Master of Social Work

  • Jocelyn Parker

    Student Life

    Going Above & Beyond: MSW Student Prepares to Aid U.S. Veteran Care Crisis

    Mental health care and housing precarity are foremost among the issues faced by American military veterans— a population which, as of the 2018 census, includes 18.2 million people. According to a recent report from the...

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  • Ashley Ritchey

    Student Life

    A Life’s Work: MSW Student Penning Book on Living with Disability

    For Ashley Ritchey, a Master of Social Work (MSW ‘19) student at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), pursuing a Child Well-Being & Child Welfare specialization is a professional calling that comes with...

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  • Student Life

    MSW Students Engage with Penn Memory Center Patients Through Music

    At Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), students are encouraged to think and work across disciplinary lines with a shared objective of social innovation and impact. Upon graduation, the School’s budding social change...

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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 5th in the nation by Princeton Review’s Gourman Report and 12th 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
  • Eleven dual-degree programs
  • Certificate and specialization programs
  • Small classes (20-25 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

School of Social Policy & Practice sign on the Caster Building seen with pink azaleas.

Faculty & Research

Several SP2 Experts Listed as Top 100 Most Influential Contemporary Social Work Faculty

Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) faculty members Richard J. Gelles, Steven C. Marcus, Phyllis Solomon, Ram A....

Jennifer Plumb

Alumni Stories

What I Did With My DSW Degree: Jennifer Plumb

For years, social work professionals have furthered their careers as innovators, educators, and leaders in the field with degree programs...

Marquisha Lawrence Scott

Student Life

Support on the Ground: PhD Student Examines Where Faith Organizations and Social Work Intertwine

Faith-based organizations often offer tangible forms of aid through initiatives such as disaster relief efforts and financial assistance programs. But...

Alice Cooper

Student Life

Toward Equitable Education for All: MSSP Student Channels Social Policy Theory into Social Good

For Alice Cooper, an MSSP (Master of Science in Social Policy Program) student at Penn’s School of Social Policy &...

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