Master of Social Work (MSW)
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
Values & Ethics
Public Health Course
Research Methods Sequenced Courses (6 credit hours)
Concentration Practicum and Electives
Pick one of the three concentrations:
Community and Organization
Applied Behavior Analysis
The minimum total credit-hours required is 57.
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.
- Community and Organization: Prepares students for advanced practice in settings focusing on social problems and societal change at the community and organizational levels.
- *Clinical: Prepares students for advanced clinical practice serving children, youth, adults and families. This concentration assumes a holistic view that incorporates the political, environmental, psychosocial, biological and spiritual dimensions of clinical social work practice.
- Applied Behavior Analysis: Involves the application of behavioral principles to produce socially significant changes in behavior while integrating social work ethics in practice. Practitioners use direct assessments, research evidence and single-subject experimental designs to inform and evaluate interventions. The main aim of practice is to increase behaviors (e.g. social skills) or decrease behaviors (e.g. drug abuse).
*In Fall of 2014 the Family Concentration and Health/Mental Health Concentration merged into the new Clinical Concentration. For those students admitted under the previous concentrations the course requirements will vary.
The following specializations are optional and can be earned within 57 credit hours:
- Therapy with Individuals and Families
- Community Mental Health Practice
- Nonprofit Administration
- School Social Work
- Trauma-Informed Practice
- Veteran Services
Dual Degree Options With the MSW
- Law: MSW with Juris Doctor
- Public Health: MSW with Master of Public Health
- Public Administration: MSW with Master in Public Administration
- Pastoral Studies: MSW with MA in Pastoral Studies
- Deaconess Studies: MSW with MA in Deaconess Studies
- Theology: MSW with MA in Theology
- Divinity: MSW with Master of Divinity
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.
Faculty and Research
SLU's faculty are internationally recognized as leaders in community engagement. Our faculty have diverse research interests, including:
- Community Development and Organizing
- Diversity Issues in Social Work Practice
- International Social Work
- Child Welfare Policy
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
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.
Visit our Graduate Admission page for more information on application requirements and deadlines.
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.
|Advanced Standing, Comparable Work & Transfer Credits
||Assessment of Learning Outcomes||Generalist Practice|
If you'd like more information about SLU's MSW program, fill out our information request form to contact our office of admission.
Applications are now being accepted for the fall and spring semesters. If you're ready to get started, apply now.