Social Work: For BSW Holders

Earn your MSW Degree in only 9 months! If you completed your bachelor's degree in Social Work (BSW) within the last 7 years, you could be eligible for our Master of Social Work (MSW) Advanced Standing program.

Students sitting in class

The Simmons MSW Advanced Standing program can be completed full-time in only 9 months (two semesters). You start in September and graduate in May with your MSW degree! You'll build on skills and knowledge learned at the BSW undergraduate level and gain in-depth experience in clinical social work.

Highlights of the program include:

  • A one-semester seminar planned exclusively for advanced standing students that focuses on the integration of theory and practice.
  • A clinically focused two-semester advanced year practicum placement three-days-per-week (24 hours a week) from September to May, concurrent with a weekly, online practicum seminar to enhance knowledge and application of practical skills.
  • A total of eight advanced-level MSW courses including two electives of your choosing.
  • View the MSW Advanced Standing full-time program plan

Graduates from the MSW Advanced Standing Program are eligible to sit for the LCSW license exam and are prepared for jobs in a full range of clinical social work positions, including jobs in medical social work, mental health, aging services and child and family services.

The MSW Advanced Standing Program can also be completed extended/part-time in 24 months starting in the Fall semester or in 17 months starting in the Spring semester

 

The MSW degree requires 65 credit hours, consisting of 48 credit hours of classroom courses and 17 credit hours of practicum courses. Listed below is the MSW course sequence as of September 2022. On Ground course numbers have the prefix SW; online courses, SWO.

Specialized Year

SW404 Social Welfare Policy 3
SW414 Assessment and Diagnosis 3
SW424A Advanced Clinical Practice 3
SW424B Advanced Clinical Practice 3
SW447A Practicum Education Year II 4
SW447B Practicum Education Year II 4
SW509 Program Evaluation in Social Work 3
Elective
Elective
Elective

Licensure and Certificate Programs

As an MSW student, you may choose to pursue a certificate program in which you will gain advanced skills in a specific area of interest through a structured sequence of courses.

MSW with MA Licensure in School Social Work (On-Campus)

Students in the MSW program interested in practicing as a school social worker can elect to work towards the Massachusetts state license to be a School Social Worker/School Adjustment Counselor (SSW/SAC). The certification is required to work as a clinical social worker in many school settings in Massachusetts.

Requirements for the MSW with Licensure as a School Social Worker/School Adjustment Counselor include:

  • Sixty-two credits in the MSW program including SW 539 Social Work in Schools and SW 595, Child and Adolescent Diagnosis, one specialized social work elective and three required courses (eight credits) taken in the Simmons University Department of Education (SPND 441, SPND 444, SPND 445)
  • Successful completion of the two SSW practicum; one placement must be in a school setting the other placement is encouraged to be in a setting serving children and families
  • Completion and submission of required documentation

Students planning to work toward the school social worker license should review the SSW/SAC student handbook, follow the program plan provided at registration, and attend the information sessions with the Certificate Coordinator. Practicum planning should be guided by licensure requirements. To be granted the license, candidates must complete all requirements mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) (e.g., passing the Communication and Literacy tests of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure [MTEL]). Students are strongly encouraged to take the MTEL before completing the MSW program. Waiting to take it until after graduation might delay the ability to secure employment. 

MSW with Certificate in Public Policy (On Campus)

This certificate program is designed to give MSW students with an interest in macro/policy issues the opportunity to supplement their clinical education experience with a deeper knowledge of public policy. This certificate will position graduates to have more options in terms of career directions in social work, particularly around policymaking or policy advocacy, with an emphasis on building policy analysis and advocacy skills that will allow students to analyze and affect policies at local, state, and national levels. These courses will enhance students’ understanding of policy systems and theory, methods of policy analysis, and subject matter knowledge in two major policy arenas.

MSW with Certificate in Trauma Practice (On Campus and Online)

The Certificate in Trauma Practice will prepare graduates for practice with a variety of populations in multiple settings including: schools and universities, community mental health centers, immigrant and refugee centers, the legal justice and prison systems, inpatient and outpatient hospitalization programs, and psychotherapeutic settings with children, adults, couples, families and groups. Students complete all regular MSW program requirements, as well as SW 528A Child and Adolescent Trauma, SW 528B Lifespan of Trauma Treatment: Adults and Families, and two Trauma Practice certificate electives.

MSW with Certificate in Clinical Practice with Active Service Members, Veterans, and Families (On Campus and Online) (Launching Fall 2023)

This certificate provides MSW students with a unique opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in effective and culturally-sensitive clinical practice with servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Students will learn about the systems and culture of the U.S. military; the sociocultural identity development of military personnel; the experiences, needs, and strengths of military individuals and families, with specific attention to minoritized groups; avenues of support for military personnel and their families; and specific assessment and intervention practices, with particular emphasis on PTSD and suicidality. This certificate prepares students to work with individuals and families at any stage of military involvement and in a variety of settings.

Certificate in Mental Health Practice (Online)

The Certificate in Mental Health Practice prepares graduates to:

Work with people who have experience with serious mental health conditions, including those with concurrent health conditions. Students will learn to recognize and address the significant impacts of stigma, marginalization, and discrimination that impede the health, safety, access to resources, and quality of life for people with serious mental health conditions. In addition, they will become skilled in delivering evidence-based and best practice approaches for managing symptoms and achieving wellness and recovery. Students will exit the program with an understanding of the role of social worker as both a provider and advocate working in collaboration with interdisciplinary teams, families, and other supports and services.
 
 

 

Elective Courses

MSW students who opt not to enroll in a certificate can still develop a focused skill set through their elective courses. Students interested in an area of focus can work with their Academic Advisors on elective selection. Examples of focus areas are:

  • Health and Aging
  • Child and Family Wellbeing
  • Substance Use and Misuse
  • Adult Mental Health
  • Trauma and Interpersonal Violence
  • Group Practice
  • Clinical Practice and Therapy Models

Course Sequencing / Prerequisites

  • Research, SW 441/SWO 441 must be completed prior to enrollment in Evaluation, SW 509/SWO 509.
  • Program Evaluation, SW 509/SWO 509 must be taken concurrently with SW 447A or SW 447B/SWO 447A or SWO 447B.
  • Dynamics of Racism and Oppression, SW 409/SWO 409 must be completed before commencing specialized year courses.
  • SW 403/SWO 403 must be completed before SW 404/SWO 404.
  • Practicum Education Year I, SW 446A or SWO 446L is concurrent with SW 421A or SWO 421A; SW 446B or SWO 446B is concurrent with SW 421B or SWO 421B
  • Practicum Education Year II, SW 447A or SWO 447A is concurrent with SW 424A or SWO 424; SW 447B or SWO 447B is concurrent with SW 424B or SWO 425
  • Students must stay in the same sections (day, time, and professor) for practice classes: SW 421A/SWO 421A and SW 421B/SWO 421B and SW 424A and SW 424B.

Our students apply their academic knowledge through direct-practice internships with individuals, groups, agencies, and larger systems. Prior to entering the MSW Advanced Standing Program, students meet with our practicum education faculty to assess interests, discuss learning goals, and arrange an internship plan. MSW Advanced Standing Students will do a 9-month advanced clinical placement. This internship focuses on advanced clinical skills and on the areas where the students want to specialize.

Students accepted into the Advanced-Standing Program receive credits for all foundation year courses and two semesters of practicum experience. Advanced-Standing students will have one advanced year practicum placement. Internships are three days (24 hours) per week, over two semesters, from September to May.

Connect with the School of Social Work

We will be happy to arrange for a personal visit, informational meeting, or class visit (when available). Arrangements can also be made to speak to a current SSW student to learn more about the MSW On-Campus program.

Complete the campus visit form

Social Work at Simmons University

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

Graduate Program Videos

Spotlight on Social Work Students and Alums

Christa Perry ’23MSW

Simmons Alumna Shares the Challenges and Rewards of Mental Health Therapy

Christa Perry ’23MSW is a mental health therapist for Embark Behavioral Health, a national company that provides mental health treatment to teens and young adults. Based in Vienna, Virginia, Perry counsels individuals and families in the eight-week Partial Hospitalization Program and the 15-week Intensive Outpatient Program.


Nathan Brewer ’10MSW ’18PhD

Nathan Brewer ’10MSW ’18PhD on Protecting College Students

Nathan Brewer ’10MSW ’18PhD is Director of the Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) at Boston University (BU). After receiving his Master’s in Social Work from Simmons, he returned to the University to pursue his PhD in Social Work alongside his clinical practice. We spoke to Brewer about his experience in the program, and his current work at Boston University.


Eli Lorenzo

Serving Those Who Served: Eli Lorenzo's Dedication to Veteran Care

Eliezer “Eli” Lorenzo ’23MSW is a case manager for a new practice framework at VA Boston Health Care called Care Coordination and Integrated Case Management (CCICM). Through phone calls and home visits, Lorenzo reaches out to veterans who have a...


Anna Rodriguez

Anna Rodriguez ’23MSW: Bridging Hearts and Minds as a Mental Health Therapist

Anna Rodriguez is a mental health therapist at Cartwheel Care, a behavioral healthcare company that partners with K-12 schools to provide mental health services to children and adolescents.


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Roxann Mascoll ’15MSW Integrates Art and Social Work to Address Trauma Experienced by Black and Brown Men

For 18 years, Roxann Mascoll ’15MSW worked as a domestic violence specialist. She is now Lead Clinician for The Triggered Project, a non-profit that includes a play and film that addresses how Black and Brown men experience and process childhood trauma.


Bishop Jeffrey Mello ’00 MSW

Simmons School of Social Work Alum Helps Bring Christianity out of the Closet

A recent CBS news segment chronicles the journeys of openly-gay bishops within the Episcopal Church. The story centers around trailblazer Bishop Gene Robinson, and also spotlights Jeffrey Mello ’00MSW, who became Bishop Diocesan in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut in 2022.


Lieutenant Dahiana Mesa

Meet Dahiana Mesa, Operations Lieutenant of Simmons’ Public Safety Department

Operations Lieutenant Dahiana Mesa, a member of Simmons’ Public Safety Department, is a warm and trusted presence on campus. In her current role, she oversees diverse operations within the Department, supports Public Safety personnel, and provides guidance and resources to the Simmons community. We spoke with Lieutenant Mesa about her career in law enforcement and why she loves Simmons.


Gwen Child ’23MSW

Gwen Child ’23MSW: Empowering Holistic Healing at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Social Detoxification Center, South Dakota

Gwen Child is a substance use and mental health counselor at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Social Detoxification Center, a new 15-bed facility located on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Rosebud, South Dakota.