The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program is designed to prepare students to provide services to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. With a focus on advanced clinical practice, students learn to draw from social work theory and methods to engage, evaluate, and intervene in the problems experienced by individuals, families, and groups. Skills gained through this program can be applied in schools, hospitals, private practice, social service agencies, and mental health clinics. Optional elective clusters give students the opportunity to increase their knowledge in one of six key areas, and customized case studies throughout the program add perspective to the curriculum. Graduates will be prepared to provide culturally and contextually relevant social work services in their practice and to provide mentoring, supervision, advocacy, and collaboration activities with their varied client populations.
Graduates of Walden’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program will be prepared to:
- Develop a professional orientation and identity as a social worker.
- Apply legal and ethical standards in the administration of social work.
- Apply principles of advocacy that promote cultural understanding and positive social change in individuals, communities, and society.
- Utilize evidence-based research and critical-thinking skills to inform practice in meeting the needs of diverse clientele.
- Synthesize and apply theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive social work practices.
- Apply knowledge and skills in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
|Demonstrate the development of a professional orientation and identity as a social worker. (PG 1)
||EPAS 2.1.1 Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
|Apply legal and ethical standards in clinical social work practice. (PG 2)
||EPAS 2.1.2 Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
|Apply principles of advocacy that promote cultural understanding and positive social change. (PG 3)
||EPAS 2.1.4 Engage diversity and difference in practice.
|EPAS 2.1.5 Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
|EPAS 2.1.8 Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
|Utilize evidence-based research and critical-thinking skills to inform practice clinical social work practice in meeting the needs of diverse clientele. (PG 4)
||EPAS 2.1.3 Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
|EPAS 2.1.6 Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
|Synthesize and apply theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive social work practices. (PG 5)
||EPAS 2.1.7 Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
|Demonstrate knowledge and skills in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, and groups. (PG 6)
||EPAS 2.1.9 Respond to contexts that shape practice.
|EPAS 2.1.10(a)–(d) Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Note: The following (tracks) are available for the MSW program:
- Part-time—This track is similar to most traditional master’s-level programs in which students either complete one or two courses per quarter.
- Two-year, full time—This track requires students to complete two courses in the first quarter, while completing three courses at the same time in many of the remaining quarters.
- Advanced Standing—This track is for students who enter the program with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). They will begin the program with the introductory course that all MSW students take but then move to the advanced-level courses.
Foundation Course (5 cr.)
Elective Courses (10 cr.)
Choose two elective courses from any one of the elective cluster options below.
Field Experience Courses (12 cr.)
*Choose two elective courses from any one of the elective cluster options below.
The following optional elective clusters are designed to help students more deeply explore a particular area of interest within the field of clinical social work.
Note on Licensure
Licensure for MSW prepared social workers varies greatly from state to state. Each state board responsible for regulating the practice of social work has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements and issues its own license to practice as a social worker.
In most states, the academic credential required for licensure to practice as a social worker is an MSW degree from a social work program which has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Walden MSW program is not CSWE accredited but has applied for accreditation and is currently considered to be in pre-candidacy.
Because no program can guarantee licensure upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate social work licensing agency in the state in which they plan to practice to determine the specific academic requirements for licensure. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to the state-by-state MSW degree requirements for MSW licensure. However, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to achieve state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential as a social worker.
Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Click here to find detailed information for the Master of Social Work (MSW) program relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program.