About the Program

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

Program Options

Penn offers four different MSW program options, enabling students to choose the course of study that best fits with their personal circumstances and career goals: the two-year Full-Time program, the three-year Part-Time program, the Advanced Standing program, and the Employed Practitioners program. Additionally, the Penn MSW program accepts students from Pennsylvania’s CWEL program.

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.