Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

M.S.W. Program Description

Our master of social work program combines courses in social work theory with hands-on field instruction, where theory is put into practice.  You can focus your degree on clinical practice, leadership and macro practice or conducting research.  This integrated approach prepares graduates to immediately make a difference in the lives of the individuals, families and communities they work with.



The M.S.W. degree program consists of 48 credits of coursework and 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.  You take classes and do fieldwork during both phases.

The coursework in the Foundation Phase introduces the history of social work, the fundamental theories of human behavior, and the basic values and skills underlying generalist social work practice.  You also learn to read and understand social work research, develop a framework of professional ethics and study the concepts of oppression and social justice, which are fundamental to becoming an agent of change.

In the Advanced Phase, you select a concentration for your degree, such as clinical practice, leadership and macro practice or research.  Your courses and fieldwork focus on this area.


Before starting the M.S.W. program's Advanced Phase, you choose an area of concentration.  The options include:
Courses and field instruction during the Advanced Phase are tailored to your area of concentration.

Learn more about Concentrations. >>


We offer flexible full-time and part-time plans of study to accommodate our students' diverse schedules.  Classes meet once a week and can be taken on weekdays, evenings or Saturdays.  An online M.S.W. program is also available for students who live in NY, NJ or CT.

Full-time students can complete the degree in two years.  Part-time students can finish their studies in three to four years.

There are also two plans of study for students with special qualifications:
  • Applicants with a B.S.W. from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may qualify for the Advanced Standing Plan of Study.  It grants you 33 credit hours at the start, allowing you to complete the M.S.W. degree in one year.
  • Applicants who have been employed as a social worker for more than three years may qualify for the Employed Social Worker Plan of Study.  In this plan, you fulfill the fieldwork requirements as a single, extended assignment at your job.  (Although the Employed Social Worker plan is for students with direct social work practice experience, we do not award credits for life or work experience to any student.)
Learn more about our Plans of Study. >>


Every student at Fordham is assigned a faculty adviser.  Whether you are a full-time, part-time or non-matriculated student, you need to keep in close touch with your adviser to be sure that you are planning the best course of study.  Get to know your adviser: he or she is available to help with all aspects of your academic planning, for guidance, and to assist you in resolving any problems that may emerge in your academics or field placement as you complete your studies.


Field instruction
placements are based on where you live or work, your schedule and your skills and interests.  We place students in all types of agencies in the five boroughs of New York City; Long Island, Westchester, Rockland and upstate counties; Connecticut and New Jersey.  Online M.S.W. students are placed with agencies near their home.

Students complete 600 hours of fieldwork per year.  You can choose a 21- or 14-hour per week commitment.  Placements can include evening and weekend hours and can be built around your work schedule or family obligations.

Learn more about Field Instruction. >>


Our three New York locations and our Online M.S.W. Program enable you to get a world-class Fordham University education wherever you live:
  • The Lincoln Center campus is located at West 60th Street and Columbus Avenue in Manhattan.
  • The Fordham Westchester campus is located at 400 Westchester Avenue in West Harrison, N.Y.
  • The Molloy College campus (a collaborative program with Fordham University's Graduate School of Social Service) is in Rockville Centre, Long Island, N.Y.
  • The Online M.S.W. Program is available for students who live in NY, NJ, or CT.
Learn more about our locations. >>


New students in the M.S.W. program can begin in the fall or spring semester.  If you begin in the spring, your first fieldwork assignment will start the following fall.

Prospective students can take up to 12 credits total on a non-matriculated basis.  Students who earn a grade B or better in a non-matriculated basis.  Students who earn a grade B or better in a non-matriculated course get credit for that class if they are later admitted into the M.S.W. program.

Learn more about Non-Matriculated Study. >>


The M.S.W. degree qualifies graduates to take the licensing examination in their home state.  Most states currently require certification, and it is a crucial qualification for employment as a social worker.  We prepare students for the exam throughout the program.


Learn how to apply to our program on our Admission Requirements page. >>

Or begin your online application now. >>


Prospective M.S.W. students should attend one of our information sessions and/or contact the Office of Admissions at or (212) 636-6600.  We look forward to helping you.

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