The Ohio State University at Lima

College of Social Work - MSW Semester Curriculum

The MSW curriculum at The Ohio State University is designed to prepare future social work leaders to address regional, national, and global social issues. The new curriculum ensures that graduates have the competencies and skills needed to successfully practice in a variety of fields such as health, aging, mental health, substance abuse, and child and youth services, with the ability to intervene through direct services, administrative practice, community change, or policy reform. The new curriculum is also designed to be student friendly and flexible so that you can tailor your education to fit your professional goals. This dynamic curriculum features diverse specialization options that offer you greater choice in your course of study to reflect the contemporary contexts in which social workers practice.         


The two-year MSW program is completed in four semesters. You will begin the program with foundation courses that are designed to address the core competencies and practice behaviors essential for all social workers. After completing the foundation courses, you will select one of four practice area specializations for advanced study. The specialization areas are:
        1) Aging and Health
        2) Mental Health and Substance Abuse
        3) Child and Youth Services
        4) Community and Social Justice         

Specialization courses provide content on theories, policies, and best practices that inform each practice area. You will also choose from a menu of advanced practice courses focusing on skills at both the micro and macro levels. These courses will emphasize the “how to” skills required for effective social work practice.

You will be required to complete a capstone experience consisting of a program or practice evaluation project that is completed in conjunction with your field education experience. The capstone project will be completed over two semesters. Finally, the field education experience consists of 1,008 hours of supervised practice in a setting consistent with your practice area specialization. Elective courses supplement the required curriculum.


The MSW degree can also be earned on a parttime basis over either a three- or four-year period. In addition to enrolling at our Columbus campus, you have the option of taking the initial portion of this curriculum at one of three Ohio State regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, or Newark.


If you have recently completed an undergraduate degree in social work from a CSWE accredited program, you may be eligible for this option. Full-time Advanced Standing Alternative Plan (ASAP) students obtain their MSW degree in three semesters. Parttime ASAP students can complete the program over five semesters. All ASAP students complete 43 credit hours of graduate study including one 672 hour field placement. Admission criteria include an earned undergraduate degree in social work within the past five years and a strong academic record.