Master of Social Work Degree (MSW)

Gain the skills and expertise to meet the growing demand for social work professionals

Oakland University’s new Master of Social Work degree is the only MSW program in southeastern Michigan with an integrated “advanced generalist” curriculum. Open to students from all undergraduate backgrounds, our unique MSW degree merges macro and clinical social work training, providing a transformative approach that equips you to work toward social change. You’ll acquire the proficiencies necessary to attain social work licensure, along with specialized skills and expertise that prepare you for social work with vulnerable and marginalized populations. Our MSW degree’s flexible formats can accommodate everyone from full-time students to working adults who seek a part-time MSW program. Oakland also offers an advanced practice MSW degree for highly qualified candidates who hold a social work bachelor’s degree from an accredited school.

Oakland University’s new Master of Social Work degree is the only MSW program in southeastern Michigan with an integrated “advanced generalist” curriculum. Open to students from all undergraduate backgrounds, our unique MSW degree merges macro and clinical social work training, providing a transformative approach that equips you to work toward social change. You’ll acquire the proficiencies necessary to attain social work licensure, along with specialized skills and expertise that prepare you for social work with vulnerable and marginalized populations. Our MSW degree’s flexible formats can accommodate everyone from full-time students to working adults who seek a part-time MSW program. Oakland also offers an advanced practice MSW degree for highly qualified candidates who hold a social work bachelor’s degree from an accredited school.

MSW Degree: The Oakland University Advantage

Building on our highly regarded Bachelor of Social Work program, Oakland’s MSW program was developed to help meet the regional demand for social work leaders. Social service agencies from throughout in southeastern Michigan have expressed support for our MSW degree, reflecting the community’s strong interest.

The new Master of Social Work program excels for its:

  • Practical orientation. You’ll acquire hundreds of hours of practical field experience in our MSW degree. Oakland’s strong relationships in the social work community ensure that you’ll get relevant, high-caliber, high-impact experience.Rigorous academics. Oakland’s MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. You’ll get trained in the latest evidence-based practice and theory, with specializations available in integrated health, community/organizational leadership, and school-based social work.
  • Social justice orientation. Guided by the principles of social and economic justice, our MSW degree prepares you to provide culturally responsive social services to diverse individuals, families, communities, and organizations in southeast Michigan.
  • Hands-on faculty. You’ll work with active practitioners in our MSW program, getting attentive mentorship and guidance from seasoned professionals. Oakland’s social work faculty include prominent thought leaders who are nationally recognized for their scholarship and on-the-ground programming.
  • Flexible formats. The MSW degree is available in both full-time and part-time formats. The full-time degree takes about two years to complete. Many classes are available during evening and weekend hours to accommodate the needs of working adults. If you hold a BSW from an accredited institution, you may be eligible for our advanced practice MSW degree.

What Can You Do With an MSW Degree?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects social work job opportunities to increase 13 percent between now and 2029, much faster than the overall workforce average. Social work employment growth is projected to be particularly strong in the areas of child, family, and school social work, as well as mental health and substance abuse. The State of Michigan projects a similar rise in demand for social workers.

Employers in southeastern Michigan hold Oakland’s social work program in high regard and actively recruit our graduates. Upon completing our MSW degree, you’ll be qualified for social work careers in fields such as:

  • Education
  • Public health
  • Housing
  • Corrections
  • Health care
  • Family social work
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental health

MSW Degree Curriculum

The standard MSW degree at Oakland University requires 64 credits of graduate coursework. In includes 24 foundational credits in social work practice and theory, plus 20 core credits the cover subjects such as:

  • Cultural competency
  • Social work research
  • Policy reform
  • Advanced social work practice with individuals and families
  • Advanced social work practice with organizations and communities

The MSW degree includes optional specialist tracks in three areas: community and organizational leadership, school-based social work, and integrated health. The program culminates with more than 500 hours of supervised field work.

More information about our advanced practice MSW degree.

MSW Program Resources

Programs Related to the MSW Degree

Not sure if the Master of Social Work is right for you? Check out these other graduate degree programs at Oakland, and contact our admissions team to discuss your options.