dcsimg

Masters in Social Work Requirements

Masters in Social Work Requirements

The requirements for a Masters in Social Work aren't subject to quite as much flexibility as some degrees, because social workers are required to obtain a license in all fifty states. The licensing requirements have some fairly specific academic requirements that MSW students must meet for state licensure, particularly as counselors. So the format for most MSW programs follows a pattern: the first year is devoted to the core courses for the program and the second year to the advanced courses, which correspond with a selected area of concentration.

Year two also entails hundreds of hours spent in "field work," which is a supervised internship of sorts working in a social services facility at a position that is relevant to the area of concentration for the degree. The selection of a location for field work is accomplished by agreement among a faculty advisor, the student, and the participating agency. New York University has a roster of over 600 social services agencies and locations that the School of Social work has partnered with.

The Core Courses in Year One

Social work is broken into two broad categories: 'macro practice' which refers to the administrative, management, policy making and community organizing aspects of the career. The other segment is 'direct practice' which is the counseling and intervention activities that social workers undertake with children, families, and seniors. Some of the core courses at the University of Washington provide examples of the foundation work: Micro-Mezzo Practice with Individuals, Families & Groups; Macro-Practice - Organizations, Community, Policy Practice; Foundations of Social Welfare Research; and Poverty & Inequality. At UW there is a first year practicum as well, putting students into the field for the first time.

Research is an important and ongoing function in social work, because the career is devoted to fixing social situations that don't work. Evaluating the reasons that problems exist and the degree to which existing programs are fixing those problems is critical to maintaining the necessary public and political support for social programs. It is public funding and non-profit foundations that keep social work programs afloat.

Year Two Specializations and Field Work

Areas of specialization vary from school to school. Some of the top MSW programs have only two or three areas of concentration; others expand somewhat, breaking down into categories that generally will include Health, Mental Health, Children & Families, Gerontology, Community Practice, Administration & Management, Non-profit management, and in some cases additional categories. But generally there are the counseling roles, working with people, and the macro roles, working in policy, organizational management, and advocacy.

In many programs the skills for those specializations are learned in the field. The academic requirements for field work may range from 600 to 1,000 hours, so students are working at their field assignment location for hours every week. Those assignments can be in one of dozens of service organizations or jobs. Social workers are deployed to housing agencies, homeless shelters, hospital emergency rooms, schools, mental health centers, addiction rehabilitation organizations, public health clinics, senior centers, home health agencies, and many other social services organizations, public and private. Much like advanced practice nursing and physical therapy, the profession is taught in the classroom but learned on the job.

Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Master of Social Work
            • Earn a Master of Social Work degree online from the top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
            • MSW@USC is a CSWE-accredited program
            • The program features live, online classes and hands-on field experiences near your community.
            • GRE scores are not required to apply
            • You can complete your degree in two years or less. Bachelor's degree required.
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Online Master of Social Work
            Good for Working Adults
            • Ranked one of the Top Public Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1766 as a public institution; it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate of 91.8%.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has famous alumni including chef and restauranteur Mario Batali, author Junot Diaz, actor James Gandolfini, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
            • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
            • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
            • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
            • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
            • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
            • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits