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Master of Social Work FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

When are classes offered? Day-time courses are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Hybrid courses are offered on campus approximately two weekends a month on Fridays from 6-8:45 p.m. and Saturdays from 9-11:45 a.m. and 12-2:45 p.m. Asynchronous online instruction occurs on the alternative weeks. Field practicum hours are typically completed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during regular business hours. Some fully online classes are offered during the summer and occasionally during the fall and spring semesters.

When can I expect to hear from you about acceptance to the program? Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Once an application is completed, an applicant will typically hear from the department within two weeks to schedule an interview. After completion of the required interview, a final determination is usually made within two weeks.

Are there scholarships or fellowships available? Clarke University’s MSW program offers one $2,500 scholarship to a MSW student taking specialized-practice (2nd year) classes. Applicants accepted into the program by the priority application deadline are eligible to apply. The department also offers one graduate assistantship at Clarke Student Counseling Services. This field placement is open to specialized-practice students.

Is Clarke’s MSW program accredited through CSWE? Clarke University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program received accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education in March 2017.

Is there an orientation for the MSW program? Yes, there is a required half day orientation held in mid-May for summer start students and a one-day on-campus orientation in mid-August for all new students.

How many hours are involved in the field practicum? Field practicum is required for the MSW program. Students complete 410 hours in a field placement during their generalist year (1st year) and 500 hours in a field placement during their specialized-practice year.

How are field placements determined? Potential field placements are determined based on the student’s interest areas, previous experience, and availability with field partner agencies. Students interview for field practicum placements once they are accepted into the program and the agencies select students.

What are the job prospects for MSW graduates? There are a variety of career opportunities within the social work field, which include: mental health therapist or counselor, substance abuse prevention or treatment provider, hospice social worker, medical discharge planner, school social worker, homelessness outreach worker and case manager, international social worker, adoption worker, youth services provider, senior services provider, domestic violence advocate or therapist, researcher, etc. The possibilities are endless. Many people choose to pursue an MSW to provide clinical therapy services or to become directors of social service agencies. For more information on career opportunities visit: and

Can I work while pursuing my MSW? We highly discourage students from working full-time while pursuing a MSW full-time. Even part-time employment can be a challenge due to the program’s demands and rigorous expectations. The full-time track requires 16 credit hours (5 courses) per semester plus 205-250 hours in a field placement. Federal guidelines require an additional 3 hours of independent work for every credit hour enrolled. For a full-time student this is roughly 65-70 hours of class, field, and independent work per week.

For students who are working full- or part-time positions, we encourage the part-time options (day-time or hybrid pathways). Please note: field practicum hours are typically completed during regular business hours, regardless of pathway.

Can I apply if my undergraduate degree isn’t in social work, human services, or psychology? Yes, we encourage all interested candidates, regardless of undergraduate major, to apply to the traditional track program. Full-time students can complete the MSW program in 2 years.

When can I start the MSW program? Typically MSW students begin courses in the summer or fall semesters. Program start dates can be discussed upon application to the program.