Wheelock@Worcester Master of Social Work Degree
If you work for a social service agency, a community health or education setting, an advocacy organization, or are a career-changer committed to effecting change in the social conditions and well-being of diverse groups of individuals, children, and families, this social work program can help you achieve your professional goals.
Wheelock's approach is family-centered, community-based and grounded in partnerships with community providers. You will be prepared to practice advanced, justice-based social work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities through direct practice, policy, and research.
Benefits of Wheelock@Worcester MSW Program
- Discounted tuition, with financial aid available
- Classes taught by Boston-based and adjunct Wheelock faculty members with extensive experience and expertise working with urban populations
- Classes conveniently held nights and weekends on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross in downtown Worcester
- Fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
An overview of the MSW program is provided below, but we encourage you to schedule an informational interview with a faculty member or admissions counselor to learn more about the program and how it might fit with your professional goals. To schedule an interview, please email the Office of Graduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wheelock@Worcester MSW Degree Program Overview
Wheelock's MSW program is a 60-credit, three-year course of study. Students study in five core areas: human behavior and the social environment; social work practice; social policy; social research; and field practicum experiences.
The curriculum is based on human rights and social justice. This prepares graduates to practice strengths-based social work, taking into account the dynamics of oppression and discrimination, and the importance of cultural differences and how to leverage them to help individuals and communities grow creatively and safely.
Wheelock's MSW program is a cohort learning experience. Students begin and usually complete their program together, developing strong bonds as professional, academic, and personal experiences are shared. Through collaborative work, strong support networks are built among cohort members, faculty, advisors, and staff.
Students in the program first prepare for generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups, organizations and communities. Later in the program, the curriculum is organized around a student-selected singular concentration on justice-based social work.
MSW Advanced Standing Option
Students who have completed an accredited BSW program and meet certain requirements can apply to Wheelock's 36-credit MSW Advanced Standing Program, which waives the Foundation Year MSW requirements and allows qualified students to complete their MSW degree in an accelerated time frame.
All incoming Advanced Standing students must successfully complete the MSW Advanced Standing Gateway prior to beginning the 30-credit advanced curriculum. This 6-credit course is designed to immerse these graduates in Wheelock's justice-based philosophy and the curricular themes that are foundational to our courses and field work. It builds on the students' knowledge, skills, and values through a two-month intensive course and field-based experience. Students complete 100 additional hours of field placement as advanced standing students, as well as take part in Gateway courses. See the callout box for the course curriculum.
Field Placement Guidelines/Requirements
Students will work closely with the Social Work Field Office to design two placements to meet their learning goals (in some cases, a placement might be with their current employer). Potential placement sites include:
- Auburn Youth and Family Services
- Community Health Link
- Department of Children and Families
- Key Programs, Inc.
- You, Inc.
Off-Campus and 3-Year and 4-Year MSW Programs
Wheelock's MSW program is extended for students in the off-campus program in Central Massachusetts and for students who opt for a three- or four-year program plan. For the first year of the program, students are in class in the late afternoon and evening one to two evenings per week. During the second and third years of the program students are in field placements two or three days per week; field placements are typically available during normal business hours, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students continue to attend classes in the late afternoon and evening one to two evenings per week. In the second and third years of the program, many students who are working reduce or change their schedules to accommodate the required field placement hours.
Licensure for MSW Degree Program Graduates
Upon completion of the MSW degree, students are eligible to sit for the intermediate licensing exam in Massachusetts, the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).