Social Work - Standard Program, MSW

Social Work - Standard Program, MSW

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Social Work - Standard Program, MSW

TUCSON, social

This master's degree program prepares recent BSW graduates for advanced professional social work practice with diverse populations. Completing the program, you will be able to pursue a career in a variety of professional settings that include mental health organizations, schools, and community, nonprofit and government agencies.

Program Description
Degree Awarded: MSW  Social Work

The professional program leading to the MSW degree prepares social workers for advanced professional social work practice. The program is designed to prepare social workers to be capable of responding effectively to the needs of special populations, particularly in the American Southwest.

The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

At a Glance
Concurrent Program Options
Degree Requirements

45 credit hours and a portfolio, or
45 credit hours and a thesis, or
45 credit hours and an applied project (SWG 593 or SWG 693), or
45 credit hours including the required capstone course (SWG 621), or
60 credit hours and a portfolio (MSW/MPA dual degree), or
60 credit hours and a thesis (MSW/MPA dual degree), or
60 credit hours and an applied project (SWG 593 or SWG 693), or
60 credit hours including the required capstone course (SWG 621) (MSW/MPA dual degree)

Students begin the standard Master of Social Work program in the fall and they begin in the fall or spring for the online Master of Social Work program. The program may be completed within four semesters (full time) or six semesters (part time). It is a 45 to 60 credit hour program, including coursework and field instruction. It is divided into a foundation year (30 credit hours of core curriculum) taken by all students and a concentration year (30 credit hours).

The foundation year includes basic courses in direct practice, organizational and community change, social policy, human behavior and research.

In the second year, students pursue a concentration in one of the following:

  • advanced direct practice
  • advanced generalist
  • policy, administration and community practice

Students who pursue the advanced direct practice concentration also select one of the following three specializations: children, youth and families; heath, behavioral health; or public child welfare.

Students are required to complete two internships: a foundation field placement (480 hours) and a concentration field placement (480 hours) in a different setting.

Culminating Events: The culminating events available to on-campus students are SWG 599 Thesis, SWG 593 Applied Project, SWG 621 Capstone course and the master's portfolio. The culminating events available to online students are SWG 593 Applied Project, SWG 621 Capstone course and the master's degree portfolio. The academic unit will advise and monitor the online campus students to ensure they choose the appropriate culminating event.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution. All applicants are required to have completed a course in human biology and a course in statistics before enrolling in the graduate program or before registering for SWG 519.

The School of Social Work requires one of the following:

  • undergraduate degree with 30 credit hours in liberal arts courses at the undergraduate or graduate level
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited school of social work
  • liberal arts undergraduate degree

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work
  3. three letters of reference
  4. professional resume that includes volunteer and paid work experience
  5. statement of educational and career goals
  6. signed standards of ethical and professional behavior form
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

A combination of academic and professional references is desirable. References from friends, family members or personal therapists are not accepted. At least one of the three required references must be from the applicant's BSW field instructor or, if employed in a social work-related job for two or more years, a recommendation from the applicant's supervisor.

Professional resume should include both work and volunteer experience in social service organizations. In order to be considered for possible admission, applicants who do not have work experience in social service organizations are required to have a minimum of 240 hours of volunteer experience in the social services over a six-month period in the five years immediately preceding application.

Guidelines for writing the statement of educational and career goals can be found at https://socialwork.asu.edu/content/msw-application-proceduresmaterials.

Test scores from either the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test are required only if the applicant's junior and senior GPA was below a 3.20 (scale is 4.00 = "A").

Students should see the program website for application deadlines. Applicants admitted to the standard Master of Social Work degree program begin classes in the fall, and applicants admitted to the online Master of Social Work degree program begin classes in the fall or the spring.

Part-time Program
Students are admitted each fall to a planned part-time program and for the Master of Social Work online degree program in the fall or spring. Students interested in this option must specifically apply to the part-time program and complete it in accordance with the plan developed to finish the degree in three years.

Transfer Credit
Upon recommendation of the admission committee, the first year of graduate study (up to 30 graduate credit hours) earned at another school of social work that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may be transferred and applied toward the Master of Social Work degree program at ASU. Under these circumstances, the student must complete the second full year of graduate study (at least 30 credit hours of graduate work) at ASU. Transfer work must have been completed within three years of the semester and year of admission to the Master of Social Work degree program at ASU with a grade of "B" (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better.

Exemption and Waiver Examinations
The number of hours required to complete the standard Master of Social Work program ranges from 45 to 60 credit hours. In addition to transferring in credit, per the recommendation of the School of Social Work director and the Master of Social Work coordinator, admitted students may meet requirements of up to 15 hours of credit toward the degree by exempting up to 15 hours of foundation coursework without examination or successfully completing examinations in SWG 501, SWG 502 or SWG 519. Students should note note that, when applicable, the academic unit will provide a rationale for a student's exemption if the student is not from a Bachelor of Social Work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Concurrent degrees are currently unavailable for the online Master of Social Work degree program.

Students should contact the School of Social Work at (602) 496-0800 with any questions about the application process.

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Application Deadlines
SessionModalityDeadlineType
Session A/CIn Person 06/15Final
Session A/COnline 06/15Final
SessionModalityDeadlineType
Session A/COnline 11/01Final
Contact Information

School of Social Work | UCENT 800
mswadvising@asu.edu | 602-496-0800

What are Accelerated Programs?
ASU students may accelerate their studies by earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years (for some programs) or by earning a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 or 3 years.

Accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs are designed for high-achieving undergraduate students who want the opportunity to combine undergraduate coursework with graduate coursework to accelerate completion of their master’s degree. These programs, featuring the same high-quality curriculum taught by ASU's world-renowned faculty, allow students to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years.

Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs allow students to choose either a 2.5- or a 3-year path while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students can opt to fast-track their studies after acceptance into a participating program by connecting with their academic advisor.
What are Concurrent Programs?
Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. ASU offers students two ways to earn concurrent degrees: by choosing a predetermined combination or creating their own combination. Predetermined combinations have a single admissions application and one easy to follow major map. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor. Either way, concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests.
What are Joint Programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a New Program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are Online Programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See http://asuonline.asu.edu/ for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information: https://graduate.asu.edu/wiche.

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