Master of Social Work

Overview

The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program at Chamberlain University is aimed at developing and empowering students to be agents of social change in their communities and throughout the world. Our MSW degree program prepares students for generalist or specialized practice. Specialized practice builds on generalist practice as described in the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. It emphasizes adapting and extending the Social Work Competencies for practice with specific populations, problem areas, methods of intervention and perspectives or approach to practice. Specialized practitioners advocate with and on behalf of clients and constituencies within their specialty.

group social work

Our MSW degree program’s culturally responsive curriculum prepares graduates in the context of healthcare, mental health and support services to work with:

  • Individuals
  • Families
  • Groups
  • Organizations
  • Communities 

Learn more about Chamberlain's six MSW specializations or request more information.

Curriculum

Our MSW degree program is designed to meet students where they are in their professional journey, which is why we offer both advanced standing and traditional tracks, along with six specializations. View the Master of Social Work curriculum grid.

group social work

Traditional Track

Traditional Track is for students who have earned a baccalaureate degree. The track can be completed in as few as 2 years at a full-time pace, or 3 years at a part-time pace.

social worker

Advanced Standing Track

Advanced Standing Track is for students who have completed a baccalaureate degree in social work from a CSWE accredited program within the last 5 years, or a degree in social work more than 5 years ago, but have an active social work license in good standing. The track can be completed in as little as 1 year at a full-time pace, or in as few as 2 years at a part-time pace.

Why MSW?

Chamberlain’s MSW program focuses on developing exceptional social work professionals who maintain a passion for advancing human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.

The Master of Social Work degree can be applied in a variety of roles:

  • Social Worker
  • Family Counselor
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Case Manager
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Psychotherapist
  • Clinical Manager

Classes Start September 2

Call 877.751.5783 to learn more, or request information to speak with an admissions representative.

Specializations

Specializations within our MSW degree program allow students to customize their learning to help meet their professional goals. All the specializations are designed to deliver a focused learning experience, giving students the opportunity to master a specific area within social work that they are passionate about. In addition, the specializations directly respond to contemporary issues affecting at-risk and marginalized populations, communities, organizations and institutions. Students may choose to specialize in any of the following areas:

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Substance Use and Addictions

Mental health and substance abuse social workers help clients with mental illnesses or addictions

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Gerontology

Gerontology healthcare social workers specialize in geriatric social work, hospice and palliative care, or medical social work

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Crisis and Response Interventions

Crisis social workers help vulnerable populations with crisis de-escalation, emotion management, and therapeutic techniques

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Trauma

Trauma social workers generally help clients cope with traumatic events in their lives through a combination of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing

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Medical Social Work

Medical social workers help patients understand their diagnosis and make the necessary adjustments to their lifestyle, housing, or healthcare.

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Military Social Work

Military social work provides necessary support and interventions to active duty military personnel, veterans, their spouses and their dependents

Faculty

Chamberlain's Master of Social Work program is led by diverse, active faculty who serve as thought leaders and experts in the social work field. With many years of experience and a passion for making a global impact, our faculty are dedicated to ensuring our students have a meaningful experience throughout the program.

Meet Our Dean

Dr. Stacey Borasky Ferguson was appointed dean of Chamberlain University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program in May of 2019. She is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the MSW curriculum, course objectives and program outcomes while ensuring Chamberlain’s philosophy of Chamberlain Care® is integrated into the program. In addition, she is responsible for managing and providing support of course development, student assessments, accreditation and the overall daily operations of the MSW degree program.

  • View Bio Stacey Ferguson
    Dean, Master of Social Work
    Stacey Borasky Ferguson EdD, MSW
    Stacey Ferguson
    Dean, Master of Social Work
    Stacey Borasky Ferguson , EdD, MSW

    Dr. Stacey Borasky Ferguson was appointed dean of Chamberlain University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program in May of 2019. She is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the MSW curriculum, course objectives and program outcomes while ensuring Chamberlain’s philosophy of Chamberlain Care® is integrated into the program. In addition, she is responsible for managing and providing support of course development, student assessments, accreditation and the overall daily operations of the MSW degree program.

    Prior to joining Chamberlain, Dr. Borasky Ferguson served as Director of Accreditation for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) where she oversaw operations for the Department of Social Work Accreditation. She was responsible for supporting programs prior to application for candidacy and providing consultation and training on accreditation processes and standards to all accredited programs. She planned and led Commission on Accreditation meetings, working closely with the leadership of the Commission and representing the Commission to the public. Dr. Borasky Ferguson also worked closely with government relations staff of CSWE to educate Congressional representatives on issues facing social work education. In addition, she played an active role in many national level accreditation organizations and committees and presented frequently at national conferences.

    Dr. Borasky Ferguson has earned many accolades throughout her career, in 2012 she was nominated for U.S. Professors of the Year Award sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation and was a two-time finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award at St. Edwards’s University. In 2011, she won the Outstanding Advisor Award from Student Life for advising the Social Work Student Association. Dr. Borasky Ferguson is the lead author of Navigating Policy and Practice in the Great Recession, and co-author of Caught in the Storm: Navigating Policy and Practice in the Welfare Reform Era, both published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Borasky Ferguson is also very engaged within the field of social work and has dedicated significant time to community service at various organizations such as Child Protection Roundtable in Texas, the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, Salvation Army and Rutherford County Council for Children and Youth in Tennessee. Dr. Borasky Ferguson earned her Master of Social Work from West Virginia University and her Doctor of Education from Tennessee State University.

“Social workers care. They care about people, their families, communities. Social workers dedicate themselves to service, to making this world a more just, fair and safe place for all.”

Stacey Borasky Ferguson, EdD, MSW Dean, Master of Social Work (MSW)

Admissions

Prospective MSW degree program students must complete an application for admission and interview with a Chamberlain admission representative. Admission requirements differ for Advanced Standing and Traditional Tracks.

Traditional Track Admission Requirements

  • Full or part-time student: Students who have a degree at the bachelor’s level or higher from an institution accredited by either a regional accrediting agency or an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
  • A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Applicants must clear the pre-enrollment screenings including a background and fingerprint check

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Call 877.751.5783 to speak to a representative or request more information.

Advanced Standing Track Admission Requirements

  • A degree in social work at the bachelor’s level or higher with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from an institution accredited by either a regional accrediting agency or an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Non-U.S. schools will be considered based on evaluation of transcripts by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. (NACES) approved evaluating agency. Applicants with foreign transcripts must have graduated from an accredited international program in social work where the accrediting body has a memorandum of understanding with CSWE or whose degree has been evaluated and approved by the CSWE International Social Work Degree Recognition Service.
  • A cleared background and fingerprint check

Degrees earned in excess of 5 years require an active social work license in good standing with a state board in the U.S.*

*Chamberlain reserves the right to admit candidates with social work licensure from countries outside the U.S. where equivalent standards can be demonstrated. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis according to the general academic principles of integrity outlined by the Academic Standards committee in the view of the policies regulated by the Council of Social Work Education.

Tuition

Chamberlain provides you with individualized support throughout your educational journey beginning with the admissions process. Your admissions representative will work with you to build a schedule that will work with your life and finances, whether that's one class or three.

MSW Program Costs

Master of Social Work Expenses - May 2019
 Application Fee$60
 Tuition$695 per credit hour
 Student Services Charge$160 per session
 Background & Fingerprint Check Fee$150
 Course Resource Fee$50 per course
 Military* and Alumni Rate$590 per credit hour
 Books & Supplies - Traditional Track$125 per session
 Books & Supplies - Advanced Standing Track$150 per session

Costs subject to change each session and vary by individual circumstances.

*Military rate is defined as active duty, veterans, retired military, Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs employees and spouses of active duty/veteran/retired military. Effective August 13, 2018, discharge status must not be dishonorable, bad conduct or uncharacterized.

Leading the Way Social Work Grant

Receive up to 20% in tuition savings for courses taken through May 2020.

  • Must hold a Bachelor's degree in any field with a minimum 2.5 CGPA on a 4.0 scale (Traditional Track) or 3.0 CGPA on a 4.0 scale (Advanced Standing Track)
  • Enrollment in Social Work coursework at Chamberlain
  • Minimum enrollment of three credit hours per semester
  • Continuing students are not eligible for this award
  • Minimum enrollment of three credit hours per semester

Request more information to speak with a student support advisor for deadline details.

Partner Tuition Rates

Chamberlain partners with healthcare institutions, community colleges and associations to provide accessible educational opportunities for registered nurses.

See if your employer, community college or association has an education partnership with Chamberlain that could provide you with tuition savings.

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Accreditation

Chamberlain University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Chamberlain University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program is currently in Pre-Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation (CSWE).

Pre-Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has submitted an application to be reviewed for Candidacy.  A program that has attained Pre-Candidacy has not yet been reviewed by the Commission on Accreditation or been verified to be in compliance with the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.  The Council on Social Work Education does not publicly disclose whether programs have currently attained Pre-Candidacy Status until they are granted Candidacy.

Students who enter the program while it is still in Pre-Candidacy will not be recognized as attending a program in Candidacy unless the program attains Candidacy in the academic year in which those students enter.  The Candidacy Process is typically a three-year process and there is no guarantee that a program in Pre-Candidacy will eventually attain Candidacy or Initial Accreditation.  Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation.  Candidacy by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program.  Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.