Full-Time (Two Year)

The Full-time MSW program is designed for students who have chosen to pursue a graduate social work degree and are prepared to matriculate on a full-time basis. Students in the full-time program complete 16 credits and two field placements over four semesters (fall, spring, fall, spring). This program includes two days per week of classes and three days per week of field placement. The full-time program begins with a required Orientation in August and concludes the following academic year with graduation in May.

Admissions Information

Classes

Students in the full-time program take the equivalent of four courses per semester^ or eight courses per academic year. The full-time program begins in the fall semester and continues for two academic years so that students graduate in May of the following year.

Field Placement

Students complete one field placement during each academic year (694 hours between September and April). Foundation-year field placements are at agencies in which students are exposed to broad social work skills working with individuals, groups, and communities. Advanced-year field placements are focused on either clinical or macro social work, depending on which concentration a student chooses. Although a student’s field placement schedule will depend on the needs of their agency, students can generally expect to be in field placement on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the first year and Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays during the second year. Field placements for full-time students begin in September and end in April.

Learn more about Field Placement.

Standard Course of Study

While students may customize their schedules due to participation in a dual degree or certificate program, enrollment in an international course or study abroad experience, the needs of their field placement agency, or successfully passing a waiver exam, the grids below outline the standard schedule and course of study for full-time students.

First Year

Foundation-year field placement begins in September and ends in April.

Fall Semester

SWRK 601: History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare* (inc. Joint Lectures)
SWRK 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment* (inc. Joint Lectures)
SWRK 603: American Racism and Social Work Practice (inc. Joint Lectures)
SWRK 604: Foundations of Social Work Practice I + Field*** (inc. Joint Lectures)

Spring Semester

SWRK 614: Foundations of Social Work Practice II + Field*** (inc. Joint Lectures)
SWRK 615: Introduction to Social Work Research* (inc. Joint Lectures)
SWRK 7xx: Policy Option
SWRK 760 or other elective (Some advanced-year field placements require that students complete SWRK 760 prior to the start of the second year.)

Second Year

Advanced-year field placement begins in September and ends in April.

Fall Semester

SWRK 704/708: Advanced Clinical/Macro Social Work Practice I + Field*** (inc. Joint Lectures)
SWRK 7xx: Elective #2
SWRK 7xx: Elective #3
SWRK 7xx: Research Option
SWRK 710: Supervision Seminar (For students without an MSW Field Supervisor)**

Spring Semester

SWRK 714/718: Advanced Clinical/Macro Social Work Practice II + Field*** (inc. Joint Lectures)
SWRK 713: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender (inc. Joint Lectures)
SWRK 7xx: Elective #4
SWRK 7xx: Elective #5
SWRK 710: Supervision Seminar (For students without an MSW Field Supervisor)**

*Waiver Exams are offered for SWRK 601 and SWRK 602 every August, and for SWRK 615 every October. Students who score a qualifying grade on a waiver exam may take an elective in place of the required course.

**Non-credit/non-tuition course.

***Practice classes are a year-long sequence. Students remain in the same section of SWRK 604/614 for the entire first year, and remain in the same section of SWRK 704/714 or 708/718 for the entire second year.

^Additional charges will be assessed for course loads over 4 CU’s. Contact the SP2 Registrar for information.

Joint Lectures

Sequences in the MSW program may schedule sequence-wide lectures for all sections at various points in the semester. These lectures feature experts in the field and are a mandatory component of the course(s). Joint lectures are scheduled on Monday evenings (6:30 – 8:30 PM); students should not register for other courses on Monday nights that conflict with the joint lecture time slot. Students who have extenuating circumstance that prevent them from attending the joint lectures must make arrangements with their course instructors to receive the lecture content in another way.

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 &...

Discover More