The Master of Social Work program prepares students to be advanced practitioners of social work who act as agents of change to promote individual and societal well-being. The Saint Louis University School of Social Work is built upon an unwavering commitment to social justice.
A leader in integrating social work practice and education (ranked in the top 25 percent of programs by U.S. News and World Report), the school has faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the profession.
Our interactive teaching methods are aimed at combining community-based practice with classroom activities and discussions. Small class sizes facilitate an atmosphere of intellectual dialogue that fosters relationships between students and faculty.
After completing professional foundation course work, students must select one of the following areas of concentration to be the focus of their studies.
*As of fall 2014: the Family concentration and Health/Mental Health concentration merged into the Clinical concentration. For those students admitted under the previous concentrations the course requirements will vary.
Specializations are optional and can be earned within 57 credit hours.
There are seven opportunities to concurrently earn your MSW and another master's degree.
Students design their academic program to develop competence in micro-practice with individuals, families and small groups, and/or macro-competencies in administration, program planning, community organizing and political advocacy. Students choose one of three concentrations and can also elect to pursue a specialization or dual degree as part of or in addition to an MSW.
SLU's faculty are internationally recognized as leaders in community engagement. Our faculty have diverse research interests, including:
Applicants are required to fill out an online application and submit a résumé, professional statement, three confidential reference letters (two academic references and one professional reference) and transcripts. Applicants are also required to complete an interview. Additional factors considered in determining an applicant's eligibility include academic achievement, strength of the undergraduate program attended, work experience, previous graduate degrees, motivation, leadership and service.
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and 24 credit hours completed in the liberal arts. The priority deadline is March 1 for fall and October 1 for spring; the final deadline is August 1 for fall and December 15 for spring.
**Professional Statement guidelines for MSW
The professional statement informs the Student Affairs Committee of the applicant's background and professional goals. This is also as an indicator of the applicant's writing ability and helps the Student Affairs Committee acquire a broader understanding of the applicant. The content and the quality of the composition will be used to judge the applicant's preparedness for graduate school. (The statement must not exceed three type written pages.) Following review of admissions materials, an on-site writing sample may be required. These questions are guidelines in preparing the professional statement:
What knowledge, values, and skills do you have now that is critical to social work practice?
Describe your strengths and areas of growth.
What are your future aspirations in professional social work practice?
Describe a social justice issue that is important to you and what you as a social work professional would do to make a difference.
What are your experiences interacting with diverse populations? (Diverse populations include groups distinguished by age, race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, and ethnicity.)
SLU offers new and continuing MSW students partial tuition-remission merit-based scholarships. Applicants who do not initially meet the scholarship criteria or who have applied for a scholarship and were not awarded a scholarship may re-apply during their first semester in the MSW Program. Applicants who apply by the priority deadline can also apply for graduate assistantships.
Sample MSW Curriculum
(57 credit hours of classroom and practica courses)
Students in dual degree programs will have a course schedule that varies from the one below.
Generalist Foundation Courses
Advanced Social Policy Course
Values & Ethics
Public Health Course
Research Methods Sequenced Courses (6 credit hours)
Concentration Practicum and Electives
Pick one of the three concentrations:
1- Community and Organization
3-Applied Behavior Analysis
The minimum total credit-hours required is 57.
Kristi Richter, MSW, LCSW
Director of Graduate Admissions
School of Social Work
College for Public Health and Social Justice
Saint Louis University