MSW, Social Work

CHHS  >  Social Work  >  Graduate

George Mason's accredited Master’s in Social Work (MSW) program, which began in the fall of 2002, prepares students for advanced social work practice. Our MSW program provides students with an initial Generalist year, followed by a year of Specialized study.

The Generalist year includes courses in human behavior; direct practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; professional writing and program design ; social work research; and social policies and services.

In the Specialization year, students choose to focus on Clinical Practice (including interventions at the individual, family, group, and community levels) or Social Change (including community practice, organizational leadership, and policy practice). Students gain an understanding of issues including child welfare, juvenile justice, trauma and recovery, mental health, substance abuse, disabilities, health, long-term care, and diversity. An important component of the program for all students is the supervised field experience, which provides 1,050 hours in sites/agencies appropriate to each student's strengths and learning goals.

Students have the option of enrolling under a two-year, three-year, or four-year plan. Those who have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program may qualify for the Advanced Standing program.


Our mission is promoting human well-being by ensuring economic and social justice, as well as human rights for all. We work to meet these goals:

  1. By providing an academically rigorous education that develops social work leaders and practitioners who engage in critical thinking. We seek to develop effective social work leaders, scholars and practitioners who both challenge injustice and institute interventions grounded in theory and science. With a campus located in an area of enormous cultural plurality, we seek to train leaders, practitioners and scholars equipped to serve diverse populations.
  2. Conducting applied social science research that aims to solve personal and social problems, and investigates systemic inequities in power and unequal access to resources. We seek to identify and develop effective interventions based on scientific theory.
  3. Engaging in public service that cultivates community partnerships, enhances capacity, and provides technical expertise to human service organizations caring for diverse local, national and global communities.

We build upon a foundation of generalist social work knowledge and skills that emphasizes empowerment, inclusion, and systems transformation.

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MSW@Mason is where MSW students, faculty, and professionals in the field from George Mason University can stay connected, supporting each other's career paths, and creating a community of networking, advocacy, and collaboration.