Array Master of Social Work | Alverno College

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Join Alverno's Innovative Abolitionist MSW

The Alverno online Master of Social Work (MSW) program is a facilitator of curiosity, power analysis, ingenuity and healing. The program, open to all genders, offers a comprehensive experience that will not only advance your career, but it will also help you continue a professional path of reward and purpose.

You'll be prepared for advanced, global social work practice and ready to challenge existing oppressive carceral structures, advance social justice and promote the collective good. Full-time and part-time options conclude in eligibility to apply for your Advanced Practice Social Work (APSW) licensure.

Alverno MSW Fast Facts

  • Program format is online plus in-person practicum(s).
  • Program length:
    • Two years for full-time students
    • Advanced standing option: Completion in one year for students who have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited program
    • Part-time option available
  • Advanced Practice Social Work (ASPW) licensure eligibility upon graduation
  • Additional certification options in substance abuse counseling (SAC), alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) and restorative justice
  • Requirements to apply are a bachelor's degree in any field and a passion for social justice
Woman taking an online course at home

Program Overview

Our program is dedicated to nurturing a new generation of change agents who possess both compassion and a critical perspective. With a focus on challenging oppressive power dynamics, students learn to confront and dismantle systems of harm, including white supremacy and carceral structures. The program emphasizes addressing root causes of injustice such as poverty, racism, and trauma, rather than just individual issues.

Through a community-oriented approach, we cultivate social workers who advocate for genuine equality and empowerment, refusing complicity in oppressive hierarchies. Our commitment extends beyond surface-level solutions, aiming for transformative change that uplifts communities globally. We recognize the ongoing struggle for true liberation and emphasize collective responsibility in envisioning a future where human rights are realized for all.

Join us in reshaping the landscape of social work through meaningful interventions, shifting systems, and creating opportunities for everyone to thrive.

Joicenina, Social Work Student

Alverno has prepared me for my professional success by encouraging me to look at everything with an open eye and to approach everything holistically. I have the confidence and tools to help people in need.

Courses, Certification and Licensure

Courses will be formatted with both synchronous and asynchronous activities to facilitate the connection between your classmates while allowing for flexibility to fit your lifestyle. Course topics include systems of oppression, organizing for change, social work towards abolition, addiction and substance abuse, trauma healing interventions and more.

The program will focus on critiquing the carceral logic and providing students with a Restorative to Transformative Practices certificate. You‘ll also have the opportunity to pursue certification in the areas of Substance Abuse Counseling (SAC) and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA).

After graduation, you’ll be eligible to apply for your Advanced Practice Social Work (APSW) licensure.

The Alverno Difference

Alverno’s student-centered courses prioritize your unique needs, expressions, capabilities and knowledge. You’ll thrive in small classes led by dedicated faculty mentors who have deep experience in social work and will personally guide you through your courses.

In our empowering, supportive environment, you won’t just learn theories — you’ll immerse yourself in experiences that ignite your passion for creating positive societal change.

Through collaborative decision-making and shared responsibility, you'll forge connections with fellow students and faculty, all driven by a common goal: to effect real-world, collective healing.

What is abolition?

Abolition seeks to build the kinds of support, safety, accountability, protection, and justice that create alternatives to criminalization. Abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore clarifies that "Abolition is presence, not absence. It’s about building life-affirming institutions." Through the creative collective work of healing, imagination, and transformation, we dream and build a world beyond the carceral state. Instead of upholding the systems we already have, social workers must educate and train ourselves for the future we seek to build. We believe that abolition social work is the fulfillment of our deeply held values, the future of our profession, and the framework we need to build a better world.

Funding Your Education

56 credits  |  $866 per credit hour

Opportunities for Financial Aid
Tuition Reimbursement
  • Your employer may provide tuition reimbursement, minimizing the cost to you. Ask your HR department if you are eligible.
Payment Plans
  • We will work with you to develop a payment plan that fits your budget.
Email or call 414-382-6262 to discuss funding your education.

MSW Quick Links

Accreditation Information

Alverno College's Master of Social Work program has achieved candidacy for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Board of Accreditation (BOA).

Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the BOA indicates that it has made progress toward meeting standards of program quality evaluated through a peer review accreditation process. A program that has attained candidacy status has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.

Students that are admitted to candidate programs in the fall (or later) of the academic year in which the program is granted candidacy status will be retroactively recognized as graduates from a CSWE-BOA accredited program as long as the program attains initial accreditation. Candidacy is typically a 3-year process and attaining candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain initial accreditation.

Candidacy applies to all program options, which includes locations and delivery methods.

Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

Review our program’s candidacy status in CSWE’s Directory of Accredited Programs. For more information about social work accreditation, contact CSWE’s Department of Social Work Accreditation.