The MSW program can be completed in two, three, or four years. A prospective student with a bachelor's degree in social work (earned within the last five years from a CSWE-accredited program) can apply to be admitted into the one-year, advanced standing program. In addition, we offer an MS/MSW dual degree program with the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (S-CAR) and a certificate in gerontology. All classes are held on George Mason's Fairfax campus, specifically at 10340 Democracy Lane, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030.
The two-year program is completed over the course of two academic years. No summer study is required. Courses meet on weekday mornings to evenings. During each of the two years (the first year, or Generalization year, and the second year, or Specialization year), students complete 15 credit hours of course work per semester, plus a 16 hour per week field practicum the first year and a 20 hour per week field practicum the second year.
The three-year program requires students to complete two or three courses per semester (15 credit hours per year) in the first two years, which are devoted to the Generalization year curriculum. The field practicum (16 hours per week) occurs during the second year. The third year is a year of full-time study, devoted to the Specialization year curriculum (15 credit hours per semester), plus a 20 hour per week field practicum.
*Please note that although students in the three-year program attend classes part-time in their first and second year, they are required to dedicate 16 hours per week to their field practicum in the second year of the program, and the third year of the program is full-time study.
The four-year program requires students to complete two or three courses per semester (15 credit hours per year) for four years, plus a 15 hour per week field practicum the second year and a 20 hour per week field practicum the fourth year.
Advanced standing students begin in the summer term with a course in Communication and Technology for Social Work Practice (SOCW 670), and then move directly into the Specialization year, a year of full-time study (15 credit hours per semester), plus a 20 hour per week field practicum.
The Department of Social Work partners with George Mason's nationally recognized School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (S-CAR) on a three-year dual degree program. Students can earn both an MSW in Clinical Practice or Social Change and a Master of Science in Conflict Analysis & Resolution while taking advantage of the diversity of the D.C. metropolitan area and the university's proximity to the nation's capital.
The degree programs in social work and conflict analysis and resolution complement each other. S-CAR's strong emphasis on theory is an excellent supplement to the grounding in theory provided through the social work curriculum. Social work's strong practice orientation supplement the skill-building provided through S-CAR.
The MSW degree is comprehensive, versatile, and well-recognized in the labor market. It encompasses direct service with many different population groups in a wide range of settings, as well as policy analysis and advocacy, community practice, research, and organizational leadership. The degree in conflict analysis and resolution is more focused, demonstrating a highly specialized set of knowledge and skills. The combination provides students with the best of both worlds.
This certificate combines theoretical and applied course work in aging with the student's graduate curriculum in any department of the university. The program is for current graduate students seeking additional knowledge and skills for working with older adults and professionals needing additional training in the area of gerontology.