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

Delaware State University (DSU) is currently the only accredited school in the state of Delaware that has a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program. Located in Dover, and with satellite campuses in Wilmington and Georgetown, DSU is one of the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). DSU’s MSW program is offered through the university’s Department of Social Work, which is housed within DSU’s College of Health and Behavioral Sciences on the Dover campus. The Department of Social Work and the MSW program it offers have full accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The MSW program offered by DSU has an advanced generalist curriculum that provides training and instruction in both clinical and macro practice social work. The program has a traditional or full-length track for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field, and an advanced standing track for graduates from CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs. In addition, the program is offered in a hybrid format that blends campus-based classes with online instruction, and in an online format in which all of the program’s didactic instruction is delivered via online instruction. Both the traditional and advanced standing MSW programs are available through hybrid and fully online instruction.

Details about DSU’s MSW program options and about additional program options for Delaware residents who are exploring MSW degree programs are provided in the sections below.

Traditional MSW Programs in Delaware

A traditional MSW program is a full-length master’s program that provides general and advanced training and instruction in the practice of social work, and which requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Traditional MSW programs do not require students to have completed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree or to have prior training in social work. These programs dedicate the equivalent of one full-time academic year (two semesters) to foundational training in social work practice, followed by a second year (two more semesters) of advanced training in social work practice. In addition, traditional MSW programs require students to complete at least 900 hours of site-based field education. Students who enroll full-time in a traditional MSW program typically graduate in two years. Students who enroll part-time in these programs can take three or four years to earn their degree.

Delaware State University offers a CSWE-accredited traditional MSW program. The program is offered in two formats: a hybrid format in which students attend campus-based classes while also receiving some online instruction; and a fully online format in which all of the program’s didactic courses are delivered via distance learning and students are not required to attend campus-based classes. The hybrid program operates on a semester system, offering 16-week courses three times per year (fall, spring, and summer semesters). The online program uses an alternative academic calendar in which courses are eight-weeks long and offered six times per year, or twice per semester. Full-time students in DSU’s on-campus/hybrid and online programs complete 15 credits of coursework per semester, or a total of four courses and one field education placement, and can therefore graduate in one-and-a-half years. Students who enroll on a part-time basis extend the time to completion by two or more semesters, which leads to their graduating in two to three years.

DSU’s MSW program has an advanced generalist curriculum that provides training and instruction in the clinical and macro practice of social work with individuals, families, and groups, as well as in organizations and communities. Students in the program, regardless of whether they choose the campus-based hybrid format or the fully online format, must complete 900 hours of in-person field education at a site or sites approved by the program.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Delaware

Advanced standing MSW programs are designed specifically for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Students in BSW programs take foundation courses in social work and complete a minimum of 400 hours of field education. This prior training allows BSW graduates to effectively skip the foundational coursework and field education requirements that comprise the first two semesters of a traditional MSW program. Advanced standing students start with the advanced specialization coursework and field placements that comprise the final two semesters of a traditional program. Advanced standing MSW programs allow qualified students to complete their MSW degree in one year (two semesters) for full-time students and two years (four semesters) for a typical part-time student.

Delaware State University (DSU) offers its advanced standing MSW program with an advanced generalist specialization in two different formats. For students who would like to take all of their didactic courses online, DSU has a fully online advanced standing MSW track that does not require any campus visits. In addition, DSU has a hybrid MSW advanced standing track that offers a mix of online and campus-based instruction. Both formats have the same course and field education requirements: advanced standing students complete 30 credits of coursework and 500 hours of field education. The primary difference between the two program formats, aside from campus-based requirements, is that courses in the hybrid program last an entire semester (16 weeks), while courses in the online program are offered in eight-week terms.

It is important to note that admission to an advanced standing MSW program is not guaranteed for BSW graduates. Students who hold a BSW degree but do not meet other eligibility requirements for an advanced standing track may have to enroll in a program’s traditional track if they wish to earn an MSW degree.

Additional MSW Options for Residents of Delaware

Students in Delaware who would like to explore additional MSW programs can look to out-of-state schools, including universities located in the neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. There are seven schools in New Jersey that offer CSWE-accredited MSW programs, 13 in Pennsylvania, and three in Maryland. Among the programs offered by these schools and others outside of the Delaware region are traditional and advanced standing programs, as well as programs that are offered in campus-based and online formats.

For Delaware residents who are interested in MSW programs offered by out-of-state schools but who do not want to relocate, there are many online programs that do not require any campus visits and which allow students to complete their field education at sites near their place of residency. Some online programs do require a limited number of campus visits, but in general, these campus requirements are designed to accommodate students who do not live near the school offering the program. MasterofSocialWork.com only classifies programs that have minimal campus-based requirements (no more than two campus visits per year) as online programs. Further information and details on these types of programs is available on our Online MSW Programs page.

All Master of Social Work Programs in Delaware

The following icons are used to help students easily identify program types and delivery methods. Traditional programs are indicated with a T, while Advanced Standing programs have an . Campus programs are defined as programs that predominantly use face-to-face instruction, while Hybrid programs combine campus and online instruction. Hybrid-Online programs are mainly online programs but require 3 to ~6 campus visits per year. Online programs are defined as programs that are either fully online or only require 1-2 campus visits per year.