Master of Social Work, M.S.W.

Provide services to improve the lives of individuals and families, help communities prosper, and lead social service organizations.

Chicago-area employers seek MSW-trained individuals with skills in clinical intervention and case management to work in mental health settings, health care facilities, child and family services, home health, and more.


The MSW is a 60-hour course of study designed to prepare students to work in a variety of clinical settings providing mental health services, therapy, counseling, clinical case management and other direct practice skills. The program provides social work practitioners who are committed to evidence-based practice and social justice with a comprehensive set of practice skills, and the flexibility to work in complex and ever-changing practice environments.

Putting Theory into Practice

Through the Master of Social Work (MSW) program, students will have the opportunity to study and apply theory and practice in real world circumstances through two clinically supervised internships. With the support and mentorship of a credentialed social work professional, students will learn how to think and solve problems like a social worker. The MSW program at Lewis University enables students to integrate research and advanced practice, add greater depth into the provision of services, and strengthen skills to function as clinical social workers, administrators, and clinical supervisors. As a result of learning and experiences in the MSW program, students will be able to do the following:
  • Promote the development of programs and services that ensure social and economic justice
  • Develop advanced interpersonal practice skills
  • Develop skills for developing and enhancing social functioning
  • Synthesize theoretical and research concepts from multiple perspectives to inform inquiry and practice
  • Formulate creative responses to complex issues through critical analysis
  • Model ethical and professional behaviors to guide inquiry and practice in a global and diverse society


In the foundation year, students will learn the generalist practice model, developing skills that are transferable across agency settings and populations. In the advanced clinical year, students will select a population concentration (child/adolescent, adult, or older adult). Additionally, students will select electives that provide advanced training in clinical social work, organizational leadership, or substance use treatment (AODA certification).

Market Demand

Market Research Briefs by the Education Advisory Board (EAB) indicate that local employer demand for social services-trained individuals increased 26.3% from July 2013 to June 2015.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program, career opportunities in social work (e.g. counselors, social workers, other community and social service specialists) are expected to rise 19% by the year 2022.

Why Lewis for Your Master of Social Work Degree?

  • Ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Top Tier Colleges”
  • Small average class size allows for high interaction with our experienced faculty
  • Strong relationships with several local agencies for internship experience
  • Affordable program tuition compared to top competing schools
  • Classes offered during weekday evenings , allowing for maximum flexibility for working professionals

Life after Lewis

Graduates of the MSW program at Lewis University will have a variety of career options to choose from, including:
  • Homelessness and Housing
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention
  • Income Support
  • Job Training
  • Adult Education
  • Violence Prevention
  • After School Programs
  • Senior Services
  • Services for Persons with Disabilities
  • Early Childhood Education

Admission Requirements

To be accepted for admission in the MSW program at Lewis University, candidates must meet the following credentials:
  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for the final 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours
  • Application for graduate admission to Lewis University and paid application fee
  • Resume
  • Professional Goal Statement
  • Two professional references
The MSW Program is in Pre-Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.

Pre-Candidacy for a master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has submitted an application to be reviewed for Candidacy. A program that has attained Pre-Candidacy has not yet been reviewed by the Commission on Accreditation or been verified to be in compliance with the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. The Council on Social Work Education does not publicly disclose whether programs have currently attained Pre-Candidacy Status until they are granted Candidacy.

Students who enter the program while it is still in Pre-Candidacy will not be recognized as attending a program in Candidacy unless the program attains Candidacy in the academic year in which those students enter. The Candidacy Process is typically a three-year process and there is no guarantee that a program in Pre-Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact


For further information, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admission at, or contact us at (815) 836-5610.