Social Work, MSW

The Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice is one of the oldest and most well-respected social work programs in the country. The program (ranked 5th in the nation by Princeton Review’s Gourman Report and 12th by U.S. News and World Report) is designed to prepare social workers for leadership roles in developing and providing services to individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations in the local, national, and global arenas. With a recently redesigned curriculum, Penn’s MSW degree melds cutting-edge innovation with a rich educational tradition rooted in social justice and social change.

Curriculum

A minimum of 16 course units are required for graduation. 

Core Requirements
SWRK 601History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare1.0
SWRK 602Human Behavior in the Social Environment1.0
SWRK 603American Racism and Social Work Practice1.0
SWRK 604Foundations of Social Work Practice I1.0
SWRK 614Foundations of Social Work Practice II1.0
SWRK 615Introduction to Social Work Research1.0
SWRK 704Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice I1.0
or SWRK 708 Advanced Macro Social Work Practice I
SWRK 714Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice II1.0
or SWRK 718 Advanced Macro Social Work Practice II
SWRK 713Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender1.0
Select one 700 level Policy Elective 11.0
Select one 700 level Research Option 11.0
Electives
Select one of the following:1.0
Mental Health Diagnostics 1
700-level Elective for Macro Practice
Select four additional electives4.0
Total Course Units16

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.


 

Sample Plan of Study

Penn offers four different MSW program options, enabling students to choose the course of study that best fits with their personal circumstances and career goals: the two-year Full-Time program, the three-year Part-Time program, the Advanced Standing program, and the Employed Practitioners program. Additionally, the Penn MSW program accepts students from Pennsylvania’s CWEL program.

While students may customize their schedules due to participation in a dual degree or certificate program, enrollment in an international course or study abroad experience, the needs of their field placement agency, or successfully passing a waiver exam, the grid below outlines the standard schedule and course of study for full-time students.

Sample Plan of Study

Below is the standard schedule and course of study for full-time students.

Joint Lectures

Sequences in the MSW program may schedule sequence-wide lectures for all sections at various points in the semester. These lectures feature experts in the field and are a mandatory component of the course(s).

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCourse Units
Foundation-year field placement begins in September and ends in April.  
SWRK 601 History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare 1 1.0
SWRK 602 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (including Joint lectures) 1 1.0
SWRK 603 American Racism and Social Work Practice (including Joint lectures) 1.0
SWRK 604 Foundations of Social Work Practice I (including Joint lectures) 2 1.0
 Course Units4.00
Spring
SWRK 614 Foundations of Social Work Practice II (including Field and Joint Lectures) 2 1.0
SWRK 615 Introduction to Social Work Research (including Joint lectures) 1 1.0
Select one 700 level Policy Elective 1.0
Select one of the following: 1.0
Mental Health Diagnostics  
700 level Elective
 
 Course Units4.00
Second Year
Fall
Advanced-year field placement begins in September and ends in April.  
SWRK 704
Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice I (including Field and Joint lectures) 2
or Advanced Macro Social Work Practice I
1.0
Select two 700 level electives 2.0
Select one 700 level Research Option 1.0
SWRK 710 Supervision Seminar 3 0.0
 Course Units4.00
Spring
SWRK 714
Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice II (including Field and Joint lectures) 2
or Advanced Macro Social Work Practice II
1.0
SWRK 713 Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender (including Joint lectures) 1.0
Select two 700 level electives 2.0
SWRK 710 Supervision Seminar 3 0.0
 Course Units4.00
 Total Course Units16.00