Master of social work degree program Overview
Gain the in-depth knowledge you need to advance your career as a social worker with our Master of Social Work Degree Program. Whatever population you serve, understanding childhood development helps you build trust with your clients. Enhance your ability to assess family, community, and societal impacts — and make a difference in lives and outcomes of the people you serve.
Watch this video to hear how the Master of Social Work Degree Program is designed to inform your professional practice.
Begin your journey to getting a Master’s in Social Work. Start this Fall or Spring* and earn your MSW degree on campus or online.
Enhance the well-being of all people with a MSW degree designed for working professionals.
Study part-time, full-time, or apply for our 100% online MSW program, so you can better balance life, work, and your studies.
If you have a BSW, you’ll waive up to 25 credit hours and save on tuition, putting your learning into practice even sooner.
Collaborate with our nationally recognized faculty, build a respected network of colleagues, and learn from the field’s leading voices.
Be seen and heard working closely with your professors and peers.
Gain a professional toolkit so you can be your most effective. Learn resilience and healthy professional practices alongside experienced practitioners.
Put theory to practice.
Learning can never be confined to a classroom — nor should it. Field work is a critical component of earning a Master’s in Social Work.
For two years, you will be working during the day at custom-selected field placement locations. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to take your learning and lead in your career path.
With our distinctive focus on developmental perspectives and reflective practice, you’ll become a more effective and resilient advocate for children and families. Go beyond surface-level and build a toolkit of reflective skills so you can thrive in this demanding field.
Learn how to support children, adolescents, and adults through evidence-based and developmentally appropriate interventions and strategies.
Find out how to support the mental, emotional, and physical health and development of children from birth to age 5 and their families.
Getting a Master’s in Social Work Degree shouldn’t break the bank.
With dozens of scholarships and financial aid opportunities, we’re here to help you achieve your professional goals.
Fee Waivers for Master’s Students
Matriculation and student services fees are waived for the first year for newly-admitted students for Spring 2024 term. See application requirements.
Applications received by March 15th (for Fall) and November 15th (for Spring) will receive primary consideration for scholarship awards.
Join the MSW Program Family for Support at Every Step of Your Journey
At Erikson Institute, our Career Services team works with Master of Social Work candidates every step of the way.
With hundreds of partnerships and robust networks of alumni and field experts, the Career Services team is here to help you put your education into practice.
Once you graduate, you’ll be able to put your degree to work right away. Here are a few of the roles Erikson graduates take on after graduation.
Want to know what you’ll uncover while embarking on your MSW degree? Check out a few examples of the courses you’ll take in our program.
Our MSW Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Founded in 1952, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has sought to ensure its accredited programs meet the highest standards of social work education.
As an accredited institution, Erikson Institute continues to demonstrate this commitment as one of the best schools for Master’s in Social Work.
Our faculty and teaching staff are nationally recognized. With specific research interests and decades of experience, each of our faculty enriches your academic experience, connecting you to new networks and the latest data as a Master of Social Work candidate.
We award over $2 million in scholarships to students enrolled in our degree and certificate programs. Erikson also participates in the federal Direct Loan programs, and assuming you meet all eligibility requirements, you will have access to both Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans to help finance your Erikson education.
Yes, Erikson offers advanced standing to students holding a BSW. For more information, visit the Advanced Standing page.
The ability to balance the demands of the MSW program, work responsibilities, and your personal/family commitments will depend on many factors. Key among these will be your own organizational and time-management skills, the intensity of the demands on your time, and your personal support system. If it is a priority for you to be able to work full-time for as long as possible while completing the MSW program, we recommend that you consider pursuing the three- or four-year options. The longer program options will allow you to work full-time before starting your generalist field placement year.
Generally speaking it has been our experience that many Master of Social Work candidates are able to work part-time (hours vary by individual student) during the generalist field placement year. Because of the time commitment required for concentration field placements, we have found that students have very limited availability for work during the final year of the program.
The staff in our Field Education and Career Services Office will work with you to prepare you for seeking positions while you’re enrolled at Erikson and upon graduating from the program. You’ll receive feedback on your resume and cover letters, and we also maintain a job board on our campus portal where employers list part-time and full-time positions for which they’re hiring.
The Career Services team also plans an annual social work, early education, and child development job fair for Erikson students and alumni. In concert with the job fair, you can submit your resume to be included in an annual Resume Book that we distribute to organizations and managers who are interested in hiring Erikson students and alumni.
Erikson students live in a wide range of neighborhoods in Chicago and in the suburbs. We do not offer campus housing. While we can’t make specific recommendations about where you should live, we encourage you to find a neighborhood that suits your style, taste, and budget. To help you in your housing search, we work closely with StudentSpace, a free apartment-finding service that specializes in helping graduate students find housing in Chicago.
Because of Erikson’s small size, you’ll have access to a wide range of both informal and formal student support services. These include: