Beginning in January 2021, Grand Valley’s CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program will offer a hybrid delivery option if life commitments make attending classes on campus difficult for you. This hybrid weekend/online program will prepare you for a profession that is meaningful and rewarding, with life-changing impacts on those who need our help. You will not just be ready for state licensure but will have the foundation for assuming a leadership role in protecting human dignity and advocating for social justice.

GVSU M.S.W. Students Employed after Graduation
GVSU M.S.W. Students Graduate in 3 Years or Less
Pass Clinical Licensure Exams on Their First Try


Career Outlook and Opportunities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for social workers was $50,470 in May 2019 and the growth in demand for social workers will be double that of the average rate of employment growth over the next decade (2018-2028).

  • 11% growth projected in overall social work employment
  • 7.3% growth in child, family and school social work positions
  • 17.0% growth in health care and medical social work positions
  • 17.8% growth in mental health and substance abuse positions
  • 13.0% growth in social and community service managers

“...most people think of social workers when they think of poverty alleviation and child welfare. Many social workers do that kind of work — and we do much more. We can be found in hospitals, helping people cope with acute conditions and chronic illness. We provide therapy and community health centers and help prevent students from dropping out of school. We help prisoners as they reenter communities and provide rehabilitative support in drug and alcohol centers. We provide outreach and long-term care in nursing homes and homeless shelters. We are clinical therapists to members of the military and veterans. And we are first responders during natural disasters. Social workers are executive directors of nonprofit organizations, community organizers, and professors. We are corporate leaders and members of Congress.”

- National Association of Social Workers

Skills For a Better World

The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. At the core of our M.S.W. program are the most recent competencies developed by the Council on Social Work Education:

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  • Engage in policy practice
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Other Reasons to Study Social Work at GVSU

While our program embodies the values and aspirations of the social work profession, we also celebrate our embeddedness within the institution of Grand Valley State University, which values excellence in teaching, a liberal arts education, and community engagement.   

  • Our shared dedication to excellence compels us to strive for exemplary and responsible outcomes in all that we do.
  • We value honesty, fairness, and openness in our actions, transactions, and communications with our students.
  • We welcome all identities, perspectives, and backgrounds and are dedicated to incorporating multiple voices and experiences into every aspect of our program.
  • We value our connections to, participation with, and responsibility to our local communities.

Courses Offered

The M.S.W. 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

How Does the Hybrid Format Work?

  • Accelerated course design: seven week courses each with two in-person Saturday sessions
  • Only one course at a time, sometimes simultaneous with field placement; One- or two-week breaks are between each course
  • Multiple start dates: January, May, and August (starting in January 2021) 
  • Graduate in two years (with advanced standing)
  • Field placement opportunities are individually arranged to accommodate specific circumstances and advance career goals

The hybrid delivery model is for students who qualify for advanced standing because they recently graduated with an accredited B.S.W. and meet admission criteria. Hybrid course work leading to an advanced generalist M.S.W. can be completed in two years. However, not all elective courses and program options will be available through hybrid delivery. Students with any bachelor’s degree of any vintage can bridge up to the hybrid courses in several ways.

Admission to the M.S.W.

The Master of Social Work admission requirements and application deadlines are available here. Applicants to the M.S.W. hybrid program should check the appropriate box on their application and submit a short essay explaining this preference. The $30 application fee is waived if you’ve already applied to Grand Valley.


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.


When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

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