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Grand Valley State University's Master of Social Work (MSW) is offered through the School of Social Work and prepares students for advanced professional practice by laying the foundation for students to assume leadership roles in society's institutions, organizations, and communities.
The program emphasizes human behavior, interface between people and their social environment and institutions, and client strengths. Advanced Generalist social workers are also concerned with societal conditions in their efforts to improve the quality of life and social and economic justice.
Source: EMSI, 2019
Career Outlook and Opportunities
According to 2019 EMSI data, opportunities for social workers will increase 8% in West Michigan and 10% nationwide in 2024. The median annual wage for social workers was reported to be between $51,667 and $68,411 but varies per region and per area. Graduates of the M.S.W. program at Grand Valley become Social Workers working in the following fields:
- Government social services
- Private practice
- Health care industry
- Marriage and family
Source: EMSI, 2019
The Skills Employers Want
The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings in the social work field.
- Social Work
- Mental Health
- Psychosocial Assessments
- Treatment Planning
- Crisis Intervention
- Behavioral Health
- Case Management
- Substance Abuse
- Problem Solving
- Interpersonal Skills
- Decision Making
- Written Communication
Source: EMSI, 2019
Other Reasons to Study Social Work at GVSU.
- Real-world experiences. Students work directly with diverse cultural, class, and ethnic groups and populations-at-risk in a carefully selected professional learning environment, under the guidance and supervision of faculty and agency staff.
- Convenient. Courses are offered at the Richard M. DeVos Center in downtown Grand Rapids.
- Leadership. The program lays the foundation for students to assume leadership roles in society's institutions, organizations, and communities.
- Accredited. The M.S.W. degree at Grand Valley State University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The Master of Social Work program is a minimum of 60 credits. Students study a variety of topics and methods, such as:
- Cultural competency
- Global and cross cultural service learning
- Human behavior
- Nonprofit administration
- Social research and policy
- Social work practice and integrated methods
- Substance abuse
Visit the online catalog for course offerings and degree requirements for this program.
The Master of Social Work admission requirements and application deadlines are available here. The $30 application fee is waived if you’ve already applied to Grand Valley. Visit the online catalog for admission requirements for this program.
For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website.
Note: Grand Valley does not charge a higher tuition rate based on residency. Tuition is based on the program in which you chose to enroll.
Prospective students interested in learning more about the Master of Social Work program at Grand Valley State University are invited to attend an informational session.