Information about the program
Master of Social Work
The MSW program’s practice specialization focuses on integrating health and behavioral health practice. The curriculum is designed to meet the contemporary workforce needs with regard to healthcare reform and to underscore the major contributions MSW graduates are qualified to make in the future of healthcare systems that address both physical and behavioral health.
The Salem State University MSW Program defines integrated health and behavioral health practice as:
- Integrated practice perspective for micro, mezzo and macro systems across settings
- The integration of human behavior knowledge, practice, policy, research and field education
- An integrated understanding of physical, mental and behavioral health across the lifespan
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers an example of someone experiencing integrated health. Watch the video which outlines the role of social work.
During your MSW course work, you can further expand knowledge by populations when choosing your practice and theory sequence classes. Then continue building competencies with electives that in areas of personal interest. Students can choose from electives such as Trauma Informed Practice; Substance Abuse; Death, Dying Grief and Bereavement Across the Life Span; Disability Policy and Practice: Working with Military and their Families; International Travel Seminars and Social Work Practice with Immigrant and Refugee Families.
Our field department works closely with each student to find the best fit for the field education experience. Salem State’s MSW program has developed strong relationships with agencies and programs throughout Greater Boston, the North Shore, Merrimack Valley, and potential sites throughout Massachusetts.
Some service settings include:
- Health and Behavioral Health Clinics,
- Boston and Community Based Hospitals,
- Mainstream and Therapeutic Schools
- Child and Family Services
- Community Practice and Macro Policy Settings
- Older Adult Service Providers
- Hospice Agencies
Students can choose an academic year or summer block internship. Academic year internships are 16 to 20 hours per week from September through early May. Summer Blocks internships run from mid-May through August and are 32 hours- 40 hours per week.
Students who continue employment while in the program should make certain their employers allow for scheduling changes or flexibility of hours because field education practice internships must take place during the business week.
A student’s current place of employment may fulfill at least one of the requirements for your field education. Field Instruction must be provided by an MSW who is not the student’s work supervisor. Under the supervision of experienced practitioners committed to best practices, students apply what they learn in the classroom and in field.
Students can select either a full-time or extended-time plan to best meet their needs based on competing work-life commitments. The MSW program can be completed in two years, full-time. Enrollment in the extended program options work well for students who are juggling responsibilities such as work and/or family. The extended program plan can be completed in up to four years. Students who continue employment while in the program should make certain their employers allow for scheduling changes or flexibility of hours during field education internship.
The MSW program continues to add evening and online course options to make the program more flexible. Though we cannot guarantee you will be able to complete the program only during the evenings or online, we are committed to increasing program accessibility for working adults. Options available include: