Massachusetts graduate programs in social work are available at the master's and doctoral levels. These programs prepare students to become clinical social work practitioners or to pursue an academic career. Students often have the opportunity to specialize in areas like youth and families or behavioral health and to gain field experience in hospitals, schools, and social service organizations.
Available Degrees: Master of Social Work (MSW) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Master of Social Work Degrees in Massachusetts
Students earning an MSW degree can expect to complete between 40 and 70 credit hours, depending on the program. Part-time or full-time enrollment options are available, and students can often complete these degrees in two to three years with full-time enrollment. Some Massachusetts programs offer classes online or in a hybrid format. Courses in these programs cover theoretical foundations of social work practice including theories focused on human development and family and group dynamics. Additionally, through both coursework and field experiences, students learn aspects of the practice of social work including assessing and evaluating individuals and navigating health policies.
Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work Degrees in Massachusetts
Doctoral-level programs in social work prepare students to conduct research or to work as advanced practitioners in the field. Programs typically include a combination of advanced coursework, field practice, and research. In addition to theoretical aspects of social work practice, doctoral-level coursework often emphasizes research methods. Program requirements also usually include exams and a dissertation. Students can expect to spend three to five years pursuing these degrees full-time.
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Social Work Graduate Programs in Massachusetts
Graduate students at Smith College can pursue either an MSW or a Ph.D. degree in social work. Both programs are structured in a block format alternating between coursework and field experiences. As they progress through the format, master's students are exposed to courses in social work practice, human behavior, and policies relevant to social work. Doctoral students complete a sequence emphasizing research along with theory, policy and education within the field.
Boston University offers both MSW and Ph.D. degrees in social work. Classes are held at multiple campuses and in various formats, depending on students' interests. Specializations are available in areas including behavioral health, trauma, and social work with older adults. Ph.D. students complete courses on research methods and teaching practice in addition to classes on social work practice and challenges. Doctoral students choose an area of specialization focused on particular populations or issues relevant to social work.
Westfield State University
Westfield State University's social work program offers an MSW degree with a focus on clinical practice. The program takes a generalist orientation that students can supplement with elective courses in areas including substance abuse, gerontology, or social work practice with youth. The curriculum covers research methods, policy analysis, mental health, and diversity issues. Courses are offered in a hybrid format with an online component, and students can pursue the degree either part- or full-time.
Boston College offers both MSW and Ph.D. degrees in social work. Master's students can choose a track preparing them for clinical practice or one focused on public sector leadership. Boston College also offers particular specializations including global practice and mental health. The Ph.D. program emphasizes theory and research, particularly using quantitative methods. In addition to coursework, doctoral students gain teaching experience in MSW classes.
Salem State University
The graduate program at Salem State University offers an MSW degree with a focus on integrated and behavioral health. The program strives to prepare students for practice in the public sector, and it also offers a track for students interested in licensure in school counseling. Students complete core courses in behavior, research, and assessment and intervention. Additional requirements include field experience and the construction of a capstone portfolio.
Massachusetts graduate programs in social work are available at master's and doctoral levels. Students prepare to be advanced practitioners or educators through fieldwork and courses in social work theory, practice, and specialized populations.