The School of Social Work
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MSW Information

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For advanced-standing/standard program applicants and participants


The Master of Social Work Program (MSW) prepares professional social work practitioners for advanced direct practice or planning, administration, and community practice, each with a special emphasis on populations of the Southwest.  In addition all students in the advanced direct practice concentration select one of the following speicalizations: children, youth, and family; health/behavioral health with adults, or public child welfare.

MSW graduates take pride in their practice, place the highest values on excellence, are willing to devote their careers to finding the most effective methods of intervention, and are committed to understanding and service those most in need of help.  The Master of Social Work Degree program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

General Information

The Standard MSW program can be completed in two years of full-time study.  A part-time program that can be completed in 3 years of study is available for qualified students.  In addition, a MSW full time Advanced Standing Program is offered and available for qualified students who have completed a BSW undergraduate degree from a CSWE accredited institution.  The MSW program includes both formal classes and field experience in community agencies.  Arizona State University requires a culminating experience for graduation in all professional master's programs.  All social work graduate students in the advanced direct practice concentration must pass a capstone course (SWG 621).  All students in the planning administration and community practice concentration complete a field portfolio or thesis prior to graduation.  In keeping with accreditation requirements, no academic credit can be awarded for life or work experience.

The School is committed to the University's mission to be competitive with the best public research universities in the country. Faculty members have active research agendas that include a wide variety of topics, including work with children, with drug and alcohol abusers, with the developmentally disabled, with immigrants and refugees, in human services administration and planning, and many other areas. Practice methods have a heavy research-oriented or empirical focus at the clinical and community levels of intervention.

Career Opportunities in the Field

Master's prepared professional social work practitioners are employed in public and private health and human service agencies, schools, hospitals and research and policy organizations.  They work with clients who face challenges such as adoption, aging, substance abuse, domestic violence, disabilities, child neglect and abuse, mental health problems, chronic or catastrophic illnesses, loss of a loved one, divorce, as well as in the areas of research, policy, planning, administration and community organizing.  Trends suggest that the demand for social work professionals will grow dramatically over the next decade.  Salaries for beginning level, master's prepared social workers typically range from $36,039 - $56,226 depending on qualifications and geographic area.

Program Uniqueness

The MSW program is the only CSWE-accredited program in the State of Arizona.  The school has a continuum of education from the BSW through the Ph.D., as well as credit-bearing certificate programs and continuing education classes that offer continuing education units (CEUs).

Information for MSW applicants from SELECTED states (see below)

Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)

Effective for Fall, 2010 admissions:  Once admitted to ASU's MSW or Social Work PhD program, students who are from the following states are eligible to apply for a limited number of in-state (AZ resident) tuition rates through the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP).  Participating WRGP states include:  Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota,Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.  If you are a current resident of one of those states, you are eligible to apply for the program.  Students are not required to demonstrate financial need.

To be considered for the resident tuition rates, you will need to complete the WRGP Application Form found on the Graduate College website at  This form with all supporting documentation must be submitted to Graduate Admissions by the following deadlines:

Fall Semester - June 1

Spring Semester - November 1

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