Master of Social Work (MSW)

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Prepare yourself for professional social work in your community, as you learn the benefits of empowering individuals and affecting social change.

The Master of Social Work (MSW) prepares social work practitioners for advanced, direct practice with individuals, families, and groups. It is designed to help you achieve your maximum potential with a dynamic curriculum of foundation and advanced courses. Offered by Salisbury University and administered by UMUC Europe, the Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

The goal of this comprehensive program is to provide you with the knowledge, skill-sets, and values necessary to propel you into the private or public sectors of social work. Through a combination of hands-on practice in the community and theoretical study in the classroom, you will gain the knowledge required for social work supervision and administration.

Program Flier: A summary of the program

About the Master of Social Work

What You'll Learn

The program is designed to help you

  • Operate as an ethical, competent social work practitioner
  • Engage in beginning level supervision in a variety of settings
  • Utilize abilities in a plethora of different human service programs
  • Participate in active community engagement in the pursuit of social and economic justice

Field Education

The program requires field practicum study, where you will engage in supervised social work practice in a hands-on setting with organizations in the community. Field education is an integral component of the social work curriculum, and the focus is to take learning outside the classroom setting and provide valuable experience. In these courses, you will actively participate in their learning through real-world supervised social work practice at a human service agency in their local military community. UMUC Europe will assist with the placement process in institutions such as schools, social service agencies, day care centers, medical facilities, etc., but field placement is ultimately the responsibility of the student.

Program Accreditation

Salisbury University’s Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Master of Social Work Requirements

The degree program requires 62 credit hours, with 48 credits of classroom work and 14 credits of supervised field practicum. The regular program length for full time students is generally 10 sessions. Recent graduates of an accredited bachelor's social work program may be eligible to apply to our advanced standing program, which requires 32 credits and typically takes five sessions.

Progression Requirements

Students in the MSW program may graduate with no more than six credits (typically two courses) in which they earn lower than a B or three credits for advanced standing students. Students in the 62 credit MSW program are allowed to repeat two courses one time during the program to improve their grade. Students who have begun the concentration curriculum may not repeat a foundation course. Advanced standing students may repeat one course one time. Students who have exceeded the allowed credits earned with a C and who have utilized the course repeat option will be dismissed from the program regardless of their GPA. Students who receive a grade below a C and have utilized the course repeat option will also be dismissed from the program regardless of their GPA.

In addition, students in the MSW program must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. If the GPA falls below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation according to university policy.

Program Admission

Students seeking admission to the MSW program must demonstrate that they

  1. Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Have completed a broad liberal arts background with a minimum of 24 credit hours, including at least one course in sociology, psychology, English, political science or history, and statistics. A course in introductory statistics is required. These undergraduate requirements may be taken at any accredited college or university, including community colleges. All prerequisites for admission must be completed prior to admission, except statistics, which must be completed by the end of the first semester in the program. All offers of admission are conditional upon the successful completion of the undergraduate coursework.
  3. Have earned a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average on the last 120 graded credits that appear on their bachelor's degree transcript, as well as a 3.0 grade point average on the last 60 graded upper-division courses.
  4. Have submitted transcripts of any completed graduate courses.
  5. Submit three professional letters of recommendation, usually from persons such as professors, employers, supervisors, professional colleagues, and community associates. Applicants who have been employed in a social service agency should request a recommendation from a recent employer or supervisor. You should provide a recommendation from a faculty advisor or instructor.

Advanced Standing

If you have completed a bachelor's degree in social work from an accredited undergraduate social work program, you may be eligible for the MSW advanced standing program. Advanced standing is a 32 credit program, rather than 62 credit program.

Applicants for advanced standing must meet additional requirements, including having graduated from an undergraduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education within the last three years. However, applicants with two years of human service work who graduated within the last five years will be considered. Applicants for advanced standing must have earned a minimum 3.0 grade point average on the last 120 credits that appear on their bachelor's degree transcript, as well as a 3.2 on the last 60 graded upper-division courses (including all social work courses). Students without an accredited undergraduate degree in social work are admitted to the regular 62 credit program that may be completed in 10 sessions.

When applying for advanced standing, you must submit the following material in addition to the usual application requirements:

  1. Transcripts documenting eligibility for advanced standing.
  2. Recommendation for advanced standing from the Social Work Department chair of the school in which you completed your bachelor's degree in social work.
  3. A detailed evaluation of your field instruction experience and performance by the agency supervisor or an evaluation of your employment performance. You may submit evaluations of field performance conducted at the end of each undergraduate term.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission to the MSW program may be granted if you have a GPA of 2.5 to 2.99 (2.8 to 2.99 for advanced standing applicants) on the last 120 graded credits that appear on your bachelor's degree transcript and have an otherwise strong application. Provisionally admitted applicants must complete one semester of graduate courses (at least two courses) with a GPA of 3.0.

Transfer Applicants

Under certain circumstances, you may receive a maximum of 29 credits for work completed not more than five years prior to first registration from a CSWE-accredited graduate school of social work and for which a grade of at least a B was received. No course, including any transfer course, may be counted toward a degree if it was completed more than seven full calendar years prior to the date of graduation.

You must complete a minimum of 32 credits in the Salisbury University Department of Social Work to be eligible for the MSW.

If you are currently or were previously enrolled in another accredited master's level social work degree program and are seeking admission as a transfer student, you are required to submit the following additional materials:

  1. A brief written statement describing the reasons why you are requesting a transfer.
  2. A copy of practicum/field work evaluations, if applicable.
  3. One of the three letters of recommendation must be from a faculty member or field supervisor affiliated with the program.

Students from non-MSW programs may receive a maximum of six transfer credits for courses in which he/she has earned a grade of B or above. Each course will be individually assessed for program equivalency. Credits used as part of a previous master's degree will not transfer. Official determination of allowable credit for work completed elsewhere will be made at the time of admission.

If you are registered in the program and want to take a course at another university and transfer credit toward the Salisbury University Department of Social Work MSW (i.e., a summer course), you must receive approval from the chair of the Department of Social Work.

Careers in Social Work

Graduates can work in a variety of human service programs and agencies in an advanced clinical and/or supervisory capacity, including:

  • Schools or universities
  • Hospitals or health clinics
  • Social service agencies
  • Government agencies
  • Private practices

Career Services

Whether you are a current student, alumnus, prospective student or employer, Career Services offers you easy access to career-related support and resources.

Current students and alumni can take advantage of many valuable services, including

  • Career mapping
  • Resume and cover-letter tips
  • Job fair preparation
  • Resources to find job opportunities
  • Strategies for the federal job search
  • Interview preparation

Prospective students are eligible for general Career Planning and Career Change advising as it relates to potential UMUC studies only.



About our Partner Institution Salisbury University

Salisbury University, a member of the University System of Maryland, is an accredited university of national distinction. In 2014, SU was ranked as one of the ‘Nation's Best Institutions' by The Princeton Review and one of the ‘Best Regional Universities in the North' by U.S. News and World Report. Located on Maryland's Eastern Shore, this four-year university has over 8,000 students and 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. SU prides itself on being an institution where individual talents are celebrated while big ideas are encouraged and nurtured.