MSW Plans of Study

Fordham offers flexible full-time and part-time plans of study to earn a master of social work (MSW). Review our Plans of Study for further details.

Our master of social work degree is a 66-credit program. It consists of:

  • Forty-eight credits of classwork.
  • Eighteen 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. Admissions counselors are happy to meet with you and help you select the most appropriate plan for your learning needs.

We offer four plans of study in which you can complete your MSW degree:

MSW Standard Two-Year Plan of Study

This is a full-time plan of study, which students generally complete in two academic years. It consists of:

  • Two years of classroom coursework (24 credits each year).
  • 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).

MSW Extended Three- to Four-Year Plan of Study

This part-time plan of study is for students who cannot take a standard plan for various reasons, such as family or work commitments. If you’re employed full-time you’re strongly advised to select this plan of study, which is normally completed in three to 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).

MSW Advanced Standing/Transfer 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 five years of applying. Also, your undergraduate or graduate social work program must be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Students in this plan have generally completed the first year of a MSW program. For BSW graduates, your undergraduate coursework is considered the equivalent of the first year of a MSW program. The 33 credits of your BSW program are transferred into your MSW 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 MSW program? You must submit the Transfer Student Field Evaluation Form with your application to GSS. The form can be filled out by your MSW program director or your faculty adviser. If you are a transfer student, please contact the Office of Admission to discuss your plan of study.

Are you a BSW graduate? You must submit the Advanced Standing Field Evaluation Form with your application to GSS. The form can be filled out by your BSW program director or your faculty adviser.

Full-Time Plans of Study

Part-Time Plans of Study

MSW Experienced and Employed Social Service Practitioner 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 MSW 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 Practitioner Plan of Study Recommendation Form with their application. 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.

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