Become a Change Agent at Ohio’s #1 Social Work School
At Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, we’re driven by our commitment to social change. Our on-campus master’s in social work program combines research, theory and hands-on practice to help students tackle today’s complex social challenges and emerge as leaders in the field.
Master’s in Social Work Program Overview
36 - 60 Credits | 12 - 20 Months | Full-Time and Part-Time Tracks
The Mandel School offers a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) degree for individuals seeking graduate education in social work. Our hallmark master’s in social work degree program emphasizes educating leaders in professional social work, and prepares students to enact social change at every level. It is recognized as an equivalent to a Master of Social Work (MSW) by employers, state licensing boards and other universities.
Applicants who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) are automatically considered for advanced standing status. The advanced standing track allows students to earn their master’s in social work in as little as one year.
Master’s in Social Work Paths of Study
We are committed to preparing our students for a diverse range of social work careers. Through specialized coursework, you can tailor your master’s in social work degree to fit your professional goals. We offer these paths of study to on-campus students.
- Aging: You’ll support individuals through later-life transitions and provide services in home health care agencies, assisted living communities and other settings. Learn about the Aging path of study.
- Children, Youth and Families: You’ll provide a range of services to individuals and families, including marital therapy, family counseling, parent education and child welfare. Learn about the Children, Youth and Families path of study.
- Community Practice for Social Change: You’ll promote social justice and advocate for marginalized and vulnerable populations. Learn about the Community Practice for Social Change path of study.
- Health: You’ll address health challenges holistically by preparing to work on teams of providers and understanding social determinants of individual, family and community health. Learn about the Health path of study.
- Mental Health: You’ll be an advocate for community-based mental health practices in a range of settings. Learn about the Mental Health path of study.
- School Social Work: You’ll identify at-risk students and work with them to overcome factors including emotional problems, discrimination and poor self-esteem. Learn about the School Social Work path of study.
- Substance Use Disorders and Recovery: You’ll work to diagnose substance use and dependence, and treat them using a range of treatment options. Learn about the Substance Use Disorders and Recovery path of study.
- Individualized Path of Study: Working closely with an advisor, you’ll create a social work curriculum that matches your goals. Learn more about the Individualized Path of Study.
The bridge between classroom and practice, field education provides a supportive, supervised opportunity for students to apply classroom knowledge to professional social work practice. During the master’s in social work program, you will complete 450 hours if you take the generalist practicum or 600 hours if you take the specialized practicum. Learn more about our unique approach to field education.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The Mandel School offers diverse short-term study abroad opportunities that supplement your master’s in social work curriculum by helping you understand how social welfare issues, policies and practices are approached across the world. Typically taken over winter and spring break, these trips—to Ecuador, Guatemala, India, the Netherlands and more—will open your eyes to new cultures and social work models that may inspire the rest of your time in the MSSA program. Learn more about the study abroad experiences we’re offering in 2020.
Student Life at the Mandel School
As an on-campus student in our master’s in social work program, you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities to enrich your learning and expand your network. You’ll have access to the Mandel School’s expert faculty and be immersed in the community and culture of Cleveland, Ohio.
- Join student groups to meet like-minded peers and get involved on campus
- Use career services—counseling, career fairs and more—to prepare for your social work career
- Attend events, including lectures and social gatherings, hosted by the Mandel School
Searching for a Different Program?
We offer the same rigorous MSSA degree in an intensive weekend format and an online format. If you think that one of these would better fit your lifestyle, you can explore the intensive weekend program or the online MSSA program.