Students who enter the MSW Program, and who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program, can complete all of their course and field education requirements in two years of full-time matriculation. The University of Pittsburgh defines full-time enrollment status as registration for 12 to 15 credits in the fall and spring terms of each academic year. The MSW program requires a minimum of 12 credits to receive scholarship assistance.
The school offers part-time study for persons seeking to earn the master's degree whose economic, occupational, or familial situation precludes their current enrollment on a full-time basis. Preference for admission to part-time study will be given to persons currently employed in social service positions or to persons whose social service careers were interrupted by family responsibilities. Others interested in social work as a career are, of course, welcome to apply and will be given full consideration.
To the extent feasible, courses will be offered during evenings. However, part-time students must be prepared to take some courses during the day. Part-time students will have to make accommodations and be flexible in scheduling field instruction since field placement sites that offer evening or weekend instruction are very limited.
Part-time students will need to enroll in at least two courses a term during two of the three terms each academic year in order to qualify for the MSW degree. The following options are acceptable:
Two courses (three credits per course)
One course (three credits) plus a minimum of three field credits
A minimum of six field credits (equivalent to two courses)
Part-time students must complete all of the MSW degree requirements in four years.
Advanced Standing Enrollment
Students who, within the past seven academic calendar years, have received a social work degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program may be eligible for advanced standing. Effective for the fall 2021 admitted class those granted advanced standing during the admission process can receive up to 15 academic credits and six field education credits. Full-time students who have advanced standing can graduate in 12 months (fall, spring, summer) or 16 months (fall, spring, fall). Students who have advanced standing are allowed to pursue their MSW degree on a part-time basis, but must complete all of the requirements for the MSW degree in four years.
View the MSW Student Handbook (PDF) for Course of Study Examples.