Social Work/Women's Studies and Gender Studies MSW/MA

About the Women and Gender Studies MA/Social Work MSW at Loyola

Advancing social justice requires acknowledging and honoring the diversity of our human community—especially regarding gender, race, class, and sexuality. If you are passionate about activism and addressing social justice issues, you'll thrive in Loyola's Master's in Social Work and Women's Studies and Gender Studies, one of the few dual degree graduate programs of its kind in the nation.

You will benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of the dual-degree program and its tight-knit and supportive community. Both programs use an intersectional lens throughout the coursework, examining the influence of multiple identities on the experiences of individuals, families, groups, and communities.

With a wide range of courses to choose from, you will be able to focus on the areas that interest you most. By taking courses in both degree programs, you can complete the MSW and the MA in Women's Studies and Gender Studies in a quicker timeframe than if each degree were completed individually.

Program Structure

The MA in Women's Studies and Gender Studies/Master's in Social Work can be pursued full-time or part-time.

In addition to the 49 credits required for Social Work, you must complete 18 credit hours in Women's Studies and Gender Studies. You will be required to complete two social work fieldwork. The first internship is a generalist fieldwork, and the second fieldwork is aligned with your area of specialization. Students choose the Micro Specialization or Leadership, Mezzo, and Macro Specialization for this dual degree.

Micro Practice

The Micro Practice Specialization extends foundation knowledge of generalist practice and requires a critical understanding of diverse theories and their related evidence-informed practice models with a diverse population. Critical analysis is used to examine these models from an antiracist, strengths, and systemic perspective to plan for interventions that are most effective in situations of increased complexity within our global world. Critical thinking skills, reflexivity, and an appreciation and understanding of diverse political, economic, and social systems as they impact micro practice in diverse settings (e.g. schools, mental health clinics, health care facilities, and others), are utilized to assess and engage client systems in prioritizing and managing clinical problems, and treatment goals. Practice modalities from diverse cultural contexts are emphasized to deepen students’ understanding and ability to apply, modify, and develop practice models relevant to clients’ culture and experience of oppression in society.

Students in the Micro Practice Specialization can choose a track from the following:

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 School of Social Work and the WSGS department have long-standing relationships with local organizations, providing opportunities for internships in an urban environment with diverse populations.

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

Program Page

This program is designed for students interested in the intersectionality and social justice issues centered on gender, and who strive to bring positive change on those fronts. The program will offer you an interdisciplinary exploration of how knowledge is shaped by power, bridging insights gained from the humanities, social sciences, business, and law. You will be empowered to develop thoughtful, innovative solutions and to create pathways for promoting social justice.

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Curriculum and Program Outcomes

While courses for the Social Work/Women's Studies and Gender Studies 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/Women's Studies and Gender Studies MSW/MA learning outcomes, showcasing the commitment to specific skills and growth graduates can expect to achieve following completion of the program.

2023-2024 Catalog
Browse Academic Catalog

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/Women's Studies and Gender Studies 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 MSWWomen's Studies and Gender Studies MA

Application Process

Application Deadlines

The available start terms and corresponding application deadlines for the Social Work/Women's Studies and Gender Studies 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: June 1
Spring: November 1

Application Requirements

Application requirements for the Social Work/Women's Studies and Gender Studies MSW/MA include:

  • Official Transcripts

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

  • 3.0 Minimum GPA

  • Resume/CV

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Writing Sample

Please note that a personal statement is required for each degree program.

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.

Women's Studies and Gender Studies MA
Write a brief statement describing your academic and research interests as well as your professional goals. Please note that this program has a research paper requirement.

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/Women's Studies and Gender Studies 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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