How do I become a social worker?
Is an MSW the same as an MSSW? (And other alphabet soup issues)?
The letters BSW and MSW refer specifically to the degrees Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work but tend to be used generically, at either level, to designate a social work degree. Although BSW and MSW are the most common, some accredited social work education programs use other designations, e.g., MSSW (Master of Science in Social Work), MSS (Master of Social Service), and even MA (Master of Arts). The title of the academic degree does not matter as long as it is granted by a program accredited by CSWE.
What is a "5-year" master's program or advanced standing?
What is the value of studying social work instead of a related field such as sociology, psychology, counseling, or human services?
Where are the social work programs near me?
Where can I find information on licensing?
Where can I learn about financial aid for social work degree programs?
First, you should check with your institution’s school, college, or department of social work to see what financial aid programs that apply to social work may be available at your institution and within your state. Other resources include the following:
CSWE Scholarships and Fellowships
American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (MSW students interested in clinical work)
Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund (undergraduate and graduate students interested in peace and justice issues)
Elmer Ediger Scholarship, MHS Alliance (graduate students interested in mental health or developmental disabilities)
Financial Aid Resources for Social Work Education, NASW-California Chapter
Foundation for Rural Education and Development Scholarships (students from rural areas who intend to work in a rural area after graduation)
Foundation for Rural Service Scholarship Program (students from rural areas who intend to work in a rural area after graduation)
NASW Foundation Fellowship, Scholarship, and Research Awards
National Association of Black Social Workers (students of African descent interested in research in and service to the Black community)
Pre-dissertation Initiative, Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW; for doctoral students interested in gerontological research, teaching, and practice)
Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation (college juniors planning graduate study and a career in public service)
Udall Scholarship (Native American and Alaska native sophomores and juniors who plan a career pertaining to Native American health care)
See also NASW’s information on loan forgiveness programs.
Why should I attend a program accredited by CSWE?
Will I be paid for Field Placements?
Field placements are courses that afford students the opportunity to engage with clients and communities as a component of their educational program and without a social work license, similarly to educational, medical, or other health professional accredited programs. These educational experiences are structured as learning and not labor and comply with the U.S. Department of Labor regulations and are not required to offer stipends or compensation for students. Learn more with this statement from CSWE.