MSW Overview

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Pitt’s MSW degree offerings include Specializations in Direct Practice or Community, Organization, and Social Action (COSA). Certificates in mental health; children, youth, and families; gerontology; home and school visitor; integrated healthcare; and human services administration are also available. In addition, students who have earned a BASW degree within 7 years from an accredited CSWE institution will be considered for advanced-standing status.

Apply to the School of Social Work MSW Program

Full-Time Enrollment

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 MSW Program defines full-time enrollment status as registration for 12 to 15 credits in the fall and spring terms of each academic year for the purpose of scholarship assistance.

Part-Time Enrollment

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. 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 per 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) OR
  • One course (three credits) plus a minimum of three field credits OR
  • 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. Those granted advanced standing during the admission process can receive up to 15 academic credits and six field education credits. Students who enter the MSW Program with full advanced standing can complete their program with a minimum of 39 credits, with full-time enrollment options for both 12-month (fall, spring, summer) and 16-month (fall, spring, fall) options. 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.

Pitt students enjoy free access to public bus and light rail transportation in the Pittsburgh area. Affordable housing is minutes away and along most bus routes. Pitt is proud to be a part of Places Rated Almanac's “#1 Most Livable City in the United States.”

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