Master’s Degree in Social Work


The Master’s Degree in Social Work prepares students for careers as advanced social work practitioners who can promote positive change through social work practice, advocacy, education, research, and leadership.

What Sets Us Apart

MSW students develop critical advanced social work skills through hands-on learning in their required field placement experiences.

Our program is large enough to provide you with extensive field opportunities, yet small enough for you to receive individualized attention. As an MSW student, you’ll have access to:

  • A diverse set of field placement options. The Social Work Field Department collaborates with hundreds of field placement sites throughout the Milwaukee metro area and in greater Wisconsin to provide these experiences;
  • International study abroad and field opportunities;
  • A strong network of alumni.

Leaders in Trauma-Informed Care

Our faculty and staff are leaders in trauma-informed care practice and research. We have offered the Graduate Certificate in Trauma-Informed Care since 2013.

YOSAT Counseling II is a new offering within the MSW program at UWM that exposes students to specialized training in both substance abuse and trauma counseling with a focus on vulnerable children, youth, and young adults. The program also includes state-of-the-art training in cultural competency, technology integration, and integrated care. Students accepted to the YOSAT Counseling II program receive fellowship financial support.

Leaders in Applied Gerontology

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Gerontology (GCAG) is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully pursue or advance careers within aging services organizations or conduct academic research in aging. The program focuses on the biological, psychological, social, policy, and ethical aspects of aging.

Program Overview

The MSW Advanced Curriculum maximizes student choice and flexibility. MSW students choose which populations and practice skills to emphasize in preparation for contemporary advanced social work practice.

The curriculum core includes courses related to social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Within the core, students also obtain knowledge and skills in the areas of social welfare policy, social justice, and evaluation.

Beyond the curriculum core, students choose electives from areas that include:

  • Behavioral and mental health;
  • Child and family well-being;
  • Clinical social work;
  • Gerontology;
  • Physical health;
  • School social work;
  • Substance abuse counseling;
  • Trauma-informed care.

Coordinated Programs:

Graduate Certificates:

Wisconsin Certification and Licensure:

  • School Social Work
    We are one of the only graduate schools in Wisconsin to offer an approved Department of Public Instruction (DPI) school social work program.
  • Substance Abuse Counselor Certification
    Our MSW curriculum in Behavioral and Mental Health combined with specialized electives is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) to satisfy the educational requirements toward certification as a substance abuse counselor.