Master of Social Work

Three woman in graduation outfits

Earn Your Master of Social Work

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University is ranked among the top four percent of schools of social work in the nation—and #1 in Ohio—by U.S. News & World Report.1 We’ve been a leader in creating a more just world since 1915, and we foster effective Change Leaders at every level.

Join the Mandel School and be surrounded by people who share your commitment for a more inclusive world. Our master’s in social work program will help you build the knowledge and expertise you need to transform your passion into professional action.

Three Formats, Boundless Possibilities

graduates laughing

Why the Mandel School?

Historic. Distinctive. Grounded in authentic community engagement. The Mandel School is among America’s first professional university-affiliated schools of social work, founded by and for the Greater Cleveland community. Our signature Master of Science in Social Administration degree program set the standard for social work education and research and emphasized educating the leaders of tomorrow—now our Master of Social Work program is doing the same. 

Since 1915, our scope, national and global impact has widened but our mission has stayed the same: advancing individual and community well-being, pursuing economic and social justice and protecting and empowering our most vulnerable neighbors.

Our commitment to accessibility and inclusive excellence drives our decision to offer our top-ranked MSW program in three formats that meet you where you are and help you turn your passion for social change into tangible skills and a fulfilling career.

Three prospective students standing in front of table talking with a professor

Master of Social Work Admissions

We maintain the same admissions standards across all three of our program formats. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.7 or higher.

We are committed to increasing access to our top-ranked master’s in social work program. The GRE is not required, and there is no application fee. Learn more about the admissions process for the format of your choice:

Master of Social Work Curriculum

39–60 Credit Hours | Advanced Standing Available

Our curriculum is the first competency-based curriculum approved by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). It combines research, theory and field education to prepare you for clinical and macro-level practice. We created the Ability Based Learning Environment (ABLE), a set of  standards for social work education, and our program emphasizes proficiency in the eight Abilities. You will learn how to:

  • Identify as a reflective professional social worker
  • Advocate for social, economic and environmental justice
  • Apply social work practice methods
  • Uphold social work values and ethics
  • Integrate cultural, economic and global diversity in your work
  • Think critically about theory and research knowledge
  • Communicate effectively
  • Develop as a social work leader

The Master of Social Work curriculum fulfills the educational requirements for licensure in all 50 states.

Learn more about the curriculum for the format of your choice:

A Concentration for Every Change Leader

We offer advanced elective coursework on a range of topics to prepare our students for a diverse range of social work careers.









Children, Youth & Families




Community Practice for Social Change








Individualized Path of Study




Mental Health with Children and Adolescents




Mental Health with Adults




School Social Work




Substance Use Disorders & Recovery




Dual Degrees








Social Work Careers

Earning a graduate degree in social work opens the door to diverse career opportunities. In general, employment of social workers is projected to grow 11% by 2028, much faster than the average for all other occupations.Graduates of the Mandel School are eminently prepared to effect social change at all levels of society. Our alumni are employed by schools, hospitals, governments, nonprofits and NGOs, financial service companies and micro-lenders, and even professional sports teams. With a master’s in social work or nonprofit organizations, there are many career options you can pursue, including the following:

  • Executive Director of a Nonprofit Organization
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • Community Organizer
  • Mental Health or Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Policy Analyst
  • Social Science Researcher

See what other careers you can pursue with a degree in social work

What Drives You to Create Change?

We want to know—and then we want to help you do it. Explore our on-campus program, our online program and our weekend format program today.

1. U.S. News & World Report. Best Schools for Social Work, ranked in 2019. Accessed 29 May 2020.
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Social Workers. Accessed 29 May 2020.