How to Become a Social Worker: Qualifications & Requirements

  • UC Online News
  • Share on Facebook
  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Share on Pinterest
  • Share via Email

Social worker with client

High job satisfaction, stability and a fulfilling career path make becoming a social worker the perfect opportunity if you’re looking to do good and make a positive change in your community.

Social work positions are consistently featured on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the 100 Best Jobs, with child and family social workers and clinical social workers earning a spot on the most recent list . The benefits of becoming a social worker are clear. Read on to understand the qualifications, educational requirements and opportunities for social workers.

Responsibilities: What Social Workers Actually Do

Social work is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of careers. At a high level, social workers help people resolve their issues in order to improve their quality of life. But in reality, there’s no typical day in the field. One day you might be assessing a family’s situation and developing a plan of action, while the next day you could be involved in crisis management.

Social workers are needed at federal, state and local levels, and throughout diverse populations — from infants to the elderly and in small towns and big cities. You may work with individuals, families or groups of people.

Some of the responsibilities of a social worker include:

  • Recommending resources
  • Case management
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Community organization
  • Reviewing and implementing policies
  • Helping people with Social Security or welfare

With the right training and a degree in social work , you’ll be prepared to help people who are struggling with mental illness, addiction, poverty, homelessness and other matters.

Career Opportunities in Social Work

Where do you see yourself working? Are you interested in substance abuse counseling in a clinic or patient advocacy in the healthcare industry? The exact responsibilities of your job will depend on the career path you choose and where you want to work.

As you progress toward becoming a social worker, you’ll need to select a speciality as soon as you can since there are a variety of practice areas available.

Possible specialty areas include:

  • Community Social Work
  • Child and Family Welfare
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse Social Work

Places where you might work include:

  • Rehabilitation Clinics
  • Government Agencies
  • Mental Health Facilities

Research the focuses that you’re interested in and browse job opportunities to get an idea of what your role would entail. You may also be able to find internships where you can get a taste for a certain speciality in a hands-on way.

Qualifications & Requirements to Become a Social Worker

Knowing your ideal career path is the first step toward becoming a social worker. Once you’ve selected a speciality and a place where you’d like to work, you can start fulfilling the necessary requirements.

Education For an entry-level position, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW). Most of these positions consist of working in direct-service roles, like as a caseworker.

For more advanced roles, like clinical social work, a master’s degree is required. You don’t need to have a bachelor’s degree in social work if you’re interested in pursuing your master’s in the field.

Internships & Experience Since social work is a field that involves a lot of face-to-face interaction, experience will be incredibly valuable to you and the community you serve. Most positions will require some level of experience. For example, in addition to a master’s degree, clinical workers need at least two years of experience.

Hands-on experience through an internship is a great way to develop your skills. Popular places to intern are at local nonprofit organizations, clinics or hospitals. But if an internship isn’t available to you in your chosen speciality, any experience you can get in your community will be beneficial and should satisfy experience requirements.

Licensing  Depending on the state where you’re practicing, you may need to become a licensed social worker. You can find the license requirements for your state here .

To receive your license, you may be required to:

  • Perform a certain amount of hours of supervised work
  • Take and pass an exam
  • Pursue continuous education opportunities

Once you’re licensed, your job title will also be dependent on where you are. A Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in the south could mean something totally different on the west coast. You may often see variations of the Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker job title listed as LISW, LCSW or LICSW.

Interested in clinical social work? Just know that licensing for this position is required in every state.

Skills Since social workers help a variety of people in many different environments, the following skills are a must-have if you’re looking to enter the field:

  • Communication and Listening Skills
  • Empathy Skills
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Organizational Skills

Salary & Career Outlook for Social Workers

Social work involves helping others, so there will always be a need for people with the right education and experience.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , job opportunities in social work are expected to grow 16% over the next decade, which is much faster growth than the average for other specialties.

In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the median pay for social work positions in various industries as:

Career stability combined with the satisfaction of helping those in need make becoming a social worker the ideal path for anyone with a passion for improving the lives of others.

To get started in the field, take a look at our online bachelor’s in social work degree program . It’s the perfect way to earn your degree in a convenient online structure, and you’ll have the required education to compete for entry-level positions or go on to pursue your master’s degree.

birds eye view of students working at a round table with laptops and study materials

  • Student Stories

Sign up for updates from UC Online

  • Name * First Last
  • Phone This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Notice of Non-Discrimination
  • Privacy Policy
  • Clery and HEOA Notice
  • eAccessibility Concerns

© 2024 University of Cincinnati Online Copyright Information

What You Need to Know About Becoming a Social Work Major

A social work major studies how to help, protect or support those in vulnerable situations.

Becoming a Social Work Major

Home Caregiver helping a senior woman get dressed in her bedroom.

Getty Images

By the time students graduate with a social work degree, they should have a thorough understanding of how to work with individuals, families, groups and organizations.

A social work major studies social welfare systems, those public or private assistance programs aimed at helping people who might be vulnerable or disadvantaged. Through the curriculum, students develop skills in communication, problem solving, teamwork and time management.

These students may go on to pursue a master’s degree in social work, a requirement for those who want to practice as a clinical social worker.

What Is a Social Work Major?

A social work major studies social welfare systems with the hope of helping improve lives.

Social work majors seek to understand the challenges people face, whether it’s homelessness, family violence, addiction or something else. They also learn how to help by providing resources or counseling.

By the time students graduate with a social work degree, they should be able to analyze social work policies and use critical thinking as they apply their analysis. They also should have a thorough understanding of how to work with individuals, families, groups and community organizations.

After graduation, social work majors can find entry-level positions as caseworkers or mental health assistants.

Common Coursework Social Work Majors Can Expect

Students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work, also called a BSW, should expect to take a couple of years of liberal arts classes in subjects like philosophy, history, political science and languages.

Many programs start with an introduction to social work course, which lays the foundation for the major. Other classes touch on topics related to the welfare state, human behavior, social work research and policy analysis, as well as the ethics of social work. BSW programs often include a fieldwork or practicum element, where social work students get on-the-job training at internships. These practicums also give students network connections, which can be useful for finding jobs after graduation.

How to Know if This Major Is the Right Fit for You

A social work major should be a people person. As the name of the field suggests, social work entails a lot of social interaction, usually with a particular population, such as children in vulnerable positions or adults struggling with addiction.

Those considering a major in social work should be empathetic toward clients who have experienced trauma or who have experienced challenging life events. Clients might express a range of emotions from sadness to anger, and it’s important that social workers communicate sympathy and exhibit calm rather than becoming frustrated.

Social work majors should also get excited about the challenge of finding ways to solve problems in their clients’ lives, including offering resources, tools and counseling services.

Pick the Perfect Major

Discover the perfect major for you based on your innate wiring. The Innate Assessment sets you up for success by pairing you with majors, colleges and careers that fit your unique skills and abilities.

social work degree prerequisites

What Can I Do With a Social Work Major?

A bachelor’s degree in social work equips you for entry-level positions in a variety of settings, including health care facilities, state and local governments, schools, military bases, and correctional facilities. For example, social and community managers head up programs at social service or community organizations. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work with people who are incarcerated or who are out on parole or probation. State-administered licenses might also be required for certain jobs.

To become a clinical social worker, you will have to obtain further education – a master’s degree and a minimum of two years of supervised experience in a clinical setting. Licensure is also a requirement.

Schools Offering a Social Work Major

Check out some schools below that offer social work majors and find the full list of schools here that you can filter and sort.

2024 Best Colleges

social work degree prerequisites

Search for your perfect fit with the U.S. News rankings of colleges and universities.

College Admissions: Get a Step Ahead!

Sign up to receive the latest updates from U.S. News & World Report and our trusted partners and sponsors. By clicking submit, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy .

Ask an Alum: Making the Most Out of College

You May Also Like

Why do colleges close.

Sarah Wood Feb. 20, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

Online Programs With Diverse Faculty

Sarah Wood Feb. 16, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

U.S. and Europe Degree Differences

Anayat Durrani Feb. 13, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

How to Perform Well on SAT, ACT Test Day

Cole Claybourn Feb. 13, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

Super Bowl States, by the Numbers

Elliott Davis Jr. Feb. 9, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

What Is the Student Aid Index?

Sarah Wood Feb. 9, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

What to Know About New NCAA NIL Rules

Cole Claybourn Feb. 8, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

Bachelor's Jobs With $100K+ Salaries

Sarah Wood Feb. 8, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

Online Learning Trends to Know Now

social work degree prerequisites

Veterans Considering Online College

Anayat Durrani Feb. 8, 2024

social work degree prerequisites

How to Become a Social Worker

Social workers provide support to vulnerable individuals, families, and communities and serve as policymakers to improve healthcare and social services for all. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 9% growth for social work jobs between 2021 and 2031, faster than the national average.

Explore this guide to learn more about how to become a social worker.

Featured Online Social Work Degrees

Steps to become a social worker.

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) or a related field.
  • Pursue a master’s degree in social work (MSW).
  • Complete fieldwork requirements.
  • Apply for state licensure.
  • Pass an ASWB examination.
  • Consider additional certifications and credentials.

Social work offers an array of employment opportunities interacting with diverse populations in a variety of settings. The path to becoming a social worker depends on your professional goals and the licensing requirements in the state where you intend to practice.

The steps to a social work career begin with earning at least a bachelor’s degree and fulfilling licensing and certification requirements.

Earn a Social Work Degree

Your level of education determines what kind of social work career and licensing you can pursue. A bachelor’s in social work or a related field typically qualifies you for entry-level positions. A master’s enables you to pursue licensure and clinical positions in areas, such as mental health, child welfare, and school social work. More advanced clinical, administrative, and teaching roles require a doctorate in social work.

Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s in social work (BSW) or a related field, such as psychology or public health, can lead to entry-level employment in the helping professions, including community and family services, casework management, and substance abuse counseling.

Students can complete a BSW in four years depending on program requirements and whether you attend full or part time. Most degrees comprise 120 credits, including fieldwork and internship requirements. A BSW serves as the minimum educational requirement for initial licensure in most states and for entry into a master’s program in social work.

Master’s Degree

Most states require a master’s in social work (MSW) for all clinical positions and for independent practice. This degree typically requires 60 credits completed over 15-24 months. If you have a BSW accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE), you may qualify for advanced standing that allows you to complete the degree in one year.

The MSW curriculum consists of foundational courses and advanced study that prepares you for a variety of practice area specializations. Expect to complete up to 1,000 hours of fieldwork, including 500-600 hours in your chosen specialization. Most states require an MSW from a CSWE-accredited institution to qualify for licensure and begin social work practice.

Doctoral Degree

A doctorate in social work (DSW) can open doors to advanced clinical, administrative, and leadership positions. Unlike the research-based Ph.D. in social work, the DSW is a practice- oriented degree. Admission requirements vary by DSW program but generally include a CSWE-accredited MSW and at least two years of social work experience. The degree requires approximately 50 credits taken over 3-5 years.

Because DSW students typically hold an MSW and continue to work in professional practice while earning their degree, these programs do not include fieldwork requirements. Most programs involve a capstone project or portfolio presentation. Although a DSW demonstrates considerable expertise in social work, it is not a requirement for licensure or certification.

Complete Fieldwork Requirements

As an integral component of the BSW and MSW degrees, fieldwork helps you apply the knowledge learned in coursework to professional practice, preparing learners for workplace responsibilities.

Social work students gain field experience in an array of settings, such as hospitals, schools, community agencies, and correctional facilities. Placement sites must provide a licensed social worker to serve as the supervisor for the field experience, overseeing and evaluating student performance in the practice situation.

The CSWE requires 400 hours of field experience for its accredited BSW programs and 900 hours for accredited MSW programs. However, each state regulates the profession and licenses social workers differently, including standards for fieldwork and clinical contact hours.

Apply for State Licensure or Exam Approval

Licensure regulations vary by state, but most MSW-holders need a state license to practice. Many states require social workers with a BSW to obtain licenses as well.

Licensure candidates must submit an application to their state board, pay application fees, and receive approval to take the standardized exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Some states, such as Texas, only consider candidates for licensure after they take the ASWB exam. In these cases, candidates apply for approval to take the exam before applying for licensure.

For accurate information about licensure requirements, check your state board of social work website.

Pass an ASWB Examination

Licensure requires a passing score on the ASWB licensing exam. You must first obtain approval from your state social work regulatory board before you can register for the exam. Once you have registered and paid the fee for your exam level, you can schedule an exam date at one of the Pearson VUE testing centers. The ASWB offers online practice exams to help you become familiar with content areas and question formats.

The type of license required for your scope of practice determines which exam you must take:

Bachelor’s Exam

  • Degree/Experience Required: BSW, no experience
  • Exam Fee: $230
  • Exam Focus: Knowledge and skills for basic, generalist practice

Master’s Exam

  • Degree/Experience Required: MSW, no experience
  • Exam Focus: Application of specialized knowledge and advanced skills

Advanced Generalist Exam

  • Degree/Experience Required: MSW, two years of experience in a nonclinical setting
  • Exam Fee: $260
  • Exam Focus: Advanced generalist social work (including macro-level practice) in nonclinical settings

Clinical Exam

  • Degree/Experience Required: MSW, two years of experience in a clinical setting
  • Exam Focus: Application of specialized clinical knowledge and advanced clinical skills

Explore Requirements by State

Clinical social workers must have a license to work in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nonclinical social workers must also obtain a license or certificate in most states. Licensed social workers usually need a master’s degree and at least two years of supervised, post-graduate work experience. State licensure boards ultimately determine who is eligible to become a licensed social worker, and consequently, the criteria for clinical and nonclinical positions vary from state to state. This directory allows you to browse the licensing and certification criteria for social workers across the country. To learn more, visit the state pages linked below.

Choose Your State Below

Read more about these online social work programs that are prominently featured on our site. Find information regarding accreditation, cost, admissions requirements, degrees offered, and program overviews to help you find the right online social work degree program for you.

Consider Additional Social Work Certifications

Although not required, social workers often pursue voluntary certification in their areas of specialization to advance in their careers and enhance their personal and professional reputations. Depending on where you work and your specialization, certifications can boost your earnings and make you more competitive in the job market.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) offers several professional social work and advanced practice specialty certifications, including credentials for clinical social workers; health social workers; gerontology social workers; and child, youth, and family social workers. Certification qualifications vary, but all credentials require either a BSW or MSW, licensure, and professional experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a social worker.

You need at least a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field for an entry-level social work position. BSW degrees typically take about four years to complete if attending full time. Clinical positions require an MSW and licensure, which can take two years beyond the bachelor’s degree. Accelerated MSW programs can lead to a degree in 12-18 months.

How do I start a career in social work?

Once you earn your degree, you can use your college placement service, government employment listings, online professional communities, and other social media platforms that connect social workers with career resources and provide networking opportunities. Joining a professional association, such as the NASW, provides access to employment centers, job banks, and professional development resources to help you launch your career.

What skills are required to become a social worker?

A social work degree provides the foundational knowledge and organizational and leadership skills necessary to enter social work practice. As one of the helping professions, social work also requires empathy for at-risk individuals and vulnerable populations, good communication skills, and the ability to make informed decisions in difficult situations.

Can I become a social worker without a degree?

For entry-level social work jobs, you need at least a bachelor’s degree. Clinical positions require an MSW. However, if you want to enter a social work-related field without the requisite degree, you might consider becoming a community health worker, childcare provider, case manager aide, or teacher assistants. Volunteer work with nonprofit organizations and community centers also provides a pathway into the field.

Reviewed By: Danielle Golightly, LMSW

Danielle Golightly is a licensed social worker in Michigan with over 10 years of experience. She is currently the family advocate at a child advocacy center where she works with individuals and families from diverse backgrounds. Previously, Danielle served as a victim advocate at the same agency, providing crisis intervention and psychoeducation services to families impacted by child abuse. She has also supervised graduate-level social work students and mentored undergraduates throughout their internships.

Danielle is passionate about child welfare, victim advocacy, and trauma.

Danielle is a paid member of the Red Ventures freelance Education Integrity Network.

Take the next step toward your future in social work.

Explore schools offering programs and courses tailored to your interests, and start your learning journey today.

Become a Social Worker: Education and Licensure Requirements

Written by Rebecca Munday Last Updated: June 2023

Since the practice of social work first began in 1898, social workers have addressed psychological and social problems on an individual and community level, bringing awareness to the needs of underserved populations.

Today, the practice continues to expand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the field of social work will have about 74,400 openings every year between 2021 and 2031. If you want to fill one of those openings, learn more about how to become a social worker and help others with their psychosocial needs.

What Is a Social Worker?

Social work focuses on people and their environments to improve their well-being and meet their needs, including housing, food, employment, mental health care, and childcare.

Social workers help individuals, families, and groups navigate their way through these needs and improve their lives. They assess their clients’ needs, advocate for resources in the community, connect clients to resources, manage case files, and respond to crises. Social workers work with people from many backgrounds, including:

  • Active military, veterans, and their families
  • Older adults
  • Children and families
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness
  • People with mental health and substance misuse conditions
  • Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals

Employers in healthcare and the government hire most social workers. However, professionals work in various settings, such as private practice, correctional facilities, nonprofits, and education.

Featured Online Social Work Programs

Steps to become a social worker.

Becoming a social worker takes 6-9 years. After completing your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, you must pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam, apply for a license, and gain experience. These steps vary based on what type of social work you choose and individual state licensure requirements.

1. Earn Your Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Degree

You can enter your university’s social work program with a high school or GED diploma, a GPA that meets their requirements, and a clean academic record. A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) prepares you to enter a master’s in social work (MSW) program with advanced standing or get an entry-level position in social work. Coursework explores social welfare policy, research methods, and human behavior and the social environment.

2. Find an Entry-Level Job in Social Work

Finding an entry-level position in social work can help you continue working through your MSW degree so you can graduate with less debt. You can also get valuable experience with generalist social work as a case manager, care coordinator, policy analyst , or school social worker .

3. Earn Your Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree

Earning a master of social work (MSW) prepares you to apply for your licensed master social worker (LMSW), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), or your state’s equivalent credential, and practice in most areas of social work. An MSW builds upon your knowledge of social work policy, practicing social work, and human behavior and the social environment. MSW programs accept bachelor’s degrees in related fields, such as psychology, biology, and political science. A BSW allows you to complete your MSW in about half the time.

4. Complete Field Placement or Supervised Experience Requirements

You must complete at least one academic year, or 900 hours, of field placement to earn your MSW. BSW graduates need to complete at least 400 hours, according to the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). Field placements provide experience in generalist social work, including case planning, interviewing, and maintaining case files. In most states, field placement does not meet the supervised experience you need to get your LCSW, or any license that requires supervised experience.

5. Pass Your ASWB Exam

The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam tests your knowledge of social work practice. You must pass your ASWB exam before you apply for licensure in any state. The exams for each level require knowledge in some of the same areas, such as human development, diversity, and behavior in the environment. The percentage of the exam dedicated to each area varies by license.

  • Bachelor’s Exam: Concepts of abuse and neglect, assessment, human development, diversity, and the behavior in the environment; professional relationships, values, and ethics; and interventions with clients and client systems
  • Master’s Exam: Assessment and intervention planning, interventions with clients and client systems, human development, diversity, and the behavior in the environment; professional relationships, values, and ethics
  • Clinical Exam: Psychotherapy, clinical interventions, and case management; assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning; human development, diversity, and the behavior in the environment; professional values and ethics

6. Apply for Social Work Licensure

To apply for your social work license , you must complete the required education and experience, pass the ASWB exam, fill out an application, and pay the application fee. Requirements to get your license vary based on your state and license level. You should check with your state board for more information and to ensure you complete your application correctly. Find out more about common social work licenses:

  • Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW): You can apply to be a licensed baccalaureate social worker (LBSW) once you graduate with a BSW and pass your ASWB bachelor’s exam. This license makes you eligible to apply for entry-level positions, such as victim advocate and community support worker.
  • Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW): Becoming a licensed master social worker (LMSW), or your state’s equivalent, allows you to practice generalist social work in most settings at the macro and mezzo levels. You need an MSW and a passing score on the ASWB master’s exam to receive your LMSW.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): You must pass your ASWB clinical exam and complete about two years (3,000 hours) of supervised experience in clinical social work to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), or your state’s equivalent. An LCSW allows you to practice clinical social work, open your own practice, or work with people with mental health and substance misuse conditions.

7. Advance Your Career as a Social Worker

To advance your career, you’ll need to complete continuing education to renew your license every two years. However, beyond that, you can decide how you want to grow your career to match your goals and interests. Find out more about advancing your career with specialty certifications, an LCSW, and your own practice.

  • Complete Continuing Education to Renew Your License: You need to complete 9-45 hours of continuing education, depending on your state and licensure type, every two years to renew your license. Many states require a certain amount of continuing education units specific to ethics, domestic or child abuse, and substance misuse.
  • Earn Specialty Certifications from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW): The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) offers certifications in areas, such as leadership clinical practice and case management. Earn a certification from NASW to show that you meet national standards in your area of expertise.
  • Earn your LCSW and Open Your Own Practice: Once you earn your LCSW, you can open your own practice to practice generalist and clinical social work. Opening your own practice allows you more freedom to choose the population you serve, the people you work with, and the rates you charge.

What to Consider Before Becoming a Social Worker

Salary is not the only factor you should consider when deciding to become a social worker. Research factors like scope of practice, speciality, and license requirements to learn more about the career you want.

State License Requirements

Requirements for each license level are similar between states, but not the same. Most states allow you to transfer education and experience, even your ASWB exam scores, from another state. If you plan your education and experience around where you want to work, it will be easier and faster for you to get your license and start practicing.

Level of Social Work

Deciding which level of social work you want to practice helps you know which license and education requirements you need to work toward. You may be able to get a job in macro social work, as a policy analyst or community support worker with a BSW. However, if you want to work in micro social work, you need a clinical social work license to counsel individuals through trauma and mental health and substance misuse conditions.

Consider the average salary for social workers in your specialty and compare it to the costs of living in cities and states where you want to live. This will help you understand the purchasing power and standard of living you could have as a social worker. Use these calculations to narrow down the specialties and work settings that interest you most.

Scope of Practice

Deciding how much independence and responsibility you want in your scope of practice helps you choose between becoming an LMSW or an LCSW . LMSWs practice direct, or generalist, social work and connect people to the resources they need. Clinical social workers practice clinical social work and direct social work . They provide psychotherapy, assessing and diagnosing mental health and substance misuse conditions.

Career Path and Specialization

Choosing a social work career path and specialty helps you narrow down the education and experience requirements you need to meet. If you want to work with children and families in individual and family services, you may be able to get an entry-level position as a case manager with a BSW. However, if you want to work with people who have mental health or substance misuse conditions, you need an LCSW to assess, diagnose, and treat your clients.

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Social Worker

What is a social worker.

A social worker is a trained professional that helps individuals, families, and groups their psychosocial needs, such as mental health and substance misuse conditions, chronic medical conditions, crisis situations, abuse, poverty, homelessness, and hunger. They identify people in need, maintain case files and records, connect individuals to resources, and provide psychotherapy.

How long does it take to become a social worker?

You can become a licensed master social worker (LMSW), or your state’s equivalent, in as little as six years. An LMSW will qualify you for most roles in generalist social work. If you want to become an LCSW, you will spend 8-9 years completing your bachelor’s degree, MSW, and supervised experience.

Are social workers in high demand?

The BLS projects 9% job growth for social workers between 2021 and 2031, which is 4% higher than the job outlook for all occupations. The BLS also expects an 11% job growth for social workers who work in healthcare, mental health, and substance misuse between 2021 and 2031.

Is it hard to become a social worker?

Becoming a social worker requires 6-9 years of education and experience to become licensed. Entry-level positions do not pay as well as other occupations, so determination and passion play a key role in succeeding on the path to becoming a licensed social worker

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

female social worker holding a clipboard with group of people

Requirements

Overall degree requirements #.

"url(#clip0_20_46)"> The curriculum for the BSW degree consists of a minimum of 120 credit hours attained through required and elective courses. Of these 120 credit hours, 42-45 credit hours are devoted to general/supportive liberal arts courses and 52 credit hours to social work courses (see individual campus supplements). The remaining required credits are earned through elective courses. Students are free to select elective courses, a certificate, or a minor of their choice.

Students in the BSW program must have at least a “C” in core social work courses and complete all required 100, 200, 300 level social work courses, before enrolling in the 400 level course work.

Credit for Life Experience #

Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given in whole or in part toward the social work degree.

General Education Requirements #

Degree requirements are divided into four areas. General education, support courses, required courses and electives. General education course requirements vary by campus. Students are expected to meet the general education requirements specific to the campus to which they are applying.

Program Support Courses #

  • Professional Writing Skills OR a writing course approved by the student’s campus
  • Public Speaking
  • Modern American History
  • Human Biological Science
  • American Government
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • A 3 credit 300 or 400 level Social Work elective, Psychology, or Sociology course

Social Work Required Courses #

  • SWK-S 102 Understanding Diversity in a Pluralistic Society (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 141 Introduction to Social Work (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 221 Human Growth and Development in the Social Environment (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 251 History and Analysis of Social Welfare Policy (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 322 Small Group Theory and Practice (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 331 Generalist Social Work Practice I: Theory and Skills (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 332 Generalist Social Work Practice II: Theory and Skills (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 352 Social Welfare Policy and Practices (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 371 Social Work Research (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 423 Organizational Theory and Practice (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 433 Community Behavior and Practice within a Generalist Perspective (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 442 Integrated Practice-Policy Seminar in Fields of Practice (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 472 Social Work Practice Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 481 Social Work Practicum I (6 cr.)
  • SWK-S 482 Social Work Practicum II (7 cr.)
  • 877-868-7690
  • Touro System
  • Request Info
  • Touro University Worldwide
  • About Touro University Worldwide
  • Message from the CEO
  • Mission, History & Accreditation
  • Institutional Goals & Outcomes
  • Annual Consumer Information Disclosure
  • Faculty and Staff
  • Employment Opportunities
  • TUW-TCLA Annual Security Report
  • Biennial Report
  • School News
  • Career Outcomes
  • Program Resources
  • TUW Colloquium
  • Mental Health and Crisis Resources
  • TUW Los Alamitos
  • Touro College LA
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution
  • Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Public Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Management
  • Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • Doctorate of Business Administration
  • Doctor of Management
  • Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Master of Arts in Counseling: Addiction
  • Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Science in Forensic Psychology
  • PsyD in Human & Organizational Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
  • Master of Science in Health Sciences – Health Education
  • Master of Science in Health Sciences – Public Health
  • Master of Science in Human Services
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Doctorate of Physician Assistant
  • Doctor of Health Science
  • Associate of Arts in General Studies
  • Associate of Arts in General Studies – Accounting
  • General Education Requirements
  • Bachelor’s Degrees
  • Master’s Degrees
  • Doctorate Degree
  • Financial Aid Information
  • Scholarships
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master’s Degree
  • International Students
  • High School Seniors
  • Traditional Credits
  • Non-Traditional Credits
  • Amarillo College Transfer Partnership
  • Collin College Transfer Partnership
  • Del Mar College Transfer Partnership
  • Lone Star College Transfer Partnership
  • Maricopa Community Colleges Transfer Partnership
  • Rio Salado Teacher Education Partnership
  • Alvin Community College – PDF
  • Del Mar – PDF
  • Amarillo – PDF
  • Technology Requirements for Online Courses
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Academic Calendar
  • Academic Policy FAQ
  • Commencement
  • Registrars Office
  • Student Orientation
  • Disability Services
  • Career Resources
  • University Student Voice System
  • Merchandise
  • TUW Student Catalog
  • Information Literacy
  • University Librarian
  • CEO Welcome
  • Military Education Benefits
  • Military Friendly Online Degree Programs
  • Military Admissions Requirements
  • College Credit for Military Training & Service
  • Military Resources and Contacts
  • Military Tuition Discount Rates
  • Military Spouse and Family Education Benefits
  • Military Affiliations

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

Social work is well established as a profession committed to helping people and communities identify, prevent, and solve problems. Touro University Worldwide’s online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree program provides the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to begin a social services career and to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW).

social work degree prerequisites

Prepare for a Career in Social Services

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Work degree from Touro University Worldwide prepares culturally competent entry-level social workers to help individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. With a focus on community advocacy and social policy, our students learn to provide counseling, referrals, and practical human services.

Career Outlook with a Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree

Graduates with a Bachelor’s in Social Work are typically employed under a range of job titles, such as adoption social worker, medical social worker, bilingual youth counselor, case manager, classroom counselor, permanency specialist, support counselor in intensive treatment foster care, life coach, youth counselor, and discharge planner. Most individuals need to continue their education to become a licensed social worker and to advance their career in the social services field.

Note: This online social work degree program does not lead to any form of licensure or certification.

Undergraduate Social Work Curriculum

The online Bachelor’s in Social Work degree program inspires students to be advocates for social change and a more just and equitable society. Designed for career-ready success, the social work curriculum integrates online courses and field training to help students acquire the necessary knowledge, values, and professional norms required for a social services career. 

Students explore our engaging  curriculum  to gain knowledge about human behavior and the social context of the environment, social welfare policy and services, multicultural social work, human diversity, social and economic justice, and social work ethical standards . Upon completion of their online social work courses, graduates are able to employ an evidence-based approach to research findings to guide their decisions in the professional practice of social work . 

In addition, the online coursework equips students to pursue a Master of Social Work or enter one of Touro University Worldwide’s various master’s degree programs .

Fieldwork Placement

The learning experience of fieldwork in diverse settings allows students to practice the appropriate knowledge and skills to promote the well-being of client populations. Previous fieldwork placements have included schools, counseling centers for families, senior centers, and social service charitable organizations.

A Flexible Online Social Work Degree 

With our fully online bachelor’s degree in social work, Touro University Worldwide has created a student-centered, flexible alternative to traditional on-ground degree programs. This program is also well-suited for transfer students who would like to finish their social work degree online. 

Designed to be student-centered, class sizes are intentionally limited and more personal, so you receive more of your professor’s time and can excel in a nurturing academic environment. In addition, we offer our online students access to comprehensive career resources through Career Services . All TUW professors are carefully selected for their credentials and passion as an educator. 

The duration of the B.A. program in Social Work depends on several factors, including the number of credits accepted for transfer and whether or not online students take time off between social work courses. Students who enroll full-time (12 credits per semester for 3 semesters each academic year) can complete the bachelor’s degree in three and half (3.5) years. Students who enroll part-time (6 credits per semester for 3 semesters each academic year) will complete the program in seven (7) years.

Transfer credits: Up to a maximum of 45 semester credits of general education may be transferred and up to 45 semester credits of BSW may be transferred from other BSW programs from a regionally accredited university/college to fulfill the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program requirements. A minimum of 30 semester credits from the program major courses must be completed at Touro University Worldwide.

Academic Policies 

Explore more detailed information related to the online bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

Admission Requirements

  • Portability of Degree
  • BSW Program Handbook
  • Form AS 4(B): Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK)

The TUW BSW Social Work Advisory Team (SWAT) is pleased to announce the results of our first social work program imitative Random Acts of Kindness (RAK).

3,639 RAK were performed during the week of February 13-17, 2023, contributing to the well-being of our communities.

We wish to thank students, Alumni, faculty, friends and family for your support!

CSWE_AccreditedByBOA_v2_RGB_WEB72

CSWE Specialty Accreditation

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation .

Accreditation of a baccalaureate social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’ Commission on Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Commission on Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.

Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact Accreditation .

Program Requirements

Touro University Worldwide’s online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work requires a total of 120 credit hours for completion. The social work curriculum combines online courses with a field internship.

* Combines online courses and field internship

  • General education (45 credits)
  • Major and core requirements (51 credits)
  • Electives (24 credits)

Students must meet the prerequisite requirements before taking any of the major program requirements. For this program, students may transfer 45 semester credits of General Education and may also transfer identical course credits from other social work programs (on a case by case basis).

The duration of the program will vary by student. Factors affecting your completion time include the number of transfer credits and time off between courses. Based on the program requirement of 120 semester credits, students may transfer 45 semester credits of General Education and may also transfer identical course credits from other social work programs (on a case by case basis).

Students seeking enrollment in the online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program must meet one of the following criteria to be considered for admission:

  • High school graduate
  • Successful completion of the General Education Development (GED) test
  • Transfer student from an accredited college or university in good academic standing

View the Policy for Admission for the B.A. in Social Work Program for more detailed admissions requirements.

WASC Logo

Touro University Worldwide is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Touro College Los Angeles (Lander Campus) is a division of Touro University Worldwide.

For more information on WSCUC, visit  www.wscuc.org  or write WSCUC at 1080 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 500, Alameda, CA 94501.

Lay the Foundation for Change with our Online Bachelor’s in Social Work

At Touro University Worldwide, our online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree program equips graduates with the foundational skills and knowledge to begin a social services career. Designed to be accessible and affordable, this flexible undergraduate program is perfect for students looking to finish their bachelor’s degree in social work and prepare for graduate school.

Request Information Today

Financial aid, get answers, view our courses, download the catalog.

Seattle University

  • Student Support
  • About Seattle U
  • Inclusive Excellence
  • Campus Sustainability
  • Centers and Institutes
  • Facts and Figures
  • Faculty and Staff Resources
  • Directories
  • Undergraduate Majors and Degrees
  • Graduate Programs and Degrees
  • Colleges and Schools
  • Lemieux Library
  • Service Learning
  • Education Abroad
  • Student Academic Services
  • Online Programs
  • Redhawk Service Center
  • Student Life
  • Housing and Residence Life
  • Dining Services
  • Center for Community Engagement
  • Center for Student Involvement
  • Health and Personal Wellness
  • Diversity and Multicultural Resources
  • Career Engagement Office
  • Parent and Family Engagement
  • Public Safety
  • Campus Store
  • Campus Calendar
  • University Recreation
  • First Year Applicants
  • International Students
  • Transfer Students
  • Undergraduate Admissions
  • Graduate Admissions
  • School of Law
  • Campus Tours
  • Accepted Students
  • Tuition and Aid
  • Net Price Calculator
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships and Grants
  • Student Billing and Payment
  • Student Financial Services
  • Authorized User Login
  • Forms & Documents
  • Jesuit Tradition
  • Campus Ministry
  • Center for Jesuit Education
  • Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture
  • Chapel of St. Ignatius
  • Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement
  • All Things Jesuit
  • Jesuits of Seattle U

Degrees and Requirements

Three degree options, social work major, social welfare minor, social work with honors, 70 credits including the 450-hour field practicum, required courses.

  • SOCW 1510: Introduction to Social Work
  • SOCW 2010: Social Justice *
  • SOCW 3010: Human Behavior and in the Social Environment
  • SOCW 3020 Human Development and Social Work
  • SOCW 3040: U.S. Social Welfare Policy
  • SOCW 3050: Advocacy and Activism
  • SOCW 3110: Practice 1: Social Work with Individuals and Families
  • SOCW 4010: Social Work Research Data Analysis
  • SOCW 4020: Social Work Research Methods
  • SOCW 4030: Social Work Research: Capstone
  • SOCW 4110: Practice II: Social Work with Groups
  • SOCW 4120: Practice III: Social Work with Organizations and Communities
  • SOCW 4510-4530: Field Practicum
  • SOCW 4610-4630: Field Seminar

Social work major requires 8 credits in electives from below list, or approved by the Program Director.

  • SOCW 3030 Juvenile Justice
  • SOCW 3170 Race and Ethnicity
  • SOCW 3320 Mental Illness
  • SOCW 3910 Global Food Justice
  • SOCW 4320 Domestic Violence
  • SOCW 4330 Politics of Homelessness
  • SOCW 4340 Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Addiction
  • SOCW 4350 Social Work with Children and Youth
  • SOCW 4360 Queer Social Movements

Academic Progression in Social Work

Students enter the social work major as degree candidates (SOCW.CAND). During candidacy, students must enroll in the foundation courses SOCW 1510 Introduction to Social Work and SOCW 2010 Social Justice and earn a “C” or higher. Students internally apply to advance in the major during fall of their junior year. For more information, contact the program's administrative assistant.

31 to 33 Credits

Required courses.

  • SOCW 1510 - Introduction to Social Work
  • SOCW 2010 - Social Justice
  • SOCW 3010 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SOCW 3020 - Human Development and Social Work
  • SOCW 3040 - U.S. Social Welfare Policy

Choose two from the following list of courses:

  • SOCW 3030 - Juvenile Justice
  • SOCW 3310 - Global Social Welfare and International Aid
  • SOCW 3320 - Mental Illness
  • SOCW 3330 - History of U.S. Social Welfare Policy
  • SOCW 4310 - Working with Troubled Families
  • SOCW 4350 - Social Work with Children and Youth
  • SOCW 4340 - Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Social Welfare minor requires two courses from below list, or as approved by Program Director.

The Social Work Honors degree offers an opportunity for motivated and capable students to engage in more extensive interaction with faculty to complete an individual research project that will further their personal and professional goals. Eligibility to apply requires a cumulative and major grade point average of 3.5 or higher.  Students apply during the spring quarter of their  junior year. Students must receive an A or A- in the final course, SOCW 4790 Honors: Thesis Supervision to be awarded the degree.

  • SOCW 4770 Honors: Directed Reading
  • SOCW 4780 Honors: Directed Study
  • SOCW 4790 Honors: Thesis Supervision

Degree Requirements

  • BSW with Departmental Honors
  • Minor, Social Welfare

TYPICAL PROGRAM OF STUDY

  • Social Work -Four Year Program of Study
  • Social Work - Junior Transfer Program of Study

Two Year Course Schedule

Amelia Seraphia Derr, MSW, PhD

Amelia Seraphia Derr, MSW, PhD

Director, Bachelor of Social Work

Associate Professor

Gabriela A. Hyre. MSW

Field Director, Social Work

Assistant Clinical Professor, Social Work

[email protected]

Anna McCain

Anna McCain

Administrative Assistant, Social Work Department

By using our website, you agree to our cookie policy

  • Skip to Content
  • Catalog Home

New Mexico State University

  • Las Cruces Academic Catalog
  • College of Health, Education and Social Transformation
  • Social Work

Social Work - Bachelor of Social Work

The BSW program prepares you for a beginning professional level of generalist social work practice with an understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the Southwest.

To be admitted as a BSW candidate, you must formally apply for admission to the program. A 2.5 grade-point average is required for the application. Consult the pre-social work major advisor, located in the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support. The deadline for submitting applications is the last Friday in January. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

General Education Requirements

Students need to complete the New Mexico State University general education requirements before applying to the Bachelor of Social Work program. The School of Social Work requirements include SOWK 2110G Introduction to Human Services & Social Work  . 

Once accepted into the program, students also need to meet a Cultural Emphasis requirement (6 credits). If the Cultural Emphasis classes are also Viewing a Wider World classes, you still need to complete the total number of specified upper-division credits necessary for graduation. Highly recommended electives for social work students include courses in sociology, history, Spanish, psychology, family life, child development, English, philosophy, anthropology, computer science, criminal justice, government and economics. Electives must be sufficient to bring total credits to 120, including 48 upper-division credits, for graduation.

Departmental Requirements

Preparation for entry-level professional social work requires a thorough knowledge of theory and skills; therefore, the high number (57) of core social work credits is required. A grade of C- or better is required for all social work courses.

Students must complete all University degree requirements, which include: General Education requirements, Viewing a Wider World requirements (6 credits), and elective credits to total a minimum of 120 credits with 48 credits in courses numbered 300/3000 or above. Developmental coursework will not count towards the degree requirements and/or elective credits, but may be needed in order to take the necessary English and Mathematics coursework.

See the General Education section of the catalog for a full list of courses

Either MATH 1350G Introduction to Statistics , A ST 311 Statistical Applications , or MATH 2350G Statistical Methods is required for the degree.

The Area III: Laboratory Science General Education requirement ( BIOL 1120G Human Biology BIOL 1120L Human Biology Laboratory or BIOL 1130G Introductory Anatomy & Physiology (non-majors) ) must be completed before starting the SOWK program and requires a grade of C- or better.

See the Viewing a Wider World section of the catalog for a full list of courses

Elective credit may vary based on prerequisites, dual credit, AP credit, double majors, and/or minor coursework. The amount indicated in the requirements list is the amount needed to bring the total to 120 credits and may appear in variable form based on the degree. However, students may end up needing to complete more or less on a case-by-case basis and students should discuss elective requirements with their advisor.

Second Language Requirement

For the Bachelor of Social Work, there is a one-year second language requirement. The number of credits a student needs to take may vary depending on their fluency in another language. Please speak with an advisor for more information regarding the second language requirement for this degree. 

A Suggested Plan of Study for Students

This roadmap assumes student  placement in either A ST 311 Statistical Applications , MATH 1350G Introduction to Statistics or MATH 2350G Statistical Methods and  ENGL 1110G Composition I . The contents and order of this roadmap may vary depending on initial student placement in mathematics and English. It is only a suggested plan of study for students and is not intended as a contract. Course availability may vary from fall to spring semester and may be subject to modification or change.

BIOL 1120G Human Biology / BIOL 1120L Human Biology Laboratory or BIOL 1130G Introductory Anatomy & Physiology (non-majors) must be completed before starting the S WK program and require a grade of C- or better.

Elective credit may vary based on prerequisites, dual credit, AP credit, double majors, and/or minor coursework. The amount indicated in the requirements list is the amount needed to bring the total to 120 credits and may appear in variable form based on the degree. However students may end up needing to complete more or less on a case-by-case basis and students should discuss elective requirements with their advisor.

Either A ST 251G Statistics for Business and the Behavioral Sciences / STAT 251G Statistics for Business and the Behavioral Sciences , STAT 271G Statistics for Psychological Sciences or A ST 311 Statistical Applications is required for the degree but students may need to take any prerequisites needed to enter the course first.

*students who choose to take A ST 311, will need to take an additional Mathematics General Education course in order to meet the requirement.

CEPY 1120G Human Growth and Behavior and SOWK 2110G Introduction to Human Services & Social Work : must be completed before starting the S WK program and require a grade of C- or better.

NOTE: Students need to submit a formal application packet to the School of Social Work in January and be accepted into the program before they may take junior or senior year courses.

A grade of C- or better is required for all social work courses.

Print Options

Print this page.

The PDF will include all information unique to this page.

The PDF will include content on the Requirements tab only.

The PDF will include content on the Roadmap tab only.

A PDF of the Alamogordo 2023-2024 catalog.

A PDF of the NMSU Global 2023-2024 catalog.

A PDF of the Dona Ana 2023-2024 catalog.

A PDF of the Las Cruces 2023-2024 catalog.

A PDF of the Grants 2023-2024 catalog.

Search form

Degree requirements.

General During the first three years in the program, the School of Social Work requires full-time enrollment, defined as 10 or more credits per quarter during the autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Although students may register part-time starting in their fourth year, they must register for at least 10 credits during any quarter they hold a research assistantship (RA) or teaching assistantship (TA). Students are strongly advised to remain in residence while working on their dissertation. (See the  Graduate School Requirements  for details.)    

The first year of the program is the most heavily prescribed, with required courses that must be taken in sequence and in combination. Starting In the summer following year 1, students take a comprehensive series of examinations covering the content of the first-year courses in methods, theory, and policy ( approved by Social Welfare Faculty, May 2005 ).

During the second year, students have considerably more flexibility in selecting courses specifically related to their substantive and research methods interests. Students confer closely with advisors and members of their Supervisory Committee to choose courses relevant to their scholarly objectives. During the second and the third years, students research and write the required Qualifying Scholarly paper that serves as the written portion of the General Examination ( approved by Social Welfare Faculty, May 2005 ).

Once all course requirements are successfully completed (the University of Washington Graduate School requires that doctoral students earn a minimum of 90 credits in order to graduate) and the Qualifying Scholarly Paper is approved by the Supervisory Committee, the Oral General Examination is scheduled, typically during the third year. After passing the Examination, the student is advanced to candidacy (PhC status)  and begins formally working on the dissertation prospectus, followed by the dissertation. Completion and successful defense of the dissertation are required before the PhD is conferred.

Timeline of Major Program Components The following timeline for the completion of major program phases is a guide for students. Failure to complete requirements in the maximum time allowed will result in a review of the student's progress by the PhD Program Committee.  As a result of this review, the student may be placed on academic warning and/or probation and ultimately, be dropped from the Program.  

In the following guidelines, the year limits include time taken for leaves of absence. Academic goals of excellence are balanced with timely progress. Thus, decisions at each point should be based on realistic assessments of what rigorous, high quality learning and performance entail.

Downloadable  flow chart  of major program components.

Course Work 

Required courses.

Consistent with the requirements for all courses offered in the School of Social Work (undergraduate, master's, and doctoral), all required PhD courses must contain content on diverse populations, covering for example issues of race, color, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, political orientation, and sexual orientation. The specific type or nature of the content (e.g., readings, exemplars, exercises) and how it is introduced and integrated will differ across courses. In all cases, content on diversity must be in accord with course objectives and be visibly present in the course syllabus. [See the  Social Justice Learning Objectives  for guidance on incorporating content into required courses.]  (Approved by PhD Steering Committee, 02/1992; updated 06/2010)

For a full list of course requirements by year, see the  Year-by-Year Course Schedule . 

The following courses are required of all students in the program and must be taken on a graded basis unless only offered as Credit/No Credit. Required courses are typically 3 credits or more reflecting a minimum weekly session time of 1 hour per credit.  

  • Introduction to Advanced Research Methods and Design: 2 quarters during the first year (SocWL 580-581, 3 credits per quarter).
  • Three quarters of Statistics taken in another department: preapproved courses are Sociology 504/505/506 (plus a 1-credit per quarter lab) and Biostatistics 511/512/513. The PhD Program Committee may approve other departments' sequences upon request.
  • Research Issues and Priorities in Social Welfare: 2 quarters during the first year (SocWL 598-599, 3 credits per quarter).
  • Two quarters of Policy: Contemporary Social Welfare Policy: 1 quarter in the first year (SocWL 552, 3 credits). Policy Implementation and Organizations: 1 quarter, first year (SocWL 553, 3 credits).
  • Research Practicum: 2 quarters to be completed by the end of the second year (SocWL 582-583, 3 credits per quarter). Credit/no credit only. (Registration form found on  STAR )
  • Teaching Practicum: 1 quarter, to be taken after successful completion of the first year unless special arrangements are made (SocWL 584, 3 credits). Credit/no credit only. (Registration form found on  STAR )
  • Teaching Preparation. To be completed in  the second year. The focus of the course is the development of teaching skills with emphasis on teaching in schools of social work (SocWL 559, 3 credits).
  • A minimum of three advanced research methods/data analysis courses (500 level or higher) of which at least one must include qualitative or mixed methods content. Courses which involve data analysis are to be selected in consultation with the student's faculty advisor, and should be relevant to the student's anticipated research in a substantive or interventive area. Two of the three required methods courses must be numerically graded. 
  • A minimum of two social science theory courses (500 level or higher). These courses must focus in a coherent manner on theoretical perspectives. These courses must relate to the substantive or interventive content of the student's program of study.  One of the two required theory courses must be numerically graded.  
  • Two or more numerically graded substantive courses.   
 Exceptions to take courses at the 400 level or to create specialized 600 tutorials as these cognates may be granted in special situations. The student must get prior approval from the Doctoral Program Director. The student and advisor must complete a  petition  to the Doctoral Program Director elucidating how the course will contribute significantly to the substantive or interventive content of the anticipated program of study and why the content is not available in a standing course within the University. A course syllabus must be attached to the petition, e.g., a syllabus developed for any 600 that is to be used as a cognate. The proposed course must provide the depth and level of challenge for graduate level study. If the student and advisor have questions about specific course eligibility, contact the Doctoral Program Director. Restrictions apply for advanced elective courses to qualify. If the student and advisor are uncertain about the eligibility of a specific course, contact the PhD Program Director. Students without significant prior research or methods training are urged to take more than the minimum required courses.  [Approved by the Social Welfare Faculty, 06/1993.] Experience indicates that social work students generally have good access to courses in other departments. It is best to contact the instructor directly (via email or phone) as early as possible, both to seek entry and to get more detailed information about the course (such as a course outline). If access problems are encountered, get details about why (e.g., prerequisites). In some cases, students may have the equivalence of the prerequisite training and can negotiate entry. Do not hesitate to seek assistance from your advisor or the Program Director if you encounter barriers to access that seem unjustified.
  • Dissertation Research (Soc WL 800): After the student has successfully completed all parts of the General Examination and has been advanced to candidacy for the PhD, she/he registers for this course. If the student is working on their dissertation research full time, she/he should register for at least 10 credit hours.  (Registration form found on  STAR )  The Graduate School requirement is that at least 27 credit hours of Soc WL 800 be spread over at least 3 quarters. Students who are working on their dissertation research less than full time may register for 2-9 credit hours, depending on the extent of their involvement. During those quarters in which students and committees are not actively engaged in working on the dissertation, students should not register for this course. When not registered, students must obtain  on-leave status  from the University. In all cases, it is required that  students be registered in the quarter that the dissertation is completed.

Elective Courses

  • Analytical Perspectives on Social Welfare Policy (SocWL 554, 3 credits).
  • Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research (SocWL 585, 586, 3 credits). Two quarters, offered alternate years.
  • Multivariate Data Analysis for the Social Sciences (SocWL 589, 3 credits, offered alternate years).
  • Social Movements and Participatory Action Research Methods (SocWL 590, 3 credits, offered alternate years).
  • West Coast Poverty Center Seminar Series (Soc WL 556, 1 credit).
  • Research to Policy (Soc WL 591, 3 credits).
  • Psychosocial Scale Construction and Measurement (SocWL 590, 3 credits, offered alternate years).
  • Promoting Well-Being among At-Risk Groups (Soc WL 577, 3 credits).
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Prevention Science: Children and Adolescents (Soc WL 579, 3 credits, offered alternate years).
  • Special Topics Seminars (Soc WL 591, 1-3 credits each for A/W/Sp quarters).
  • Career Planning Seminar (Soc WL 557, 1 credit each for A/W/Sp quarters).

Math Support    

Math Camp*  

Math Camp is an intensive one-week introductory course offered during the summer.  It is recommended for incoming students and students who are entering their 2nd year and plan to take an advanced statistics course.

During this course students will learn fundamental concepts of mathematics and probability designed to help prepare social science graduate students for advanced courses in statistical methodology in general (and CSSS courses in particular). Professors in Math Camp do not assume prior exposure to this material, but do assume basic math skills through high school algebra. Key concepts will be presented in lectures but students will also have opportunities to work through problem sets with the assistance of Teaching Assistants (TAs).

Some of our students have found that Math Camp is really helpful and others have found that it moves very fast, making it hard to keep up.  Students who want to enroll in Math Camp should contact the PhD Program Office so the School can coordinate enrollment and make arrangements to cover the cost.    

CSSS 505, Review of Mathematics for Social Scientists*  

This 1-credit course covers similar material as that which is covered in Math Camp and is highly recommended for the 1st year students. Topics reviewed are algebra, functions and limits, differentiation, maximization of functions, integration, matrix algebra, linear equations and least squares, and probability.  This course is typically offered during winter and spring quarters and has been found to be particularly helpful when taken during the same quarter as a statistics course.

CSSS 508,Introduction to "R"

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the  "R" environment  for statistical computing. "R" is a freely available multi-platform program for statistical analysis and graphics. It is used most heavily during spring quarter in our required statistics course, Soc 506.  Enrolling in this course during winter quarter is a good way to prepare for that course. 

The  Center for the Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR)  offers statistical computing support. The mission of this Center is to bridge the gap between fields and facilitate social scientists’ access to emerging statistical methods. These methods are very useful for addressing research that uses complex, real-world data, which social work research typically does. 

The  Statistics Tutor and Study Center  offers support to UW students enrolled in introductory statistics classes. The center’s tutors can also offer help with math skills (e.g., differentiation, integration, and matrix  algebra). 

Supplemental Reading

Iversen, Gudmund R. (1996). Calculus-Quantitative-Applications-Social-Sciences Series: Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences. Sage.

Namboodiri, Krishnan (1984). Matrix-Algebra-Introduction-Quantitative-Applications Series: Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences. Sage.

Note: Math Camp and CSSS 505 are intended to review math material that most students have seen at some point in the past. If most of these topics are new to the student they should consider supplemental readings or on-line courses that teach these topics before starting the program. Much of the material is covered in introductory calculus, linear algebra and statistics texts, and in high school integrated math texts. 

Additional Courses

Students are expected to take advantage of courses in the University that bear on their scholarly areas of interest. Courses may be taken in any department or school of the University, including the School of Social Work, but should be at the 500 level. Students are encouraged to consult their advisors, committee chair, or the Program Director for advice and assistance in arranging courses of study in other schools or departments.

Graduate Tutorials in Social Welfare: Generally taken during the second and third years (Soc WL 600, 1-3 credits, to be arranged by student and faculty; credit/no credit only). These tutorials are usually under the tutelage of faculty members who serve on a student’s Supervisory Committee or other appropriate faculty members. The primary focus is to pursue depth and training in scholarly areas relevant to the student's learning objectives and to research and write the Qualifying Scholarly Paper (written portion of the  General Examination) .

Time and effort for tutorials is expected to be the same as those of a typical graduate class.  Tutorials must be authorized by the PhD Program Office before the student can register for the course  (thus submission one week prior to the start of the quarter may be necessary to avoid late fees). Tutorials for more than 3 credits are acceptable when the student is working directly with the Supervisory Committee Chair on the Qualifying Paper. For other circumstances,  specify the rationale for increased credits on the registration form and of how increased faculty time and student effort will be scheduled to reflect the increase.

Statistics Track Rationale The Statistics Track in the Social Welfare PhD program enables students to develop advanced expertise and prepare to be educated readers and producers of Social Work research that builds on rigorous quantitative and statistical methodology. Planning a coherent personalized pathway early in the graduate career promotes effective use of statistical and quantitative skills in dissertation research and in professional life after the graduate school.

Description The track is largely built around a curriculum developed by the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS). Students who complete the Statistics Track in Social Work acquire advanced training in statistics for social science research relevant to their own area of specialization. The CSSS provides a document certifying that the student completed the Statistics Track

Click here for information and instructions for completing the Statistics Track.

Guidelines for Exemptions and Audits Exemptions A student who believes that she/he has already mastered material contained in a specific required course  may  petition  the PhD Program Director (serving as the representative of the PhD Program Committee) for exemption from that course along with a plan for substitution by another relevant course.

Under exceptional circumstances in which a student must take a leave of absence during the first year in the program, the student may  petition  the PhD Program Committee for a special individualized set of examinations on the content of the first-year coursework at the time the courses are completed.

If a student takes and successfully passes the Oral General Examination no later than the second week of a quarter, the student may register for SocWL 800 during that quarter and have it count towards the 3 required quarters. Under these circumstances, if the student receives approval from the Supervisory Committee Chair and the Program Director, the student may register for SocWL 800 before the date of the scheduled General Exam. If the committee feels the student needs to do more work to pass the Oral Exam, the student  must  drop SocWL 800 and register for SocWL 600. The student is responsible for any late fees.

Social Welfare students are encouraged to audit courses in other departments, subject to approval of the instructor. However, audits do not fulfill the cognate requirements.

On-Leave Status Students requesting on-leave status must be in good academic standing. See  Graduate School Memorandum 9  for the University leave policy. Any student who has registered for a quarter may not submit a petition for on-leave status for that specific quarter unless he/she officially withdraws from all courses before the first day of that quarter.

Students must submit an online  Request for On-Leave Status via MyGrad Program  and then email the PhD Program Director stating that the request has been made. (When the request is submitted online, MyGrad may indicate that the program has been informed, but in fact  no auto-email is sent to the department. ) Next the PhD Program Director determines whether the student is eligible for leave and approves the application online, after which the student pays the fee online. Allow 3-5 working days for the whole process. For any given quarter, students may submit the request as early as two weeks prior to the first day of instruction.   In addition  to the University guidelines, the School of Social Work PhD Program also requires that  1) students submit the online leave request by the last day of week 3 of the quarter  [ Approved by PhD Steering Committee, October 2011 ]  and   2) students only request   leave for a maximum of one calendar year or four consecutive quarters excluding summer quarter  [Approved by PhD Steering Committee, December 2013].

Leave is granted on a quarterly basis and must be requested and paid for quarterly.

On-Leave status entitles students in good standing to use the University libraries and maintain access to their email accounts. They are  NOT  entitled to extensive faculty and staff counsel, examinations of any type (except for language competency), thesis/dissertation filing, appointments as Academic Student Employees, University housing, student insurance, or any form of financial assistance. Students may use the Hall Health Primary Care Center on a pay-for-service basis and can pay to use the IMA. Students who have had GSSA appointments prior to leave may be eligible to self-pay the GAIP insurance while on leave.

Once students are in the program, they must either be registered full- or part-time, or obtain official on-leave status. Non-registration is considered withdrawal from the University.

Reinstatement Procedures

School of social work.

PhD students who are not enrolled and who have not maintained “on leave” status are automatically withdrawn from the University. A former student must contact the PhD Program Director regarding the possibility of re-entry into the PhD Program. A formal re-entry request must be sent to the Director and PhD Program Committee including the following: 1. the request for re-entry,  2. the reason for the lapse in on-leave standing,  3. a specific plan for completion of the program, and  4. a statement from the Faculty Advisor/ Supervisory Committee Chair concurring with the petition and plan, and conveying her/his willingness to work with the student to complete the program.

The request must be signed by the student and Faculty Advisor/Supervisory Committee Chair (email approval in lieu of signature is allowed). The PhD Program Committee has final authority to re-admit upon the recommendation of the Director.

Graduate School

Students previously registered in the Graduate School who have failed to maintain graduate student status but wish to resume studies within the same degree program must file a request for reinstatement to the Graduate School in MyGrad. Requests will first be reviewed and approved by the department. Once the department has approved the request and the Graduate School has confirmed students’ eligibility for reinstatement, students will be notified to pay a non-refundable reinstatement fee before registering for the requested quarter of reinstatement.

The fee for readmission is subject to change by the Graduate School.

Academic Standards

See Timeline of Major Components section above for milestone requirements.  

Grade Point The Graduate School requires that students maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all numerically graded courses numbered 500 and above and in approved 400-level courses accepted as part of the major. In addition, the Social Welfare Faculty requires that the student acquire at least a 3.0 in each of the following courses: Social Welfare 580-581, 552-553, 559, 598-599, required first-year statistics courses, and the additional research methods courses and social science courses the student selects. A student whose grade for any of the classes is below 3.0 will be placed on probationary status unless a petition for exception is filed. To be removed from probation, the student must complete one of the following alternatives.

  • Retake the course in question and obtain a 3.0 or better.
  • Take an alternative class approved by the PhD Program Committee and obtain a 3.0 or better.
  • Arrange with the instructor to make up performance deficiencies for the course in question. Instructor writes a memo to the PhD Program Committee outlining the arrangement.

The PhD Program Committee will not approve the appointment of a Supervisory Committee or allow the taking of the Oral General Examination while a student is on probation because of a low-grade status. It is a requirement of the Graduate School that all incompletes on required courses be removed before the General Examination is taken. Any incomplete must be removed within 2 years.

NOTE: Some departments may have stricter guidelines than those of the Graduate School.  So do not assume that you can make up an incomplete course in another department within the 2-year time line.

Grading System

Graduate grades are entered as numbers, the possible values being in tenths from 4.0 through 1.7. Grades below 1.7 are recorded as 0.0 by the Registrar and do not count toward residency, total credit count, or grade and credit requirements. A minimum of 2.7 is required in each course that the Graduate School counts toward a degree. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for graduation.

The following letter grades also may be used:

I:  Incomplete. An incomplete may be given only when students have been in attendance and have done satisfactory work to within two weeks of the end of the quarter and have furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control.  Students may not take the Year 1 Comprehensive Exam until all first-year coursework is completed. Incompletes must be converted into passing grades before taking the General Exam.  In no case may an incomplete be converted into a passing grade after a lapse of 2 years or more. Incompletes received by graduate students do not automatically convert to a 0.0 but remain a permanent part of their record.

N:  No grade. Used only for hyphenated courses and courses numbered 600 (Independent Study or Research), 700 (Master's Thesis), or 800 (Doctoral Dissertation). An N grade indicates that satisfactory progress is being made, but evaluation depends on completion of the research, thesis, internship, or dissertation, at which time the instructor or supervisory committee chairperson should change the N grade(s) to one reflecting the final evaluation.

S/NS:  Satisfactory/not satisfactory. This option is not available to PhD Students.

CR:  Credit awarded in a course offered on a credit/no-credit basis only or in tutorial courses numbered 600 and 800. The minimum performance level required for a CR grade is determined and the grade is awarded directly by the instructor. CR is not computed in GPA calculations.

NC:  Credit not awarded in a course offered on a credit/no-credit basis only or in courses numbered 600 and 800. The grade is awarded directly by the instructor and is not included in GPA calculations.

W:  Withdrawal. Official withdrawal from a course may be done on-line through the seventh week of the quarter. During the first two weeks of the quarter no entry is made on the permanent academic record. The third week through the seventh week of the quarter, a W is recorded on the transcript. Refer to the Time Schedule after the seventh week of the quarter.

HW:  Hardship withdrawal. Grade assigned when a graduate student is allowed a hardship withdrawal from a course after the seventh week of the quarter. Unofficial withdrawal from a course shall result in a grade of 0.0. The grades of W and HW do not count as completed credits nor in computation of the GPA.

X:  Indicates that a grade was not submitted by instructor.

Repeating Courses

Graduate students may repeat most courses. Both the first and second grades will be included in the cumulative GPA. Subsequent grades will not be included, but will appear on the permanent record. The number of credits earned in the course will apply toward degree requirements only once.

Conditions that Alter Student Standing

The following conditions constitute grounds for possible alteration of a student's standing and will result in review of the student with the possibility of probationary action ultimately leading to possible dismissal from the PhD Program:

  • two consecutive quarters of below “B” (3.0) average work,
  • failing a required course twice,
  • failing any section of year-one comprehensive examinations twice,
  • failure to constitute a Supervisory Committee by the beginning of year 3,
  • failure to pass all components of the General Examination within 3 years of entering the program (includes the summer after year 3),
  • failure to complete dissertation within 3 years after reaching PhC status,
  • failure to maintain Standards for Essential Abilities and Attributes for Continuance in the School of Social Work as defined in the manual sections on  Standards of Conduct and Grievance Procedures  and  Important University and Social Work Policies .

Procedures for Disciplinary Action

When a student fails to meet the academic standards noted above, the Program Director will send a memo to the student noting the deficiency(ies), the expectations for resolution, and the time limit. If the expectations are not met within the timeline defined, the procedures outlined in  Graduate School Memorandum 16  will be followed through Warning, Probation, Final Probation, and Dismissal. Students may appeal the change of status through a Graduate School process outlined in  Graduate School Memorandum 33 .

In cases involving failure to maintain standards for essential abilities and attributes, the first step is for the student and her/his advisor or Committee Chair or the PhD Program Chair to develop a written collective plan of action with a determined time frame for achieving the goals/objectives of the plan. This step construes a warning within the  Graduate School Memorandum 16  guidelines. If the action plan is not fulfilled by the end of the time period, the PhD Program Committee will review the issue(s) and make recommendations for probation or other appropriate action; this step typically will result in a designed probation plan. Alternatively, the PhD Program Committee may forward the issue to the Committee on Students for further review and action.

[Note: see sections above for on-leave and reinstatement procedures for students who have gone on leave or withdrawn from the program.]

What to Look for in an MSW Program

Written by Janice Monti, SWG Rankings Team Last Updated: May 2023

Social work is a growing field with a variety of career options. Many social work positions require applicants to hold a master of social work (MSW). Earning an MSW prepares you for state licensure and makes you more competitive in the job market for positions, such as mental health counselor, school social worker, and clinical social worker.

This ranking can help you find the best school to fit your needs and what features to look for in an MSW program.

In This Article

  • What to Look For
  • Best MSWs and Schools
  • What to Expect
  • Career Opportunities

Accreditation

Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) provides assurance that an MSW degree has met nationally established professional and academic standards. Graduating from a CSWE-accredited program ensures that you have met the requirements for state licensure and tells prospective employers that you possess the competencies necessary to enter social work practice.

Tuition and fees for an MSW vary by school type and program format. Public colleges and universities offer lower tuition rates than private institutions but often charge higher rates to out-of-state residents. Keep in mind that you will have other expenses outside of tuition, including distance learning fees, books, lodging, transportation, and healthcare.

Financial Aid

Prospective MSW students should investigate any sources of available financial assistance for tuition, fees, and living expenses. The first step to receiving financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form required for government financial assistance.

Merit- and need-based grants and scholarships offered by schools, foundations, and professional associations do not require repayment. However, student loans from the federal government or private financial institutions must be repaid, along with fees and interest. Some states offer loan forgiveness programs for social workers.

Admission Requirements

Before you apply to any MSW program, make sure you meet the admission requirements. Some programs only admit bachelor of social work (BSW) graduates, while others accept students from non-social work majors. Admission to most master of social work (MSW) programs requires completion of specified undergraduate credits in general education coursework and prerequisites in the natural sciences and statistics. Some schools offer advanced standing MSW programs, which enable BSW graduates to bypass foundational social work courses, completing the master’s program in as little as a year.

Online Requirements/Formatting

Online MSW programs have grown in popularity because of their flexibility and convenience, especially for working professionals and students who want to earn their degree while maintaining other responsibilities. Before enrolling in any program, find out about course delivery formats. Are classes offered asynchronously, enabling you to complete assignments at your own pace? Or are courses offered in a synchronous format, meeting at the same time and day each week? What are the in-person requirements?

Featured Online Programs in Social Work

Research how to become a social worker by state.

Each state sets their social work licensing requirements. In some states, you can pursue licensure with a BSW, while others require a master’s degree. Other requirements include getting the required experience and passing your state’s social work licensure exam.

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia

The 10 Best MSW Programs in 2023

Read about our ranking methodology to learn why these schools made the list.

1. University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley offers a master of social welfare with specialization options in advancing health and well-being across the adult lifespan. Students learn how to strengthen organizations, communities, and children, youth, and families. The program emphasizes leadership, professional responsibility, and social justice advancement.

The 54-unit curriculum also includes generalist practice coursework, field practicum internships with concurrent field integration seminars. Students also complete courses in diversity-sensitive, competent practice and social research methods.

Financial aid resources include fellowships, field-based stipends, and work study.

  • Program(s): Master of Social Welfare
  • Campus: Berkeley, California
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Tuition: $13,472 per semester for California residents, $19,595 for out-of state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; minimum 3.0 GPA; prerequisite coursework in liberal arts, humanities, social sciences, and statistics; 1-2 years of paid or volunteer social welfare or humans services work
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Students with bachelor in social work (BSW) degrees can earn their master of social work at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in one year. UNC also offers two- and three-year programs for non-BSW holders, which require 62 credits and 1,100 field hours.

Students choose from two concentration options: direct practice working with individuals, families, and small groups or community, management, and policy practice. The community option helps prepare graduates for leadership, community organizing, and policy development roles.

  • Program(s): Master of social work
  • Campus: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Tuition: $811 per credit for North Carolina residents; $1,841 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a background in various disciplines; for 12-month advanced standing track, BSW from a CSWE-accredited program, minimum 3.0 GPA, 400 direct service hours
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months

3. University of Chicago

The master of social work curriculum at the University of Chicago combines direct social work practice with interdisciplinary research, policy development, and social science theory. The program emphasizes framing individual distress in the larger social context and offers clinical and social administration concentrations.

First-year courses introduce the diversity of the human experience, fundamentals of behavior, and social intervention methods. The second year focuses on concentrations and includes classroom and field instruction. UChicago also offers part-time and one-year advanced-standing options.

  • Campus: Chicago, Illinois
  • Type: Private
  • Tuition: $16, 578 per quarter for full-time and advanced standing; $11,052 per semester for part-time enrollment
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; bachelor’s in social work for advanced standing

4. Brigham Young University

Founded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Brigham Young University offers a master of social work with a clinical or research emphasis. Clinical enrollees prepare for their licensed clinical social work (LCSW) exams, and research participants can continue their studies in a Ph.D. program.

Courses include global issues-children at risk, refugee studies, and social justice and diversity. The 60-credit curriculum also includes a master’s research project and supervised clinical practicums.

  • Campus: Provo, Utah
  • Tuition: $8,096 per year for LDS students; $16,192 for non-LDS students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; minimum 3.0 GPA

5. University of Georgia

The master of social work program at the University of Georgia offers full-time, extended-time, or online formats. Students with a bachelor of social work (BSW) can apply for advanced standing.

Full-time students select among three specializations: micro (individuals, families, and groups), macro (communities, organizations, and policy), and integrated practice (combines micro and macro). Part-time and online programs focus on micro social work.

The program includes a generalist year (except for advanced standing) and subsequent specialization year(s) with field experiences.

  • Campus: Athens, Georgia
  • Tuition: $402 per credit for Georgia residents; $1,091 per credit for out-of-state students; $629 per credit for online students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; minimum 3.0 GPA (BSW with 3.2 GPA for advanced standing); liberal arts background

6. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin ‘s master of social work requires 60 credits of coursework and 1,020 hours of field experience. Students can select one of two concentrations: clinical social work or administration and policy practice.

Clinical social work topics include assessment and diagnosis, cognitive group therapy, motivational interviewing, and treatment of traumatized populations. Administration and policy practice focuses on culturally responsive practice in human service organizations and community-based agencies.

Enrollment options include a one-year track for bachelor of social work holders to a three-and-a-half-year program.

  • Campus: Austin, Texas
  • Tuition: $1,400 per credit hour for Texas residents; $2,011 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (BSW for advanced standing); minimum 3.0 GPA; C in introductory statistics

7. University of Michigan

The master of social work program at the University of Michigan offers full-time, part-time, and online enrollment options. Bachelor of social work graduates can apply for advanced standing.

MSW students can specialize in:

  • Community change
  • Global social work practice
  • Interpersonal practice in integrated health, mental health, and substance abuse;
  • Management and leadership
  • Policy and political social work
  • Program evaluation and applied research
  • Social work practice with older adults and families from a lifespan perspective
  • Welfare of children and families
  • Program(s): Master of Social Work
  • Campus: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Tuition: Online: $15,452 per semester for Michigan residents, $24,871 for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (BSW with 3.5 GPA for advanced standing); liberal arts background

8. Florida International University

Florida International University ‘s master of social work (MSW) admits students on a rolling basis. Advanced standing requires a bachelor of social work and takes about a year to complete. The 60-credit regular MSW curriculum consists of a social work generalist year and a specialization year. Both tracks include field practicums and electives.

Coursework includes clinical assessment and intervention planning, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, and social work practice with diverse populations.

  • Campus: Miami, Florida
  • Tuition: $4,101 per semester for Florida residents, $9,015 for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; minimum 3.0 GPA (BSW with 3.25 GPA for advanced standing); C in biology, statistics, and social science prerequisites

9. Tulane University

The master of social work (MSW) at Tulane University focuses on affecting culturally relevant change through integrated clinical and community-based practice. The program requires 60 credits (45 credits for advanced standing) and 900 hours of field experience. Enrollees can complete their MSWs on campus in 16 or 32 months or online in 16 months.

Advanced standing students with bachelor of social work degrees can finish in 12 or 24 months, depending on whether they enroll full- or part-time.

  • Campus: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tuition: $38,432 (first year), $41,940 (second) year for on-campus students; $1,276 per credit for online students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree with 3.0 GPA (BSW with 3.3 GPA for advanced standing)

10. California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Long Beach offers a master of social work (MSW) with specializations in adulthood and aging, child and family well-being, and integrated health.

Students can study on campus and finish in 2-3 years or enroll in online learning. Bachelor of social work holders can apply for advanced standing and earn their MSWs in one year.

The curriculum emphasizes a person/system environmental approach and includes field placements during both the generalist and specialization years.

  • Campus: Long Beach, California
  • Tuition: $8,442 per year for California residents; $15,570 for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with 2.5 GPA (BSW with 3.0 for advanced standing); C in elementary statistics

What to Expect in an MSW

All accredited MSW programs offer a similar first-year curriculum, covering the areas of human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, research, clinical practice, and field education. However, concentrations and electives, typically taken in the second year, vary by program focus. Common social work concentrations include child welfare, healthcare, mental health, and addictions and substance misuse.

Program Length

A traditional MSW, typically requiring 60-70 credits with field placements, takes about two years to complete. However, the time to completion varies based on several factors, including full- or part-time enrollment status and number of prior social work credits accepted toward the degree. Graduates of accredited BSW programs who qualify for advanced standing can shorten the completion time by approximately one year.

Field Placement

While each program and state licensing authority establishes specific field placement requirements, all MSW programs contain field work components. Field placements help students connect their classroom training to practical clinical experiences supervised by professional, licensed social workers. Each social work program offers different field placement opportunities in various settings, such as healthcare centers, community service agencies, correctional facilities, and schools.

Prepare for Licensure

In most states, you must apply for a social work license to claim the social worker title or provide social work services. To become a licensed master social worker or licensed clinical social worker, you need an MSW degree from a CSWE-accredited school and a passing score on the Association of Social Work Boards licensure exam.

What Can You Do with an MSW?

The employment outlook for MSW graduates is promising in traditional fields, such as school social work and marriage and family counseling, as well as in non-traditional specialties like criminal justice and military social work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an overall 9% job growth rate between 2021 and 2031, adding 74,700 new social work openings on average each year. Healthcare and mental health and substance misuse social workers have the highest projected job growth of 11% through 2031.

Careers with an MSW

Licensed clinical social worker (lcsw).

LCSWs assess, diagnose, and treat patients with behavioral, mental, and emotional disorders. They work with individuals, families, and groups in a variety of client-focused settings, including hospitals, social services agencies, mental health clinics, correctional centers, schools, and private practice.

Salary: $62,600

Hospice Social Worker

Hospice social workers help patients and their families plan for end-of-life care and provide support to deal with the stress associated with debilitating medical conditions. They advocate on behalf of their clients to help them understand treatment plans and options and address the emotional and financial issues related to late-stage illness .

Salary: $56,950

Substance Misuse Counselor

These social workers specialize in treating individuals and families with addictions and substance issues, including misuse of alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications, and other drugs. They may work with clients of all ages and backgrounds in an array of settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and community outreach clinics.

Salary: $43,360

Social Worker

Social workers are trained professionals who provide a variety of services to vulnerable individuals, groups, and families dealing with problems in their lives. They assess client needs and provide support. Licensed clinical social workers who diagnose and treat clients with mental, emotional, and behavioral issues must have an MSW. Social workers with a BSW can find entry-level jobs in case management, child welfare, substance abuse counseling, and other fields.

Salary: $51,610

Bereavement Coordinator

Bereavement coordinators assist clients who have family or friends in hospice care or are struggling with the loss of a loved one. Their duties include creating grief support programs, providing therapy and emotional support, and seeking programs and referrals through social services agencies.

Salary: $48,780

How Much Can You Make with an MSW?

Salary ranges for social workers vary considerably. According to Payscale data from April 2023, the average annual salary for social workers with an MSW degree is $59,000 a year. Earnings for licensed clinical social workers range from $47,000 to $84,000 annually.

Specializations, years of experience, type of employer, and location all impact how much a social worker makes. Social workers in some regions of the U.S earn higher-than-average pay because the cost of living is higher. Metropolitan areas typically offer higher salaries and broader employment opportunities for social workers than areas with low population density.

Healthcare social workers and mental health and substance abuse social workers rank among the highest paid in the profession, making average yearly salaries above $60,000, compared to child, family, and school social workers who make an average annual salary of $56,690, according to the BLS.

Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Your MSW

How long does it take to complete an msw.

Most traditional MSW programs take two years to complete with full-time attendance. Students who hold a BSW degree may enter an advanced standing program to complete their degree in one year.

What can you do with an MSW?

The rising demand for healthcare services of all kinds has made an MSW degree a worthwhile investment. Many graduates find positions in school social work, child and family services, and mental health and substance misuse counseling. An MSW also prepares social workers for employment in less conventional areas, such as forensic and criminal justice social work, human resources, and military social work.

Do you need an MSW to become a licensed social worker?

In some state licensure agencies, a BSW is the minimum educational requirement for a social work license, although most states require an MSW degree. To qualify for a licensed master social worker or licensed clinical social worker designation in every state, you must obtain an MSW from a CSWE-accredited program.

What prerequisites are required to pursue an MSW?

Most MSW programs seek candidates who have completed a BSW with at least a 2.5 GPA. Some schools admit applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in related fields, such as psychology or sociology. For many programs, applicants must complete undergraduate prerequisites in biology, social sciences, and statistics. MSW programs may consider letters of recommendation, essays, in-person interviews, and GRE scores to make their admission decisions.

Pursue your passion for helping others with a career in social work.

Discover schools with specialized programs that empower you to make a difference today.

female social worker holding a clipboard with group of people

Lehman College Logo

With six schools offering dozens of majors and minors, students have infinite possibilities to determine their future.

About Lehman

  • A-Z (Quick Links)
  • Accreditation & Membership
  • Lehman Facts
  • Maps & Directions
  • Mission, Vision & Values
  • Public Safety
  • Strategic Plan
  • The Lehman Story
  • Administration
  • Communications & Marketing
  • Institutional Research
  • Office of The President
  • College Policies
  • College Senate
  • General Faculty Meeting

Photo of students in meeting

Undergraduate, Graduate, and Adult Learners can all find a place to learn and grow at Lehman.

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Continuing & Professional Studies
  • Health Sciences, Human Services & Nursing
  • Natural & Social Sciences

Learning at Lehman

  • Adult Degree
  • Degrees & Certificates
  • Lehman Online
  • Study Abroad
  • Summer at Lehman

Undergraduate

Academic Offices

  • Academic Advisement
  • Academic Departments
  • Academic Programs & Educational Effectiveness
  • Academic Support Services
  • Office of the Provost
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Student Services

Photo of students sitting at a table

Our admissions advisors are here to answer your questions and guide you each step of the way.

Getting Started

  • Admissions Home
  • Academic Programs
  • Class Search
  • Connect with Us
  • Degree Maps
  • Fast Facts 
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Schedule a Tour
  • Virtual Tour
  • Information Sessions
  • Counselor Appointments
  • Adult Students
  • Undergraduate Applications
  • Request Information
  • Undergraduate Brochure
  • Graduate Brochure

Photo of Nursing student

Expand and extend your skills to advance your career or open new opportunities.

Arts & Humanities

  • Latino Studies

Natural and Social Sciences

  • Geographic Information Science (GISc)
  • Advanced Certificate in GISc

Continuing & Professional Studies

  • Accounting Assistant
  • Digital Skills
  • Executive Assistant
  • IRS Enrolled Agent Preparation
  • Real Estate & Notary
  • Virtual Reality Training Academy
  • Wedding & Event Planner
  • Infant Toddler
  • Teacher Leadership
  • Bilingual Education Extension, Grades 5-12
  • Bilingual Education Extension, Grades Birth - 6
  • Human Rights Education & Transformative Justice

Photo of students in a school a Student Life event

From clubs, athletics, and cultural events, to academic, mental health, and social support, Lehman has you covered.

Campus Community

  • Club Central
  • Clubs & Organizations
  • New Student Orientation
  • Student Government
  • Student Life
  • Career Exploration & Development Center
  • Child Care Center
  • Disability Services
  • Tutoring & Academic Support Services

Health & Wellness

  • Counseling Center
  • Food Pantry
  • Health & Wellness Center

Photo of a group of people dancing

Be the star or attend a great performance.

Music & Performing Arts

  • Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
  • Lehman Stages
  • Music, Multimedia, Theatre, & Dance Department

Visual Arts

  • Art Academic Department
  • Art Gallery
  • Art & Architecture Highlights
  • CUNY Mexican Studies Institute
  • Multimedia Center
  • Multimedia Center Facilities

Photo of students taking care of plants

Working with their students, dozens of faculty receive millions of dollars in research grants.

Student & Faculty Research

  • Faculty Excellence
  • Office of Research & Sponsored Programs
  • Publications
  • Research at Lehman
  • Student Research Opportunities

Centers, Labs & Institutes

  • Bloomberg Finance & Business Lab
  • Bronx Tech Incubator
  • CUNY Institute for Health Equity
  • Human Rights & Peace Studies
  • Speech & Hearing Center
  • The Bronx Institute
  • Tuition & Fees
  • Transfer Explorer (T-REX)
  • Visit Campus
  • Connect with us
  • Check Your Email
  • ScheduleBuilder
  • DegreeWorks
  • Laptop Loaner
  • Academic IT Center
  • Academic Calendar
  • Apply for Graduation (Undergrad)
  • Apply for Graduation (Grad)
  • Online Orientation
  • The Career Exploration & Development Center
  • Cafeteria & Dining Services
  • Parking Permit
  • Alumni Association
  • Human Resources
  • Faculty & Staff Services
  • Holiday Schedules
  • Administration & Finance
  • Compliance & Diversity
  • B&G Work Order
  • APEX Gym Membership
  • Student Performances
  • Community Events
  • Lehman Art Gallery
  • Continuing Education
  • Visit The Campus
  • Careers at Lehman
  • Bronx Data Portal
  • Lehman College
  • School of Health Sciences, Human Svcs and Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Master of Social Work
  • OMH Scholarship Program
  • Bachelors of Social Work
  • Practicum Education

Masters of Social Work

  • Department of Social Work Room B18 Carman Hall

RELATED LINKS

  • School Health Science, Human Services, and Nursing

The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) Program at Lehman College prepares social workers to assume positions of leadership in urban public and voluntary sector social service agencies and organizations. All students in the program complete an Advanced Generalist curriculum and gain the knowledge, values and skills of the competencies of the social work profession required for Advanced Generalist Practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations, as well as for supervision, administration, research, and policy practice.

View All Course and Pre-requisites Information  

Student Handbook and Field Education Manual

Important Info

Candidates must:.

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, including 45 liberal arts credits;
  • Have attained a minimum undergraduate grade average of 3.0;
  • Submit an   application   to the program, including a personal statement related to the student's career goals and preparation for this program and three letters of recommendation addressing applicant's suitability for the social work profession and preparedness to enter a rigorous academic program, at least two of which should be from college faculty or professionals in fields related tosocial work;
  • Interview with a member of the graduate faculty may be required.

Admission Requirements for Applicants to Track C, Advanced Standing Program

In addition to the above, candidates must:

  • Have completed a bachelor's degree with a social work major from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education;
  • Have attained a minimum 3.2 cumulative index in the major;
  • Include, among the three references, one reference from the advisor in the baccalaureate social work program, or from the program director.

Applicants for Advanced Standing must provide course descriptions for courses in the undergraduate social work major; the graduate advisor will determine exemption from courses in the year one curriculum.

Selection Process

The Admissions Committee, consisting of the social work graduate advisor, program director, and at least two full-time faculty members, will review completed applications. Applications will be evaluated on:

  • Academic history;
  • Quality of personal statement, including degree of self-awareness, conceptual ability, understanding of the social work profession, and ability to communicate in writing;
  • References.

Grade Requirements: Probation and Continuation Criteria

Cumulative grade point average.

In order to be awarded a master's degree, a graduate student must finish his/her program with a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0 (B) or better.

Academic Probation

Graduate students whose GPA falls between 2.7 and 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation must raise their GPA to 3.0 within the next semester in order to continue in the M.S.W. program. Graduate students whose GPA remains below 3.0 at the end of the probationary semester will be allowed to continue in the M.S.W. program only upon successful appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee.

Continuation

Graduate students whose GPA falls below 2.7 will not be eligible for probation and will not be permitted to continue in the M.S.W. program. These students may only continue in the M.S.W. program upon successful appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee. Students who receive less than a C in Fieldwork and Seminar (SWK 671, 672, 773, 774) may only continue in the M.S.W. program upon successful appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee. Students who receive a failing grade in a course may not continue in any course for which the failed course is a pre-requisite. They may enroll in the class for which they received the failing grade in the semester in which it is offered if their GPA meets the criteria for probation and continuation.

Training for Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment

As part of the registration of the Lehman College M.S.W. Program with the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department, prior to graduation, all M.S.W. students must complete the state-mandated two-hour training in identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. A Certificate of Completion for this training is also required for application to the New York State Department of Education for the LMSW license. This training is available online at   www.nysmandatedreporter.org   Registration instrucions and course details are available on that website.  There is no charge for the training. A certificate of completion will be issued upon completion. Lehman College will receive a copy of this certicate which will be added to the students' transcript upon completion of the training.

As an alternative, students can take the training elsewhere or online. However that will be at the student's own expense. The Certificate of Completion must be given to the MSW Program Director in Carman Hall, Room B-18 no later than May 1st prior to graduation. Since it may take several weeks to receive the Certificate of Completion, students who take the training online or elsewhere should arrange to do it early enough so that graduation is not delayed.

Students who already have a valid Certificate of Completion are not required to repeat the training, but must provide a copy of their Certificate to the M.S.W. Program Director in Carman Hall, Room B-18 no later than May 1. Students may choose to repeat the training.

Licensing Information

Students who earn their M.S.W. degree will have completed the educational requirements and be eligible to take the New York State licensing exam for the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).

Students who complete the two-year curriculum and earn their M.S.W. degree will have met the educational requirements for the New York State licensing exam for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Advanced Standing Students, Track C, will need to take one additional elective class designated as having clinical content. This can be accomplished by taking an additional electvie in the Lehman College MSW program or it can be completed at a later time. The New York State Education Department has established additional clinical supervision requirements to be eligible to take the LCSW exam. These requirements must be met after graduation.

Preparation for LMSW Licensing Exam

In order to help students prepare for the LMSW licensing exam, Lehman College provides training for its own second year M.S.W. students. There is no charge to students for this training. While it is not required, most people find it useful and participation is strongly recommended. Alumni of the Lehman M.S.W. program are invited to participate in the training. Interested graduates of the Lehman MSW Program should contact:   Mark Miller,   Coordinator of the MSW Academic Support Center, for additional information.

Alumni, of the Lehman College MSW program, who are interested in preparing for the LCSW should contact:   Mark Miller , Coordinator of the MSW Academic Support Center, for information about available LCSW study opportunites available for Lehman College MSW Alumni.

HRSA Training Grant Program for MSW Students 2017-2021

The purpose of this grant-funded project is to increase the number and improve the educational preparation of a diverse group of MSW-level social workers to provide behavioral health services in medically under-served communities and/or with medically under-served populations.  The focus is on mental health and substance abuse care across the lifespan in integrated and inter-disciplinary settings.  Student trainees will be better prepared to work individually and on the community level to improve services, access, and outcomes.  This project has created several different educational enhancements, which focus on culturally- and linguistically-sensitive interventions in integrated primary care settings with the target population.

Enhancements

The grant-supported enhancements include an annual workshop series; an annual day-long conference for the professional and educational communities, including all trainees; and trainees’ production of a community action project to be carried out in connection with students’ fieldwork placements and presented at the annual conference.  In addition, Spanish-English bi-lingual trainees may participate in the dual-language section of the Advanced Social Work Practice course.

Interdisciplinary Workshop Series

All trainees attend four workshops per year.  In addition, our efforts extended to addressing the behavioral health care of medically underserved communities and populations with the Fieldwork Instructors, Educational Coordinators, and staff in area agencies plus college faculty, staff, and students. Licensed social workers earn Continuing Education Credits for attendance at the workshops.  To date, workshops have addressed working with formerly incarcerated adults, parents who identify as LGBTQ, and older adults, among others.  For the 2018-2019 academic year, the theme of the workshops is trauma-informed care with topics such as working with veterans, children, and the LGBTQ community.

Fall 2018 workshop dates:

  • Thursday, September 27 th  2:30-4:30 Carman Hall, room B39
  • Thursday, October 25 th  2:30-4:30 Carman Hall, room B39
  • Thursday, November 29 th  2:30-4:30 Carman Hall, room B39

Annual Interdisciplinary Conferences

In the spring of each grant year, the Social Work Department and grant staff host an inter-disciplinary conference attended by all trainees plus professionals serving the target population.  The first conference in spring 2018 addressed homelessness and housing insecurity with presentations from formerly homeless individuals, social workers, and others.  Topics included people without homes who are children, veterans, older adults, LGBTQ young adults, have physical disabilities, are street homelessness, and others. The spring 2019 conference (to be held on Friday, March 29 th , 2019) will focus on creative therapies and approaches to working with trauma, including art therapy, pet therapy, and other creative treatment modalities that may be unfamiliar to many social workers.

Community Action Projects

All trainees complete a community action project related to needs at their field placement during the year and exhibit this at the annual conference.  These projects are designed and carried out with the support of one of the Lehman social work faculty mentors who meets with the trainees in groups and individually.  The projects are designed to create a sustainable improvement to the agencies, communities, and/or target population to meet behavior health care needs.  During the first year of the grant, students designed better systems for intakes and discharge processes, developed curricula for therapeutic groups, improved vocational preparation, developed community resources referrals, and designed psychoeducational outreach initiatives.  These projects will continue to help the target population even after the students have left their fieldwork sites.

Dual-Language Section of Advanced Practice

Students who are bi-lingual in Spanish and English have the opportunity to participate in a dual-language section of the Advanced Social Work Practice course.  Delivering effective services in Spanish is a critical need, but not all bi-lingual social workers are actually prepared to do so.  This course addresses the practice issues that commonly arise but, importantly, moves beyond translation to more complex issues, such as how language, culture, and other factors affect the professional helping relationship.

Together, these enhancements are designed to improve the trainees’ knowledge and skills to provide culturally- and linguistically- sensitive services to medically under-served communities and populations in a behavioral health capacity as well as improving the competencies of other professionals serving the target population.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals and Paraprofessionals. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Any questions can be directed to the PIs, Amanda Sisselman-Borgia ([email protected]) and Jessica Kahn ([email protected]) in the Social Work Department.

LEHMAN COLLEGE MASTER’S SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Academic year:.

  • Grad - Learning Outcomes

Health-Sciences-School-Logo

  • Faculty Spotlight
  • Student Spotlight

Degree Requirements

All Sociology majors are assigned a Sociology advisor as early as possible during their college years. The structure of the curriculum demands that students make sure that they are properly advised in order for them to meet the requirements. Each student is free to choose his/her advisor provided this advisor has not already reached a number of advisees who will make it difficult for him/her to properly serve his/her advisees. In this case, the student will be assigned an adviser by the Sociology program faculty.

Required Courses | 21 credits

The aim of this course is for students to develop an anthropological imagination and understand its relevance for living in the contemporary world. An anthropological imagination involves cultivating an interest in and an understanding of the unity, diversity, and development of human biology, society, and culture. As an introduction to the study of human cultural diversity, this course emphasizes the concept of culture, human sociocultural variation, and patterns of sociocultural change in contemporary human societies.

Students are taught how to investigate social issues as sociologists do-by tracing the troubles of men and women back to broader social forces and problems. The relevance of sociology is demonstrated through examples of applied sociology and through the students' use of social theory and methods to address social problems.

This sociological theory course gives students an understanding of the works of the major classical theorists whose ideas played a central role in the development of sociological theory and introduces students to the dominant contemporary perspectives in social thought. Emphasis is on developing the students' knowledge of the range of thinking that exists concerning social issues and what the strengths and weaknesses of each position are, therefore enabling them to work within any point of view. A seminar format is used, requiring students to do assigned readings before a topic is discussed in class because it is through class discussions that ideas are analyzed, dissected, and critically assessed. Prerequisite: SO 110 and 6 credits 200 or 300 level SO courses

Students learn how to design, conduct, and report the results of social research. Attention is given to experimental and evaluation research, field research, unstructured exploratory interviewing, content analysis, analysis of published statistical data, survey research, conceptualization and operationalization of variables, analysis of data, the writing of research reports, and the logic of cause and effect in research. The course also includes learning how to use the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software to analyze quantitative data. Prerequisite: Take SO 110 and 6 credits 200 or 300 SO courses

This course allows students to develop their thesis project through the application of material covered by the Sociological Theory and Research Methods courses. Prerequisite: Take SO-372 and SO-382

The internship in sociology offers an opportunity for qualified Sociology majors to gain practical experience in an area to which sociology applies. Internships are arranged in advance of the semester they are to be taken.

The capstone course in the Sociology major. Students write and defend a sociological thesis under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Prerequisite: Take SO-384

Electives | 15 credits

  • 4 Sociology electives
  • 1 Sociology or Anthropology elective

SO 398: The Senior Seminar in Sociology

The scientific core of the junior year immerses students in sociological theory and methods of research, and the Senior Seminar in Sociology takes this one step further by having the students synthesize them in practice. Rather than simply learn sociology, they do sociology. They take on the role of practitioner, a vital step in the career of a sociologist. This seminar serves as a transition between college study and the profession of sociology. Writing the thesis provides the student direct experience with what is entailed in sociological scholarship. By promoting a mentor-mentee relationship the senior is provided with a role model and advocate. And finally, examples of applied sociology demonstrate to students how they can practice sociology in a variety of settings. Thus, the seminar not only promotes the skills but also the professional identity necessary for success in graduate study or careers in the public and private sectors. The format of the seminar, its intensity, and the encouragement of a professional identity strongly reinforce and complete the seniors' experience as a class.  

Michael Plunkett

My time spent in the SHU sociology program granted me an enlightening perspective on life. The faculty provided the resources and unconditional support necessary to become successful in the competitive world we live in today. I will be forever grateful for all of the incredible academic and work opportunities this program has provided. Through the leadership and guidance of the sociology department, I have learned how to effectively apply myself in the behavioral science field. The program significantly contributed to my personal growth and understanding of work-ethic, confidence, and resilience; all skills that will be utilized through any obstacle I may face in life.

Blog The Education Hub

https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2024/02/05/nhs-doctor-apprenticeships-everything-you-need-to-know/

Medical doctor apprenticeships: Everything you need to know

social work degree prerequisites

The NHS confirmed pilot funding for a new Medical Doctor Degree Apprenticeship in January 2023.

The apprenticeships are also part of the NHS England Long Term Workforce Plan , which will see the biggest expansion of training in its history to help upskill, retain talent and create a healthcare workforce fit for the future.

Apprentices will earn a wage while training to nationally recognised standards, and like most degree apprenticeships , they won’t have to pay any tuition fees. The first applications for the small pilot scheme are likely to open in spring, with the aim that the first apprentices start in September 2024.

Of course, trainees will need to meet the same high standards as those who do a traditional undergraduate medical degree.

They will be required to attend medical school, complete an accredited medical degree like all other medical students, and meet all other criteria to qualify as a doctor as set out by the General Medical Council.

This marks an important step in making careers in medicine more accessible, helping to recruit frontline medics into the NHS.

Providing an alternative route into medicine will help more people of different backgrounds get into the profession, making the NHS workforce more representative of the local communities it serves.

Does this mean school leavers will be able to work as doctors without going to university?

Medical Doctor Degree Apprentices will be required to undertake an approved university medical degree programme as part of their apprenticeship. They will work as an apprentice while studying towards their medical degree.

Students who qualify via the traditional medical school route don't receive a salary until after they have completed their degree.

However, this doesn’t mean apprentices will be treated as qualified doctors from the beginning. They will work safely under supervision at an appropriate level that is suitable to their stage of training.

Will doctors who study an apprenticeship be less qualified than someone who went to university?

People who complete the Medical Doctor Degree Apprenticeship will have the same academic qualifications as those who complete their degree through medical school.

There will also be options for graduates with non-medical degrees. Individual employers will set applicant criteria themselves, which will ensure that applicants possess the values and behaviours to become a medical doctor.

The apprenticeship will typically last five years and apprentices will have to complete all academic elements of medical training, including a medical degree and the Medical Licensing Assessment.

They will also have to meet all requirements set out by the General Medical Council for entry onto the Medical Register.

This means that by the end of their training, apprentices will achieve the same high-quality qualifications as someone who has got their medical degree through a traditional route.

Will apprenticeships lower standards of the NHS?

Medical Doctor Degree Apprentices will be subject to the same rigorous requirements as doctors with traditional training, and will achieve a medical degree just like a medical student.

The apprenticeship will help to build a highly skilled NHS workforce, following on from the nursing and healthcare apprenticeships which already exist.

The apprenticeship will also boost the NHS workforce and help it to meet the growing demand for highly trained professionals, allowing it to benefit from a new pool of diverse talent.

How can I apply for a doctor apprenticeship?

Start dates are yet to be confirmed and we expect candidates will be able to apply to the pilot scheme from spring, with first candidates to start from September 2024.

Those who are interested in applying should periodically check  NHS Jobs   or the government’s   Find an Apprenticeship  website for any apprenticeship vacancies.

You may also be interested in:

  • 5 of the biggest myths about apprenticeships busted
  • Budget 2023: What are ‘returnerships’ and who are they for?
  • How are apprenticeships funded and what is the apprenticeship levy?

Tags: apprentices , Apprenticeship , degree apprenticeships , Doctor training , General Medical Council , Medical doctor apprenticeship , Medical Doctor Degree Apprenticeship , Medical Licensing Assessment , Medical school , National Apprenticeship Week 2024 , NHS Doctor Apprenticeships

Sharing and comments

Share this page, related content and links, about the education hub.

The Education Hub is a site for parents, pupils, education professionals and the media that captures all you need to know about the education system. You’ll find accessible, straightforward information on popular topics, Q&As, interviews, case studies, and more.

Please note that for media enquiries, journalists should call our central Newsdesk on 020 7783 8300. This media-only line operates from Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm. Outside of these hours the number will divert to the duty media officer.

Members of the public should call our general enquiries line on 0370 000 2288.

Sign up and manage updates

Follow us on social media, search by date, comments and moderation policy.

IMAGES

  1. PPT

    social work degree prerequisites

  2. Social Work PhD and DSW Programs 2023+

    social work degree prerequisites

  3. Social Work Degree Guide: 2023 Costs, Requirements & Job Opportunities

    social work degree prerequisites

  4. Sociology Degree Salary

    social work degree prerequisites

  5. Explore a fulfilling career as a social worker at Northwell Health

    social work degree prerequisites

  6. How To Become Qualified Social Worker

    social work degree prerequisites

VIDEO

  1. 83: Talking MS in MLS and Summer Immersion Program with Loyola University

  2. online ba social work degree || online bachelor social work degree programs

  3. Lauryn's UW School of Social Work Graduation

  4. Talcott Parsons

  5. Breaking Barriers: How an Online Social Work Degree Can Transform Lives!

COMMENTS

  1. Earning A Bachelor's In Social Work

    A bachelor's degree in social work (B.S.W.) often qualifies you for entry-level social work roles. This article provides an overview of admission requirements, a general timeline for...

  2. What to Look For in a Bachelor's Social Work Program

    In most U.S. states, BSW holders can become licensed bachelors social workers (LBSWs). Learn about how to choose a social work degree program, along with career options and potential salaries. Explore our program rankings to find information on admission requirements, tuition costs, coursework, and field experience.

  3. A Guide to MSW Degrees and Becoming a Social Worker

    A Guide to MSW Degrees and Social Work Careers. An MSW degree can lead to a variety of social work jobs, including therapist positions. Social workers can be found in many places, including ...

  4. Your Guide to Social Work Degrees

    Admission requirements: While requirements vary by school, most include a high school diploma or equivalent with a minimum GPA requirement. Some universities also require standardized test scores, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation.

  5. How to Become a Social Worker: Qualifications & Requirements

    Learn how to become a social worker with a bachelor's or master's degree in social work, experience, and licensing. Find out the responsibilities, career opportunities, salary and outlook for social workers in various specialties and settings.

  6. What You Need to Know About Becoming a Social Work Major

    A bachelor's degree in social work equips you for entry-level positions in a variety of settings, including health care facilities, state and local governments, schools, military bases, and ...

  7. How to Become a Social Worker

    Complete a bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) or a related field. Pursue a master's degree in social work (MSW). Complete fieldwork requirements. Apply for state licensure. Pass an ASWB examination. Consider additional certifications and credentials.

  8. Applying to Social Work Programs

    Master's in social work prerequisites, whether for on-campus or distance learning programs, typically include a bachelor's degree, a minimum GPA (usually 3.0), a personal essay, and 2-3 letters of recommendation.

  9. Types of Social Work Degrees

    Types of Social Work Degrees +About Governance Delegate Assembly Chapters Ethics Legal Defense Fund Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Staff NASW Press NASW Foundation NASW Assurance Services, Inc. +Practice Aging Behavioral Health Child Welfare Clinical Social Work Ethnicity & Race Health LGBTQIA2S+ School Social Work Research Materials +Careers

  10. BSW Degree: Your Guide to the Bachelor of Social Work

    Pursuing a career in social work often requires a graduate education, but earning your Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is an important first step. Social work "promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people," according to the International Federation of Social Workers [ 1 ].

  11. Become a Social Worker: Education and Licensure Requirements

    Become a Social Worker: Education and Licensure Requirements I want my In Focusing on Explore Programs ADVERTISEMENT Written by Rebecca Munday Last Updated: June 2023 Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut District of Columbia Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine

  12. Requirements to Become a Social Worker

    Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work or a Related Field. Most social work jobs require at least a bachelor's degree. Some aspiring social workers pursue a bachelor's of social work (BSW) degree. Others study a related field, such as psychology or human development.

  13. How to Become a Social Worker: A Quick Guide

    Most social work positions require at least a bachelor's in social work degree (BSW) from an accredited school.

  14. How To Become A Social Worker

    Holding a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement to work as a social worker, though most states require a master's of social work (MSW). Obtaining a BSW typically takes four years...

  15. How To Become a Social Worker (Education and Training)

    1. Earn a bachelor's degree The first step to becoming a social worker is to obtain a relevant bachelor's degree, such as a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from an accredited college or university. Other disciplines include psychology or sociology.

  16. Requirements

    "url(#clip0_20_46)"> The curriculum for the BSW degree consists of a minimum of 120 credit hours attained through required and elective courses. Of these 120 credit hours, 42-45 credit hours are devoted to general/supportive liberal arts courses and 52 credit hours to social work courses (see individual campus supplements).

  17. Online Bachelor's Degree in Social Work

    The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Work degree from Touro University Worldwide prepares culturally competent entry-level social workers to help individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. With a focus on community advocacy and social policy, our students learn to provide counseling, referrals, and practical human services.

  18. Bachelor of Social Work

    Degree and Course Requirements. To receive a Bachelor of Social Work students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level, and a minimum 69 units of the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be ...

  19. Requirements for a Career in Social Work

    FAQ Requirements for a Career in Social Work What do you need for a job in social work? Discover requirements to enter the field and learn how you can get your career in social work started. By Doug Wintemute Edited by Margaret Weinhold Updated on March 28, 2023 Learn more about our editorial process

  20. Degrees and Requirements

    Academic Progression in Social Work. Students enter the social work major as degree candidates (SOCW.CAND). During candidacy, students must enroll in the foundation courses SOCW 1510 Introduction to Social Work and SOCW 2010 Social Justice and earn a "C" or higher.

  21. Bachelor of Social Work

    The School of Social Work requirements include SOWK 2110G Introduction to Human Services & Social Work . ... Students must complete all University degree requirements, which include: General Education requirements, Viewing a Wider World requirements (6 credits), and elective credits to total a minimum of 120 credits with 48 credits in courses ...

  22. Degree Requirements

    Degree Requirements. During the first three years in the program, the School of Social Work requires full-time enrollment, defined as 10 or more credits per quarter during the autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Although students may register part-time starting in their fourth year, they must register for at least 10 credits during any quarter ...

  23. Best Master Of Social Work Online Programs Of 2024

    You can become a social worker with a Bachelor of Social Work, but many social worker roles require a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.). ... Degree Credit Requirements: 36 to 60 credits; Program ...

  24. What to Look for in an MSW Program

    Admission to most master of social work (MSW) programs requires completion of specified undergraduate credits in general education coursework and prerequisites in the natural sciences and statistics.

  25. Master of Social Work

    Admission Requirements for Applicants to Track C, Advanced Standing Program. In addition to the above, candidates must: Have completed a bachelor's degree with a social work major from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education; Have attained a minimum 3.2 cumulative index in the major;

  26. Degree Requirements

    Degree Requirements for the sociology bachelors program. ... This sociological theory course gives students an understanding of the works of the major classical theorists whose ideas played a central role in the development of sociological theory and introduces students to the dominant contemporary perspectives in social thought.

  27. Medical doctor apprenticeships: Everything you need to know

    The NHS confirmed pilot funding for a new Medical Doctor Degree Apprenticeship in January 2023. The apprenticeships are also part of the NHS England Long Term Workforce Plan, which will see the biggest expansion of training in its history to help upskill, retain talent and create a healthcare workforce fit for the future.. Apprentices will earn a wage while training to nationally recognised ...