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

There are three schools in the state of Maryland that offer Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs: Morgan State University (MSU); Salisbury University; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Two of these schools – MSU and Salisbury – have campus-based and online program options. While UMB does not currently offer an online program, students can complete UMB’s MSW program at both the school’s main campus in Baltimore, and at a satellite campus in Shady Grove.

All three of the schools in Maryland offer traditional MSW programs that do not require a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree and advanced standing MSW programs that are designed for students who hold a BSW degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). All three schools with MSW programs in Maryland are, as noted below, fully accredited by the CSWE.

  • Morgan State University (Accredited)
  • Salisbury University (Accredited)
  • University of Maryland (Accredited)

Details about each of the MSW programs offered by the CSWE-accredited schools in Maryland are provided below, with programs separated based on instruction method (campus-based or online) and program type (traditional or advanced standing). Programs are classified and grouped in the following sections:

Traditional MSW Programs in Maryland

All three Maryland schools that offer MSW programs have traditional tracks. A traditional MSW program is a full-length master’s degree program that provides training and instruction in clinical and/or macro practice social work in the form of didactic coursework and site-based field education. These programs typically take two years of full-time enrollment or three to four years of part-time enrollment to complete and require a minimum of 900 hours of field work.

The basic admission requirement for a traditional MSW program is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Traditional MSW programs do not require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in social work or any prior academic training in the field, although some programs may require applicants to have completed certain undergraduate prerequisites, such as a statistics course or a course in human anatomy. (Note: Some programs may also give preference to students who have an undergraduate degree in a social science or related field)

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Maryland

Morgan State University (MSU) offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program with five specialization options: School Social Work; Public Health Social Work; Gerontology; Urban Children, Youth, and Families; and Addictions. The program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time enrollment but does allow students to enroll on a part-time basis. During the first year of the program, students engage in 416 hours of generalist field education. The second year of the program includes a specialization practicum of 624 hours, thereby ensuring that students graduate from the program with a total of at least 1040 site-based, field education hours.

Salisbury University offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program through its School of Social Work in Salisbury as well as at several satellite campuses located throughout the state of Maryland. The 62-credit program has an Advanced Direct Practice specialization that provides training and instruction in clinical social work and a curriculum that allows students to take an elective course in either Child Welfare or Substance Abuse Assessment and Intervention. In addition, students are required to complete four field instruction practicums for a total of 1112 hours of site-based field education. Students who enroll on a full-time basis can expect to graduate in two years. The program also has a three-year enrollment plan for students who would prefer a part-time schedule.

Finally, Salisbury University offers its traditional MSW program at the following satellite campuses: Cecil College; Eastern Shore Higher Education Center at Chesapeake College; the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown; and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and its School of Social Work offers two campus-based options for traditional students who are interested in earning an MSW degree. The program is offered at the university’s main campus in Baltimore in a format that gives students a choice between a Clinical Social Work concentration and a Macro Social Work concentration. The Clinical concentration offers four specializations: Aging; Behavioral Health; Families and Children; and Health. The Macro concentration has six specialization options: Aging, Behavioral Health, Community Action & Social Policy; Families and Children; Health; and Organizational Leadership.

The UMB MSW program is also offered on campus at the Universities at Shady Grove in Montgomery County. Students who opt for the Shady Grove program must choose the Clinical Social Work concentration with either the Behavioral Health or the Families and Children specialization. Both the Baltimore and Shady Grove programs require students to complete 480 hours of foundation field education and 720 hours of advanced field education for a total of 1200 hours of field work. The programs are similar in length and can be completed in two years of full-time enrollment. The Baltimore campus program also has 2.5-, three-, and four-year part-time enrollment plans, and the Shady Grove program has 2.5- and three-year part-time enrollment options.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in Maryland

Morgan State University (MSU) offers its traditional MSW program in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits. The online program is only offered as a two-year, full-time program. It has two specialization options: Urban Children, Youth, and Families; and Addictions. Students in the online program take all of their didactic courses online but must complete field education at sites approved by the program. MSU requires traditional MSW program students to engage in a minimum of 1040 hours of field work prior to graduating.

Salisbury University offers its traditional MSW program in a fully online format that is open to residents of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The online program has the same Advanced Direct Practice specialization curriculum as the campus-based program and requires students to complete four site-based practicums for a total of 1112 field education hours. The primary difference between the online and campus-based MSW programs offered by Salisbury University is the format. The online option utilizes a cohort model and accepts only twenty students per cohort each fall semester. Courses are offered in seven-week blocks, allowing students to complete the online program in three years of part-time enrollment.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Maryland

All three of the Maryland schools that have MSW programs offer advanced standing tracks. Advanced standing programs are designed for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree conferred by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Because the BSW curriculum overlaps with the first-year generalist curriculum of an MSW program, BSW graduates are typically able to waive the majority of the generalist portion of an MSW program and start with advanced courses. Thus, advanced standing students can typically earn an MSW degree in roughly half the time it takes for traditional students – one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment. Similarly, because advanced standing students completed field education hours during their BSW degree (often 400 to 450 hours), they are typically only required to complete 500 to 600 hours of field education as part of their MSW program (as opposed to a minimum of 900 hours for traditional students).

It is important to note that many advanced standing programs require applicants to have earned their BSW degree within the last five to seven years, and some advanced standing programs have additional admission requirements, such as a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. However, BSW graduates who are not admitted to an advanced standing program can still pursue their MSW degree by enrolling in a traditional program.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Maryland

Morgan State University (MSU) offers its MSW program in a 30-credit advanced standing format with a one-year completion plan. To be eligible for advanced standing status, students must have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last five years and have attained a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a four-point scale with a grade of B or better in all undergraduate social work courses. MSU’s campus-based advanced standing MSW program has five specialization options: School Social Work; Public Health Social Work; Gerontology; Urban Children, Youth, and Families; and Addictions. Students in the program complete their specialization year coursework while also engaging in a minimum of 624 field education hours.

Salisbury University has a campus-based advanced standing MSW program that consists of 24 credits of classroom work and 8 credits of supervised field practicums. The program has an Advanced Direct Practice specialization and is designed for recent graduates of CSWE-accredited BSW programs who have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in their last 120 credits of courses and a 3.2 or higher in their last 60 credits of upper division undergraduate coursework. To be eligible for advanced standing status, applicants must have earned their BSW degree within the last three years, although applicants who graduated from their BSW program in the last five years and who have spent at least two years working in human services are also eligible to apply. Advanced standing students in the Salisbury University program are required to complete 652 hours of site-based field education and can earn their degree in one year of full-time enrollment or 1.5 years of part-time enrollment.

As with their traditional standing program, Salisbury University offers its advanced standing track on their main campus in Salisbury and at the following satellite locations: Cecil College in North East, MD; Eastern Shore Higher Education Center at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD; the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown; and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland in California, MD.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) School of Social Work offers an advanced standing MSW program track at both of the campuses on which the school’s campus-based traditional programs are offered, in Baltimore at the university’s main campus and in Montgomery County at the Universities at Shady Grove. To be eligible for advanced standing status, applicants must hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program and have attained a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Baltimore campus program gives students the option of a Clinical Social Work concentration or a Macro Social Work concentration. Students who opt for the Clinical concentration can choose from four areas of specialization: Aging; Behavioral Health; Families and Children; and Health. Students who opt for the Macro concentration have six specialization options: Aging, Behavioral Health, Community Action & Social Policy; Families and Children; Health; and Organizational Leadership.

The Shady Grove program only offers the Clinical concentration with two areas of specialization: Behavioral Health or Families and Children. The advanced standing MSW program offered by UMB is designed to be completed in one year of full-time enrollment or 1.5 years of part-time enrollment and students must complete the program within two years of their start date. As part of the program, students are required to engage in a minimum of 720 hours of field education.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in Maryland

Morgan State University (MSU) has a 30-credit advanced standing MSW program option that is offered in a fully online format. Students in the online program receive all of their didactic instruction via distance learning but must complete 624 hours of site-based field education. To qualify for MSU’s advanced standing online program, applicants must hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program that was conferred within the last five years. In addition, to be eligible for admission, the program requires advanced standing applicants to have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a four-point scale as well as a grade of B or better in all undergraduate social work courses. The program’s curriculum gives students the option of choosing from among five specializations: School Social Work; Public Health Social Work; Gerontology; Urban Children, Youth, and Families; and Addictions. The program is designed to be completed in one year of full-time enrollment.

Salisbury University’s advanced standing MSW program is offered in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits. The online program has the same Advanced Direct Practice focus as the campus-based program. To be eligible for the program, applicants must hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program within the last three years and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in their last 120 credits of undergraduate coursework and a 3.2 or higher in their last 60 credits of upper division coursework. The program will also accept applicants whose BSW degree was conferred up to five years ago provided they have spent two years working in human services. The advanced standing online program is designed to be completed in 1.5 years of part-time enrollment and requires 652 hours of site-based field education.

All Master of Social Work Programs in Maryland

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