Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Vermont

The University of Vermont (UVM) in Burlington is currently the only school in Vermont that offers a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program. UVM’s Department of Social Work, a division of the university’s College of Education and Social Services, has an MSW program with a Transformative Social Work concentration that provides advanced generalist training and instruction in both clinical and macro practice social work. This is a campus-based program with classes that meet once per week on UVM’s Burlington campus when school is in session.

UVM’s program, which is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), has a traditional track with a two-year completion time for full-time students and a four-year, part-time enrollment option, as well as a one-year advanced standing track for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program.

Details about UVM’s MSW program and about additional options open to Vermont residents through out-of-state schools that offer MSW programs are provided in the sections below:

Traditional MSW Programs in Vermont

A traditional or full-length MSW program typically consists of four semesters of coursework that can be completed in two years of full-time academic study. Students who enroll on a part-time basis in a traditional program generally add another two to four semesters to their completion time and thus take three or four years to earn their degree. Traditional MSW programs are generally structured along the following lines: one year (two full-time semesters) of foundation coursework in the principles and professional practices of social work, followed by one year (two full-time semesters) of specialization training in clinical and/or macro practice social work. In part-time programs, the foundation and/or the specialization years are extended over three or four semesters so that students can complete the program requirements while taking fewer credits per semesters.

In addition to didactic coursework, MSW programs include field education, a signature pedagogy of social work training that takes places in clinical and/or community practice settings where social work is practiced. Traditional MSW programs require a minimum of 900 hours of field training at program-approved sites.

The University of Vermont (UVM) offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program through its College of Education and Social Services’ Department of Social Work. The program has a Transformative Social Work specialization that provides advanced generalist training in clinical and macro practice social work and coursework that focuses on human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policy, direct clinical practice, and social work research. Students in the program, which has a two-year, full-time completion track and a four-year, part-time completion plan, are required to complete 900 hours of field education at program-approved sites. The MSW program is fully campus based and holds classes on UVM’s Burlington campus two days per week when school is in session.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Vermont

Graduates from CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree programs who meet other admissions requirements may be eligible for an advanced standing MSW program. Advanced standing status provides students who hold their BSW degree with a pathway to earn their MSW degree in roughly half the time it takes to complete a traditional MSW program. Students who qualify for an advanced standing track are given credit for all or most of the foundational training and instruction that comprises the first year of a full-time, traditional MSW program, as well as for field education hours completed during their BSW training. Therefore, the average time to completion for advanced standing MSW students is one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment.

While a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program is the baseline admissions requirement for advanced standing programs, many programs require applicants to have completed their BSW studies within the last five to seven years, and some programs have additional admissions requirements, such as a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. BSW graduates who don’t qualify for an advanced standing program can nonetheless earn their MSW degree by enrolling in a traditional program.

The University of Vermont (UVM) offers an advanced standing track as part of the MSW program offered by its Department of Social Work. Students who qualify for advanced standing status are required to have completed their BSW degree within the past seven years and to have graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The advanced standing track begins with a summer session and can be completed in one academic year of full-time enrollment. The curriculum provides advanced generalist training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work and has a Transformative Social Work specialization. As part of the program’s advanced standing track, students are required to complete a minimum of 450 hours of field education.

Additional MSW Program Options for Residents of Vermont

For students who are able to relocate for graduate school, there are several schools in the neighboring states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York that offer MSW programs. For students who do not want to relocate for an MSW program, many schools now offer online programs that are accredited by the CSWE and which provide the same training and instruction as their campus-based counterparts. Online MSW programs are offered in various formats, including full-time and part-time enrollment options. There are also programs that are fully online for their didactic instruction (students must still complete field education hours in-person at a local agency or organization), as well as online programs that incorporate a limited number of required campus visits into their curriculum.

In addition, there are online MSW programs with traditional and advanced standing tracks; online programs with clinical, macro, and advanced generalist practice specializations; and online programs that allow students to further specialize in areas like gerontology and military social work. Field education requirements for online programs are the same as for campus-based programs (900 hours or more for traditional programs and a minimum of 450 hours for advanced standing students). Online students are generally allowed to complete their field education hours at program-approved sites within driving distance to their residence, although students should confirm with a program advisor about the field education placement process before applying to an out-of-state program. To explore the options that are open to Vermont residents, refer to our Online MSW Programs page.

All Master of Social Work Programs in Vermont

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

The University of Vermont