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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Quinnipiac University has a commitment to the core values of high-quality academic programs, a student-oriented environment, and a strong sense of community. The master of social work program will reflect the mission to prepare students for achievement and leadership in the field of social work.

The MSW program's foundation curriculum and the advanced concentration curriculum reinforce the Quinnipiac value base of understanding real-world issues through practice and the consideration of different perspectives. Every MSW student takes a course on inter-professional education and the advanced concentration curriculum is focused on health/behavioral health. The curricular approach in the MSW program and in other programs, such as in the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing, make the programs unique by directly engaging students in interprofessional education and the health care team approach.

The MSW degree will meet the academic requirements for licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). The MSW program has been granted Candidacy status and is seeking initial accreditation with the Council on Social Work Education.

Program of Study

The 60 credits required for the MSW degree include 30 credits in the foundation curriculum and 30 credits in the advanced curriculum.

The MSW foundation curriculum has collaborative learning at its core. Courses in policy, research (with a focus on the social worker as a consumer of research), psychopathology, inter-professional education and human behavior in the social environment complement the foundation practice courses and the concurrent foundation field placement in a social service agency (16 hours per week over two terms).

In the advanced curriculum year, all students will have a "concentration" in health/behavioral health with an advanced field placement (of 24 hours per week over two terms), two advanced practice courses (one with a clinical focus and one with an organizational focus), and a program evaluation research course. Every advanced student will take an additional clinical course (from several offered each year) and a course that supports the choice of a "specialization" in one of these areas: aging services, health/mental health/substance abuse, child and family welfare and justice, or school social work. Two other electives will allow students to choose courses to meet their own interests or professional goals. An integrative seminar during the advanced curriculum year (usually in the final semester of study) has a required capstone paper/project. Every student will develop an electronic portfolio; it will include electronic copies of all relevant assignments/evaluations from courses and field placements, and the final copy of the capstone project, along with self-assessment assignments.

The MSW degree may be completed full-time in four terms of study, beginning in the fall or spring semester. The degree may also be completed in an extended plan, with the foundation curriculum taken over four terms of study and the advanced curriculum taken full-time over two terms (fall and spring only), for a total of six terms. There is also an option for education abroad in India for advanced curriculum students interested in community practice and global health.

See more about plans of study.

Field Education Experience

Quinnipiac's master's of social work program embraces the University's commitment to the development of professional expertise through practice experience. The MSW's foundation curriculum field placements will offer students the opportunity to develop generalist practice skills learned in the classroom in real-world settings.

Placements may be in community-based agencies such as homeless shelters, in state programs serving families in need or in federally qualified health care centers. Advanced curriculum placements will match the student's specialization choice and could include child welfare agencies, health care facilities for the aging, schools, substance abuse treatment programs, and child guidance clinics. A seminar that supports the student in integrating academic work and fieldwork is held monthly. Upon completion of the MSW degree, the student will have at least 1,000 hours of professional preparation in the field.


Foundation Courses
The foundation curriculum totals 30 credits

Course Title Credits
SW 500 Foundation Field Education Practicum I 3
SW 502 Foundation Field Education Practicum II 3
SW 501 Practice I: Individuals and Families 3
SW 503 Practice II: Groups, Organizations and Communities 3
SW 504 Social Welfare Policy 3
SW 505 Social Work Research 3
SW 506 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I: Theories for Practice 3
SW 507 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II: Issues of Diversity and Oppression 3
SW 508 Psychopathology 3
SW 509 Inter-Professional Education (IPE) Course 3

Advanced Concentration Courses
The advanced concentration curriculum totals 30 credits: 18 credits of core courses and 12 credits of electives
Required (18 credits):

Course Title Credits
SW 600 Advanced Field Education Practicum in Health/Behavioral Health I 4
SW 602 Advanced Field Education Practicum in Health/Behavioral Health II 4
SW 601 Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice  3
SW 603 Advanced Organizational SW Practice: Program Management, Supervision and Professional Ethics 3
SW 604 Evaluation Research for Social Work Programs and Practice 2
SW 605 Integrative Seminar/Capstone Project 2

Elective Courses (3 credits each)
All MSW students must take four electives (12 credits); one elective course must be an advanced clinical practice course (from SW 630-640), and an additional elective course must support the specialization chosen by each student (from SW 610-614). The other two elective courses may be chosen from SW 609-640.

 Specialization Elective Courses (choose one):

Course Title Credits
SW 610

Social Work Issues for Services for the Aging Population: Aging in the Social Enviornment
(for aging specialization)

SW 611

Social Work in Health-Related Settings
(for health/MH/substance abuse specialization OR take SW 614)

SW 612

Social Work Practice in Child and Family Welfare Settings
(for child and family welfare specialization)

SW 613

Social Work Practice in Schools
(for social social work specialization)

SW 614

Social Work Issues in Health and Illness
(for health/MH/substance abuse specialization OR take SW 611)


Advanced Policy/Community Practice/IPE Elective Courses:

Course Title Credits
SW 609 Inter-Professional Education (IPE) Elective 3
SW 620 International Social Welfare 3
SW 621 Health Policy 3
SW 622 Multicultural Practice in Communities and Organizations 3
SW 623 Child and Family Social Services Policy 3

Advanced Clinical Social Work Courses (choose one):

Course Title Credits
SW 630 Clinical Social Work with Military Service Members and Families 3
SW 631 Clinical Social Work with Aging and Families 3
SW 632 Art Therapy for Clinical Social Work Practice 3
SW 633 Clinical Social Work and Stress Management Techniques 3
SW 634 Clinical Social Work with Substance Abuse and Addictive Behaviors 3
SW 635 Clinical Social Work: Evidence-Based Treatment with Children and Adolescents 3
SW 636 Clinical Social Work in Relation to Death, Dying, Bereavement, and Life-Threatening Illness 3
SW 637 Clinical Social Work with Couples 3
SW 638 Clinical Social Work Treatment of Adults with Chronic Mental Illness 3
SW 639 Inter-Personal Therapy (IPT) 3
SW 640 Clinical Social Work Practice with Adult Trauma 3

See plans of study.

Admission Requirements

Students who hold a bachelor's degree, with at least 20 semester credits in liberal arts and a course in statistics (with a grade of C or higher), are eligible for admission to the MSW degree program. Applicants should also have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0. Those who do not meet the GPA minimum, but otherwise have a strong application, may be considered for provisional admission.

Applications are accepted through the Office of Graduate Admissions. A complete application consists of the following:

  • Application form and fee
  • A letter of intent including a detailed autobiography of personal, professional and educational achievements
  • Two recommendation letters
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work completed

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