United States Masters in Social Work Programs (On-campus)
CSWE-accredited colleges & universities that offer MSW programs are located at many top universities. Earn a Masters in social work in a traditional, face-to-face teacher and peer learning atmosphere from a college near you or in a specific location.
About MSW Schools
Many graduate schools of social work with on campus MSW programs offer courses in the evenings and/or weekends to accommodate students currently working in human services occupations.
Prospective applicants to a Masters in Social Work program may have earned a Bachelor of Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or come from a related undergraduate major such as a bachelors in human services, bachelors in counseling psychology or bachelors in public affairs.
DID YOU KNOW?
$47,980 per year is the annual median salary for social worker in 2017[i]
How Long Does It Take to Earn an MSW Degree?
Some schools have different MSW degree program options such as dual degrees, full-time, part-time (days), part-time (week-ends) and advanced standing MSW programs, so you might choose just how much time to devote to your studies. Time to completion varies between schools, however, as a guideline and estimate:
- Full-time MSW programs: about two years
- Part-time MSW programs: about two and a half to three years
- Advanced standing MSW programs: per school guidelines, an option typically available to students who have earned their BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
Applying to Campus MSW Programs
Each university determines when they accept and process applications into their campus MSW programs. A completed MSW application might include:
- Your career goals in a statement of purpose
- Your experience (e.g. volunteer work)
- Official transcripts
- Written recommendations
About the Masters in Social Work Degree
The MSW is considered the terminal practice degree in social work. A Masters in social work might prepare students with the clinical assessment or administrative skills to work in their chosen specialty. An MSW degree is also one of the requirements for becoming a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and licensed masters social worker (LMSW) since most states have licensure requirement for nonclinical social workers as well.[ii] The Master of social work is also the prerequisite education for both the PhD in social work and the Doctor of Social Work (DSW).
Potential Concentrations Within Campus MSW Programs
Some campus MSW programs may offer a broad and comprehensive social work education, which may suit students who earned an undergraduate degree in a related field. Other Master of social work programs may allow students to fine-tune their area of interest, such as:
- Public health
- Mental health
- Addictions and substance abuse
- Community service management
- Children and families
- Troubled teens
What Should I Look for in an MSW School?
On initial glance, it may look like all campus MSW programs and graduate schools offer the same things, however, they may each have a unique set of features. So how do you find and choose a Masters in social work program? Broadly, you want to examine three things:
- Your curriculum needs
Find CSWE-Accredited Campus Programs:
Top of your list should be MSW program accreditation by the Council of Social Workers (CSWE), as they set quality standards, and in turn recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, there were more than 500 bachelor’s degree programs and more than 200 master’s degree programs accredited by the CSWE.[i]
Professional programs, such as the MSW typically have two or more accreditations; a regional accrediting agency or some other entity recognized by the Department of Education accredits the grad school itself. What this process does is it ensures that the school isn't a diploma mill, and that a graduate will be recognized as a graduate. On top of that, MSW program accreditation ensures that an academic program adequately prepares candidates for practice in some recognized profession.
Campus MSW Programs: Potential Curriculum
There are a few components to a campus MSW program that prospective students should contemplate. These are;
- Field placement
- Course curriculum, research, continued education
Field placement is a large component of an MSW program, and often you might meet your internship requirement in your own community (hospital, school, mental health clinic) or agency. This is something to factor into your search for campus MSW programs in a specific location. You might find out where a prospective MSW school offers these field placements. Perhaps there is an agency whose mission statement appeals to you close to one of your choice schools.
DID YOU KNOW?
By 2026, the number of social workers is projected to increase to more than 790,000.[ii]
Course Curriculum, Research, Continued Education: One of the nice things about earning your Masters degree in social work on campus is that you get your information in real-time, and might receive a lot of individual attention, especially if you are in a smaller program. In terms of coursework, you might learn how to be an advocate for individuals, families and the disabled. Coursework might also cover the prevention and management of social problems such as child abuse and drug addiction. Other course topics might include:
- Human behavior and social environment
- Social work practice/theory and assistance
- Social policy and justice
Make sure you read an MSW school’s syllabus to see whether your learning needs might be addressed, or whether the faculty is involved in a research project that might be meaningful to you. You may also want to consider whether there are any social work certificate programs offered in an area of emphasis that you are passionate about.
Location: Are you searching for campus MSW programs in California? A specific city? Do you hope to earn your MSW degree abroad? Use our on page navigation to filter your results by location, wherever that may be or just browse sponsored listings, find the program first and the location second.
Why Earn a Masters in Social Work on Campus?
When it comes down to choosing how you want to pursue your MSW degree – at graduate school or via online format, ultimately it is a personal choice. While online study is mainstream and may work for some, there may be a few potential advantages to earning your Masters of Social work on campus:
- Social work is about "person in the environment"
- Being on site means interactions, networking potential
- Interactions might build interpersonal, communication and problem solving skills, all essential to the practice of social work
- Access to all the facilities (libraries, laboratories, gym, social services, tutoring)
- Campus programs offer demonstrations, may foster collaboration
- You may have access to more campus-based MSW degree choices
Find Master in Social Work Schools
Choosing a campus based Master of social work program is more than finding a CSWE- accredited program with courses you like. Find a grad school that makes you feel comfortable, and inspires the motivation to go to class, learn and excel. Browse our sponsored campus MSW programs to find the college or university with a Masters in Social Work degree program that aligns with your goals.
Source: i bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm | ii bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/article/social-workers.htm
- Paxton, MAPaxton, MA
Anna Maria College
The MSW curriculum is uniquely designed as students take classes while doing concurrent fieldwork which provides them with knowledge and skills necessary to promote social change, development, and empowerment of diverse populations.
- Hamden, CTHamden, CT
The MSW program's foundation curriculum and the advanced concentration curriculum reinforce the Quinnipiac value base of understanding real-world issues through practice and the consideration of different perspectives.
- Loma Linda, CALoma Linda, CA
Loma Linda University
The Loma Linda University MSW program is accredited by CSWE and includes a 78-credit curriculum consisting of academic, experiential, and research experiences. Two-, three-, four-year, and advanced standing options are available.
- Pomona, NJPomona, NJ
Stockton University offers the MSW in a two-year format, or a one-year format called Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing is open to individuals who have earned baccalaureate degrees in social work from a social work program accredited by the Counci...
- Northampton, MANorthampton, MA
For 90 years, the Smith College School for Social Work has provided graduate social work education to men and women around the world. Our program is internationally recognized for its dedication to and specialization in cli...
- South Orange, NJSouth Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University
The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) prepares students for advanced practice with individuals, families and groups in the areas of behavioral health, substance abuse and health care.
- Fairfield, CTFairfield, CT
Sacred Heart University
The Master of Social Work (MSW) will prepare students for both generalist and specialized practice with client systems across varying contexts and problems.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Erikson’s M.S.W. program is ideal preparation for the social work professional who wishes to improve the lives of children and families.
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
Study social work at one of the country's leading Ivy League Universities.
- Shippensburg, PAShippensburg, PA
For full- or part-time students who want to either further their education in social work or join the profession.
- Youngstown, OHYoungstown, OH
Youngstown State University
The Master of Social Work program prepares graduates for advanced social work practice with disenfranchised clients. The organizing framework for the...
- College Place, WACollege Place, WA
Walla Walla University
The focus of the MSW program is one of advanced clinical practice working with individuals, families and groups.
- College Place, WA
- Billings, MT
- Missoula, MT
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social Work is one of the fastest growing careers in the U.S.
- Millersville, PAMillersville, PA
Millersville and Shippensburg universities are jointly offering a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program.
- Durham, NHDurham, NH
University of New Hampshire
The Department of Social Work offers a master of social work (M.S.W.) degree. For full-time students the program may be...
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
The program provides foundation and advanced coursework in clinical social work leading to a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
The GRC MSW program educates students to become competent and ethical professional social workers.
- Tulsa, OKTulsa, OK
Oklahoma State University
The Master of Social Work degree is designed to prepare students for advanced professional practice within an organizational context. Two major profes...
- Grambling, LAGrambling, LA
Grambling State University
- Springfield, MASpringfield, MA
The Springfield College School of Social Work is a small, dynamic MSW Program with a highly experienced, professional faculty. The School prepares practitioners for advanced generalist practice which we believe isparticularly relevant to contemporary so...
- New Orleans, LANew Orleans, LA
Southern University At New Orleans
Social Work education at the Master's level is built on a strong liberal arts base, providing a continuing professional...
- Salem, MASalem, MA
Salem State College