- Clinical social worker or supervisor
- Medical social worker
- Trauma-informed therapist
- Substance abuse social worker
- Children and family services worker
- Adoption specialist
Widener offers master's of social work programs in person on our Chester, PA campus as well as 100% online. Graduates from an accredited BSW program may be eligible for our accelerated advanced standing MSW pathway.
Master's (MSW Degree)
In Person or 100% Online
1-3 years (full-time 2 years; part-time <4 years)
Widener's master's of social work can be completed 100% online or on campus as well as part-time or full-time—providing you with the flexibility to choose an option that best meets your needs. If you already earned a BSW degree from an accredited program, you may qualify to pursue our accelerated advanced standing MSW program.
Offered by Widener University's Center for Social Work Education, our CSWE-accredited MSW program is taught by active practitioners ready to share insider knowledge and experiences and follows a trauma-informed, clinical model that promotes a lens of social justice. Widener's community relationships can connect you to agencies, schools, and hospitals in the tri-state area and beyond.
Under direct supervision, you will prepare for advanced practice in social work in a variety of settings and graduate prepared as a clinical social worker and agent of social change.
Widener's Center for Social Work Education is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In our program, you'll apply theory and practical knowledge learned in the classroom in two field placement settings designed to master the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) core competencies.
Widener University's MSW degree program is offered both fully online and also in person on our Chester, PA campus located just outside of Philadelphia. Determine whether online or in-person is best for you
The on-campus master's of social work program can be completed part-time or full-time on Widener's Chester, PA campus. The program consists of core courses, advanced concentration courses, field placement, and elective courses—supporting you with a well-rounded foundation of the social work profession with the ability to customize based on your personal interests and professional goals.
View the academic catalog for curriculum and coursework requirements for the on-campus MSW program:
The online master's of social work program can be completed part-time or full-time 100% online granting you the flexibility to learn when and where is most convenient to you. The course catalog mirrors the on-campus program which will support you with a well-rounded foundation of the social work profession with the ability to customize based on your personal interests and professional goals.
View the academic catalog for curriculum and coursework requirements for the online MSW program:
If you have earned an undergraduate degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program within the last six years, you may be eligible to participate in Widener's Advanced Standing MSW option.
The Advanced Standing option can be completed on campus or online within as little as two years. View the academic catalog for curriculum and coursework requirements for the online MSW program:
Widener offers an MSW/PhD dual degree option for students who have a master’s degree in a related field and would like to earn their MSW and PhD degrees simultaneously.
Learn more about the social work PhD program
With a master of social work (MSW) and either a master of education (MEd) or doctor of philosophy (PhD) in human sexuality studies, you will complete unique training in the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to work with individuals and groups around the numerous sensitive issues in human sexuality.
The MSW portion of the dual degree can be completed on campus or 100% online. The human sexuality studies MEd or PhD can be completed hybrid—a combination of both online and on-campus coursework.
Learn more about our dual degree in MSW/MEd in Human Sexuality with the option to complete the MSW degree 100% online at your own convenience.
The mission of Widener’s master of social work program is to prepare culturally competent social workers who:
The department also strives to use self-reflection and critical thinking in creating purposeful interventions informed by theory and evidence through:
All Council on Social Work Education programs measure and report student learning outcomes. Students are assessed on their mastery of the competencies that comprise the accreditation standards of the Council on Social Work Education. These competencies are dimensions of social work practice that all social workers are expected to master during their professional training. A measurement benchmark is set by the social work programs for each competency. An assessment score at or above that benchmark is considered by the program to represent mastery of that particular competency.
All determinations are accurate as of August 25, 2021 and are reviewed annually.
As an MSW student, you have the ability to include advanced clinical seminars to your studies to further expand your skills and qualifications.
Through this advanced practice option, MSW students undergo training to work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Students work in an agency three days per week under the supervision of clinical social workers who work with people with developmental disabilities. The field internship is devoted to developing skills for therapeutic services. Faculty members provide a year-long seminar to students doing their internship while completing this advanced practice option.
This advanced practice option prepares MSW students with the knowledge and skills for work with people who have experienced the effects of trauma. Students receive instruction focused on supports and resources, special training regarding current theory and interventions for trauma victims, and effective strategies for dealing with vicarious traumatization.
Students work in an agency three days per week under the supervision of clinical social workers who work with individuals who have experienced trauma. This field internship is devoted to developing skills for therapeutic services. Faculty members provide a year-long seminar to students doing their internship while completing this advanced practice option.
Students interested in expanding their skills in trauma recovery also have the option to pursue a graduate certificate in practices in trauma recovery.
You will have an opportunity to learn to practice social work with aging populations through an advanced practice year internship. The field education office has field placements that focus on supporting and providing services for the geriatric population. These agencies provide community-based services to address issues related to: mental health, behavioral health, long term care, elder abuse, prisons, immigration services, faith-based services, and family support.
Widener's practices in trauma recovery graduate certificate will provide you with an opportunity to delve deeper into trauma informed theory and practice across a variety of settings. Through this specific training, you'll learn to be a positive force and support for the individuals and communities that need them most.
If you've completed your MSW degree or a master's degree in a related discipline, you may be interested in continuing your education by completing a PhD in social work at Widener. Through the program, you'll develop as an academic leader and sharpen your skills and expertise in research, teaching, and application of theory, in addition to cultivating leadership qualities and interpersonal skills to further your career
Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 9% by 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Average annual salary of a social worker with an MSW.
At Widener, you'll embrace a specialized client-first, trauma-informed education that will prepare you with the skills needed to provide care and compassion for clients from diverse cultural, social, and economic backgrounds and hold an unwavering belief in client strengths and client empowerment
You'll graduate as a trauma-informed social work professional prepared to effectively intervene using a trauma-informed lens and advocate for universal human rights. You'll be equipped with the understanding that trauma is often the preceding cause of mental health challenges, substance abuse, illness, inability to maintain employment, and other social-emotional issues as well as the skills to apply your knowledge to help individuals, families, and communities.
Both online and on-campus students will complete a field education requirement where you'll apply classroom learning with agency-based social work practice opportunities. This learning takes place under the direction and supervision of a trained field instructor who is employed by the agency and skilled in working with students.
In addition to your field education, Widener University operates Social Work Counseling Services (SWCS), which provides quality counseling services and resources to the local community through its three clinics—Community Outreach, Resources, and Engagement (CORE), Clinical Services for Vulnerable Adults (CSVA), and Widener Community Connections.
Here, Widener students can participate in internship experiences offering real-world generalist or clinical social worker experience in an agency setting.
Our Center for Social Work Education faculty whom work as practicing clinicians will be committed to your personal success and provide mentorship, feedback, and support to you during your studies and even after graduation.
In addition to fostering relationships with faculty mentors, you'll have opportunities to build relationships with driven classmates and accomplished alumni by attending events, joining discussions, and participating in various clubs and organizations, including the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW), Phi Alpha ΦΑ - National Social Work Honor Society, and more.
"I think what is transformative about Widener’s program is that it teaches you not just the theories and methods, but also how to apply them."
"“It has been a wonderful experience so far because of the support I received.”"
"Widener has stood up to its reviews -- it’s an exceptional school. The educational experience is priceless."
Our online MSW program was recognized for its affordable tuition, low student-to-teacher ratio, and high degree of flexibility.
Named a best college in Pennsylvania for social work
Ranked among the nation’s most affordable online MSW programs.
Our MSW was ranked one of the best master's in social work programs in 2022 based on flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation.
Ready to advance your career by taking a convenient yet impactful online program? This program is available fully online.
"I strive to create an engaging, dynamic, and responsive learning environment. By encouraging self-reflection and co-created learning spaces, I aim for students to finish the course with confidence in the material, a sense of leadership in their own learning, and an understanding of the link between their work and social justice."
"My approach to teaching is best described as embracing an existentialist and social reconstructivist perspective, emphasizing respect for what each student brings to the classroom and students’ responsibility for their own learning. In my teaching at Widener, these methods have resulted in positive outcomes as measured by student course evaluations and verbal feedback."
Widener's Social Work Master's (MSW) program celebrates its 30th anniversary.
In this podcast interview, Dr. Julie E. Wollman reflects on her service as president of Widener University since 2016.
Meet Gavin Poole and Kripaya Varghese, the undergraduate and graduate students nominated by their peers to deliver video messages to their fellow graduates ahead of the 2022 commencement celebrations.
Our admissions and financial aid teams are here to support you every step of the way. Have a question? Ask away!
Our admissions and financial aid teams are here to support you every step of the way. Have a question? Ask away!
If you are selected to interview for the program, we will contact you to arrange an appointment. Campus interviews are generally held on Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. and Fridays at 11:00 a.m. Special accommodations for phone interviews can be made if needed.
All application and deadline information for our online MSW, can be found on our online MSW application page.
Widener transfer applicants follow the same application process as general applicants. After you apply, our admissions team will work with you to determine whether completed undergraduate and graduate coursework will count towards foundation/core courses that can be waived or substituted.
Widener University's Center for Social Work Education accepts up to 9 credits from a non-MSW graduate program. If transferring from another MSW program, a credit evaluation will determine how many credits will be accepted.
Widener University serves as a "second home" for students from around the world. We are located just outside of Philadelphia and close to New York City and Washington, D.C.—offering many unique professional and personal opportunities to explore.
Want to know what it's like to be an international student on campus or need assistance navigating English proficiency requirements? We're here to help, and our international admissions director will support you through the application process. This support doesn't end with admissions—our International Student Support team will serve as a valuable resource throughout your Widener journey—meeting Visa/immigration requirements, getting acclimated to campus, and much more.
Because Widener is a private institution, we're able to offer financial assistance that brings our education within reach for individuals who might otherwise not be able to afford it.
You might be surprised how much we are able to offer.
Getting started is easy. Simply apply to Widener and submit your FAFSA to be automatically considered for scholarships and grants. "FAFSA" stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and helps identify whether you are eligible for aid awarded by Widener, the government, and other sources. Our school code is 003313.
In order to receive a financial aid offer, students must meet certain eligibility requirements. Here are the general eligibility requirements for most financial aid programs:
Learn more about applying for financial aid as a graduate student
Simply apply to Widener and complete the financial aid process to be automatically considered for scholarships and grants. Because Widener is a private institution, we are able to offer financial assistance that brings our education within reach for individuals who might otherwise not be able to afford it. You might be surprised at how much we are able to offer in assistance.
In order to receive your part of the financial aid pie, all you have to do is submit your FAFSA. "FAFSA" stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and helps identify whether you are eligible for aid awarded by Widener, the government, and other sources.
Widener offers a limited number of graduate assistantships to enrolled students. GAs receive tuition assistance for their work. Once you're a student, contact your program director for more information.
Widener University also partners with many local organizations and corporations to offer discounted tuition and other incentives to their employees. Don't see your company on the list? Ask them to become a partner. In addition, employers often offer educational reimbursement benefits. We encourage you to explore these opportunities and will be glad to provide any necessary documentation.
If you graduated with a degree from Widener, you may qualify for a 20% tuition discount. The first step to see what you qualify for is to submit your application. Widener offers students many paths to savings, and while we don't offer "double discounts", we'll make sure you'll get the biggest financial benefit you're eligible for. Only students who have completed an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree are eligible. Students who have pursued a 4+1, 4+2, or 3+3 pathway, graduate assistantship, Widener-funded scholarship, or other tuition discount may not be eligible if the financial discount granted surpasses 20%.
Tuition rates are subject to change. Official costs for your first year will be determined at time of enrollment.
To visit Widener is, often, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us.
We offer a variety of virtual events to get to know Widener and meet with faculty and admissions staff.
Have a question about Widener? Drop us a line and an admissions counselor will be in touch. We're always happy to help!
Visit our online application system to complete your app and share supplemental materials. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.
Hyatt Hall, Office #320