Full-Time MSW Degree Requirements

If you are looking for degree requirements for the Part-Time MSW Program, visit Part-Time MSW Program Requirements.


The MSW program offers a social problem and social issues focus to the education and preparation of students as advanced practitioners and leaders across fields of social work practice. Students find that the teaching of 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 MSW program features a Generalist Year (Year 1) and an Advanced Practice Specialization Year (Year 2).


Select the image below to see an expanded version of the MSW Program's Course Requirements At-A-Glance.

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MSW Program Prerequisites:

The following are eligibility requirements for admission to the MSW Program:

    1. Applicants are required to have completed 30 credits of Social Science courses, such as courses in American government, anthropology, behavioral disabilities, economics, human development, political science, psychology, sociology, social work,and women's studies. Applicants who do not meet this criterion cannot be considered for admission.
    2. Statistics Prerequisite Requirement:
      • A statistics course must be completed before starting the MSW program.
      • Course topics that must be covered include: 
        • Introduction to the functions/application of statistical tests and their application to addressing various research questions;
        • Displaying and describing distributions (e.g. stemplots, histograms);
        • Understanding assumptions associated with normal distributions, departures from normal distributions, and how to assess departures from normal distributions;
        • Application of basic descriptive statistics to analyze data (frequency, measures of central tendency, variability);
        • Principles of probability theory;
        • Hypothesis testing, tests of significance, confidence intervals for the mean;
        • Testing of means (one sample, two sample t-tests);
        • Application of tests for associations between continuous variables: simple linear regression and correlation;
        • Application of tests of independence of distributions of categorical variables (chi-square);
        • Analysis of variance: ANOVA/ANCOIVA.
      • The statistics course must have been completed within the past five years from academic year of graduation to the academic year of enrollment into the MSW Program.
      • A grade of C or better in a statistics course is required (no C- or CD) .
      • Statistics courses in sociology or psychology are sometimes acceptable as equivalent.

      For questions, please contact:

      • Full-Time Program (608.263.3660)



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.



Student field placements are available in all the major areas in which social workers practice. The School has approximately 16 field units offering students placement and practice opportunities in over 100 agencies throughout Dane and its contiguous counties. The generalist year placement is approximately 16 hours per week for two semesters, and the advanced practice specialization placement is 20 hours per week for two semesters. Students are placed in the same agency for an entire academic year.



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).

Last edited by portier on Friday, July 28, 2017 | Printer Friendly Version