Why Choose TSSW for your MSW
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 100 agencies in the New Orleans region and over 300 nationwide
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.
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.
MSW Degree Requirements
The Master of Social Work program requires 60 credit hours and 900 hours of field education. Those granted Advanced Standing status can complete the degree requirements with 48 hours credit hours and 900 hours of field education.
MSW candidates may choose how they wish to complete the required course and field curriculum:
- Full-time 16-month on-campus program over 4 semesters, starting in the fall and continuing through the spring, summer, and following fall; field education of 24 hours per week starts in spring semester and continues through the subsequent semesters.
- Full-time 16-month online program over 4 semesters with start dates each semester; field education of 24 hours per week starts in second semester and continues through the subsequent semesters.
- Advanced Standing 12-month on-campus program over 3 semesters, starting in the spring and continuing through the summer, and following fall; field education of 24 hours per week starts in spring semester and continues through the subsequent semesters.
- Advanced Standing 12-month online program over 3 semesters with start dates each semester; field education of 24 hours per week starts in first semester and continues through the subsequent semesters.
- Part-time 32-month online program over 8 semesters with start dates each semester; field education of 12 hours per week starts in second semester and continues through the subsequent semesters.
- Advanced Standing Part-time 24-month online program over 7 semesters with start dates each semester; field education of 12 hours per week starts in first semester and continues through the subsequent semesters.
- oint 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.
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 over 100 agencies in New Orleans and surrounding parishes. Online 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.
Q: Is social work a good career?
A: Social work is an excellent career with tremendous growth projections, especially in areas of mental health and health care. The social work field is a strong community of enthused, passionate, and hardworking individuals dedicated to serving others.
Q: What does a masters in social work do?
A: A master’s degree in social work is the terminal degree that prepares students to work with individuals, families, and communities to assist with identifying resources, navigating systems, and addressing social justice issues.
Q: What jobs can you get with a MSW degree?
A: The MSW degree is an extremely versatile degree where graduates put social justice and advocacy into practice for any number of jobs. Graduates can work in numerous industries at all levels- with individuals and families, to communities and agencies, to local, state, and national policy levels. Some agencies provide social workers as primary services (private practice, city positions, non-profits, etc.) while others use social workers in secondary and tertiary capacities (hospitals, jails, schools, etc.). These jobs can range from micro-work with interpersonal client care/case management to macro work such as risk mitigation and policy creation and implementation.
Q: Can you be a licensed social worker without a degree?
A: Every state has different state laws, but most states require a MSW to be a licensed social worker.
Q: How long will it take to become a social worker?
A: The accelerated MSW program at Tulane School of Social Work is 16 months long and the part-time program is 32 months.