Master of Social Work

Beginning in fall 2016, the Department of Social Work will offer a Master of Social Work degree program.

The program is designed to accommodate working professionals who have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or related field such as counseling and psychology. The program consists of 60 hours for the two year generalist component designed for those coming from a related discipline, and 36 hours for those holding a BSW degree. The Area of Specialized Practice program option is Behavioral Health. The program has one delivery option which is face to face on the main Marshall University campus in Huntington West Virginia. Courses are broadcast in real time via distance education to Marshall University campuses in South Charleston and Pt. Pleasant West Virginia. Regular full-time students can expect to graduate within two years and advanced standing students will be able to complete the program in one calendar year. Part-time options will be available to those who cannot attend full time classes. Classes for the MSW program will be offered primarily during the evening hours with various courses offered online. We will begin accepting students in mid-January. Applications will be online by the beginning of December.

MSW Program Director, Dr. Peggy Proudfoot Harman, said “The idea is to provide an academic venue that is learner friendly and emphasize integrated behavioral health which willl prepare our MSW graduates to work in a variety of settings with a variety of populations.”

Harman maintains that “with the new guidelines requiring medical personnel, pharmacy, nursing, and all facets of health professions to coordinate physical and mental health services, graduates of the program will be prepared to provide the necessary skills to assist these disciplines in understanding one another and working in a collaborative environment. MSW graduates work directly with clients and serve as the liaison between health care professionals and patients. It is a cutting edge program with curriculum that is designed to prepare social work professionals for the 21st century.”

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) notes that “a MSW degree is often required for social work positions in health care. Health care social workers most often work in hospitals: anything from pediatrics to oncology. Their caseload includes people who need to come to grips with difficult diagnoses, locate resources, and make life’s big decisions. While the main focus is not necessarily mental illness, these social workers sometimes diagnose or treat concurrent mental conditions.”

You’ll always need a master’s for clinical work. An MSW degree can also be useful to social workers whose interests lie far outside the clinical arena. For more information, contact Dr. Peggy Proudfoot Harman at 304-696-3146 or via email at

MSW Program Overview
MSW Curriculum
MSW Admission