Explore the possibilities with our flexible Clinical MSW program.

Westfield State University’s Clinical MSW Degree Program is a gateway to a rewarding career in social work across Massachusetts and the surrounding region. Upon completion, you'll be ready to conquer the state social work licensure exam and proudly hold the title of Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW).

Rest assured, our Clinical MSW program is not just comprehensive; it's accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), assuring you that your education aligns perfectly with your clinical aspirations.

Flexibility is key. Attend classes online or on campus during convenient Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the exception of practicum experiences. We understand the importance of hands-on training, and while some placements may offer flexibility, many require daytime availability. If you're already a social work graduate, explore our Advanced Standing MSW Degree Program designed just for you.

Available Specializations:

  • Child, Youth, and Family 
  • Health Social Work 
  • Latinx Community Health 
  • Substance Use and Addictions   

Explore Specializations

Program Highlights

  • On campus or online
  • No difference in tuition for in- and out-of-state students
  • 37-66 credits depending on your program of study
  • Department of Children and Families Fellowships offered through WSU

Make a lasting, positive impact on lives and communities with your MSW degree.

Gain the advanced clinical skills and knowledge you need to be an effective change maker, helping those who need it most.

Be prepared, be empowered – your journey to an impactful clinical social work degree starts here.

  • A student smiles while engaging in conversation in a group.

    Built-in flexibility

    Choose the learning path that suits you best at Westfield State University – immerse yourself in on-campus classes for an interactive, in-person experience, or opt for the flexibility of our online program. Our consistent Monday and Thursday evening classes from 5:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. provides a balanced schedule.

    And here's the exciting part – with the exception of practicum placements, you have the freedom to complete some coursework online, fitting seamlessly into your busy schedule. Your education, your way!

  • A student reads information displayed on a poster.

    Hands-on experience

    We offer real-world hands-on learning experiences designed to shape your skills through practicum experiences. Your journey includes a comprehensive 400-hour generalist practicum and an enriching 500-hour advanced clinical practicum.* 

    At each step, you'll be surrounded by dedicated professionals eager to share their skills, time, and knowledge. Practicum placements aren't just opportunities to learn; they're gateways to practical, career-ready expertise that will set you apart in the field. Get ready to transform your classroom knowledge into tangible skills, preparing you for success in the world beyond.

    *Advanced standing students complete only the 500-hour advanced clinical practicum.

  • A student talks to a child.

    Focused on clinical practice

    Start your journey with a solid foundation in general social work practice, laying the groundwork for what comes next. As you progress, brace yourself for an exciting leap into advanced curriculum, squarely focused on honing your clinical practice skills. Here, you'll cultivate not just knowledge but the values and skills vital for championing and advocating for your clients.

    But that's not all – our program doesn't just stop at clinical expertise. We're dedicated to molding well-rounded professionals, ensuring you master the everyday aspects of social work practice. Get ready to evolve into a skilled, compassionate advocate, equipped to navigate the complexities of clinical practice.

Navigate your path to success with our detailed course plans.

Program Details

Program Mission

The mission of the MSW degree 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 Vision

The vision of the Westfield State University’s Master of Social Work program is to make higher education affordable and available to diverse populations.  This includes those who have been historically marginalized such as first-generation college students, racially/ethnically diverse communities, LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as other groups. Our MSW program strives to dismantle structural access barriers to education, and we are committed to offering in-person hybrid educational options as well as fully online program options through flexible completion programs of study from 1-4 years. Our clinical focus is designed to meet the needs of today’s workforce in Massachusetts and surrounding New England regions. 

Learning Outcomes

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

What can you do with a master’s in social work?

Your MSW degree will allow you to build your career in areas such as:

  • Child and family social worker
  • Clinical social worker
  • Community outreach
  • Human services specialist
  • Juvenile court liaison
  • Probation officer
  • Therapist or counselor
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Rehabilitation case worker
  • School social worker
MSW Graduate Student Smiling in Academic Building Hallway

I chose the Master of Social Work program because the field is so diverse and offers a wide breadth of opportunities like working in hospitals, schools, or even in public policy. Aside from the career opportunities, social work is such a unique and important career choice because its primary purpose is enhancing the well-being of others.

Miki Kahn, ’24

Get big school features with small school advantages.  

We offer high-quality academics, unique learning opportunities, and a gorgeous campus—and we have small classes, accessible faculty, and one-on-one support. 

You'll join fellow motivated graduate students ready to make the most of the college experience through active participation. Become part of a caring and committed community that understands and embraces the bridge between academic study and civic responsibility.

  • Wide

    selection of electives to explore interests

  • Clinical focus

    based on a strong generalist foundation

  • Accomodating

    schedule with onground and online program options

Learn from the experts

The Social Work Department at Westfield State University is led by expert professors who have real-world experience working as counselors, clinical therapists, case managers, child protective workers, administrators, and community organizers. Small classes afford plenty of opportunity to connect one-on-one with your professor, as well as to collaborate and network with your fellow students.

Dr. Ziblim Abukari,  Associate Dean of the School of Health, Natural Sciences, and Human Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I earn my MSW degree from Westfield State University?

Starting with a comprehensive general overview, our program seamlessly evolves into an advanced curriculum that places a strong emphasis on developing clinical knowledge, instilling core values, and honing essential skills. Get ready to witness your understanding of social work as you progress through a curriculum designed to shape compassionate and skilled clinical practitioners.

How long does it take?

Westfield State University’s MSW Program is tailored to your unique journey. If you hold a BSW or B.A. in Social Work from a CSWE-accredited institution, our Advanced Standing Program awaits you. Our focused 37-credit curriculum is designed for go-getters like yourself, offering the flexibility to complete it in one exciting year full-time or over two years part-time.

For those without an undergraduate degree in social work, our Traditional Program is here to shape your expertise. Immerse yourself in a comprehensive 66-credit program, offered over two enriching years full-time, or adapt it to your schedule over three or four years part-time. Your journey to a Master's in Social Work is personalized, flexible, and full of opportunities for growth and success!

View Program Completion Plans

What is your on-campus MSW degree program like?

Students attend classes in person on the Westfield campus on Monday and Thursday evenings, along with coursework online (Hybrid model). Approximately 20% of the program curriculum is completely asynchronous online. The required field internships are completed in person within a 60-mile radius of Westfield.

Classes are held between 5:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. or are online (but please note that daytime availability may be needed to complete practicum placements).

What is your online MSW degree program like?

Students attend classes on Zoom on Monday and Thursday evenings, along with asynchronous coursework (Hybrid model). Approximately 20% of the program curriculum is completely asynchronous online. For the 2023-2024 academic year, Advanced full-time and full-time traditional programs of study internships are to be completed in Massachusetts. All 2024-2025 academic year internships can be completed in Massachusetts and within a 50-mile radius from Massachusetts in the following states: Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. Starting in the 2025-2026 academic year, all internships can be completed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. 

Classes are held between 5:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. or are online (but please note that daytime availability may be needed to complete practicum placements).

Is Westfield State University accredited? 

Westfield State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and our master’s in social work program, including the online learning option, is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

What are the admissions requirements for the Master of Social Work program?

The MSW degree program will accept applications for both the on-campus and online programs.

Both program options will accept applications for the Traditional 66-credit program including the full-time (2-year), accelerated part-time (3-year) and part-time (4-year) options and the Advanced Standing 37-credit program including the full-time (1-year) and part-time (2-year) options.

If you would like to have an admission packet emailed to you, or have questions about admission, please call us at 413-572-8461 or email graduate@westfield.ma.edu.

Admission Process & Requirements:

All applicants should follow the process below and meet the described requirements. (Specific additional requirements for Advanced Standing applicants are identified.)

1. Applicants should apply online at connect.westfield.ma.edu/apply/

2. 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.

3. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree that included a clear liberal arts base and a firm foundation in the social sciences, 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 will be required to take courses to meet these requirements prior to starting the program.)

4. 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.

5. Applicants need to complete the MSW form, specifying Traditional MSW program or Advanced Standing MSW program and whether they would like to be full-time or part-time.

6. 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 their Practicum Placement Supervisor is highly recommended.

7. Applicants need to submit a current resume.

8. 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 their career choice. Discuss here evidence of your 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 you review the NASW Code of Ethics prior to writing the professional statement).  

The professional statement will be evaluated regarding the above material and also will be considered a writing sample to evaluate your ability to express yourself in written form. Applicants who believe that they have extraordinary circumstances regarding the GPA requirements must include their rationale for their request to have the GPA requirement waived.

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 considered when making decisions regarding admissions and waiving GPA requirements.

Do I have to submit GRE or MAT standardized test scores when I apply?

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

What are the application deadlines for the MSW degree program?

All application materials must be received by February 1 for your application to be reviewed.

The MSW degree program has an early decision application deadline of December 1 with admission decisions sent out in mid-February.  

The traditional application deadline is February 1 with admission decisions sent out the end of March.

Within 10 days of receiving acceptance notification, students must confirm their intention to enroll in the program, as well as submit a $150 non-refundable deposit. This deposit will be credited to the student’s first semester bill.

Where can I find the MSW program’s assessment of student learning outcomes?

All Council on Social Work Education programs measure and report student learning outcomes. A measurement benchmark is set by the social work programs for each competency. An assessment score at or above that benchmark is considered by the program to represent mastery of that particular competency.  

You can learn more about these assessments and our program outcomes on the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes page.

How much does Westfield State University cost?

Westfield State University offers a comprehensive university experience at an affordable cost—with many options for financial aid. Visit our Cost and Aid page to learn more. 

Do you offer graduate assistantships?

Yes, a limited number of graduate assistantships are available each year for graduate students. These opportunities are competitive and are awarded to students with excellent academic records who are enrolled in a graduate degree program.

This valuable opportunity can enhance your academic journey and provide valuable experience. Don't miss out on the chance to be part of this enriching program!

Learn more about graduate assistantships 

Will I receive academic support?

MSW students are matched with a dedicated advisor – your compass through class choices, concentrations, and beyond. Beyond academics, your advisor becomes a mentor, guiding you on further education and career paths. We're not just about classes; we connect you to resources like the Banacos Center and the Reading & Writing Center. Join group advising sessions during registration for added support. At every step, we're here to ensure your success is our priority.

Is graduate housing available?

Discover graduate living at Welch Hall Apartments – your gateway to a vibrant community and tailored amenities. Choose from four-person apartments featuring single and premium single rooms, all inclusive of utilities and internet. Make connections by signing up as a group or embark on an individual adventure with like-minded roommates. Revel in the comfort of fully furnished apartments, boasting a well-equipped kitchen with a breakfast bar, cozy bathrooms, and inviting shared living spaces.

Your convenience is our priority – enjoy free laundry facilities on campus and parking at an affordable rate. Immerse yourself in academic pursuits with easy access to the campus library or prioritize your well-being at our fitness centers.

Whether you prefer cooking with your roommates or opting for a meal plan, relish access to an array of campus dining options, including late-night and takeaway choices. Elevate your graduate experience with Welch Hall Apartments – where living meets exceptional comfort and convenience.

For more information contact housing@westfield.ma.edu or 413-572-5402.

Use your BSW to fast-track your MSW

Congratulations on holding a BSW from an accredited social work program! Your journey to an MSW degree is just around the corner with Westfield State University’s MSW Advanced Standing program. This accelerated 37-credit program can be completed in just one year full-time or two years part-time. Imagine diving into graduate coursework, gaining a deeper understanding of your field. Picture yourself admitted at an advanced level after a summer bridge course, ready to take the next step in your professional journey.

Integrated Behavioral Health Collaborative

The Integrative Behavioral Health Collaborative (IBHC) began in 2017 through a $1.3 million grant from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to increase capacity among social workers by offering advanced-year students a $10,000 training stipend to provide integrated behavioral health (IBH) across the medically underserved areas in Western and Central MA. Over the next four years, 81 MSW students were trained within community partner sites to provide IBH services, and 32 IBH training modules were produced with free continuing education units.


In 2021, the IBHC expanded with a $1.5 million HRSA grant to begin the Integrated Behavioral Health Equity Project. Over the next four years, 92 MSW students will receive a $10,000 training stipend to work with our community partner sites addressing social determinants of health. Students complete health equity projects designed to systemically dismantle the structures that perpetuate racial and health inequities.


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Social Work, MSW