Master of Social Work (MSW)

  • Competency-based education
  • 500 – 900 hours of field experience
  • Traditional or Advanced Standing tracks

Fairleigh Dickinson University is ranked #14 in Best Value Schools in the north by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2023.

Overview | Curriculum | Faculty | Admissions | State Licensure | Fieldwork Requirements


Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Master of Social Work online program prepares you to make a positive impact on social and economic justice, human rights and quality of life for diverse populations. In this program, you will develop valuable skills to promote physical, psychological and social well-being for clients in various settings and regions of practice.

The online MSW curriculum combines didactic and practical learning through coursework delivered in an online format. It provides a competency-based education, preparing you to work as an advanced social work practitioner capable of leading developmental efforts in both public and private social service arenas. This program is designed for a variety of students to include: traditional students, working professionals and adult learners, and is in candidacy with the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation (CSWE)*.

FDU’s Master of Social Work online program includes extensive field practicum experience. You will have the opportunity to apply the theory, skills and approaches learned in the course work to real-world situations. Placement opportunities include those in hospitals and other healthcare settings, schools, criminal justice settings, grassroots organizations, mental health services and more. You will work closely with a dedicated field coordinator to identify placements for your field experience hours.

In Accordance With CSWE, Our Online MSW Program Prepares You To:

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  • Advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  • Engage in policy practice.
  • Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  • Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  • Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  • Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

Program Outcomes

Open the PDF to view program outcomes for FDU’s Master of Social Work online program.

Farleigh Dickinson University's first MSW graduating class 2023

Farleigh Dickinson University’s first MSW graduating class 2023.

Program’s Mission Statement

The mission of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Master of Social Work (FDU’s MSW) program is focused on producing competent professionals to serve diverse clients and systems while promoting social and economic justice and enhancing human rights for oppressed and vulnerable populations in various geographical locations. FDU’s MSW program strives to enhance the overall well-being and quality of life for all individuals and communities through the application of evidence-based practices and scientific inquiry. The education and training provided will reflect the purpose and values of the social work profession.

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Upcoming Events

Virtual Open House: To learn more about the online Master of Social Work program, attend one of our upcoming Virtual Open Houses hosted by program director, Dr. Zakia Clay, and other program faculty. The Open House will include a program overview and Q&A session with faculty for all interested, including applicants, families, and advisors:

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Courses and Requirements

The Master of Social Work online program provides a comprehensive learning experience that combines social work theory with practical application. The online MSW degree features two program options, advanced standing and traditional. These tracks allow you to choose the course of study that best aligns with your previous educational experience. If you have previously earned a BSW, you may qualify for Advanced Standing and complete 30 hours of concentration courses and 500 hours of fields experience The traditional program is ideal for students who have not previously studied social work, featuring 900 hours of field experience and a total of 60 credit hours.


Student Testimonials

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Admission Requirements

Those applying for admission into the online MSW program will be required to complete the following items:

  • A graduate application
  • Official transcripts
  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae or resume
  • Personal statement
    • When formulating your personal statement, please use the prompts listed below as paragraph headings:
      1. Your reasons for selecting the FDU Masters of Social Work program and your thoughts on how the program’s mission statement addresses your short and long-term career goals.
      2. Successes and/or challenges you’ve experienced in your pursuit of higher education and motivating factors that led you to where you are today.
      3. Your plan for managing the demands of graduate study with the required field practicum and personal obligations.

Traditional Track

In order to be eligible for admission into the traditional program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree inclusive of coursework from the liberal arts; and
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.75.

Advanced Standing Track

In order to be eligible for admission into the advanced standing program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in social work, accredited by the Council on Social Work Education; and
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.0.

Request Information Apply Now

FDU’s MSW Program is currently in candidacy with the sole provider of social work education accreditation in the United States, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). *Candidacy indicates that the social work program has made progress toward meeting criteria for the program quality assessment as evaluated via a peer review process. A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.

Program Accreditation Process

Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program as long as the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three (3) year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites (i.e., locations) and delivery methods of the program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

Programs in candidacy are issued a retroactive accreditation date which goes into effect once the program gains Initial Accreditation. This date is the academic year in which the program was granted candidacy status. For example, if a program was granted candidacy status in the academic year of 2020-2021, any student entering the program in the fall of 2020 and beyond will be considered to have graduated from an accredited social work program so long as the program receives its eventual Initial Accreditation.

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Why FDU?

Personalized Learning

Through its small intimate classes and superb faculty, FDU offers students a hands-on approach to learning that caters to individual needs.

A Global Community

Our multi-disciplinary programs reach and connect students across the world.

Academic Excellence

Through our commitment to providing rigorous programs, students at FDU are poised to become the next generation of leaders.

Benefits of Learning Online

Pursuing an online degree means the chance to further your career.

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Career Outcomes

Career and salary information via the Bureau of Labor Statistics.