Skip Navigation

M.S.W. Program

Our Master of Social Work program is nationally recognized for its dedication to and specialization in clinical social work.

At Smith, which boasts one of the world's best social work programs, our students are exceptionally well-prepared to work with individuals, families and groups in a clinical setting.

Our students master clinical theory and practice and develop a thorough understanding of sociocultural, social service and policy contexts in which they will practice as clinicians. Throughout their graduate education, students engage in critical thinking and self-reflection as they learn about human behavior and the social environment, social work practice, research and social policy.

The foundation of our masters in social work school is teaching the knowledge and skills that are central to the profession. The program also covers the history and current status of social work and social welfare, an introduction to the major practice methods, an introduction to research and a presentation of the major psychological and social theories that form the knowledge base of the profession.

Our students' clinical specialization is supported with advanced courses in personality theory, practice, trauma and an opportunity to examine policy and service delivery in the field, which provides a context for clinical practice. Issues of gender, race, ethnicity, class and oppression are intricately woven throughout the curriculum—a curriculum that centers social justice, service to society and a greater appreciation of individual and cultural diversity in today’s multicultural community. We boldly and consistently expose the consequences of racism and work with our students to identify and overcome its overt and covert aspects. This is reflected in the school's commitment to becoming an anti-racism institution—an ongoing goal to which the entire school community aspires.

With a wide range of elective courses from which to choose, students are able to expand their expertise to include areas such as family or group treatment; short-term treatment; treatment of children, adolescents and adults; responding to trauma; working with Veterans and their families; and policy or research.