What will I learn?

In the Master of Social Work program at VCU’s School of Social Work, our students seek to answer these very questions. Through intensive, specialized coursework, research and field experience, our students can truly find their focus as advanced practitioners and position themselves to make immediate impacts in the lives and communities they touch.

Upon completion of the M.S.W. program, students will possess the knowledge, skills, values and ethics that guide the core practice standards of the VCU School of Social Work, NASW and CSWE’s Educational Policy and Accreditation standards. The curriculum fosters student learning about human rights through course work that addresses poverty and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons. The program curriculum promotes human and community well-being by providing courses focused on service to and empowerment of people who experience oppression or vulnerability due to inadequate or inequitable distribution of personal, social or institutional resources. This perspective is infused across the curriculum. Within this context, social work practice is defined as the application of professional knowledge, skills and values across a range of settings and populations for the prevention and amelioration of personal and social problems. The curriculum connects with the profession’s purpose of using scientific inquiry within the practice setting by providing students with practice knowledge based upon the analysis of critical application of qualitative and quantitative research from within the profession and related social, behavioral and biological sciences. The interactions among persons and their environments are the primary targets of social work practice and students obtain critical skills to provide services including the restoration, rehabilitation, maintenance and enhancement of the functioning of individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations.

Program goals

Flowing from the mission of the School of Social Work and guided by the principles of promoting social justice, human rights, diversity, cultural competence/sensitivity and ethical practice, the goals of the M.S.W. program are:

  • To provide for a generalist knowledge, skills, ethics and values essential for work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations
  • To provide for a program that prepares students for work in concentration areas of specialization in either clinical social work or social work administration, planning and policy practice in a range of settings
  • To provide for an educational environment where students apply the profession’s values and ethical principles
  • To provide for an educational environment where students gain a greater understanding of implications of diversity through education on identifying cultural strengths and ways to counteract individual and institutional prejudice, oppression and discrimination
  • To provide for an educational environment where students apply research methods to analyze and critically evaluate professional practice, programs and service delivery systems
  • To provide for an educational environment where students gain a greater understanding of advocacy and involvement in advocacy to affect social and economic justice.

Which department am I in?

School of Social Work

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
US$25,956.00 per year

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

Start date

23 May 2022, 23 August 2022


School of Social Work

Academic Learning Commons,

1000 Floyd Avenue, Third Floor,



23284, United States

Online/Distance (Full time: 2 Years)

Tuition fees
US$25,956.00 per year
This fee is for full time: USD $25,956

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

Start date

23 May 2022, 23 August 2022

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Qualified applicants typically have a baccalaureate degree with a major in fields such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy and related sciences. Successful applicants will typically have the following credentials: 300 (verbal plus quantitative) and 3.5 analytical GRE scores (or equivalent scores on the new GRE exam), undergraduate GPA of 3.2 and some laboratory research experience.

For international students

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the School of Social Work has established the following minimum criteria for admission to the 60-credit hour full-time or part-time format:

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate course work

Completion of the following prerequisites: two three-credit courses in the social and behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics), or health sciences, biological sciences or humanities.

The university minimum TOEFL score requirement is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based). The university minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5. The PTE is also accepted with a minimum score of 65. Deadlines: Fall (regular standing formats – all on-campus part- and full-time): Third Wed in Jan; Summer (advanced standing format): Second Wed in Nov.

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


About Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university and number one public postgraduate arts school in the US.

  • VCU is one of the top 3 research universities in Virginia
  • 21% growth in sponsored awards in a 10-year period
  • 1,600 international students from 108 countries
  • 173-acre campus in downtown Richmond

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