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Offered through the Worden School of Social Service, the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program will prepare students to change the lives of children and families in need while building the foundation for their own career in social service leadership and advanced direct practice. Whether already working in the field or have a desire to join it, OLLU's MSW can help students achieve their goals of helping society and fighting for justice. The MSW program's concentration is social work practice with Hispanic children and families. 

Program Offerings

  • Foundation Program (57 credit hours) - this program is for students whose bachelor's degree is in something other than social work.
  • Advanced Standing Program (30 credit hours) - this program is designed for those students who have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program.

Options for full-time and part-time are available.

The MSW program is offered in the following locations and formats:

  • San Antonio campus - offered face-to-face
  • Rio Grande Valley campus - offered through a hybrid format with some face-to-face classes and some work completed online
  • Online - our online programs offer the same service-focused values of personal support and hands-on learning as our on-campus programs.


OLLU's MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation. CSWE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States.

Social Work Practice with Hispanic Children and Families

OLLU's MSW is one of only a few social work master's degree programs in the country with a practice concentration on Hispanic children and families. The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing demographic community nationwide, meaning social workers all over the U.S. can benefit from particular expertise and understanding of the issues facing the Hispanic community. Such an advantage can help social workers provide excellent service and position themselves for maximum success and leadership in their social work careers. The MSW from OLLU also focuses on social work across the life span, including service to elderly adults, who currently represent the largest single community of social service recipients. 

MSW Program Goals

The goal of the MSW program is to prepare professionally trained social workers for specialized intervention in advanced social work direct practice with Hispanic/Latin@ children and families in a way that fosters commitment to culturally competent practice with diverse populations. To that end, the program focuses on ten learning outcomes for MSW students. Each social work student will:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct yourself accordingly
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgment
  4. Engage diversity and differences in practice
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  6. Engage in research informed practice and practice informed research
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
  9. Respond to context that shape practice
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
MSW Foundation Assessment of Learning Outcomes MSW Advanced Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Field Education

Field Education is an integral part of the social work program at OLLU. The Worden School of Social Service has established partnerships with an extensive network of public and private social service agencies to provide students with a wide range of opportunities for internships. Worden's Field Education Office will assist students with securing appropriate field placements once the student has identified an eligible agency. 

SBIRT Program

Students in the MSW program benefit from the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Competency and Dissemination project, a collaborative project between the Social Work and Psychology programs at OLLU. SBIRT serves as an early intervention for individuals struggling with substance abuse and those at risk of developing substance abuse disorders. SBIRT curricula is integrated into programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Read more about the SBIRT program at OLLU.