The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and offers several degrees. The undergraduate programs consist of the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Social Welfare, which gives an overview of current social problems and prepares students for human service jobs, and the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), a professional degree that allows graduates to perform entry-level social work jobs. In addition to obtaining a generalist social work education, BSW students must complete a field placement for two semesters for 16 hours each week.
The student’s field placement typically falls into one of eight categories of field units and students are trained to engage in practical social work skills while helping clients in a real world setting. Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to engage in the Public Child Welfare Training Program, which is designed to train both graduate and undergraduate students in order to work as clinicians in child welfare.
In exchange for tuition, fees, textbooks, and mileage to and from field site, undergraduate students agree to full-time employment in child welfare for a period of time equal to the amount of time they received monetary assistance from the program.
University of Wisconsin in Madison offers the Master of Social Work program for full-time and part-time students. The full-time program is typically two years in length; the first of which consists of generalist social work practice and the second of which is an advanced practice concentration. Advanced practice concentrations consist of Child, Youth, and Family Welfare; Health, Aging, and Disability; and Mental Health. Field placements are required, with students completing 16 hours per week in the first year and 20 hours per week in the second year.
Part-time students typically take about four years to complete the MSW program, though it can be completed in as little as two for students who have achieved their Bachelor of Social Work degree within the past seven years. Part-time students must also complete a field education placement, though those who are employed at a social services agency may be able to count those hours. Much like undergraduates, MSW students also have the opportunity to train in the Public Child Welfare Training Program. In addition to the benefits listed above for undergraduate students, graduate students receive a monthly stipend during the time they complete their field placements.
UW-Madison School of Social Work also offers a PhD in Social Welfare program. This requires at least 42 hours of coursework, exam completion, and the execution of a dissertation in a chosen area of study. UW-Madison School of Social Work also offers the Joint MSW/PhD Program for students who can obtain their MSW while earning a PhD. For students without a BSW, this program can be completed in three years; for those with a BSW, it can be completed in 2 ½ years.