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Master of Social Work

MSW Information Opportunities

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Group Information Sessions

The Master of Social Work degree program prepares students with the competencies and practice behaviors necessary for advanced social work practice in an area of concentration.

The foundation portion of the MSW curriculum provides a generalist perspective on social work practice. Curriculum areas include social work practice, human behavior and the social environment, social work research, social welfare policy and services, and field instruction.

The concentration portion of the MSW curriculum builds upon the foundation. Advanced curriculum content, tailored to the concentration, is provided in the areas of social work practice, human behavior in the social environment, social work research, social welfare policy and services, and field instruction.

Program Options

  • Full-Time Option: Full-time students complete the program in two academic years. Foundation classroom courses require two days per week and field instruction requires an additional two days per week. The student is assigned a first-year class schedule by the college and attends classes during the day. The student selects a concentration for the second year; concentration courses require two days per week and field instruction requires an additional two to three days per week.
  • PM-Extended Study Option, leading to the MSW degree in three years. In this program option, PM-Extended Study students extend the usual first year of full-time study over two years, with classroom courses being scheduled in the late afternoon and evening. For their first two years of study, PM-Extended Study Option students are tracked (assigned to specific courses and course sections) and must register as tracked. In their third year, PM-Extended Study Option students must register for full-time study and may register for daytime or evening sections of classes.
  • Advanced Standing Option: If, within the past six years, you have completed or are in the process of completing a baccalaureate degree in a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, you must apply for the Advanced Standing option. You may be granted a maximum of 28 credit hours toward the degree.
  • Transfer Option. Students transferring from other institutions must also meet the minimum admission requirements and complete the application by the deadline. Credit is not automatic and the number of hours that may be transferred is determined on an individual basis. Requests for transfer of course credit will be assessed on a case by case basis.


The four areas of concentration within the program that represent areas of service important to the well-being of urban, at-risk populations:

  • Child and Family: The Child and Family (CF) Concentration emphasizes public sector services-programs that touch the lives of large numbers of urban, at-risk populations.
  • Community Health and Urban Development: The Community Health and Urban Development (CHUD) Concentration prepares students for advanced practice in collaboration with community-based organizations, voluntary associations and institutions that serve urban, at-risk populations.
  • Mental Health: The Mental Health (MH) Concentration, with its emphasis on public sector services and strengths-based practice, directly addresses the needs of urban, at-risk clients having a wide range of mental health needs.
  • School Social Work: Urban school systems are at the center of contemporary efforts to improve the quality of life for the most at-risk urban populations. The School Social Work Concentration prepares social workers to make important contributions in primary, middle and secondary school settings.

FAQs for School Concentration

Curricular Enhancements

  • Certificate in Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Children Program: Only students enrolled in the mental health concentration are eligible to apply for admission into the certificate program.

  • Jane Addams Child Welfare Traineeship Project: Traineeships are available only to students enrolled in the Child and Family Concentration who have a longstanding interest in a career in child welfare and have an academic status in good standing.

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

  • Interdepartmental Concentration in Gender and Women's Studies (GWS): Students must be accepted into the MSW program before they can be eligible for the GWS concentration. Completion of the concentration requires a minimum of 16 credit hours (typically four semester-long courses). Further information can be obtained from the GWS website.

  • Interdepartmental Concentration in Violence Studies: See the Violence Studies (Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration) section of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences online catalog for more information.