Ohio University

Graduate Programs

Special Program Focus

Responding to community demands, the Department of Social Work developed a master's program (on-campus and online option) with an emphasis on service in rural environments. The Master of Social Work (MSW) program was admitted to candidacy for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education in February 1999 and has been fully accredited since 2015. The primary purpose of the program is to graduate clinical social workers who have the knowledge and skills for advanced practice in rural environments to improve the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

Program Learning Objectives

This MSW program is a competency-based program with 45 practice behaviors at the foundation level and 43 practice behaviors at the advanced level. The 10 social work competencies promulgated by the Council on Social Work Education (2015) are as follows:

  • Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
  • Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
  • Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  • Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
  • Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well being and to deliver effective social work services
  • Respond to contexts that shape practice
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

OHIO MSW Program Options

The MSW program has five options:

  1. One-Year Advanced Standing (open only to recent graduates of CSWE-accredited undergraduate social work programs)
  2. Two-Year Full Time
  3. Three-Year Part Time
  4. Four-Year Part Time
  5. 100% Online

The three-year part-time on-campus option allows applicants to choose to take the first half of the MSW program over two part-time years rather than a single, full-time year. This option involves enrolling in field during years two and three. In the four-year part-time on-campus option, applicants may spread the program out into four years of study, with years two and three requiring enrollment in the field. The MSW degree must be completed within four years of enrollment.

One-Year Advanced Standing Status

The Advanced Standing Program is an accelerated curriculum option available only to highly qualified graduates of baccalaureate social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Consideration is given only to those undergraduate social work graduates with superior academic standing and exceptional references.

Applicants seeking Advanced Standing admission must meet all the admissions criteria required for standard admission. In addition, Advanced Standing applicants must:

  1. Have, within five years of graduate school admission, earned a baccalaureate degree in social work from a program accredited by CSWE
  2. Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  3. Have a reference from their senior year field instructor
  4. Submit a copy of the most recent evaluation of their senior year field placement.

Students admitted to the Advanced Standing program will be expected to engage in the field placement process during the spring semester prior to their program enrollment.

Program Requirements

The program has no thesis requirement and no comprehensive examination. Students do conduct a two-semester, Institutional Review Board-approved research study and participate in supervised field internships.


Graduate Handbook (DOCX)

Child Welfare University Partnership Program (UPP)


Apply now!