Social Work + Social Work (3+1)

This 3+1 program allows students to complete their Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work in only 4 years.

Students in class

Make it your mission to make a difference

Ever since Simmons became the nation's first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers in 1904, we've led the way in pioneering social work education. The 3+1 Program continues this tradition by offering an intensive yet rewarding opportunity for students who are motivated to complete their Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW)in only 4 years.

You'll benefit from all the advantages that our nationally regarded School of Social Work (SSW) has to offer: acclaimed faculty, alumni who are leaders in the field, and an ideal Boston location in the Fenway and Longwood Medical Area.

Combining stimulating coursework with over 500 hours of field learning, you'll build a solid foundation for practice. Advancing to the MSW, you'll develop a specialization in clinical theory and practice, gaining immersive hands-on training through our renowned field education program. The SSW works with more than 300 exciting internship sites, ranging from schools and hospitals to government agencies and private organizations.

You'll head into the field prepared to practice - ready to take on urgent social issues and improve the lives of the people affected by them.

In keeping with accreditation standards set forth by the Council on Social Work Education and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges, students enrolled in the 3+1 BSW/MSW Program complete all of the same undergraduate and graduate course and field requirements of our traditional programs, but at an accelerated pace. Students choosing to pursue the 3+1 path will complete their undergraduate work in three years by taking five courses rather than four during some semesters and by completing electives & Mode requirements during the summers between each year. Students in the 3+1 program may then apply for advanced standing at the MSW level at the end of three years. Provided they meet all requirements of the program, these students are eligible to earn their MSW in one additional year (3 semesters), allowing them to begin working and earning earlier.

Course Requirements

College Core Curriculum (20 credits)

FYS 101 College Seminar
FYS 102 College Writing I
FYS 103 College Writing II
Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement I (or elective if test out)
Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement II
Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement III
Modes of Inquiry Courses (24 credits)

Mode I:
Mode II:
Mode III: MATH 118 Introductory Statistics (or score of 4 or 5 on AP exam)
Mode IV: BIO 102 Biology of Human Development or BIO 113 General Biology (or 4 or 5 on AP)
Mode V: ECON 101 Macroeconomics
Mode VI:
Pre-Requisite to Social Work Major (4 credits)

SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology
Required BSW Courses (60 credits)

SW 101 Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare
SW 200 Social Welfare Policy
SW 251 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
SW 252 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
SOCI 249 Social Inequality
SW 351 Social Work Practice I: Intro to Generalist Practice
SW 352 Social Work Practice II: Work with Individuals/Families (100 hour placement)
SW 353 Social Work Practice III: Groups
SW 354 Social Work Practice IV: Macro SW
SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research
SW 370 Social Work Field Placement and Seminar I
SW 371 Social Work Field Placement and Seminar II
SW 390 Senior Seminar (ILR requirement)
5 General Electives (20 credits)

MSW Advanced Standing Requirements (3 semesters: Fall, Spring, Summer)

SW 402 Information Literacy
SW 424A Advanced Clinical Practice
SW 569 Advanced Standing Seminar
SW 596 Field Education (Fall)
SW 414 Assessment and Diagnosis
SW 447B Field Education (Spring)
SW 509 Evaluation in Social Work Practice
SW 424B Advanced Clinical Practice
Social Action Course
SW 447C Field Education (Summer)
Clinical Practice Elective

Here's an example of how it will flow from start to finish:

Year 1

 Fall Term - FYS 101, FYS 102 & 3 additional courses Spring Term - 4 courses
 FYS 101 - College Seminar FYS 103 - College Writing II
 FYS 102 - College Writing I SOCI 101 - Principles of Sociology
 SW 101 - Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare SW 200 Social Welfare Policy
 Foreign Language Foreign Language, Mode or Elective
 MATH Requirement, Mode or Elective 

Summer Between Year I & II
Modes or Electives (unless satisfied with AP credit); may also be satisfied by summer study abroad

Year 2
Fall Term - 5 courses Spring Term - 5 courses
SW 251 - Human Behavior I SW 252 - Human Behavior II
SW 351 - Social Work Practice I SW 352 - Social Work Practice II
BIO 102 OR 113 Mode IV: Biology of Human Development OR General Biology SOCI 239 - Intro to Social Research
SOCI 249 - Social Inequality ECON 101 - Mode V: Macroeconomics
Foreign Language MATH 118 - Mode III: Introductory Statistics

Summer Between Year II & III: 
Modes or Electives (unless satisfied with AP credit); may also be satisfied by summer study abroad

Year 3
Fall Term - 4 courses Spring Term - 4 courses
SW 353 - Social Work Practice III SW 354 - Social Work Practice IV
SW 370 - Social Work Field Placement and Seminar I SW 371 - Social Work Field Placement and Seminar II
Elective or Mode SW 390 - Senior Seminar
Any foundational courses not yet complete Any foundational courses not yet complete
Year 4: MSW Advanced Standing
Fall Term Spring Term Summer Term
SW 402 - Information LiteracySW 596 - Field Education SW 509 - Evaluation in Social Work PracticeSW 447B - Field Education SW 447C - Field Education
SW 424A - Advanced Clinical Practice SW 424 B - Advanced Clinical Practice Clinical Practice Elective
SW 569 - Advanced Standing Seminar Social Action Course  
SW 414 - Assessment and Diagnosis Elective

Classroom and field learning have a synergistic and critical relationship within social work education. Our students prepare gradually for the profession through theoretical learning in the classroom and hands-on learning in the field. First, students fulfill service-learning hours and then are placed in formal internships.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, social work employment is expected to increase through 2018. The aging baby boomer generation is driving the demand for gerontology social workers. Likewise, the need for social workers specializing in substance abuse and medical and public health is predicted to rise.

An MSW is an incredibly versatile degree that qualifies you for a wide variety of challenging and fulfilling clinical roles. Some possibilities include:

  • Addictions counselor
  • School social worker
  • Medical social worker
  • Emergency services worker
  • Outpatient mental health therapist
  • Policy analyst
  • Home-based child and family worker
  • Adoption social worker
  • Case manager
  • Housing advocate
  • Child welfare worker
  • Psychotherapist
  • Forensic social worker
  • Employee assistance social worker
  • Program evaluation coordinator
  • Family therapist and couples counselor
  • Program director
  • Department chief
  • Agency CEO

How do I apply for my master's degree in the 3+1 Program?

You will submit an application for the master's part of your program at the end of your third year, adhering to the MSW Advanced Standing application process and deadlines.

If I start the 3+1 Program, am I locked into it?

No. You can choose another major or complete just one degree if you find 3+1 isn't a match for you. However, depending on your new major, you may need to decide by the first semester of your sophomore year in order to meet the academic requirements.

Can I apply for admission into 3+1 after I am enrolled at Simmons?

Yes, Simmons freshmen may apply for admission into the 3+1 program at the end of their freshman year (spring). Your ability to complete the program by your senior year will also depend on what courses you took your freshman year and/or your Advanced Placement credits. Contact the 3+1 advisor for your program to learn more.

Do I have to complete the program in four consecutive years?

That's the plan. The curriculum for each program is set up with a careful sequencing of courses. Although there is some flexibility built in, it's highly recommended that you follow the program as it's laid out. If you feel this may be a problem, talk to your 3+1 advisor.

Will I have time to work or do extracurricular activities?

Because the 3+1 Program doesn't "skip" requirements and can demand a workload of five courses per semester, the time commitment is significant. However, your schedule should be flexible enough to allow you to work and join extracurricular activities.

Do I need to live in Boston year-round to do this?

Because the program almost entirely takes place on the Simmons campus and in field sites in the community, it's likely you will need to be in Boston for the academic year. During the summers, students are required to take electives and Modes, which may be taken at other institutions, with prior approval of your academic advisor and the University Registrar.

Simmons's graduate programs are coed; can a male student participate in 3 + 1?

No. The 3 + 1 option is only available to students who enroll in our (all women) undergraduate program.

How much money do I save?

Depending on an individual's plan and progress, students may save significantly on both tuition and living expenses.

What if I leave the 3+1 Program after three years? Will I graduate with a bachelor degree as a junior?

Yes. If you complete all your academic requirements in three years, you will earn your bachelor degree.

Will 3+1 affect my financial aid?

No. You will apply for financial aid as you normally do.

How will employers view graduates of the 3+1 Program? Will I be as competitive?

Based on our extensive knowledge of the fields represented, the 3+1 Program will position graduates with an "edge" in the marketplace. You'll be seen as motivated, accomplished, and hard working.

And because the 3+1 Program doesn't cut corners - you complete the same requirements as traditional students but in a shorter amount of time - your credentials and experience will be competitive with other candidates'.

Can I really complete this in four years?

Yes! The strategic combination of course sequencing, complementary learning, and faculty mentoring make the 3+1 an appealing, feasible option. Finishing two degrees in four years will take organization and dedication. Yet in a competitive job market, we anticipate that you'll find the high-quality results and cost savings to be well worth it.

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

Offered As
  • Major
  • Masters
Apply NowVisitRequest Info

Our Faculty