Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the focus of the social work program?

A: The program is designed to prepare professionals for advanced clinical social work practice in agency-based settings. The focus is clinical social work practice with diverse client groups. The program is not appropriate for those primarily interested in policy, administrative, or research social work positions.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?

A: There are four options. Full-time students complete the 63-credit program in two years (four semesters). Part-time students can complete the program over a three year period (eight semesters). An 39-credit Advanced Standing program is available for qualified applicants who have received their BSW from an accredited program within six years of matriculation into our program.

Full-time advanced standing students complete their degree in one full year (three semesters) and part time advanced standing students in two years (five semesters).

Q: When and where are courses scheduled?

A: Most Main Campus courses are held on the Main Campus on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Some course offerings are also available on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays. Weekday courses are offered during the day and in the evening. 
Part-time students can usually complete the program by taking late afternoon, evening and/or Saturday courses. First year students are typically in agency field placements on Mondays and Tuesdays. Second year students are typically in field placements on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

Q: What are the requirements for field placement?

A: Students are required to have two years (four semesters) of field instruction in agency field placements. The first year of field instruction (two semesters) is two days a week. The second year of field instruction (two semesters) is three days a week. Advanced standing students do only the second year of field instruction.

Q:How are field placement assignments determined?

A: Every possible effort is made to have students placed in agencies and with client populations of their choice. In cooperation with the Director or Assistant Director of Field Instruction, students will go through an individual planning process in which experience, interest, and preferences are considered.

Q:Is it possible to have a placement in a student's place of employment?

A: Yes, as long as the organization is appropriate for social work field placements and as long as the student's placement responsibilities are different from their normal job responsibilities. The student must be supervised by a MSW field instructor with at least two years practice experience. The plan must be worked on collaboratively with the field department.

How many credits can be transferred into the program?

A: Students may transfer a maximum of 27 semester hours of graduate credit from masters of social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. A maximum of nine semester hours may be transferred for courses completed in disciplines related to social work.

Is the program accredited?

A: The Council on Social Work Education accredits baccalaureate and master's social work programs. The BSW and MSW programs at Widener are fully accredited by CSWE. 

Can I begin in January?

A: No.

When does the Advanced Standing Program begin?

A: Students in the Advanced Standing Program begin their coursework in the summer session (mid-May).