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Social Work, MSW

Are you ready to take the next step in your professional life?  To go further in helping others reach higher? To expand your knowledge and refine your skills to affect positive change?  If so, then the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Bridgewater State University is for you. This challenging program will prepare you for advanced social work practice to enhance the lives of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Designed for professionals working within strengths-based, biopsychosocial practice models, the MSW program is grounded in the profession’s history, purpose and philosophy in order to promote social justice and optimal functioning.

Bridgewater State University's Master of Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Program Highlights

The MSW program produces graduates who have a lifetime commitment to upholding human rights, respecting human diversity and working towards   social justice in their professional and personal lives. As a graduate, you will be prepared to practice in a wide variety of public and private settings, including child welfare, youth services, mental health and  counseling agencies, schools, criminal justice organizations, elder services and medical settings such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.  

The MSW program offers you:

  • A wide range of placement opportunities in  Southeastern Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area.
  • Diverse faculty with extensive experience in a variety of social work settings
  • Strong clinical training with an interdisciplinary knowledge base
  • Classes are offered in the late afternoon, evening and on Saturdays. 
  • Full-time and part-time program options
  • Small classes facilitating a more personalized learning experience
  • Advanced standing option (for graduates of CSWE-accredited BSW programs only)
  • Professional leadership skills and development
  • Affordable tuition, whether you live in state or out of state

Graduate Program Coordinator: Karen R. Fein, Ph.D., LICSW

Application Deadline
 
January 10 for fall admission only. No late applications will be accepted.
 
Admissions Requirements
  • Online application and $50 application fee
  • Résumé
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 credits. A liberal arts background with some coursework in the social, behavioral and biological sciences is strongly preferred. Applicants with other backgrounds may be asked to take additional coursework prior to matriculation in the program.
  • Three letters of reference, ideally from supervisors, faculty members and others able to attest to the applicant’s readiness to undertake graduate education in social work
  • Advanced Standing applicants: please include a summary statement of your field experience. 
  • A statement of personal and professional goals (suggested page length of 5-7 pages, double-spaced) which responds to each point below.  
    1. Describe the experiences that have influenced your choice of social work as a profession by addressing the following:
         a. Your motivation for being a social worker 
         b. Your values and beliefs as they relate to social work 
         c. The qualities you can bring to the social work profession and to colleagues in the MSW program 

    2. Describe both your personal strengths and the areas in need of development related to becoming a professional social worker. 
         a. Areas of strength
         b. Areas in need of development  

    3. What do you see as the most pressing social issue facing society?  
         a. How do we as social workers respond to this need? 
         b. What is your personal involvement in working on this issue?

    4. Describe your commitment to social justice and social change.  
         a. Your experience with people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds including race, ethnic heritage, age, gender, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, disability or national origin 
         b. Your experience with social change 

    5. How do you propose to manage the special demands of the program?  Please be specific as to how you plan to meet and balance the challenges of: 
         a. Course work and course schedule
         b. Completing internship requirements
         c. Paid or volunteer work and your personal responsibilities

The admission committee’s decision will be based on the applicant’s demonstrated academic ability, interpersonal skills and self-awareness – indicators of the likelihood that the applicant can successfully complete the program. In addition, evidence of a commitment to the social work profession and to the mission of the Bridgewater State University MSW program, and of the likely contribution the applicant might make to the citizens of Southeastern Massachusetts will be assessed. Social work requires the ability to withstand difficult emotional challenges, to work with people whose cultural backgrounds and/or personal values differ from one’s own, and to practice in a demanding and changing political and fiscal environment. Special attributes such as linguistic ability compatible with those in the region, a demonstrated commitment working with underserved populations, and particular skills such as those in research and policy implementation will be considered.

Please consider the following as you consider applying for our Program and filling out the MSW Program Admissions Application:

  • If you did not attain the required 3.0 GPA, we recommend that you enroll in at least two graduate courses and receive at least a letter grade of "B" to demonstrate your likelihood of success in a graduate level academic program.
  • We strongly encourage you to talk with your references and to get a copy of the letter they send, so that you know that your references addressed your strengths and positively addressed any weakness.
  • We strongly encourage you to obtain a letter from at least one of your previous professors who can speak to your academic ability to be successful at the graduate level.
  • Take your time and make sure that you address each point that is requested of you on your personal statement.
  • Ask an outside reader to proofread your statement for grammar, spelling, and language errors, as well as for content related to the personal statement questions. Remember, this personal statement is your only opportunity to provide the Admission Committee with a positive impression of who you are and of your commitment and desire to complete the MSW program.

If you are applying to two or more graduate programs, please remember that each program is somewhat different. You will want to respond to each MSW Program's individual requests, as not all programs ask the same questions.

Apply Today

Full & Part Time Curriculum (62 credits)
SCWK 500 - Policy I: Social Welfare Policy 
SCWK 502 - Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression
SCWK 508 - Policy II: Policy Advocacy, Development and Analysis
SCWK 510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment I 
SCWK 511 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
SCWK 512 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment III: The DSM
SCWK 530 - Social Work Practice I 
SCWK 531 - Social Work Practice II: Groups and Community-Based Practice 
SCWK 540 - Introductory Social Research 
SCWK 541 - Research: Evaluating Practice
SCWK 550 - Social Work Practice III: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Families
SCWK 551 - Social Work Practice IV: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Individuals
SCWK 572 - Social Policy III: Mental and Physical Health Care Policy
SCWK 590 - Field Practice and Seminar I 
SCWK 591 - Field Practice and Seminar II 
SCWK 592 - Field Practice III
SCWK 593 - Field Practice IV 

Electives
9 additional elective credits to include SCWK 580 - Special Topics or an approved equivalent course in another department.

 

Advanced Standing Curriculum (35 credits)
SCWK 502 - Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression
SCWK 512 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment III: The DSM
SCWK 531 - Social Work Practice II: Groups and Community-Based Practice 
SCWK 541 - Research: Evaluating Practice
SCWK 550 - Social Work Practice III: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Families
SCWK 551 - Social Work Practice IV: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Individuals
SCWK 572 - Social Policy III: Mental and Physical Health Care Policy
SCWK 592 - Field Practice III
SCWK 593 - Field Practice IV 

Electives
6 additional elective credits to include SCWK 580 - Special Topics or an approved equivalent course in another department.

Search Courses

Bridgewater offers several program options for our Master of Social Work program:

Advanced Standing (2 Years)

Candidates seeking to enter the program with full advanced standing must have earned a BSW or BA/BS in social work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program within six years of application to the MSW program. Students who completed their BSW degrees more than six years ago will be evaluated individually to determine their preparedness for the second year of coursework. Applicants who wish to transfer into the MSW program after completing a first year elsewhere may also be considered for advanced standing.

Once admitted into the program with advanced standing, candidates complete 35 credits which include the following courses:

Advanced Standing Program Two Year Option (35 credits)

First year

Fall (9 credits)
SCWK 502 - Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression
SCWK 541 - Research: Evaluating Practice
SCWK 572 - Social Policy III: Mental and Physical Health Care Policy

Spring (9 credits)
SCWK 512 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment III: DSM-The Art and Science of Clinical Diagnosis
SCWK 531 - Social Work Practice II: Groups and Community-Based Practice

Elective

Second year

Fall (10 credits)
SCWK 551 - Social Work Practice IV: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Individuals
SCWK 592 - Field Practice III

Elective

Spring (7 credits)
SCWK 550 - Social Work Practice III: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Families
SCWK 593 - Field Practice IV

Full-Time Program (2 Years)

In the full-time option, candidates complete the courses listed below in their first year. This foundation year includes courses with content on social work values and ethics, diversity and social and economic justice, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy practice and services, clinical social work practice, research and field practicum.

First Year

Fall (15 credits)
SCWK 500 - Policy I: Social Welfare Policy
SCWK 502 - Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression
SCWK 510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
SCWK 530 - Social Work Practice I
SCWK 590 - Field Practice and Seminar I

Spring (15 credits)
SCWK 508 - Policy II: Policy Advocacy, Development and Analysis
SCWK 511 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
SCWK 531 - Social Work Practice II: Groups and Community-Based Practice
SCWK 540 - Introductory Social Research
SCWK 591 - Field Practice and Seminar II

Second Year

Full-time candidates complete the courses listed below in their second year. The advanced year broadens and deepens the foundation content. Students may take graduate courses outside the School of Social Work, such as those in the following BSU programs: Master of Public Administration, Master of Science in Management, Master of Education in Health Promotion or other approved master’s degree programs with preapproval of the faculty advisor and the MSW program coordinator. Courses taken in graduate programs at the other institutions of higher education may also be submitted for transfer credit. Up to six credits may be transferred into BSU from other institutions.

Fall (16 credits)
SCWK 512 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment III: DSM-The Art and Science of Clinical Diagnosis
SCWK 541 - Research: Evaluating Practice
SCWK 551 - Social Work Practice IV: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Individuals
SCWK 592 - Field Practice III

Elective

Spring (16 credits)
SCWK 550 - Social Work Practice III: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Families
SCWK 572 - Social Policy III: Mental and Physical Health Care Policy
SCWK 593 - Field Practice IV

2 Electives

Note: The nine credits of elective courses included above can include SCWK 580 - Special Topics or equivalent preapproved courses in another department. In addition, electives may be taken during any semester enrolled in the program, including summer semesters.

Part-Time Program (3 Years)

First year

Fall (9 credits)
SCWK 500 - Policy I: Social Welfare Policy
SCWK 502 - Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression
SCWK 510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment I

Spring (9 credits)
SCWK 508 - Policy II: Policy Advocacy, Development and Analysis
SCWK 511 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
SCWK 540 - Introductory Social Research

Summer* (3 credits)
Elective

Second year

Fall (9 credits)
SCWK 530 - Social Work Practice I
SCWK 572 - Social Policy III: Mental and Physical Health Care Policy
SCWK 590 - Field Practice and Seminar I

Spring (9 credits)
SCWK 512 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment III: DSM-The Art and Science of Clinical Diagnosis
SCWK 531 - Social Work Practice II: Groups and Community-Based Practice
SCWK 591 - Field Practice and Seminar II

Summer* (6 credits)
Two Electives

Third year

Fall (10 credits)
SCWK 541 - Research: Evaluating Practice
SCWK 551 - Social Work Practice IV: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Individuals
SCWK 592 - Field Practice III

Spring (10 credits)
SCWK 550 - Social Work Practice III: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Families
SCWK 593 - Field Practice IV

*Please note: while it is suggested that SCWK 580 - Special Topics courses be taken during the summer, these courses can also be taken during the academic year.

Part-Time Program (4 Years)

First year

Fall (9 credits)
SCWK 500 - Policy I: Social Welfare Policy
SCWK 502 - Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression
SCWK 510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment I

Spring (9 credits)
SCWK 508 - Policy II: Policy Advocacy, Development and Analysis
SCWK 511 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
SCWK 540 - Introductory Social Research

Second year

Fall (6 credits)
SCWK 530 - Social Work Practice I
SCWK 590 - Field Practice and Seminar I

Spring (6 credits)
SCWK 531 - Social Work Practice II: Groups and Community-Based Practice
SCWK 591 - Field Practice and Seminar II

Third year

Fall (9 credits)
SCWK 541 - Research: Evaluating Practice
SCWK 572 - Social Policy III: Mental and Physical Health Care Policy

Elective

Spring (9 credits)
SCWK 512 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment III: DSM-The Art and Science of Clinical Diagnosis
2 Electives

Fourth year

Fall (7 credits)
SCWK 551 - Social Work Practice IV: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Individuals
SCWK 592 - Field Practice III

Spring (7 credits)
SCWK 550 - Social Work Practice III: Intergenerational Strengths-Based Practice with Families
SCWK 593 - Field Practice IV

Funding Opportunities

The College of Graduate Studies provides various opportunities for graduate students to receive funding while working towards their degrees. Appointments are competitive and are determined by undergraduate and/or graduate grade point averages, pertinent experience, educational preparation and interviews.  For information on assistantships, fellowships and conference funding awards, please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

The MSW program is eligible for unsubsidized student loans and applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For more specific questions, please visit the Financial Aid Office website or contact them directly at finaid@bridgew.edu.

 

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Graduate Events

View our graduate events page to RSVP to information sessions, workshops and seminars.

Cost of Attending

Bridgewater offers competitive tuition and fees for graduate students both in and out of state.

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