Welcome to the Master of Social Work Program at Governors State University!
Advanced Standing MSW - 32 Credits
Full Program MSW - 60 Credits
Full-Time and Part-Time Options
In-Person Afternoon/Evening Classes
Full Program Requirements
We welcome you the Master
of Social Work Program at Governors State University (GSU)! We
are excited to have you be a part of the social work community and look forward
to supporting you in becoming a specialized social work professional. Our
program is deeply committed to preparing the next generation of practitioners
whose practice in schools and in agencies with children, adolescents,
adults, and families is grounded in a social justice ethos.
Students will be surrounded by a diverse student body and
diverse faculty. Our faculty are committed to social justice and their
expertise is expansive (e.g., medical/healthcare, criminal justice,
trauma-informed care, school social work, forensics, advocacy, research, and
more). Our coursework with field education (i.e., field placement) prepares
students to practice in various settings with diverse populations.
After completing our curriculum, students can conduct
multidimensional assessments, analyze the effects of sociocultural, economic,
and political influences on clients, advocate for and empower clients, and
engage in research-informed practice.
As the MSW Program Coordinator, I invite you to work
hard, ask questions, utilize resources, connect with peers and faculty, and
take advantage of learning opportunities both inside and outside of the
classroom (e.g., study abroad, public health brigades, campus events, research,
and student organizations).
All in all, if you are looking to empower and enhance the
wellbeing of individuals, groups, and communities and advocate for systems and
processes that support client progress, then you’ve come to the right place!
Campos-Moreira, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.Ed., LSW
Professor of Social Work
Advisor, G 117
The mission of the Master of
Social Work Program at Governors State University is to prepare students to practice with a
social justice ethos. Our social justice ethos is our guiding principle of challenging
barriers and promoting access to political, social, and economic freedoms and rights.
Students specialize in child and family practice and school social work practice.
Students demonstrate proficiency in social work knowledge, values, and skill-based
competencies to improve the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and
communities. Through policy and program development, students learn to promote and
advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging with client populations.
Why a MSW?
An MSW prepares students for a
career in an advanced specialized area of practice serving individuals, groups,
communities, and organizations. Students who graduate with an MSW can seek
clinical and leadership roles in a variety of public/private settings (e.g., advocacy
organizations, counseling centers, child welfare agencies (IDCFS), hospitals, private
practice, residential settings, schools, veteran administration systems, and
more). After earning a master’s degree in social work from our CSWE accredited
program and meeting additional state requirements, graduates can immediately
apply to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Illinois. To become a
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), 3,000 clock hours of post-MSW
supervision and a clinical exam are required (reference your state guidelines).
To learn more about the social work profession visit the National Association of Social Work
Social Work Department at GovState offers two programs:
The Advanced Standing MSW Program, which is comprised of 32 credit hours,
for students who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from
a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program. Students can achieve
their MSW degree in as little as one year (full-time). A two-year part-time
option is also available. Based on the chosen
practice specialization, students complete 16-20 hours of field education per
week in both the Fall and Spring semesters.
The Full MSW Program, which is comprised of 60 credit hours,
for students without a (BSW) degree from a CSWE accredited program. Students
complete their MSW degree in as little as two years (full-time). Athree-
or four-year part-time option is also available. Students complete field education at the generalist and specialized
levels, completing 14 hours weekly at the generalist level and 16-20 hours
weekly at the specialized level based on practice specialization. Each level
requires a Fall and Spring term of field education, totaling four semesters of
We offer the following specializations:
Social Work Practice (Professional
Educator License/PEL) and
and Family Practice* (with
the option of a subspecialty below)
- Licensed Child Welfare Practice
subspecialty (Illinois Child Welfare Employee License/CWEL)
*Students in the child and family
practice specialization also learn how to work with adults and upon graduation
can work with children, adolescents, adults, and families.
The MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The Council on Social Work Education
333 John Carlyle Street Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314-3457
Classes are held in-person on-campus and primarily offered in the afternoon/evening (e.g., starting at 4:30 pm). Field Education is completed off-campus within a social service setting in the community. Scheduled times vary by selected field education site, yet with our vast network of placement sites, most students schedule field hours that fit their class/employment schedules. Students can enroll as a full-time or part-time student.
Why Study Social Work at GSU?
- We are Fully Accredited by The Council on Social Work Education.
- Our Program is Grounded in a Social Justice Ethos.
- We offer Full-Time and Part-Time Enrollment in the Afternoon/Evening Hours.
- Our Class sizes are Small.
- We have a Diverse Student Body and Faculty Population.
- Our Tuition and Fees are among the Lowest in Illinois.
- We offer Great Student life Opportunities (study abroad, clubs, advocacy).
Click here to view a Master of Social Work Fact Sheet.
Please register for a MSW Virtual Information Session
Application Deadlines for all MSW Applicants
Fall 2024 ----------------Priority Consideration: December 15th, 2023.
Fall 2024-----------------Standard Deadline: March 1, 2024.
The Social Work program has a well-established history of student involvement in the community, at GSU, and in the Social Work Department, through service and leadership by developing and involvement in student organizations (e.g. The Gay Straight Alliance, Veterans Resource Center, International Student Organization, and Student Senate).
- Social Work students founded Generating Hope, a student organization grounded in the belief that education is a human right that should be accessible to everyone—a belief supported by data that shows higher education significantly decreases recidivism and transform the lives of those who have been formerly incarcerated.
- The Social Work Student Organization (SWSO) has been instrumental in coordinating an annual Social Work Advocacy Day in Springfield, and raising funds for global and domestic communities (e.g. Haiti, Flint, Michigan, etc.)
- The social work honor society Phi Alpha not only recognizes academic excellence but also has spearheaded community service projects.
- Under faculty leadership, social work students have the opportunity for study abroad and service-learning opportunities in locations such as Ghana, Inuab, South Argentine, Nicaragua and Panama.
MSW Program Outcomes:
- Prepare students for advanced specialized and multi-disciplinary practice at the individual, family, group, organizational, and community levels in schools and child and family settings.
- Apply the values and ethical standards of the profession to practice.
- Conduct multidimensional assessments of individuals, groups, organizations, and communities considering cultural, economic, political, and system factors.
- Apply theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate human development, behavior, and agency and interactions at all levels in Schools and Child and Family settings.
- Conduct, critically analyze, and utilize research to evaluate practice interventions and to improve practice and inform social policy.
- Apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice and personal wellbeing.
Click here to view the MSW Student Handbook.
Meet Our Faculty
Click here to view a list of our faculty members.
MSW Curriculum and Required Preparation
Click here to learn more about our curriculum and preparation requirements.
Click here to review our requirements.
MSW Mission Statement
Click here to read the MSW Mission Statement.
Jaguar Success Guide
Click here for a list of resources developed to foster your success.
MSW Fieldwork Information
Click here to view MSW Fieldwork Information.