Skip to main content
Menu Search & Directory

Social Work, M.S.W.


Field Education Policy and Procedures Manual

Saint Louis University's Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) prepares social work professionals for work with vulnerable populations facing health, social and economic challenges.

Social workers are educationally prepared to provide services including therapy, policy advocacy, case management, group work, crisis intervention, children and family practice, and leadership for nonprofit organizations. M.S.W.-level social workers are employed in a wide variety of human service organizations including family and community centers, mental health and treatment centers, hospitals, schools, nonprofit agencies, residential children’s or adult centers, justice centers, and many more organizations.

M.S.W. Program Highlights

  • SLU's M.S.W. program offers multiple course delivery formats to assist students who are working full- or part-time and for students who want to progress faster by taking additional credits per semester.
  • Formats include the traditional 15-week format (two hours and 45 minute classes, fall and spring semesters) and a 10-week format (three-and-a-half-hour classes, summer semester).
  • Electives may also be offered in the following formats: two intersession periods of week-long classes, online blended classes or five consecutive Saturday sessions (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Curriculum Overview

SLU's M.S.W. curriculum includes generalist foundation courses, advanced practice courses in an area of concentration and field practica. The generalist foundation courses provide the basic social work theory and methods for working with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

Students then select an advanced practice area of concentration and proceed with courses in these areas. Saint Louis University's School of Social Work offers three concentrations:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Clinical
  • Community and Organization

SLU's M.S.W. degree is 57 credits, with full-time and part-time options available. Students with a Bachelor of Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program many earn up to 18 credits of advanced standing toward the M.S.W. 

Applied Behavior Analysis M.S.W. Concentration

The applied behavior analysis concentration focuses on evidenced-based methods to assist children, adults, and organizations in changing behavior. The curriculum prepares students to be eligible to become a board-certified behavior analyst.

Clinical M.S.W. Concentration

The clinical concentration focuses on assessment, intervention and outcomes in clinical work with individuals, families, groups or larger systems. Courses focus on working with diverse families and family systems across a developmental life span using core clinical approaches to engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation of outcomes in a variety of clinical practice settings.

Community and Organization M.S.W. Concentration

The community and organization concentration focuses on mezzo and macro level community work, such as community organizing and advocacy, nonprofit administration and local, state and national policy advocacy and implementation.

Social Work Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

While completing coursework, students will also be mentored by an M.S.W. field instructor and work in a social work capacity in the community.

M.S.W. students can further specialize their studies through coursework or practicum experiences in the following areas:

  • Community mental health practice
  • Criminal justice
  • Gerontology
  • Global social work
  • Health practice
  • Nonprofit administration
  • Practice with children and youth
  • School social work
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Therapy with individuals and families
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Veteran services

Careers in Social Work

SLU's M.S.W. program is ranked in the top 20% of social work programs nationally. Possible careers include work in the fields of health care, mental health, school, child welfare, family services, criminal justice, gerontology, policy, advocacy, administrative and community development.

Admission Requirements

Successful applicants should possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Conditional Admission may be considered for students with cumulative GPAs below 3.00.

Application Requirements

  • Application form and fee $65
  • Transcript(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation (one academic, one professional)
    • One academic letter from a professor who has evaluated your academic performance in the classroom
    • One professional letter from a supervisor who has evaluated your work in the field or related volunteer experience
      • If you have been out of school five or more years, you may submit two professional letters.
      • If you are entering the program directly from an undergraduate program, you may submit two academic letters.
  • Résumé
  • Professional Statement

Requirements for International Students

SLU's M.S.W. program requires a TOEFL of 92 or higher.

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadlines

All applicants who apply are reviewed for merit-based scholarships. Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed for admissions until August 1 for fall and December 1 for spring. To be considered for a graduate assistantship, students must fill out the GA application found under "Scholarships and Financial Aid" by March 1.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The admissions committee considers several factors to determine a candidate's eligibility:

  • Academic achievement
  • Strength of the undergraduate program
  • Application information
  • Professional statement
  • Work experience
  • Any graduate degrees earned
  • Motivation
  • Leadership and service
  • The undergraduate GPA is weighted with other criteria in the admissions process

Advanced Standing

Students who have completed a bachelor's degree in social work from an eligible, CSWE accredited program, can receive up to 18 credits of “advanced standing” toward a Master of Social Work at Saint Louis University; approved advanced standing students will need to complete only 39 credits of master's coursework.

To be eligible, students must have:

  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Earned grades of ‘B’ or better in undergraduate social work courses
  • Completed their bachelor’s in a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • No additional transfer credits will be accepted.

Financial Aid

We recognize that when choosing to continue your education, cost can be a concern. To help ease that decision, we have identified the following financial aid resources.

FAFSA and Other Resources

All incoming students should complete the application for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A step-by-step guide to submitting your FAFSA is available online. Saint Louis University Student Financial Services provides a Graduate Financial Aid Handbook that outlines the process of financing your graduate education.

The following links to resources in Saint Louis University Student Financial Services may also be helpful:

Scholarships

New and continuing students are eligible for merit-based scholarships. Prospective students will be automatically screened for scholarship eligibility. No additional application is required; awards are based on information provided in the admission application.

Please note that the terms of the scholarship are subject to change if the student petitions for a degree transfer or fails to remain in good academic standing.

Fellowships

The Doerr Fellowship for Equity and Inclusion is a full-tuition fellowship funded by the School of Social Work for new and continuing students. A separate application is required with a deadline of March 1 (https:// forms.gle/1gCurwpo2JvaVySMA/). This fellowship requires that recipients serve as members of the School of Social Work's Equity and Inclusion Committee. Recipients will also be expected to actively participate in the diversity, equity and inclusion activities sponsored throughout the year by the Doerr Center.

Newly accepted master's or doctoral students and students in the first year of a program are eligible to apply for a University-wide Diversity, Dissertation or Presidential fellowship. You must first submit the full application minus the nomination letter to the School of Social Work by Jan. 2 to be considered for nomination. Find more details on application components here. Completed applications including all application components minus the nomination letter  should be submitted as a PDF to kristi.richter@slu.edu.

Graduate Assistantships

By filling out a graduate assistantship application, you will automatically be considered for a full or partial graduate assistantship with the School of Social Work. Assistantships are appointed for one year. Students must reapply to be considered for a second year and there are no guarantees that recipients will receive subsequent/continuing assistantships.

Full graduate assistantships are University-funded assistantships (UFA) awarded by the School of Social  Work. They are assigned and funded for two semesters, a duration of nine months, 20 hours per week, working with designated faculty. Most full assistantships are assigned to help faculty with research (GRA) and a small number may be assigned to assist with administrative work (GA), or faculty teaching (GTA).

The full graduate assistant works with one or two faculty members, depending on faculty needs. Time is divided between both faculty mentors if the student is assigned two. Students who receive a fully-funded UFA in one year may not receive a UFA in subsequent years, although they remain eligible for partial assistantships throughout their pursuit of a graduate degree in the School of Social Work.

Partial graduate assistantships are funded and awarded by the School of Social Work. They are assigned and funded for two semesters, a duration of nine months, 8-16 hours per week, working with assigned faculty. Partial assistantships may be assigned to assist with administrative work (GA), research (GRA), or faculty teaching (GTA). Depending on the hours assigned, tuition benefits will differ; health insurance and stipends are not awarded with partial assistantships.

Other Funding for Current Students

 
Current students may be eligible for conference/training funding, graduate assistantships and scholarships. 

Accreditation

The baccalaureate social work program at Saint Louis University has been continuously accredited since 1974.
 
The master of social work program at Saint Louis University has been continuously accredited since 1930.

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
1701 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314-3457
Phone: 703-683-8080 

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Graduates will be able to engage in diversity and difference in practice.
  3. Graduates will be able to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  4. Graduates will be able to engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  5. Graduates will be able to engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  6. Graduates will be able to engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. 
  7. Graduates will be able to assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. 
  8. Graduates will be able to intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  9. Graduates will be able to evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 

M.S.W. Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Generalist Foundation Courses
SWRK 5702Social Policy3
SWRK 5725Human Behavior & the Social Environment3
SWRK 5750Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups3
SWRK 5751Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations3
SWRK 5819Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar1
SWRK 5841Master of Social Work Foundation Practicum2
Hallmark Courses
SWRK 5700Values & Ethics in Social Work3
SWRK 5707Policy Practice for Social Justice3
Research Methods Courses
SWRK 5787Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice3
Concentrations33
Select one of the following:
Total Credits57

Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration

Advanced Practice Concentration Courses
SWRK 5746Principles & Concepts in Applied Behavior Analysis3
SWRK 5747Behavioral Assessment3
SWRK 5748Behavior Change & Processes in Applied Behavior Analysis3
SWRK 5749Behavior Change & Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis3
SWRK 5774Measurement & Experimental Design in Applied Behavior Analysis3
SWRK 5001Supervision and Organizational Behavior Management3
SWRK 5002Philosophy of Behavioral Science3
Concentration Practicum
SWRK 5822Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum I2
SWRK 5820Integrative Practice Seminar1
SWRK 5823Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum II2
SWRK 5830ABA Integrative Practice Seminar II1
SWRK 5824Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum III2
SWRK 5840ABA Integrative Practice Seminar III1
ABA 5116Practicum IV2
ABA 5115Advanced Clinical Research and Practice Seminar IV1
Concentration Electives0
None
Total Credits33

Clinical Concentration

Advanced Practice Concentration Courses
SWRK 5733Advanced Social Work Practice3
SWRK 5734Human Behavior & the Social Environment Part II3
SWRK 5762Diagnosis & Assessment in Clinical Practice3
SWRK 5784Evaluation of Social Work Practice3
Concentration Practicum
SWRK 5820Integrative Practice Seminar1
SWRK 5842Clinical Practicum I2
SWRK 5843Clinical Practicum II3
Concentration Electives
Select 15 credits 15
Total Credits33

Up to 6 credits may be taken outside of Social Work (SWRK) courses.

Community and Organization Concentration

Advanced Practice Concentration Courses
SWRK 5721Community Theory & Practice3
SWRK 5784Evaluation of Social Work Practice3
SWRK 5785Organizational & Program Planning3
Concentration Practicum
SWRK 5820Integrative Practice Seminar1
SWRK 5832Community & Organization Practicum I2
SWRK 5833Community & Organization Practicum II3
Concentration Electives
Select 18 credits 18
Total Credits33

Up to 6 credits may be taken outside of Social Work (SWRK) courses.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration (Full-Time)

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
SWRK 5725 Human Behavior & the Social Environment 3
SWRK 5746 Principles & Concepts in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
SWRK 5750 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups 3
SWRK 5774 Measurement & Experimental Design in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
 Credits12
Spring
SWRK 5747 Behavioral Assessment 3
SWRK 5748 Behavior Change & Processes in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
SWRK 5751 Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations 3
SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar 1
SWRK 5821 MSW/ABA Foundation Practicum 2
 Credits12
Summer
SWRK 5001 Supervision and Organizational Behavior Management 3
SWRK 5749 Behavior Change & Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar 1
SWRK 5822 Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum I 2
 Credits9
Year Two
Fall
SWRK 5002 Philosophy of Behavioral Science 3
SWRK 5702 Social Policy 3
SWRK 5823 Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum II 2
SWRK 5830 ABA Integrative Practice Seminar II 1
 Credits9
Spring
SWRK 5762 Diagnosis & Assessment in Clinical Practice * 3
SWRK 5787 Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice 3
SWRK 5824 Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum III 2
SWRK 5840 ABA Integrative Practice Seminar III 1
 Credits9
Summer
SWRK 5707 Policy Practice for Social Justice 3
ABA 5115 Advanced Clinical Research and Practice Seminar IV 1
ABA 5116 Practicum IV 2
 Credits6
 Total Credits57
*

This course is necessary to become a LCSW

Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration (Part-Time)

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
SWRK 5750 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups 3
SWRK 5751 Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations 3
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5725 Human Behavior & the Social Environment 3
SWRK 5702 Social Policy 3
 Credits6
Summer
SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar 1
SWRK 5821 MSW/ABA Foundation Practicum 2
 Credits3
Year Two
Fall
SWRK 5746 Principles & Concepts in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
SWRK 5774 Measurement & Experimental Design in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5747 Behavioral Assessment 3
SWRK 5748 Behavior Change & Processes in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
 Credits6
Summer
SWRK 5001 Supervision and Organizational Behavior Management 3
SWRK 5749 Behavior Change & Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
 Credits6
Year Three
Fall
SWRK 5002 Philosophy of Behavioral Science 3
SWRK 5822 Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum I 2
SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar 1
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5787 Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice 3
SWRK 5823 Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum II 2
SWRK 5830 ABA Integrative Practice Seminar II 1
 Credits6
Summer
SWRK 5707 Policy Practice for Social Justice 3
SWRK 5824 Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum III 2
SWRK 5840 ABA Integrative Practice Seminar III 1
 Credits6
Year Four
Fall
ABA 5115 Advanced Clinical Research and Practice Seminar IV 1
ABA 5116 Practicum IV 2
SWRK 5762 Diagnosis & Assessment in Clinical Practice * 3
 Credits6
 Total Credits57
*

This course is necessary for a LCSW.

Clinical Concentration (Full-Time)

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
SWRK 5702 Social Policy 3
SWRK 5725 Human Behavior & the Social Environment 3
SWRK 5750 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups 3
SWRK 5751 Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations 3
SWRK 5787 Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice 3
 Credits15
Spring
SWRK 5707 Policy Practice for Social Justice 3
SWRK 5841 Master of Social Work Foundation Practicum 1 2
SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar 1
Clinical Concentration Core Course 3
Clinical Concentration Core Course 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
SWRK 5700 Values & Ethics in Social Work 3
SWRK 5733 Advanced Social Work Practice (or Elective) 3 3
SWRK 5784 Evaluation of Social Work Practice 3
SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar 1
SWRK 5842 Clinical Practicum I 2 2
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
SWRK 5843 Clinical Practicum II 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits12
 Total Credits57
1

Must be taken concurrently with SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar (1 cr) 

2

Must take concurrently with SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar (1 cr)

3

SWRK 5733 Advanced Social Work Practice (3 cr) must be taken either concurrently or after SWRK 5842 Clinical Practicum I (2 cr).

Clinical Concentration (Part-Time)

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
SWRK 5725 Human Behavior & the Social Environment 3
SWRK 5750 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups 3
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5702 Social Policy 3
SWRK 5751 Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations 3
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
SWRK 5787 Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice 3
SWRK 5841 Master of Social Work Foundation Practicum 1 2
SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar 1
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5700 Values & Ethics in Social Work 3
SWRK 5707 Policy Practice for Social Justice 3
 Credits6
Year Three
Fall
Clinical Concentration Core Courses 2 3
Clinical Concentration Core Courses 3
Elective 3
 Credits9
Spring
SWRK 5784 Evaluation of Social Work Practice 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits9
Year Four
Fall
SWRK 5842 Clinical Practicum I 3 2
SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar 1
SWRK 5733 Advanced Social Work Practice (or Elective) 4 3
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5843 Clinical Practicum II 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits9
 Total Credits57
1

Must take concurrently with SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar (1 cr)

2

Students can begin taking electives when they begin Concentration Core Courses and can add a three-credit elective to any semester beginning in Semester Five. 

3

Must take concurrently with SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar (1 cr)

4

 SWRK 5733 Advanced Social Work Practice (3 cr) must be taken either in concurrently or after SWRK 5842 Clinical Practicum I (2 cr).

Community and Organization Concentration (Full-Time)

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
SWRK 5702 Social Policy 3
SWRK 5725 Human Behavior & the Social Environment 3
SWRK 5750 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups 3
SWRK 5751 Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations 3
SWRK 5787 Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice 3
 Credits15
Spring
SWRK 5841 Master of Social Work Foundation Practicum 1 2
SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar 1
Community & Org Concentration Core Course 3
Community & Org Concentration Core Course 3
SWRK 5707 Policy Practice for Social Justice 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
SWRK 5832 Community & Organization Practicum I 2
SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar (Register for Com/Org Section) 1
SWRK 5700 Values & Ethics in Social Work 3
SWRK 5784 Evaluation of Social Work Practice 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
SWRK 5833 Community & Organization Practicum II 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits12
 Total Credits57
1

Must be taken concurrently with SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar (1 cr)

Community and Organization Concentration (Part-Time)

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
SWRK 5725 Human Behavior & the Social Environment 3
SWRK 5750 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups 3
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5702 Social Policy 3
SWRK 5751 Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations 3
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
SWRK 5787 Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice 3
SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar 1
SWRK 5841 Master of Social Work Foundation Practicum 1 2
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5700 Values & Ethics in Social Work 3
SWRK 5707 Policy Practice for Social Justice 3
 Credits6
Year Three
Fall
Community & Org Concentration Core Course 2 3
Community & Org Concentration Core Course 2 3
Elective 3
 Credits9
Spring
SWRK 5784 Evaluation of Social Work Practice 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits9
Year Four
Fall
SWRK 5832 Community & Organization Practicum I 2
SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar (Register for Com/Org Section) 1
Elective 3
 Credits6
Spring
SWRK 5833 Community & Organization Practicum II 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits9
 Total Credits57
1

Must take concurrently with SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar (1 cr)

2

Students can begin taking electives when they begin Concentration Core Courses and can add a three-credit elective to any semester beginning in Semester Five.

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions please contact:
Kathryn MacLean
Director of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
314-977-2752
socialwork@slu.edu