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Master's Degree in Social Work

Because of its various applications from therapy to policy development, you’ve chosen social work as the means to affect change either at the personal or social level. Now, select a top-tier, fully accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program specializing in integrated clinical and community-based practice to do work that matters to you.

Tulane University School of Social Work’s innovative learning environment values quality education, research, and leadership. Our program provides:

  • Curriculum that understands and serves people and families within their environments
  • A focus on research for evidence-based practice
  • Opportunities to learn and generate knowledge alongside top-tier faculty
  • Extensive support and resources to ensure students succeed
  • Field education with one of over 175 agencies

Tulane and its curriculum emphasize noting and building upon individual and community strengths. We teach culturally relevant social work practice (CRSWP) that prioritizes the field’s responsiveness to cultural contexts and enables us to engage in and train students to engage in competent, ethical, community-led assessments and interventions.

This MSW program effectively prepares students in accordance with the standards set forth by various regulatory bodies. Our pass rates on Association of Social Work Boards licensure examinations are consistently above the national average.

You may also elect to add a certification to your MSW degree with our Disaster and Collective Trauma or Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family options. On campus students may also seek a dual degree in Law, Public Health, or our Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy.

Mission, Vision & History

The Mission of the Master of Social Work Program at the Tulane University School of Social Work is to educate and inspire future social work leaders to engage in integrated clinical and community practice that is culturally responsive and relationship-centered, to enhance the well-being and equitable treatment of individuals, families, and communities.

The Tulane MSW program:

  • Trains future leaders clinically to impact communities locally, nationally, and globally in ways that enhance the well-being, capacity, and resilience of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities;
  • Helps future leaders to realize the value of human diversity and engage in inclusive, anti-oppressive practice in order to promote social and economic justice;
  • Prepares future leaders to engage in culturally responsive, evidence-informed practice and community engagement using a local/global perspective relationship centered framework that enables them to contribute to the transformation of individuals, families, and communities; and
  • Promotes social mobility, system navigation, and increased access to resources by building upon the diverse, culturally rich, inspiring, and environment of New Orleans.

Program Competencies

Upon completion of their MSW degrees, graduates will go on to work in a variety of social work settings such as social service agencies, hospitals, criminal justice systems, schools, and governments. They will be prepared to work as clinical social workers in the public or private sector, locally, nationally, or internationally. Many have gone on to establish their own private practices, lead organizations as Executive Directors, and/or teach and conduct research.

Regardless of the settings, Tulane MSW Graduates will be involved in providing social services to individuals, families, and communities, developing programs and policy, evaluating programs, establishing non-profit organizations, or providing services and resources in order to enhance the well-being and equitable treatment of individuals, families, and communities. The MSW provides a strong academic foundation in order to pass licensure, pursue a doctoral degree, or make a difference in society.

Degree Requirements

The full-time MSW program requires 15 credit hours per semester over 16 consecutive months for a total of 60 credit hours. Each full time and advanced standing student completes 316 hours of field work over three semesters for a total of 948 hours.

You may complete the required 60-hour class and field curriculum via one of the following options:

  • Full-time 16-month on-campus program over 4 semesters, starting in the fall and continuing through the spring, summer, and following fall.
  • Full-time 16-month online program over 4 semesters with start dates each semester.
  • Advanced Standing 12-month on-campus program over 3 semesters, starting in the spring and continuing through the summer, and following fall.
  • Advanced Standing 12-month online program over 3 semesters with start dates each semester.
  • Part-time 32-month online program over 8 semesters with start dates each semester, including 2 summer semesters and 6 semesters of 158 field work hours each semester for a total of 948 hours
  • Joint degree on-campus programs with the Law School, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, or our Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy

Individuals who have earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) degree within the past five years from a CSWE-accredited program may be granted Advanced Standing, enabling them to complete their MSW degree in 3 semesters of full-time study. This applies to full-time on-campus and full-time online programs.

Field Education

Our field education program exposes you to real-world social work practice as well as diverse populations and social issues. We place on-campus students with one of 75 agencies in New Orleans and surrounding parishes. Distance learners perform their field education in their own communities, and we can facilitate placements around the country.


Our online MSW program employs innovative technology to ensure all students receive the full benefits of a Tulane education. If you elect this program, you will be part of monthly live sessions via synchronous classes. Our technology platform provides crisp and clear images and words, and students can always see each other and the instructor. You can expect personalized attention as you pursue your coursework, including tech support and virtual office hours with faculty.


With Tulane’s high-touch program, students focus and engage in a variety of ways. Required MSW coursework in human behavior, direct and community practice, social justice, data analysis, and program evaluation teach tangible skills to leverage strengths and apply interventions that empower individuals, families, and communities. You will develop your capacity via team projects and teaching, problem-based learning, creative simulation, field work, and electronic learning exchanges.

View the University Catalog for curriculum and course descriptions.

The following also provides printable versions of the MSW curriculum.

Refer to Tulane’s class schedule to determine availability of courses in any given semester. All Tulane School of Social Work courses are identified with “SOWK” before the course number.


Tulane’s faculty includes nationally recognized scholars with an exceptional record of research, teaching, and service and represents the diversity of opportunities in the social work profession. They value your experience coming into the program and help to ensure your success with support, mentoring, and networking.

See our full faculty and adjunct instructor list with their areas of expertise.


Still have questions? Maybe they are answered on our Master of Social Work FAQ page. If not, we are happy to help! Reach out to us by emailing or call 1-800-631-8234.

Master of Social Work Admissions Information