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Social Work, MSW

At a Glance:

  • Emphasis on experiential learning with two student-selected internship practicums
  • Only MSW program in the State of Delaware
  • Nationally ranked by US News and World Report
  • Opportunities for faculty-student collaboration,
  • Graduates are eligible to sit for entry level graduate licensing exams as required by their home states

The Graduate Social Work Program is fully accredited from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and is nationally ranked by US News and World Report.

The MSW program at Delaware State University has one concentration — advanced generalist practice.  Accordingly, the program prepares students for advanced practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.  Having satisfied all of the program’s academic requirements, students leave the program with competencies allowing them to practice with and on behalf of Delawareans, and with clients throughout the region, across the nation and globally. Course offerings provide students an understanding of social, economic, political and interpersonal problems from a global perspective.  Consequently, students comprehend the effects of problems, such as poverty, health disparities, racism and oppression on populations that live in parts of the world outside the United States.

It is understood that these unique elements of the curriculum are congruent with the concepts and intervention principles that define the framework for all professional social work practice, that is, generalist practice.  Therefore, students graduate able to generalize the knowledge, values and skills that underlie all social work practice in different settings with diverse populations experiencing multiple, complex problems. The MSW curriculum is grounded on the Department of Social Work’s five underpinnings.

Graduates of the MSW program possess the competencies needed to engage, assess, intervene and evaluate individuals, families, treatment groups, organizations and communities. They are able to evaluate the efficacy of interventions and programs, integrate theories of personality and adult psychopathology, address health and mental health disparities from a public health perspective, and understand and assimilate theories and practice principles that guide human service administration. Graduates are competent to practice with systems of all sizes in a wide array of settings—from traditional public social welfare and governmental agencies to small and medium size nonprofit organizations to private and for-profit entities. Graduates can expect to address social issues at the micro, mezzo and macro levels of practice. Alumni are prepared to work in rural, suburban and metropolitan areas alike.

The foundation courses present a generalist perspective to social work practice and consist of fundamental content in human behavior and the social environment, social policies, research, practice and field practicum. The advanced courses build upon the core foundation year competencies and behaviors of acquired knowledge, values and skills and demonstrate the integration and application of both the core and advanced competencies in practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

MSW Program Goals

The MSW program has developed five goals derived from its mission and reflect the social work profession’s purpose and core values and the program’s context. The goals are as follows:

  1. To graduate advanced level practitioners who can independently employ empowerment-oriented and strengths perspective frameworks to work with marginalized and oppressed populations within the context of a Black perspective for social work practice.
  2. To provide the social work profession with advanced generalist practitioners who are able to think critically and possess the requisite knowledge and skills to work independently with diverse client systems, particularly those from rural communities, in a global society.
  3. To graduate advanced level social workers whose orientation for service intervention begins with prevention, and who are able to identify and incorporate protective factors and utilize the professional relationship when assessing and intervening with diverse client systems, particularly those that are experiencing difficult and complex challenges.
  4. To graduate advanced level social workers who demonstrate the ability to formulate and re-formulate policies and advocate macro level systemic change, while exhibiting knowledge and sensitivity to trends, practices, and concepts that shape and inform social work practice with diverse client systems.
  5. To graduate advanced level practitioners who can competently utilize scientific inquiry to inform and evaluate the effectiveness of their practice and use program evaluation results to improve service outcomes for clients.


Applicants who have graduated from a Bachelor of Social Work Degree Program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may receive up to a maximum of twenty-eight (28) credits applied toward the MSW degree at the time of admission, if they meet the requirements for regular status. This option may be an acceptable alternative for applicants who do not meet the requirements for Advanced Standing. If admitted under regular status, these individuals may receive advanced standing credits for all undergraduate foundations courses with grades of “B” or better earned within the last five (5) years. This option is granted on an individual basis. Advanced standing credit will not be considered for practice courses or field practicum. Applicants seeking advanced standing credits may be required to submit course syllabi from their undergraduate courses.


Required Courses

View the MSW Full-Time Curriculum

View the MSW part-time curriculum

View the MSW Advanced Standing Curriculum

View the course descriptions