Master's Degree in Social Work

The University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work, successor to the Division of Social Work in the Department of Sociology, was founded in September 1918 and accepted its first class of MSW students that year. We take pride in our history, while developing professional practice to meet future challenges. The MSW Program offers social work education for the 21st century, and is ranked #17 by US News & World Report in their 2019 rankings of graduate schools of social work. 

Please visit our MSW Admissions webpage for admissions-related information.


At the time of admission, students are required to designate a skill specialization. Students can choose to specialize in either Direct Practice with Individuals, Families, and Small Groups (Direct Practice) or Community, Organization, and Social Action (COSA).


The curriculum is designed to provide all master's students with the values, knowledge, and skills needed to gain competence in applying the social work perspective to practice.


Five certificate programs are available to Direct Practice students and one is available to COSA students.


The MSW curriculum is designed to provide students, who enter with a liberal arts perspective, a professional education that includes both breadth and depth of knowledge and skills development. 


Students can enter the MSW Program as full-time, part-time, or advanced standing students.

Dual/Joint/Cooperative Degrees

Some students seek to complement their social work education and training by earning a degree in another discipline or profession. Others wish to further their education within the field of social work. 

Other Campuses

Pitt Social Work offers part-time programs at the Bradford and Johnstown campuses.