Masters in Social Work Programs

Social work is an area of study and discipline that aims to “intervene” and improve the quality of life of an individual, family, group or other community of scale through research, policy, and educational means. The common Master of Social Work degree (MSW in most cases) includes research in the areas of human development, social policy, public administration, and community development. While the most common Master of Social Work program is the MSW, Master of Science and Master of Arts degree, in social work or with a concentration in social work, are also available.

The typical MSW program will require two full years of study, with an additional two years of internship or field placement experience. Students may also choose a concentration, with such specialties as families and children, mental health or community organization, planning and administration among the possibilities. Once admitted, curriculum will include such areas of study as human behavior and social environment and advance social work courses dealing with families and group settings, among other topics. Generally, undergraduate degrees in a comparable area of study – such as sociology, psychology, or counseling – are required or recommended.

Careers for masters in social work graduates:

  • Healthcare social worker
  • Child, family, school social worker
  • Mental health/substance abuse social worker

Earnings for masters in social work graduates:

  • Healthcare social worker: $47,230 (median annual)
  • Child, family, school social worker: $40,210 (median annual)
  • Mental health/substance abuse social worker: $38,600 (median annual)
  • Other areas of social work: $51,500 (median annual)
  • Overall career outlook: 25 percent growth through 2020 (faster than average)

Other subjects related to social work:

Most Popular MSW and MPA Degrees

Completing your Master's in social work or public administration can be very rewarding for getting ahead in the social work field. Online Master's degrees are perfect for working professionals or people with families to complete course work at their own convenience. Please see our colleges below that offer online class for MSW degrees.

Walden University — The Walden University Master of Social Work provides the chance to gain real world experience as a social worker. These experiences can be gained from a community agency, a healthcare setting, an educational agency, or a social services agency. Walden also offers several specializations for an MSW degree, like Military Social Work, as well as DSW programs.

Kaplan University — The BS in Human Services at Kaplan University offers a curriculum whose classes will help you create a positive effect on social and ethical issues. Through interactions with staff, faculty, and your peers, the degree will prepare you for careers in social work, public administration, and public management.

University of Southern California — To become a successful social worker, one need look no further than the University of Southern California Master of Social Work program. The curriculum will both develop your leadership skills and enable you to influence the world around you for the betterment of your local and global community.

University of New England — At the University of New England School of Social Work, students in the Master's program have a variety of concentrations in both individual, family, and group practice and organizational and community practice. The school is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Click here to learn about more Master of Social Work colleges.

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