Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Program | Jane Addams College of Social Work (2023)

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MSW Program Overview Heading link

Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Program | Jane Addams College of Social Work (1)

Our CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work degree program prepares students with the competencies and practice behaviors necessary for advanced social work practice in an area of specialization.

The Generalist portion of the MSW curriculum provides a generalist perspective on social work practice. Curriculum areas include social work practice, human behavior and the social environment, social work research, social welfare policy and services, and field instruction.

The Specialization portion of the MSW curriculum builds upon the foundation. Advanced curriculum content, tailored to the specialization, is provided in the areas of mental health, child and family services, organization and community practice, school social work practice, and practice within justice systems.

MSW Info Sessions

Program Options Heading link

Click the tabs to see each option:

Advanced Standing Option

This program option is completed in 1 academic year for applicants who have completed a Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited baccalaureate degree in social work (BSW) program.

Specialization (1st and only year):

  • Requires 2 days per week of classroom courses. The student selects a specialization and registers for their class schedule.
  • Field Instruction requirement is 24 hours per week in specialization year (min. 630 hours total).

Full Time Option

This program option is completed in 2 academic years.

Generalist (1st year):

  • Requires 2 days per week of classroom courses. The student is assigned a daytime class schedule and cohort by the college.
  • Field Instruction requirement is 16 hours per week in the generalist year (min. 450 hours total).

Specialization (2nd year):

(Video) Jane Addams Faculty Welcoming Our New MSW Students

  • Requires 2 days per week of classroom courses. The student selects a specialization and registers for their class schedule.
  • Field Instruction requirement is 24 hours per week in specialization year (min. 630 hours total).

PM-Extended Study Option

This program option is completed in 3 academic years.

Generalist (1st and 2nd year)

  • Requires 2 days per week of classroom courses. The student is assigned an evening class schedule and cohort by the college.
  • Field Instruction requirement is 16 hours per week in the 2nd generalist year (min. 450 hours total).

Specialization (3rd year)

  • Requires 2 days per week of classroom courses. The student selects a specialization and registers for their class schedule.
  • Field Instruction requirement is 24 hours per week in specialization year (min. 630 hours total).

Transfer Option

  • Transfer students must meet the minimal admission requirements.
  • Students can only transfer from another Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited master of social work degree program.
  • The number of credit hours is determined on a case by case basis.
  • The student works with the college to determine a class schedule.
(Video) New MSW Students Talk About Their Future in Social Work

Field Instruction Heading link

(Video) LSW and LCSW Licensure in Illinois (2019)
Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Program | Jane Addams College of Social Work (2)

Placements in the field are an important part of the MSW program, and provide students with hands-on, real-world experience that prepares them for practice with at-risk individuals, groups, families and communities.

The Generalist year of study requires 450 hours of field instruction, and the Specialization year requires 630 hours.

  • Learn More About Field Instruction

MSW Specializations Heading link

Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Program | Jane Addams College of Social Work (3)

Child and Family:The Child and Family Specialization emphasizes trauma-informed, strengths-based and family-centered practice and community-based services as contexts for helping graduates provide children and their families integrated services. A unique feature of this specialization is its focus on the family, broadly defined to include extended and augmented family members in their communities. With an emphasis on culturally grounded services in urban environments, the curriculum equips students to work in a variety of interprofessional settings.

Mental Health:The Mental Health Specialization prepares students with competencies for specialized practice in a variety of public and public-supported behavioral health settings. The curriculum is designed to give students an understanding of various clients ranging from those with mild distress to those with severe mental health conditions including mood, anxiety, psychotic, personality disorders and substance use disorders. Throughout the courses students are taught a strengths-based and ecosystems approach to assessment and intervention with at-risk populations in an urban environment.

Organization and Community Practice:The Organization and Community Practice (OCP) Specialization prepares students for advanced organizational development and community practice in urban communities. Conceptually grounded in the social determinants of health and a human rights framework, this specialization emphasizes a macro approach to advancing social justice. It prepares students to build urban organizations and communities that are physically, socially, economically and environmentally healthy. Students will gain the skills required to address structural inequities through organizational leadership, community practice, advocacy and policy reform.

School Social Work:Urban school systems are at the center of contemporary efforts to improve the quality of life for the most at-risk urban populations. The School Social Work Specialization prepares students with competencies for advanced practice in urban public school settings. Employing an ecological perspective to develop school social work practice, the specialization focuses on the transactions between students and their environment, and Critical Service Learning is a key component of the curriculum. Students in the specialization are equipped to intervene at multiple levels and systematically analyze schools and make recommendations for change at the individual, group, school-wide, district-wide, community or larger levels.

Social Work within Justice Systems: Launching for Fall 2022, the Social Work within Justice Systems Specialization (SWJS) prepares students to engage, partner with, support, and advocate for children, youth, and adults impacted by the juvenile or criminal justice systems. Central to building skills and knowledge will be learning and incorporating how systemic racism and structural violence lead to disparities in treatment and disproportionate adverse outcomes for persons of color. The learning approach will be trauma-informed, culturally grounded, and strengths-based, and will emphasize the development of advanced knowledge and skills in practice with individuals, families, and groups. Students will explore some of the most salient dynamics of clinical practice and learn theories of crime and delinquency, how to analyze justice system policies, and reform efforts, particularly how to be involved in transforming a system of control and oppression into one of healing and restorative justice.

  • Learn About Social Work within Justice Systems

Program Enhancements Heading link

Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Program | Jane Addams College of Social Work (4)

Certificate in Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Children Program: Specialized training for students in their specialization year who have a career interest in working with children with mental health issues. Only students enrolled in the Mental Health Specialization are eligible to apply for admission into the certificate program.
LearnMore»

Integrated Behavioral Health Care Training Program: Specialized training in integrated evidence-based behavioral health practices for underserved individuals. Only students enrolled in the Mental Health or School Specializations are eligible to apply for admission into this program.
LearnMore»

(Video) Social Work Job Search: Job Interviews (2019)

Joint MSW/MPH Degree Program Heading link

This joint master’s degree, in partnership with the UIC School of Public Health, educates public health social workers who address health inequities in urban environments through prevention, intervention, research and advocacy.

  • Learn About the MSW/MPH Program

Interdepartmental Concentrations Heading link

Interdepartmental Concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS): Students must be accepted into the MSW program before they can be eligible for the GWS concentration. Completion of the concentration requires a minimum of 16 credit hours (typically four semester-long courses). Learn More ».

Interdepartmental Concentration in Violence Studies: Consists of at least 11 semester hours of course work (4 courses). Learn More »

Interdepartmental Concentration in Black Studies: Consists of 17 semester hours of course work. Learn More »

Interdepartmental Concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies: Consists of 16 hours of course work approved by their advisors for the concentration. Learn More »

Apply to the MSW Program

More About the MSW Program Heading link

  • MSW Requirements
  • MSW Plan of Study
  • (Video) PhD Program Info Session - Jane Addams College of Social Work

FAQs

Is the MSW Program hard? ›

Yes, earning a master's in social work is demanding. It's also rewarding, not in spite of, but because of its level of difficulty. A social work master's program will challenge you in ways that prepare you for the challenges of daily life as an effective, fulfilled professional social worker.

What is the easiest MSW program to get into? ›

15 Easiest MSW Online Programs to Get Into – 2023
  • Masters of Social Work University of Denver. ...
  • Master of Social Work Online Syracuse University. ...
  • Master of Social Work University of Southern California - School of Social Work. ...
  • Master of Social Work Fordham University.

Are online MSW programs respected? ›

Completing your degree in social work online is an affordable, flexible, and convenient option, and online MSW degrees from accredited graduate schools are considered just as valid and respected by employers in preparing students for a mid-level social work or private clinical practice position.

Is a MSW degree worth it? ›

Getting an MSW is worth it if you want to assume higher-level roles, such as that of a social work supervisor, and if you want opportunities to increase your earnings enough to offset the cost of a degree. In general, the social work industry is growing quickly.

Is MSW stressful? ›

Social workers have one of the highest risk jobs for chronic stress and burnout among healthcare professionals, especially when workloads are high and they don't feel valued.

How can I make a lot of money with a MSW? ›

Practice clinical social work

Typically, the highest paying social work roles are clinical. This means you'll find yourself working for hospitals, insurance companies, or doing therapy. You should also prioritize licensure if you want to practice social work, even if you don't want to be a therapist.

What are the 3 types of MSW? ›

Another way to look at the profession is to consider it from the three divisions or types of social work: micro, macro, and mezzo social work. These terms help categorize virtually any type of social work that these human services workers perform.

Where do MSW make the most money? ›

Top-Paying Areas for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
LocationEmploymentAverage Annual Salary
District of Columbia630$66,080
California14,970$65,020
Connecticut1,920$64,590
New York11,540$63,520
1 more row
17 Aug 2020

How hard are MSW programs to get into? ›

More than most graduate degree programs, the barriers to entry for a Masters in Social Work (MSW) are low. Said another way, one might consider admissions for social work programs to be more qualitative, open and well-rounded.

Which MSW is best? ›

Top MSW Universities in India 2022
  • IGNOU Delhi - Indira Gandhi National Open University. ...
  • SRM University Chennai - SRM Institute of Science and Technology. ...
  • MSU Baroda - Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. ...
  • Christ University, Bangalore. ...
  • AMU Aligarh - Aligarh Muslim University. ...
  • Integral University, Lucknow.

Can you make money with a masters in social work? ›

Average Mental Health Social Worker Salary

It is recommended that mental health social workers have a master's degree. The BLS data on mental health and substance abuse social workers open_in_new indicate that mental health social workers may earn a mean annual wage of $54,540.

Are MSW in demand? ›

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

Is social work hard to study? ›

Social work is a challenging career in many ways – emotionally, mentally and often physically. The education required to attain this career is easy in some ways but difficult in other ways.

Why people choose MSW? ›

Social Work is all about people

Social Work focuses on helping people overcome difficult challenges in their life. These include poverty, addiction, unemployment, disability, abuse, mental illness, and many others. Social Work also places a strong emphasis on social justice and equality.

Is studying social work worth it? ›

A Social Work degree is worth it because students gain a range of knowledge that can serve them well in the field. With an accredited BS or BA in social work, students gain a breadth of expertise that qualifies them to work in many entry-level positions in social work.

Why is social work so hard? ›

It's no secret that being a social worker is a tough job. Heavy workloads are to be expected for social workers because there is so much going on all at once. There's no end to the heavy workload that social workers often face because cases are constantly changing and piling up.

What is the most difficult part of being a social worker? ›

Among the hardest things about working as a social worker are factors like the emotional stress that comes with seeing the extremes of injustice and abuse, the challenge of working with vulnerable and marginalized client populations, the stress and physical injuries that often accompany the job and the inability to fix ...

What are the disadvantages of being a social worker? ›

List of cons of being a social worker
  • Long / Irregular Hours. Social workers typically do not have a 9-5 schedule. ...
  • Risk of Compassion Fatigue. ...
  • High Workload. ...
  • You Might Be Seen As “The Enemy” ...
  • You will need to be your own Therapist more often than not. ...
  • The Learning Never Ends. ...
  • Corporate Changes.
9 Feb 2021

Can you make six figures in social work? ›

Social workers have the potential to make nearly six figures in some segments of the career field. But they also have the potential to build up six figures of student loan debt.

Do social workers earn a lot of money? ›

Broadly speaking, the average salary for a Social Worker is around £30,000 a year.

What should I wear to a social work interview? ›

Business casual is your best bet. This means nice slacks and a button down shirt. Wear something you would wear in the job you are going to do.

How many papers are in MSW? ›

Entire two years of MSW degree course have 19 core papers including fieldwork practicums. First and second semesters will have six core subjects each. Third semester comprises four core subjects.

What are the 7 roles of a social worker? ›

Responsibilities of a Social Worker
  • Assess Your Client. ...
  • Create and Implement A Treatment Plan. ...
  • Secure and Refer Needed Resources. ...
  • Evaluate and Monitor Improvement. ...
  • Serve as a Client's Advocate.

What are the 5 social workers? ›

Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting.
  • Administration and Management. ...
  • Advocacy & Community Organizing. ...
  • Aging. ...
  • Developmental Disabilities. ...
  • Health Care. ...
  • Justice and Corrections. ...
  • Mental Health and Clinical Social Work. ...
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Work.

What type of social worker earns the most? ›

Mental health and substance abuse social workers open_in_new, mean wage in 2020: Residential mental health and substance-abuse facilities: $41,300. Individual and family services: $48,550. Outpatient care centers: $54,380.

What is a good GPA for MSW? ›

Most schools will require a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Some may require a 3.5 GPA for all social work classes taken (if the applicant has earned a Bachelor of Social Work). A few will accept students with GPAs of 2.5.

What should I study before MSW? ›

Aspirants who have pursued Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) are preferred for MSW admission. However, candidates who have graduated with any of the following streams are also eligible for MSW courses: Humanities & Social Sciences. Science.

What looks good on a MSW application? ›

Take a look before you submit your application.
  • Your undergraduate performance. You must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better to qualify for application. ...
  • Past and Current Work Experience. ...
  • Reference Letters. ...
  • Your personal essay. ...
  • Previous Social Work Field Training.
15 Oct 2022

Which job is best after MSW? ›

Job opportunities for MSW degree holders
  1. Child welfare social worker. As a child welfare social worker, you'll be an advocate for at-risk children. ...
  2. Clinical social worker. ...
  3. Hospice and palliative care social worker. ...
  4. Medical social worker. ...
  5. Pediatric social worker. ...
  6. Military social worker. ...
  7. School social worker.
8 Aug 2022

What can I do after MSW? ›

After completion of the course they can work as Assistant Director, District Consultant, National Secretary Community Development Professor, Programme Coordinator, Project Coordinator, Senior Manager - Human Resource and Sub Regional Training Coordinator, Documentation and Communication Officer, Humanitarian Values and ...

Can you be a social worker with a masters in social work? ›

Are you looking to begin a career in social work? A Master of Social Work (MSW) will prepare you for life as a social worker, combining elements of a taught degree with practical work placements.

How long do social workers last? ›

And while the average working life for a doctor is 25 years, for social workers it is just seven and a half (pdf).

How much does social worker earn? ›

The average social worker salary in South Africa is R 264 000 per year or R 135 per hour. Entry-level positions start at R 185 400 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 5 190 696 per year.

Why is there a shortage of social workers? ›

So, with all this demand how is it possible to have a shortage in social workers? Here are some factors explaining the shortage: Relatively high educational requirements required for the job. Lack of funding and incentives for workers in rural areas.

Is a social worker a therapist? ›

A clinical social worker has at least a master's degree in social work and training to be able to evaluate and treat mental illnesses. In addition to psychotherapy, social workers can provide case management and hospital discharge planning as well as work as an advocate for patients and their family.

Is there a lot of math in social work? ›

Although you probably won't need to complete advanced math classes, students interested in social work will still need to take minimal math courses needed to fulfill their college's general education requirements as well as certain math-related coursework that helps to develop their quantitative and analytical skills.

Is there math in social work? ›

Master of Social Work

Although social work is not driven by quantitative study and analysis, being able to look at data in a mathematical manner is essential to understanding social work research and trends.

Is social work an easy course? ›

About my college education: Studying Social Work for me was really interesting. It requires passion and commitment in dealing with the course, especially so that you deal different kinds of people and situations. It's a difficult course, but when you understand the goals you will find it fulfilling.

What are 3 advantages of being a social worker? ›

5 Benefits of Being a Social Worker
  • Social Workers Make a Positive Impact. ...
  • Every Day Is Different. ...
  • Many Opportunities for Specialization. ...
  • Flexible Hours. ...
  • Social Work Is a Growing Field. ...
  • Forge a Meaningful Career in Social Work.
29 Mar 2022

What are the 4 goals of social work? ›

Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities. Develop Liberatory Consciousness.

Is social worker a respected job? ›

The vast majority (96%) of practitioners who contributed to YouGov's research felt strongly that social workers provide an essential service, with 89% being proud of their profession – although only a quarter (26%) said they would recommend it.

Is social work a career or a job? ›

Social work is a modern profession, but the type of work they do is as old as the human race itself. Social workers are professional, qualified people who strive for the general well-being of people from every walk of life.

Is a social worker a happy career? ›

Social Work is a fantastic career, it has diversity and interest which creates longevity in the role Being a social worker feels important, and assists you in your own personal growth and interpersona...

Is getting a degree in social work hard? ›

Social work is a challenging career in many ways – emotionally, mentally and often physically. The education required to attain this career is easy in some ways but difficult in other ways.

How competitive are MSW programs? ›

More than most graduate degree programs, the barriers to entry for a Masters in Social Work (MSW) are low.

How hard is social work? ›

It's no secret that being a social worker is a tough job. Heavy workloads are to be expected for social workers because there is so much going on all at once. There's no end to the heavy workload that social workers often face because cases are constantly changing and piling up.

What type of social worker makes the most? ›

What Field of Social Work Pays the Most? Social workers tend to earn the most working for the federal government. Federal social workers help guide research and develop social services, healthcare, and education policies. They earn median annual salaries of $82,490, as of May 2020, according to the BLS.

What degree is best for a social worker? ›

To be a social worker, you need to hold a degree in social work from an accredited college or university program. The undergraduate degree is the bachelor of social work (BSW). Graduate degrees include the master of social work (MSW), and a doctorate (DSW) or PhD in Social Work.

Is it easy to get a job after MSW? ›

After pursuing a Master degree in social work, one can apply for jobs in various fields. The job opportunities are always high in the medical field. MSW pass outs with specialization in the medical field can work in hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centres.

Can social workers earn a lot? ›

Many Social Workers within local authorities can go on to earn more than £40,000 a year with enough experience and further qualifications.

Do social workers earn well? ›

Social Work is neither a well paid job nor a word paid job. The salaries offerd in this field are moderate. How much does a social worker earn on an average basis? On average, a social worker can make something between INR 2 LPA and INR 6 LPA depending upon the sector in which they are rendering their services.

What makes a good MSW candidate? ›

Social workers must be able to objectively evaluate each case by collecting information through observation, interviews and research. Thinking critically and without prejudice enables social workers to make informed decisions, identify the best resources and formulate the best plan to help clients.

Can I get an MSW with low GPA? ›

Some programs will have stricter requirements for admission than others. The most common admissions requirements include the following: Official undergraduate transcripts. More competitive programs will require a 3.0 GPA or higher, while less selective programs may accept a 2.5 GPA or even lower.

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