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MSW Program Length

The master of social work (MSW) is a 60-credit-hour degree program that can be completed through one of the four curriculum schedules listed below.

The School of Social Work offers an advanced standing program for students who have completed a bachelor of social work degree and meet all of the requirements for the program. The School also offers a Masters International Volunteer Program, which allows students interested in incorporating 27 months of Peace Corps service into their MSW program.

Students with special needs or obligations can extend their course schedule to five terms rather than four or to four terms rather than three if awarded advanced standing status.

Upon admission, students will be required to confirm which schedule they plan to elect since it determines their field placement assignment. After enrollment, students wishing to change to a different schedule must submit an "Out of Sequence" petition describing an alternate plan. The petition should not be submitted before admission to the MSW program. Such petitions will be granted only if they are deemed educationally sound and all fieldwork and course requirements can be met.

Begins in September, includes the spring/summer term, and concludes with graduation in December of the subsequent year.

This schedule is designed for full-time students who will benefit from completing their course requirements in four consecutive terms, including the spring/summer term. Students enter in the fall term and graduate at the end of the subsequent fall term. The 16-month course planning worksheet indicates the typical course schedule by term.

Of particular importance is the field instruction schedule. Typically, field instruction begins in the winter term for two days per week, continues in the spring/summer term for four days per week, and concludes in the fall term for two days per week. Field instruction is typically completed at one agency.

16-Month Curriculum Schedule

  Fall Term Year 1 Winter Term Year 1 Spring/Summer Term Fall Term Year 2
Course Credit Hours 15 12 6 12
Field Placement Credit Hours 0 (no field) 3 (2 days/week) 8 (4 days/week) 4 (2 days/week)
Total Credit Hours 15 15 14 16

Advantages of the 16-Month Curriculum Schedule

  • Early graduation date
  • Intensive fieldwork experience takes place in the spring/summer term

Disadvantages of the 16-Month Curriculum Schedule

  • Lack of a break during the spring/summer term
  • Certain field instruction options, such as school social work, are not available during the spring/summer term
  • Limited to one field instruction placement

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