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Best MACRO MSW Programs

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Hello everybody! I hope that this post is permitted.  I am currently an undergraduate BSW student at a small, private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania who, while I do not graduate until next year, am already beginning research into possible schools for me to obtain my MSW.  This school was really a "safe" option for me because it awarded me a large financial aid package that was a Godsend to me as a VERY low-income student and it's close to my home-- I did not want to venture too far away during the depths of the COVID pandemic. The BSW program here is... Quite lacking, in my opinion (I genuinely learned more in my SW classes at the community college from where I transfered) but even besides that point, I want to go to graduate school elsewhere to help me gain better social, networking, and research opportunities and grow as a person.  


As the title says, I am ONLY interested in macro level programs, specifically those that focus on policy, policy research, and community organizing.  I have a rather "niche" policy interest: lifespan issues (education, communication, housing access and services) for people with developmental disabilities, and I ideally would like to attend a school offering a course in ID/DD as an elective to be combined with macro/policy electives. Some of my contenders so far have been Rutgers NB, UPenn, Temple, UMBC, and Bryn Mawr (maybe). I have also looked at schools in California (SDSU, UCLA, UC Berkeley) but I am not sure if it is worth attending them as someone who may return to the EC after graduation.  I also do not have the desired field experience that the UC schools look for in applicants. 


At present, my GPA is a 3.8, which I know is decent enough for most if not all of these schools. However, I have only had sporadic volunteer experiences, will be starting a DSP summer job in several weeks, and will be doing my 450 hours of field in the fall, and I do not know if that is sufficient enough experience. 


Any comments help.

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USC’s has a macro concentration:


I have quite a few friends who did this and they work in local government and with agencies like the ACLU. 

I don’t think they have a DD/ID-specific class but LA has a great agency (Regional Center) that would be a possible field placement.

I’ve also heard great things about UPenn. 

Edited by DSWHopeful2021
I also want to add that LAUSD (through USC) may also offer opportunities for advocacy and policy for DD/ID.
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  • 2 months later...

Hello @Sagittarius! I am a BSSW student that graduated in May 2021 and did a TON of research to find a macro focused school, With a specialization in policy. I’m lucky that my undergraduate BSSW is rooted in disability studies, so i understand the importance of A program with that perspective.

I’m from NYC so my initial research had me looking at Fordham Univeristy, UPenn, Rutgers, Columbia and SUNY Stonybrook. I applied to all but Rutgers & was accepted to all.  My overall cumulative GPA was less than yours(3.29), but my major GPA was a perfect 4.0 & my mid-year field evaluation was excellent. I also had very strong letters of recommendations. I lucked out that I was also doing macro level work during my Undergrad field Placement . I know it seems overwhelming, but I promise that applying as a social Work student as advanced placement does give you an edge! ?

I have committed to Fordham as an Advanced Placement MSW student who will have a macro/ policy focus. 

hope this helps! You’re also welcome to message me if you would like to discuss further!

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  • 3 months later...

No advice but I'm a social worker with an interest in macro work with disability studies!!! I did my MSW at a school that worked for my family, but it was not research focused and i regret it because now I want to do a PhD but am coming from behind. Good luck!

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