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:

Online 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.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota — At the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 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.

Our Lady of the Lake University — Our Lady of the Lake is a private, Catholic college located near San Antonio and is one of the few colleges offering an online program for a Master of Social Work degree. This program focuses on social services leadership and advance direct practice with an emphasis on service to Hispanic families and communities.

Winthrop University — The MPH in Social & Behavioral Sciences from Capella University features a dynamic public health curriculum. Graduates are prepared for positions in social work, public health or social welfare organizations. A MS in Social & Community Services furthers your ability to influence positive change in your community.

Widener University — The Widener University MSW and MM in Public Administration programs graduate students that excel in the exciting career of social work. These programs offer the opportunity to expand your career path and capabilities by giving you the skills required for jobs in government, nonprofit, and business.

George Mason University — The Master of Social Work program from George Mason University focuses on the private and public sectors in addition to the public sector usually covered by other MSW programs. While students interested in social work will learn the administrative and organizational skills needed for their career, this broad focus can help improve their versatility and even job prospects.

Sacred Heart University — The Master of Social Work program from Sacred Heart University graduates individuals that can have many options in the in social work, public administration, and human services fields. The curriculum focuses on both ethical leadership and social responsibility.

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

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