Social Work

Social Work

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Northwest Nazarene University offers the working professional an opportunity to complete a master's degree through an extended program of study with classes being offered evenings and weekends.

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  • 93% first time pass rate on the LMSW licensing exam compared to the 75% national average
  • Work closely with Faculty mentors
  • 98% placement rate for students into jobs in the field

Master of Social Work

NNU’s Master of Social Work program prepares students for advanced social work practice in rural and small-town settings, both domestic and international. Available at NNU’s Nampa campus and our distance learning location in Idaho Falls, the program utilizes a cohort model that allows for an interactive learning environment and collegiality throughout the student’s course work. Additionally, the MSW practicums give students professional experience and help them build relationships with local professionals. Upon completion of the program, students earn a graduate degree and are prepared to take the MSW licensing exam. With classes offered evenings and weekends, this program is ideal for students with work and/or family responsibilities who wish to advance their career.
Depending on education, and licensure, students can be admitted either at the Generalist level or at the Specialized level for the MSW degree. Applicants who have completed a BA in social work or BSW from an institution accredited by the Council of Social Work Education qualify for the Specialized standing level, which can be completed in 18 months (four semesters). An area of specialization is chosen after completing the Generalist year or when entering the program at the Specialized standing level. We have two concentrations: Integrated Clinical and Community Practice (ICCP).

Generalist Standing 

Students who enter the Master of Social Work program from disciplines other than social work enter the program as 1st-year students. These students must take courses to lay a foundation for the specialized level social work courses. These Generalist courses are taken during the first three semesters of the program. Students who begin as 1st-year students complete their course work in less than two and one-half years (seven semesters).

Advanced Standing 

The advanced standing option was developed to recognize the academic accomplishments of outstanding applicants who have completed a BA in social work or BSW from a college or university accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students who are accepted into the Advanced standing level may complete their specialized course work in sixteen months (four semesters).
An area of specialization is chosen after completing the Generalist year or when entering the program at the Advanced standing level.


General Program: All students will complete the following courses:

  • SOWK7630: Policy Issues in Rural America
  • SOWK7645: Practical Research
  • SOWK7620: HBSE: Diversity
  • SOWK7616: Beyond the DSM
  • SOWK7622: Social Work and Spirituality
  • Elective Credits: 2 credits
  • SOWK7690: Capstone OR SOWK7642: Completion of Thesis
  • SOWK7691: Specialist Comprehensive Exam

Clinical Mental Health & Addictions

This concentration prepares students to provide psychotherapy and addiction services for individuals, families and groups in rural and small-town settings. Specific content on trauma-focused practice is included, in addition to content on macro practice in community mental health or addiction settings. The goal of this concentration is to help students understand how to practice in therapeutic settings, whether working with clients with mental health concerns, addiction issues or a dual diagnosis.
Field placement opportunities for students in this concentration include private therapy offices, community mental health centers, inpatient mental health and/or addiction treatment settings, substance abuse clinics, drug court and co-occurring mental health and addiction treatment.

Integrated Clinical & Community Practice

The purpose of this track is to combine training in a variety of fields of practice for students who are interested in clinical or macro MSW practice but not in psychotherapy. The track will include content on child welfare, medical, criminal justice at the micro and mezzo levels and macro practice. The goal of this concentration is to help students understand how to practice in one or more of these areas of social work while also appreciating the other systems with which their clients are likely to interact.

Field placement opportunities for child welfare include public and private child welfare agencies, juvenile justice programs, court settings, schools and foster care/adoption agencies. Field placement opportunities for healthcare include dialysis centers, emergency rooms, community health clinics, home health and hospice agencies and hospitals. Field placement opportunities for criminal justice include county, state, and federal jails/prisons, juvenile justice programs and court settings. Students interested in macro practice can experience field placement opportunities in almost any setting. Specific agencies providing macro opportunities include NASW, AARP, Salvation Army and Health and Welfare.


Internship Expectations:

Students in this track will complete 600 hours of practicum. A student can choose to complete all 600 hours in one area of practice or split hours between two areas of practice. Within the 600 hours, every student must complete at least 200 hours at the micro/mezzo levels and 200 hours at the macro level of practice in his/her chosen area(s) of social work practice. Ideally, all 600 hours should be completed in the same agency, but certain circumstances may warrant allowing a student to complete placement hours at two agencies.

Accreditation & Regulations

Northwest Nazarene University’s MSW program is nationally accredited at the undergraduate and graduate levels by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). See NNU’s Assessment of Learning Outcomes.

Notice Out-of-State Students

Since this is a program that leads to professional licensure, prospective students should review important information about NNU’s participation in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and Professional Licensure about this program. Individual states often have different expectations for professional licensure, so it is in a prospective student’s best interest to investigate whether NNU’s degree program will help them achieve licensure in their home state.

Degree Details

Master of Social Work

Offered On Campus (Idaho Falls and Nampa) and Online

$598 per credit - See All Tuition & Fee Info

Related Career Paths
Career Avg. Salary
Child, Family, and School Social Workers $50,630
Community and Social Service Occupations $41,840
Social and Community Service Managers $44,180
Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area occupational employment and wage estimates for the Boise area are sourced from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Looking back through my college experience, the professors have really equipped me with knowledge and information that I'm able to take and use in my future career, especially through hands on experience.

Natalie Knauf

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