Massachusetts Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

By: SocialWorkGuide.org Staff
Last Updated: December 2019

Massachusetts social work programs prepare undergraduate and graduate students for various levels of social work practice across the state. You must have a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Master of Social Work (MSW) degree to be licensed and to use the title of “social worker” in Massachusetts. BSW programs will prepare you for entry-level social work jobs, while MSW programs at social work schools in Massachusetts offer various specializations, such as clinical and macro practice. Online programs for the MSW degree are also available through Boston University and Simmons College.

Accredited Social Work Programs in Massachusetts

Quick Facts

  • 21 schools offering social work programs in Massachusetts are in our database (see below)
  • Of the social work schools in Massachusetts, 3 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 12 offer bachelor’s degrees, and 9 offer a master’s or advanced degree1
  • 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 20182
  • 9 schools ranked in US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs in 20183
  • 2 schools ranked in Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs in 20184
  • Across 15 schools, 21 bachelor’s and master’s social work degree programs in Massachusetts are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)5

Top-Ranked Schools with Social Work Programs in Massachusetts

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (#57 in-state, #44 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs 2018

  • Boston University (#10)
  • Boston College (#11 tie)
  • Smith College (#17 tie)
  • Simmons College (#38 tie)
  • Salem State University (#105 tie)
  • Bridgewater State University (#128 tie)
  • Springfield College (#128 tie)
  • Wheelock College (#147 tie)
  • Westfield State University (#201 tie)

Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018

  • Boston University
  • Simmons College

Schools in Massachusetts with Social Work Degree Programs

BSW and Other Undergraduate Programs

Westfield State University

Westfield State University, located close to Springfield and the Massachusetts-Connecticut border, offers full- and part-time CSWE-accredited BSW degrees within the Social Work Department. The BSW program prepares students for work in a range of settings by developing generalist practice skills and knowledge. Admission to the social work degree program must be applied for in the junior year after completing the necessary liberal arts and social work prerequisite classes, including psychology, history, economics, and biology. Once admitted to the program, students deepen their knowledge of social work theory by taking classes in social welfare, research, policy analysis, and generalist practice. They must also complete a 400-hour field education placement in a local social service organization. Classes for part-time students are only offered through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education on certain weekdays. This program meets the minimum requirements to be eligible for the first level of social work licensure in Massachusetts, and the university also offers an accredited MSW degree. Westfield State University was ranked #34 among public schools in the North in 2016 by US News & World Report.

Simmons College

Simmons College, located in Boston, offers undergraduate programs to females and graduate programs to both male and female students. In 2016, it was ranked #16 among regional universities in the North by US News & World Report and the social work graduate program was tied for #33 in the country. The CSWE-accredited BSW program within the School of Social Work has a generalist practice focus, but students can also complete additional generalist practice certificates, including gerontology, children, youth, and family social work, hospice and palliative care, and case management. For students with an exceptional GPA, it is possible to apply for the college-wide Honors program, which entitles students to additional faculty support, internship opportunities, and scholarships. Mature students (aged 24 and above) can also receive extra tuition and counseling support from the university to make the transition to student life easier. All students in the BSW program complete both service-learning hours and a formal field education placement to prepare them for entry-level social work practice after graduation. The college also offers an accredited MSW degree, an accelerated four-year BSW and MSW program, and a PhD in social work.

MSW and Other Graduate Programs

Boston University

Boston University is a private institution founded in 1839. In 2016 the graduate school of social work was tied at #16 in social work graduate schools in the US as ranked by US News & World Report. Boston University’s School of Social Work offers many different options for completing its CSWE-accredited MSW degree: Full-time or part-time at the main campus in Boston; part-time with weekend classes at several satellite campus locations across Massachusetts; or part-time online with a clinical focus. The online program is open to students across the United States and enables them to complete their field placements in their own communities. Various MSW specializations are available at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice. Advanced standing to advance directly to the second year of the program is available for students with an accredited BSW. International summer courses are also offered periodically. Previous destinations have included Puerto Rico, Mali, China, Denmark, and Israel. The university also has a PhD program in social work.

Boston College

The Boston College MSW program is accredited by the CSWE and is structured to help students customize their learning experiences. Students in the School of Social Work choose either the clinical or macro practice specialization, and an area of concentration from Children, Youth & Families, Global Practice, Health & Mental Health, Older Adults & Families, or Individualized. In the first year of the two-year program, students take classes in human behavior, social welfare, research, and diversity. In the second year of the program, students on focus building skills in their areas of specialization and concentration. Candidates who previously earned an accredited BSW may apply for advanced standing to skip the first year of the program. The college offers several certificate programs for MSW students including Child Welfare; Latino Leadership; Neuroscience and Social Work; Policy and Community Organizing; Refugees and Immigrants; School Social Work; Trauma; and Veterans and Military Families. The college also offers a PhD in social work. In 2016 the social work graduate school at Boston College was ranked #10 among social work graduate schools in the US by US News & World Report.

Springfield College

Springfield College’s Master of Social Work degree program offers flexible study options with weekday and weekend course plans for students on both the traditional and advanced standing tracks. Depending on the program, students can typically finish the MSW in two to three years. The main focus of these MSW offerings is advanced generalist practice. Students are guided by experienced faculty who are active in the field of social work. Post-master’s certification in trauma-informed practice with children and adolescents is also offered by the Springfield College School of Social Work, as well as an MSW/JD dual degree program offered jointly with the Western New England University School of Law.

Accreditation Information for Massachusetts Social Work Schools

School Grad Rate1 Transfer-Out Rate1 Associate’s SW Program Bachelor’s SW Program Graduate SW Program CSWE Accred.5 US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking3 Net Price*1
Anna Maria College 40% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $27,539
Boston College 91% 6% Yes No Yes Yes #11 tie $26,335
Boston University 85% N/A No No Yes Yes #10 $32,539
Bridgewater State University 59% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $14,739
Bristol Community College 19% 16% Yes No No No Not Ranked $7,336
Clark University 78% N/A No Yes No No Not Ranked $24,394
Eastern Nazarene College 47% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $14,867
Elms College 78% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $21,846
Gordon College 72% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $29,486
Holyoke Community College 22% 18% Yes No No No Not Ranked $6,523
Northern Essex Community College 19% 18% Yes No No No Not Ranked $7,730
Regis College 45% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $22,439
Salem State University 46% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #105 tie $14,848
Simmons College 67% 14% No Yes Yes Yes #38 tie $28,840
Smith College 87% N/A No No Yes Yes #17 tie $25,619
Springfield College 69% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $28,292
University of Massachusetts-Boston 42% 34% No Yes No No Not Ranked $10,376
Western New England University 59% 26% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $28,644
Westfield State University 63% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #201 tie $15,498
Wheelock College 55% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #147 tie $26,533

*The net price is calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics by subtracting the average amount of aid (including grants and scholarships) from the total published cost of attendance for in-state/in-district students, which includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. To gain a better understanding of how to interpret the statistics discussed in this table, see our list of important definitions.

Directory of Massachusetts Social Work School Programs

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Anna Maria College*
50 Sunset Ln
Paxton, MA 01612-1198
(508) 849-3300

Boston College*
140 Commonwealth Ave
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-8000

Boston University*
One Silber Way
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-2000

Student Review: “I attended Boston University’s School of Social Work and found the program to be useful in connecting me to social justice agencies and institutions. As a female person of color, my interest is innate in addressing issues that are intersectional, including race, class, gender, and sexual orientation, among other issues. The university’s program is located in an urban setting with strong historical roots regarding these very issues, and BU is connected to many social institutions that provide real-world experience alongside classroom learning. An aspect that I feel may be stronger to the school’s curriculum would be classroom experiences that provide robust discussions of current polemical debates, notably about race and class.” – Student at Boston University

Bridgewater State University*
131 Summer St
Bridgewater, MA 02325
(508) 531-1000

Bristol Community College
777 Elsbree St
Fall River, MA 02720-7395
(508) 678-2811

Clark University
950 Main St
Worcester, MA 01610-1477
(508) 793-7711

Eastern Nazarene College*
23 E Elm Ave
Quincy, MA 02170-2999
(617) 745-3000

Elms College*
291 Springfield St
Chicopee, MA 01013
(413) 594-2761

Gordon College*
255 Grapevine Rd
Wenham, MA 01984
(978) 927-2300

Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave
Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 552-2000

Northern Essex Community College
100 Elliott St
Haverhill, MA 01830-2399
(978) 556-3000

Regis College*
235 Wellesley St
Weston, MA 02493-1571
(781) 768-7000

Salem State University*
352 Lafayette St
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 542-6000

Simmons College*
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898
(617) 521-2000

Smith College*
Lilly Hall
Northampton, MA 01063
(413) 584-2700

Springfield College*
263 Alden St
Springfield, MA 01109-3797
(413) 748-3116

Student Review: “I went a small master’s of social work program in Springfield, MA. Our class was only 60 students big with 25 students per class and four three hour classes per week. Our professors came from all walks of life. Some were from upper class families, others from lower. We even had a professor who was born and received most of her education in Greece. All of the professors had experienced social work in some area of the field, so it was easy to find someone with the same interest as you to gain knowledge about what to expect should you enter that aspect of Social Work. The only issue I had was with certain professors who should no longer be teaching due to competency. Although, there were only two in the entire school that were questionable. All of the other professors were outstanding and only wanted to see everyone succeed. All in all, this was a great school with the atmosphere and talented staff needed to help all students succeed.” – Student at Springfield College

University of Massachusetts-Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125-3393
(617) 287-5000

Western New England University*
1215 Wilbraham Rd
Springfield, MA 01119-2684
(413) 782-3111

Westfield State University*
577 Western Ave
Westfield, MA 01086-1630
(413) 572-5300

Wheelock College*
200 Riverway
Boston, MA 02215-4104
(617) 879-2000

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-private-colleges/index.php?table=all
3. US News & World Report Social Work Best Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings
4. Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018: /degrees/masters/online/
5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx