MSW Program Overview

At the University of Montana we are committed to excellence, creativity, and innovation in social work education.  Today’s graduate-level social worker must be able to work with a diverse clientele and engage in practice at multiple levels, from counseling to community change.  

At the University of Montana we take an integrated-practice approach premised on the inseparability of individual struggles and social issues such as poverty, discrimination, oppression, and social injustice.  We seek to engage individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in the process of strengthening personal capacities, social programs, and public policies.  We draw on the rich legacy of social justice work in creating a cutting-edge learning experience that prepares social workers for 21st century challenges.  Our advanced integrated-practice curriculum embraces the profession’s commitment to value-based social work practice and promotes social and economic justice by:

  • grounding students in social work values and critical thinking;
  • providing students with frameworks for understanding historical, political, and cultural contexts of practice, honoring difference, confronting oppression, and taking action for social justice;
  • preparing students to bridge direct practice with individuals, groups, and families and the knowledge and skills of community building;
  • teaching students to integrate research, policy analysis, and advocacy in their practice regardless of setting, problem area, or specific job description; and 
  • preparing students as social work leaders committed to promotion of empowering, participatory, social-justice-oriented practice.
  • The MSW program is now offered to students to be completed online.

The UM Experience

A supportive Learning Environment

Our educational environment is characterized by small class size, ready access to faculty, a strong sense of community, and an emphasis on student-directed learning. The integrated-practice approach invites students to take initiative in the design and development of their educational experience. 

A Dedicated and Accomplished Faculty

Faculty blend their commitment to student success and social work education with innovative research and practice contributions to social work theory, gerontology, child welfare, addictions, international social work, trauma, grief and loss, mental health, and community-based participatory research.

A Collaborative Approach To Education, Research and Practice

Faculty and students are involved in a broad range of research and practice opportunities that contribute to a dynamic teaching-learning context. These collaborative efforts have resulted in program and practice innovations that are making a difference.

A Commitment to Enhancing Rural Social Work Practice

Rural areas face unique struggles as global forces play out in local communities. Our faculty and students are involved in creating and delivering programs and services that are responsive to the cultural, political, and geographic diversity of rural Montana, the Rocky Mountain West, and beyond.