Master of Social Work
Join the next generation of leaders for social change.
Fairfield University’s low-residency Master of Social Work (MSW) program is designed as a clinical specialist program and prepares students to become leaders for social change. Our commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression, intersectionality and justice is at the core of the curriculum and fieldwork. We prepare highly competent professionals with specialized knowledge and skills in the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of emotional, mental, and behavioral health problems.
Clinical social workers provide services in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, community mental health, primary care, and agencies. Benefit from our low-residency model that fosters enriching learning experiences through online courses and on-campus residencies, promoting a convenient and collaborative learning experience with faculty and peers.
The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE).
Completion Time: 9 – 48 months
Schedule: Full-time | Part-time
Start Dates: Fall (September) | Spring (January) | Summer (May)
Develop practical skills for clinical social work in diverse settings.
Focus on Social Justice
We offer the flexibility to customize the curriculum to meet your unique professional goals and expand your career choices. Our clinical-focused curriculum, extensive field experiences, and concentration option empower you to choose your path and receive unrivaled support to make a difference in people’s lives.
Our MSW curriculum is offered in a low-residency format with online courses and two required on-campus visits and one optional visit a term. The residencies are designed to refine your clinical mental health skills and foster direct interaction with faculty and peers.
Learn more about the Master of Social Work. Take the next step
- Develop Clinical Expertise: Gain specialized skills and knowledge in behavioral health assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation through a clinical curriculum. Master specialized knowledge and techniques tailored to today’s healthcare landscape.
- Focus on Social Justice: Immerse yourself in a social justice-focused curriculum and fieldwork, promoting change for individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Gain the skills to advocate for vulnerable populations and be an agent of change at all levels.
- Gain Hands-on Clinical Skills: Complete a high-quality field experience with one of our community partner placement sites for diverse and enriching learning opportunities. Gain invaluable clinical experience while you earn your degree, preparing you for your career in social work.
Two Options Based on Your Background
Students in both the two-year and advanced standing programs move through the program as a cohort.
- Two-Year: The Master of Social Work is a 60-credit program with 900 hours of field experience and can be completed full-time in two years or part-time in three to four years.
- Advanced Standing: Graduates of accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs are eligible for advanced standing, enabling them to complete a 30-credit curriculum and field experience full time in three semesters, including 650 hours of field experience. Courses begin in the summer.
Turn your passion into a rewarding profession with a master’s degree in social work.
Benefit from unwavering support throughout the program. Our faculty personalize your journey, fostering your passions and coaching you every step of the way. Engage in an apprenticeship model, actively demonstrating and practicing skills alongside peers. Tailored field placements align with your career aspirations, ensuring valuable real-world experience.
Fairfield's MSW program was awarded initial accreditation through 2029 by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Commission found that the program was in full compliance with all accreditation standards and educational policies and granted accreditation for eight years. All students admitted to the two-year or advanced standing program will graduate from a fully vested CSWE-accredited program.
News & Career Resources
“My clinical skills classes were instrumental in increasing my confidence in clinical work with clients. I also benefited from gaining a deeper understanding of intersectionality and the multitude of forces that may be impacting my clients' lives at any given time.”
– Emily Carveth, MSW '22
Faculty & Academic Approach
Our supportive faculty are licensed clinical social workers nationally and internationally recognized for their significant contributions to the field through published works, research presentations, and service on numerous professional, state, and national committees. They provide personalized guidance and support throughout the entire program.
Suzanne, licensed since 2001 and certified as an Advanced Palliative and Hospice Social Worker (APHSW-C) since 2019, holds both a master's and a doctorate. Specializing in social work, she focuses on grief, bereavement, medical, and oncology. Additionally, a master trainer for ESPEC educates social workers on palliative and end-of-life care.
Julie Berrett-Abebe holds master's degrees in Social Work and Pastoral Ministry from Boston College (2004) and a PhD from Simmons University (2017). Specializing in oncology, hospice, and community-based care for older adults, she leads research on health equity and collaborative practice models, overseeing a $1.6 million BHWET HRSA Grant (2021-2025), FCHC Scholars.
A Ph.D. social worker specializing in gender transformative interventions for equity and violence reduction. In private practice, he addresses men's issues, promoting non-violence and gender equality. With a decade of teaching at Fairfield University, Jay educates on therapy, substance abuse treatment, social justice, and policy, advocating for intersectional social justice and healthy masculinity to combat violence.
Explore the School of Education and Human Development
Led by award-winning faculty, Fairfield University’s School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) offers a range of graduate degree programs and certificates for students pursuing roles in education and human services. Develop as a professional and serve your community as you gain hands-on experience and learn to integrate the most current research.
Discover your calling as a Clinical Social Worker. Earn your Master of Social Work.
Admissions & Aid
Assistance navigating your journey to a Master of Social Work.
From your first admissions conversation to graduation and beyond, you’ll find support at every turn. The Fairfield University student support network is dedicated to meeting your needs. You’ll receive personal, academic, and financial guidance as you complete your Master of Social Work.
$10,000 Fellowships Available
Apply for specialized internship training in integrated, team-based care through the Fairfield University Collaborates for a Healthier Connecticut (FCHC) Scholars Program. FCHC Scholars will each receive a stipend of $10,000. Learn more.
CT Health Horizons Scholarship
Students are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in tuition assistance from CT Health Horizons. Eligibility is need-based and determined upon acceptance. Learn more.
Applicants to the Master of Social Work program at Fairfield University must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. A GPA of 3.0 is preferred.
Priority Deadline: February 15
Final Deadline: April 15 (students may be considered after this deadline if space permits)
Priority Deadline for Fall admission: May 15
Final Deadline for Fall admission: August 1
Priority Deadline for Spring admission: November 15
Final Deadline for Spring admission: December 1
- A completed online application.
- A non-refundable $65 application fee paid by credit card. Application fee is waived for current Fairfield students and for those who attend an information session.
- A professional resume. Applicants are required to submit a current resume that includes employment and education history (submit online).
- A personal statement. Students should submit a 1–2-page statement describing why they want to undertake graduate studies in public health (submit online).
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended demonstrating a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service.
- Two recommendation forms and letters, one of which, preferably, from a current employer or supervisor. Recommendations are completed online. At the time of application, candidates must provide the email addresses and names of their two recommenders.
Want details on courses, schedules, and financial aid? We’re here to help.
Send us a few details and our admission team will follow up with more information.
The future you want starts here.
Earn an online graduate degree that fits your life and your goals. We’ll give you the flexibility and career skills you need to make it happen. Take the next step and learn more.