MSW Program

 Master of Social Work

Students walking up the steps to the DHHS officeNMU's new Master of Social Work (MSW) program is an exciting opportunity for human services professionals to earn a graduate degree and take their careers to the next level. 

Our mission is to prepare advanced practitioners of social work by extending the department's and profession's commitment to higher learning that promotes service, social justice, human rights, and dignity, worth and well-being of individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities through specialized clinical and macro practice. 

At NMU's graduate tuition rate, our 50-credit regular standing program or 36-credit advanced standing program, are some of the most affordable routes to an MSW in Michigan.  With a wide array of field placement opportunities across the Upper Peninsula, our flexible global campus option for distance students, and our options for clinical or macro concentration, we offer students an education that meets their individual career interests and learning needs.

Our global campus option for distance students is zoom facilitated learning and synchronous with our traditional face to face courses! This is not a self-paced learning process and students will be integrated into the face-to-face classroom learning environment! 


Career Outlook and Opportunities 

Employment of Social Workers are expected to grow 11% by 2028 chartSocial work projected employment chart. child, family, and school social workers: . Healthcare social workers: . mental health and substance abuse social workers: . all other social workers: .projected employment for social workers pie chart       

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median annual wage for social workers is $49,470 per year. The BLS projects that employment of social workers is projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than employment growth for other occupations. 


"This program has opened my eyes to a different culture by connecting students to local tribal communities."
- Hannah Holma, Class of '21

students banging on a drum for indigenous people day

Why Study Social Work At NMU?

  • Small class sizes
  • Connection with peers and instructors
  • Learn at a CSWE candidacy institution
  • Hands on and research-based curriculum 
  • Opportunities to learn and practice in an urbanized rural area
  • Tribal connections and learning opportunities
  • Collaborate with a Native American Studies program

"I am able to be an advocate and liaison for the community that I work with. I am researching policies, making connections, and building relationships; I am actually doing social work. That is something I think is truly unique with this program."
- Ethan Chapman, Class of '21

students using the training room for the social work program

Our role-play lab gives students a place to hone their intervention skills in a simulated social work practice environment



Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester (Regular Standing*) - February 28
  • Summer session (Advanced Standing*) - December 1
  • Fall semester Early Decision (for students with NMU as their #1 choice) - December 1

**Apply Now**


NMU's MSW program has achieved Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.

Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process.  A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, but has not yet demonstrated full compliance. 

Students who enter programs that attain 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 is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation.  Candidacy 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.

To see which licenses our MSW program will prepare you for by state, please visit our Licensure Disclosure.

More questions? Visit our Frequently asked questions about the MSW program page, check out the MSW manual, or contact us at