Home - Graduate - Programs - Social Work, MSW

Master of Social Work

Main content

Transform lives with compassionate social work.

The Master of Social Work program at Roberts provides a specialized focus through two concentrations: Mental Health and Child/Family Services. Students engage with expert faculty through a stimulating curriculum that provokes critical thinking, integrates a bio-psycho-social-spiritual-cultural perspective, and encourages self-awareness. Courses are offered in a 15-week synchronous online semester format in late afternoons and evenings to accommodate for the needs of adult learners. Students have the flexibility to complete the program part-time or full-time.

Connect With Us

Do you need questions about the program and the admissions process answered? Reach out via email at age-admissions@roberts.edu or schedule an appointment with our Adult & Graduate Enrollment Representative.

Start Terms

  • August 26, 2024
    Online only
  • January 6, 2025
    Online only
  • May 14, 2025
    Online only

Get More Info

Get More Info by clicking below to request details on our program admissions, curriculum, tuition, and more.


Program Details

15-week semesters

24 (full-time) to 48 (part-time) months for the Standard Program
11 (full-time) to 22 (part-time) months for the Advanced Standing Program*

Under 20 students

60 credits for the Standard Program
38 credits for the Advanced Standing Program

Online Synchronous (more details here)

*Advanced Standing is an accelerated program for students with a Bachelor of Social Work degree earned within the past five years

Career Outlook

Social work is a rewarding career for those dedicated to helping and improving the lives of others. They are able to meet people where they are - emotionally, socially, physically - and view a person in their whole environment. Social workers not only work with individuals and families; they also recognize and work with the broader systems in which they are involved. In addition to clinical settings, social workers are also employed for positions in government, research, community organization, policy advocacy, and social change.

The MSW program at Roberts Wesleyan University provides students with enriched classroom experiences, hands-on field work opportunities, and stimulating faculty mentorships to prepare them for success in future social work careers. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau Statistics highlights that clinical social workers can diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues and notes that employment in social work is expected to increase by nearly 13 percent from 2019 to 2029.

Students who complete the MSW program from Roberts Wesleyan University can expect to work in careers including:


  • School Social Worker
  • Addictions Therapists
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Medical Social  Worker
  • Child Welfare Worker
  • Child and Family Therapist
  • Medicaid Service Coordinator
  • Palliative & Hospice Care Worker
  • Veteran & Military Social Worker
  • Foster Care and Adoptions Services Social Worker
  • Crisis Counselor
  • Gerontology Social Worker


  • Hospitals and Healthcare Systems
  • Child and Family Agencies
  • School Districts
  • Mental Health Clinics
  • Nursing Homes
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
  • Veteran Affairs
  • National Associations

Sources cited: Social Workers : Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2020, September 16). Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm

Why Choose MSW at Roberts?

  • Our MSW Program has a solid track record of graduating strong clinical social workers in two areas of specialization: Mental Health and Child and Family Services.
  • Our passing rates for the licensing exams consistently exceed New York State and National averages.  
    • Our average passing rate from 2012-2020 for the LMSW exam is 84% compared to the NYS average of 78% and the National rate of 80%.
    • Our average passing rate from 2012-2020 for the LCSW exam is 86% compared to the NYS average of 78% and the National rate of 76%.
  • In both areas of specialization, students acquire a strong theoretical foundation and solid clinical skills to engage in assessment, intervention, and evaluation with diverse clients and constituents.
  • We also take pride in offering an interactive group work class to students in both specializations.

  • We were the first Christian college in the nation to gain CSWE accreditation for an MSW Program.
  • We welcome students from all backgrounds to prepare you for social work practice with individuals from diverse faith, religious, and spiritual traditions. 
  • All students take Spirituality and Religion in Social Work Practice course. In addition, students with a Christian faith commitment can explore their faith more deeply through the Integration of Social Work and Christian Theology course. Alternatively, students can take the Justice, Values, and Ethics course that is grounded in Judeo-Christian values.
  • Students have completed faith-based field placements at many locations including the following:
    • P.A.T.H. (People Against Trafficking Humans)
    • Agape Counseling Associates
    • The Salvation Army
    • Open Door Mission
    • Churches and other faith-based institutions
  • Some of our students have pursued a dual degree in MSW and the Northeastern Seminary focusing on social justice.

  • Even though we take pride in being a strong clinical social work program, we also mentor and nurture students whose career interests focus more on community and macro level social work.
  • These interests can be pursued through some of our required courses, but also through independent study options for electives and specialized field placements. 
    • Racial Justice and Community Action
    • Macro Social Work Practice
    • Fundraising and Grant Writing for Social Work Practice
    • Environmental Social Work
    • Administration and Leadership in Not-for-Profit Organizations
    • Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association
    • The HAY Institute/Association for Suicidology, Washington, DC
    • Community Hygiene Bank
    • Examples of independent study and elective courses created to meet students’ interests include:
    • Examples of macro-level field placements include the following:

  • We are one of the few MSW programs in the nation to offer elective courses on Environmental Social Work and Nature-Based Interventions.
  • The Environmental Social Work course equips students with an understanding of historical roots, theories, as well as religious and spiritual perspectives related to environmental social work and environmental justice. Students learn how to engage in environmental social work and promote environmental justice at the micro, mezzo, and macro level with diverse populations. Some of the special topics covered in this course include climate change, environmental conditions, food, interaction with animals, economy and consumption, and the impact of the natural environment on mental and physical health as well as child and youth development.
  • The Nature-Based Interventions course introduces students to a wide range of nature-based interventions relevant for social work, such as ecotherapy, walk and talk therapy, animal-assisted interventions, wilderness and adventure therapy, horticultural therapy, nature-based play therapy, and nature-based mindfulness interventions that can be used with clients from diverse backgrounds to improve holistic well-being.

  • We do not require a research thesis for our students, but we have a good track record of mentoring and nurturing students who are interested in pursuing careers in social work research and higher education.
  • In addition to required research courses, students can engage in independent studies with faculty mentors to pursue their research interests. 
  • Our students have presented at numerous national conferences, particularly the North American Association of Christians in Social Work annual conference. 
  • Several additional funding opportunities are available to support student research including the Berry Foundation and fellowships through Rochester Regional Health.

  • We value service and engagement locally, nationally, and globally, and throughout the years have offered students multiple opportunities to be part of these endeavors. 
    • Examples of local engagement include the following:
      • MSW students have fulfilled the role of host for individuals experiencing homelessness while attending Project Homeless Connect, an annual event where multiple agencies and organizations in the greater Rochester area gather to provide services addressing the needs of the homeless population at one location
      • MSW students organized and conducted a donation drive for hygiene supplies for guests at Project Homeless Connect and collected enough to donate over 200 hygiene bags
      • MSW students participate in an annual Erie Canal Clean Sweep each spring to improve the environment while learning about issues surrounding environmental justice
      • MSW students completed a food drive and donated over 16 full Thanksgiving dinners to Dimitri House, a non-profit organization that offers food and shelter to individuals facing homelessness in Rochester, NY
    • Examples of national engagement include the following:
      • Trips to Albany, NY and Washington DC to lobby for policy changes
      • Student activism and advocacy through participation in various protests against injustice
      • Faculty led a crisis team in NYC to provide mental health and case management services after 9/11
      • Students can apply for Phi Alpha National Honor Society, where one requirement is to engage in humanitarian volunteer service with a focus on promoting social justice
    • Examples of global engagement include the following:
      • Cross-cultural trips to a number of countries, including China, Estonia, Israel, Jamaica, Romania, and South Korea
      • The creation of an elective course, Human Rights and Social Work Practice in Global Context to compare interventions for the refugee population between USA and Canada
      • Some of our faculty have international experiences and have presented their work at international social work conferences
      • International field placements are an option for interested students that meet qualifications

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a strong desire to help others and make a difference in the world, then an MSW degree may be the right choice for you! Master level social workers are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, child welfare agencies, nursing homes, mental health clinics, schools, government, and human services agencies. MSWs are trained as clinical social workers and are able to diagnose and treat mental illnesses.

An MA in Social Work does not lead to a path of licensure in New York State. In order to obtain licensure as a social worker in New York State, an MSW degree is required. This degree must be earned from a graduate school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In addition, successfully passing a national licensing exam is necessary to obtain status as a Licensed Master Social Worker. (LMSW). In order to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), the earned MSW degree must include clinical courses. It is also required that LCSWs have three years of post-degree supervised experience in clinical social work and pass the clinical licensing examination. The MSW program at Roberts Wesleyan University is accredited by CSWE, provides the clinical courses required for the LCSW, and offers a review course for MSW students to prepare for the LMSW exam.

Do you need a bachelors in social work to get a masters in social work? You do not need a bachelors in social work to enter an MSW program. Many MSW students have a bachelor's degree in a field related to social work such as psychology or human services, although this is not necessary. MSW students come from a range of different backgrounds and have a variety of undergraduate degrees. However, students that have a bachelor's degree in social work can typically complete the program in a much shorter duration as an advanced standing student.

Alumni Making A Difference

Alexandria Monti, MSW

Addiction Therapist, Rochester Regional Health

"My internship at PROS helped me to gain confidence and pushed me to challenge myself. I learned how to do both group and individual therapy, which is what I do in the field today."

Matthew Matteson, LMSW

Behavioral Therapist, Community Howard Regional Health

Crystalyn Morgan

Independent Living Coach, Intercept Youth Services

Amy Smith, LMSW

Founder and Program Manager, Freelancing Hope

Tayler Kelly

Inpatient Psychiatric Social Worker, Mayo Clinic

Hillary Bartoszek

Hillary Bartoszek, LMSW

Family Developer, Action for a Better Community, Inc.

Related Majors

Psy.D. Clinical/School Psychology - Earn your Doctorate in Psychology at Roberts. We prepare YOU to become an effective psychologist who can deliver evidence-based psychological services in a variety of settings.
School Psychology, M.S. - Our Masters in School Psychology program prepares students to evaluate, diagnose, and treat children and adolescents, in consultation with parents and teachers.
Adult and Graduate Admissions - 585.594.6600 | 800.777.4792 (toll free) - AGE-Admissions@roberts.edu