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Master of Social Work Degree at YWCA, Worcester MA

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Take the Next Step to a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Westfield State!

Westfield State University’s MSW program will be enrolling its sixth cohort of students for Fall 2022 at the YWCA in Worcester, MA! Students will be enrolled through WSU’s program while conveniently attending classes at the YWCA in Worcester.

Why attend the MSW program at Westfield State?

The M.S.W. programs at WSU has a single concentration in clinical practice. Beyond this concentration students are able to explore practice areas of interest through elective offered by the program. These areas include practice with children, practice in health care settings, gerontology, school social work, and substance abuse treatment. The program prepares all students for licensure at the entry graduate level (LCSW in MA) and ultimately for advanced independent licensure (LICSW in MA).

The clinical M.S.W. program at WSU begins with a generalist base and then builds clinical knowledge, values and skills on that base. The program emphasizes leadership throughout the practice community in evaluating and analyzing existing and emerging areas of knowledge to advance social service delivery, social policies, and direct practice with the vulnerable, disenfranchised and marginalized populations that are served by social workers.

How Long Will It Take?

  • Westfield State is accepting students in Fall 2022 for our Traditional Standing program and Advanced Standing program.
  • The Traditional standing program is a 3-year, accelerated part-time program. Students must complete the Foundation Curriculum and the Advanced Curriculum of the program.
  • The Advanced Standing program is a 2-year, part-time program. Students completing the Advanced Standing program must complete the Summer Bridge Course and the Advanced Curriculum.
  • The program is offered primarily as hybrid courses with some online courses. Hybrid courses are partially online and meet once per week in-person for one hour and 45 minutes, all in person class meetings occur in the evening with classes scheduled to meet over two evenings per week at 5:15 - 7 p.m. and 7:15 - 9 p.m. allowing for flexibility of work schedules.
  • Required Field Practicums are planned with our Field Education staff and will most likely require some day time hours to complete. Employment based field practicums are a possibility (see program policy on employment based practicums).
  • The program starts in September with a February 1 application deadline.

How much will it cost?

We offer affordable programs. Please visit our Tuition and Fees page with up to date costs.

Program Course Sequence and Requirements

Program Course Sequence Map

The program curriculum is divided into two parts. The first part is designed to give students the generalist practice foundation that is common to all social work programs. The foundation curriculum includes classroom work and a 400 hour hands -on practicum. The following courses make up the foundation curriculum:

  • SOCW 0511 - Research I
  • SOCW 0512 - Research II
  • SOCW 0521 - Human Behavior & the Social Environment (HBSE) I
  • SOCW 0522 - Human Behavior & the Social Environment (HBSE) II
  • SOCW 0523 - Diversity & Social Justice
  • SOCW 0531 - Social Welfare Policy Analysis
  • SOCW 0541 - Generalist Practice I
  • SOCW 0542 - Generalist Practice II
  • SOCW 0561 - Foundation Practicum I
  • SOCW 0562 - Foundation Practicum II

Program Course Sequence Map

The second part of the curriculum is designed to give students advanced knowledge, values, and skills for clinical practice. The advanced curriculum includes required classroom work, one advanced practice elective, two general electives, and a 500 hour hands-on practicum. Students who have completed a BSW from a CSWE accredited program can apply for advanced standing and start the program in the second year after completing a summer bridge course. The following courses make up the advanced curriculum:

  • SOCW 0621 - Mental Health & Children
  • SOCW 0622 - Mental Health & Adulthood
  • SOCW 0631 - Child Welfare Policy
  • SOCW 0642 - Advanced Practice with Adults
  • SOCW 0643 - Advanced Practice with Families
  • SOCW 0661 - Advanced Practicum I
  • SOCW 0662 - Advanced Practicum II
  • Two General Electives (3 credits each)
  • One Advanced Practice Elective (3 credits)
Required for Advanced Standing Students Only:
  • SOCW 0543 - Generalist Practice Bridge Course
Electives Include

General Electives

  • SOCW 0651 - School Social Work
  • SOCW 0652 - Substance Abuse Treatment
  • SOCW 0697 - Independent Study in Social Work
  • SOCW 0699 - Special Topics In Social Work

Advanced Practice Electives

  • SOCW 0653 - Advanced Practice with Children & Youth
  • SOCW 0698 - Advanced Practice in Social Work Special Topics
Total Credits for MSW - 66 Credits

 All applicants should follow the following process and meet the described requirements (Specific additional requirements for Advanced Standing applicants are identified)

  1. Applicants may apply online or request a packet from the College of Graduate and Continuing Education.
  2. Applicants must have a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university. To apply for Advanced Standing the candidate must have a BSW from a CSWE accredited program.
  3. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree that included a clear liberal arts base and a firm foundation in the social sciences, government, and human biology. (Applicants should identify their social science, government and human biology courses on the application. Students who do not meet this requirement may be accepted into the program but will be required to take courses to meet these requirements prior to starting the program.)
  4. Applicants need a 2.8 overall undergraduate GPA. For Advanced Standing candidates, the applicant should also have a 3.0 social work GPA. In extraordinary circumstances both requirements can be waived by the Admission Committee.
  5. Applicants need to complete the Graduate Admission form, specifying Traditional MSW program or Advanced Standing MSW Program and whether they would like to be full-time or part-time.
  6. Applicants must submit three references forms with accompanying recommendation letters, including one academic reference. Advanced Standing applicants need to have one of their letters of reference from their BSW Program Director (or his/her designee). A letter from their Field Placement Supervisor is highly recommended.
  7. Applicants need to submit a current resume.
  8. Applicants need to complete a professional statement that describes:
  • reason(s) for interest in entering the field of social work
  • assessment of personal strengths and limitations related to the profession;
  • examination of life experiences and relationship of these experiences to career choice. Discuss here evidence of your commitment to aiding people who are oppressed and/or members of vulnerable populations (good examples are prior work, civic or volunteer experiences); and
  • assessment of personal values and congruence of these beliefs with the social work profession's value system. (We suggest that you review the NASW Code of Ethics prior to writing the professional statement.)

The professional statement will be evaluated regarding the above material and also will be considered a writing sample to evaluate your ability to express yourself in written form. Applicants who believe that they have extraordinary circumstances regarding the GPA requirements must include their rationale for their request to have the GPA requirement waived.

Though human services experience is not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to describe any prior volunteer or work experience in their professional statement. Professional experience is viewed positively and considered when making decisions regarding waiving GPA requirements.

The MSW Program does not require standardized testing (GRE or MAT) for admission to the program.

Due to the competitive nature of this program, we require a nonrefundable "competitive program deposit" of $150.00 within 10 days of acceptance. This deposit is used to ensure your space in the program. The deposit is applied to your first registration as a matriculated student in the Fall semester immediately following your acceptance. If we do not hear from you within 10 days, we will assume you have selected an alternative direction, and we will close your matriculation.

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