Master of Social Work

  • Allison Werner-Lin, associate professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice.

    Faculty & Research

    Working on ‘the Human Side’ of Heritable Cancers

    "I love working with people,” says Allison Werner-Lin of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2). Werner-Lin’s office overlooking Locust Walk is homey and lamp-lit, with student gifts sharing space with scholarly tomes. This is just one... Read More

  • Patrick Ammerman, a second-year Master's of Social Work student in the School of Social Policy & Practice.

    Student Life

    Reports from the Humanitarian Crisis on the Colombian Border

    No stranger to activism and with a passion for justice, Patrick Ammerman applied for a 2019 Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting fellowship in February 2019, hoping to shine a light on human rights—but not at... Read More

  • MSW student Raekwon Burton

    Student Life

    MSW Student Reflects on Transformative Experience in India

    Prior to enrolling in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), Raekwon Burton, MSW ‘20, began planning his journey as an aspiring social work professional through... Read More

Welcome to the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice, one of the oldest and most well-respected social work programs in the country. Our program (ranked 10th by U.S. News and World Report) is designed to prepare social workers for leadership roles in developing and providing services to individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations in the local, national, and global arenas. With a recently redesigned curriculum, Penn’s MSW degree melds cutting-edge innovation with a rich educational tradition rooted in social justice and social change.

Highlights of Penn’s MSW Program

  • Renowned Faculty
  • Modern curriculum rooted in a tradition of social justice and social change
  • Interdisciplinary opportunities, which allow students to take elective classes in Penn’s twelve graduate schools
  • International coursework and study abroad opportunities
  • Fourteen dual-degree programs
  • Certificate and specialization programs
  • Small classes (15-25 students)
  • International alumni network
  • Extracurricular activities

Why Penn?

Under the guidance of its renowned faculty, the MSW program offers students the individual attention inherent to a small school where academic advisors oversee each student’s course of study. At the same time, our students take advantage of all that an Ivy League campus has to offer, including interdisciplinary opportunities, dual degree programs, vast student resources, and an international alumni network.

The MSW curriculum is comprised of a foundation year and an advanced year. The core courses in both of these years provide students with the requisite knowledge to think critically and practice as a social worker. In the advanced year, students choose either the clinical or macro concentration. Outside of the core required courses, students have a great deal of flexibility in putting together their course of study. For example, students may choose to take electives outside of the School of Social Policy & Practice at Penn’s other eleven graduate schools, or they may choose to participate in one the certificate programs focusing on aging, child welfare, criminal justice, global human rights, prisoner re-entryhealth care, school social work, and more.

The MSW Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Director's Welcome

Director's Welcome

Director's Welcome

Read a message from MSW Program Director Dr. Joretha Bourjolly.

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Mission, Goals, & Objectives

Mission, Goals, & Objectives

Mission, Goals, & Objectives

Learn more about the mission, goals, and objects of the MSW program and view CSWE program assessment data.

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The Penn Approach

The Penn Approach

The Penn Approach

Since its founding in 1908, the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice has articulated a social philosophy that shapes the program.

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Program Options

Program Options

Program Options

SP2 offers four different MSW program options, enabling students to choose the course of study that best fits with their personal circumstances and career goals.

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Admissions & Application

Admissions & Application

Admissions & Application

Review admissions requirements and tuition information for the MSW program.

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Curriculum

Curriculum

Curriculum

The Master of Social Work curriculum has been developed with a strong conviction that preparation for professional practice necessitates the integration of knowledge, values and skills.

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Field Education

Field Education

Field Education

Field education is an integral part of the overall MSW curriculum.

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Tk20

Tk20

Tk20

Tk20 enables the collection, monitoring, and analysis of students' progress in class and in the field.

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Contact Information

Contact Information

Contact Information

View contact information for Admissions, MSW program staff, and Field Education.

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FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

View frequently asked questions about SP2's MSW program.

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SP2 News

Jennifer Prah Ruger

Faculty & Research

Health Equity in a Time of Global Crisis

We’ve all seen the graphs. Italy and Iran’s numbers are peaking; Taiwan’s is relatively flat. In the United States, a...

Tenting in Los Angeles

Faculty & Research

New Report: Impact of COVID-19 on Homelessness

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to kill more than 3,400 people experiencing homelessness across the United States, according to new...

Headshot of Johanna Greeson

Faculty & Research

SP2 Associate Professor Testifies at City Council Hearing on Missing and Exploited Children

In a moving testimonial, Johanna Greeson, PhD, spoke before the Philadelphia City Council’s Children and Youth Committee during their recent...

Ben Jealous

Faculty & Research

Q&A with Ben Jealous, former NAACP head turned tech investor

Ben Jealous has accomplished a great deal in his 47 years. The former—and youngest ever—head of the NAACP managed the Mississippi’s Jackson...

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