Master of Social Work

Simmons's nationally regarded Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) Program provides a rigorous clinical social work education for women and men. The Program is highly respected for its fieldwork component, with internships three days per week in both years of the Program. We offer a progressive, hands-on curriculum that infuses education and practice with social justice values and multicultural perspectives.

Options for Completing the M.S.W.

download the MSW brochure as a PDF

The Full-Time Program

Students in the full-time M.S.W. Program typically require two years to complete their degree. They are assigned a field placement for three days a week for both years of the Program and take classes two days per week.

The Extended-Study Program

The Extended-Study Program offers students the option to expand a two-year program into two-and-a-half, three or four years. The first year of the Program could be called part-time, as students devote two days a week to classes and study. Simmons offers flexible evening and Saturday scheduling to accommodate working professionals; however, not all Program requirements can be met in the evening or on Saturdays. In the subsequent years, students must plan four or five days per week for classes and field placements. Most students complete the Program in three years. Note: A limited number of 16 hour per week/11 month placements are available to students in the Full-Time and Extended Programs.

The Online Program

Offering the same curriculum as Simmons's traditional M.S.W. program, SocialWork@Simmons allows qualified candidates from across the country to pursue an M.S.W. in a unique online format. The online M.S.W. follows the same 65-credit curriculum and includes more than 1,000 hours of field placement over two years. Learn more »

The Advanced-Standing Program

The Simmons School of Social Work offers a 12-month Advanced-Standing Program to qualified applicants with a bachelor's degree in Social Work (B.S.W.) who have graduated within the last five years from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Program includes one three-days-per-week (24-hour) field placement from September to August, concurrent with a total of eight advanced-level courses.

Certificate Option

M.S.W./Urban Leadership Certificate Program

Leading to social justice

MSW candidates in the Urban Leadership Certificate Program (ULP) at the School of Social Work are evolving into the next generation of practitioner leaders. In the ULP two assumptions drive our mission and the design of our work. First, in addition to being helpers, social workers are active and engaged agents of change within and across multiple systems and settings (e.g., family, organizations, community, and political). In this capacity, they are drivers and catalysts for social innovation and paradigm shifts. Second, urban environments are complex social spaces that are highly populated, socially and culturally diverse, constrained by class extremes, and rich in opportunity given the right partnerships. Therefore, the Urban Leadership Program at the SSW will prepare its certificate candidates in and for collaboration so they can design, mobilize, and lead for enduring social impact and change across varying urban contexts and industries.

Students will draw on specially designed coursework, hands on competency building seminars, and partnerships with local community leaders and organizations in order to actively discover and evolve their own leadership capacity as well as learn about the best and most current science associated with leadership development. At the end of their two years with us emerging urban leaders will:

1) Discover their purpose and agency,

2) Learn how to identify resilience and possibilities in urban communities,

3) Design for sustainable and enduring social change and impact.

More information on the Urban Leadership Program is available here.

M.S.W. with Certificate in Health Care and Social Work

M.S.W. with Certificate in Health Care and Social Work is designed to educate the generation of clinical social workers to work in the new and expanding health care delivery system being implemented under the Affordable Care Act. Students graduating with the Certificate in Health Care and Social Work are prepared to work in health services settings including: community health centers, primary care practices, teaching and community hospitals, integrated behavioral health clinics and other health care organizations.

Students earning the certificate complete all regular MSW program requirements, including:

  • A Year I course addressing health disparities, healthy communities, and theories of health behavior, disease prevention and non-medical barriers to health care.
  • A Year II course focusing on social work skills and roles in complex health systems, including hospitals, community health centers, primary care clinics and integrated behavioral health services.
  • Elective choices from an array of course including: Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Approaches, Alcohol and Drugs in Social Work Practice, Domestic Violence, Family Approaches.
  • A Social Action course including: Advocacy and Social Action with Disability and Chronic Illness, Health Care and Social Policy, Advocacy and Social Action in Gerontology.

More information on the M.S.W. with Certificate in Health Care and Social Work is available here.


The M.S.W./MBA is an option available to applicants who are interested in the exciting opportunity to earn both an M.S.W. from the Simmons School of Social Work and MBA from the Simmons School of Management for clinical practice, leadership, and administration in nonprofit organizations. With both Simmons degrees, graduates will be prepared for careers that draw upon their unique skill sets: management, clinical practice, or a combination of roles further enhanced by the learning in each program.

After admission to both programs, schedules are developed based on individual student needs. A student enters both program at the same time and would need to finish both degrees at the same time, making this a full-time, three-year program.