Academic Programs at the Kent School of Social Work

BSW Program MSSW Program MSCFT Program PHD Program DSW degree program


The Kent School of Social Work seeks to prepare well-qualified social workers who practice from a strong professional value-base to serve the metropolitan mission of the university. Our graduates promote social justice through their practices with diverse client systems. In the context of a research institution, the Kent School is committed to knowledge development that informs social work practice, recognizing the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to solve complex social problem.

Social work is a profession concerned with the prevention and amelioration of social problems and the enhancement of the quality of human life. Social workers achieve these goals through direct practice with individuals, families, groups, and community organizations; advocacy; social planning; social policy analysis and formulation; research; and administration. Social work practice helps people mobilize their resources to deal with present circumstances and to enlarge their prospects for the future. Since problems of the individual cannot be seen in any meaningful way in isolation from the broad social and community context in which they occur, social work also takes a leadership role in bringing about institutional and social change.


The Kent School of Social Work degree programs lead to a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD). Our MSSWKent sculpture program has six optional specializations in social work, dual degree opportunities and enriching opportunities in field education.

Additionally, the Master of Science in Couple and Family Therapy Program is the only COAMFTE-accredited program located in a School of Social Work, Ranked in the Top 20 MFT programs in the country by Online Psychology Degrees. MSCFT/MSSW Dual Degree option is now available.

We offer both 100% online and on campus options for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) degrees.  The Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD) is offered on campus only. The Master of Science in Couple and Family Therapy (MSCFT) is offered on campus only.

  • The BSW program prepares students for generalist practice.
  • The MSSW program prepares students for advanced practice.
  • The PhD program prepares students for research, teaching and policy analysis.
  • The MSCFT program prepares students to provide therapy with individuals, couples and families within their community contexts.
  • The DSW program prepares students to become future practitioner scholars in teaching and social service leadership. 


Founded in 1936, the Kent School of Social Work prepares students to work in a society with complex social problems and needs. Rapidly becoming one of the top research social work programs in the country, the school is able to provide current research information in the preparation of its students for work with individuals, families and communities. 

National/State Rankings

  • There are over 262 accredited graduate programs in the US, and the Kent School is ranked 44th by US News and World Report.
  • Rated the No.1 social work program in Kentucky by US News and World Report.
  • Ranked in the top 17% of social work programs in the nation by US News and World Report.
  • Rated 3rd in the country for its MSSW online program by Social Work Degree Guide.


The Kent School of Social Work is committed to teaching the next generation of social workers, preparing them to promote social justice and be positive change agents in the fast-growing field of social work, and empowering them to help others lead a healthier, more productive and safer life.  Contact us to find out how we can help you achieve your educational goals. Talk with one of our Admissions Counselors or attend a virtual or in person information session to learn more about Kent.


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