Master of Social Work

Northern Kentucky University's Master of Social Work program has a mission statement appropriate for advanced social work practice and is consistent with Council on Social Work Education accreditation standards.

Program Mission Statement

The Social Work program educates competent and ethical Master of Social Work graduates who demonstrate leadership and social work values in their communities and their profession, toward advancing social and economic justice.

The mission statement reflects the profession's purpose of promoting human and community well being by preparing competent professionals who are leaders in the profession and community. Social work values are reflected in the mission statement particularly emphasizing competence, ethics, and social and economic justice.

The program's mission is the foundation for the goals and outcomes of the curriculum. By operationalizing this mission, the program will implement a comprehensive curriculum that is grounded in the profession's history, purpose, and values. The curriculum is based on a body of social work knowledge and skills. The student outcomes are derived from the program's mission enables graduates to integrate this knowledge toward competent practice.

There are five program goals derived from the mission statement's key ideas as follows:

  1. The curriculum provides students with advanced knowledge and skills sufficient for autonomous professional practice and leadership in the profession.
  2. The curriculum provides advanced social work knowledge underpinned by current evidenced based practice, to enhance students' cognitive abilities, and competencies relevant to the profession.
  3. The curriculum educates social work practitioners who are ethical, critical thinkers engaged in ongoing inquiry, and life-long learning.
  4. Faculty promotes and supports research and knowledge development to promote social justice; and, to improve the effectiveness of social work practice, policies, and programs.
  5. Faculty engages students in leadership activities that contribute to the social work profession, Northern Kentucky University, the region, and the global community to advance social and economic justice.

Why earn a Master's degree in social work?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the country. Employment of social workers is expected to increased 19% between 2012 and 2022.

Social workers practicing in mental health and clinical settings, as well as those in supervisory roles and administration, are often required to hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. An MSW offers the flexibility to advanced one's career both professionally and economically, and allows for a broad ranges of choices in workplace settings. Obtaining an MSW is also the first step in preparing oneself for master's level licensure.