If you’re looking to earn your Master of Social Work (MSW) in Massachusetts, researching the breadth of program options available may help you identify the right course of study for you. Each program has unique features, from its delivery format to the curriculum to education requirements. And when it comes to the cost of MSW programs, that varies too.
On this page, we provide a general overview of MSW programs in Massachusetts, providing details related to program length, topics you may cover and learning outcomes, and more. We’ll also take a look at possible career paths an MSW graduate may pursue.
Sponsored Online MSW Program
Earn a Simmons MSW Online in as Few as 16 Months
Without attending classes on campus, students can earn an MSW online from Simmons University. Students may earn a certificate with their MSW in either Practice With Groups & Families, Mental Health Practice, or Trauma Practice. GRE scores are not required.
Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs
There are 10 CSWE-accredited MSW programs in Massachusetts. Almost all these programs have options for full-time, part-time or accelerated study (available to those with a BSW).
|Anna Maria College||Paxton, MA||Advanced Generalist||
|Boston College||Chestnut Hill, MA||None||
|Boston University||Boston, MA||
|Bridgewater State University||Bridgewater, MA||None||
|Regis College||Weston, MA||Advanced Generalist||
|Salem State University||Salem, MA||Mental and Behavioral Health||
|Simmons University||Boston, MA||Clinical Social Work||
|Smith College||Northampton, MA||Human Behavior and the Social Environment||
|Springfield College||Springfield, MA||Master of Social Work||
|Westfield State University||Westfield, MA||Clinical PracticeGerontology||
Online MSW Programs Massachusetts
Some students may prefer to pursue their MSW online through a CSWE-accredited program in Massachusetts. Online learning can allow students to maintain jobs or other activities, studying at their own pace in their own home. Some online courses may require campus visits, but not all do, meaning you could obtain a clinical MSW online through a Massachusetts school without having to visit the state until graduation. Courses online are offered full- and part-time as well as advanced standing programs.
|University||City||Campus Visit||Concentrations||Program Options|
|Boston University||Boston, MA||No||
|Boston, MA||No||Three Certificate Options:
There are also online MSW programs in Massachusetts that may not be included in the CSWE listings.
Sponsored Online Social Work Programs
- Research-driven faculty dedicated to making an impact on social problems
- Prepares you to apply social work skills across practice settings
- Three certificates: Trauma Practice, Mental Health Practice or Practice with Groups and Families.
- Four program tracks: Advanced Standing, Accelerated, Full Time and Extended
- Join the #25 ranked Howard University School of Social Work1
- Four program tracks: Advanced Standing, Accelerated, Full Time and Extended
- Offered by USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, top-ranked graduate school by U.S. News & World Report (2019).1
- Features field education in or near students’ own communities.
- Four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy
- Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks
- Concentrate your degree in integrated practice or clinical practice
- CWRU’s Mandel School is a top-10 ranked graduate school of social work (2019).1
- Three paths of study are available to prepare social work leaders to work in clinical or community practice.
- Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
- Specialize in clinical practice or community practice
Social Work Degree Programs in Massachusetts
With the different licensure options in Massachusetts, there is also a broad selection of degree programs. There are dozens of colleges and universities in the state, according to a 2018 City of Boston report [PDF, 9.1 MB]. In the city of Boston alone, there are a total of 29 colleges and universities, allowing for a number of opportunities to study social work and related topics.
There are three main degrees in social work: a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Master of Social Work (MSW) and doctoral degree in social work, which can be earned through a DSW Program. The courses you take as part of your social work graduate program often depends on your level of education.
In addition to general education courses, undergraduate social work students can expect to study research methods, social welfare policy and social work practices. Master’s degree programs in social work (both traditional and advanced standing tracks) go beyond undergraduate learning and may include courses in leadership, child welfare, organizational theory, and social influences. Advanced standing MSW programs in particular build on this knowledge, offering students with a BSW an accelerated route to graduation compared to those enrolled in traditional MSW programs. Students in master’s degree programs may choose to specialize in mental health, addiction, child welfare, or other areas.
Master’s degree programs include supervised clinical hours to help students fulfill Massachusetts licensing requirements. View our page on social work licensure or our state specific page, which details the general steps to take to become a social worker in Massachusetts.
Specific curriculum varies from program to program, but in general, an aspiring MSW candidate can expect to cover a range of topics as outlined above. MSW courses may also delve into human behavior, social environment, the history of social work, clinical methodology, and more.
After completing coursework, MSW students can expect to begin hands-on fieldwork at a professional setting.
MSW candidates are typically required to hold or be on track to earn a bachelor’s degree. While some schools only accept candidates with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from an accredited institution, others may grant admittance to those with a bachelor’s in a related field, such as sociology or psychology.
What Can I Do with an MSW Degree in MA?
There are a number of career opportunities available to those who earn an MSW degree and decide to become a social worker. It all depends on the areas in which an MSW graduate wants to specialize.
An MSW candidate might choose to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), who treats and provides resources to clients with mental health or emotional conditions. Social work salaries vary by employer, location, and several other factors. But as of March 2019, the median yearly salary for social workers is $50,470, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Health care social workers earned median annual wages of $56,750, while those focused on mental health and substance abuse took home average earnings of $46,650. And the highest 10 percent of social workers earned more than $82,540.
Other opportunities available to social workers holding an MSW include becoming a military social worker, providing support to members of the armed forces and their families; a medical social worker, working with clients within the health care continuum; a school social worker, who provides support to students; a psychiatric social worker, working in tandem with a psychiatric team to help a client with mental health or addiction issues; and other possible social work career paths, such as a social work administrator.
As you kick off or progress in your search for MSW programs in Massachusetts, you may have some questions. Below, we answer some common questions about MSW degree programs and careers.
Which school has the best MSW program in Massachusetts (MA)?
There’s no one best MSW program in Massachusetts. The program you decide to enroll in is often dependent on your needs and personal goals. It may be more useful for you to decide what area of social work you’d like to study and whether you prefer an in-person program or an online program, and go from there.
What is the typical cost of an MSW program in MA?
Cost can vary from program to program, depending on if the school is a public or private institution. A full-time course load may cost thousands of dollars per year, not including various student fees.
MSW candidates seeking financial aid may look for loans, scholarships, and other resources to help them fund their education. There are scholarships exclusively available to women, minority students, and more.
Is a career in social work worth it?
Obtaining an MSW may open doors to a range of careers that might not otherwise be available to social workers who only have an undergraduate degree. Having an MSW may also empower social workers to negotiate for higher salaries than colleagues with fewer credentials.
Social work can be emotionally taxing as you’re often working with people mired in difficult situations, but overall, some people find self-gratification in this career path.
Whether an MSW degree is worth it, is entirely dependent on you.
How long does it take to become a social worker in Massachusetts?
Depending on the program, it usually takes about two to three years to complete an MSW in Massachusetts. It may take longer if the student is going to school part-time.
Information on this page was last retrieved in October 2020.