Master's degree in Social Work (MSW)

MSW - woman working with child

Expand your career opportunities with a master's degree in social work

Social work professionals provide services that help individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities on a daily basis. A Master of Social Work degree expands your employment opportunities in this growing field, preparing you for clinical social work practice or client-centered and community-centered administrative practice. An MSW-accredited social worker’s duties might include:

  • Providing support to patients with chronic or terminal illnesses, and their families
  • Addressing social justice issues in daily work and through policy advocacy
  • Working with children in an educational setting to aid with academic or personal problems
  • Providing psychotherapy and counseling services to clients in a clinical setting
  • Helping to run clinics or non-profit organizations that provide social services

What career possibilities does a Master of Social Work degree offer?

An MSW degree opens up more options for employment and helps you quickly advance your career. Professionals with a Master of Social Work apply their skills in settings such as non-profit management, public policy development, healthcare, mental health and education. The state of Kansas currently has a 94 percent employment rate for MSW graduates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work employment is projected to grow 16 percent by 2026.

Master of Social Work career paths - Community Corrections, Health Care and Prevention, Mental Health Care, Policy and Advocacy, Non-Profit Management, Veterans' Affairs, Substance Abuse Treatment, Refugee Resettlement Services, Community Practice


Is the Master of Social Work right for you?

KU’s Master of Social Work degree is designed for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and seek advanced courses to focus their study and further their career in the Social Work field. KU’s MSW program is the only one in Kansas and the greater Kansas City area to offer both clinical and macro degree specializations, allowing students to strengthen their clinical skills as well as their leadership abilities.



Amea Chandler
Social Welfare Academic Success Coach

How is the Master of Social Work degree structured?

The Master of Social Work degree program offers two plans of study. The Traditional plan of study, which admits individuals with any accredited bachelor’s degree requires 64 credit hours, including 26 credit hours of practicum and can be completed in two years. The Advanced Standing plan of study is a one-year program which admits individuals with a BSW degree from a Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program who have strong academic records requires 38 credit hours including 14 credit hours of practicum and can be completed in one year.

Master of Social Work 64 credit hours - 38 social welfare credit hours, 26 hours of field practicum: year 1: 16 clock hours/week, Year 2: 24 clock hours/week, *Two sequential semesters of 10-credit-hour enrollments are required to meet residence requirementsAdvanced Standing MSW 38 credit hours - 18 credit hours of classroom work, 14 hours of field practicum 24 clock hours/week, Summer enrollment in SW712, Plus 1 elective
Why a KU social work degree?


  • Afternoon, evening and blended format courses
  • One-year completion option through Advanced Standing plan of study
  • Practicum (or internship) built into curriculum


  • Credentialed, experienced and passionate faculty
  • CSWE Accreditation
  • Ranked in the top 12 percent of public institutions
  • Classes that are demanding and rewarding


  • More than 50% of our graduates obtain full-time employment at their practicum site after graduation
  • Two areas of degree specialization
  • 94% employment rate for MSW graduates in Kansas