Feb 06, 2023  
2022-2023 General Catalog 
2022-2023 General Catalog

Social Work, M.S.W.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

The MSW curriculum consists of 60 hours of graduate study, including field internship that can be completed in two calendar years of full-time study. The School offers full-time, part-time, online education, or advanced standing program options. Students with a Bachelor of Social Work may be eligible for the advanced standing program, which consists of 30-33 hours of graduate study including three required hours taken in the summer term. The first year of the program is structured to provide the knowledge, skills, and values required for all social work practice. This includes environment and field instruction. The advanced year provides instruction in advanced direct practice, advanced social policy, program evaluation, 12 hours of electives, and advanced field internship. The field education office places students in an internship in the Baton Rouge area or an agency near the student’s home that will provide a good educational experience in a supervised setting.

The LSU School of Social Work’s MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the only body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit social work education programs in the United States. Our MSW program meets CSWE’s curriculum and field education standards for the MSW degree. However, some states may have licensure requirements that differ from those standards. Applicants are strongly encouraged to refer to our MSW Program page and their state licensing board for more information about current licensure requirements. State licensing boards can be found by visiting the Association of Social Work Boards[DC1] [DC2] .

Field Education

Professional social work education has a strong tradition of interweaving theory and practice through a field internship program. In addition to classroom studies, students in the MSW program at LSU normally spend about 240 hours each semester or module in a social service agency. All placements are arranged by the field office within the school. The school has a large number of field placements in a wide variety of settings, including family and children’s services, hospitals, counseling centers, mental health agencies, community centers, legislative offices, and advocacy groups. The internship program allows students to develop their practice skills and to apply theory and knowledge in real-life settings.


The degree requires successful completion of sixty hours of credit at the graduate level, including field internship, Candidates for the MSW may complete a thesis in the semester or module they intend to graduate and must earn six hours of thesis credit. .

The curricular requirements include:

  • Successfully completing at least 60 hours at the graduate level with the exception of advanced standing students, who must complete at least 30-33 hours at the graduate level;
  • Successfully completing a minimum core requirement of 48 credit hours and 12 hours of elective credit;
  • Maintaining an overall grade point average of 3.00, with no grade less than “C” in any course offered for the degree. No more than six hours of credit received with a grade of “C” can be counted toward the MSW degree; and
  • Successfully defend the thesis if this option is selected.