Exceptional Preparation in Clinical Social Work, Scholarship and Social Action

Today, the School of Social Work continues to provide a rigorous clinical social work education for men and women, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and a PhD in Social Work designed for advanced clinical scholars. Our progressive, hands-on curriculum integrates education and practice with social justice values, multicultural perspectives and a strong emphasis on field education. Recent School of Social Work initiatives include our Urban Leadership Program, Spanish language courses for social workers, international study and schedules that accommodate working professionals. Now we are proud to announce that we also offer our Master of Social Work online.

As clinician activists, our students, faculty and alumni all work to develop solutions to social injustice through their teaching, research, clinical practice and community work.

Sound like something you want to be a part of? Find out more by reading about the programs we offer, our distinguished faculty and what makes Simmons different. Then come for a visit! Attend a School of Social Work admission event and experience Simmons for yourself.

    Joanna Almeida
    • Joanna Almeida
    • Assistant Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-3974
    • Office: P412B
    Gary Bailey
    • Gary Bailey
    • Professor of Practice, Director of Urban Leadership Program
    • Phone: 617-521-3977
    • Office: P404J
    Sandra Bailey
    • Sandra Bailly
    • Associate Professor of Practice & Field Education Specialist
    • Phone: 617-521-3951
    • Office: P304L
    Nancy Blumberg
    • Nancy Blumberg
    • Associate Professor of Practice, Field Education Department
    • Phone: 617-521-2901
All faculty »
Program Requirements

Required Social Work Courses

SW 401A Social Policy
SW 402  Information Literacy Program
SW 409  Racism
SW 411A  Human Behavior
SW 414  Assessment & Diagnosis
SW 421 (A&B)  Social Work Practice
SW 424 (A&B)  Advanced Clinical Practice
SW 441  Research
SW 446 (A&B)  Field Education I
SW 447 (A&B)  Field Education II
SW 509  Evaluation
SW 577  Groups
Social Action Elective

Must earn 65 credits.

If you choose a specialization you may have additional requirements.

Full-Time Option

Students in the full-time MSW Program typically require two years to complete their degree. They are assigned a field placement for three days a week for both years of the Program and take classes two days per week.

Fall Foundation Year

Racism, SW 4092 [3 credits]
Social Policy, 401A [3 credits]
Human Behavior, 411A [3 credits]
Social Work Practice, 421A6 [3 credits]
Field Education I, 446A [4 credits]
Information Literacy Program, 402 [0 credits]

Semester total: 16 credits

Spring Foundation Year

Groups SW 577 [3 credits]
Research, 4411 [3 credits]
Assessment & Diagnosis, SW 414 [3 credits]
Social Work Practice, 421B6 [3 credits]
Field Education I, 446B [5 credits]

Semester total: 17 credits

Summer Course Options

Electives and limited sections of SW414, SW 409, and SW 577 are offered during the summer semester. The Summer course schedule differs from fall and spring.Students using financial aid need to take a minimum of 5 credits to be eligible during the Summer. Please contact student financial services with aid questions.

Advanced Clinical Year

Advanced Clinical Practice, 424A6 [3 credits]
Evaluation in SW Practice, 509 [3 credits]
Elective4 [3 credits]
Elective4 [3 credits]
Field Education II, 447A [4 credits]

Semester total: 16 credits

Advanced Clinical Year

Advanced Clinical Practice, 424B6 [3 credits]
Elective4 [3 credits]
Elective4 [3 credits]
Social Action course3 [3 credits]
Field Education II, 447B [4 credits]

Semester total: 16 credits

65 Total Credits

  1. Research, SW 441 must be completed prior to enrollment in Evaluation, 509.
  2. Racism, SW 409 must be completed during a student’s first year of coursework.
  3. Social Action courses can be taken any semester after SW 401(Social Policy) and SW 409 (Racism) are completed. Note: May be taken concurrently with SW 409.
  4. Electives: Students take five (5)electives. Of these five, one course must fulfill the social action requirement.
  5. Evaluation in SW Practice, SW 509 is offered in the fall and spring semesters and must be taken concurrently with Field Education ll, SW 447A or B. Urban Leadership students should register for 509 in the fall.
  6. Students must stay in the same sections (day, time, and professor) for practice classes (SW 421 and SW 424) both fall and spring semesters.

Students in Specializations must complete the elective requirements to graduate with a Specialization.

See the full program plan.  

16 Month Accelerated Option

The Simmons Accelerated 16-Month MSW program allows students to complete their MSW degree in four consecutive semesters over 16 months. The plan of study starts in September with students taking courses in the fall, spring, summer, and following fall semesters. Students are in field placements each semester. 

The accelerated MSW is the only on-campus program in New England. This 65-credit degree program has the same course work and requirements as the two-year full-time and three-year extended programs, but students earn their degree one semester sooner. The 16-month MSW program enrolls 15-18 students each year. Due to the accelerated course schedule, previous strong undergraduate academic performance is a plus, and substantial prior work and/or volunteer experience in social work/human services is strongly recommended.

The Accelerated 16-Month MSW program does not apply to specialized MSW programs such as School Social Worker, Urban Leadership, and Healthcare, which need to be completed full time in two years or part time in three years.

Part-Time Extended Option
The Extended-Study Program offers students the option to expand a two-year program into two-and-a-half, three or four years. The first year of the Program could be called part-time, as students devote two days a week to classes and study. Simmons offers flexible evening and Saturday scheduling to accommodate working professionals; however, not all program requirements can be met in the evening or on Saturdays. In the subsequent years, students must plan four or five days per week for classes and field placements. Most students complete the program in three years. Note: A limited number of 16 hour per week/11 month placements are available to students in the Full-Time and Extended Programs.

See the full program plan

Advanced-Standing Option
The Simmons School of Social Work offers a 12-month Advanced-Standing Program to qualified applicants with a bachelor's degree in Social Work (BSW) who have graduated within the last five years from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Program includes one three-days-per-week (24-hour) field placement from September to August, concurrent with a total of eight advanced-level courses.

See the full program plan

Clinical Specializations

Clinical specializations build on Foundation Year required courses and the first-year field placement to expand a student's assessment, intervention, and practice evaluation skills. Students may choose from four different specializations, each addressing the specific needs of particular client populations. Although electing a specialization is not required, SSW concentrations allow students to delve deeply into an area of interest and related skills development through a combination of electives taught by faculty experts and a second-year field placement working in a related practice setting.

Specializations include:

  • Child and Family 
  • Trauma and Interpersonal Violence
  • Specialization in Mental Health and Addictions
  • Specialization in Health and Aging

Learn more

Field Education

Putting Theory to Work

Our students apply their academic knowledge through direct-practice internships with individuals, groups, agencies, and larger systems. Prior to entering the MSW Program, students meet with our field education faculty to assess interests, discuss learning goals, and arrange an internship plan. First-year internships provide a strong foundation of social work practice skills. Mid-way through their first placement, students meet with an advisor to plan for the advanced second-year placement. Second-year internships focus on advanced clinical skills and areas of specialization.

Full-Time Students

Internships are three days (24 hours) per week from September to May for both years of the MSW Program. Students take a total of four courses concurrently the other two days. Summer class options and evening classes allow some flexibility.

16-Month Accelerated Program Students

Accelerated MSW students will have two field placements – one during the fall and spring of the first year and an advanced clinical year placement in the summer and fall of the second year. Students will meet with a field placement specialist in the fall to begin the placement selection process for their advanced clinical year. 

Please note that the alternative accelerated schedule which includes a summer semester of field education will somewhat limit the advanced year field placement choices. 

Extended Program Students

Internships, taken during the second and third years of the program, are three days (24 hours) per week from September to May. Students can choose to do placements 16 hours per week for 11 months.

Employment as Field Placement

On occasion, students who are currently employed by a human service agency may be permitted to do their internship as a supervised "job placement" at their current agency. Students interested in this option must apply to the field department. Only placements that meet the strict criteria — including the provision of a new LICSW supervisor and a new work assignment — are approved. Only one placement can be a job placement.

Advanced-Standing Program

Students accepted into the Advanced-Standing Program receive credits for all foundation year courses and one semester of field experience. Advanced-Standing students will have one extended advanced year field placement. Internships are three days (24 hours) per week, over three semesters, from September to early August. Most students complete the program within one year.


We are committed to providing a personalized, coordinated, and integrated learning experience. Faculty advisors supervise each student's course load and work with students to help them select field education placements that meet their goals.

Graduates of our program have established themselves as strong agents of change who are grounded in direct clinical practice and committed to working with under-served populations. Areas in which graduates are currently working include child welfare, community mental health, corrections, disaster response, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, housing, juvenile justice, medicine, public health, public policy and school social work.

Alumni Career Examples

  • Ombudsman for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
  • Oncology Social Worker, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Social Worker, Unaccompanied Minors Program, Lutheran Social Services
  • School Social Worker, Brookline Public Schools
  • METCO Coordinator, Cohasset Public Schools
  • Social Worker/Volunteer Coordinator, Health Leeds, Baltimore, MD
  • Program Associate, Children's Aid Society of New York, Family Rewards Program
  • Mental Health Consultant, Children's Hospital Boston
  • Director, LGBT Services, MIT Office of Student Life
  • Emergency Room Social Worker, Children's Hospital Boston
  • Founder/CEO, Osiris Group Mental Health Provider, Boston
  • Constituency services coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services
  • Management and policy analyst, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
  • Social Worker, Visiting Nurse Service of New York City, Mobile Community Support Team
  • Director of Volunteer Services, Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, Newton, MA
  • CEO and President, LBD Counseling & Consulting Clinic, Randolph, MA
  • Social Worker, St. Francis House Homeless Shelter
  • Domestic Violence Advocate, Brigham and Women's Hospital Passageways Program, Boston, MA
How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in attending Simmons! We pledge to help you achieve a successful career, a meaningful life, and a powerful return on your educational investment. Our program is distinguished in many ways: an innovator in social work education; nationally acclaimed faculty; alumni who are leaders in their fields; and an ideal Boston location in the Fenway and Longwood Medical Area.