Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills you need to make a difference with a Master of Social Work degree from Saint Mary’s College. You’ll learn how to implement proven, effective social work practices founded on compassionate values.
This master’s program in social work is taught online with a one-weekend campus immersion and is open to both men and women. The approach gives you flexibility in how you learn, so you can fit your degree around your busy schedule. You’ll still have plenty of hands-on experience thanks to field placements in your own community that complement your online coursework.
In addition to studying foundational social work topics, you will specialize in clinical social work to prepare to work in hospitals, mental health clinics and variety of different patient settings — with an added emphasis on aging available to meet the needs of the rapidly growing population of seniors.
Social work isn’t a skill that can be learned solely in a book — it requires real-world experience, too. At Saint Mary’s College, we work to put all students in field placements while they complete their Master of Social Work. These placements complement classroom work, helping you gain a deeper understanding of your studies by applying them.
During your cohort immersion, you will have access to facilities on Saint Mary’s campus that support hands-on learning in a clinical environment, including an interviewing skills lab and state-of-the-art simulation labs in our Center for Integrated Healthcare Innovation.
The coursework in this clinical social work program is dedicated to real-world applications, focusing on issues like inclusion and social justice as well as on collaborative research and practice. As a Saint Mary’s social work student, you’ll also have the opportunity to attend our experiential learning opportunity at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The online nature of this Master of Social Work degree means you have more control over where and when you study. Remove the need for a costly, time-consuming commute with classes you can access from wherever you are.
You can also decide the pace of your learning — we accept both full-time and part-time students in our MSW program. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in social work, you can start the program with advanced standing and complete it in half the time it would otherwise take. And for students interested in getting both their BSW and MSW at Saint Mary’s, we offer a 3+1 accelerated program — you can graduate with both degrees in just four years.
Pace isn’t the only type of flexibility we offer. This Master of Social Work program will prepare you to work in a variety of clinical settings and offers an optional emphasis in aging.
"Working with the social work faculty at Saint Mary’s has been such a unique experience because there’s a small student-to-faculty ratio, so it really allows us to develop a relationship with them that wouldn’t be possible at a larger university."
– Therese Diamond, 2023
Social work is a fast-growing field, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating 9 percent growth over the next 10 years. In addition, general medical and surgical hospital social workers, the most common path for a healthcare-licensed clinical social worker, make an average annual wage of $72,980, according to BLS data.
Depending on your area of interest, you’ll be prepared to enter a number of different types of social work positions when you graduate with your Master of Social Work degree and obtain your LCSW credential. Careers are available in fields such as:
A master’s degree in social work prepares you for leadership in the field, empowering you to find high-paying positions earlier in your career while enacting the changes you want to see in the world.
As the MSW Field Education Director, my goal is to ensure that students are creating collaborations with social work agencies and placements that are engaging, challenging and supportive, and working with the students to make sure their placement experience is in depth and fulfilling. The MSW department at Saint Mary's strives to walk this journey with you as you learn the skills and attributes to be social workers in our communities. – Elizabeth Brueseke, MSW, LCSW