Part-Time Master of Social Work Program (MSW)

Stick figures representing the number of full-ride scholarships. There were 17 full-ride admission scholarships for the Part-Time MSW Program in 2022-2023Hybrid Courses With In-Person Sessions Every Other Saturday

Applications are now open for the 2023-24 academic year!

Are you a prospective MSW student and would like to learn more about the program? Sign up for more information and we will be in touch! You can also register for a Part-Time Program Informational Session.

We also invite you to visit the Frequently Asked Questions to discover answers to common questions.

The Part-Time MSW Program is designed to allow students who are not able to pursue full-time study to work towards a master’s degree on a structured, time-extended basis with classes delivered in a hybrid format: using in-person sessions and online technology.  Some courses are designed as blended courses with a mix of online learning and in-person sessions while others are taught as online courses. In-person sessions take place every other Saturday on our Madison campus. Online sessions and courses are held either asynchronous and/or synchronous (remote meetings via Zoom). Students should plan to be on campus each semester and be available each Saturday for class. Our program’s instructional delivery is intended to meet the needs of our diverse student population, many of whom commute and/or work, as well as offering the benefits of a live classroom experience to acquire advanced practice skills and competencies.

*Please note that the move to hybrid courses is a permanent change and not related to COVID-19. In addition, admission to the Eau Claire site has been discontinued.

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

  • Learn from seasoned instructors who are social work practitioners currently working in the field
  • Small class sizes lead to strong cohort bonds
  • Build connections with your instructors and classmates that last beyond graduation
  • Courses offered on Saturdays, beginning at 9:00 am allowing time to commute for in-person sessions
  • Field placement may be offered in your home community
  • Admissions Scholarships and Financial Aid Resources available
  • Focus areas in Child, Youth, and Family Welfare & Mental Health
  • Same curriculum as our Full-Time MSW Program
  • $800 per credit (plus fees) for in and out-of-state residents
  • Advanced Standing available
  • Exemption Exams for Generalist Practice courses available

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 Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW), completion of the Part-Time MSW Program requires four years of study. For students who do have a BSW and meet criteria, minimum time for completion of the Part-Time MSW program is two years of study if admitted with complete advanced standing.

Professional Accreditation

Both our Full- and Part-Time MSW Programs are accredited through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Information on when the program was first accredited and our last accreditation review are available on their Directory of Accredited Programs.

Part-Time students pay $800 per credit tuition, segregated fees, and a $110.00 lab fee for each semester in field. Segregated fees are not included in chart below. Please see Bursar’s Office Tuition rates for semester specific rates.

PTP Generalist Plan of Study

There are two important policies we would like to briefly summarize for students in the Part-Time MSW Program:

  • Graduate Assistantship Policy: Per university policy, 131 students (which includes the Part-Time Program) are permitted to hold TA/RA/PA positions (including those above 33%) but will not receive the tuition remission that is typically part of the compensation package for a graduate assistantship.
  • Program/Course Enrollment Policy: Students in this program cannot enroll in other graduate programs. All MSW requirements must be met by taking courses in the Part-Time MSW Program. You must consult with an advisor prior to taking any coursework outside of the Part-Time MSW Program.

Financial Aid

All students interested in applying for financial aid must contact the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students should make sure they have enough financial aid to cover summer classes. We strongly recommend students talk to the Office of Student Financial Aid to create a financial aid plan that will meet your needs.

The Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work offers a number of Awards and Scholarships. Part-Time students in Child, Youth, and Family Welfare are also encouraged to apply for Public Child Welfare Training funding once they have been accepted.

Returning Adult Student Scholarships, Financial Assistance information can be found through the UW-Madison Continuing Studies Adult & Student Services Center.

For students without a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, the focus of the curriculum for the first two years of study in the Part-Time MSW Program is on Generalist Practice.

The first two years’ curriculum is generalist and is designed to provide you with foundational social work knowledge, values and skills and to prepare you for the Advanced Generalist Specialization.

Learn more about the Generalist Field Unit in the PTP by watching this video from the Field Education Office!

Generalist Practice Plan of Study

PTP Generalist Plan of Study

In a broad social justice framework, advanced practice (students continuing from the Generalist years) or advanced standing (students entering the Program with a recent BSW) MSW students complete a generalist advanced practice specialization in one of two social problem focus areas. Students may also choose to have no focus area.

Students can elect to pursue a more specialized area (sub-focus) if they choose an area of focus in the advanced generalist specialization.

Children, Youth, and Family Welfare

Mental Health

Child, Youth, and Family Welfare Focus Area

The Child, Youth, and Family Welfare focus area in the Part-Time MSW Program is intended for students with an interest in school social work, child welfare, or advanced generalist social work practice with children, youth, and families in other contexts and systems (e.g., juvenile justice, community-based services). The focus area exposes students to the policies and practice philosophies of multiple service systems, the ways in which these varied systems intersect, and models of coordinated service delivery for families involved in multiple systems. Students are exposed to innovative prevention and intervention strategies designed to reduce risk and promote resilience in children, youth, and families from diverse backgrounds and family structures.

Sub-focus areas available: Child Welfare, School Social Work, or Health and Aging.

Students who are accepted into the Title IV-E Stipend Program take electives in child welfare, complete a specialized field placement in child welfare, and attend additional learning activities that help prepare for work in public child welfare. Students pursuing school social work licensure take electives that prepare them for school social work licensure, including a school social work practice course and a school social work field placement. Students pursuing the Health and Aging sub-focus take a health and aging elective and have a health and aging field placement.

Learn more about the CYFW field unit in the PTP by watching this video from the Field Education Office. 

Focus Area Chair

Ellen Smith, MSSW

Plan of Study

CYFW Plan of Study

Mental Health Focus Area

The Mental Health focus area prepares social workers for advanced practice roles in a variety of mental health settings, including those that address the needs of the most marginalized and underserved members of our communities.

Although the focus area embraces a life course perspective, it primarily focuses on clinical social work practice with children, youth, and adults who are living with, or at risk for, serious mental health and substance use problems. Students in this focus area learn advanced practice skills in mental health assessment, diagnosis, treatment, client-centered advocacy, interdisciplinary collaboration, and evaluation of practice and client outcomes from an intersectional approach. They develop knowledge of conceptual and theoretical frameworks for understanding the nature, etiology, course, and consequences of major mental health conditions, as well as evidence-based and emerging models of clinical social work practice. Students also learn about current social policies, funding mechanisms and service delivery systems that affect mental health consumers and their families. A recovery orientation, consumer empowerment, and cultural humility are woven into the mental health focus area curriculum.

Students who graduate with this focus area are prepared for clinical mental health positions in hospitals, outpatient clinics, community mental health programs and more.

Sub-focus areas available: Students in the Mental Health focus area have the option of completing a sub-focus in substance use disorders or health and aging.

Learn more about the MH field unit in the PTP by watching this video from the Field Education Office. 

Focus Area Chairs

Tally Moses, MSW, PhD
Angela Willits, MSW, LCSW

Plan of Study

Mental Health Plan of Study

The Part-Time MSW Program (PTP) follows a different schedule than the UW-Madison academic calendar. All classes held in-person occur on Saturdays unless otherwise listed.

Fall 2022

Week of class Fall Semester Dates In-person sessions meet ODD/EVEN blended course in-person
Week 1 Wednesday, Sept. 7 – Sunday, Sept. 11 Saturday 9/10 ODD
Week 2 Monday, Sept. 12 – Sunday, Sept. 18 Saturday 9/17 EVEN
Week 3 Monday, Sept. 19 – Sunday, Sept. 25 Saturday 9/24 ODD
Week 4 Monday, Sept. 26 – Sunday, Oct. 2 Saturday 10/1 EVEN
Week 5 Monday, Oct. 3 – Sunday, Oct. 9 Saturday 10/8 ODD
Week 6 Monday, Oct. 10 – Sunday, Oct. 16 Saturday 10/15 EVEN
Week 7 Monday, Oct. 17 – Sunday, Oct. 23 Saturday 10/22 ODD
Week 8 Monday, Oct. 24 – Sunday, Oct. 30 Saturday 10/29 EVEN
Week 9 Monday, Oct. 31 – Sunday, Nov. 6 Saturday 11/5 ODD
Week 10 Monday, Nov. 7 – Sunday, Nov. 13 Saturday 11/12 EVEN
Week 11 Monday, Nov. 14 – Sunday, Nov. 20 Saturday 11/19 ODD
week off for Thanksgiving Monday, Nov. 21 – Sunday, Nov. 27 Saturday 11/26 n/a
Week 12 Monday, Nov. 28 – Sunday, Dec. 4 Saturday 12/3 EVEN
Week 13 Monday, Dec. 5 – Sunday, Dec. 11 Saturday 12/10 ODD
Week 14 Monday, Dec. 12 – Sunday, Dec. 18 Saturday 12/17 EVEN
Blended ODD courses: SW 400, SW 441, SW 606
Blended EVEN courses: SW 741, SW 800, SW 835, SW 840, SW 870, SW 873
Online courses: SW 605, SW 815, SW 836, SW 875, SW 920

Spring 2023

Week of class Spring Semester Dates In-person sessions meet ODD/EVEN hybrid course in-person
Week 1 Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Sunday, Jan. 29 Saturday 1/28 ODD
Week 2 Monday, Jan. 30 – Sunday, Feb. 5 Saturday 2/4 EVEN
Week 3 Monday, Feb. 6 – Sunday, Feb. 12 Saturday 2/11 ODD
Week 4 Monday, Feb. 13 – Sunday, Feb. 19 Saturday 2/18 EVEN
Week 5 Monday, Feb. 20 – Sunday, Feb. 26 Saturday 2/25 ODD
Week 6 Monday, Feb. 27 – Sunday, March 5 Saturday 3/4 EVEN
Week 7 Monday, March 6 – Sunday, March 12 Saturday 3/11 ODD
week off for Spring Recess Monday, March 13 – Sunday, March 19 Saturday 3/18 n/a
Week 8 Monday, March 20 – Sunday, March 26 Saturday 3/25 EVEN
Week 9 Monday, March 27 – Sunday, April 2 Saturday 4/1 ODD
Week 10 Monday, April 3 – Sunday, April 9 Saturday 4/8 EVEN
Week 11 Monday, April 10 – Sunday, April 16 Saturday 4/15 ODD
Week 12 Monday, April 17 – Sunday,  April 23 Saturday 4/22 EVEN
Week 13 Monday, April 24 – Sunday, April 30 Saturday 4/29 ODD
Week 14 Monday, May 1 – Sunday, May 7 Saturday 5/6 EVEN
Blended ODD courses: SW 401, SW 442, SW 710
Blended EVEN courses: SW 742, SW 801, SW 821, SW 840, SW 842, SW 929
Online courses: SW 644, SW 646, SW 656, SW 711, SW 817

Part-Time Program Student Spotlights