Online Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA, equivalent to an MSW)

Change Lives.
Change Communities.
Start today.

  • All applications considered for scholarship
  • 100% online coursework for work and life balance
  • No GRE or admission fee required
  • Choose from 3 specializations
  • Accelerated track available for BSW – just 36 credit hours
  • Same academic standards and distinguished faculty as our on-campus program
  • Option to choose your place of employment as a field education site
  • Students fully supported through the application process to graduation

Get More Information

This will only take a minute

What is your area of interest?

Do you have a Bachelor's degree in Social Work?

Complete this form to receive your free program brochure

Contact Information

Prev Next

A Path Toward Making a Difference

At Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, we understand what it feels like to want to make a difference in the world. Whether it’s helping an individual, family or an entire community, we are passionate, caring and committed to helping others through social work practice.

Featuring two distinct concentrations in:

Community Practice for Social Change: Develop the practical skills and values needed to lead and organize comprehensive social change on a broad scale.

Direct Practice: Learn to engage with individuals, families and groups and assess client needs and strengths. Discover how to provide or help arrange needed services and support, weigh intervention alternatives, implement change strategies, and evaluate results.

Our specializations for Direct Practice are:

The Online Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA; equivalent to an MSW) program helps social workers develop the confidence and competence to lead and practice in a variety of professional settings.

Learn More

Why Choose the Mandel School?

When you join the Mandel School family as an online student, you join a distinguished network of professionals who share your commitment to improving lives through social work. The Mandel School is more than a place to study. It’s a community that has authored nearly a hundred years of social change and advocacy and an institution where you can find opportunities to help author the next hundred.

When the Mandel School was founded in 1915, it was the nation’s first university-affiliated school of social work. Today, the Mandel School is ranked #9 among all graduate schools for social work and #1 in Ohio by U.S. News & World Report.

Our mission is to advance leadership in social work and nonprofit education, scholarship and service to build a more just world. Our alumni include prominent educators, government officials, accomplished practitioners, researchers and chief executives of national and regional agencies in all 50 states and 41 countries. The bond shared by Mandel School alumni—both online and traditional—is characterized by a sense of pride in their first-rate education, earned from one of America’s most storied institutions of social work.

To achieve your goals, we have scholarship support available to students who have received above a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate coursework. Those scholarships are determined based on the application and field education proposals the student submits to the program.

Learn More

Tomorrow's Social Work Leaders

Prev Next

Online Master’s in Social Work Faculty

A Master of Science in Social Administration education is more than preparation. It is an opportunity to join a national network of scholars and practitioners who are shaping the course of social work in communities throughout the world. Mandel School faculty members continue to develop and advance the practice of social work. We have an interdisciplinary faculty that has experience in a wide range of practice areas.

During the past several years, the Mandel School faculty has seen a substantial increase in federally funded research. Awards of research and training grants to our 31-member faculty totaled almost $9.1 million in external funding. The work is more than examining and studying. Their work improves lives and impacts and changes policy at all levels. Faculty research and training activities have been used by human service agencies, county and state governments, and federal agencies to improve public policy and service delivery. Our students benefit from a high level of access to these leading social work experts and their cutting-edge research that is helping to shape the future of social work.

"The #1 priority for every faculty member at the Mandel school is teaching. We have a great combination of scholars and practitioners who are dedicated to instruction and to working with students throughout the program. Frankly, I believe that no other school matches this commitment of teaching and scholarship."
— Sharon Milligan, PhD​, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Associate Professor

Learn More

Master's in Social Work Curriculum

This concentration is a detailed examination of mental health practice for adults. It focuses on helping students develop the skills to create healthy and sustainable mental health environments by developing and disseminating effective theory and practice for community-based mental health practice. The curriculum examines public health, drug treatment, and mental health policies, practices and services.

This concentration focuses on theory and practice directly relating to the identification and assessment of problems that affect young people and families, including adoption, drugs, child and adolescent mental health, physical abuse and violence. Coursework may be applied toward educational requirements for membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

This concentration is designed to help social workers develop the real-world skills and values to lead and advocate for comprehensive social change, implement policy development initiatives and focus on community empowerment on a broad scale. The curriculum addresses a range of issues including globalization, poverty, inequality and oppression, cultural diversity, women’s issues, human rights and more.

Traditional Track

This track can be completed in as few as 2 ½ years. Students will take 24 credit hours of foundation courses and 36 hours of advanced course for a total of 60 credits.

Traditional Track Degree (Non-BSW)
SASS 426 Research Methods in Social Work
SASS 440 Human Development I: Child & Adolescent
SASS 441 Human Development II: Adult
SASS 470 Social Policy
SASS 477 Direct Practice Foundation Methods and Skills
SASS 478 Macro and Policy Practice Skills
SASS 484 Theories of Oppression and Social Justice
SASS 495V Field Education Seminar
SASS 651AV Field Education I
SASS 651BV Field Education I

Advanced Standing

Applicants with a Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW) are automatically considered for Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing students receive up to 24 credits towards their MSSA degree.

Traditional Track

This track can be completed in as few as 2 ½ years. Students will take 24 credit hours of foundation courses and 36 hours of advanced course for a total of 60 credits.

Traditional Track Degree (Non-BSW) Credit Hours
SASS 532 Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation 3
SASS 534 Theoretical Contexts Shaping Community Practice 3
SASS 407 Nonprofit Revenue Planning & Development 3
SASS 521 Supervision 3
SASS 567 Assessing, Building & Organizing Community 3
SASS 569 Planning & Implementing Social Change 3
SASS 561 Community Practice Policy: Analyzing Changing Social Policy 3
SASS 425 Nonprofit Financial Management 3
SASS 545 Program Design 3
SASS 652A Field Education II 1.5
SASS 652B Field Education II 1.5
SASS 653A Field Education III 1.5
SASS 653B Field Education III 1.5
SASS 654A Field Education IV 1.5
SASS 654B Field Education IV 1.5
Total Hours 60

Advanced Standing

Applicants with a Bachelor's in Social Work (BSW) are automatically considered for Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing students can complete the program in just 36 credit hours, in as few as 2 years.

Advanced Standing Track Degree (BSW) Credit Hours
SASS 532 Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation 3
SASS 534 Theoretical Contexts Shaping Community Practice 3
SASS 407 Nonprofit Revenue Planning & Development 3
SASS 567 Assessing, Building & Organizing Community 3
SASS 569 Planning & Implementing Social Change 3
SASS 561 Community Practice Policy: Analyzing & Changing Social Policy 3
SASS 531 Collaboration & Strategic Partnership 3
SASS 425 Nonprofit Financial Management 3
SASS 545 Program Design 3
SASS 652A Field Education II 1.5
SASS 652B Field Education II 1.5
SASS 653A Field Education III 1.5
SASS 653B Field Education III 1.5
SASS 654A Field Education IV 1.5
SASS 654B Field Education IV 1.5
Total Hours 36

Traditional Track

This track can be completed in as few as 2 ½ years. Students will take 24 credit hours of foundation courses and 36 hours of advanced course for a total of 60 credits.

Traditional Track Degree (Non-BSW) Credit Hours
SASS 517 Family Systems Intervention 3
SASS 547 Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis 3
SASS 549 Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work 3
SASS 564 Social Work Practice in Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse 3
SASS 550 Trauma Informed Social Work Practice with Children & Families 3
SASS 529 Child & Family Policy & Service Delivery 3
SASS 530 Practice Evaluation 3
SASS 582 Social Work with Child Abuse & Family Violence 3
SASS 652A Field Education II 1.5
SASS 653B Field Education II 1.5
SASS 653A Field Education III 1.5
SASS 654B Field Education III 1.5
SASS 654A Field Education IV 1.5
SASS 654B Field Education IV 1.5
Total Hours 60

Advanced Standing

Applicants with a Bachelor's in Social Work (BSW) are automatically considered for Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing students can complete the program in just 36 credit hours, in as few as 2 years.

Advanced Standing Track Degree (BSW) Credit Hours
SASS 517 Family Systems Intervention 3
SASS 547 Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis 3
SASS 549 Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work 3
SASS 564 Social Work Practice in Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse 3
SASS 550 Trauma Informed Social Work Practice with Children & Families 3
SASS 529 Child & Family Policy & Service Delivery 3
SASS 530 Practice Evaluation 3
SASS 582 Social Work with Child Abuse & Family Violence 3
SASS 505 Adoption: Practice & Policy 3
SASS 652A Field Education II 1.5
SASS 652B Field Education II 1.5
SASS 653A Field Education III 1.5
SASS 653B Field Education III 1.5
SASS 654A Field Education IV 1.5
SASS 654B Field Education IV 1.5
Total Hours 36

Traditional Track

This track can be completed in as few as 2 ½ years. Students will take 24 credit hours of foundation courses and 36 hours of advanced course for a total of 60 credits.

Traditional Track Degree (Non-BSW) Credit Hours
SASS 547 Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis 3
SASS 549 Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work 3
SASS 564 Social Work Practice in Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse 3
SASS 583 Social Work Practice in Mental Health: Adults 3
SASS 587 Integrative Seminar in Mental Health: Adults 3
SASS 514 Mental Health Policy & Service Delivery 3
SASS 530 Practice Evaluation 3
SASS 562 Social Work Intervention in Co-occurring Mental & Substance Abuse disorder 3
SASS 579 Cognitive Behavior Information 3
SASS 652A Field Education II 1.5
SASS 653B Field Education II 1.5
SASS 653A Field Education III 1.5
SASS 654B Field Education III 1.5
SASS 654A Field Education IV 1.5
SASS 654B Field Education IV 1.5
Total Hours 60

Advanced Standing

Applicants with a Bachelor's in Social Work (BSW) are automatically considered for Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing students can complete the program in just 36 credit hours, in as few as 2 years.

Advanced Standing Track Degree (BSW) Credit Hours
SASS 547 Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis 3
SASS 549 Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work 3
SASS 564 Social Work Practice in Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse 3
SASS 583 Social Work Practice in Mental Health: Adults 3
SASS 587 Integrative Seminar in Mental Health: Adults 3
SASS 514 Mental Health Policy & Service Delivery 3
SASS 530 Practice Evaluation 3
SASS 562 Social Work Intervention in Co-occurring Mental & Substance Abuse disorder 3
SASS 579 Cognitive Behavior Information 3
SASS 652A Field Education II 1.5
SASS 652B Field Education II 1.5
SASS 653A Field Education III 1.5
SASS 653B Field Education III 1.5
SASS 654A Field Education IV 1.5
SASS 654B Field Education IV 1.5
Total Hours 36

Field Experience

At the heart of the Mandel School difference is experience—not just the in-depth experience of our distinguished faculty, but also in the knowledge you can obtain with field education. The field education experience for the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA, equivalent to an MSW) online program allows you to immediately apply what you are learning in the online classroom to your field education, connecting theory with real-life social work situations.

You can further expand your skills with structured, supervised field learning opportunities developed through interactions with your field education instructor. By choosing your field placement you have the opportunity to develop skills that best fit your future career needs and interests. Our online program gives you the unique opportunity to complete your field work at your current place of employment. Advanced Standing applicants can accelerate the field placement process by using SOFE, a self-paced online resource to help formulate your required field proposal.

Learn More