts, public defenders, district attorney, alternative defense, specialty courts)

  • Clinical - Private Practice (therapist, mental health, addictions, family, divorce)

  • Trauma and Violence (combat, sexual violence, human trafficking, refugee, natural disaster)

  • Police Department (co-responder, crisis intervention, therapist)

  • Community Organizing

Important Information about this program:

  • The MSW program has two tracks:  Foundation and Advanced Standing.
  • MSW Foundation Program is open to all students who have completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited university.  This is a two-year program that requires 74 credits with 1050 hours of practicum/internship training.
  • MSW Advanced Standing is open to all students who have completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited university within the last five years.  This is a one-year program and requires 44 credits with 600 hours of internship training.
  • The MSW is a degree that allows for licensure in all 50 states.
  • MSW Program Acceptance required prior to enrollment.  Please see the program website for specific admission requirements.

The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers two Master of Social Work options. See the programs below for complete overviews of all requirements, important information, and suggested course sequencing.