Master of Social Work —
The MBA of the Helping Professions

It’s not everyday that you’re prepared to have a significant impact on someone’s life, but as a social worker, you’ll be prepared to do just that.

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What can you do with an MSW? —
Make a significant impact in the context of worldwide service and leadership.


Prepare to Impact Change — Curriculum Overview

The MSW at Baylor is a research-based program that prides itself in having a research-focused faculty with hands-on experience in the profession. Being research-driven, the curriculum in the MSW program is the best of both time-tested methodology and cutting edge discovery. Our faculty and staff are the best and the brightest, with a passion for encouraging students and accompanying them as they learn to ethically integrate faith and social work practice. 

The Garland School of Social Work offers four graduate degree options, two academic specializations, and several concentrations. The standard two-year MSW program offers a strong foundation for direct practice, administration, and community development, as well as practical experience through two year-long internships and numerous courses in a student’s chosen social work specialty. There is also an Advanced Standing program for students with a BSW from an accredited CSWE program earned within the last five years. This program offers students more opportunities for research and more options for practicum placement. 

Other graduate degree options include a Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work, Master of Theological Studies/Master of Social Work, and Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration.

What Social Work Specializations and Concentrations Does Baylor Offer?

Baylor’s MSW students can choose to specialize in either Clinical Practice or Community Practice. 

Specialization — Clinical Practice

The clinical practice specialization prepares students for advanced social work practice in health care settings working with interdisciplinary teams. Students apply evidence-based practice models in advanced case management and in mental health treatment with a focus on ethics and religious faith and health. Graduates are prepared for direct practice and health care administration and planning roles. 

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For more information about the Clinical Practice Specialization, please watch this video.
Specialization — Community Practice

The community practice specialization prepares students for working with public and/or nonprofit organizations, communities, congregations, and religiously affiliated agencies. Students learn to apply evidence-informed and asset-based community practice frameworks and methods of intervention to develop responsive human resource systems, sustainable physical and social environments, and just public and institutional policies. 

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For more information about the Community Practice Specialization, please watch this video.


Baylor’s MSW concentrations are an option designed to develop a student’s knowledge base more comprehensively in one area of social work practice. Concentration options are connected with initiatives and students may choose from the following: Diversity, Gerontology, Congregational Social Work, Trauma, International Social Work, or Integrated Behavioral Health. The concentration will go more in-depth into one of the areas of practice listed above, but it does not replace the clinical practice specialization.

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Everything You Need to Know about Earning an MSW at Baylor

The MSW program is comprised of 60-course hours and is offered through both in-person and live online classroom learning. Students at the Baylor Waco campus will experience a full-time, residential, and a more traditional on-campus experience.

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Practicum Education Office

At Baylor University, we have a dedicated Practicum Education Office and faculty because we realize that a student’s experience with their practicum placement can alter the entire course of their social work career, and we want to make sure it is the best possible experience. All of our Practicum Placement faculty are carefully chosen and dedicated entirely to helping our students with their practicum education, from placement to completion. 

Once accepted to the MSW program, students immediately begin work with a practicum placement advisor to identify strengths and areas of interest. Students are then matched based on availability and their desired area of study.

Practicum placement is often a turning point for many MSW candidates because it offers hands-on experience and the opportunity to discover first-hand if this particular concentration or specialization is right for them. Students are placed in concentration-specific practicum placements and given the opportunity and responsibility to apply the knowledge, values, and skills learned in the classroom to real-life interactions with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. 

Students begin their practicum placement internship the first semester of their MSW program. MSW Foundation students intern for 240 hours a semester for a total of 480 hours. MSW Advanced students intern for a total of 550 hours across two semesters. It is also important that an MSW program is capable of securing high-quality practicum placements for their students. This comes from maintaining good relationships with placement sites. Baylor’s placement sites include private and public agencies, religiously affiliated organizations and non-sectarian settings, generalist and advanced practice settings, and local and distant sites. For instance:

MSW Admissions Requirements

While some MSW programs require a related bachelor’s degree or a large number of prerequisite classes, the Garland School of Social Work welcomes anyone with an undergraduate degree to apply. There is no requirement for an undergraduate degree in social work or a related profession. We feel that this only adds to the intellectual diversity of our classes and contributes to our holistic approach to education.

Additionally, students will need to complete the following requirements for application to the program:

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How To Apply101Digital Guide

Relieve some of the stress that comes with applying to grad school. Familiarize yourself with the residential MSW application deadlines. requirements, and process to prepare your most competitive application.

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Becoming a Licensed Master Social Worker

The LMSW is the second level of licensure recognized in the state of Texas and comes with a higher pay scale and increased responsibilities. After completing a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college, you will need to complete the following steps to become licensed: 

  1. Apply for pre-authorization with ASWB
    1. Submit pre-authorization fee of $60
  2. Register to take the exam after receiving authorization from ASWB
    1. Register online and pay the fee of $230
  3. Jurisprudence exam
    1. Exam Fee: $39
  4. Schedule exam
  5. Once the applicant passes, they submit an application and supporting documents to BHEC
  6. Create an account with BHEC

Licenses in the stat of Texas must be renewed every two years in order to remain active and for social workers to continue to legally practice. To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 clock hours of continuing education.


If you're interested in learning more about the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work and the programs we have to offer, we invite you to reach out to our team!

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Financing Your Baylor Education

We know that funding a graduate degree is a challenge for many people, but we also understand the value that an MSW can add to your professional career as a social worker. At Baylor, we are committed to subsidizing student costs in order to make it more affordable to obtain your MSW. 

To help you get the largest amount of financial assistance, we recommend that you apply early. Due to a limited number of scholarships and financial aid options at Baylor, the order in which applications are received helps us to determine who and how much funding can be given. 

As part of every application, students are required to complete the FAFSA. This application helps both the Federal and State government, as well as our financial aid department to determine a student’s ability to pay for their degree. By weighing several factors, such as family income, size, obligations, assets, debts, and liabilities, FAFSA calculates what a student can contribute to their own education and recommends amounts that the government and other institutions can contribute to funding their degree. 

Other options for financing your MSW degree at Baylor University include applying for grants, loans, and other merit-based scholarships. Students are considered for all of these options simply by completing the application process.

Financial Aid 101 Icon in Baylor YellowGrants are free gifts of money that do not need to be repaid upon completion of your degree. In addition to applying for federal financial aid and applying for financial assistance from the school, grants are the next best option for financing your education. Grants are often need-based, meaning that the student must demonstrate a need for financial assistance, which is primarily determined by the FAFSA. Grants can come from the federal and state government, the college or university, or other private and non-profit organizations.

984966_-BAYLOR- Icons_23_022421After applying for grants, the next best source of funding comes from merit-based scholarships. These are generally supported by individual institutions (both public and private), as well as non-profit organizations. Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on a student’s academic or other achievements. Like grants, these do not need to be repaid. There are thousands of scholarships students can apply for and several websites that can help you determine which scholarships you can apply for, but the best practice is to begin applying early and apply to as many as you can.


984966_-BAYLOR- Icons_27_022421A loan is money that is given to a student to be used for tuition and other academic expenses but is expected to be repaid with interest upon completion of a student’s degree. If you have no other options, loans can be a great way to get started with your graduate degree, but be aware that you will need to have a plan in place to begin paying the borrowed money back as soon as you receive your diploma. Also, make sure that you look into the terms and conditions of the loan before signing. Compare which loans offer you the best interest rate and what their repayment options include.


Start Your Journey

Your desire to do good through helping others is a gift worth sharing. Because of people like you, individuals and communities in our world who are struggling are able to find hope and support. To be the best possible advocate that you can be, it is important to arm yourself with the best education and tools. At Baylor University, our Master of Social Work degree is grounded in research, supported by expert faculty, and flexible enough for the busiest working professional. 

The resources offered through one of our degree programs will help you to become the most effective advocate you can be for those you wish to serve. We can’t wait to meet you and help you get started on your path to bettering the world.

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