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Section 2.01.00: School of Social Work

U-M MSW Program Mission

Advancing the social work profession’s vision and values, the University of Michigan School of Social Work seeks to develop a more equitable, caring, and socially just society. Such a society meets basic human needs, eliminates social and economic inequities, and empowers individuals, their communities, and institutions to reach their aspirations and potential. Drawing on an interdisciplinary faculty within a public university seated in a region of enormous need and promise, the School is dedicated to education, research, and service that fosters progressive change at local, national, and global levels.


U-M MSW Program Goals

1. The School will provide an excellent education to students and practitioners in the knowledge and skills needed for contemporary and evolving social work practice.

2. The School will create and disseminate knowledge about individual, community, and organizational concerns; social issues; social policy; and practice interventions, within a tradition of multi-disciplinary and multi-professional research.

3. The School will engage in service to the community, the profession, and society through collaboration and leadership.


In considering social work as a profession, applicants should also consider the primary mission of the social work profession, spelled out in the National Association of Social Work's Code of Ethics:

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession's focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to and address problems in living.

The School of Social Work admits students into the MSW program (accredited by CSWE) through the following program tracks: 16-month, 20-month, 12-month advanced standing, MasterTrack and MicroMasters MSW, part-time online, part-time residential and Masters International Volunteer Program. These tracks are designed to provide flexibility for students. In addition, for a limited number of students, the school offers an additional term(s) option.

Residential students can specialize in one of eight pathways, while our online students are able to specialize in the Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse pathway. More pathways will be added to the online program in the future.

Education is not restricted to the formal classroom environment. Most classes range in size from 10 to 35 and offer students an opportunity to learn from each other as well as the instructor. Informal "brown bag" seminars, independent studies, community lecturers and workshops run by leaders of local and national stature greatly expand students' educational opportunities, both within the school and throughout the university.

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