Master of Social Work

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Developed in collaboration with the School of Social Work on the Seattle campus, the UW Tacoma Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares learners for advanced and specialized practice as providers of social services and includes a combination of field experience and classroom learning

Photograph showing several recent graduates wearing robes and mortarboards.The MSW is considered the terminal degree in the social work profession. Content and coursework will prepare graduates to function in professional social work positions in a wide variety of settings, including health care agencies, child and family services, public social service organizations and the criminal justice system. Students may also complete the Washington State requirements for K-12 School Social Worker Certification, and those interested in public child welfare may consider the Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program.

The advanced curriculum provides an in-depth education through the classroom and practicum, to prepare graduates for advanced, specialized practice. Topics include applied research, social policy and advanced content in social work practice models and methods.

The School of Social Work and Criminal Justice at UW Tacoma is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education as a program option under the auspices of the University of Washington School of Social Work in Seattle.

Master of Social Work (MSW) Program Options:

3-year MSW

Application deadline: March 1 (fall quarter admission only)

The part-time, evening 3-year MSW, which combines classroom learning with faculty-guided fieldwork, is a great option for working professionals.

Learn more about the 3-year MSW

Our three-year MSW Program offers students a part-time path to earn a master’s degree in social work. It’s a popular option for working adults who cannot carry a full-time course load. Classes are held in the evening typically from 6:30pm to 9pm (schedule subject to quarterly changes) and the degree is earned in 10 to 11 consecutive quarters, including summers. 

What to expect

In the first academic year, students take an average of two classes a quarter. Beginning with the fourth quarter, students are typically in the field one to two days a week. The schedule changes in the eighth quarter when students take an average of one class a quarter and participate in field two to three days a week. Electives are typically scheduled during weekday evenings and Saturdays. Note that field education is likely to take place during the day (

Advanced Standing MSW

Application deadline: June 30 (winter quarter admission only)

The 18-month, part-time, evening MSW Advanced Standing Program is for applicants with an undergraduate degree in social work or social welfare.

Learn more about the Advanced Standing MSW

The 18-month, part-time MSW Advanced Standing Program is for applicants who have an undergraduate degree in social work or social welfare. This program allows students to complete their degree requirements more quickly and to focus on social work areas with advanced practice. Classes are held in the evening typically from 6:30pm to 9pm (schedule subject to quarterly changes).

Effective starting Winter 2022, students applying for the advanced standing program must have graduated from a U.S. baccalaureate program in social work or social welfare accredited by the CSWE. A degree accredited by the CASWE (Canadian Association for Social Work Education) or other non-U.S. degree considered to be equivalent by the ISWDRES (International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service) may be accepted in lieu of a U.S. degree. Advanced Standing applicants who graduated more than five years ago should demonstrate continued professional growth through social work experience. Professional training, leadership, and advancement in the social work field are also considered."

What to expect

The program begins in winter quarter, with “bridge” coursework that prepares students to enter their specialized studies in the MSW advanced curriculum. During this first quarter, Advanced Standing students attend classes three days a week.

In the spring, students join 2nd year students in the 3-year MSW Program to begin the advanced curriculum. For the remainder of the program, students attend classes for one to two days per week and are typically in the field two to three days per week. Note that field education is likely to take place during the day (