Social Work

Simmons University’s Master’s in Social Work (MSW) program offers exceptional preparation in clinical social work, scholarship, and social action.

Our progressive, hands-on curriculum integrates education and practice with social justice values and multicultural perspectives, with a strong emphasis on field education. 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.

For undergraduate students seeking a social work degree, view our Social Work (BSW) Program or our accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Social Work (BSW)/Social Work (MSW) 3+1 Program.

Why study Social Work?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028. Job prospects are very good, particularly for clinical social workers. 

When it comes to choosing a social work master’s program, what sets Simmons apart? 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. The MSW program holds true to the Simmons mission: to provide transformative learning that links passion with lifelong purpose. 

We also offer the utmost flexibility. MSW students at Simmons can choose between traditional on-campus or online learning and can even dictate their pace of study. Program options include: 

There is also an Advanced Standing Program for qualified applicants with a bachelor's degree in Social Work (BSW). For more information on MSW program options, see below. 

Innovations in Clinical Training

Simmons School of Social Work is the only Social Work School in Massachusetts that uses innovative Social Work Simulation Education to engage MSW students in higher level learning.

Simmons Social Work Clinical Simulation enables students to learn how to integrate social work theory, knowledge, skills and values into practice. Standardized patients who are trained actors and case studies are used to produce simulated clinical situations, allowing Simmons MSW students to practice treatments. With the use of simulation, Simmons MSW students engage in real-life clinical situations, preparing them for circumstances that arise in their field placements and for jobs as clinical social workers after they graduate.

Hear more from the Simmons MSW community about how simulation prepares students for real world practice.

What can you do with a Master’s degree in Social Work?

Graduates of our MSW have established themselves as strong agents of change. They are grounded in direct clinical practice and committed to working with underserved 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. MSWs in the state of Massachusetts are also eligible to become LCSWs and LICSWs.

Simmons also offers a PhD in Social Work designed for advanced clinical scholars.

Learn more about our MSW degree!

Are you ready to find out more about earning your Master’s in Social Work at Simmons? Feel free to reach out to our distinguished faculty—their contact information can be found below—or request more information about the Boston Campus MSW option today! Or read more information about our fully online option [email protected].

Required Social Work Courses

  • SW 403 Social Policy & Social Work in Organizations & Communities
  • SW 422 Substance Use and Social Work Practice
  • SW 409 Dynamics of Racism & Oppression
  • SW 411A Human Behavior
  • 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 404 Social Welfare Policy
  • SW 509 Evaluation
  • SW 414 Assessment & Diagnosis
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

Must earn 65 credits.

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.

See the full program plan.

This program plan is only for students who start Fall 2019 and after.

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 scheduling to accommodate working professionals; however, not all program requirements can be met in the evening. 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

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 adviser to plan for the advanced second-year placement. Second-year internships focus on advanced clinical skills and specialized areas.

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.

Part-Time Extended 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.

Learn more about Field Education.

Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

Apply Now

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Innovations in Clinical Training

Hear more from the Simmons Master of Social Work community about how simulation prepares students for real world practice.

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Alumnae/i Feature

I chose Simmons for its comprehensive clinical focus and its flexible enrollment options.

Our Faculty

Celia Arias headshot

Celia Arias

  • Field Education Specialist and Assistant Professor of Practice
Gary Bailey photo

Gary Bailey

  • Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Social Justice, Professor of Practice of Social Work and Director of Urban Leadership Program
Hugo Kamya photo

Hugo Kamya

  • Social Work Alumni Fund Endowed Chair and Professor
Diane Zipoli

Diane Zipoli

  • Assoc. Prof. of Practice & Asst. Director of Field Education