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

There are currently 17 schools in Illinois that offer Master of Social Work (MSW) programs. These schools include eight state universities: Chicago State University (CSU); Governors State University (GSU); Illinois State University (ISU); Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU); Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale); Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE); the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC); and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I). Among the private, non-profit schools in Illinois that offer MSW programs are: Aurora University; Chamberlain University; DePaul University; Dominican University; Erikson Institute; Lewis University; Loyola University Chicago (LUC); The University of Chicago; and the University of St. Francis.

All 17 of the schools in Illinois that offer MSW programs have at least one traditional track designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field or discipline. Students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree conferred by an undergraduate program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) may be eligible for an advanced standing MSW program. Currently, 16 of the 17 schools in Illinois also offer advanced standing MSW programs.

Of the 17 schools in Illinois that have MSW programs, 16 have campus-based and/or hybrid programs that require more than two campus visits per year, and eight schools have one or more online program options. As noted below, all 17 schools have either received full accreditation from the CSWE or are currently in the candidacy phase for CSWE accreditation.

  • Aurora University (Accredited)
  • Chamberlain University (Granted Candidacy)
  • Chicago State University (Accredited)
  • DePaul University (Accredited)
  • Dominican University (Accredited)
  • Erikson Institute (Accredited)
  • Governors State University (Accredited)
  • Illinois State University (Accredited)
  • Lewis University (Accredited)
  • Loyola University Chicago (Accredited)
  • Northeastern Illinois University (Accredited)
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Accredited)
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Accredited)
  • The University of Chicago (Accredited)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (Accredited)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Accredited)
  • University of St. Francis (Accredited)

In the sections below, traditional MSW programs are grouped separately from advanced standing programs due to their differences in admission requirements. Within those sections, fully campus-based programs and hybrid programs that require students to attend more than two campus-based sessions per year are grouped together under campus-based programs. Fully online programs and online programs that require two or fewer campus visits per year are grouped separately under online MSW programs.


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Traditional MSW Programs in Illinois

Traditional MSW programs are full-length master’s programs that are accredited by the CSWE to provide training and instruction in clinical and/or macro practice social work. Applicants to these programs may be required to meet certain academic standards for admission, such as a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA), or to have taken one or more prerequisite courses. However, traditional programs do not require a BSW degree for admission. These programs are designed for bachelor’s program graduates who majored in any field or discipline, although some programs may give preference to applicants who majored in a social science.

Like master’s degree programs in many other fields, traditional MSW programs generally take two years of full-time enrollment to complete. In addition to didactic coursework, traditional students in an MSW program must engage in a minimum of 900 hours of field education. A central pedagogy in social work training, field education consists of experiential learning internships at social work agencies and other types of organizations that provide social work services. Traditional MSW programs that allow for part-time enrollment can generally be completed in three to four years, depending on the number of credits earned per semester.

All 17 of the schools in Illinois that have MSW programs offer at least one traditional program track.

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Illinois

There are 16 Illinois schools that offer traditional MSW programs in either a fully or partially campus-based format. This includes hybrid programs that combine online learning with campus-based instruction. For convenience, campus-based programs are grouped regionally into the following sections:

  • Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area
  • Northeastern Illinois
  • Central Illinois
  • Southwestern Illinois

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area

Chicago State University offers a campus-based MSW program with a 60-credit traditional track that includes 950 hours of required field education. The program has a Direct Practice clinical specialization and a Program Planning and Administration macro practice specialization. Students may also opt for a School Social Work specialization that requires an additional 50 hours of field education for a total of 1,000 hours. Full-time students can complete this program in two years, while part-time students can choose from a three- or four-year completion plan.

DePaul University has a traditional MSW program that it offers at its Loop Campus in Chicago. The program gives students the option of specializing in Community Practice macro social work, or in Forensic Social Work practice with juveniles and adults in the criminal justice system. This is an 88 quarter-credit program that requires students to engage in 1,120 hours of field education. DePaul has a full-time traditional program track that takes two years to complete and a part-time track that can be completed in three or four years. The part-time track allows students to enroll in weekday evening courses, while the full-time track requires some daytime courses.

Dominican University has a traditional MSW program that is offered at its main campus in River Forest and at its Grayslake campus, both of which are in the Chicago area. The program has six specialization options: Aging, Adulthood, and Gerontology; Children, Youth, and Family; Global Social Work Practice for Immigrants and Refugees; Health and Well-Being; Military; and School Social Work. Traditional students in the Dominican MSW program complete a 60-credit curriculum that includes 1,080 hours of field education. The program has full-time and part-time enrollment options, with full-time students following a two-year completion plan and part-time students graduating in three years.

Erikson Institute offers a campus-based MSW program for traditional students who have a bachelor’s degree in any field or discipline. The program has three concentration options: Child and Family Policy; Children, Adolescents, and Adults; and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. This is a 60-credit traditional MSW program that requires students to engage in 900 hours of field education. Full-time students can complete the program in two years; part-time students generally graduate in three years.

Loyola University Chicago (LUC) offers a campus-based MSW program designed for traditional students interested in either micro or macro practice social work. Students in the program can choose between a Micro Practice specialization, that has four concentration options: Advanced Clinical Practice, Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors (CADC), Migration Studies, and School Social Work, and a Leadership, Mezzo, & Macro Practice (LMMP) specialization with a concentration in Leadership, Community, Advocacy, & Policy (LCAP). Traditional students in this program complete a 49-credit curriculum that includes 1,000 hours of field education. The program also allows for part-time enrollment, which leads to graduating in four years.

Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program with two concentration options: Practice with Children, Youth, and Families (clinical practice); and Leadership and Change (macro practice). Students can also specialize in School Social Work as part of the clinical or macro practice concentration. The program requires traditional students to complete 60 credits, including 1,080 hours of field education. Full-time students can complete this program in two years, while part-time students generally take three to four years to earn their degree.

The University of Chicago has a Master of Arts (MA) in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration program that is accredited by the CSWE and that is equivalent to an MSW program. The program is campus-based and requires traditional students to complete 1,120 hours of site-based field education. Students in the program have the option of a Clinical concentration that has three designated specializations: Advanced AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) Counselor Training Program; Contextual Behavior Practices; and School Social Work. The program also has a Social Administration macro practice concentration with specializations in Addressing Educational Inequalities, and in Addressing Social Inequalities: Innovations in Policy Practice. Students may also choose to specialize in Global Social Development Practice, Trauma Responsive Social Work, or Transforming Justice: Policies and Practices as part of the Clinical or Social Administration concentration. Full-time traditional students can complete the program in two years. The program also has a part-time Extended Evening Program that takes three years to complete and has classes that meet two evenings per week when school is in session, and a Part-time Day Program that also takes three years to complete.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has a campus-based MSW program with a traditional track that is designed to be completed in two years of full-time enrollment or in three years of part-time enrollment. The program offers specializations in Child and Family, Mental Health, Organization and Community Practice, School Social Work, and Social Work within Justice Systems. In addition, students in the program can earn a certificate in Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Children or Integrated Behavioral Health Care. As part of the program’s 62-credit traditional track, students are required to engage in 1,080 hours of field education.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) has an iMSW Hybrid program that combines online instruction with in-person meetings that are held four Saturdays per semester at the school’s Illini Center in Chicago. The iMSW program has a traditional track for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field or discipline. The traditional track is designed to be completed in three years of part-time enrollment and has an Advanced Clinical Social Work curriculum that incorporates 900 hours of field education. Students can also choose from four focus areas: Children, Youth and Family Services; Health Care; Mental Health; and Schools.

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Northeastern Illinois

Aurora University has a traditional MSW program that that is offered on site at the university’s main campus in Aurora and at the university’s Woodstock campus. The program requires traditional students to complete a 60-credit curriculum that includes 1,050 hours of field education. The main campus program gives students seven specialization options: Addictions; Child Welfare; School Social Work; Forensics; Gerontology Healthcare; and Leadership Administration. Only the Addictions, and Child Welfare specializations are available to students who opt for the Woodstock Center campus program. Aurora’s traditional MSW is designed to be completed in two years of full-time enrollment, although students can enroll part-time and earn their degree in three years.

Governors State University (GSU) offers a campus-based MSW program with a 60-credit traditional track for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field or discipline. Applicants must also have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a four-point scale. The program has a Social Work Practice with Children, Adolescents, and Families specialization with optional concentrations in Mental Health and Licensed Welfare Practice, as well as a School Social Work Practice specialization. Both specializations require traditional students to engage in 900 hours of field education. GSU’s MSW program has a flexible enrollment policy that allows full-time students to graduate in two years and part-time students to take three or four years to earn their degree.

Lewis University offers a campus-based traditional MSW program with an Advanced Individual Practice concentration that allows students to choose from four focus areas: Advanced Clinical Social Work, Advanced Child Welfare, Organizational Leadership, and School Social Work. This is a 60-credit traditional program that incorporates 1,080 hours of required field education. Most of the program’s classes meet on weekday evenings. Traditional students can graduate from the Lewis University program in two years of full-time study or take three to four years to earn their degree on a part-time basis.

The University of St. Francis has a traditional MSW program that allows students to attend evening and weekend campus-based classes in combination with online coursework. Students in the program can choose an Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice concentration that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work, or a School Social Work concentration. Both concentrations require traditional students to engage in 1,080 hours of field education. This is a 62-credit MSW program that is designed to be completed in two years by full-time students. Part-time traditional students can earn their degree in three to four years.

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Central Illinois

Illinois State University (ISU) offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program with specializations in Child and Family Practice, and in School Social Work. Both specializations require traditional students to engage in 1,100 hours of field education while completing a 60-credit curriculum. The Child and Family Practice specialization has a two-year full-time completion plan, as well as three- and four-year part-time completion plans. The School Social Work specialization requires three years of full-time enrollment. Part-time traditional students can complete the School Social Work specialization in four years.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) offers an On-Campus MSW program for traditional students at its main campus in Urbana. The program has a Leadership and Social Change macro concentration, and an Advanced Clinical Social Work concentration that gives students four focus area options: Children, Youth and Family Services; Health Care; Mental Health; and Schools. Traditional students in this program complete 16 credits of foundational coursework, 32 credits of advanced coursework, and a two-semester internship that provides for 900 hours of field education. The time to completion for this program is two years for traditional students who are enrolled on a full-time basis.

U of I also offers an iMSW Hybrid Program for traditional students that combines in-person weekend classes that meet four times per semester on Saturdays with online instruction. The iMSW program has an Advanced Clinical Social Work concentration with four focus area options: Children, Youth and Family Services; Health Care; Mental Health; and Schools. It requires traditional students to engage in 900 hours of field education and is designed to be completed in three years.

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program with two specialization options: Children, Youth and Families; and Health/Mental Health. Both specializations allow students to add a School Social Work sub-specialty and/or a Gerontology certificate. This is a 60-credit traditional program that requires students to engage in 967 hours of field education. Full-time students can complete the program in two years. Students who prefer part-time enrollment can earn their degree in three to four years.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) has a traditional, campus-based MSW program with an Advanced Generalist specialization that is designed to prepare students for careers in clinical and/or macro practice social work. This is a 60-credit traditional program that requires students to engage in 950 hours of field education. Full-time students can complete SIUE’s traditional MSW program track in two years, while part-time students can take up to four years to earn their degree. This program is offered in a hybrid format that allows students to attend some online classes.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in Illinois

Aurora University offers its traditional MSW program track in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits. Online students can choose from seven concentration options: Child Welfare; Forensics; Gerontology; Health Care; Leadership Administration; Military and Veteran Social Work; and School Social Work. Aurora’s traditional MSW program track consists of 60 credits of coursework and students are required to complete 1,050 hours of site-based field education prior to graduating from the program. Full-time students can complete the program in two years, while part-time students can earn their degree in three years.

Chamberlain University offers a traditional MSW program in a fully online format that does not require students to attend any campus-based sessions. The program’s 60-credit traditional track includes 1,000 hours of field education and gives students three specialization options: Crisis and Response Interventions; Trauma; and Medical Social Work. This program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study. Chamberlain University’s MSW program is in the candidacy phase of the CSWE accreditation process. Students who attend the program while it is in the candidacy phase will be credited with having earned their degree from a CSWE-accredited program if and when it achieves full accreditation.

Dominican University has a traditional MSW program that is offered at two campus locations and in an online format that requires students to attend a one-week residency at the start of the program. Students can attend this orientation session at Dominican’s main campus in River Forest or at its Grayslake campus. Arrangements to attend the orientation virtually can be made by students who reside in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, or Wisconsin. The Dominican University MSW program requires traditional students to complete a 60-credit curriculum that includes 1,080 hours of field education and has six specialization options: Aging, Adulthood, and Gerontology; Children, Youth, and Family; Global Social Work Practice for Immigrants and Refugees; Health and Well-Being; Military; and School Social Work. Full-time students can graduate from this program in two years, while part-time students generally take three years to earn their degree.

Erikson Institute has a traditional MSW program that is offered in a fully online format. The program allows students to choose from two concentrations: Children, Adolescents, and Adults; and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. The Erikson Institute’s traditional MSW program consists of 60 credits, including 900 hours of site-based field education. The online program is a part-time program that is designed to be completed in three years.

Loyola University Chicago (LUC) has a fully online Bilingual MSW program in which coursework is delivered in both Spanish and English. This 49-credit program has a focus area in Mental Health and Migration Studies and requires students to complete 1,000 hours of field education. Traditional students in LUC’s Bilingual MSW program attend virtual classes and engage in field internships for eight consecutive semesters and graduate in 2.5 years.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) offers its traditional MSW program in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits. Students in the online program complete a 60-credit curriculum that includes 967 hours of site-based field education. Students can choose between two specializations: Children, Youth and Families; and Health/Mental Health. In addition, the SIU Carbondale program has an optional School Social Work sub-specialization and a Gerontology certificate option. This program is designed to be completed in two years by full-time students and in three to four years by students who enroll on a part-time basis.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) offers its iMSW program in a fully online format for traditional students. The program has a Leadership and Social Change macro practice curriculum that incorporates 900 hours of required, site-based field education. This is a part-time traditional program that is designed to be completed in eight semesters. Students who attend classes year-round (summer, fall, and spring) can earn their degree in 2.5 years.

The University of St. Francis offers its MSW program in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits. The program has a 62-credit track for traditional students that includes 1,080 hours of field education. Students in the program have the choice of an Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice specialization that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work, or a School Social Work specialization that prepares students to work with students in public school settings. This program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time enrollment. Students who opt for part-time enrollment can graduate in three to four years.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Illinois

Advanced standing MSW programs are designed specifically for students who hold a BSW degree from an undergraduate program that is accredited by the CSWE. Students who have completed a CSWE-accredited BSW program are generally prepared to begin their MSW studies with the advanced specialization coursework and field placements that comprise the second year of a full-time traditional MSW program. Thus, advanced standing students are typically able to earn their MSW degree in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment.

It is important to note that not all BSW program graduates are eligible for advanced standing status. Most programs require advanced standing applicants to have earned their degree within the last five to ten years. Some programs have additional admissions requirements for advanced standing students, such as a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. BSW graduates who are unable to gain admission to a program’s advanced standing track can still earn their MSW degree by enrolling in a traditional MSW program.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Illinois

There are 16 schools in Illinois that have advanced standing program tracks for students who qualify for advanced standing status. Eight of those schools currently offer fully online advanced standing MSW program tracks, as is detailed below. All online advanced standing programs offered by schools in Illinois are grouped together. Campus-based and hybrid MSW programs with advanced standing tracks are grouped by region into the four areas listed below.

  • Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area
  • Northeastern Illinois
  • Central Illinois
  • Southwestern Illinois

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area

Chicago State University (CSU) offers a campus-based MSW program with a 30-credit advanced standing track that requires applicants to have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last four years. Advanced standing applicants are also expected to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. The CSU advanced standing MSW program track requires students to complete 30-credits, inclusive of 550 hours of field education. Students have the option of specializing in Direct Practice clinical social work or Program Planning and Administration macro practice social work. The program also has a School Social Work specialization that requires an additional 50 hours of field education (600 hours total). Advanced standing students in the CSU MSW program can earn their degree in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment.

Dominican University has an MSW program that is offered at two campuses in the Chicago area: Dominican’s main campus in River Forest, and a satellite campus in Grayslake. Both campuses have a 30-credit advanced standing track that incorporates 600 hours of site-based field education and gives students the choice of six specializations: Aging, Adulthood, and Gerontology; Children, Youth, and Family; Global Social Work Practice for Immigrants and Refugees; Health and Well-Being; Military; and School Social Work. Students who pursue full-time enrollment can graduate in as few as nine months, whereas students who enroll part-time can earn their degree in two years. To qualify for advanced standing status in the Dominican MSW program, applicants must hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale.

Erikson Institute has a campus-based MSW program with three concentration options: Child and Family Policy; Children, Adolescents, and Adults; and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. The program has a 35-credit advanced standing track for students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. To qualify for full advanced standing status, BSW graduates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a four-point scale. BSW graduates with a GPA below 3.0 are subject to a transcript review to determine whether or not they will receive credit for undergraduate social work courses and field education. Students who meet all advanced standing requirements are required to engage in 500 hours of field education and can graduate in one year of full-time enrollment. Part-time advanced standing students can earn their degree in two years.

Loyola University Chicago (LUC) offers its campus-based MSW program in an advanced standing format that requires applicants to have earned a BSW degree within the last five years from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. In addition, advanced standing applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. The LUC MSW program has a Micro Practice specialization with four concentration options: Advanced Clinical Practice; Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors (CADC); Migration Studies; and School Social Work. The program also has a Leadership, Mezzo, & Macro Practice (LMMP) specialization with just one concentration option: Leadership, Community, Advocacy, & Policy (LCAP). Advanced standing students in the LUC program complete 23-credits of coursework, inclusive of 600 hours of field education, which can be done is as few as ten months by full-time students. Part-time students can complete the program in two years. Some but not all courses in this program may incorporate online instruction.

Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) has a campus-based advanced standing MSW program that requires applicants to hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program conferred within the last five years. In addition, applicants are expected to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. This program gives students the choice of a Practice with Children, Youth and Families clinical concentration or a Leadership and Change macro concentration. Both concentrations allow students to add a specialization in School Social Work as well. Advanced standing students in the NEIU program must complete 600 hours of field education while earning their degree, which can be done in one year by full-time students or in two years by students who enroll on a part-time basis.

The University of Chicago offers a CSWE accredited Master of Arts (MA) in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration program that is equivalent to an MSW program and that has an advanced standing track for students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program, provided the degree was conferred within the last five years. Advanced standing students complete a 12-course curriculum and 640 hours of field education. The program has a Clinical concentration that allows students the specialize in: Advanced AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) Counselor Training Program; Contextual Behavior Practices; School Social Work; Global Social Development Practice; Trauma Responsive Social Work; or Transforming Justice: Policies and Practices. In addition, the program has a Social Administration macro practice concentration with specializations in: Addressing Educational Inequalities; Addressing Social Inequalities: Innovations in Policy Practice; Global Social Development Practice; Trauma Responsive Social Work; and Transforming Justice: Policies and Practices. This is a full-time advanced standing program that is designed to be completed in one year.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) offers an advanced standing MSW program track in a campus-based format for qualified students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Advanced standing students are required to complete a 34-credit curriculum that includes 630 hours of field education. This can be done in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment. UIC’s MSW program has five specialization options: Child and Family; Mental Health; Organization and Community Practice; School Social Work; and Social Work within Justice Systems. In addition, it gives students the option of earning a certificate in Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Children or Integrated Behavioral Health Care.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) offers its iMSW Hybrid program in an advanced standing format at its Illini Center in Chicago. The program utilizes online instruction supplemented with four campus-based sessions per semester that are held on Saturdays. In addition, advanced standing students must complete 500 hours of field education. The iMSW advanced standing track is designed for BSW program graduates who earned their degree within the last seven years from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. In addition, advanced standing applicants are expected to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. The program has an Advanced Clinical Social Work curriculum with four specialization options: Children, Youth and Family Services; Health Care; Mental Health; and Schools. Advanced standing students can complete this program in two years.

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Northeastern Illinois

Aurora University has a 30-credit advanced standing MSW program track that is designed for BSW program graduates who earned their degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last five years. Advanced standing applicants are also expected to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on four-point scale. This program is offered at Aurora University’s main campus (in Aurora) as well as at its Woodstock Center campus. Students who enroll in the main campus program have seven specialization options: Addictions; Child Welfare; School Social Work; Forensics; Gerontology; Health Care; and Leadership Administration. The Woodstock Center campus program gives students the option of specializing in Addictions, or Child Welfare. Aurora’s advanced standing program track has a one-year completion plan for full-time students and a two-year completion plan for part-time students. Advanced standing students are required to engage in 600 hours of field education while earning their degree.

Governors State University (GSU) has an advanced standing MSW program that is offered in a fully campus-based format. To qualify for the program’s advanced standing program track, applicants must hold a BSW degree conferred within the last seven years by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. In addition, advanced standing applicants are required to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher on a four-point scale with a 3.0 GPA in all social work major courses. GSU’s MSW program has two specialization options: School Social Work; and Social Work Practice with Children, Adolescents, and Families with optional concentrations in Mental Health, and in Licensed Welfare Practice. Advanced standing students complete a 32-credit curriculum that includes 480 hours of field education. Full-time students can complete the program in one year; part-time students generally take two years to earn their degree.

Lewis University’s campus-based MSW program has an advanced standing track for students who have completed a BSW degree through a CSWE-accredited program and graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a four-point scale. The program has an Advanced Individual Practice concentration with focus areas in: Advanced Clinical Social Work, Advanced Child Welfare, Organizational Leadership, and School Social Work. Advanced standing students are required to engage in 600 hours of field education. The completion time for this program is one year for full-time students and two years for part-time students.

The University of St. Francis has a campus-based MSW program that is offered in a hybrid format that allows students to combine evening and weekend classes with classes that are delivered online. The program has an advanced standing track for students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Advanced standing students complete a 32-credit curriculum that includes 600 hours of field education. Students can graduate in one year of full-time enrollment or extend their time to completion by an additional year and attend classes on a part-time basis. This program has two specialization options: Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice; and School Social Work (the School Social Work specialization is only open to residents of Illinois).

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Central Illinois

Illinois State University (ISU) offers its campus-based MSW program in an advanced standing format for qualified applicants whose BSW degree was conferred by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last eight years. Advanced standing applicants are also expected to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in their most recent 60 credits of coursework. The ISU MSW program allows students to choose from two different specializations: Child and Family Practice or School Social Work. The 30-credit advanced standing curriculum takes one year to complete for full-time students who choose the Child and Family Practice concentration and two years for students who choose the School Social Work Practice specialization. Both specializations require advanced standing students to engage in 700 hours of field education.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) offer a fully campus-based MSW program at its main campus in Urbana. The program has an advanced standing track for students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program, provided the degree was conferred within the last seven years. Advanced standing applicants are also expected to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a four-point scale. U of I’s campus-based MSW program has a Leadership and Social Change concentration, and a concentration in Advanced Clinical Social Work that gives students four focus area options: Children, Youth, and Family Services; Health Care; Mental Health; and Schools. This program includes 500 required hours of field education and is designed to be completed in one year of full-time enrollment.

U of I also has an iMSW Hybrid program with an advanced standing track that has the same admissions requirements as the university’s campus-based program. The iMSW Hybrid program blends online instruction with in-person classes that meet four Saturdays per semester on the school’s main campus in Urbana. The iMSW program only offers the Advanced Clinical Social Work Concentration. Students can choose to specialization in: Children, Youth, and Family Services; Health Care; Mental Health; or Schools. Advanced standing students can complete this program, which includes 500 hours of field education, in two years of part-time enrollment.

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) has a campus-based advanced standing MSW program track that includes 30 credits of required coursework and field education. In addition to requiring advanced standing applicants to have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program, SIU Carbondale expects applicants to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. This program gives students the option of a Health/Mental Health specialization or a Children, Youth and Families specialization. Students in the program can also complete a sub-specialization in School Social Work or a Gerontology certificate. SIU Carbondale’s advanced standing program track includes 607 hours of field education and is designed to be completed in one year by full-time students or in two years by students who enroll part-time.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) offers a campus-based MSW program that has an advanced standing track that can be completed in one year over three consecutive semesters (summer, fall, and spring). To be eligible for advanced standing status, applicants to the SIUE program must hold a BSW degree conferred within the last seven years by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Students who are granted advanced standing status complete a 30-credit Advanced Generalist curriculum that includes 500 hours of field education and provides preparation for careers in clinical and/or macro practice social work. While this is a primarily a campus-based program, some courses include online instruction.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in Illinois

Aurora University has a fully online MSW program with an advanced standing track for qualified students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program, provided the degree was conferred within the last five years. Additionally, advanced standing applicants are expected to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The online MSW program offered by Aurora has seven specialization options: Child Welfare; Forensics; Gerontology; Health Care; Leadership Administration; Military and Veterans Social Work; and School Social Work. Advanced standing students complete a 30-credit curriculum that includes 600 hours of field education. This program can be completed in one-year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment.

Chamberlain University offers its online MSW program in an advanced standing format that is designed for students who hold a degree from a CSWE-accredited BSW program earned within the last five years and whose cumulative undergraduate GPA was 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. The advanced standing track has a 36-credit curriculum that includes 500 hours of site-based field education. Students in the program can choose to specialization in Crisis and Response Interventions, Trauma, or Medical Social Work. The completion time for this advanced standing program track is one year for full-time students and two years for part-time students. Chamberlain University is in the candidacy phase for accreditation by the CSWE.

Dominican University has an online MSW program with a 30-credit advanced standing track that can be completed in as few as nine months by full-time students or in two years of part-time enrollment. To qualify for advanced standing status, applicants must hold a BSW degree conferred by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. This program gives students six specialization options: Aging, Adulthood, and Gerontology; Children, Youth, and Family; Global Social Work Practice for Immigrants and Refugees; Health and Well-Being; Military; and School Social Work. Online students in the Dominican program are required to attend a week-long residency session at the start of the program. This orientation is held at Dominican’s main campus in River Forest, as well as at the university’s campus in Grayslake. Students who reside in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, or Wisconsin can make arrangements to complete the orientation virtually via online instruction.

Erikson Institute has an online advanced standing MSW program track that is designed for BSW program graduates who earned their degree at a CSWE-accredited school and whose cumulative undergraduate GPA is 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. Students who meet these requirements complete a 35-credit curriculum that includes 500 hours of field instruction. BSW graduates whose GPA is below 3.0 are subject to a transcript review in order to determine how many courses and field education hours they are required to complete. This program is offered in a fully online, two-year, part-time format. Online students can specialization in Children, Adolescents, and Adults, or in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.

Loyola University Chicago (LUC) has an online Bilingual (English/Spanish) MSW program with a 23-credit advanced standing track that is designed for BSW program graduates who earned their degree within the last five years from a program accredited by the CSWE. The program has a Mental Health and Migration Studies specialization that prepares students to work with vulnerable migrant populations, refugees, and their families. Advanced standing students in the LUC online program do not have to attend any campus visits, but they are required to engaged in 600 hours of site-based field education. The advanced standing program track can be completed in one year by full-time students and in two years by part-time students.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) offers an online advanced standing MSW program for BSW program graduates who earned their degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program and attained a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. The 30-credit advanced standing track does not require any campus visits but does include 607 hours of required, site-based field education. Students in the program can specialize in Children, Youth, and Families or in Health/Mental Health. Both specializations give students the option of a School Social Work sub-specialization and/or a Gerontology certificate. The time to completion for advanced standing students in the SIU Carbondale program is one year of full-time or two years of part-time enrollment.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) has an iMSW Online program with a Leadership and Social Change macro practice concentration. The program has an advanced standing track for students who hold a BSW degree that was conferred by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last seven years. While the iMSW online program does not require any campus visits, advanced standing students are required to complete 500 hours of site-based field education. This is a part-time program that is designed to be completed in two years by students who qualify for advanced standing status.

The University of St. Francis offers an online MSW program with an advanced standing track for BSW program graduates whose degree was conferred by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Advanced standing students in the program complete a 32-credit curriculum that includes 600 hours of required field education. The program has an Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice concentration and a School Social Work concentration that requires students to be Illinois residents. Advanced standing students can earn their degree in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment in the University of St. Francis online program.

Directory of All Master of Social Work Programs in Illinois

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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DePaul University

(Chicago)
Department: Department of Social Work
CSWE Accreditation Status: Fully Accredited
Programs:

Dominican University

(River Forest, Grayslake)
Department: School of Social Work
CSWE Accreditation Status: Fully Accredited
Programs:

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

(Edwardsville)
Department: Department of Social Work
CSWE Accreditation Status: Fully Accredited
Programs:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

(Urbana, Chicago)