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Social and Community Services Masters Degree Program Information

Oct 12, 2019

The master's degree options that are most relevant for students interested in social and community services are the Master of Social Work (MSW) and the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) degree. Learn more about these programs.

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Essential Information

Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) degree programs train students to design, implement, manage, and assess social and community services programs, especially for under-served populations. Most programs incorporate both theoretical coursework and hands-on field experience. Specialization options include clinical social work and macro social work.

In order to apply, students must have a bachelor's degree, including undergraduate coursework in statistics, and they may be required to meet a minimum GPA requirement. They must also submit letters of reference.


Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Coursework in these programs emphasizes research and statistical skills, social policy, program implementation, and administration strategies. Possible course titles include:

  • Community building theory
  • Organizational leadership
  • Family intervention
  • Strategic community partnerships
  • Working with multicultural populations

Popular Career Options

Students who earn an MSW or MSSW are qualified for positions in the government, non-profit organizations or private advocacy groups. Graduates can work as supervisors, consultants or policy advisors. More specific job titles include:

  • Community service program administrator
  • Social service policymaker
  • Community development consultant

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social and community service managers can expect job growth of 13%, faster than the average for all occupations, from 2018-2028. The BLS reported a median annual salary of $65,320 for social and community service managers as of May 2018.

Continuing Education Information

Some professionals who earn a master's degree in social work continue their studies at the doctoral level. Doctoral programs emphasize research and theoretical skills and prepare graduates for careers in academia and program assessment. Graduates often become professors, theorists, or policymakers.

In summary, students who want to work in social and community services can benefit from the theoretical expertise and practical skills that they can gain by earning an MSW or MSSW.

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