Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in New Jersey
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Did you know that the Garden State employs more than 11,000 social workers? New Jersey also offers some of the nation's highest social work salaries in the United States. In fact, New Jersey's child, family, and school social workers earn the highest average salaries in their field across the country. To become a licensed social worker in New Jersey, you need a master's in social work (MSW).
Want to join a profession that makes a difference in a state that offers competitive salaries? Find out about the advantages of earning an MSW in New Jersey.
At a Glance: Social Work Programs in New Jersey
- Eight schools in New Jersey offer MSW programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
- More than 3% of the 31,750 MSW degrees awarded nationwide in 2020 went to graduates in New Jersey.
- Four CSWE-accredited colleges in New Jersey offer online MSW programs.
CSWE-Accredited MSW Programs in New Jersey
Schools in many New Jersey cities — from Montclair to New Brunswick — offer CSWE-accredited MSW programs. You can find part-time, full-time, and online options to suit your lifestyle. For licensure in New Jersey, you'll need to attend a CSWE-accredited program.
|University||Location||Available Concentrations||Enrollment Type|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University||Teaneck, NJ||N/A||Full-Time, Part-Time, Online, Advanced Standing Option|
|Kean University||Union, NJ||N/A||Full-Time, Part-Time, Online, Advanced Standing Option|
|Monmouth University||West Long Branch, NJ||Clinical Practice with Families and Children, Global and Community Practice||Full-Time, Part-Time, Advanced Standing Option|
|Montclair State University||Montclair, NJ||N/A||Full-Time, Part-Time, Advanced Standing Option|
|Ramapo College||Mahway, NJ||N/A||Full-Time, Part-Time, Advanced Standing Option|
|The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers||New Brunswick, NJ||Clinical Social Work, Management and Policy||Full-Time, Part-Time, Online, Advanced Standing Option|
|Seton Hall University||South Orange, NJ||N/A||Full-Time, Part-Time, Online, Advanced Standing Option|
|Stockton University||Atlantic City, NJ||N/A||Full-Time, Part-Time, Advanced Standing Option|
Popular Online Social Work Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What to Expect From an MSW Program in New Jersey
Eight colleges in New Jersey offer CSWE-accredited programs. You'll want an MSW education that meets the expectations of the social work industry, and CSWE-accredited programs provide that quality assurance.
Each program features different formats and concentrations. You can pick from CSWE-accredited programs that provide concentrations in clinical practice with families and children, management and policy, and global and community practice. Expect to spend about 2-3 years earning your MSW in New Jersey as a full-time student and 3-4 years as a part-time student.
To graduate, you'll need to take about 30-60 credits, researching topics such as social work theories, bio-psycho-social approaches, and social welfare policy. Your studies will likely culminate with a field internship in which you'll work at an agency to complete about 900 field hours.
If you hold a bachelor's degree, you may qualify for advanced standing, enabling you to graduate in as few as 12 months. As an advanced-standing student, you can skip foundational social work courses.
How to Apply to an MSW Program in New Jersey
What you need to apply for an MSW program in New Jersey depends on your status as a student. Are you interested in applying for MSW admissions as a traditional student or an advanced-standing student? If you have earned a bachelor's in social work (BSW), you can qualify for advanced standing. With a non-BSW undergraduate degree, you'll apply for the traditional track.
Note that each school calls for different materials and academic standards to qualify for admission. Generally, you'll complete a graduate application online and submit official transcripts, a resume, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
Schools typically require students to meet minimum academic standards to get admitted. For example, you may need a 2.75-3.0 GPA. Also, take note of other requirements, such as GRE scores, which some programs offering an MSW in New Jersey require.
What You Can Do With an MSW in New Jersey
New Jersey offers three credentials for social workers. Individuals who hold a BSW degree can pursue a certified social worker credential. However, after earning a CSWE-accredited MSW degree in New Jersey, you can pursue a career as a licensed social worker (LSW) or licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).
During the last semester of your MSW program, you can apply to sit for the master's-level examination administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). To become a licensed social worker in New Jersey, the New Jersey State Board of Social Work Examiners requires that you:
- Submit an application
- Complete a certification and authorization form to apply for a criminal history background check
- Submit official transcripts
- Pass the ASWB exam
Your specialty in social work will dictate your field and your social work salary expectations. In New Jersey, according to May 2022 data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mental health and substance abuse social workers were the highest-paid workers in the field, earning an annual mean wage of $92,850. Child, family, and school social workers in New Jersey also earned relatively high wages, taking home $75,590 annually.
Everything Else You Need to Know About MSW Programs in New Jersey
How long does it take to complete an MSW in New Jersey?
MSW degrees in New Jersey typically take about two years for full-time students. However, your availability and undergraduate major can influence your graduation timeline. For instance, if you studied social work as an undergraduate, you may be able to earn an MSW in just one year. Studying part time will take longer.
What careers are available with an MSW in New Jersey?
With an MSW, you can pursue a career in social work as a school social worker, mental health and substance misuse social worker, or a social work teacher. You'll have the chance to work in various settings, including schools, hospices, and hospitals.
What skills will you learn with an MSW in New Jersey?
MSW programs let you focus on a generalist practice or specialized practice. No matter your track, you'll take courses that cover social work practice, research, social policy, social welfare, and fieldwork. The fieldwork portion includes about 900 hours of clinically supervised field experience in social work.
What are the benefits of earning an MSW in New Jersey?
Earning an MSW in New Jersey offers a pathway to an in-demand and high-paying position in the state. For example, healthcare social workers in New Jersey are projected to see 11% growth from 2018-2028, according to numbers shared by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.