Social Work/Social Justice MSW/MA

About the MSW/MA in Social Justice at Loyola

With today's growing disparities among economically disadvantaged communities, underserved and underrepresented populations, and individuals whose human dignity is under assault by social arrangements and structures, there is an increasing need for results-oriented social work and social justice professionals. The Master of Social Work/MA in Social Justice (MSW/MASJ) dual degree program offers a distinctive graduate degree path to help meet this need.

This dual degree pairs exclusively with the Leadership, Mezzo, and Macro Practice specialization (LMMP) with a Leadership, Community, Advocacy and Policy (LCAP) track.

Leadership, Mezzo, & Macro Practice (LMMP) Specialization

The Leadership, Mezzo, and Macro Practice area of specialization extend foundation knowledge and skills in working at the mezzo and macro levels of social work practice. Informed by an anti-racist framework and social work ethics, LMMP courses educate students in critical thinking, reflective attention to affective factors, and informed decision-making for action. These overarching values and processes are applied to the development of theoretical knowledge of community change, organizations, leadership and supervision, and policy advocacy.

The courses address skill development for mezzo/macro practice, including: leading people; managing programs, services, and organizations; developing and evaluating programs and policies; supervising and supporting the work of individuals, teams, and groups; assisting the professional development of others; developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating budgets; engaging in policy advocacy and coalition building; working with advisory and/or policy boards; supporting evaluation and research endeavors to assess effectiveness and efficiency; performing development activities such as fund-raising and grant writing.

The Leadership, Mezzo, & Macro Practice Specialization (LMMP) offers a track in Leadership, Community, Advocacy, and Policy (LCAP).

LMMP Suggested Electives

  • SOWK 602: Health and Behavioral Health Policy and Systems

  • SOWK 606: Practicum in Research and Evaluation

  • SOWK 654: Global Social Work: Reflective Practice for Justice and Peace

  • SOWK 663: Women in a Global Context

  • SOWK 709: Social Work and the Law

  • SOWK 714: Philanthropy, Public Policy, Community Change

  • SOWK 730: Migration Dynamics and U.S, Social Policy

  • SOWK 732: Migration, Social Justice, and Human Rights

The MSW/MA in Social Justice dual degree emphasizes collaborative and community work, seeking to prepare future leaders at transformational organizations in local and global communities. As a student in this program, you will study at a Jesuit institution that puts service and justice at the heart of its mission, in an urban center that provides a unique and rich context for promoting social justice and community advocacy.

Program Structure

The MSW/MA in Social Justice is a 67-credit hour program that integrates coursework from two highly respected Loyola colleges—the School of Social Work and the Institute for Pastoral Studies—with a focus on promoting social justice, engaging in community advocacy, and providing interventions to vulnerable communities.

Full-time students can complete the dual degree program in as few as three years.

The MSW/MA in Social Justice can be pursued full-time or part-time. Classes are held at Loyola's Water Tower Campus, conveniently located off the Red Line in the heart of Chicago.

Social Work MSWSchool of Social Work

Masters | Part-Time or Full-Time | On-Campus | Fall, Spring, Summer

Program Page

This program is designed to develop professionals who have the confidence and skills to take on the challenge to improve individual and family welfare and empower people within our communities to promote social justice. You will thrive in our program if you have a true passion for social justice issues and a determination to advocate and take action to help transform lives and communities.

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Social Justice MAInstitute of Pastoral Studies

Masters | Part-Time or Full-Time | On-Campus, Online | Fall, Spring, Summer

Program Page

This program is designed to prepare tomorrow's “change agents” to bring advocacy, service, and equity to underserved and underrepresented communities. Whether along racial, ethnic, gender, or religious lines, social disparities continue to gain prominence in the national conversation, creating a heightened need for social justice advocates. This program offers students a solid grounding in spiritual and theological foundations, current issues, best-practice strategies, and practical tools to carry out this important work effectively.

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Curriculum and Program Outcomes

While courses for the Social Work/Social Justice MSW/MA program may vary from semester to semester, Loyola’s extensive Academic Catalog will always house the official listing of courses, programs of study, academic policies, degree requirements, and specialization or concentration options.

Additionally, this resource will provide Social Work/Social Justice MSW/MA learning outcomes, showcasing the commitment to specific skills and growth graduates can expect to achieve following completion of the program.

2024-2025 Catalog
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Costs, Scholarships, and Aid

Loyola University Chicago is committed to making your graduate and professional studies a reality. Our Cost & Financial Aid page can help better inform you about the costs and potential funding opportunities through scholarships, loans, and aid for graduate and professional education.

If you are a current Loyola undergraduate or recent alum, you may be eligible for a Returning Rambler discount. Learn more and see if you qualify on our Returning Rambler Scholarship page.

Tuition and Costs

The Social Work/Social Justice MSW/MA is a dual degree program that awards separate degrees for each program completed. Therefore, cost will equal the summation of each individual degree program's tuition times the number of credit hours taken in that program. Some dual degrees may have shared credits that adjust the total cost of the program. Please view the following pages for more information on each individual program's tuition, and contact the Office of the Bursar with any questions.

Social Work MSWSocial Justice MA

Application Process

Application Deadlines

The available start terms and corresponding application deadlines for the Social Work/Social Justice MSW/MA are listed below. Please keep in mind that both the application and the required materials must be submitted by the specified deadline.

Fall: May 1
Fall 2024 only: August 1

Application Requirements

Application requirements for the Social Work/Social Justice MSW/MA include:

  • Official Transcripts

  • 2 References

  • 3.0 Minimum GPA

  • Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose Details

Applicants to a dual degree program should address both the statement of purpose prompts indicated by the School of Social Work and for the specific degree program with the Institute of Pastoral Studies, the School of Law, or The Graduate School.

Master of Social Work (MSW)
The personal statement component of your application to the MSW Program at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work will be used to assess your writing, critical thinking, and capacity for self-awareness in terms of readiness for graduate level work and supervised practice in the field.

Please submit (one) well-developed 1500 word, double spaced personal statement that shares your interest in the field of social work and motivation to pursue the MSW Program at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.

The personal statement submitted must be a comprehensive essay that addresses all of the questions posed in the three topics below:

Topic 1: Describe your understanding of the social work profession. How have you incorporated the values of service and social justice (held by the profession) in your human service experiences and interactions with others?

Topic 2: Discuss your career interests and goals. In what population or area of social work practice are you interested? How will a Social Work education from Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work prepare you for work in your area of interest? What do you hope to accomplish with an MSW?

Topic 3: Discuss your timing to pursue a graduate program now. What personal and/or professional factors have led you to want to pursue an MSW now? How do you intend to complete the program? How do you plan to balance the academic and field responsibilities of the program with outside responsibilities and obligations? How will you finance your studies?

If you are a transfer student currently or previously enrolled in a MSW program elsewhere, in addition to addressing the questions above in your personal statement, please address you interest in transferring to Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work from your current or past institution.

Social Justice MA:
Please submit a 1,500-word essay describing your personal, educational, professional, and ministerial background and how these have prepared you for the specific Master's program for which you have applied. In your essay, also address the following:

  • Prior undergraduate or graduate study in theology or philosophy, if any;

  • The ways in which your professional life and any volunteer service have emphasized spirituality, community and social justice;

  • A theological book(s) that has helped to shape your understanding of your proposed vocation and course of study;

  • Your vision of ministry, your strengths relative to this vocation, significant influences on your faith life (including ministerial mentors or role models), and the professional context in which you see yourself working upon completion of your program; and

  • Why you are choosing to pursue this degree at Loyola's IPS.

Official Documents

Official transcripts are those that are sent directly by the college/university to Loyola University Chicago. Transcripts sent by the student to Loyola are considered unofficial documents, and while they may be utilized for initial review of your application, official transcripts are still required. Official documents should be sent by the institution to

International Applicant Requirements

An official English language proficiency exam is required for international applicants whose native language is not English. If you have non-U.S. educational credentials, you are required to submit an official transcript evaluation. The transcript evaluation cannot be waived.

Please visit our International Applicant Requirements page for specific information regarding the application process for international students.

International Applicant Requirements
Start Your Application

Applying online to the Social Work/Social Justice MSW/MA program is a swift, uncomplicated, and cost-free process. After submission, you can proceed to send and upload any additional requirements.

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