The Boston University School of Social Work offers the option of a graduate social work education in a non-traditional structure. The part-time program allows students to continue working in their communities while attending graduate school. The program goals are to further social and economic justice in the urban environment; to offer opportunities rooted in each community for people with work and family responsibilities; to provide internships in students’ geographic areas; and to enhance support that is tailored to adult learners.
Charles River Campus Program
The School offers an extended part-time program on the Charles River Campus to incoming students each year. Part-time students fulfill the degree requirements in either three years (plus summers) or four years (without summers). Students take two to three courses per semester.
The first year of study consists of academic coursework only. (Most foundation courses offer a class section scheduled in the 4 to 6 p.m. and/or 6 to 8 p.m. time blocks). In subsequent years, two field placements are required in conjunction with the academic course curriculum. During Fall and Spring Semesters, students must have time available during the regular workweek for both field placement and coursework. Students must be available (during regular weekday hours) for 16 hours a week for their first field placement and 24 hours a week for their second placement. (For their second placement, students may choose the option in some field settings of a 16-hour/week placement for a full year.)
If there is sufficient interest (this fluctuates from year to year), part-time students who have had previous social work experience and for whom the plan is considered educationally sound, may meet the requirements of the first field experience in a summer block placement after their first year.
Off-Campus Programs (Weekend Courses)
Clinical Practice Major (offered at Bedford, Fall River and Cape Cod)
- Traditional Track (available at Bedford, Fall River and Cape Cod)
- 8 semesters, 65 credits, 2 field internships within student’s own community
- Advanced Standing Option (available at Bedford and fall River)
- 6 semesters, 40-43 credits, single field internship
Our Off-Campus Program (OCP) are designed for individuals with work or family responsibilities. Students major in clinical social work practice and develop the skills and competencies needed to advance professionally. The curriculum at our off-campus sites is identical to that of the BUSSW on-campus program and courses are taught by BUSSW faculty. In addition, our off-campus program offer a rich network of field placement sites, giving students practical experience in locations close to home where they acquire the hands-on training needed to succeed in the marketplace.
With locations in Bedford, Fall River, and on Cape Cod, these part-time MSW programs offer classes on weekends and field internships during the week in students’ own communities. The program is 65 credits and spans eight semesters, including two summer sessions. Courses are taken sequentially, one at a time. Classes are completed in four weeks and are held on Friday nights (6–9 p.m.) and Saturday mornings (9 a.m.–1 p.m.). Students take all classes as a cohort throughout their time in the program and complete the entire program at the off-campus sites.
The first year in the program focuses on foundation theory courses. During the second year, students take foundation methods courses and complete the foundation internship. In the third year, students take advanced curriculum and do the advanced field internship. Although classes are held on weekends, field placements occur during the week.
Online MSW Program
An innovative and convenient option for remote applicants, this part-time online program in clinical or macro social work practice allows individuals to earn an MSW degree while continuing to live and work in their own communities. The online program is available for individuals living in the United States, except those from North Carolina, and US Territories. Applications for the Online Program are accepted each semester and applicants can apply to enter the online program in September, January, or May.
State Board of Education requirements and state licensing requirements for social workers differ from state to state. Please be sure to research your state’s Board of Education and social work licensing requirements.
Sample Part-Time Program Plans
To view sample part-time program plans, please visit Educational Program Plans.