MSW programs

two female students in class


The Master of Social Work program, which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, provides students with specific knowledge and skill for advanced clinical practice of social work. The graduate will be prepared for leadership roles in the social work profession. Graduates will be qualified for employment by both public and private agencies on local, state and national levels. The curriculum is designed to encourage innovative responses to human and social need.

The MSW curriculum is a sixty-credit program. The first year is structured to provide the student with a generalist base of practice. The student is required to demonstrate beginning skills and competence in the foundations of social work practice with individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations.

The second year is structured around the student's area of specialization in one of the following specializations: Elders and Families; Children and Families; Co-occurring Disorders/Mental Health and Substance Abuse; or School Social Work. Two or three year plans of study are available.  If a student completes the program in two years, each semester is a 15 credit semester.  If a student chooses a three year plan, some semesters will have a lower credit load.


PLEASE NOTE:  Applicants for the MSW Program need to complete all admissions materials required by the School of Graduate Studies and the Social Work Department.  All applications are due to the School of Graduate Studies by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date.  Admissions materials are available online under the "MSW Application Materials and Information" tab on the left-hand side of this page.  Applicants may call the Social Work Admissions Office at (203) 392-6624 with any questions.  Applicants are responsible for insuring that application files are complete. 

It is understood that student continuance in the social work program is contingent upon positive on-going faculty evaluation of academic performance in real and/or simulated professional training situations, and on the appropriateness of responses, attitudes, and behaviors consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics and with the standards of acceptable social work practice.


An applicant who is a graduate of an accredited BSW Program within the last 6 years is eligible for advanced standing. If approved for advanced standing, the following courses upon evaluation may be waived: SWK 510, 550, 551, 532, 533, 534, 570, and 571. Advanced Standing students may choose a two or three year plan of study.  The minimum number of graduate credits required for an advanced standing student is 39.

The first year of the program prepares students for generalist social work practice. Social work ethics, values, foundation knowledge, professional roles, skills and tasks are emphasized. The second year will prepare students for advanced clinical practice. Client growth, development, rehabilitation and coping will be addressed.

Core Requirements - Generalist, first year
Fall (15 credits)
SWK 510 - Social Welfare Policies and Delivery Systems
SWK 521 - Contemporary Issues in Substance Abuse  
SWK 532 - Theory and Practice I - Individuals 
SWK 550 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
SWK 570 - Generalist Social Work Field Practicum I

Spring (15 credits) 
SWK 533 - Theory and Practice II - Groups
SWK 551 - Diversity, Oppression and Social Functioning                                
SWK 552 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (Psychopathology) 
SWK 561 - Social Work Research Methods 
SWK 571 - Generalist Social Work Field Practicum II

Field of Practice - Specialization, second year

Fall (15 credits) 
SWK 548 or 549 Advanced Family Practice
SWK 572 - Practicum III and Capstone Proposal
One advanced policy course or elective 
One advanced specialization course

Spring (15 credits)
SWK 573 - Practicum IV and Capstone Project
SWK 534 - Theory and Practice III - Organizations & Communities 
One advanced policy course or elective                                                        
One advanced specialization course