Master of Social Work

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. 

Listen to the social work podcast to learn more about the program.

Listen to the Podcast

Career Outlook and Opportunities

$45,900 - $76,000 AVERAGE SALARY





The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median pay for medical and health services managers is $45,900 per year but reports annual salaries as high as $76,000. The BLS projects that employment of social workers was projected to grow 16% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than most occupations. Employment of healthcare social workers and mental health and substance abuse social workers was projected to grow 19% from 2014 to 2024. 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

Why Study Social Work at Grand Valley?

  • 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.

Courses Offered

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
  • Psychopathology
  • 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.

Course Offerings


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.

Admission Requirements


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.

Information Sessions

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

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