Part-Time (Three Year)

The Part-time MSW program is designed for students who have chosen the social work profession but are not prepared to matriculate on a full-time basis. The standard three-year MSW program includes six semesters and two summers for courses.

Admissions Information

Agency Employment

The School does not guarantee that current employment can be used as a field placement, but it is available in some cases (see also Employed Practitioners Program). Those already employed full time in a social work agency may be able to work toward an MSW without leaving their jobs, providing that:

  • they have been employed by the agency for at least six months prior to beginning field placement and have passed the probationary period to be considered a permanent employee;
  • the agency will provide opportunities for learning that meet the requirements of a field practicum in professional education; and
  • the agency will provide a staff person with an MSW and at least two years of post-masters experience to serve as a field instructor.


Students in the part-time program take two courses during both the Fall and Spring semesters for three academic years and during two summers. The school understands that students in the part-time program often juggle the demands of a full-time job in addition to the requirements of the MSW program. For this reason, part-time students are given priority registration so that they can enroll in classes that best accommodate their schedules. Evening classes are offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4:00 – 6:30 PM and from 6:45 – 9:15 PM and students will be able to meet all of the program requirements during these class times. (Note: required Monday night joint lectures that are part of sequence courses are held on some Mondays between 6:30 – 8:30 PM.) Students are strongly advised that evening elective course choices can be limited; students with flexibility in their schedules will have a larger selection of courses from which to choose.

Field Placement

Students complete one field placement in each of their second and third years of the program. Foundation-year field placements (completed in the second year of the MSW program) are at agencies in which students get exposure to broad social work skills working with individuals, groups, and communities. Foundation-year placements begin in September and continue through the end of June. Advanced-year field placements (completed in the third year of the MSW program) are focused on either clinical or macro social work, depending on which concentration a student chooses. Advanced-year placements begin in early August and continue until the end of the spring semester at the end of April. Students in the part-time program should meet with the Director of Field Education early in their first year of study to discuss field placement arrangements. Students should not make their own field placement arrangements.

Part-time students are required to complete 8 of their 16 field placement hours during regular business days (Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm).

Learn more about Field Placement.

Standard Course of Study

While students may customize their schedules due to participation in a 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 grid below outlines the standard schedule and course of study for full-time students.

Classes meet once per week for 2.5 hours. For every hour spent in class, students should expect to spend 2-3 hours outside of class on assignments. Part-time students are in field placement approximately 16 hours per week, 8 hours of which must be during their agency’s normal business hours. This combination of field placement and coursework totals a time commitment of about 31-36 hours per week for part-time students.

Part-time students are not eligible for dual-degree programs. Due to scheduling issues and course structuring, not all certificate programs and specializations are available to part-time students.

First Year

Fall Semester
  • SWRK 601: History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare* (inc. Joint Lectures)
  • For students entering in Fall 2019 or earlier: SWRK 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment* (inc. Joint Lectures); For students entering in Fall 2020 or later: SWRK 603: American Racism and Social Work Practice
Spring Semester
  • SWRK 7xx: Policy Option
  • SWRK 615: Introduction to Social Work Research* (inc. Joint Lectures)
Summer Term
  • SWRK 7xx: Research 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 (Foundation Year)

Foundation year field placement begins in September and continues through the end of June.

Fall Semester
  • For students entering in Fall 2019 or earlier: SWRK 603: American Racism and Social Work Practice (inc. Joint Lectures); For students entering in Fall 2020 or later: SWRK 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment (inc. Joint Lectures)
  • SWRK 604: Foundations of Social Work Practice I + Field Placement*** (inc. Joint Lectures)
Spring Semester
  • SWRK 614: Foundations of Social Work Practice II + Field*** (inc. Joint Lectures)
  • SWRK 7xx: Elective #2
Summer Term
  • SWRK xxx: Elective #3
  • SWRK xxx: Elective #4

Third Year (Advanced Year)

Advanced year field placement begins in early August before third-year classes begin, and finishes in April at the end of the spring semester.

Fall Semester
  • SWRK 704/708: Advanced Clinical/Macro Social Work Practice I + Field*** (inc. Joint Lectures)
  • SWRK 7xx: Elective #5
  • 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 710: Supervision Seminar (For students without an MSW Field Supervisor)**

*Waiver exams are offered for SWRK 601, SWRK 602, and SWRK 615 every August. 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.

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.

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