Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

M.S.W. Plans of Study

Our Master of Social Work degree is a 66-credit program.  It consists of:

  • 48 credits of classwork
  • 18 credits of fieldwork experience.

The first 33 credits are part of the Foundation Phase; everyone takes the same courses at this level.  The remaining 33 credits are part of the program's Advanced Phase.

We offer five plans of study in which you can complete your M.S.W. degree:

NOTE: In order to maintain the academic standards required by the Graduate School of Social Service, applicants who are employed full-time are strongly advised to select the Extended Plan of Study.  Admissions counselors are happy to meet with you and help you select the most appropriate plan for your learning needs.


This is a standard plan of study, only offered in fall terms, which students generally complete in two academic years.  It consists of:

  • two years of classroom coursework (24 credits each year), concurrent with
  • two years of fieldwork (9 credits per year).

Your fieldwork includes a foundation/generalist practicum and an advanced practicum.  The practicum schedule is usually 21 hours per week, but you can do it on a 14 hour per week basis.  All students are expected to complete 600 hours of fieldwork placement per year (1,200 hours total over the two-year period).

Learn more about our Standard, Two-Year Plan of Study. >>


This extended plan of study is for students who cannot take a standard plan for various reasons, such as family or work commitments.  It is normally completed in three of four years.

You can begin this plan with two classes per semester in the first year.  Fieldwork placement is added in the second year.  You also have the option of completing some courses during summer sessions (usually mid-May to early July).

Most students in the Part-Time Plan complete 14 hours of fieldwork per week, but you can schedule 21 hours per week.  All students are expected to complete 600 hours of fieldwork placement in the program's Foundation Phase and another 600 hours in the Advanced Phase (1,200 hours total for the degree).

Learn more about our Extended Plan of Study. >>


This plan of study is open only to transfer students and Bachelor of Social Work graduates who have achieved a high level of academic performance and a successful fieldwork experience within 5 years of applying.  Also, your undergraduate or graduate social work program must be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  If your program does not have CSWE accreditation, you are not eligible for the Advanced Standing Plan of Study.

Students in this plan have generally completed the first year of a M.S.W. program.  (For B.S.W. graduates, your undergraduate coursework is considered the equivalent of the first year of a M.S.W. program.  The 33 credits of your B.S.W. program are transferred into your M.S.W. transcript.)

Under this plan, you earn the remaining 33 credits for the degree in the Advanced Phase of your program, divided into 24 classroom credits and 9 fieldwork credits.  You can complete this plan of study in one academic year, or you may extend it over two years or more.

  • Are you  a transfer student who has completed a first-year fieldwork assignment in a M.S.W. program?  You must submit the Transfer Student Field Evaluation Form (PDF) with your application to GSS.  The form can be filled out by your M.S.W. program director or your faculty adviser.

Learn more about our Advanced Standing/Transfer Plan of Study. >>


This part-time plan of study is for applicants with a bachelor's degree (in any field) who have been employed in the social work profession for at least three years with M.S.W. supervision.  You need to demonstrate competence in the field of social work, and your experience should reflect direct practice.

Also, your employer must agree to provide you with a 28 hour per week fieldwork placement experience during the Advanced Phase of your studies.  The fieldwork should include both a change of assignment and supervisor.

In this plan of study, you take the Foundation Phase coursework but you are not required to complete the Foundation Phase fieldwork placement.  Instead, you attend a monthly fieldwork seminar/lab to discuss your on-the-job experiences and the integration of practice with theory and classroom learning.

As with all the plans of study, you must complete 66 credits before graduation.  This plan requires 51 classroom credit hours and awards 15 credits for the combined fieldwork placement experiences.

Applicants must submit the Experienced and Employed Social Service Practioner Plan of Study Recommendation Form (PDF) with their application to GSS.  This form should be completed and signed by a supervisor or director in your employing agency, and it should demonstrate the agency's commitment and ability to provide you an appropriate fieldwork experience during your Advanced Phase of study.

Learn more about our Experienced and Employed Social Service Practioner Plan of Study. >>

PLEASE NOTE: The Graduate School of Social Service does not award any life or work experience credits.


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