Help service members, veterans and their families manage the challenges unique to this population. In Dominican’s online military social work MSW program, you’ll develop the skills to enable these families to thrive.

The millions of American service members and veterans in the United States and stationed around the world are a diverse population with needs that include help with the transition to civilian life, dealing with the physical and psychological traumas of combat, and mending strained family lives. By earning a Master of Social Work (MSW) with a military concentration from Dominican you’ll develop the deep understanding of military culture necessary to best serve those who have served our nation.

At Dominican, we’ve designed a rigorous yet streamlined program allowing you to earn the military concentration alongside your MSW with no additional credit hours or extra time. For maximum flexibility, you can choose to study online, on-campus, full-time or part-time. With our strong values-centered approach, Dominican is uniquely prepared to offer a master’s in military social work that will expand your career opportunities and prepare you to make a difference.

  • Choose from online, evening or daytime classes to suit your schedule; online program is available to residents of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin
  • Form partnerships with professors and fellow students, even online, through small classes and a team-based approach.
  • Gain hands-on experience through a field placement working directly with military populations.
  • In-person classes are held on our River Forest campus and at the at the University Center of Lake County in Grayslake.

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What You’ll Learn

Dominican University recognizes that social work professionals working with the military community require specialized knowledge of the unique issues they face as well as the distinct culture of the different service branches and the individual roles within them. In your foundational year of study, you will focus on core coursework from our outstanding graduate social work curriculum. In your second year, you will engage with in-depth focused coursework in the military concentration. You’ll learn about military-specific mental health issues and treatment, military culture and command structures, and health-related policies and programs for military personnel. You’ll study innovative, evidence-based treatments for PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation and traumatic brain injury.

All courses are taught on campus and online by leading faculty and military experts. You’ll enjoy access to a variety of field placement options where you will work directly with military populations. You’ll be ready to provide competent service to this important population and to advocate for its social and economic well-being. Read detailed course descriptions

MSW with Military Concentration Flyer (pdf)

Dominican’s MSW with Military Concentration at a Glance
  • Time to complete: two years (full-time), three years (part-time) or as little as nine months if you already have a CSWE-accredited bachelor’s degree in social work
  • Courses taught by leading faculty and military experts
  • Earn the Military Social Work Concentration alongside your MSW with no additional coursework
  • CSWE-accredited

Build a foundation for effective, compassionate care. Learn about our MSW program

Gain Hands-On Social Work Skills through field placements

We will connect you with our expansive network of agencies in the Chicago area that offer hands-on research and clinical opportunities. You will complete your military concentration field placement at an agency that provides services to military personnel, veterans and their families.

What to Expect as You Earn Your MSW with a Military Concentration

The Dominican University experience is one that embraces unique viewpoints, values hands-on learning and fosters collaborative relationships—among faculty, students and the communities that we hope to influence through our values-centered degree programs. When you study for your master’s in military social work here, you’ll get the benefit of modern learning designed for working professionals as well as a relationship-focused atmosphere that will help you become a stronger leader in your field.

Values-Centered Curriculum in our School of Social Work

Dominican University’s School of Social Work challenges you to change the world by helping you gain the skills to make a difference. Our programs prepare professional social workers for globally focused, family-centered practice. Our mission guides us to advocate for human rights and social and economic justice and to promote human and community well-being. See what sets us apart

Financing Your MSW/Military Concentration Degree

Along with opportunities for financial aid through loans and grants, the School of Social Work offers a variety of departmental scholarships for outstanding academic achievement and graduate assistantships for those who wish to work with faculty while pursuing their degree. You may also be eligible for GI Bill education benefits. Contact our Office of Financial Aid to learn more.

We can be reached at (708) 524-6809 or

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I do with an MSW/Military Concentration?

Over the course of a career, many social workers will serve clients with military backgrounds at some point. Adding a military concentration to your degree, however, qualifies you to specialize in this area, which is of tremendous importance, given the vast number of veterans and the recent decades of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. Specific areas of professional focus include counseling and therapy, helping guide and connect clients with resources and programs, crisis intervention, advocacy work, and program development.

What are the different roles of military social workers?

While the core objective of military social workers is generally the same no matter where they work, their specific status and work environments can differ quite a bit. They might work on military bases or be embedded and travel with a specific unit. Others work out of Veterans Affairs health centers or private practices. Many of these practitioners are civilians and do not serve directly within the military, while others—with military training—do serve within the military alongside other armed forces personnel.

How do I apply?

You will need the following:

  • A completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Two recommendations (one academic and one professional)
  • Personal statement
  • Résumé
  • If eligible for MSW advanced standing, please complete an advanced standing application
  • GRE/GMAT scores are not required for the MSW program

Before you apply, make sure you review our full application and admission requirements.

Ready to take the next step? Apply now online

Make a Difference with an MSW/Military Concentration

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