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Continuing Studies

MSW: Specializations

The Loyola MSW program offers five areas of specialization. Each specialization requires an advanced policy course that’s designed to further develop your conceptualization and allow you to practice critical thinking skills in a specific area.

A Master of Social Work student meets with her professor on the Carthage campus.

School Social Work

The school social work specialization prepares you for advance practice with children in a school setting. A school social worker functions as a liaison between home, school, and the community. You are required to complete an internship in a school setting for a full school year, and could be placed in an elementary, middle, or high school to gain valuable work experience.

Health Social Work

The health social work specialization prepares you for advanced practice in settings such as hospitals, home care and hospice agencies, and medical clinics. Medical social workers support patients and families in a variety of medical settings, assisting them with psychological issues related to illness, discharge planning, crisis intervention, family violence, coping with illness, and grief or loss. Students complete their second-level internship in a health care setting.

Mental Health Social Work

The mental health social work specialization prepares you to work with people of all ages who are coping with stress related to mental illness. You can expect to work with clients in inpatient mental health hospitals, outpatient mental clinics, and residential treatment centers. Our students complete internships in a variety of outpatient and inpatient mental health settings.

A professor talks to MSW students during a class at Carthage College.

Children and Families

This specialization prepares you to work with children and families in a variety of settings, such as child and adolescent treatment centers, social service agencies, inpatient mental health programs, and juvenile detention centers. Advanced practice in the child specialization reflects mastery of child development, direct social work treatment of children, related research and law, service delivery, and social work macro roles in child and family-oriented settings.

Leadership and Development

The leadership and development in social services (LDSS) specialization prepares you to perform supervisory, managerial, and administrative practice in a variety of agency and organizational settings. Increasingly, social workers are called upon to assume leadership and development roles and responsibilities for personnel development, program management, and administration.


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