Master of Social Work

Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) offers a 60-hour Master of Social Work (MSW) degree designed to prepare students for professional practice with individuals, families, and communities. There are two (2) concentrations in the Masters of Social Work degree program – Social Work Practice with Vulnerable Populations and Leadership and Change. Each of these concentrations currently has one specialization. The specialization within the concentration Social Work Practice with Vulnerable Populations is Practice with Vulnerable Children and Families. This 60-hour degree program can be completed in 2 years full-time and 4 years part-time. These specializations prepare students for professional practice with children and families and organizations and communities respectively.

NEIU also offers the advanced standing degree for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work within the past 10 years that was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This is a 34 credit hour Master of Social Work degree program that can be completed in one year full-time and 2 years part-time.

Field work- Practica

Practical experience is built into the MSW social work curriculum, which is called "Field Work." All fieldwork experiences are credit-bearing internship experiences. These experiences offer students an opportunity to integrate and apply their academic knowledge in a real-world setting and prepares them for the responsibility of beginning professional practice. 

In order to receive credit for field work experiences, students must work with the Director of Field Education to complete an internship placement and referral process. To start this process a student must submit a formal application to apply for field work with the Social Work Department Internship Placement. All applications have deadlines and require collaboration and communication between the student and the respective internship coordinator to secure a placement. It is the policy of the NEIU Social Work Program that all referrals of students to field placement sites be made by internship coordinators in the field office. Students may provide a suggestion about a field site, but may not pursue a placement on their own. Field placements independently obtained will not be approved.

Field work courses are usually taken concurrently with academic classes. Students must complete a total of two separate field work experiences that each typically span over two semesters. First level students must complete  480 hours in a fieldwork placement and are typically at their site Tuesday’s  and Thursday’s, while taking 400-level courses. Second level students must complete 600 hours at a fieldwork placement and are at their site Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s, while taking 400 level advanced courses. In some instances, students can elect to do a summer block placement which is an intensive summer immersion, in which students work full-time at a placement (30-40 hours a week) for three to four months.  

Master in Social Work

Admissions requirement: Completion of a Bachelor's degree required.

Required Courses
SWK-400Overview Of The Social Work Profession3
SWK-402Human Behavior And The Social Environment I3
SWK-403Generalist Practice I3
SWK-415Foundation Field Practicum I3
SWK-401Cultural Competence In Social Work3
SWK-404Human Behavior And The Social Environment II3
SWK-405Generalist Practice II3
SWK-416Foundation Field Practicum II3
SWK-406Social Welfare Policy3
SWK-407Social Work Research3
Advanced Curriuculum30
Concentration: Social Work Practice with Vulnerable Populations
Social Work Practice With Families
Family-centered Policy
Social Work Practice With Children
Child Welfare Policy And Legislation
Advanced Research I
Advanced Research II
Advanced Field Practicum I
Advanced Field Practicum II
Social Work Electives (6 credit hours) - choose from the following:
Immigration Practices
Practice With Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender And Queer Population
Trauma Treatment With Children And Families
Topics In Advocacy
Social Work And The Law
Concentration: Leadership and Change
Empowerment And Change
Political Advocacy
Social Justice And Social Change
Community Advocacy
Advanced Research I
Advanced Research II
Advanced Field Practicum I
Advanced Field Practicum II
Social Work Electives (6 credit hours) - choose from the following:
Immigration Practices
Practice With Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender And Queer Population
Trauma Treatment With Children And Families
Topics In Advocacy
Social Work And The Law
Total Hours60


For those who have already completed a bachelor's degree in Social Work within the past 10 years that was accredited by CSWE, there is a 34 credit hour program that can be completed in one year full-time and 2 years part-time.

Advanced Standing program - Concentration: Social Work Practice with Vulnerable Populations
SWK-430Transition To The Advanced Curriculum4
SWK-431Social Work Practice With Families3
SWK-432Family-centered Policy3
SWK-433Social Work Practice With Children3
SWK-434Child Welfare Policy And Legislation3
SWK-491Advanced Research I2
SWK-492Advanced Research II2
SWK-495Advanced Field Practicum I4
SWK-496Advanced Field Practicum II4
Social Work Electives (6 credit hours)6
Immigration Practices
Practice With Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender And Queer Population
Trauma Treatment With Children And Families
Topics In Advocacy
Social Work And The Law
Total Hours34
Advanced Standing Program - Concentration: Leadership and Change
SWK-430Transition To The Advanced Curriculum4
SWK-441Empowerment And Change3
SWK-442Political Advocacy3
SWK-443Social Justice And Social Change3
SWK-444Community Advocacy3
SWK-491Advanced Research I2
SWK-492Advanced Research II2
SWK-495Advanced Field Practicum I4
SWK-496Advanced Field Practicum II4
Social Work Electives (6 credit hours)6
Immigration Practices
Practice With Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender And Queer Population
Trauma Treatment With Children And Families
Topics In Advocacy
Social Work And The Law
Total Hours34

This sample curricular map is provided to guide you in the planning of your progression for this major.  This guide should not replace regular consultations with your program advisor. For specific recommendations of courses not identified, please consult your program advisor.

First Year
Term 1Hours
SWK-400Overview Of The Social Work Profession3
SWK-402Human Behavior And The Social Environment I3
SWK-403Generalist Practice I3
SWK-406Social Welfare Policy3
SWK-415Foundation Field Practicum I3
 Term Hours15
Term 2
SWK-401Cultural Competence In Social Work3
SWK-404Human Behavior And The Social Environment II3
SWK-405Generalist Practice II3
SWK-407Social Work Research3
SWK-416Foundation Field Practicum II3
 Term Hours15
Second Year
Term 1
SWK-431Social Work Practice With Families3
SWK-432Family-centered Policy3
SWK-491Advanced Research I2
SWK-495Advanced Field Practicum I4
SWK Elective3
 Term Hours15
Term 2
SWK-433Social Work Practice With Children3
SWK-434Child Welfare Policy And Legislation3
SWK-492Advanced Research II2
SWK-496Advanced Field Practicum II4
SWK Elective3
 Term Hours15
 Total Hours: 60