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Social Work, Master

Social Work, Master

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
, KY,
Vulnerable populations and all people have unique personal, familial and systemic needs; therefore, social workers who assist them must be specially prepared to address those needs through a variety of roles at the micro, mezzo and macro levels by promoting human and community well-being.


The NKU MSW program prepares students as follows:

  • To be critical thinkers in the use of research knowledge and theory in developing and applying assessment, intervention and evaluation methods with clients and communities;
  • To demonstrate leadership and professional responsibility in the field; and
  • To advance social and economic justice.

In an atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork, social work graduate students develop the knowledge, values and skills to provide behavioral health care, community social work and leadership in the profession.

MSW students gain valuable professional experience working with experienced social work practitioners in a variety of field settings prior to graduation.  Students may also apply to participate in an international field experience. Field education is key to integrating and demonstrating knowledge, values and skills of the profession. With program oversight and approval, students are able to select their own placement sites.

Students are encouraged to enhance their professional networks through membership in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and participation in other social and economic justice endeavors at the community, national and international levels.


A graduate degree in social work (MSW) prepares students to effectively serve vulnerable populations and people across the lifespan. After completing all requirements, MSW graduates are eligible for licensure. The social work profession, via a MSW degree, is known for a wide variety of employment opportunities. While this list is not exhaustive, an example of employment opportunities are provided below.

  • Clinical work in mental health and behavioral health care
  • Forensic social work
  • Medical social work
  • Social Justice Initiatives and Policy Work
  • Gerontology


Our NKU Social Work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Programme Structure

Courses Included:
  • Ethics
  • Practice III: Children & Families
  • Multiculturalism
  • Practice IV: Groups
  • Social Work Practice I
  • Public Family Policy
  • Practice II: Communities & Organizations
  • Applied Research I
  • Addiction and Family Violence
  • Contemporary Social Welfare Policy
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Research I
  • Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Psychiatric Diagnoses

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3.5

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3.5 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

Individuals applying must meet all requirements for admission to graduate study at Northern Kentucky University as defined by the Graduate Catalog at the time of application in addition to the criteria below. The Standard MSW (also referred to as traditional or full MSW) is designed for individuals who do not hold a bachelor’s in social work (BSW) and wish to pursue an education and a career in social work. 

The Standard MSW is also for individuals who hold a BSW but do not meet the additional academic requirements of the Advanced Standing MSW. The Advanced Standing MSW is designed for individuals who have finished their BSW with particular GPA standards (see below) within the past seven years.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    898 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 898 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
  • National Applies to you

    584 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 584 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Highland Heights

  • 900 - 1400 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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