MSW Program at Baltimore (UMB)

Welcome to one of the top Council on Social Work Education-accredited social work programs in the country for those interested in studying clinical social work, human services management, and community organization.

Our competency-based 60-credit master’s degree is divided between 27 foundation credits and 33 advanced credits, where students can choose from a rich curriculum of advanced courses and become the leaders of tomorrow. We educate students to face the challenges of the future— whether it is helping adults and children struggling with emotional and adjustment issues, working side by side with community residents to improve their neighborhoods or guiding human service agencies to better serve the needs of their clients.

MSW Program Goals:

  • use a person-in-environment framework and a strengthsbased perspective that recognizes the multiple and intersecting causes of personal problems: psychological, biological, familial, organizational, community, political, economic, and social;
  • embrace social work’s fundamental mission to promote social, economic, racial, and environmental justice, which requires practice with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations and people of diverse backgrounds and needs within multiple systems, domestically and internationally;
  • practice competently—working across the spectrum of social work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and society—and build on this strong foundation to practice at an advanced level in a method of concentration (clinical or macro social work) and an area of specialization;
  • practice in a manner that reflects the values and principles underlying the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW);
  • critically assess, implement, and inform evidence-based and best practices in social work;
  • understand the critical influence of social policy on social work practice and engage in advocacy for socially just policies at all levels of society;
  • and pursue ongoing professional development to become highly skilled practitioners and the next generation of social work leaders.

In the advanced year, students have the choice between the Clinical concentration and the Macro concentration. It is also possible to have a primary and secondary concentration. In addition, students choose a specialization or field of practice that will focus on work in a particular area of study within the concentration.

These fields of practice are:  Aging  |  Behavioral Health  |  Community Action & Social Policy  |  Families and Children  |  Health

Subspecializations:  Child, Adolescent and Family Health Social Work in the Workplace & Employee Assistance

Sample Plans of Study for the Foundation Program

We also offer a one-year Advanced Standing program (36 credits) for students entering with a BSW from an accredited program. Students will typically take 30 credits during the fall and spring semesters and the remaining 6 credits in the summer after their enrollment. The Advanced Standing program may be extended to be completed in no more than two years.

Locations: The MSW program is offered in two locations, Baltimore and Shady Grove (USG - Montgomery County). The Baltimore program offers students the opportunity to complete any of the five fields of practice. At USG, the complete MSW degree program is offered for students interested in the Clinical Behavioral Health and the Clinical Families and Children areas of practice. Students in these specializations will develop assessment

Course Offerings  |  Important Program Notes  |  MSW Program at Shady Grove (USG)

Core Competencies:
Our CSWE-accredited program is also guided by the CSWE competencies that graduating MSW students are expected to acquire in a master’s program. These competencies detail the fundamental practice behaviors students develop and use in their new roles as professional social workers. The 9 core competencies as outlined by CSWE are as follows:

1–Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

2 –Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

3 –Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

4 - Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research- Informed Practice

5 –Engage in Policy Practice

6 –Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

7 –Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

8 –Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

9 –Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Field Practicum

The field practicum is the signature pedagogy of the MSW program. It is a required component of the Master’s curriculum, with specific professional competencies and practice behaviors that each student must demonstrate. The School utilizes a concurrent model of Field Education that requires students to take classroom methods courses while in field placement. There are two different field placements included in a student’s plan of study: first year Foundation and second year Advanced. These placements take place in social service agencies, departments, or other service delivery systems throughout the State of Maryland -- mostly in Baltimore City and Metro Washington DC regions. Field placements take place during traditional workday hours for the full academic year beginning in the fall and continuing through the spring semester.

University of Maryland School of Social Work students prepare for professional practice through the integration of theoretical, research, and practice-oriented material presented in the classroom, and the opportunity for guided practice experiences available through Field Education.

  • Foundation year field placements are two full days a week (usually either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays) for a total of sixteen (16) hours each week for a minimum of fifteen (15) weeks each semester (a minimum of four hundred and eighty [480] hours for the Foundation year). Each field practicum day must not exceed eight hours.
  • Foundation students participate in a field seminar throughout the first year of their practicum experience. The Field Seminar meets as small groups of students, facilitated by a seasoned seminar instructor; and includes an intentional cultural humility component, such that students are encouraged to consider, and critically reflect upon, implications of privilege and oppression in their placement experiences. Field Seminar also provides student opportunities to discuss their field experiences, and the application of theory in practice.
  • Advanced year field placements are three full days a week (usually Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) for a total of twenty-four (24) hours each week for a minimum of fifteen (15) weeks each semester (a minimum of seven hundred and twenty [720] hours for the advanced year). Each field practicum day must not exceed eight hours.
  • Advanced students may choose an extended field practicum option, which requires 16 hours per week from September through July. This option requires approval by the agency and the Office of Field Education. Students who choose this option do not complete the MSW until July. These students receive their diplomas in August as summer graduates.
  • Students working in a social service setting may consider an employment-based field placement option if their proposal meets strict criteria and is approved by the agency and the Office of Field Education.
  • Placements are generally within a (50) mile radius of the student’s home.
  • The foundation and advanced field placements take place in different settings. Additional, more detailed information about Field Education can also be found in the Field Education Manual
  • Additional, more detailed information about Field Education can also be found in the Field Education Manual located on our website: http://www.ssw. manual/

Students who have full-time jobs need to plan for release time from their regular work to participate in field practicum. All students must allocate time to complete field practicum requirements within the above noted days and hours.