MSW Program Mission Statement

The MSW program aligns with the School’s mission of empowerment-oriented practice, is centered on collaboration, and is driven by the needs, strengths, and priorities of vulnerable, oppressed, underserved, and marginalized populations.

Grounded in the social work profession’s values and ethics, graduates of our program advance:

  • Critical thinking skills to respond to the increasingly complex challenges that impact our communities and promote social and economic justice
  • Equitable practices that are culturally responsive, anti-racist, and inclusive of all identities
  • Leadership skills in pursuit of social change

MSW students focus on one of 3 specialized areas of practice (Families and Children, Health and Aging, and Mental Health and Substance Use Recovery) as they enhance their skills, knowledge, and values to be leaders committed to the advancement of  social justice-based practice through micro, mezzo, and macro prevention and intervention methods.

The MSW curriculum is grounded in a generalist practice perspective, which is defined as "the use of the problem-solving process to intervene with systems of various sizes, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities . . . the generalist operates within a systems and person-in-environment framework" (Boyle et al., 2009, p. 10).

Boyle, S. W., Hull, G. H., Mather, J. H., Smith, L. L., & Farley, O. W.  (2009). Direct practice in social work (2nd ed.).  Pearson.


About the Program

The MSW Program at EMU was originally designed as a part-time program to meet the unique needs of working people who are committed to the profession and who are employed full-time. We have recently added a full-time program option as well to accommodate those individuals interested in attending graduate school full-time. The program has been accredited since 1992.

Our program:

  • Prepares social workers to find empowering solutions to social problems and to meet the needs of the most impoverished, oppressed and underserved people.
  • Is designed to accommodate working students needing a part-time or full-time program.
  • Is accredited by the CSWE.

EMU offers both a "full program," for students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than social work, and an "advanced standing" program, for students who hold a BSW degree from an accredited program. The full program requires students to successfully complete 61 credit hours to earn an MSW degree. Students admitted with advanced standing complete 35 hours of advanced level coursework.

Students who earned a BSW with at least a 2.75 GPA overall—or at least 3.0 GPA in their last 60 undergraduate credits—qualify for advanced standing.

Go to this form to sign up to attend an Information Session. If you have questions, you can email [email protected].

  • Evening & weekends

    MSW program course work is offered only on evenings and Saturdays.  

    Full program students who attend part-time have a plan of study leading to a degree in four years. Full program students who attend full-time have a plan of study leading to a degree in two years.

    Advanced standing who attend part-time have a plan of study leading to a degree in two years. Advanced standing who attend full-time have a plan of study leading to a degree in one year.  

    In the part-time program option, students take about six credits a semester whereas in the full-time program option, students take about 10 to 15 credits a semester.

  • In the field

    As part of their studies, all full program students complete one eight-month (400 hours) agency–based internship as part of their foundation for advanced practice. All students complete one eight-month (500 hours) agency-based internship at the advanced level. Though courses meet in evenings and on Saturdays, most field placement require daytime hours during the regular work week. Work site placements are made available to students who can make appropriate arrangements to carry out a field placement at the place of work.

    The School of Social Work has cultivated a rich network of relationships across the Southeast Michigan region with a wide range of field agencies, affording EMU social work students a range of opportunities for field experience.

Learn More at an Information Session

Attend an Information Session. Learn about the program, application process and meet current students and instructors.

Saturday, October 14, 2023 10 a.m. – noon
Saturday, November 10, 2023 10 a.m. – noon

Saturday, January 13, 2024 10 a.m. – noon
Thursday, January 25, 2024 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 10, 2024, 10 a.m. – noon
Saturday, March 9, 2024, 10 a.m. - noon
Saturday, April 13, 20234 10 a.m. – noon

Sign up to attend. Email [email protected] with questions.


Explore this Program

Program Information

Get more information on the details of the program.


Find out about the specialized areas of practice offered within the MSW Program.

Field Placement

Learn about graduate field placements and find related forms and resources.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Learn about your options to earn your CEUs through Eastern Michigan University.