Program Overview

Develop a foundation in generalist clinical social work and specialized study with the online Master of Social Work (MSW) from Aurora University. Through 1,050 hours of required field instruction, you’ll have the opportunity to apply theories to real-world situations. Customize your learning experience with four optional specializations: Faith-Based Social Work, Forensics, Health Care and Leadership Administration. You may also pursue the dual MSW/MBA or MSW/MPA degree program.

Begin your journey today with Chicagoland’s only CSWE-accredited online graduate program. This graduate level program in social work is also offered on the Aurora University campus and at the Woodstock Center.


Aurora University’s online MSW provides you with a broad academic background, specialized study and field instruction in clinical social work. Each class is taught by faculty members who have real-world experience.

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Available Specializations

Faith-Based Social Work

Work effectively as a faith-based agent of change, incorporating faith into healing for those in need.


Gain the expertise to excel in the social work field with this specialization. Forensic social work applies the principles of social work in law and various legal settings. This specialization focuses on providing students with an understanding of forensic social work practice and theory, challenging existing biases and learning specific clinical skills to help various subpopulations.

Health Care

Impact others in the rapidly growing and ever-changing field of health care in the United States.

Leadership Administration

Thrive in business management and administration in the fields of social work and human services.

Dual MSW/MBA Program

The MSW curriculum is the foundation of the dual MSW/MBA program. This dual-degree option instills students with superior social work practice, leadership, and business skills. Students will receive substantial business education that complements their social work education and will prepare them for leadership roles in social service. By combining social work skills with core business knowledge, students will be ready to serve the greater good out in the community.

Dual MSW/MPA Program

The MSW curriculum is the foundation of the MSW/MPA program. This dual-degree option allows students to specialize their education for leadership careers at the intersection of social work and public administration. It combines a foundation in clinical social work practice with additional public administration and nonprofit management coursework, in a program that is designed for efficient completion of two graduate credentials.

Program Details

  • Next Start Date:May 6, 2019
  • Est. Program Length:Less Than 3 Years
  • Credit Hours:60
  • Course Length:8 Weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$600

Foundation Curriculum: 30 hours

  • SWK6140 Social Welfare Policy and Institutions – 3 hours
  • SWK6150 HBSE I: Theories of Human Development I – 3 hours
  • SWK6160 HBSE II: Theories of Human Development II – 3 hours
  • SWK6370 Social Work Practice I: Individuals & Families – 3 hours
  • SWK6381 Social Work Practice II: Group Work – 3 hours
  • SWK6382 Social Work Practice II: Community Practice – 3 hours
  • SWK6390 Social Work Practice with Diverse & Vulnerable Populations – 3 hours
  • SWK6250 Research I: SW Research Methods – 3 hours
  • SWK6730 Field Instruction I: Beginning Internship – 3 hours
  • SWK6740 Field Instruction II: Beginning Internship – 3 hours

Concentration Curriculum: 30 hours

  • SWK6500 Social Work Perspectives on Psychopathology – 3 hours
  • SWK6511 Social Work Practice III: Clinical Theory and Methods – 3 hours
  • SWK6521 Social Work Practice IV: Advanced Clinical Knowledge and Application – 3 hours
  • SWK6533 Advanced Social Policy – 3 hours
  • SWK6283 Practice and Program Evaluation – 3 hours
  • SWK6750 Field Instruction III: Advanced Internship – 3 hours
  • SWK6760 Field Instruction IV: Advanced Internship – 3 hours
  • Social Work Electives: Three additional courses (9 hours)


Specialization in Faith-Based Social Work

  • Required Core Course: SWK5598 Spirituality, Meaning Making, and Faith-Based Practice – 3 hours
  • One Foundation (450 hours) Faith-Based Field Placement: SWK6730 and SWK6740 (6 total semester hours) OR one Advanced (600 hours) Faith-Based Field Placement: SWK6750 and SWK6760 – 6 hours total

Specialization in Forensics

  • SWK5300 Forensic Social Work – 3 hours
  • SWK6720 Social Work with Vulnerable Children and Families – 3 hours
  • SWK6721 Mediation – 3 hours

Specialization in Health Care

  • SWK6810 Medical Social Work – 3 hours
  • Two elective courses from health care-related social work electives – 6 hours

Specialization in Leadership Administration

  • This specialization is offered in partnership with the Aurora University Dunham School of Business and Public Policy. By taking MBA6030, MPA6350 and two electives from the courses listed below, you will earn a specialization in leadership administration.
  • MBA6030 Leadership and Organizational Behavior – 3 hours
  • MPA6350 Nonprofit Management and Leadership (3)
  • Two elective courses from leadership-related MBA electives – 6 hours
  • MBA6075 Operations Management (3)
  • MPA6110 Administration of Public Institutions (3)
  • MPA6450 Public Safety Administration (3)

Dual MSW/MBA Program Courses

  • In additional to all required MSW coursework, you may complete the MSW/MBA dual-degree option with the following courses (33 semester hours):
  • MBA6020 Marketing Management – 3 hours
  • MBA6030 Leadership and Organizational Behavior – 3 hours
  • MBA6045 Managerial Accounting – 3 hours
  • MBA6050 Corporate Finance – 3 hours
  • MBA6075 Operations Management – 3 hours
  • MBA6090 Applied Business Research – 3 hours
  • MBA6100 Strategic Management – 3 hours
  • MBA6200 Human Resource Management – 3 hours
  • MBA6250 Data Analytics – 3 hours
  • MBA6380 Communication Management – 3 hours
  • MPA6350 Nonprofit Management and Leadership – 3 hours

Dual MSW/MPA Program Courses

  • In additional to all required MSW coursework, you may complete the MSW/MPA dual-degree option with the following courses (33 semester hours):
  • MBA6130 Economics – 3 hours
  • MBA6030 Leadership and Organizational Behavior – 3 hours
  • MPA6110 Administration of Public Institutions – 3 hours
  • MPA6120 Public Policy and Analysis – 3 hours
  • MPA6130 Government and Community Relations – 3 hours
  • MPA6140 Public Finance and Budgeting – 3 hours
  • MPA6150 Program Evaluation: Data Analysis and Decision Making – 3 hours
  • MPA6200 Advanced Seminar in Applied Public Administration – 3 hours
  • MPA6350 Nonprofit Management and Leadership – 3 hours
  • MPA6360 Grant Writing, Philanthropy, and Advancement – 3 hours
  • MPA6450 Public Safety Administration – 3 hours

Course details are based on information available at the time of publication. Specific program requirements are subject to change.

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college and/or university with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Professional Resume
  • Personal statement. Your personal statement should be a typewritten, double-spaced narrative of two to three pages and reflect standards of graduate-level writing. Please address the following in your statement: Why have you chosen to pursue an MSW degree and what are your professional aspirations? Why have you chosen Aurora University to pursue your MSW? If your GPA is below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, were there extenuating circumstances that affected your past academic performance? Please explain.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts (official, sealed in envelope) from all previously attended colleges or universities.

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Online Master of Social Work Career Outcomes

  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Health Care Social Worker
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Social Service Administrator
  • Forensic Social Work Practitioner
  • Community Leader
  • Nonprofit Leadership

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