In the heart of the Midwest, Wisconsin stands as a beacon of academic excellence, particularly in the realm of social work education. With its vibrant communities and commitment to social welfare, the state boasts a rich tapestry of Master of Social Work (MSW) programs designed to equip aspiring social workers with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle the complex challenges of today’s society.

From urban centers to rural landscapes, Wisconsin’s MSW programs offer a diverse array of specialized tracks and experiential learning opportunities. They nurture compassionate professionals poised to make a meaningful difference in individuals’ and communities’ lives. In this article, we delve into the landscape of MSW programs in Wisconsin, exploring their unique features, academic rigor, and invaluable contributions to the field of social work both locally and beyond.

MSW Degree Program Requirements/Eligibility in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Traditional MSW Admissions Requirements

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field but would like to branch out into social work, you’ll need to enter into a traditional MSW. The programs take about two years to complete and require 60 credit hours. To apply, check out these typical admissions requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree, typically in psychology or a related area, from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA requirement (typically around 3.0)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Resume or CV outlining relevant experience
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (such as psychology, sociology, or human services)
  • GRE scores (some programs may waive this requirement)
  • Interview (some programs may require an interview as part of the application process)
  • Background check and/or fingerprinting

Wisconsin Advanced-Standing MSW Admissions Requirements

For students who already have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), there’s a faster option – advanced standing MSW programs. If you have a GPA of at least 3.5 and all of the additional requirements above, you can complete your MSW in as little as a year by completing 38 credits. Here are a few options for advanced-standing MSWs in Wisconsin:

Wisconsin MSW Program Tuition and Costs

Wisconsin has some of the most affordable tuition costs in the nation, and this is especially true if you’re currently living in Wisconsin or even a neighboring state. On average, you’ll pay $275 to $401 per credit as a Wisconsin resident. If you’re moving to Wisconsin for school, the cost is still manageable at $597 to $839 per credit.

SchoolTuition (per credit hour)Total CreditsTotal Tuition
University of Wisconsin/Madison$401 (Resident)
$839 (Non-resident)
61$24,504 (Resident)
$51,156 (Non-resident)
University of Wisconsin/Whitewater$275 (Resident)
$597 (Non-resident)
60$16,500 (Resident)
$35,832 (Non-resident)
University of Wisconsin/Green Bay$367 (Resident)
$738 (Non-resident)
54$19,862 (Resident)
$39,832 (Non-resident)

Are Online MSW Programs in Wisconsin as Good as Campus-Based?

There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to both online MSW programs and campus-based MSW programs, but each will provide a rigorous education delivered by experienced faculty members. Take a look at the table below to see which program delivery method is right for you.

Traditional MSW vs. Online MSW Programs in Wisconsin

Traditional MSW ProgramsOnline MSW Programs
FormatIn-person classesOnline classes with some in-person requirements
FlexibilityLimited scheduling optionsMore flexibility in scheduling, often part-time options
LocationGeographically limitedAccessible from anywhere with internet connectivity
Learning EnvironmentClassroom-basedVirtual classroom, discussion boards, and online resources
NetworkingLocal networking opportunitiesNetworking with students and professionals from diverse locations
CostTuition, commuting, and relocation expensesGenerally lower tuition and flexibility to continue working
Hands-on ExperienceField placements and internshipsVirtual or field placements and internships arranged in the student's local area

As you’re deciding on which type of program to enroll in, it’s a good idea to make sure that the programs you apply to are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This will ensure that you will be eligible for licensure upon graduation.

Learn more about Social Work Degree options:

Getting Your Wisconsin Social Work License

Getting licensed as a social worker in Wisconsin is the next step after earning your MSW degree. Each state has different licensure requirements. Learn more about how to get your social worker license in Wisconsin in our Guide to Social Work Licensure.

Popular Social Work Careers

Discover the specializations available to you within social work. These social work careers can help you work with diverse populations in a variety of environments.

Female social worker talking with elderly female woman

School Social Worker

School social workers provide counseling, support, and advocacy for students facing social, emotional, or behavioral challenges. They collaborate with teachers, parents, and other professionals to develop student success strategies, provide crisis intervention, and facilitate support groups.

Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers assess patients' social, emotional, and practical needs. They provide counseling and support, coordinate care with healthcare providers, advocate for patients' rights, and connect patients and their families with community resources to ensure holistic and comprehensive care.

Court Social Worker

Court social workers assess the needs of individuals involved in court cases. They develop intervention plans, provide counseling and support, monitor progress in court-ordered programs, collaborate with legal professionals, and advocate for clients' best interests in legal proceedings.

List of MSW Degree Programs in Wisconsin

Green Bay, WI

Master's Programs
2420 Nicolet Dr
Green Bay, WI 54311-7001
(920) 465-2111

Milwaukee, WI

2200 E Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 229-1122

Oshkosh, WI

Master's Programs
800 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 424-1234

Waukesha, WI

Master's Programs
100 N East Ave
Waukesha, WI 53186
(262) 547-1211

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Joel Gill
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