Social Work Master’s Degree (M.S.W.), Part-time

Can I Earn A Masters Degree in Social Work Part-Time?

Students can complete the MSW Program part-time through the College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE). The part-time MSW program offers classes during the evening twice a week.

MSW Part-Time Degree Programs:

Advanced Standing Part-Time (Two Year Program) - 37 credits

Traditional Program Three Year Accelerated Part-Time - 66 credits

Traditional Program Four Year Part-Time - 66 credits

Requirements for the Master's Degree in Social Work

Program Objectives


The mission of the MSW program at Westfield State University is to prepare advanced level social work practitioners who have specialized knowledge for clinical practice that is based on a firm generalist foundation.


The program places emphasis and value on the development of students who will practice in their areas of competence, maintain ethical standards, and demonstrate leadership within their community as collaborative practitioners who are committed to addressing social, racial, and economic injustice.


The clinical training program is built on a strong generalist foundation and is grounded in biological, psychological, and social theoretical paradigms that will promote a spirit of inquiry and critical analysis for developing theories for social work practice. Students will gain competencies in developing and applying practice modalities that are rooted in various forms of evidence.


As graduates complete their advanced training, they will develop a commitment to life-long learning through self-reflection, meeting changing social needs, critically evaluating and integrating emerging practice proficiencies, increasing their levels of cultural competence, and engaging in ongoing skill development to meet the demands of advanced roles and responsibilities.


The program at Westfield is committed to providing leadership throughout the practice community in evaluating and analyzing existing and emerging areas of knowledge to advance social service delivery, social policies, and direct practice with the vulnerable, disenfranchised, and marginalized populations that are served by social workers.


Program Goals


Goal # 1: The program prepares graduates who will have mastered the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work professional generalist practice core.

Goal #2: The program prepares graduates who will have advanced knowledge, values, and skills for clinical social work practice.


The accomplishment of these goals will be demonstrated by the achievement of the following competencies:


Competency 1: Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior

Competency 2: Engage diversity and difference in practice

Competency 3: Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice

Competency 4: Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice

Competency 5: Engage in policy practice

Competency 6: Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Competency 7: Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Competency 8: Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities 

Competency 9: Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities



    Admission Requirements

    1. All applicants should follow the following process and meet the described requirements, including specific additional requirements for Advanced Standing applicants:
    2. Applicants should obtain an application packet from the MSW Program or the College of Graduate and Continuing Education.
    3. Applicants must have a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university. To apply for Advanced Standing the candidate must have a BSW from a CSWE accredited program.
    4. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree that included a clear liberal arts base and a firm foundation in the social sciences, American national government and human biology. Applicants should identify their social science, government and human biology courses on the application form. Students who do not meet this requirement may be accepted into the program, but may be required to take courses to meet these requirements prior to starting the program.
    5. Applicants need a 2.8 overall undergraduate GPA. For Advanced Standing candidates, the applicant should also have a 3.0 social work GPA. In extraordinary circumstances both requirements can be waived by the Admission Committee.
    6. Applicants need to complete the Graduate Admission form, specifying Traditional MSW program or Advanced Standing MSW Program and whether they would like to attend full-time or part-time.
    7. Applicants need to have three letters of reference completed, including one academic reference. Advanced Standing applicants need to have one of their letters of reference from their BSW Program Director (or his/her designee). A letter from a Field Placement supervisor is highly recommended.
    8. Applicants need to submit a current resume.
    9. Applicants need to complete a professional statement that describes:
    • reason(s) for interest in entering the field of social work; 
    • assessment of personal strengths and limitations related to the profession; 
    • examination of life experiences and relationship of these experiences to career choice, including evidence of a commitment to aiding people who are oppressed and/or members of vulnerable populations (good examples are prior work, civic or volunteer experiences); and 
    • assessment of personal values and congruence of these beliefs with the social work profession's value system. (We suggest that applicants review the NASW Code of Ethics prior to writing the professional statement). 


    The professional statement will be evaluated in regard to the above requirements. The professional statement will also be considered a writing sample that demonstrates the applicants' ability to express themselves clearly and professionally.


    Though human services experience is not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to describe any prior volunteer or work experience in their professional statement and include it on their resume. Professional experience is viewed positively and taken into consideration when making admissions.


    The MSW Program does not require standardized testing (GRE or MAT) for admission to the program.


    Application Deadlines


    The closing date for receipt of all admission materials is February 1st. Applicants whose admission files are not complete by February 1st. may not be considered for the upcoming academic year. Normally, four to six weeks are required for the School of Social Work to receive transcripts; therefore, applicants should make every effort to ensure that all relevant documents are requested well before the deadline date. The Department of Social Work reserves the right to change the closing date for the receipt of application materials. Notice of any changes in the application deadline will be posted online.


    Notification of Acceptance

    Notice of acceptance will occur on or about April 15 for study beginning the following September (there are no midyear admissions). Within ten days of receiving notification, accepted applicants must confirm in writing their intention to enroll in the program and submit a non-refundable




      Program Requirements

      The MSW Program curriculum at Westfield State University is divided into two parts, a generalist practice foundation curriculum that is common to all graduate social work programs and an advanced curriculum in clinical practice that is designed to give students advanced clinical knowledge, values, and skills. The foundation curriculum includes classroom work and a 400-hour, hands-on generalist field practicum. The advanced curriculum includes classroom work and a 500-hour, hands-on clinical field practicum. Since applicants with a BSW from an accredited social work program have already completed the requirements for the foundation curriculum, these applicants may be admitted to the Advanced Standing program. Students admitted to the Program with Advanced Standing may enter the program at the advanced level following completion of a summer Bridge course.


        Curriculum for the Traditional Program (66 credits)

        • Foundation Curriculum:
        • SOCW 0511 - Research I
        • SOCW 0512 - Research II
        • SOCW 0521 - Human Behavior & the Social Environment (HBSE) I
        • SOCW 0522 - Human Behavior & the Social Environment (HBSE) II
        • SOCW 0523 - Diversity & Social Justice
        • SOCW 0531 - Social Welfare Policy Analysis
        • SOCW 0541 - Generalist Practice I
        • SOCW 0542 - Generalist Practice II
        • SOCW 0561 - Foundation Practicum I
        • SOCW 0562 - Foundation Practicum II
        • Total Credits for Foundation Curriculum                    32 Credits
        • SOCW 0621 - Mental Health & Children
        • SOCW 0622 - Mental Health & Adulthood
        • SOCW 0631 - Child Welfare Policy
        • SOCW 0642 - Advanced Practice with Adults
        • SOCW 0643 - Advanced Practice with Families
        • SOCW 0661 - Advanced Practicum I
        • SOCW 0662 - Advanced Practicum II
        • 3 Elective Courses**  1 Hybrid Elective Course Required   Credits 9 Total Credits for Advanced Curriculum          Credits 34 Total Credits for Traditional Program             Credits 66

        Curriculum for the Advanced Standing Program (37 credits)

        • SOCW 0543 - Generalist Practice Bridge Course
        • SOCW 0621 - Mental Health & Children
        • SOCW 0622 - Mental Health & Adulthood
        • SOCW 0631 - Child Welfare Policy
        • SOCW 0642 - Advanced Practice with Adults
        • SOCW 0643 - Advanced Practice with Families
        • SOCW 0661 - Advanced Practicum I
        • SOCW 0662 - Advanced Practicum II
        • 3 Elective Courses**  1 Hybrid Elective Course Required     Credits 9 Total Credits for Advanced Standing Curriculum            Credits 37

        **Elective Courses

        • SOCW 0651 - School Social Work
        • SOCW 0652 - Substance Abuse Treatment
        • SOCW 0653 - Social Work Practice with Children & Youth
        • SOCW 0654 - Social Work Practice with Groups
        • SOCW 0655 - Social Work Practice in Health Care and Aging
        • SOCW 0656 - Social Work Practice with Grief and Loss
        • SOCW 0657 - Social Work Practice in Administration and Supervision
        • SOCW 0659 - Trauma Treatment in the Public Sector
        • SOCW 0697 - Independent Study in Social Work
        • SOCW 0699 - Special Topics In Clinical Social Work