Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Connecticut - Campus and Online

There are six accredited, non-profit universities that offer Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs in the state of Connecticut: Fairfield University; Quinnipiac University; Sacred Heart University; Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU); the University of Connecticut (UConn); and the University of Saint Joseph. All six of these schools have programs that are either fully campus-based or that use a hybrid format, combining campus-based classes with some online instruction. Sacred Heart University is the only Connecticut school that currently offers a fully online MSW program.

The six universities that offer MSW programs in Connecticut all have traditional and advanced standing options. Traditional MSW programs, like master’s degree programs in many other fields, are designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; they do not require applicants to have majored in social work. Advanced standing programs, however, are programs specifically designed for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

All six of the Connecticut universities currently offering MSW programs are, as the list below details, accredited by the CSWE or in the process of pursuing CSWE accreditation.

  • Fairfield University (Granted Candidacy)
  • Quinnipiac University (Accredited)
  • Sacred Heart University (Accredited)
  • Southern Connecticut State University (Accredited)
  • University of Connecticut (Accredited)
  • University of Saint Joseph (Accredited)

More details on the MSW programs offered by the schools listed above are provided below in the following sections:


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Traditional MSW Programs in Connecticut

Traditional MSW programs are full-length master’s programs that provide advanced training in clinical social work practice, macro social work practice, and/or advanced generalist social work practice. These programs can typically be completed in two, three, or four years of full-time or part-time enrollment and, as mandated by the CSWE, require a minimum of 900 hours of field education internships at social work and human services agencies and organizations.

Traditional MSW programs are open to candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree and meet other admissions requirements, such as a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or 3.0 (or higher) on a four-point scale. These programs do not require students to hold a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW).

As noted above, all six of the Connecticut universities that have MSW programs offer traditional program options in a fully campus-based format or in a hybrid/blended format that requires students to attend a significant number of classes on campus. Only one school in Connecticut – Sacred Heart University – offers a fully online traditional MSW program.

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Connecticut

Fairfield University offers a traditional MSW program in a hybrid, low-residency format that includes online courses and a number of campus-based seminars that students are required to attend. This is a full-time, cohort-based program in which groups of students progress at the same pace through 60 credits of coursework, including 900 hours of field education, and then graduate together after two years. The program has a clinical social work specialization with a focus on social justice and social change for individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In addition, students may elect in the second year of the program to complete a Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health concentration. Fairfield University’s MSW program, which is offered through the university’s School of Education and Human Development, is currently in the candidacy phase for CSWE accreditation.

Quinnipiac University has a fully campus-based, traditional MSW program with a curriculum that provides professional training and instruction in health and mental health social work. The program’s 60-credit curriculum requires 1000 hours of field education, fulfilling the training requirements for licensure eligibility in clinical social work. Full-time students can complete the Quinnipiac University traditional MSW program in two years; students who opt for part-time enrollment can choose between three-year or four-year extended tracks.

Sacred Heart University’s School of Health Sciences offers a campus-based traditional MSW program with two specialization options: Direct Clinical Practice, and Direct Community Practice. The program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time enrollment. Campus classes are held one day per week while school is in session and field education requirements are assigned as follows: 550 hours of generalist field education in year one; and 550 hours of specialized Direct Clinical Practice or Direct Community Practice field education in year two.

Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) has a traditional MSW program that offers some online instruction but that is primarily campus based. The program, which is offered through SCSU’s Department of Social Work, has a Community Practice: Community Organization, Policy, and Leadership specialization, as well as a Clinical Practice specialization with five concentrations options: Children and Families; Families and Elders; Mental Health and Substance Use: Co-Occurring Disorders; and Social Work in School Settings. Students in SCSU’s traditional MSW program, regardless of their area of specialization, must complete 1100 hours of site-based field education, including 600 hours in their chosen specialization/concentration. The 60-credit program has two-year and three-year completion plans.

Note: The Mental Health and Substance Use: Co-Occurring Disorders concentration utilizes a cohort model and hybrid delivery format in which groups of students meet together on campus for three days per month when school is in session.

The University of Connecticut (UConn) has a traditional, campus-based MSW program that it offers through its School of Social Work. The program has three concentrations: Community Organizing (CORG); Individuals, Groups, and Families Practice (IGFP); and Policy Practice (POPR). Students can complete the program in two years of full-time enrollment, or they can opt for part-time enrollment and graduate in three or four years. The 60-credit program requires a total of 1200 field education hours.

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) has a traditional MSW program that uses hybrid course delivery, combining in-person, campus-based classes with online instruction. The 60-credit program has a Clinical Social Work curriculum with three specialization options: Health/Behavioral Health; Veterans Services; and Children and Families. Students in the program have the option of a two-year, full-time completion plan, or a part-time plan that takes three years to complete. The program requires students to engage in 1180 hours of site-based field experiences.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in Connecticut

Sacred Heart University is the only school in Connecticut that currently offers a fully online MSW program. The program has a 60-credit traditional track with specializations in Direct Clinical Practice, and Direct Community Practice. Traditional students can complete the program, including 1000 hours of required, site-based field education experiences, in 3.5 years. Apart from field education, there are no in-person, on-campus requirements for this program. Sacred Heart University’s MSW programs are offered through the university’s School of Health Sciences.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Connecticut

Advanced standing MSW programs are designed specifically for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the CSWE. Students entering an advanced standing program are given credit for all or most of the social work coursework and field education they completed during their undergraduate degree, as the curriculum for BSW programs overlaps with the generalist curriculum students complete in the first year of a traditional MSW program.

Thus, advanced standing students are prepared to begin their master’s studies at roughly the mid-point of a two-year, traditional MSW program, which is often referred to as the “specialization” or “advanced standing” year. This allows advanced standing programs to significantly reduce the number of credits required for students to graduate and the amount of time it takes to earn their degree. For example, full-time, advanced standing students can commonly earn their MSW degree in one year, while students attending school part time generally take two years to complete their MSW studies.

It is important to note that admission to advanced standing programs is not automatic for BSW graduates; in addition to holding a BSW degree, advanced standing program applicants may be required to have earned their degree within the last five, six, or seven years and to have maintained an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a three-point scale. BSW graduates who are unable to gain admission to an advanced standing program can still apply to traditional programs in order to earn their MSW degree.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Connecticut

Fairfield University has an advanced standing option for applicants to its hybrid, low-residency MSW program. Eligibility for the advanced standing track is restricted to candidates who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. The advanced standing curriculum consists of 45 credits, including 650 hours of field education. It has a clinical social work focus with an optional Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health concentration. Students in the advanced standing program can complete their degree in three semesters of full-time enrollment. Fairfield University’s MSW program is currently in the candidacy phase for CSWE-accreditation.

Quinnipiac University’s campus-based MSW program has an advanced standing option for qualified students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program and who earned a B or better in all of their bachelor’s-level social work courses. The program has a has health and mental health curriculum. Advanced standing students begin their MSW studies with a five-week, six-credit summer session, after which they are able to earn their degree by completing 30 additional credits in two semesters of full-time enrollment. Students who opt for part-time enrollment in the advanced standing program can take up to two years to complete the degree requirements, including 700 hours of field education.

Sacred Heart University has a campus-based advanced standing MSW program in which students attend classes one day per week when school is in session and engage in 550 hours of field education. The program has two specialization options: Direct Clinical Practice, and Direct Community Practice. To be eligible for the program, applicants must hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program earned within the last six years with a B or better in all social work courses and an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The advanced standing program is designed to be completed in one year of full-time enrollment.

Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) offers a 39-credit advanced standing MSW program that is primarily campus based but that includes some online instruction. The program, offered through SCSU’s Department of Social Work, gives students the option of a Community Practice: Community Organization, Policy, and Leadership specialization and a Clinical Practice specialization. The Clinical Practice specialization has five concentration options: Children and Families; Families and Elders; Mental Health and Substance Use: Co-Occurring Disorders (COD); and Social Work in School Settings.

Students who enroll full-time in SCSU’s advanced standing program can complete their degree in one calendar year by taking courses in successive summer, fall, and spring semesters. Program requirements include 600 hours of field education. Eligibility for advanced standing admission at SCSU is extended to students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program earned within the last six years and whose cumulative undergraduate GPA was 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale.

The University of Connecticut (UConn) offers a campus-based, advanced standing MSW program through its School of Social Work. To qualify for advanced standing status, applicants must have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program in the last six years and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale, although a 3.5 or higher GPA is preferred. There are three designated specializations that advanced standing students can choose from: Community Organizing (CORG); Individuals, Groups, and Families Practice (IGFP); and Policy Practice (POPR). UConn’s advanced standing option requires full-time enrollment, 560 hours of field education, and begins with an intensive five-week summer session. The program can then be completed in two semesters.

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) offers its hybrid MSW program that combines campus-based classes with online instruction in an advanced standing format for students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program conferred within the last six years. Advanced standing students are expected to have earned a B or better in all social work major undergraduate courses but are allowed to retake up to two courses in which their grade was below a B. This is a clinical social work program with three specialization options: Health/Behavioral Health; Veterans Services; and Children and Families. Students who are admitted to the advanced standing track can complete program requirements, including 600 hours of field education, in as few as ten months of full-time enrollment.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in Connecticut

Sacred Heart University is the only school in Connecticut that offers an advanced standing MSW program in a fully online format. The program, which requires applicants to hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program conferred in the last six years, has two specializations: Direct Clinical Practice, and Direct Community Practice. In addition to holding a BSW degree, advanced standing program applicants must have earned a B or better in all undergraduate social work courses and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The 30-credit advanced standing track requires 550 hours of field education and can be completed in 20 months.

All Master of Social Work Programs in Connecticut

T Traditional programs, Advanced Standing programs, Campus programs, Hybrid programs (campus and online instruction), Hybrid-Online programs (3 to ~6 campus visits per year), Online programs (fully online to 2 campus visits per year)
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Fairfield University

(Fairfield)
Department: Graduate School of Education & Allied Professions
CSWE Accreditation Status: Granted Candidacy
Programs:

Quinnipiac University

(Hamden)
Department: School of Health Sciences
CSWE Accreditation Status: Fully Accredited
Programs: