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In the military social work track of Dominican’s MSW program, you’ll develop the skills to help service members, veterans and their families manage challenges unique to this population.

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.

Dominican’s MSW military social work track is designed to help you develop the deep understanding of military culture necessary to best serve those who have served our nation.

  • Gain hands-on experience through a field placement working directly with military populations
  • Courses taught by leading faculty and military experts

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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.

You’ll learn about military-specific mental health issues and treatment, military culture and command structures, and policies and programs for military personnel, veterans and their families. You’ll study innovative, evidence-based treatments for PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation and traumatic brain injury.

Students will become familiar with the services available to veterans and their families at a local, state and federal level and the role social work plays in and outside the military. 

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.

Required Courses

Students in the military social work track are required to take the following courses in addition to the general MSW curriculum:

  • Military Culture, Assessment, and Diagnosis (SWK 800)
  • Military Policy, Intervention, and Treatment (SWK 850)
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 field placement at an agency that provides services to military personnel, veterans and their families.

Explore field placement options


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 of 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.


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


What can I do with an MSW in the military social work track?

Over the course of a career, many social workers will serve clients with military backgrounds at some point. Choosing the military track in Dominican’s MSW program, 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.

Ready to take the next step? Apply now online


Request information today