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Master of Social Work

Earn your Master’s in Social Work at Georgian Court University in a program differentiated by its small learning environment, affordability, diverse faculty research interests, and the infusion of our Mercy values—respect, compassion, justice, integrity, and service—into every aspect of student experience. Since these same values are foundational to the practice of social work, GCU’s MSW program uniquely prepares you to be your best and do your best.

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Program Highlights


Master of Social Work

Average time to complete

Part-time traditional students (4 years); full-time traditional students (2 years); Advanced Standing students (1 year)





Total credits


Time of entry

Master of Social Work student speaking to a mother and child

Master of Social Work

at Georgian Court University

As a professional degree, our masters program in social work prepares you for advanced practice. GCU currently offers two specializations: The Direct Practice (also referred to as Clinical Practice) specialization has been developed for students seeking the skills and knowledge to work effectively with individuals, families, and small groups in therapeutic settings. The Community Partnership specialization prepares students for careers in government agencies and nonprofits in policy, administration, management, and leadership.

No matter which specialization you choose for your MSW degree, you’ll graduate with the specialized knowledge, values, skills, cognitive and affective processes, and practice behaviors needed to be impactful, compassionate social workers no matter where your career takes you.

eligible to take the

Licensed Social Worker (LSW) examination

Demand for social workers is strong and projected to remain strong through 2031, mostly due to an aging population and the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 700,000 social workers in the United States, making them one of the largest groups of providers of mental health services in the U.S. today.

After receiving your Master’s of Social Work degree from GCU, you’ll be eligible to take the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) examination given by the New Jersey State Board of Social Work Examiners.

Students with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale may enroll part-time (4 years) or full-time (2 years). Students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from a CSWE-accredited institution may apply for the Advanced Standing program (1 year). To graduate, you’ll need 49 credits of coursework and 16 credits of Field Practicum—a curriculum designed to meet CSWE accreditation standards.

Master of Social Work student speaking to an elderly couple

According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), “social workers are creative problem solvers who advocate for social and economic justice and help people cope with the challenges of a complex, rapidly changing world.”

Clinical social workers provide therapy, emotional support, evaluations and assessments, and case management services to people experiencing abuse, addiction, poverty, discrimination, violence, chronic and terminal illness, disability, isolation, inequality, unemployment, and mental health disorders, among other challenges. Many of their clients are marginalized by society.

Social workers in government agencies and nonprofits develop strategies, policies, and processes to promote social justice and improve the lives of individuals as well as the health, safety, and wellbeing of their communities.

Program Information

Currently, GCU’s Master’s of Social Work program enrolls traditional students with bachelor’s degrees from accredited institutions and a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and is an integrated sequence of coursework and practicum experience. A total of 65 credits, including 16 credits in Field Practicum, is required.

In Fall 2025, GCU will also enroll students with advanced standing: Students who have graduated with a bachelor’s in social work (BSW) from an accredited university can earn their MSW in just one additional year of full-time study.

Megan Sherman


Assistant Professor and MSW Program Director
Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing and Wellness at GCU

Research/Creativity Interest Area:

  • The intrapersonal attributes and external variables that contribute to successful navigation through challenges
  • The unique narratives of individuals and communities facing divergent circumstances

“The profession of Social Work is firmly grounded in certain core values. These include commitment to service, social justice, dignity and worth of the individual, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. There are so many reasons I love GCU, but what I love most is how closely the Mercy core values align with the convictions of social work practice. Mercy lives in social work.”

115B Jeffries Hall

If you’re interested in our Master of Social Work degree, here are other programs at GCU you might be interested in exploring:

Why Earn Your Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree at GCU?

GCU’s Master’s in Social Work provides a rigorous, hands-on curriculum with meaningful, frequent interaction with faculty mentors who prepare you for career success and professional fulfillment.

Here are more reasons to consider Georgian Court University for your Master of Social Work MSW.

Small Learning Environment

With a 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes, your professors will know you well: what motivates you, your personal goals for earning your degree, the type of field experience that resonates most with you. And you’ll build strong relationships with your peers and expand your personal network. A GCU education is a personalized education.

Field Experiences and Research Opportunities

The curriculum for the GCU’s master of social work program includes 16 credits of Field Instruction and Integrative Seminar. You’ll learn and grow as a professional from experienced social workers who provide advisory, advocacy, and therapeutic services, and shape policy and processes for communities in real settings. Faculty highly encourages students to engage in impactful research that aligns with your interests, passions, and personal goals.


GCU’s per credit cost ($750) compares favorably to other popular MSW programs in New Jersey including Monmouth University ($1,348), Seton Hall University ($1,450), Stockton University ($797 in state), Rutgers University ($760 in state), and Kean University ($788).

Experienced Faculty with Diverse Specialty Areas and Resources

At GCU, our classes are taught by full-time faculty who bring a range of professional expertise and research to coursework. All MSW faculty at GCU are licensed social workers, and many are active practitioners. Our director, Megan Sherman, holds a Ph.D. in Social Work and is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), author, advocate, educator, and researcher with two decades’ experience in the field.

Targeted for Working Professionals

Georgian Court’s MSW program makes it possible for professionals to work and study through evening on-campus classes and the opportunity for online learning. No classes are held on Fridays. What’s more, if you live and/or work in Monmouth and Ocean counties, GCU is the only Catholic institution offering a masters in social work in those areas.

Master of Social Work student speaking with and elderly man
MSW Degree

What Can You Do with a Social Work Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for social workers is projected to grow 9% from 2021 to 2031—faster than the average of all occupations. They also project about 74,700 openings for social workers each year over that decade. An increasing population of older Americans means the demand for social services and advocacy is also increasing. What’s more, the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftereffects have dramatically increased the need for social workers specializing in health care.

Social Worker Jobs

Social workers help their clients—individuals, families, groups, and communities—work through the challenges, problems, and changes that happen in life. They do this in a variety of settings, including community centers, health care facilities, schools, and government social service agencies. Social workers specialize either in direct (clinical) practice in therapeutic settings or community partnership where they are prepared for management and leadership careers in policy, advocacy, administration, and community development in nonprofits and public service organizations.

Social Work Salary

How much does a social worker make?

While it’s said that social workers are “in it for the outcome not the income,” social workers actually earn a higher annual mean wage compared to all other occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. reports income for social workers in New Jersey with a master of social work degree range from $70,755 to $86,395 with a median salary of $78,325. Salaries will vary depending on years of experience, type of employer, licensures and certifications, and area of specialty, among other factors.

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