Tailor your MSW degree to your passions and experience level
Choose the major and track that are right for you.
You can also choose from four specialization options: behavioral health; aging; trauma and violence; and children, youth and families. Learn about specializations here.
Majors & Minors
Clinical Practice Major
Highly skilled clinical social workers are needed in a variety of settings including mental health and community health centers, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, substance treatment centers, family services, child welfare and children’s services, schools, geriatric facilities, housing agencies, criminal justice and more.
Clinical Social Work practitioners learn how to use their professional relationships to engage in purposeful conversations and therapeutic activities while working with clients dealing with challenging life circumstances. Through course work, field education, and supplementary programs, students develop competencies in assessment and diagnosis, treatment, and prevention for a variety of emotional and behavioral problems.
Numerous social work skills, human behavior theories, and evidence-based practices are taught to inform student learning. Students study four frameworks for differential assessment and intervention: cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, and family systems. In addition to training in individual intervention skills, students also learn to work with families and groups as key parts of clinical practice, providing a bridge between social work with individuals and small or large systems.
Guiding principles for clinical social work practice presume the worth and dignity of all people, a strengths perspective, the need for client confidentiality, and client empowerment and self-determination in decision-making.
Macro Practice Major
This program is ideal for those committed to championing change initiatives and tackling the root causes of social problems. Transform your passion into partnership with communities and organizations, drawing on the most relevant knowledge, policies, and strategies designed to improve living and social environments.
Macro social work promotes human development and social justice through work with communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad range of knowledge and skills that enable practitioners to lead and contribute to a wide array of public and private sector organizations that are dedicated to addressing critical social issues with diverse populations.
At BUSSW, macro social work education emphasizes service and action to advance core values including:
- social and economic justice
- participatory democracy
- human dignity, equality, and freedom
- respect for diversity
- community empowerment
- asset-oriented practice
Through coursework, field education, and supplementary programs, students learn theory and develop skills in community organizing, human services management, and planning and program development. Students and faculty work together to understand and develop ways to overcome racism and intersecting oppressions based on gender, class, sexual orientation, identity, ability, and other social factors.
Macro Practice Minor
Clinical Practice majors may choose to minor in Macro Practice. Students from all BUSSW MSW programs (Charles River, Off-Campus, Hybrid and Online) may choose to pursue a Macro minor.
Macro Minor Contact Information
Lenette Azzi-Lessing – Chair of Macro Practice Department: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Crowley – Online, Off-Campus & Hybrid Macro Practice Coordinator: email@example.com
Options by Program
Students can select either a Clinical Practice or Macro Practice major. On-Campus Clinical Practice majors may also choose to minor in Macro Practice.
Students can select either Clinical Practice or Macro Practice as their major. Online Clinical Practice majors may also choose to minor in Macro Practice.
Bedford, Cape Cod, and Fall River campuses offer Clinical Practice only. Students in these programs may also choose to minor in Macro Practice by enrolling in the required Macro Practice courses online or at our Charles River Campus. Please contact your campus program director for more information.
Students can select either Clinical Practice or Macro Practice as their major. Clinical Practice majors may also choose to minor in Macro Practice.
SOCIAL WORK LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
Social work licensing requirements vary from state to state. Please be sure to check specific regulations for your state of residence available through the following resources:
Consists of 65 credits which can be completed in 2 years (full-time) or in 3-4 years (part-time). Students enroll in required foundation and advanced coursework, complete a foundation field internship (480 hours) and an advanced field internship (720 hours).
Human Service Experience Track
Applicants who have a minimum of two years of supervised human services experience may apply to be considered for the Human Service Experience (HSE) track. In HSE, your work experience is applied to your field internship requirement, reducing it from two internships to one.
This experience must include weekly supervision by a master’s level supervisor. Examples of human service experience can include, but are not limited to: direct client care, case management, group leadership, referral services, counseling, advocacy, and care planning.
Learn more about the application process for the Human Service Experience Track here.
Please Note: HSE is offered to Online, Off-Campus, and part-time On-Campus Program students. HSE is not currently available for full-time On-Campus students.