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Master of Social Work

    Curriculum Overview

The MSW curriculum has both foundation and advanced courses. Foundation courses are designed to help students develop knowledge and skills for generalist social work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Advanced coursework allows students to expand their skill sets within a concentration.

Students must complete 60 credit hours of classroom and field instruction (34 credit hours for Advanced Standing students) while maintaining a 3.0 grade point average, with two-thirds of the grades “B” or higher.

Concurrent full-time employment is strongly discouraged for students in the Advanced Standing and Full-Time tracks because of the time commitment and scheduling for classes and field education.

Concentration and Specialization

The UC Master of Social Work Program has a Direct Practice concentration. The advanced curriculum in Direct Practice is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for specialized practice. Students may specialize in three fields: Children & Families, Health & Aging, or Mental Health. They learn to use evidence-based interventions to assist individuals, families, and groups to make changes, solve problems, and become empowered. 

Advanced Standing Curriculum

Students may choose this track only if they have a bachelor’s degree from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and meet other admission requirements. Students on this track begin their coursework during the second half of the summer term and graduate the following April.

Students must choose a concentration upon admission to the program. Field education begins in the summer term, and students continue in the same agency placement site throughout the advanced year of study.

Advanced Standing Curriculum (pdf)

Full-Time Curriculum

The Full-Time track is a two-year plan of study that begins in the fall semester and continues over four semesters (with the summer off). Courses are sequenced and must be taken in order. In the first year, students take foundation coursework. They will be assigned a concurrent field placement that provides opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in class.

In the spring semester of their first year, students choose a concentration and interview with field agencies for their second year field placement. This placement is “matched” to students according to their indicated preferences as much as possible. During their second year, the advanced curriculum provides students with specialized knowledge and skills in your concentration area

Full-Time Curriculum (pdf)

Part-Time Curriculum

The part-time track is a three-year plan of study that begins in the fall semester. It is designed to allow working students to take courses in the evening in fall, spring, and summer semesters. However, students must still be able to schedule daytime hours for field education which begins in the fall semester of your second year. Part-time students have one field placement throughout their academic career.

The first year of coursework is comprised of foundation courses. In the spring semester of their first year, students choose a concentration. During the fall semester of their second year, students will interview with field agencies and begin their field placement. At the end of their second year, students will have completed the foundation curriculum. In the third and final year, students continue their field placements and complete the advanced curriculum.

MSW Part-Time Curriculum (pdf)


If students have a BSW degree and are admitted to the full-time or part-time programs, they may qualify for an exemption from the following MSW courses:

  • SW7010 Psychosocial Theory
  • SW7020 Social Work Research
  • SW7030 Social Welfare Policy and Practice
  • SW7041 Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
  • SW7043 Social Work Practice with Groups
  • SW7044 Social Work Practice with Organizations & Communities

To receive an exemption from any of these classes, students must have earned:

  • Their BSW within five years prior to being admitted to the MSW Program
  • A B grade or better in the equivalent undergraduate classes.

In some cases, prior graduate credits earned may be counted toward your MSW degree. Exemptions are determined after a student is admitted and will reduce the number of credits required for completion of the MSW degree.


If students have completed courses equivalent to the current MSW program offerings, they may petition the course instructor for a waiver from the course. Students are responsible for showing the instructor that they have satisfactory competence and knowledge in the subject area. If students waive a course, they must still complete the same number of credits by taking another class or classes.

Transfer Credit

If students transfer from another accredited social work graduate program to the UC MSW Program, they may transfer up to 30 semester or 45 quarter credit hours for the courses they have already completed. Transfer credit for field is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. To receive transfer credits, students must have:

  • Completed those courses within 5 years of being admitted to the MSW Program
  • Earned a B grade or better in each class

Transferology can help with all of your college transfer equivalency needs. Transferology allows students to get information about course equivalencies, programs, courses and degree audits among a number of participating institutions.​

A Social Work class at the University of Cincinnati

Visit Us

Information sessions typically take place ​between September - December. Dates for the 2018 application season will be posted soon. Send us an email if you would like to be notified when the dates are posted!

Contact Us

School of Social Work
1515 French Hall
PO Box 210108
Cincinnati OH 45221-0108
Phone: 513-556-4615
Fax: 513-556-2077

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