Interested in Pursuing a Career in Social Work?

Westfield State University's Masters of Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) with a single concentration in clinical practice.  

Students have the option to complete their MSW Program on-ground at our Westfield, MA campus or completely online, both options are delivered through a hybrid format.  

Within the clinical MSW Program, students can choose to focus 6 credits of electives and their advanced social policy course in one of the following four specialties (pending University approval) 

  1. Child, Youth and Family  
  2. Health Social Work 
  3. Substance Use and Addictions  
  4. Latinx Community Health (the required specialty courses are in English and Spanish or Spanish) 

Why Westfield?

The clinical M.S.W. program at Westfield State University begins with a general overview that evolves into an advance curriculum including clinical knowledge, values and skills. The MSW program can be completed in two years full-time or three to four years part-time onground or fully online. If you have an interest in exploring the MSW completion program options feel free to review the MSW Completion Plans PDF (downloadable

Onground Hybrid Program at Westfield Campus 

The majority of our social work courses are delivered using a hybrid model -2/3 in person, 1/3 asynchronous online - and meet on Mondays and Thursdays only. Approximately 20% of the program is completely asynchronous online. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the required field internships are completed in person in Massachusetts. 

Online Hybrid Program

The majority of our social work courses are delivered online using a hybrid model - 2/3 in person via Zoom, 1/3 asynchronous online - and meet on Mondays and Thursdays only. Approximately 20% of the program is completely asynchronous online. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the required field internships are completed in person in Massachusetts.

How Does Westfield State’s MSW Program Prepare Clinical Social Workers?

The Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree offered at Westfield State University prepares graduates to be eligible, upon graduation, to sit for the state social work licensure exam to become a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW).  

The MSW Program curriculum 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.  

Advanced Standing 

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.  

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.

Free IBHC Modules

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.

Learn more about the IBHC

How much will it cost?

We offer affordable programs. Our social work program was rated the most affordable MSW program in the Northeast in 2016 by the Social Work Degree Guide. Please visit our Tuition and Fees Page with up to date costs.

Coursework

The MSW program can be completed in two years full-time or three to four years part-time

Requirements

Program Description

Westfield State University's Masters of Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Westfield State University also offers a remote Master of Social Work program at the YWCA, 1 Salem Street, Worcester, MA 01608

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)

Curriculum for the Advanced Standing Program (37 credits)

**Elective Courses
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Contact us

Maria del Mar Farina de Parada, Ph.D., MBA, LICSW
MSW Program Director / Associate Professor