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Master's of Social Work

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The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a type of master's degree in the field of social work which is received from a graduate school that has been approved by the Council on Social Work Education. The MSW requires two years of post graduate study, in combination with field experience. While some people get a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) before pursuing a Master's, most MSW programs accept applicants with undergraduate degrees in broad range of liberal arts degrees.

Most MSW programs allow students to choose a clinical track, which focuses on direct practice with clients, and a community practice track, with a focus on political advocacy, community organizing, policy analysis and/or human services management. As the majority of social work jobs are in direct practice, the clinical track tends to be more popular.

Though Master of Social Work is by far the most common degree title used by graduate social work schools in the United States, it is not universal. For example, Columbia University School of Social Work offers an M.S. degree in social work, and the School of Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago confers an A.M. degree.

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