Masters of Social Work


All MSW programs at Michigan State University are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). All provide the academic courses and field experiences requi red to develop the ten core social work competencies identified by CSWE and the social work practice community. The primary focus of the MSW Program is preparation for foundation and advanced practice in Clinical Social Work (micro-level interventions) and Organization and Community Leadership (mac ro-level interventions). The generalist foundation prepares students for practice through development of the ten core competencies at the beginning or basic level, through course and field experiences that provide the grounding for all professional social work practice, regardless of setting, specialization, or prof essional role.

The curriculum for both the Clinical Social Work and the Organization and Community Leadership concentrations includes courses in human behavior in the social environment, social welfare services and policy, research methods, administration, practice methods, field education, and special topics. Both concentrat ions focus on the same ten core social work competencies, but prepare students for practice in these areas at an advanced level through both courses and field experiences.

View the goals of the MSW program of the MSU School of Social Work


The Clinical Social Work concentration prepares students to practice advanced clinical skills in a variety of settings that focus on individuals, families, and groups. For more detailed information, download this 2-page pdf file.

The Organization and Community Leadership concentration prepares students to practice a wide range of advanced skills for leadership and change management within diverse organizations and communities. For more detailed information, download this 3-page pdf file and this chart that depicts the domains of OCL practice.

Students in the MSW program require the ability to think critically and work collaboratively with others. They should have competence in written and oral expression and the willingness to use computer and advanced communications technology.

The School offers both full and part-time options in both the regular and advanced standing degree programs. Please refer to the MSW Manual, which provides information about the School, the curriculum, and University policies that affect all students.

Please visit our MSW Program Brochures page to download one of our individual program brochures.


Michigan State University's Master of Social Work (MSW) programs and its Bachelor of Social Work (BASW) program are fully-accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and designed to meet the State of Michigan’s social work licensing criteria. However, MSU cannot confirm whether these programs meet licensure requirements in states other than Michigan. Students who may be seeking professional licensure elsewhere will need to check with the appropriate licensing board in that state to verify that the program meets the requirement for licensure. Each state’s social work licensing requirements can be found at: