Master of Social Work

Simmons's nationally regarded Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) Program provides a rigorous clinical social work education for women and men. The Program is highly respected for its fieldwork component, with internships three days per week in both years of the Program. We offer a progressive, hands-on curriculum that infuses education and practice with social justice values and multicultural perspectives.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

MSW with Certificate in Urban Leadership in Clinical Social Work

Clinical social workers recognize that the problems an individual suffers frequently reflect larger issues in his or her community. In order to help the individual, it may be necessary to effect change at a higher level. With this focus, Simmons's M.S.W./Urban Leadership Program helps clinical social work students develop the skills and confidence to be effective leaders in the organizations and communities they serve.


The Urban Leadership Program in Clinical Social Work (ULP) was conceived in 1998 as the result of a partnership between Simmons College School of Social Work and a group of urban agency partners who are committed to developing social workers for leadership roles in urban communities. MSW students who graduate with a ULP Certificate are prepared to take on leadership roles in challenging, multicultural environments. The program aims to teach them a broad repertoire of leadership skills for advancing the needs of their clients, organizations, communities, and the profession.

The Urban Leadership Program attracts a diverse group of students — including human service workers, ministers, Department of Children and Families employees, and educators. Many students are seasoned professionals. All share a commitment to advancing social justice and addressing the needs of clients, organizations, communities, and the profession.

Program Requirements

Urban Leadership students earn a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree, plus a certificate in urban leadership in clinical social work. ULP students take two leadership courses concurrently with the field internships. These leadership courses allow students to explore their own leadership skills, build a theoretical understanding of leadership, and practice specific leadership skills in the classroom and community. Second year field placements are tailored to include a hands-on "leadership" project that requires students to identify a "larger systems" obstacle to service delivery in their placement agencies, develop an intervention plan, and take leadership for facilitating change that benefits the agency and the community it serves. In addition, the curriculum includes four required mini courses: community politics, oral presentation skills, grant writing, and one elective. Full-time students can complete the program in two academic years. Summer classes provide a flexible, extended study option.

Read more about ULP Course Requirements

About Our Graduates

To date, the program has graduated over 275 students. Graduates of this 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