Fall Deadline January 8
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Online applications are available through the School of Social Work website.

Admission into the master's degree program includes the Graduate School requirement that applicants hold a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) from an accredited university or college.

Applicants apply online through the Graduate School's application site (link found in the instructions on the School of Social Work website). A complete application includes both the Graduate School application and the School of Social Work's supplemental application forms.

Applicants must review the instructions on the School of Social Work website for specific application details and prerequisites.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements

Mode of Instruction

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework must be in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (http://my.wisc.edu/CourseGuideRedirect/BrowseByTitle).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Grades of C are accepted only if they are offset by an equal number of credits of A. Candidates who receive more than two grades of C (in courses that do not extend beyond one term) or a grade of D or F while in the program will be dropped from the MSW Program. Candidates who receive a grade of C in the Field and Integrative Seminar courses may continue only with permission of the faculty and may not offset the grade with a grade of A. (This policy does not apply to grades received for courses taken to meet the statistics prerequisite while in the program).
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements None.

Required Courses

Generalist Practice

First-year MSW students complete generalist practice courses unless granted an exemption:

SOC WORK 400 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar I4
SOC WORK 401 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar II4
SOC WORK 441 Generalist Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups3
SOC WORK 442 Generalist Practice with Communities and Organizations2
SOC WORK 605 The Field of Social Work2
SOC WORK 606 Social Policy2
SOC WORK 612 Psychopathology in Generalist Social Work Practice2
SOC WORK 650 Methods of Social Work Research3
SOC WORK 710 Diversity, Oppression and Social Justice in Social Work2
SOC WORK 711 Human Behavior and the Environment2

Generalist practice courses must be completed before beginning advanced practice courses.

Advanced Generalist Specialization

In a broad social justice framework, advanced practice or advanced standing MSW students complete an advanced generalist practice specialization. Students may choose one of four focus areas: (1) Aging; (2) Child, Youth, and Family Welfare; (3) Health; and (4) Mental Health. Students complete an Advanced Practice class in a focus area, a Policies & Services class in a focus area, a sequence of Field Practice in a focus area, Advanced Macro Practice, and three "free electives" chosen in consultation with an advisor. Students may also choose to complete their advanced generalist practice specialization with no focus area, and still complete Advanced Practice, Policies & Services, and Field Practice courses that are based within focus areas, in addition to Advanced Macro Practice and three "free electives" chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Advanced Generalist Specialization Focus in Aging1

Required Courses
SOC WORK 800 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar III5
SOC WORK 801 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar IV6
SOC WORK 821 Social Work Practice in Aging and Mental Health2
SOC WORK 875 Health, Aging, and Disability Policy and Services2
SOC WORK 840 Advanced Macro Practice2
Three free electives from the list below chosen in consultation with advisor.

Advanced Generalist Specialization Focus in Children, Youth and Families1

Required Courses
SOC WORK 800 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar III5
SOC WORK 801 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar IV6
SOC WORK 741 Interventions with Children, Youth, and Families2
SOC WORK 920 Child, Youth, and Family Policies and Services2
or SOC WORK 921 Child Welfare
SOC WORK 840 Advanced Macro Practice2
Three free electives from the list below chosen in consultation with advisor.

Advanced Generalist Specialization Focus in Health1

Required Courses
SOC WORK 800 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar III5
SOC WORK 801 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar IV6
SOC WORK 873 Social Work Practice in Health Care2
SOC WORK 875 Health, Aging, and Disability Policy and Services2
SOC WORK 840 Advanced Macro Practice2
Three free electives from the list below chosen in consultation with advisor.

Advanced Generalist Specialization Focus in Mental Health1

Required Courses
SOC WORK 800 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar III5
SOC WORK 801 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar IV6
SOC WORK 835 Advanced Soc Work Practice in Mental Health2
SOC WORK 836 Mental Health Policies and Services2
SOC WORK 840 Advanced Macro Practice2
Three free electives from the list below chosen in consultation with advisor.

No Focus Area1

Advanced Practice (choose one)
SOC WORK 741 Interventions with Children, Youth, and Families2
or SOC WORK 821 Social Work Practice in Aging and Mental Health
or SOC WORK 835 Advanced Soc Work Practice in Mental Health
or SOC WORK 873 Social Work Practice in Health Care
Policies & Services (choose one)
SOC WORK 836 Mental Health Policies and Services2
or SOC WORK 875 Health, Aging, and Disability Policy and Services
or SOC WORK 920 Child, Youth, and Family Policies and Services
or SOC WORK 921 Child Welfare
Advanced Macro Practice
SOC WORK 840 Advanced Macro Practice2
Advanced Practice Field 2
SOC WORK 800 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar III5
SOC WORK 801 Field Practice and Integrative Seminar IV6
Three free electives from the list below chosen in consultation with advisor.

Free Electives

Electives may chosen from this list in consultation with an advisor. The Specialization Handbook has suggested electives for focus areas and select sub-focuses. Not all electives are offered in a given year or semester. Courses outside of the department may substitute for a course on this Free Electives list in consultation with an advisor.

SOC WORK 624 Social Work with the Small Group2
SOC WORK 626 Social Work with the Community2
SOC WORK 627 Sex Trafficking and Sex Trading2
SOC WORK/​AMER IND  636 Social Work in American Indian Communities: The Indian Child Welfare Act3
SOC WORK 639 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Individuals and Social Welfare2
SOC WORK 642 Social Work and Adolescents2
SOC WORK 643 Social Work and Delinquency2
SOC WORK 644 Issues in Developmental Disabilities2
SOC WORK 646 Child Abuse and Neglect2
SOC WORK 648 Palliative and End-of-Life Care Social Work Practice2
SOC WORK 656 Family Practice in Foster and Kinship Care2
SOC WORK/​CHICLA  657 Understanding Latino Families and Communities3
SOC WORK/​AMER IND  658 American Indian Affairs2
SOC WORK 659 International Aspects of Social Work2
SOC WORK 661 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 662 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 663 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 664 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 665 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 672 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 673 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 674 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 675 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 676 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 679 Topics in Contemporary Social Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 712 Psychopathology for Social Work Practice in Mental Health3
SOC WORK/​URB R PL  721 Methods of Planning Analysis3
SOC WORK 741 Interventions with Children, Youth, and Families 12
SOC WORK 742 Assessing and Treating Children and Adolescents2
SOC WORK/​NURSING/​PHM PRAC  746 Interdisciplinary Care of Children with Special Health Care Needs3
SOC WORK 817 Social Work Practice in Schools II (only for School Social Work students)2
SOC WORK 821 Social Work Practice in Aging and Mental Health 12
SOC WORK/​LAW  822 Family Law: Marriage and Divorce2-4
SOC WORK/​LAW  823 Family Law: Parent and Child3-4
SOC WORK 825 Grief, Death, Loss and Life2
SOC WORK 835 Advanced Soc Work Practice in Mental Health 12
SOC WORK 836 Mental Health Policies and Services 12
SOC WORK 842 Consultation and Supervision in Social Work2
SOC WORK 852 Influencing Political Systems for Social Change2
SOC WORK 854 Crises Intervention in Social Work2
SOC WORK 860 Recent Developments in Social Work2-3
SOC WORK 861 Recent Developments in Social Work2-3
SOC WORK 862 Recent Developments in Social Work2-3
SOC WORK 863 Recent Developments in Social Work2-3
SOC WORK 868 Recent Developments in Social Work2
SOC WORK 869 Recent Developments in Social Work2-3
SOC WORK 870 Cognitive and Behavioral Mental Health Treatments for Adults2
SOC WORK 873 Social Work Practice in Health Care 12
SOC WORK 875 Health, Aging, and Disability Policy and Services 12
SOC WORK/​ED PSYCH/​HDFS/​NURSING  880 Prevention Science3
SOC WORK/​PUB AFFR  887 Nonprofit Leadership3
SOC WORK 920 Child, Youth, and Family Policies and Services 12
SOC WORK 921 Child Welfare 12
SOC WORK 923 Family Violence2
SOC WORK 924 Family Problems and Social Work2
SOC WORK 929 Social Work and Substance Use Disorders2

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Graduate credits in equivalent foundation/generalist courses completed with a grade of B or better taken at CSWE-accredited MSW programs may be used to fulfill the Minimum Degree Credit Requirement. In general, coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the MSW Program may not be used to satisfy degree credit minimums. Graduate credits from other MSW programs/institutions may not be used to fulfill the Minimum Residence Credit Requirement.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

MSW students who have received BSWs from CSWE accredited programs may count 7 credits of their undergraduate coursework in the BSW program. UW–Madison BSWs may count only those courses numbered 300 or above toward their minimum graduate degree credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the MSW program may not be used to satisfy credit requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

On a case-by-case basis Generalist/Foundation Social Work courses numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student may be used to fulfill degree requirements. No more than 15 credits generalist/foundation credits may be used for this purpose.

ProbatioN

In any given semester in which the GPA falls below 3.0 the Graduate School will place you on probation. The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

MSW Satisfactory Progress Criteria

Graduate students are required to maintain and graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.00.

Grades of “C” are accepted only if offset by an equal number of credits of grades of A. Students who receive more than two grades of C or a grade of D or F will be dropped from the MSW Program.  (This policy does not apply to grades received for courses taken to meet the Statistic prerequisite while in the program but will affect the GPA).

Students who receive a grade of C in the Field and Integrative Seminar courses may continue only with permission of the faculty and may not offset the grade with a grade of A. Refer to the Field Education Handbook (found on the Social Work Student Resources site) for more details about grades in Field.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

All master's candidates are assigned to the social work academic advisors.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

Full-Time Program students matriculating through the Full-Time MSW program on a part-time basis must enroll in a minimum of two courses each semester and complete one full-time semester of at least 8 credits. Candidates who withdraw from the Full-Time Program without having completed at least 8 credits must reapply for admission to the program. Students who withdraw from the Part-Time MSW Program without having completed at least 6 credits must reapply for admission to the Part-Time Program.

Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.

Other

Title IV-E Public Child Welfare Traineeships are available to Full-Time and Part-Time MSW Program students.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Professors: Lawrence M. Berger, MSW, Ph.D.; Marah H. Curtis, MSW, Ph.D.; Katherine Magnuson, Ph.D.; Daniel R. Meyer, MSW, Ph.D.; Stephanie A. Robert, MSW, Ph.D. (School director); Tracy Schroepfer, MSW, Ph.D., Kristen Slack, A.M., Ph.D.

Associate Professors: Tally Moses, MSW, Ph.D.

Assistant Professors: Lauren Bishop, Ph.D.; Pajarita Charles, MPA, MSW, Ph.D.; Lara Gerassi, MSW, Ph.D.; Jooyoung Kong, MSW, Ph.D.; Jessica Pac, Ph.D.; Alejandra Ros Pilarz, Ph.D.; Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, Ph.D.;  Tova Walsh, MSW, Ph.D.; Yang Sao Xiong, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor: Audrey Conn, MSSW, APSW; Alice Egan, MSSW, APSW; Ellen Smith, MSSW; Angela Willits, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Assistant Professors: Laura Dresser, MSW, Ph.D.; Amanda Ngola, MSW, LCSW; Lynette Studer, MSSW, Ph.D.

A complete list of all faculty and staff in the school is available on the School of Social Work Directory.