Master of Social Work

Propel societal transformation by identifying and striving to eliminate social injustice with the Master of Social Work (MSW) in the College of Public Health. Train to support and advocate for vulnerable populations including children, the elderly and those living in poverty. This highly rated program also serves as a laboratory for community capacity building, preventing disease and supporting at-risk populations.

The program distinguishes itself with its diversity: Students come from a broad range of geographic, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and life experiences. This enriches the quality of classroom discussions, especially in the more hands-on, practice-oriented portions of the curriculum.  

Students tackle numerous social issues through the MSW curriculum, including juvenile justice, poverty, substance abuse and violence against women. They can choose to work directly with individuals and families or tackle community, macro-level policy and management issues. A dual-degree program in Social Work and Public Health focuses on health-related concerns and populations.

Integrate theory and hands-on skills through field practica in one of more than 500 human service and social change organizations both in- and outside Philadelphia. The program has an international partnership with Erfurt University in Germany and also offers educational trips to Poland and other locations.


  • Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families
    Train to perform outpatient or inpatient therapy and with individuals, families or groups. Career options include case management, hospital discharge planning and service brokering.
  • Macro Practice in Organizations, Communities and Policy Arenas
    Lead social work agencies, or focus on community organizing or policy. You’ll study management skills and learn to work effectively in institutions, from social work agencies to neighborhood organizations.


  • Children and Families
  • Health and Mental Health
  • Individualized option designed with your academic advisor

Program Flexibility

Flexible scheduling options are well suited for students who are employed: Some courses are offered online, during the summer (Main Campus) and on Saturdays during the fall and spring terms (Center City campus).

Regular Option

  • designed for students with a bachelor’s degree
  • study full time and finish in two years or part time to finish in three years

Accelerated Option

  • grants advanced standing for students who have earned a BSW in the past five years, demonstrate excellent promise as a master’s-level social worker and show readiness to take on graduate education
  • study full time to complete the degree in 12 months or part time to complete it in 18 months

Student may also choose to enroll in Temple’s fully Online Master of Social Work.

Classes & Curriculum

You’ll take selected core coursework that includes topics in social justice, as well as in policy, research methods and practice. You will also engage in a field practicum with a human service or social change agency. Personalize your studies with electives: Our  curriculum includes pertinent offerings on topics including gender and sexuality, medical social work, and trauma.

See a full list of required courses.

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Master of Social Work program offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency and more.

These tuition costs apply to the 2018–2019 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $916.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,261.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.

Costs are different for Temple’s online program. Learn more about the cost of the Online MSW program.

Labs & Research

Faculty are pursuing a variety of grant-funded research studies with which MSW students can get involved. Topics include

  • fatherhood,
  • HIV prevention in the Latino community,
  • the opioid epidemic,
  • prison reentry programs, and
  • violence against adolescent girls in Israel and North Philadelphia.

Carnegie Classification

In 2016, Temple was elevated to an R1 institution of “highest research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, placing it in the top 4 percent of all four-year educational institutions in the nation. Temple’s research enterprise distinguishes itself through its focus on community, and using advances in technology to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Research Funding

In 2016, the National Science Foundation placed the university among the top 100 in terms of research expenditures, which amounted to $242 million. Learn more about the university’s research support efforts.

Related Graduate Degrees

MSW-MPH Dual Degree Option

The College of Public Health and the School of Social Work also offer a dual degree program that gives full-time students the opportunity to earn MSW and MPH degrees in three years for full-time or in four years for part-time students.

The program prepares professionals to assess, understand and address health-related concerns that impact the well-being of communities, individuals and populations. Online program options are available for both the MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences and the MSW, meaning that this dual degree may be completed online.

Learn more about the MSW-MPH dual degree option.


Additional Program Information