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The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program at Grand Valley State University prepares students for advanced professional micro, mezzo, and macro practice in social work, and in the development and implementation of social welfare policies and programs. The M.S.W. lays the foundation for students to assume leadership roles in society's institutions, organizations, and communities.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Program Overview

The M.S.W. 60 credit hour program is available on a full or part time basis, including 12 credit hours of field education. The curriculum incorporates a focus on CSWE core competencies. Advanced standing status, a 41 credit program with 8 field education hours, is provided to students who successfully completed their B.S.W. degree at a CSWE accredited program and meet other admission criteria. The distribution of course requirements for both programs of study are available online.

Why Study Social Work at Grand Valley?

M.S.W. students:

  • Learn to apply a range of theories and methods to practice at multisystemic levels.
  • Through field education and practice, become culturally competent practitioners in an increasingly complex society.
  • Are prepared to engage in grassroots, political, and community organizing as well as electoral politics.
  • Become skilled practitioners capable of assuming leadership and scholarly professional roles in regional, state, national, and global communities.
  • Contribute to the ongoing development of professional social work knowledge and practice through research and scholarly inquiry that employ state-of-the-art technology.
  • Earn a degree that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  • The M.S.W. program and the M.P.A. program provide an opportunity to receive a combined degree of 81 credits.

Helpful Links

For More Information

School of Social Work
391C DeVos Center
(616) 331-6550

Graduate Admissions Office

Application Deadline

  • February 1 (advanced standing - full time, spring/summer)
  • March 15 (advanced, part time; regular - full/part time, fall)
  • October 1 (regular program - part time, winter)

The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU. Visit

Location & Format

Classes for graduate students in this major meet downtown on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

Format: Face To Face


Students study a variety of topics and methods, such as:

  • Cultural competency
  • Global and cross cultural service learning
  • Human behavior
  • Nonprofit administration
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • Social research and policy
  • Social work practice and integrated methods
  • Substance abuse

Career Options

The M.S.W. prepares students for advanced professional practice in direct service and in the development, implementation, and evaluation of social welfare policies and programs.


“The M.S.W. program at GVSU prepares students to practice at multiple levels as they meet the needs of a diverse society.”