The Understanding Trauma Conference featured the research and community work of three members of Carlow’s faculty— Marsha Frank, Patricia Jameson, and Sheila Roth and provided attendees with an opportunity to learn about the trauma-informed work that is happening throughout the region.

The master of social work program offers an evidence-based social work program that includes interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration -- a crucial component in real world practice.  Social Work education is experiential, practice-oriented and self- reflective in a way that transforms students. Every step of the Carlow Master's in social work is trauma-informed -- the question to ask is not "what is wrong with you?" but "what happened to you?"

Work While You Get Your Master's

The Carlow University Master's in Social Work is one of the few in the area that allows students to take classes on a low-residency and part-time basis. Not only will you be learning from world-class faculty who are actively practicing and publishing in the discipline. 



One-on-One: The Direct Practice

The direct practice is grounded in the person-in-the-environment framework. The program is trauma-informed where each person is accepted for who they are in their environment. In trauma-informed care, we assess the person through their past and present environments and building on resiliency and strengths. You will learn a range of prevention and intervention methods and advanced cultural competence for their practice and to advocate for human rights, social and economic justice. 

Policy and Society: The Macro Practice

The macro practice is grounded in human and social well being and advocating for human rights and social and economic justice. Students are taught best practices with large systems and frameworks for achieving change. This specialization applies critical thinking and ethical principles in problem solving and leadership in large groups, communities and organizations. 

Field Placements
This is a short list of the types of places -- or, in some cases, the actual places -- students can expect to be placed.

Wesley Family Services (multiple sites)
UPMC (multiple sites)
Allegheny Health Network (Multiple sites)
Allegheny County Department of HHuman Services (multiple sites)
Jewish Family Services
Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
Mercy Behavioral (multiple sites)dozen sites
Hill House Association
Rep. Jake Wheatley Office
Pittsburgh City Council
Allegheny County Council
Age Well Coalition


Bachelor's in Social Work (BSW) students from CSWE accredited programs will qualify for application for Advanced Standing in the Carlow BSW (CSWE is the Council on Social Work Education). Essentially, advanced standing gives you credit for courses taken in your Bachelor's in Social Work program. Students who qualify will have demonstrated an understanding of social work's basic tenets and are ready to move into the more practical applications of those theories. In some ways, it's like transferring into the Master's in Social Work program with a portion of the degree earned.  

  • In person or low residency
  • Part-time or Full-time

Carlow University's Master's in Social Work is currently one of the only such programs in the Pittsburgh area that offers a low-residency option, ideal for adult and non-traditional students with busy lives and busy schedules. The low-residency option is part-time only, as students cannot graduate before accreditation in 2020.


The Master of Social Work is in pre-candidacy for accreditation as of January 2018. For additional information, please see the Accreditation section of the Social Work website