How you plan to address work and other responsibilities during your course of study; how you will finance your education; and how you will do these things in addition to course and field work.

four double-spaced pages


  • What led to your choice of social work; personal growth stemming from your family, community, and educational background; instances of you giving and receiving help; other careers you considered; and relevance of current and/or past work experience to your choice of a major field.


  • What you expect to gain from your professional education; reasons you chose Boston College; and your goals or plans in your service choice of Clinical or Macro specialized practice.


  • How you plan to address work and other responsibilities during your course of study; how you will finance your education; and how you will do these things in addition to course and field work.




Masters of Social Work program (MSW)[edit]

Boston College School of Social Work offers a two-year program and a three- or four-year program.[9][10]

The Clinical Program intervention method prepares students for a broad range of careers and focuses on direct service to those in need.[11] The Macro: Social Innovation + Leadership Program focuses on training future leaders of the public and social service sectors in the development of new ideas and directions for solving social problems, both creatively and effectively.[12][13]

The choice of concentration and intervention method combined with a five-elective curriculum plan allows students to customize their education to their professional and educational goals.[14][15]

Boston College School of Social Work offers a Certificates Program within the MSW Program that gives students the opportunity to engage in concentrated study in subject-specific areas of social work practice and expertise, allowing for enhanced skill sets and practice options. Eight certificate options are offered on a space available basis for incoming students starting in Fall 2014 in the areas of Child Welfare; Latino Leadership; Neuroscience & Social Work; Policy & Community Organizing; Refugees & Immigrants; School Social Work; Trauma; and Veterans & Military Families. Certificate course offerings are subject to change each semester.[16]


Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW) is a professional degree program located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts near the city of Boston. Currently ranked #10 by U.S. News and World Reports, it is the highest ranked academic program at Boston College and the highest ranked Catholic school of social work in the United States. Over 7,000 alumni serve as practitioners in social service agencies, policymakers, academics, and researchers throughout the United States and across the globe.


Boston College School of Social Work faculty, students, research centers, and institutes conduct innovative work in understanding and addressing critical social issues.



It takes more than good intentions to be an effective social worker. It takes evidence-based knowledge, field-tested skills, and a wealth of hands-on experience—the core components of our MSW Program.


Our empirically focused approach to social work makes us thoughtful leaders in the field. Our respected International Programs extend our reach and global impact. Accordingly, students in our PhD Program advance the fields of social welfare and social work.


Our Advising Center provides students with guidance and information whose focus is on integrating the full educational experience from entering our program through graduation and on to launching careers as professional social workers. We are committed to lifelong learning in our Continuing Education program.


If you have the passion to serve and the commitment to affect change, our curriculum will provide everything you need to build a strong academic foundation.



The faculty at Boston College School of Social Work embody the scientific method our institution brings to social work. Our faculty of excellent teachers, skilled researchers, and gifted practitioners provide the foundation of a dynamic community. Faculty members provide the link between research and practice to make sure that what students learn in the classroom is based on empirical evidence.


The proven methods, evidence-based knowledge, and hands-on experience of the faculty shape the study of social welfare and the practice of social work. Our global leadership in the field further extends our reach and impact.

International Programs

Since its founding, Boston College School of Social Work has been committed to the international dimensions of social problems and social work. Though the issues each country or community faces may be unique, the research-driven knowledge, experience-based insight, and field-tested skills required to address them are endlessly adaptable—as our graduates demonstrate throughout the world.



Our renowned MSW Global Practice concentration has taken students to five different continents where they were placed in refugee camps, child abuse centers, women’s empowerment programs, and a wide range of other social service agencies.


As a Global Practice student, you might provide HIV/AIDS counseling, draft immigration policies, help develop programs for sexually exploited girls and teens, or evaluate housing for the poor.



Our international courses with a field component focus on social work issues in a variety of locations and are open to students of all concentrations. Students have had the opportunity to travel to and participate in community efforts in countries such as Chile, China, Cuba, Greece, India, Italy, Lesotho, Mexico, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Romania, Tanzania, and Thailand to observe how social work affects local cultures.


Along with the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work and the Council on Social Work Education, we are a patron sponsor of the annual International Social Work Conference.

Centers, labs, and institutes[edit]

Boston College School of Social Work’s research centers, labs, and institutes are renowned for conducting groundbreaking work and providing critical services.[18][19]

The Center for Social Innovation promotes “innovation from within.”[20] The mission is to foster effective, sustainable social innovations that enhance social justice.[5]

The Hartford Center of Academic Excellence in Geriatric Social Work is committed to training future generations of social work practitioners and faculty, building bridges between academia and practitioners within the field, and providing leadership to utilize new research in shaping policy and practice.[21] Boston College was one of the first two universities to be designated as a Hartford Academic Center of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work.[5][22]

The Immigrant Integration Lab is an applied research lab exploring the intersection of social work, social policy, and immigrant inclusion.[5][23]

The Institute on Aging provides an integrated framework for fundraising, research, teaching, and knowledge dissemination for three aging research centers at Boston College: The Sloan Center on Aging & Work, The National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services, and The Carroll School of Management’s Center for Retirement Research.[5][24]

The National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services assists states, agencies, and organizations in offering participant-directed services to people with disabilities.[5][25]

The Sloan Center on Aging & Work focuses its research on helping the business community promote workplace flexibility and prepare for the opportunities and challenges associated with an aging workforce.[5][26]

Social Work Library[edit]

To facilitate learning and research, Boston College School of Social Work is one of only a dozen schools of social work in the U.S. and the only one in New England to maintain its own Social Work Library.[5]

The Social Work Library contains over 41,000 volumes, 400 serial titles, and many audiovisual titles. The library also has access to hundreds of journal databases and over 23,000 electronic journals.[27]


Boston College School of Social Work is one of only a few graduate social work programs to have its own Career Services office. In recent years, 95% of graduates have succeeded in finding jobs within the social work field within three months of the start of their job search.[6]

BCSSW’s network of over 7,000 alumni worldwide provides an invaluable resource for seeking career advice and making professional connections.[6]


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