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Master's Program

MSW Degree

Learn about our School and Chapel Hill from the students' perspective. Visit our Student Ambassador blog!

The MSW program offers courses and field work that enable students to think critically about the social and economical challenges facing at-risk children, adults and the elderly. Students are equipped with the personal and technical skills to serve society’s neediest members but are grounded in the research necessary to solve some of their greatest problems.

The program is designed to prepare students for direct agency-based practice, management of nonprofit and public agencies, direct community practice, policy practice, advocacy and leadership positions in the social work profession. 

The School does not award academic credit for life experience or previous employment experience. Similarly, the School does not accept life experience or previous employment as a replacement for academic courses or field practica.


MSW Curriculum


Program Options

Full time: The full-time program is located in Chapel Hill. Full-time students complete the 62 credit hours required for the MSW degree over two years. The generalist curriculum includes 29 credit hours. The advanced curriculum includes 33 credit hours taken in the student's chosen concentration. Curriculum chart

Students with BSW degrees: Students who have graduated from accredited BSW programs may apply for Advanced Standing. Those accepted into this program attain the MSW degree by taking a total of 40 hours in the School of Social Work at UNC-Chapel Hill over the course of one calendar year for full-time students.

3-year MSW Programs

The School of Social Work offers a variety of ways to advance your education because we know that for many individuals and families, the typical  academic path is not always a good fit.

Our 3-year programs, however, offer new possibilities. The programs target second-career students, employees in human services, and those unable to engage in full-time study for two years. Students complete 62 credit hours over three years.

The School operates programs at the following sites: