Social Work

Master of Social Work

Why study Social Work?

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares you for a career in advanced social work practice. The program is designed to promote the integration of learning in the classroom with learning in a field practicum in an agency setting. The School uses the concurrent model of field education (unpaid internship), meaning students take classes and have field education requirements concurrently.

Throughout the program, you will be assigned to an agency for 14 to 17 hours per work to work under the supervision of a qualified field instructor, who is a social worker employed at that agency. Typically, field placement hours must be scheduled sometime during the work week (i.e. Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm); there are no field placements available with exclusively evening or weekend hours.

After completion of the generalist curriculum (which includes a generalist year field placement) or upon admission to the Accelerated Full-Time Program, students select an area of study that include specialized curricula and field placements. 

The advanced curriculum in Direct Practice is designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed for specialized practice with Children and Families, in Mental Health, or in Health and Aging. Students in Direct Practice learn to use evidence-based interventions to assist individuals, families, and groups to make change, solve problems, and become empowered.

Admission Requirements

Please see the Admission Requirements for detailed information about what you need in order to be a successful applicant. 

Social workers practice in many settings, working with people and communities to find solutions to problems. Fields where social workers provide direct service to individuals, families, and groups include:

  • Children and family services in child protective services, foster care agencies, adoptions, schools, and counseling agencies.
  • Health services in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes.
  • Mental health and substance abuse services in treatment and case management agencies and private practice.
  • Aging service in home care agencies and senior  living communities.
  • Legal services in correctional facilities, treatment agencies, and mediation services.

Other social workers work with community members to improve conditions in their area. Still others work in leadership roles in social service organizations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics social work is an occupations expected to grow “faster than average” in the coming years. Job prospects in social work are considered excellent.

In collaboration with the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, the School offers the coursework that leads to eligibility for the School Social Worker license from the Ohio Department of Education.

The School of Social Work also has a number of fellowship programs available to students.

If you transfer from another accredited social work graduate program to the MSW Program, you may transfer up to 1/3 of the course credits you have already completed. To receive transfer credits, you must have:

  • Completed those courses within 5 years of being admitted to the MSW Program
  • Earned a B grade or better in each class.

If you are interested in transferring to the MSW Program, please contact the program director Dr. Shauna Acquavita.

If your native language is not English, you must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). International Students applying to the MSW must be fluent English speakers.

The minimum School of Social Work requirement for the internet-based TOEFL is 95. For more information, please see UC International Services.

Application Deadlines

Visit the How to Apply page to find information on application deadlines, fees, where to send your materials and more. 

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Contact Information

Johnny Arguedas
Health Sciences Building
3225 Eden Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45267
(513) 556-4615

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Program Code: 35MAS-SW-MSW