The Full-Time Master of Social Work Program (MSW)

Are you a prospective MSW student and would like to meet with an advisor? Sign up for a Group Information Session!

Program Overview

Our students find that the teaching of Social Work Practice knowledge, values, and skills with an analytic approach fosters the ability to acquire and translate knowledge into sound professional social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and/or organizations.

The first year (or Generalist Practice Year) is designed to provide you with foundational social work knowledge, values, and skills necessary for solid social work practice and to prepare you for advanced practice within the advanced generalist specialization.

In the second year (or Advanced Practice Specialization Year), students complete the advanced generalist specialization with a focus in Aging; Child, Youth and Family Welfare; Health; or Mental Health. It is not possible to focus in more than one area. In addition, through the courses they choose, students deepen their social work practice knowledge, values, and skill base within that framework with either a direct practice or indirect practice emphasis.

Why Choose the Full-Time MSW Program at UW-Madison?

In our MSW Programs you will find:

  • A unique approach to Field Education
  • Advanced standing available for BSW students
  • Advanced generalist specialization
  • A generalist approach and social problem focus to graduate education for practice
  • More than 100 agencies and organizations provide opportunities in which to learn practice
  • Prominent faculty in their fields of study
  • State-of-the-art interview practice and videoconference rooms
  • Dual or double degrees available (must be accepted into both programs, e.g., Law and Social Work, Public Policy and Social Work)
  • A world-class university with excellent libraries and student resources
  • The City of Madison - a safe, beautiful, and progressive place in which to live
Time in Program

The length of the graduate program will vary according to the student’s prior preparation and the number of credits completed each semester. Typically, for students without a BSW, completion of the MSW Program requires four full-time semesters of study. For students who do have a BSW and meet criteria, minimum time for completion of the MSW program is two full-time semesters if admitted with full advanced standing.

Part-Time Load

Students may enroll in the Full-Time MSW Program on a part-time basis (less than 8 credits) but must carry a load of a minimum of two courses each semester and must complete one full-time semester of 8 credits or more. In these circumstances, students need to carefully plan their course of study with a Social Work advisor, and enroll in courses according to prerequisites and sequences (e.g., generalist courses must be completed prior to specialization courses).

For More Information ...

Still looking for more information about the Full-Time MSW Program at UW-Madison? Check out our Full-Time MSW Program FAQ page.