Social Work Master’s Program

Social Work is a rewarding, growing field that presents skilled graduates with various professional options. With the number of people aged 65 and older in Pennsylvania expected to surpass 23% of the population by 2030, there will be a large need for practitioners who can deliver a wide range of services in public and private nursing homes, community living facilities, government agencies and other work settings.

Whether you're a professional with years of experience looking to upgrade your skill set, or a recent graduate ready to take the next step in your education, the Social Work Master’s program at Shippensburg University combines theoretical background and practical experience. You will learn the latest skills required for success in the diverse and rewarding field of social work.

Jointly offered with Millersville University, the Social Work Master's Degree program offers the resources of both schools and gives you a wide range of options for pursuing your individual education goals and preparing to enter the work force. You'll benefit from small class sizes and one-on-one interaction with experienced faculty.

Shippensburg University's MSW is a CSWE-accredited (Council on Social Work Education) Advanced Generalist program. An advanced Generalist MSW permits you to work in a variety of human service programs and agencies in an advanced clinical and/or administrative capacity. Many other social work programs require you to choose a concentration, which normally means choosing between the clinical or macro track. Here are some reasons our students decided to choose Shippensburg University to pursue their MSW:

  • Affordable education
  • Generalist approach
  • Convenient location
  • No entrance exam
  • Program flexibility
  • Advanced standing track option
  • Friendly and knowledgeable faculty

Students interested in entering or advancing their social work career may enroll in the program full-time or part-time. You can complete the regular track program in two to four years. Full-time students who meet the requirements for admission into the advanced standing track program can meet the requirements for graduation in just one calendar year.

In addition to traditional classroom instruction, you may take part in web-based and teleconference classes. These types of classes accommodate individuals who choose to work while obtaining their degree. All students in the Social Work graduate program complete a minimum of 500 hours of field practicum to gain valuable working skills through on-the-ground experience. Staff and faculty can offer students assistance when finding a suitable practicum placement.

Few occupations can match social work, which offers a wide-range of opportunities and settings. Social workers can be found in public agencies, private businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, private practices, police departments, courts, and numerous other exciting work settings. Social workers assist individuals, families, and communities. They can be managers, supervisors, and administrators. They work at all levels of government. They are also educators. Social workers are therapists and researchers. And many are also elected political leaders and legislators.

Graduates of a social work Master's program may also find work in education, policy making, communications and others fields. Follow the links below for more information about the MSW program at Shippensburg University and about careers in social work.

The salary range for social workers in PA is $29,000 to $68,000.

  • Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
  • Engage, assess, intervene and evaluate interventions with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  • Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
  • Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  • Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and social environment
  • Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
  • Respond to contexts that shape practice

Admission into Shippensburg's Social Work Master's program is competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. In addition to your undergraduate transcript grades, your professional and personal background, including work and volunteer experience, will be considered. A variety of financial aid and graduate assistant positions are available to qualified applicants. Click on the following links to find out more about the application process:

To learn more about degree requirements and courses, see the Graduate Catalog.

The Graduate Research Grant Program is designed to provide financial support to graduate students for research or scholarly activities related to their program of study to enable them to better understand the scientific process, experience discovery, develop their analytical and communication skills, and gain exposure to national ideas through the presentation of the results of their research at conferences. Our grant program has funded field and laboratory research as well as computer application and software development. The Graduate Research Grant Program is funded by the School of Graduate Studies and the Institute for Public Service and Sponsored Programs.

Social Work & Gerontology
382 Shippen Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1266
Department Website