Social Work, MSW

for the degree of Master of Social Work Major in Social Work on campus, online & blended (online/face-to-face)

school office: 1010 W. Nevada St., Urbana, IL 61801

director of graduate studies: Associate Dean Min Zahn


phone: (217) 244-5246

school website:

school faculty: School of Social Work Faculty

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

Graduate Degree Programs in Social Work

Social Work, MSW (on campus, online & blended (online/face-to-face)

concentration required:

Advanced Clinical Practice

Leadership & Social Change

Social Work, PhD

The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The MSW program offers courses on the Urbana campus and off-campus through its MSW Outreach program.

The master's degree provides specialized study for advanced social work practice. Students take foundation and advanced courses in social work practice methods with individuals, families and organization, in policy and services, in research, and in human behavior and the social environment. A two-semester field placement/internship (minimum 900 hours) in a social service agency is required. A total of 64-72 hours of graduate coursework is required for the M.S.W. degree. The determination of the number of hours needed within the range is determined on a case-by-case basis after considering each student’s prior coursework and experience. The curriculum may be completed in 16 to 24 months of full-time study.

MSW students choose from one of these two concentrations:

  • In the Advanced Clinical Practice concentration, students prepare for clinical practice with individuals, families and groups, and in one of the focus areas. These students' Methods coursework has a clinical focus.
  • Students in the Leadership & Social Change (LSC) concentration prepare for advanced macro practice which focuses on work with communities and organizations rather than work with individuals and families. In the LSC concentration students are prepared to work in either leadership/administration or advocacy/policy. Methods coursework for this concentration has a Macro focus.


MSW program applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad;
  2. a grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) or greater for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work;
  3. 20 hours of completed coursework in a liberal arts core consisting of social and behavioral sciences, the humanities, and biological sciences
  4. evidence of personal attributes that are suitable for the profession of social work;
  5. a score of 103 or above on the TOEFL test;
  6. provision of a written supplementary statement.

Advanced Standing MSW applicants who meet all above requirements who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited program in the past seven years are considered for admission into the Advanced Standing MSW program. This is a three semester/44 hour program that may be completed in 12 months by most students. Students with a concentration in school social work participate in a one semester internship during their second Fall semester for a 3 semester/44 hour program completed in 16 months.

Ph.D. program applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. a master degree in social work or in related disciplines;
  2. a GRE score within the last 5 years;
  3. demonstrating a potential for research and other scholarly work;  
  4. aptitude for leadership in the field of social work

for the degree of Master of Social Work Major in Social Work on campus, online, and blended (online/face-to-face)  

Students pursuing the Master of Social Work must apply to and complete a graduate concentration. The concentration selected determines the courses needed to fulfill the requirements below. Select a concentration in:

Advanced Clinical Practice, or
Leadership & Social Change (LSC)