Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Programs in Massachusetts (MA) – Online & On-Campus

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.

Simmons University

Simmons School of Social Work (SSW)

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Aspiring direct practitioners can earn their MSW online from Simmons University in as few as 16 months. GRE scores are not required, and the program offers full-time, part-time, accelerated, and advanced standing tracks.

  • Prepares students to pursue licensure, including LCSW 
  • Full-time, part-time, and accelerated tracks 
  • Minimum completion time: 16 months

info SPONSORED

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). 

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. 

There are also online MSW programs in Massachusetts that may not be included in the CSWE listings. 

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Howard University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The online Master of Social Work program from Howard University School of Social Work prepares students for advanced direct or macro practice in culturally diverse communities. Two concentrations available: Direct Practice and Community, Administration, and Policy Practice. No GRE. Complete in as few as 12 months.

  • Concentrations: Direct Practice and Community, Administration, and Policy Practice
  • Complete at least 777-1,000 hours of agency-based field education
  • Earn your degree in as few as 12 months

University of Denver

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The University of Denver’s Online MSW Program is delivered by its top-ranked school of social work and offers two programs. Students can earn their degree in as few as 12 months for the Online Advanced-Standing MSW or 27 months for the Online MSW.

  • Complete the Online Advanced-Standing MSW in as few as 12 months if you have a BSW; if you do not have a BSW, the Online MSW Program may be completed in as few as 27 months.
  • No GRE Required
  • Mental Health and Trauma or Health, Equity and Wellness concentrations

Fordham University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Fordham’s skills-based, online MSW program integrates advanced relevant social work competencies, preparing students to serve individuals and communities while moving the profession forward. This program includes advanced standing and traditional MSW options.

  •  Traditional and advanced standing online MSW options are available.
  • There are four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy.
  • Pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time track.

Simmons University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Aspiring direct practitioners can earn their MSW online from Simmons University in as few as 16 months. GRE scores are not required, and the program offers full-time, part-time, accelerated, and advanced standing tracks.

  • Prepares students to pursue licensure, including LCSW 
  • Full-time, part-time, and accelerated tracks 
  • Minimum completion time: 16 months

University of Southern California

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The MSW@USC is the online Master of Social Work from top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. The Advanced Standing track can be completed in as little as 1 year. USC offers virtual and in-person field education, and students focus on adults, youth or social change.

  •  Minimum completion time: 12 months with a BSW 
  • Online classes taught by USC faculty 
  • Virtual field training to build skills and confidence

Syracuse University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Syracuse University’s online Master of Social Work program does not require GRE scores to apply and is focused on preparing social workers who embrace technology as an important part of the future of the profession. Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks are available. 

  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks
  • No GRE required
  • Concentrate your degree in integrated practice or clinical practice

Baylor University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Complete the Master of Social Work online program at Baylor University in as few as 12 months. Serve populations in Texas and around the world while ethically integrating faith and social work practice. No GRE required.

  • Address injustice from a strengths-based perspective
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Serve as a trusted resource for clients, no matter their personal background
  • Complete the MSW online program in as few as 12 months

Case Western Reserve University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

In as few as a year and a half, you can prepare for social work leadership by earning your Master of Social Work online from Case Western Reserve University’s school of social work.

  • CSWE-accredited
  • No GRE requirement
  • Complete in as few as one and a half years

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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  

Curriculum

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. 

Education Requirements

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.

FAQs

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.