COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The first year of the MSW program is foundational and highlights courses in human behavior in the social environment, social work generalist practice, social welfare policy, social work research, human diversity and social justice. The curriculum prepares students to practice at the generalist level.

The second year of the program teaches students specialized skills in social work practice and includes assessment, treatment planning, interventions, and practice evaluation. Students also prepare to take on leadership roles.

Program Overview

The Master of Social Work (MSW) will prepare students for both generalist and specialized practice with client systems across varying contexts and problems. The program is guided by the social work ethical principles of service, respect for human dignity, social and economic justice, and to address the needs of vulnerable and diverse populations. Grounded in the liberal arts, the program is guided by the profession’s commitment to social justice and the university’s Catholic Intellectual Tradition of academic excellence through social responsibility, service to others, and scientific inquiry.

The Sacred Heart University program boasts a unique integration of micro-, mezzo-, and macro-level practice. The program teaches students integrated specialized skills in social work practice in either direct clinical practice or direct community practice; components of both clinical and community practice are included for each specialization. Skill development includes coursework in assessment, treatment planning, interventions, practice evaluation. Students also prepare to take on leadership roles.

The supervised field practicum allows students to hone their practice skills and to work in a more specialized area. The curriculum includes courses in focused areas such as aging and gerontology, children and families, and spirituality.

Learning Objectives/Program Goals

  • Develop competent and effective generalist and specialized social work practice with client systems.
  • Synthesize and apply a broad range of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge and skills to prepare students for practice in a multicultural and global society.
  • Develop skills and knowledge to promote and incorporate diversity in social/economic justice and human rights through policy and practice skills advocating for policy change and just service delivery.
  • Integrate and apply the knowledge, values, skills, cognitive and affective processes, and ethics of the social work profession.
  • Understand and engage in research-informed practice and proactively respond to the impact of context on professional practice and service delivery.
  • Develop leadership skills for service and social responsibility contributing to the community and to the profession.
  • Identify with the social work profession and apply ethical principles and critical thinking in practice.
  • Recognize, support, and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings.
  • Assess, intervene, and evaluate the promotion of human and social well-being within areas of advanced specialization.
  • Integrate theoretical and conceptual frameworks from the classroom with the practice setting through field education.
  • Apply the values underlying the Catholic Intellectual Tradition with the virtue of social justice in practice with, and on behalf of, individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Which department am I in?

College of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
US$23,850.00 per year
USD $11,925 per semester

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected August 2022


Sacred Heart University

5151 Park Avenue,



06825, United States

Online/Distance (1 year)

Tuition fees
USD $750 per credit

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected May 2022

Entry requirements

For students from United States

International graduate students must possess the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

For international students

Students must possess the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. In addition, international applicants should have achieved an excellent academic record that includes at least sixteen years of primary, secondary, and college-level education.

???English language proficiency - TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the TOEFL iBT, IELTS - 6.5, SHU ELI online placement exam - 80%, PTE - 62, iTEP - 5, ELS English for Academic Purposes - Level 112, Education First (EF) - C1, Cambridge Advanced English - 58, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) - 5.5, Cambridge Certificate in Proficiency in English (CPE) - 5.5.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Sacred Heart University

With an employability record of 95% at the Institution, Sacred Heart graduates secure jobs soon after completing their studies.

  • 4th among ‘Most Innovative Universities’ in the North USA
  • Has a 15:1 student to faculty ratio
  • Home to a total of over 8,000 students
  • Home to award-winning halls of residence