MSW Social Work

We See Your Future in Social Work
Elevate your career through an accredited Master of Social Work program focused on your commitment to promoting social and economic justice and human rights.
Norfolk State UniversityMaster of Social Work

As a social worker, you can make key differences in the lives of individuals, families and communities dealing with complex life challenges such as addiction, child abuse, chronic illness, discrimination, homelessness, legal issues and mental illness.

Working in the social work profession means you are willing to negotiate, mediate and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies. You are committed to advocate for every person regardless of position in society and understand everyone has fundamental human rights such as freedom, safety, privacy, adequate standard of living, health care and education.

The Master of Social Work program at Norfolk State University will equip you to understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards, as well as relevant laws and regulations that may impact practice at the individual, family and community levels. Our MSW degree is designed to prepare you for practice through a solid foundation of core and concentration courses. 

MSW Social Work Degree at a Glance

  • Length of Program: 2 Academic Years, Advance Standing (BSWs only 1 year), and Extended Program (complete in 3 Years)
  • Formats Offered: In Person
  • Minimum Total Credit Hours: 60

View MSW Social Work plans of study  | Request more information  | Apply now 

Why Study MSW Social Work at NSU? 

Norfolk State University’s Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work  has a robust history devoted to developing social workers who are advocates, practitioners and change agents. In fact, the MSW Social Work was the first master’s degree offered at NSU.

Here, you will pursue a Master of Social Work degree within a highly personal and supportive environment. You also will strengthen your professional credentials as a social worker through experiences inside and beyond the classroom.

  • Field Education practicum: Apply your social work knowledge, values, and skills in a practice setting through this MSW Social Work program requirement. Choose from more than 100 public and private agencies and armed forces bases in the Hampton Roads area. Agency placements include gerontology, child welfare, criminal justice, family services, planning councils, physical rehabilitation, schools, shelters and substance abuse.
  • Professional enhancement: Develop your professional image by engaging in opportunities to co-author articles, conduct research and present at regional and national conferences.
  • Engaging faculty. Connect and collaborate with professors who are experts in a variety of social work areas including advocacy, child protection, mental health, gerontology, veterans, school social work, grief and loss, policy and forensic social work.

Specialist training. Prepare to succeed in this challenging and rewarding career through our Master of Social Work program. Since our accreditation in 1975, NSU students have received specialized training in child welfare, mental health and health care.

What Courses Will I Take as an MSW Social Work Student?

You will develop comprehensive knowledge in your four semesters of study in our MSW Social Work program, focused on a social, ecological and systems perspectives.

The degree requires completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours generally distributed throughout five sequences: Social Work Practice Methods, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy, Research Methods and Field Practicum.

Your MSW courses at Norfolk State University include

  • Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • Social Work With Individuals
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Oppression
  • School Law
  • Military Policy and Services
  • Trauma-informed Clinical Practice

View the full MSW Social Work degree curriculum.

Where Will My MSW Social Work Take Me? 

As a social worker, you can find employment in a variety of settings, such as mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, private practices, administration, as well as child welfare and human service agencies. Earning your MSW Social Work degree at NSU will help you to stand out in your career.

Career outlook for MSW Social Work graduates

  • Child and family social worker
  • School social worker
  • Behavior analyst
  • Health care social worker
  • Mental health social worker
  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Public health administrator
  • Community health administrator
  • Policy analyst


How Do I Get Started in the MSW Social Work Program at NSU?

From submitting your application and undergraduate transcript, to connecting you to financial aid opportunities that are right for you, the Norfolk State University School of Graduate Studies is ready to guide you through each step of the process of joining our MSW program and elevating your career as a social worker. Learn more about the requirements for the MSW Social Work program.

Student studying“The Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work MSW program encompassed supportive faculty and staff that truly empowered me to be a better social worker. The Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work MSW program prepared me to be a change agent while simultaneously providing mentoring. Simply, put this program cares about the well-being and academic success of students.”

— Bryant Jenkins 2022 graduate
    MSW Student of the year 

Degree Programs Related to MSW Social Work

Accreditation for the NSU Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work

The School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which accredits programs at the BSW and MSW levels. CSWE is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.