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Master of Social Work



What will I learn?

In order to best fit the needs of our students, WMU offers a number of program plans in three locations. All program options are now available at all campus locations! While admissions requirements are the same for both the full-time and extended study advanced standing programs, students will be accepted into the program and location that they indicate on their application and will be expected to complete their program at that site. Requests for location or program transfers will be considered only if space becomes available in that cohort, and cannot be guaranteed. While a number of courses are offered online right now due to COVID safety concerns, WMU School of Social Work does not currently offer exclusively online programs.


The WMU School of Social Work has campuses in Benton Harbor (Southwest), Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo.

Standard Master of Social Work (60 Credits)

The graduate professional program in social work at Western Michigan University prepares you for direct-service and leadership positions in the field of social welfare. It begins with a twenty-four-hour foundation curriculum, including classes on human behavior, social policy, culture/ethnicity, research and social work practice and introduces different approaches to problem solving. This foundation will prepare you for entry into one of two concentrations: Clinical practice or policy, planning and administration. Field education provides opportunities for practical experience under supervision by a seasoned social work professional in a human service setting. Standard MSW students will complete one 400 hour internship over two semesters, and one 500 hour concentration internship over two semesters. The School of Social Work admits for this program once a year, with classes starting each fall semester.

Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (39 Credits)

Students who have obtained a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited school within the last six years and have a minimum GPA of 3.25 (calculated using the most recent 60 credits) are eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing program. This 39 credit program builds on the BSW foundation courses, allowing students to complete their MSW in a shorter period of time than those without a BSW. Advanced Standing students will complete one 500 hour internship over two semesters. The School of Social Work admits for this program once a year, with classes starting each Summer 2 semester (July).


The School of Social Work offers two concentrations.

Policy, Planning, and Administration
This concentration prepares students for leadership in government, nonprofit, and community organizations. The PP&A Concentration seeks to empower practitioners to facilitate changes in the structures and processes of organizations, communities, and society to contribute to (a) a just distribution of resources and opportunities, (b) the ability of officials and the citizenry to understand and respond appropriately to the human condition, and (c) the provision of opportunities and resources to troubled or disadvantaged people to help them cope with personal and social barriers to the betterment of their condition.

Clinical Social Work
This concentration prepares students for advanced clinical practice with individuals, families, and groups within diverse community contexts. Clinical Practice emphasizes transactions between people and environments, preparing students to develop practice knowledge and skill in the following areas: (a) the promotion and enhancement of psychological, social, and biological well-being; (b) the amelioration of psychological, social, and biological dysfunction; and (c) the integration of theory, practice and research knowledge.

Which department am I in?

College of Health and Human Services

Study options

Full Time (60 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$15,577.00 per year
Start date

Expected August 2023


WMU-Grand Rapids

200 Ionia Ave SW,



49503, United States

Full Time (60 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$15,577.00 per year
Start date

Expected August 2023



Western Michigan University,



49008, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution

For international students

Standard MSW (60 Credit Hour) requirements:

Undergraduate degree
3.0 cumulative GPA

Liberal Arts required courses.

Advanced Standing

BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program, awarded not more than five years before the date of application to the WMU School of Social Work
3.25 cumulative GPA
No more than one BSW course below a “B;” any BSW course below a “B” will require retaking an equivalent course in the MSW curriculum

Accelerated MSW Program

Current enrollment in undergraduate coursework at WMU
Completed a minimum of 60 credit hours
Successfully completed SWRK 2100, 3200, and 3500
Overall GPA of at least 3.0

Minimum English proficiency test scores:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 80 iBT

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic: 6.5

Pearson Test of English, Academic Module (PTE): 54

Michigan English Test (MET): 57

Application deadlines:

Advanced Standing - January 15 - for Summer II

MSW Standard 60 Credit Hour Program Deadline:

February 15 - Full-time MSW program for Fall 2022 start

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


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