Social Work practice grounded in a social justice ethic.

Social Workers make a critical difference in the lives of individuals and communities. With a foundational emphasis on a philosophy of social justice, Governors State’s Master of Social Work (MSW) prepares advanced practitioners in Social Work to lead, implement, and support social action agendas. The work they do today will last well beyond the lifetimes of those they help, because every life, and every community, is interlocked with the lives and communities that surround them.

You’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need to empower ethnically, racially, and culturally diverse at-risk populations. And you’ll know how to build the community resources that lead to that empowerment. You’ll learn how to provide the best possible resources for individuals–but you’ll see the broader picture, too. Your understanding of social justice issues will allow you to recognize the role that social and economic structures play in repressing human agency.

Reach your career goals.

As a graduate student of the MSW program, you will focus your studies in one of two areas of specialization: social work practice with children, adolescents, and families; and school social work practice. These specializations are grounded in evidence-based and best practice in primary care settings and will prepare you to enter the field of social work enabled to empower individuals and communities.

Why get a Master’s Degree in Social Work?

Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. As an advanced practitioner of Social Work, you’ll be prepared to work collaboratively as a partner in “communities of resistance” and to advocate for change in oppressive institutional arrangements.

Social Work Accreditation

Social Work Accreditation

The MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.


The Council on Social Work Education
1725 Duke Street, Suite 500
Alexandria, VA 22314-3457
Phone: 703.683.8080
Fax: 703.683.8099
Email CSWE


Delivery Format

Achieve your Master of Social Work degree in as little as one year in our Advanced Standing MSW Program (32-credit hours). If you have not completed a CSWE accredited BSW Program you may complete the Full MSW Program in two years (60-credit hours).  Both of these programs are delivered in a flexible Full-Time or Part-Time delivery format.

MSW Fact Sheet


  • CHHS_MSW_Gerri Outlaw

    Dr. Gerri Outlaw, Department Chair of Social Work

    The MSW program prepares students for lifelong learning, civic engagement and reflective practice, grounded in a social justice ethic. Our faculty is committed to contextual and assertive academic advising, reaching out to affirm and congratulate students on their academic successes, mediating any academic difficulties they experience, and promoting opportunities for professional development and networking.

  • CHHS_MSW_Jerry Davis El

    Jerry Davis El, Mental Healthcare Professional Case Manager, CADC, MISA

    My journey began in GSU’s Social Work program. All of the faculty members here have played a part in my growth by helping me find my voice and providing me with the skills to effect real change. On campus, I’ve been involved as the president of the student organization Generating Hope—we have spoken on panels at conferences across the country, disseminating the importance of restorative justice, and this semester regarding HB3142 I will be presenting my research and testimony to the Illinois Congress.

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