FIND MSW PROGRAMS

FIND MSW PROGRAMS

50 Best Online MSW Programs in the Nation – 2023


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you interested in a career where you can help individuals, families, and communities? Does the idea of working with specific groups of people, such as those battling addiction disorders, veterans, children, or the elderly, sound like something you want to do? If so, a career in social work could be the perfect option for you. Perhaps you have considered pursuing a career in social work or earning a higher degree in the field but feel like you don't have time to go to school. Online MSW programs are an excellent option for people like you who want to make a difference for others but need learning options.

In this article, I will address the question, "What are the best online master's in social work programs in the nation?" As you continue reading, you will learn about the 50 best accredited online MSW programs in the nation for 2023 and find information about how to get involved in one and accomplish your dream of becoming a Master of Social Work.


RECOMMENDED ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF AN ONLINE MSW (MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK) PROGRAM?


The goal of an online MSW program is to prepare social work professionals for advanced practice roles in social work. Online MSW programs equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in direct-practice and leadership roles in social work in a variety of professional settings.



6 ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MASTER’S IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAMS


If you are considering earning a Master of Social Work degree, it is a good idea to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. The following are six advantages of pursuing your degree through online MSW programs.

1. Online MSW Programs Offer Flexibility:

One of the great things about online learning is its flexibility. Some online programs offer synchronous and asynchronous schedules. Even the programs that require some synchronized meetings tend to offer much more flexibility than on-campus learning. The flexibility online MSW programs offer makes them attractive to working professionals or students with family and other responsibilities.

2. An Online Master of Social Work Program May Cost Less Than an On-Campus Education:

If you choose to earn your MSW degree online, you could save money. Many schools offer discounted tuition for distance learning students. You will also benefit from saving on your commute to and from school. If you use e-books, that could reduce your cost, as well.

3. You Will Expand Your Career Options:

Although you can find social worker jobs with a BSW, when you broaden your education, increasing your knowledge and skills, you also expand the opportunities for better careers. Having a Master of Social Work makes you a more competitive candidate for jobs and increases the chances of finding higher-level positions.

4. You’ll Have More Free Time:

Earning an MSW degree requires time commitment. However, if you choose to pursue your degree through an online MSW program, you may find you have more free time. Because you can study from anywhere, you’ll save time commuting to and from classes. You can use that free time to catch up on studies or assignments, but don’t forget to schedule some “you time.”

5. You Will Make More Money:

When you graduate from an online master’s in social work program, you can expect to see an increase in your earning potential. Although the difference varies, depending on job and location, most sources report an average $10,000 difference between the annual salaries of baccalaureate- and master’s-prepared social workers. If you have a bachelor’s degree in another field and earn an MSW, you could see an even higher increase in the difference in pay.

6. Job Security:

There will always be people and communities that need people to advocate for them with integrity and compassion. Whether you pursue a specialty in school social work, forensic social work, military social work, or work with immigration (just to name a few), there are endless opportunities to utilize your MSW degree.



3 DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MASTER’S IN SOCIAL WORK PROGRAMS


Online MSW learning may be the perfect option for you. Then again, you may find the disadvantages are not something you want to deal with. The following are three disadvantages of online Master of Social Work programs.

1. Online MSW Programs May Seem Less Structured:

While some online MSW programs may have synchronized classes or on-campus intensives, many do not. In fact, one of the main reasons people pursue this type of degree is the freedom to study when and where they want. While this is certainly a perk, if you need structure and detailed schedules, you may be disadvantaged in an online program. No worries, though! You can overcome this disadvantage by being mindful of your time. Create a schedule that works for you and include time for study, work, and other obligations or activities. By creating a schedule and sticking with it, you create your own structure where it may be otherwise lacking.

2. Online MSW Programs Usually Have a Heavy Courseload:

Like many graduate programs, online Master of Social Work programs have rigorous course requirements. Working closely with your academic advisor when planning which classes to take and when is essential. Try to designate an amount of time each week for studying and completing assignments. If you create a schedule that defines your school responsibilities, it may be easier to stay on track, even with a heavy course load.

3. Fewer Opportunities to Collaborate with Classmates or Build Relationships with Peers and Faculty:

If you enjoy group learning or need face-to-face interaction with classmates and peers, you may find online learning difficult. Some online MSW programs offer synchronous classes or scheduled meeting times weekly or monthly. However, most coursework is done independently, so personal interaction with peers and faculty may be lacking compared to campus-based learning.



HOW LONG ARE ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS?


Online MSW programs can take one to five years or longer to complete. Accelerated and advanced standing pathways are shorter. Standard or traditional MSW programs, which are appropriate for students with a baccalaureate in a degree other than social work, typically take two to three years to complete. Here are a few examples of some of the best online MSW programs in the nation and how long they take to complete.

Depending on your chosen pathway, you can graduate from Columbia University with a Master of Social Work degree in one to four years.
At Boston University, the MSW online program takes four to nine semesters.
The University of Southern California online Master of Social Work program takes 16 to 24 months.
At Fordham University, the Traditional MSW program takes 24-32 months. Students in the Accelerated MSW program can graduate in 8 to 16 months.



HOW MUCH DO ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS COST?


Tuition costs for MSW online programs vary, depending on a few factors. Students in traditional MSW online programs usually spend a minimum of two years in the program and may need twice as many credits as students in Advanced Standing or Accelerated MSW programs, which increases the cost of tuition. Many online MSW programs costs between $17,000 and $50,000. The following are a few examples of the cost for some of our featured programs.

The online MSW program at Boise State University costs between $19,550 for Advanced Standing students and $32,000 for Regular Full-Time students. This cost includes admissions fees, a background check, field education fees, an estimated total for books, graduation application fees, and a $495 per credit rate for tuition.

At Louisiana State University, students pay a tuition rate of $539 per credit hour. The program’s curriculum requires traditional students to complete 60 credit hours and advanced standing students complete 33 credit hours. Therefore, the cost of tuition for the LSU online Master of Social Work program averages between $17,787 and $32,340.

Aurora University charges tuition at a rate of $619 per credit hour. The university offers a traditional MSW pathway that includes a 60-credit-hour curriculum. Therefore, the program costs approximately $37,080. This estimated cost is for tuition only.

The Campbellsville University online MSW program tuition costs $585 per credit hour. Traditional students complete 60 credits, paying approximately $35,100. Advanced Standing students complete 30 credits and pay an average of $17,550.



WHAT PREREQUISITE COURSES SHOULD YOU TAKE FOR ADMISSION INTO ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS?


If you’re researching online master’s in social work programs, an essential factor to consider is whether you meet the prerequisite course requirements. While prerequisite requirements may vary from one program to another, one common thing is the need for a solid liberal arts preparation. If you’ve earned a Bachelor of Social Work, chances are you have probably completed most of the prerequisite courses needed for entry into an MSW program.

As admissions staff review your application and transcript, they will look for behavioral and social sciences courses, such as psychology, anthropology, economics, sociology, and political science. They will also look for classes focused on humanities, including history, art or music history, women’s studies, communication studies, and cultural and comparative studies.



WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS?


Colleges and universities determine admission criteria for the programs they offer. Although the requirements for online MSW programs admission may vary among schools, the general guidelines remain similar. The most common minimum admission requirements for accredited online MSW programs are the following.

• Applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants seeking admission in an Advanced Standing MSW program need a Bachelor of Social Work degree.
• Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0
• Submit official transcripts
• Prepare a Statement of Intent or Admissions Essay
• Provide letters of professional and/or academic recommendation
• Some schools may require applicants to participate in an admissions interview before making final selections from candidates.




HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS?


The required coursework for online MSW curriculum plans differs among schools. Advanced Standing MSW students usually complete between 25 and 30 credit hours. Traditional MSW students often complete 50 to 60. Here are a few examples of the credit requirements at some of the featured online MSW programs in this article.

Students in the traditional online social work master’s program at Rutgers University complete 60 credits, and those in the advanced standing pathway complete 39.

Case Western Reserve University students complete 21 credit hours in the advanced standing MSW program and 60 credits in the traditional MSW program online.

At Adelphi University, Traditional MSW students must earn 64 credits. Advanced Standing MSW students earn 32 credit hours.

The University of Iowa offers a Regular Standing MSW program and an Advanced Standing MSW program. Regular standing students complete 54 credits and Advanced Standing students complete 36 credits.



WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL COURSES YOU’LL TAKE IN ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS?


While the curriculum plan for MSW online programs may vary somewhat, accreditation ensures the content students study is within specified guidelines and sufficient to prepare you for professional social work practice. A few examples of some of the courses you’ll take in online Master of Social Work programs include the following.

• Advanced Issues in Human Diversity:

This course prepares students with the knowledge needed to engage and effectively work with clients from diverse backgrounds.

• Social Dimensions of Human Behavior:

In this course, you will learn to examine how social institutions and systems impact human behavior. The course addresses issues such as oppression, discrimination, race, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, and social and economic status.

• Research and Statistics for Social Work:

In Research & Statistics, you will learn to enhance your knowledge and skills in foundational research procedures and concepts. This course focuses on methods analysis, data processing, and qualitative and quantitative data related to advanced social work knowledge, theory and practice.

• Social Work with Alcohol and Drug Abuse:

This course examines research, theories, and treatment related to alcohol and drug abuse.

• Human Behavior in the Social Environment - Lifespan Development:

In this course, students learn to critically examine and apply the theory of psychological, biological, and social aspects of human development from birth through old age as they are relevant to social work.



WHAT IS THE TYPICAL PRACTICAL TRAINING LIKE IN ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS?


Field training is a crucial component of all online MSW programs. Students typically complete between 500 and 1,000 hours of field education work, depending on whether they are in regular or advanced standing MSW program. The following are examples of the field education requirements for some programs featured in our article.

At Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, students in the Standard MSW program complete 300 hours of field education during their foundation (first year) and 600 hours in their advanced year, earning 900 field practice hours. Advanced Standing students complete 600 total field education hours.

The California State University at San Bernardino online MSW program requires students to complete 980 field training hours. Students earn 480 hours during the program's second year and 500 in the third year.

Campbellsville University online Master of Social Work students must have 900 clinical practice hours in a social work setting. Traditional MSW students earn 450 hours at the foundations level and advanced level. Advanced Standing students receive credit for eligible field education hours earned in their BSW toward the 900 required hours.

The online MSW program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha offers 3-Year and 2-Year Advanced Standing options. Students complete a total of 928 field practice hours in these programs.



WHO ACCREDITS ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS?


One of the most crucial things you should look for when choosing an online Master of Social Work program is whether the program is accredited. Accreditation ensures that the social work program meets quality standards for social work education and that it complies with state and national standards for social work education and practice. As you research programs to find the one best for you, look for programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

1. Council on Social Work Education:

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a national association representing social work education nationwide. The CSWE supports social work education through activities and initiatives and provides opportunities for members to experience professional and leadership development.




WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS IN THE NATION FOR 2023?


(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 50 best accredited online master’s in social work programs in the nation for the year 2023.)


1. Columbia University - New York City, NY


Programs Offered:

Two-Year MSW, Advanced Standing MSW, Part-Time to Full-Time (Extended) MSW, One-Year Residency for Working Professionals MSW, Transfer MSW, and 100% Part-Time MSW

Two-Year MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration

Part-Time to Full-Time (Extended) MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration

One-Year Residency for Working Professionals MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration

Transfer MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration

100% Part-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration

Fields of Practice:

Family, Youth, & Children’s Services, and Health, Mental Health, & Disabilities

Program Details:

If you’re searching for the best online MSW programs for a place to be challenged, engaged, and prepared for social work practice, Columbia University could be the perfect place! The university’s School of Social Work has several entry options, each with diverse MSW concentration choices. The program features 100% online coursework with some synchronous classes. You can earn the MSW in one to four years, depending on your entry status.

Students complete between 30 and 60 credits of coursework and 600 to 1,200 clinical placement hours. The curriculum for the online MSW programs includes a Generalist Year of coursework where your focus will be on building a more in-depth knowledge of social work research, policy, and direct practice.

After passing the generalist coursework, you will progress to Advanced Clinical Practice classes. This program component features state-of-the-art teaching approaches to help you develop the clinical skills necessary to promote positive outcomes for individuals, families, and groups. Advanced Clinical Practice classes draw on your knowledge of trauma-informed care, systems thinking, power, race, oppression, and privilege. In these classes, you will strengthen skills such as psychoeducational evaluation, suicide assessment, mindfulness, and emotional regulation.

As a student in the program, you will choose a method specialization and a field of practice that guides your study plan. Method specializations include options such as Policy Practice, Advanced Clinical Practice, Leadership, Management, & Entrepreneurship for Social Justice, and Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming. Specialty practice options include Aging, School-Based & School-Linked Services, and International Social Welfare & Services to Immigrants & Refugees.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates seeking admission to the Columbia University online MSW program must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools. The transfer pathway of the MSW program is available to applicants with one full year of coursework and fieldwork completed at another CSWE-accredited graduate school of social work. Other applicants must have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program and at least one year of work experience as a social worker. Candidates must provide an admission essay, a current resume, and three professional or academic recommendation letters.

Why Choose Columbia University's Online MSW

• Columbia University has 120 years of social work education experience, making it an excellent option for anyone seeking to earn a Master of Social Work, including those seeking an online MSW program.
• Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Schools of Social Work in the country!
• Columbia University’s school of social work uses an approach referred to as the PROP (Power, Race, Oppression, and Privilege) lens, framing its curriculum, operations, and faculty-student interactions. PROP encourages students and staff to analyze and address multi-system inequalities, racism, and other forms of oppression. This approach is fundamental as social workers must implement these practices each day.
• Graduates of the online Master of Social Work program at Columbia University demonstrate outstanding licensure pass rates.


2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI


Programs Offered:

Part-Time MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

The University of Michigan is home to another one of the best MSW online programs in the nation. The program is offered in a part-time format, making it possible for working professionals to maintain employment while pursuing a degree.

The program features an online curriculum focused on Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse, preparing you for a career as a licensed clinical social worker. Courses are delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous sessions.

The Part-Time MSW pathway is a 60-credit program that can be completed with options for three- or four-year study plans. The Advanced Standing option is a 45-credit program option that typically takes two years to complete.

Students complete a total of 912 field education hours in the Part-Time MSW pathway. Advanced Standing MSW students complete 684 hours of field training.

Admission Requirements:

Prospective students who wish to apply for the University of Michigan MSW online program must have an undergraduate social degree earned at a Council on Social Work Education- or Canadian Association for Social Work Education-accredited institution. Admission to the program is competitive. Therefore, applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the final two years of most recent undergraduate study.

Why Choose the University of Michigan's Online MSW

• Most graduates of the University of Michigan MSW online program find employment within six months of graduation, if not sooner.
• The university offers one-on-one contact with faculty during office hours, making it possible to get guidance and help when needed, much like on-campus learning.
• The programs offer three start dates each year, which means you can begin your studies at a time that is best for you.
• Graduates of the online MSW program at the University of Michigan have excellent social work licensing exam pass rates.


3. Boston University - Boston, MA


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW, Human Service Experience (HSE) MSW, and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work Practice and Macro Social Work Practice

Human Service Experience (HSE) MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work Practice and Macro Social Work Practice

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work Practice and Macro Social Work Practice

Program Details:

Boston University offers an online MSW program with three track options: the Traditional MSW, Human Service Experience MSW, and Advanced Standing MSW. Each track offers the option to major in Clinical Social Work Practice or Macro Social Work Practice.

The traditional MSW and Human Service Experience tracks can be completed in six to nine semesters. Most classes last seven weeks and are taken sequentially. The Advanced Standing track is designed in a two-year format.

The traditional MSW track consists of a 65-credit hour curriculum. In this track, you will take foundation and advanced social work courses online, attend weekly synchronized class meetings, and complete two field internships, earning a minimum of 1,200 clinical field hours.

Prospective students with at least two years of full-time supervised human service experience may apply to the Human Service Experience track. This track features a 65-credit hour curriculum and one field internship where you will earn 1,000 clinical hours.

You may qualify for the Advanced Standing track if you have a bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited institution. This track features a curriculum including 43 credits of coursework and a 1,000-hour field internship.

The Master of Social Work curriculum includes classes such as Racial Justice, Social Welfare Policy, Human Behavior, Community & Organizations, and Social Work Practice Ethics. Field internships take learning beyond the classroom to a real-life social work setting, allowing you to participate in hands-on practical experience offering social work services to individuals, families, communities, and organizations.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants seeking admission to the Boston University MSW online program must first fill out an application for admission to the university. Candidates should submit a 3–4-page Personal Statement, current resume or curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference (one reference must be from a college instructor or supervisor). Submit official transcripts from any post-secondary institution. The Traditional and Human Service Experience tracks do not require a minimum GPA. However, if you seek admission to the Advanced Standing path, your undergraduate GPA must be at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale.

Why Choose Boston University's Online MSW

• Boston University’s Distance Education office is comprised of a team of media producers, instructional designers, faculty, and support staff who specialize in distance learning education. Their collective expertise allows the university to offer exceptional online learning programs like the MSW online program.
• Having support when needed is key to success when you choose online learning to earn a degree. The university offers support administrators who work within the Distance Education office. These staff work with online students, like those in the online MSW program, to offer prompt, attentive assistance.
• Boston College is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in several categories, including best in National Universities, Best Value Schools, Most Innovative Schools and Top Performers on Social Mobility, supporting the fact the college offers some of the best MSW online programs in the nation.
• The accredited online MSW programs at BU have high retention rates, suggesting student success and satisfaction.


4. University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Adult Mental Health & Wellness; Children, Youth & Families; Social Change & Innovation; and Optional Program Tracks (Military Social Work, School Social Work, and Medical Social Work)

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Adult Mental Health & Wellness; Children, Youth & Families; Social Change & Innovation; and Optional Program Tracks (Military Social Work, School Social Work, and Medical Social Work)

Program Details:

The University of Southern California offers another of our featured best accredited online MSW programs. The university offers Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW pathways.
Both MSW pathways offer part-time and full-time options. So, you can choose the path and schedule that works best for you.

The curriculum for both the online MSW programs explores emerging needs in the social work field, designed to prepare social workers equipped to meet those needs. You will learn to demonstrate early intervention, leadership, collaboration, prevention, and wellness interventions relevant to clinical social work.

Several MSW concentrations allow you to pursue studies focused on populations or issues that interest you most.

• The Adult Mental Health & Wellness concentration explores the theory of human behavior. In this path, you will study the relationship of neuroscience to the mind-body-brain system and family, community, and culture.
• The Children, Youth, & Families specialty will prepare you to be an advocate for children, youth and families in their social environments. You will also learn to create service programs to support families from diverse backgrounds.
• The Social Change & Innovation concentration explores evidence-based research in business or community development. In this concentration, you will learn to think about organizations and communities and become an agent of change within those environments. This pathway includes both social work and business courses.


The Traditional MSW program online features a 60-credit-hour curriculum, and the Advanced Standing MSW pathways includes a 37-credit-hour plan of study. Full-time Traditional students can expect to graduate in 16 months, while part-time Traditional students typically take 24 months to complete the program. Advanced standing students graduate in 12 to 20 months, depending on whether they choose part-time or full-time enrollment.

Each online Master of Social Work program pathway includes virtual and community-based field practicum experiences. The virtual field practicum consists of online group sessions providing clinical simulation with a client-actor and guided by an MSW faculty member. Community-based field placement offers in-person training under the direction of a licensed preceptor. By the time you complete the program, you will have at least 1,000 hours of practicum experience.

Admission Requirements:

The Traditional MSW online program is designed for candidates who have an undergraduate degree in a field other than social work. Applicants seeking the Advanced Standing MSW concentration must possess a Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited school of social work. Candidates should provide official college and/or university transcripts reflecting a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, a Statement of Purpose, two letters of recommendation, and a current resume.

Why Choose University of Southern California's Online MSW

• The online MSW program at the University of Southern California offers a low faculty-student ratio of no more than 1:12. Smaller class sizes mean faculty can offer more individualized attention to you as you earn your degree.
• USC offers students in the online Master of Social Work program access to libraries and career services, not only through your enrollment in the program but beyond graduation. This access ensures you can find up-to-date information about social work and assistance with job placement services.
• U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Southern California as one of the best universities nationwide for Social Work Programs.
• Graduates of the MSW online program with no previous social work experience (Traditional MSW students) have excellent licensure examination pass rates.


5. University at Buffalo, State University of New York - Buffalo, NY


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

The University at Buffalo, State University of New York, is home to one of the best MSW online programs in the United States. With coursework offered exclusively online, the program is an excellent option for working students or those with families.

The MSW online program is delivered in a part-time study plan and offers two pathways: the Traditional MSW online and Advanced Standing MSW. Students in the Traditional MSW program graduate in three years, while the Advanced Standing MSW takes only 18 months to complete.

The Traditional online Master’s in Social Work program offers a rigorous curriculum where you will earn 60 credit hours. Coursework in this pathway includes classes such as Theories of Organizational Behavior & Development, Perspectives on Trauma & Human Rights, and Diversity & Oppression. Students in this pathway complete a minimum of 900 field practice hours before graduating.

The Advanced Standing MSW program online features a curriculum of advanced social work classes. In this pathway, students earn 30 credits and complete 480 field practice hours. Some classes you will take in this pathway include Social Action for Community Change, Nature & Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Problems, and Aging Populations & Their Families.

Admission Requirements:

Prospective students with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline other than social work may apply for admission to the Traditional MSW program. If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program earned within the last six years, you may apply for the Advanced Standing MSW program. Your official transcript must reflect a minimum B- grade in all undergraduate social work major classes. Applicants for both pathways must have a minimum of 24 credits of undergraduate liberal arts coursework and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all previous college-level courses.

Required documents include a complete electronic graduate application, official transcripts from any college or university attended, three letters of recommendation, and an Admissions Essay.

Why Choose University at Buffalo, State University of New York's Online MSW

• If you are currently employed at a social service agency and enroll in the MSW online program at the University at Buffalo, State University of NY, you may be eligible for Employment-Based Field Placement. This option is one way the university works to help students in the program have a good school/life balance while pursuing an MSW.
• The UB, State University of NY is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Social Work in the nation and one of the Best Public Universities.
• The online MSW program has low attrition rates, indicating students perform well and remain satisfied in the program.
• The program boasts of experienced faculty dedicated to student success and positive long-term career outcomes.


6. Fordham University - New York, NY


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Individuals & Families, Organizations & Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice & Advocacy

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Individuals & Families, Organizations & Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice & Advocacy

Program Details:

Fordham University offers two options for some of the best online MSW programs in the nation. The Traditional pathway and Advanced Standing pathway. You may choose a concentration upon which to base your studies from four specialties: Individuals & Families, Organizations & Community, Evaluation, or Policy Practice & Advocacy.

The Traditional online MSW pathway offers two part-time study tracks and one full-time track. Part-time students may choose to complete the program in 24 or 32 months. Full-time students typically graduate in 16 months. If you choose the traditional pathway, you will complete 62 credit hours earned from courses including Social Work Practice with Individuals Across the Lifespan, Integrating Human Rights & Justice in Practice, and Advanced Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis.

The Advanced Standing pathway gives you credit for the foundation coursework you earned in your Bachelor of Social Work degree program and earn an advanced MSW in as few as eight months if you enroll full-time. You may also pursue your advanced MSW degree part-time and graduate in 16 months. This pathway features a 31-credit curriculum with classes including Advanced Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis, Advanced Integrated Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups, and Grief, Loss, & Bereavement.

Depending on your field of study, you will begin field experiences during the first or third semester of your program. Both traditional and advanced standing students participate in 15 to 21 hours of field placement weekly in designated terms, depending on their chosen track.

Field education consists of two phases: Generalist Field Work and Specialist Field Work. Field work occurs in various settings, including government agencies, community care centers, and schools. Generalist Field Work includes practice in an organizational management context, including case management, supportive counseling, psychoeducation, advocacy, intake/assessment, and community outreach. In the Specialist Field Work phase, you will practice more independently. Some tasks in this phase include individual, family, or group therapy, treatment planning and/or diagnosis, developing or conducting community workshops, and program evaluations.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the online MSW program at Fordham University is contingent upon having a bachelor’s degree conferred from an accredited school with a minimum GPA of 2.6 (3.0-grade point average is preferred.) If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree, you may apply for advanced standing in the online MSW degree program. Advanced standing applicants must have a BSW from a program accredited by the CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) or one year of coursework completed through another CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work program with a 3.0 GPA.

Candidates must submit an online application, prepare a personal statement and provide all undergraduate and graduate transcripts. You must also submit a current resume and/or curriculum vitae and one letter of recommendation.

Why Choose Fordham University's Online MSW

• Fordham University’s online Master of Social Work program is ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
• Students in the online MSW program at Fordham University have access to face-to-face study sessions with classmates. These sessions offer opportunities for immersion in the academic community and contribute to developing collaboration skills.
• The Fordham University MSW online degree program has high retention rates, suggesting high student satisfaction.
• The program’s high graduation rates indicate strong academic preparation of its MSW students.


7. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick, NJ


Programs Offered:

Part-Time MSW, Full-Time MSW, and Advanced Standing Part-Time MSW

Part-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Full-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Advanced Standing Part-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Program Details:

Your search for the best MSW programs online may need to go no further than Rutgers University. At Rutgers, you’ll earn a top-ranked education preparing you for personal and professional growth as a Master of Social Work practice.

With asynchronous course delivery, you can complete your degree on a schedule that fits in with your personal life and work schedules. The traditional online MSW program is offered in part-time and full-time formats. An online advanced-standing part-time option is also available to qualified applicants. Part-time students earn their degrees in three years. Full-time and Advanced-Standing students can earn an MSW in two years.

Traditional Part-time and full-time students complete 60 credits. Some classes include Social Work Practice for Individuals, Families, & Groups, Advanced Contemporary Policy Requirement, and Social Work Practice for Organizations & Communities. Students complete a total of 1,125 field education hours, 450 generalist hours, and 675 specialized hours.

The Advanced Standing pathway consists of a 39-credit curriculum. In this track, students take classes including Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis, Methods of Social Work Research, and Advanced Social Work Practice. The Advanced Standing pathway also includes 675 hours of specialized field experience.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants for traditional admission must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate college or university. Candidates seeking admission to the Advanced Standing option must have a Baccalaureate degree in Social Work from an accredited undergraduate social work program. Candidates for both pathways must demonstrate a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 from undergraduate studies.

Why Choose Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey's Online MSW

• Rutgers University leverages its relationships with social work agencies nationwide to facilitate quality field education experience, which is essential for earning a graduate social work degree.
• Students in the MSW online program can choose from two certification options designed to complement MSW studies in field education: Violence Against Women & Children and LISTA: Latina/o/x Initiatives for Service, Training, & Assessment. These certification options make it possible for you to choose a specialization focus for your MSW education and career.
• The Rutgers University School of Social Work has various study abroad programs designed to offer students exposure to social work practice and social welfare policy in other countries. Current study abroad programs available to online MSW program students include Romania, Israel, China, India, and Puerto Rico assignments.
• Graduates of the Rutgers University online MSW programs have excellent pass rates for licensure examinations, indicating strong preparation for professional practice.


8. University of South Florida - Tampa, FL


Programs Offered:

Part-Time Traditional MSW, Part-Time Advanced Standing MSW, and Full-Time Advanced Standing MSW

Part-Time Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work Practice

Part-Time Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work Practice

Full-Time Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work Practice

Program Details:

The University of Southern Florida is home to one of the nation's best online master’s in social work programs. The school offers three pathways: Part-time Traditional, Part-Time Advanced Standing, and Full-Advanced Standing. All pathways include the option for a concentration focus on Clinical Social Work Practice.

This online MSW program is delivered through a cohort model, allowing you to obtain course content online while also participating in some synchronized online learning experiences with faculty and classmates.

The Traditional (Non-Advanced Standing) pathway begins each spring and takes approximately eight semesters to complete. In this pathway, students earn 60 credit hours. The Advanced-Standing program is designed to be completed in five consecutive semesters with entry options each summer. This pathway includes a 35-credit hour curriculum.

Credits are earned from Foundation courses, core courses, field experience, elective classes, and a capstone project. Students take classes including Psychopathology, Foundations of Social Welfare Policy, Diversity & Social Justice, and Foundations of Social Work Research & Statistics.

The University of South Florida’s online MSW program believes in building a solid foundation of social work ethics, professional standards, and values and utilizes classroom and field education instruction to accomplish that goal. Students in the Traditional, Non-Advanced Standing pathway complete 12 to 15 hours of field instruction weekly, earning at least 900 field education hours by the end of the program. Advanced-Standing MSW online program students complete a minimum of 560 field practice hours.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the online MSW program at the University of Southern Florida requires that an applicant have either a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution (Traditional/Non-Advanced Standing) or a Bachelor of Social Work degree conferred by an accredited school of social work (Advanced Standing). Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts that reflect a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA on all college-level coursework. Although it is not required, candidates with one year or more of post-undergraduate work in a social service agency or its equivalent are given preference in the admissions process.

Why Choose University of South Florida's Online MSW

• The Education Abroad Office at the University of South Florida facilitates educational opportunities for online MSW program students to learn abroad. Current contracts are in place in Belize, Florence, London, Peru, and Spain.
• The University of South Florida is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Grad Schools for Master of Social Work programs.
• The online MSW program offered at the University of South Florida has low attrition rates, indicating student satisfaction and success are at high levels.
• If you’re looking for a university that honors diversity among students, the University of South Florida is a great choice. USF received the 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, designed to recognize United States colleges and universities that show outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.


9. Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Children, Youth & Families, Mental Health with Adults, and Community Practice for Social Change

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Children, Youth & Families, Mental Health with Adults, and Community Practice for Social Change

Program Details:

Case Western Reserve University offers one of the nation’s best online MSW programs. Designed with working professionals in mind, the program is delivered in a 100% online format, allowing you to maintain personal and professional commitments while earning a Master of Social Work degree. This online MSW program utilizes Zoom for weekly synchronous classes, allowing you to collaborate closely with classmates and faculty.

Depending on your educational background, you can choose from two MSW tracks: the Traditional Track and Advanced Standing track. The Traditional Track can be completed in as few as 30 months (two and a half years). Advanced Standing students can complete the program in a year and a half of full-time study.

The Traditional Track features a 60-credit hour curriculum, which includes 18 credits of generalist social work courses and 42 hours of advanced practice and specialized classes. The Advanced Standing track allows you to transfer up to 21 credits from your BSW degree to your MSW degree. The number of transferrable credits you use will determine how many additional credits you must earn.

Depending on your track and previous credits earned, you will take general courses, including Foundations of Social Policy & Service Delivery, Community Theory & Practice, and Evidence-Informed Practice. Advanced Practice courses include Evaluating Programs & Practice, Assessing & Engaging Community for Social Change, problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis, and Theor/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work.

The online MSW program at Case Western Reserve University offers three pathways of study, one macro, and two direct clinical paths. You may choose from Children, Youth, & Families, Mental Health with Adults, and Community Practice for Social Change. Each track has specialized courses incorporated into the curriculum to help you develop and hone skills necessary to perform within that specialty track as an MSW.

Field education allows you to apply theoretical knowledge, skills, ethics and values in real-world settings in various social work settings. Traditional Track students complete 900 hours of clinical fieldwork. Advanced Standing students complete 500 hours of field work experience.

Admission Requirements:

Prospective students with a bachelor’s degree in any field conferred by a council for Higher Education Accreditation-accredited college or university may apply for admission to the Traditional pathway. If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited school of social work, earned in the past seven years, you are automatically eligible for admission to the Advanced-Standing MSW track.

Candidates for admission must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, and a resume or curriculum vitae. Applicants seeking admission through the Traditional track must also prepare a two-part essay that addresses a Personal Statement and an Analytical Essay.

Why Choose Case Western Reserve University's Online MSW

• Case Western Reserve University features three concentrations, allowing online MSW degree program students to choose an area of specialization of greatest interest to them.
• The Case Western Reserve University boasts of faculty members who are among the top 2% of most-cited researchers worldwide. The experience and knowledge that the faculty bring ensures students in the online MSW program learn from the very best!
• The university features one of the lowest faculty-to-student ratios, 11:1, even for online cohorts. These small numbers make it possible to support individualized attention for MSW students, which helps promote successful outcomes.
• Graduates of this accredited online MSW program have excellent job placement ratings, with most reporting full-time employment in social work and within their chosen focus within six months of graduation.


10. Arizona State University - Tempe, AZ


Programs Offered:

MSW

MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Direct Practice (Children, Youth & Families; Health & Behavioral Health with Adults; Public Child Welfare; and Health Behavioral Health - Medical)

Program Details:

Arizona State University is home to another of our featured best MSW online programs. The program offers a full-time option, allowing you to graduate in two years. A part-time study plan is also available, with most students completing that option in three years.

This online MSW program features a set sequence for coursework, which is completed in a virtual classroom. The MSW program features a non-clinical Advanced Direct Practice/Generalist Concentration that prepares you for social work roles working with individuals, families, groups, and populations in community outreach settings.

The program, which is one of the best Master of Social Work online programs in the nation, features a 60-credit hour curriculum. Coursework includes classes such as Diversity & Oppression in a Social Work Context, Assessment of Mental Disorders, Micro & Macro Human Behavior/Social Environment, and Social Policy & Services. The program includes two seminars, focused on professional development, which are completed synchronously.

In addition to coursework, you will participate in two 480-hour field education experiences, earning 960 hours of hands-on field experience before graduation. Field education experiences will occur at different, distinct internship sites.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to this online MSW program is contingent upon having a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the last 60 hours of their bachelor’s degree program. Candidates should submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, a Statement of Intent describing academic and career goals, three letters of professional recommendation and proof of at least 240 hours of volunteer experience or work experience in a social service setting for six months completed within the last five years.

Why Choose Arizona State University's Online MSW

• Arizona State University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Master’s in Social Work degrees.
• Graduates of the online MSW program have excellent pass rates on social work licensing examinations.
• Students in the ASU online Master of Social Work program learn from a team of dedicated faculty with years of experience in the field. Faculty have a wide range of specialties and experience, are recognized for contributions to social work research and promoting efforts for social justice. Learning from such a well-rounded group of instructors helps position you for success as a social worker.
• Graduates of the Arizona State University online MSW program report good job placement rates, with many students receiving offers of employment while still enrolled in the program, and contingent upon passing state licensure examinations.


11. Virginia Commonwealth University - Richmond, VA


Programs Offered:

16-Month Full-Time MSW, Three or Four Year Part-Time MSW, and One-Year Advanced Standing MSW

16-Month Full-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Three or Four-Year Part-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

One-Year Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Program Details:

Virginia Commonwealth University is dedicated to offering an online MSW program that prepares you to be informed by the principles of human rights, social justice, cultural competence, diversity, and ethical social work practices. You will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a successful trauma-informed and evidence-based approach to social work.

The program, which is one of the best online social work master’s programs in the United States, offers a Clinical Social Work concentration. You may choose to enroll full-time and complete the program in 16 months or study part-time and take three to four years to graduate. Students accepted to the Advanced Standing pathway can graduate in as little as one year.

Students in this MSW online program complete between 42 and 60 credits, depending on whether they enter a traditional pathway or advanced standing pathway. Students in the Non-Advanced pathway complete 30 credits of generalist curriculum credit hours and 30 hours of clinical concentration coursework. Advanced Standing students take 12 credit hours during the fall prior to entering the master’s level component of the program, then complete the final 30 credit hours of clinical concentration work.

Generalist courses include classes like Policy, Community & Organizational Practice, Foundations of Research in Social Work Practice and Power, Privilege & Oppression. Clinical concentration courses include Mental, Emotional, & Behavioral Disorders, Research for Clinical Social Work Practice, and Clinical Social Work Policy.

Field education gives students the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the instruction by utilizing agency-based practices. All students in the MSW online program participate in a field education/clinical component.

Non-Advanced Standing students complete four semesters of field education, earning 900 hours of hands-on field education hours. Field hours are earned through two semesters of Generalist Field Instruction totaling 300 total hours and two semesters of Concentration Field Instruction totaling 600 hours.

Advanced Standing students complete three field courses totaling 750 field hours. One semester of Advanced-Standing Field Instruction consists of 150 hours of field education and is followed by two semesters of Concentration Field Instruction totaling 600 hours.

Admission Requirements:

Acceptance to the online MSW program at Virginia Commonwealth University requires an applicant to possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants with a Bachelor of Social Work can apply for Advanced Standing. Candidates must have a minimum 3.0-grade point average on a 4.0 grading scale from the institution granting their bachelor’s degree. Additionally, all candidates for admission must complete two three-credit hour courses in behavioral and social sciences, health sciences, humanities, or biological sciences.

Why Choose Virginia Commonwealth University's Online MSW

Why Choose University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Online MSW• Virginia Commonwealth University is ranked as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
• The faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University’s MSW online program are experts in the field renowned for their knowledge and broad range of experiences. A diverse faculty means students learn from mentors who can help broaden their view of social work and their roles in the profession.
• Virginia Commonwealth University has partnerships with more than 500 social service and human organizations, allowing students to engage in diverse experiences that align with their passions and career ambitions.


12. The Ohio State University - Columbus, OH


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing Alternative Program (ASAP) MSW

Program Details:

The Ohio State University offers two options for accredited online MSW programs, the Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing Alternative Program (ASAP) MSW.

The Traditional MSW pathway typically takes two years (four semesters) to complete if you enroll full-time. Part-time students can complete the traditional program in 8 to 11 semesters or three to four years. The Advanced Standing Alternative Program MSW pathway offers an accelerated pathway through which you can graduate in one year of full-time study or two years with part-time study.

This online MSW program offers a rigorous curriculum that includes classes focused on Foundational Social Work courses, Areas of Emphasis, Advanced Practice Methods, Practice Evaluation, Electives, and Field Education & Seminar. The Traditional MSW pathway consists of a 63-credit hour curriculum, and the Advanced Standing Alternative Program requires 43 credit hours. Classes in the curriculum include Organizational & Community Systems, Diversity & Cultural Competence, Evaluating Social Work Practice, Engaging & Entering the Profession, and Engaging with Evidence.

Traditional MSW students begin field education in the second semester of their first year and complete 896 hours of in-person practice by the time the program is complete. Advanced Standing Alternative Program students typically complete all generalist social work field experience during their undergraduate social work degree. Therefore, ASAP students complete only 672 hours of field experience.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than social work may apply for the Traditional MSW program. Traditional MSW applicants must complete at least 10 semester or 15 quarter credit hours in social sciences, such as Communications, Economics, Globalization, Anthropology, Criminology, Geography, Psychology, Speech & Hearing Science, or Sociology.

If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree earned within the past five years, you may apply to the Advanced Standing Alternative Program. ASAP applicants must have successfully completed a field practicum and submit either a field evaluation/learning agreement from the undergraduate program or a letter from the field instructor verifying the completion of undergraduate field study.

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all previous college coursework, submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools, and provide a Personal Statement of Intent and three letters of academic or professional recommendation.

Why Choose The Ohio State University's Online MSW

• Ohio State University employs renowned faculty to guide students in the MSW online programs. Most faculty have a doctoral degree, and all are experienced in a broad range of social work settings and foci.
• Low attrition rates for the Ohio State University online MSW program indicate student satisfaction and success, which makes this school an excellent option for earning a Master of Social Work degree.
• The online Master of Social Work program at Ohio State University is offered in all 50 United States, making it possible for you to earn an MSW no matter where you live or work.
• Graduates of the MSW online program have outstanding national licensure examination pass rates.


13. University of Houston - Houston, TX


Programs Offered:

MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Practice and Macro Practice

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Practice and Macro Practice

Program Details:

The University of Houston offers another of our featured best online MSW programs. The university offers both Traditional and Advanced Standing MSW pathways with Clinical and Macro Practice concentration options. The online MSW program is an excellent option for self-motivated students who need a flexible learning schedule.

In this online Master of Social Work program, you will be assigned to a cohort with whom you take classes. The program features innovative technology and discussion boards to help you develop strong professional relationships with your peers and establish a support network.

A minimum of 63 semester credit hours is required to earn the Master of Social Work degree. Advanced Standing MSW students receive a waiver for the 15-credit hours of foundation courses, completing 48 additional credit hours to meet graduation requirements. Students pursuing the Traditional MSW must complete foundations of Social Work, Human Diversity & Development, Policy in the Social Environment, and a Crossover Elective. Students in both tracks complete classes, including Advanced Social Policy Analysis, Confronting Oppression & Injustice, Cognitive Behavioral Interventions or Program Planning & Evaluation,

Students who pursue the Traditional MSW pathway complete four field practicum courses, earning a total of 900 field practice hours. Advanced Standing students complete two field practicum courses and earn a minimum of 500 field practice hours.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates interested in the online MSW program at the University of Houston must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Transcripts should reflect a solid foundation in liberal arts, including classes in arts, humanities, and biological and social sciences. If you have a BSW, you may be eligible for Advanced Placement in the program. An admissions counselor will review your transcripts to determine eligibility. All applicants must submit official transcripts, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework, provide letters of professional recommendation, and prepare a personal narrative statement.

Why Choose University of Houston's Online MSW

• U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Houston’s MSW program as one of the Top Social Work Programs in the nation.
• Graduates of the accredited online MSW program at the University of Houston have excellent state licensure examination pass rates, which supports the claim that students are well-prepared for clinical practice in the program.
• The University of Houston has several scholarship and grant opportunities designed exclusively for MSW students. Some of these opportunities are made possible by generous alumni donors or given in memory of former students, staff, or contributors to the university.
• This online MSW program features a well-rounded faculty with diverse specialties and years of experience. It allows you to glean from their knowledge and experiences as you prepare for independent social worker practice.


14. University of Denver - Denver, CO


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Mental Health & Trauma and Health, Equity & Wellness

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Mental Health & Trauma and Health, Equity & Wellness

Program Details:

The University of Denver is home to another of the best MSW programs online in the nation. Whether you have a history of social work education and experience or are just beginning your journey, there is an option for you. The university believes in a progressive approach to educating social work students, with the mission of preparing students for roles in traditional and nontraditional social work settings.

At the University of Denver, as a prospective MSW you can choose from a Traditional MSW pathway or Advanced Standing MSW pathway, depending on your previous college degree level. Students in both must choose one of two concentrations, Mental Health & Trauma or Health, Equity, & Wellness, upon which the student’s individualized plan of study is designed.

The Traditional MSW program is designed for individuals who do not possess a Bachelor of Social Work degree but have completed an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in another field. This pathway offers full-time and accelerated study plans. The full-time pathway can be completed in 27 months, and the accelerated plan takes as few as 21 months.

Traditional MSW students complete 81 credits, including 900 hours of field internships. The curriculum includes foundation courses and concentration courses. Foundational classes include Integrated Social Work Practice for Social Justice, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Community/Macro Social Work Theory & Practice.

The Advanced Standing MSW pathway consists of a 54-credit hour curriculum, including 500 hours of fieldwork. Full-time students can anticipate graduating in 18 months, while part-time students typically take 24 months to complete the program. Advanced Standing students bypass most foundational coursework and take only two foundation classes: Power, Privilege & Oppression, and Evidence for Practice.

Concentration courses for the Mental Health & Trauma specialty include Mental Health & Healthcare Policy, Assessment of Mental Health Across the Lifespan, and Evolving Perspectives & Trends in Health & Wellness. If you choose the Health, Equity, & Wellness concentration, you will take specialty courses, including Integrated Healthcare: Models & Practice, Leadership & Supervision Skills, and Methods for Evaluating Practice/Programs.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants seeking admission to the MSW online program at the University of Denver must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have a minimum cumulative GPA for the last 60 semester credits of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Candidates with bachelor’s degrees in social work may be eligible for Advanced Standing. Prospective students must complete an online application, submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, and provide three letters of professional recommendation, a statement of career goals, and a current resume.

Why Choose University of Denver's Online MSW

• The University of Denver’s MSW online program has a high retention and graduation rate, which suggests students are satisfied with the program and grounded for success in the profession.
• Graduates of the program report high employment rates, with most securing employment in their chosen specialty within six months of graduation. Some students receive offers of employment while still enrolled and in the field education component of the program. This is a strong indication that potential employers value the education and training students receive through the University of Denver’s online MSW program.
U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Denver as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Social Work degrees in the nation.
• Students in the online Master of Social Work program at the University of Denver learn from dedicated faculty who demonstrate true passion about scholarship and instruction. With faculty who are truly committed to the social work profession, you will receive high-quality education and attention to help you succeed.


15. Tulane University - New Orleans, LA


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

Tulane University is known for having one of the best MSW online programs in the nation. The program offers traditional and advanced standing pathways as well as part-time and full-time study options.

The goal of the Tulane University MSW program is to “prepare students for relationship-centered, clinical-community practice.” The program is focused on teaching the value of human diversity and economic and social justice.

Students who pursue the Traditional pathway full-time can graduate in as few as 16 months, while part-time students take up to 32 months. Advanced Standing students graduate after 12 months of full-time study or 24 months of part-time study.

The Traditional pathway online MSW program requires students to earn 60 credits and complete 948 fieldwork hours. Courses in this pathway include Social Welfare History & Policy, Diversity & Social Justice: Theory & Practice, Community Organizing & Policy Advocacy: Theories & Practice, and Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups. After completing lower-level social work classes, students transition to upper-level classes, which are part of the Advanced Standing pathway.

The Advanced Standing pathway includes a 48-credit hour curriculum and 948 hours of fieldwork, divided into three semesters of 316 hours each. Some of the classes included in the Advanced Standing pathway are Advanced Integrated Clinical & Community Practice, Psychopathology & DSM, Data Analysis & Interpretation for Program Evaluation & Research.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants to the Tulane MSW online program must possess a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in a liberal arts-related field for the Traditional MSW pathway or a Bachelor of Social Work degree for the Advanced Standing MSW program. All candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and demonstrate strong academic performance in their junior and senior years of undergraduate study. Applicants must fill out an online admission application, provide a current resume, submit a five-page Statement of Purpose, and provide two letters of professional recommendation.

Why Choose Tulane University's Online MSW

• Tulane University has educated social workers in New Orleans for over a century, adjusting to societal changes and addressing disasters, all while keeping up with current trends and preparing high-quality social workers for professional practice.
• As a student in the Tulane University MSW program online, you can choose to add a certificate to your degree. You may choose from Disaster & Collective Trauma or Mental Health, Addictions, & the Family.
• Tulane University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top school for Master of Social Work programs.
• Students in the online MSW program receive the same personalized attention as on-campus students, learning from world-renowned faculty and participating in extensive fieldwork experiences.


16. Simmons University - Boston, MA


Programs Offered:

Advanced Standing MSW, Accelerated MSW, Full Time MSW, and Extended MSW

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Accelerated MSW Concentrations Offered

: Clinical Social Work

Full-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Extended MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Program Details:

If you are searching for one of the best online MSW programs with a Clinical Social Work focus, Simmons University could be the perfect school for you. Simmons offers Accelerated, Full-Time, Extended, and Advanced Standing options for students to earn a Master of Social Work degree online. The program can be completed in 12 to 32 months, depending on the path you choose to pursue.

The Accelerated, Full-Time, and Extended MSW pathways feature a 65-credit curriculum. The Advanced-Standing pathway, tailored for students with a Bachelor of Social Work degree, offers a 34-credit curriculum.

This online Master of Social Work program delivers a curriculum consisting of lectures focused on theoretical frameworks and practice models of social work. You will learn about topics, including Human Development, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Psychodynamic Therapy. This curriculum plan aims to prepare you for evidence-informed interventions and approaches to guide you in your clinical social work practice.

Students in all pathways of the online MSW program participate in generalist and specialized field education experiences. Traditional students (Accelerated, Full-time, and Extended) complete more than 1,000 hours of field education experience in community settings. Advanced Standing students earn approximately 672 hours of field education.

Admission Requirements:

Simmons University’s online MSW program offers five start dates per year. To be eligible to apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. If you possess a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program, you may apply for admission to the Advanced Standing MSW pathway. All applicants must submit official transcripts that reflect a minimum 3.0 average on all undergraduate coursework. Relevant volunteer experience or work is required, as well.

Why Choose Simmons University's Online MSW

• Graduates of the Simmons University online MSW program consistently score well on licensure examinations and have high first-time pass rates, indicating excellent preparation for licensure and practice.
• U.S. News & World Report ranks Simmons University as one of the Best Northern Colleges and a Top Social Work School in the nation.
• Simmons University boasts more than 40,000 MSW alumni, which speaks volumes about the school’s dedication to the social work profession.
• Employment rates for graduates of the Simmons University Master of Social Work online program are excellent, with many new graduates reporting full-time employment within just a few months of completing the program.


17. Howard University - Washington, DC


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Direct Practice and Community, Administration & Policy (CAP) Practice

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Direct Practice and Community, Administration & Policy (CAP) Practice

Program Details:

If you’re searching for the best online MSW programs offered at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Howard University could be an excellent option. Howard University’s School of Social Work was founded more than 85 years ago and has consistently led efforts to promote social justice and equality.

Howard University offers Traditional and Advanced Standing online MSW options with two concentration options, Direct Practice and Community, Administration & Policy Practice. The Traditional MSW track can be completed in 16 months of full-time study or 36 months as a part-time student. The Advanced Standing track is designed in a part-time format to be completed in 24 months.

The Howard University Master of Social Work curriculum is rooted in the Black Perspective, a framework designed to articulate how self-determination, culture, and oppression affect one’s services to individuals, groups, and communities. Students actively engage in criminal justice reform, social justice issues, and healthcare and social disparities relevant to their sociocultural context.

Traditional MSW online program features a 60-credit curriculum, and the Advanced Standing MSW curriculum consists of 45-credit hours. Depending on the track you choose to pursue, you could take classes such as Direct Practice Assessment, Psychopathology, Intervention Planning & Strategies., Human Service Administration, and Advanced social Policy Analysis.

The curriculum also includes agency-based practice education/field experiences. The Traditional MSW includes four field courses resulting in 1,000 hours of field education, and the Advanced Standing track has three field courses, where students earn 777 hours of field experience.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants seeking admission to the Traditional online MSW program must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. While there is no minimum undergraduate GPA requirement for the Traditional pathway, you must have a minimum of 60 transferable credits in the liberal arts.

The Advanced Standing online MSW pathway is available to candidates with a Bachelor of Social Work conferred from a CSWE-accredited institution. The BSW must have been earned in the last four years and your transcripts must reflect a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for all undergraduate and social work foundation coursework.

Why Choose Howard University's Online MSW

• Howard University is ranked as a Best School for Social Work by U.S. News & World Report for 2022.
• The Howard University online MSW programs feature dedicated faculty committed to affirming your life experiences and helping you integrate them into effective social work practice.
• Howard University MSW graduates have excellent job placement ratings. Many students secure an offer of employment while still engaged in the field education component of the program. This is highly suggestive that prospective employers recognize the high-quality education provided by the program.
• The online Master of Social Work program has high retention and graduation rates, indicating student satisfaction and success.


18. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Urbana, IL


Programs Offered:

Traditional iMSW and Advanced Standing iMSW

Traditional iMSW Concentrations Offered:

Leadership & Social Change

Advanced Standing iMSW Concentrations Offered:

Leadership & Social Change

Program Details:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers one of the nation's best accredited MSW online programs. The program is designed to help you obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to assess, intervene, and evaluate social work practices while serving diverse populations. In this program, you will learn to use research, analyze human behavior, and apply professional ethics and values in providing social work services to individuals, groups, and populations.

The online MSW program offered at the University of Illinois offers a convenient option tailored for the working professional. Coursework is delivered with a flexible schedule, allowing you to continue working and handling other responsibilities while earning your degree.

The program features two entry options: Traditional and Advanced Standing. The Traditional online MSW program requires students to complete 72 credit hours. Credits are earned as follows: 16 from foundation courses, 32 credit hours of advanced coursework, and 24 credit hours of Field Practicum & Integrative Seminar.

Students in the Advanced Standing pathway complete 44-56 credit hours. This pathway allows you to bypass the foundation courses and immediately begin the 32 hours of advanced-level courses. Depending on the number of field hours you earned in your BSW program, you will complete between 12 and 24 credit hours of field education in the online MSW Advanced Standing pathway.

The classes you take will vary, depending on your entry pathway and any previous transferable credits. Coursework may include Trauma-Informed Social Work with Children & Adolescents, Behavioral & cognitive Methods for Social Work, Social Work & the Law, and Mental Health Policy & Services.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates for admission to the University of Illinois online MSW program must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants with a Bachelor of Social Work earned at a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program within the previous seven years are eligible for Advanced Standing. Prospective students must submit a Personal Statement, current resume, transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, and three letters of professional or academic recommendation.

Candidates must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 semester hours of coursework from their undergraduate program, and complete 20 hours of coursework in liberal arts, including behavioral & social science, biological sciences, and humanities.

Why Choose University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Online MSW

• The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's School of Social Work has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top Master’s Social Work program since 2016!
• Students in the online MSW program work with a full-time faculty member during their field education internship. The assigned faculty acts as a mentor and guide to help promote your success in the program.
• The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign online MSW programs feature renowned faculty dedicated to furthering social justice and equality. Students benefit from faculty with high levels of dedication and success, completing the program prepared to make a difference as MSWs.
• The accredited Master of Social Work online programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have a low attrition rate, suggesting student satisfaction and satisfactory progress.


19. Florida State University - Tallahassee, FL


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Program Details:

Florida State University is home to another excellent online MSW program. With a flexible online option, you can earn a Master of Social Work degree from a top-rated university, no matter where you are in the United States. As a student in the FSU online Master of Social Work program, you will be prepared to pursue a social work license and begin clinical social work practice.

The program boasts of faculty who are skilled educators, researchers, and practitioners dedicated to mentoring students. The MSW online program is designed with busy adults in mind, tailored with a part-time curriculum that allows you to continue working or pursuing other responsibilities. Both the Traditional and Advanced Standing pathways offer two courses at a time, with most courses lasting 16 weeks.

The Traditional MSW program consists of a 61-credit hour curriculum. In this pathway, you will participate in two mandatory weekend face-to-face experiences on campus during the second and third semesters. You will also complete two field placement internships. The Traditional pathway takes approximately three years to complete.

The Advanced Standing pathway is a 39-credit hour pathway that includes one field placement. This option typically takes an average of two years to complete.

Both these pathways include a concentration pathway in Clinical Social Work.

Students enrolled in the online MSW program at FSU will take classes such as Personnel Administration in the Social Services, Grant Writing & Grant Management, Gerontological Social Work, Family Counseling in Social Work, and Physical Aspects of Aging.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates for admission who have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than social work may apply for the Traditional pathway, while those with a BSW from a CSWE-accredited institution are eligible for Advanced Standing. Prospective students must complete an admissions application, submit a Statement of Purpose, provide a current resume and letters of professional recommendation.

Why Choose Florida State University's Online MSW

• The MSW program at Florida State University is the oldest social work program in Florida, offering social welfare classes for more than 100 years. The school’s dedication to strong social work leadership and education supports the idea that this is an excellent school to earn a Master of Social Work degree.
• Graduates of the FSU Master of Social Work program are leaders in national and international organizations, government, and public service domains, impacting social service policy and practices worldwide. The success of graduates indicates strong academic and professional preparation, making Florida State University one of the top schools to pursue an online MSW degree program.
• The Florida State University College of Social Work Office of Professional Development offers services to students and alumni, including helping with the licensing process following graduation and onboarding for employment, showing continued dedication to students and graduates.
• Florida State University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in the nation.


20. Indiana University - Indianapolis, IN


Programs Offered:

Advanced Standing Full-Time MSW, Advanced Standing Part-Time MSW, Regular Standing Full-Time MSW, Regular Standing Part-Time 3-Year MSW, and Regular Standing Part-Time 4-Year MSW

Advanced Standing Full-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical & Community Practice

Advanced Standing Part-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical & Community Practice

Regular Standing Full-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical & Community Practice

Regular Standing Part-Time 3-Year MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical & Community Practice

Regular Standing Part-Time 4-Year MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical & Community Practice

Program Details:

Are you looking for one of the best accredited online master’s in social work programs with a concentration in Clinical & Community Practice? With options for Regular or Advanced-Standing and part-time and full-time plans, Indiana University could be the school for you! If you qualify for Advanced Standing, you can complete the program in 12 to 18 months, depending on whether you choose part-time or full-time study. Regular standing students can anticipate graduating in two years if enrolled full-time, or three to four years part-time, depending on the number of credits taken each semester.

Indiana University offers a high-quality education delivered in a 100% online format, experienced faculty, and flexibility with scheduling, to help you achieve your goal of becoming a Master of Social Work. With most classes offered every semester, it is easier to tailor your study plan to accommodate your busy professional or personal schedule.

In the Indiana University online MSW program, you will expand your knowledge base to include a theoretical and clinical understanding of several types of social work practice. The program, which offers a Clinical & Community Practice focus, promotes critical thinking and decision-making skills necessary to become an effective social worker.

Students choose a sub-specialty focus to base elective classes upon such as Children, Youth, & Families, Community & Organizational Leadership, Mental Health & Addictions, Health, or Specialty Practice Areas. The online Master of Social Work program features a 60-credit hour curriculum. You will earn 30 credits from social work core courses and 30 from special practice area coursework.

All students participate in field education experiences. Advanced standing students may receive credit for up to 300 field practice hours from their qualifying BSW program. All students must have a total of 900 field practice hours to meet graduation requirements.

Admission Requirements:

If you have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than social work or a BSW that is older than 10 years, you are eligible to apply for admission to the Regular MSW pathway. Applicants with a Bachelor of Social Work are eligible for Advanced Standing if their BSW was granted by an accredited program within the past five years OR if you earned a BSW in the last ten years and have experience in social work practice or have maintained social work licensure for the last five years.

All applicants must submit a current resume, a writing sample and personal statement, official transcripts from any post-secondary school attended, and provide two letters of professional reference.

Why Choose Indiana University's Online MSW

• Indiana University features a diverse faculty and student body, fostering diversity and inclusion, which is at the forefront of successful social services practice.
• Students in the online MSW program learn from renowned faculty known for their contributions to social justice and change, research, and advocacy.
• Indiana University has its own MSW Student Association, supported by practitioners dedicated to promoting diversity, equality, advocacy, and social justice. The MSW Student Association works to support the interests and needs of students in the program as they pursue their academic and professional goals.
• Graduates of Indiana University’s accredited online MSW program have excellent job placement rates with many accepting offers of employment contingent upon graduation and passing licensing examinations.


21. University of Tennessee at Knoxville - Knoxville, TN


Programs Offered:

Part-Time MSW, Full-Time MSW, and Advanced Standing MSW

Part-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice and Organizational Leadership

Full-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice and Organizational Leadership

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice and Organizational Leadership

Program Details:

If you’re searching for a college that offers flexible MSW online programs, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville is worth considering. The university recognizes life’s demands and designed the online MSW program with busy people in mind.

At the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, you can choose from part-time or full-time study and may qualify for advanced standing to earn an MSW. The Part-Time program allows students to graduate in three or four years, while students in the full-time program typically complete the program in two years. Advanced Standing track can be completed in as few as 12 months of full-time study or 24 months part-time.

Traditional students complete 60 credit hours and 1,000 field practice hours, regardless of whether they enroll part-time or full-time. If you qualify for Advanced Standing, you will complete 36 semester hours and 600 field placement hours.

Courses are taught online with both synchronous and asynchronous scheduling approaches. As a student in UT-K's online Master of Social Work program, you can choose to focus your social work studies with a concentration in Evidence-Based Interpersonal Practices or Organizational Leadership.

Additionally, students enrolled in the online MSW program may choose to earn a graduate certificate relevant to an area of interest. Graduate certificates are available in Forensic Social Work, Gerontology, School Social Work Licensure, Trauma, and Veterinary Social Work. If you choose a graduate certificate option, you will complete 10 to 21 additional credits relevant to your chosen certificate concentration.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s online MSW program is based on meeting the following admission criteria. Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have earned at least three-fourths of undergraduate credits from social sciences, physical sciences, humanities, and other eligible liberal arts subjects. Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 grading scale for all undergraduate coursework and a minimum 3.0 from any graduate-level coursework.

Why Choose University of Tennessee at Knoxville's Online MSW

• The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is ranked among the Best Public Universities for Master’s Social Work programs by U.S. News.
• International Initiatives at the UT-K College of Social Work work to promote a diverse student population by encouraging global recruitment of students and supporting international projects that are faculty-led. This effort promotes relationships nationally and internationally to prepare students for social work practice that spans the globe.
• The University of Tennessee at Knoxville supports students throughout the program and beyond, offering opportunities for job placement and continuing education in the field of social work.


22. University of Central Florida - Orlando, FL


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work Practice

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work Practice

Program Details:

You can find another of the best master’s in social work online programs at the University of Central Florida. The university offers Traditional and Advanced Standing options for eligible applicants seeking to earn a Master of Social Work. Both MSW pathways are offered fully online and in a part-time format, making them a great choice for busy students.

This online MSW program addresses health and mental health challenges impacting individuals, families, communities, and populations nationally and globally. The program offers a diverse faculty who bring a variety of knowledge, skills, and professional experiences to online and clinical learning.

The Traditional MSW track is a 62-credit hour program designed in a three-year cohort model. The program offers three start dates each year, making it possible for you to begin your degree program at a time most convenient for you.

In the traditional pathway, students take classes including Foundations of Behavioral Health Policy & Social Work Practice, Diverse Client Populations, Clinical Social Work Practice with LGBTQ+, and Practice with Families. The Traditional track curriculum also includes 1,000 hours of field experience.

The Advanced-Standing MSW program admits students once yearly and can be completed in four semesters. The program features a 32-credit hour curriculum, which includes classes such as Psychosocial pathology, Clinical Evaluation in the Social Work Practice, Theories for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice in Social Work, and Behavioral Health Skills in Social Work. In the Advanced-Standing MSW track, you will complete a minimum of 600 field practice hours.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates seeking admission to the Traditional MSW program must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 from the bachelor’s program. Applicants applying to the Advanced-Standing track must have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program and a minimum 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 grading scale. All prospective students should submit three letters of professional and/or academic recommendation, a professional statement, and writing sample.

Why Choose University of Central Florida’s Online MSW

• The University of Central Florida online MSW degree program offers a cohort model for both pathways. A cohort model promotes strong peer support, which has been associated with higher rates of student success.
U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Central Florida’s School of Social Work as one of the best social work programs in the nation.
• Graduates consistently have exceptionally high pass rates on state licensing exams among first-time test takers.


23. California State University - Northridge, CA


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW

Program Details:

California State University offers another of our featured accredited online MSW programs. The program was created as part of a collaborative effort between the California State University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Social Work. The program is offered in a part-time format that can be completed in three years or a full-time plan that takes two years to complete.

Classes for the online MSW program are asynchronous, allowing you to attend the live broadcast of the class or watch the recorded version at an alternate time. Although classes are asynchronous, you will be required to meet for one weekly online session. This session gives students the opportunity to discuss cases, course content, ask questions and get feedback from faculty and peers.

This online Master of Social Work degree features a cohort model where students move through the program as a group. The cohort model is beneficial as it promotes collaboration, a necessary skill for social workers.

The MSW curriculum includes a total of 60 credits, which are earned through foundational and concentration-specific coursework. In the online MSW degree program, you will study in classes, including Psychosocial Assessment & Diagnostic Formulation, Advanced Social Work Practice with Urban Families, Family Crisis, Trauma, & Grief, and Urban Social Policy & Advocacy.

In the California State University online MSW program, you will complete field education experiences during both your Foundational Year and Concentration Year. The first or foundational year includes a 450 to 500-hour field internship. In the concentration year of the program, field education will build upon the knowledge and skills you gain in the foundation year. This second year of field experience consists of an additional 500 hours of clinical practice relevant to your area of interest or specialization.

Admission Requirements:

Prospective students must have a four-year baccalaureate degree earned at a regionally accredited institution and be in good standing at the most recent college or university attended. All applicants must have a 2.5 grade point average in their previous baccalaureate program or in the last 60 credits attempted. Competitive candidates will have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Sociology, or the liberal arts with at least a 3.0 GPA and post-baccalaureate work experience.

Why Choose California State University's Online MSW

• California State University’s MSW online program features distinguished faculty who are experts in the field of social work.
• Graduates of the Cal-State University online MSW program have outstanding employment rates with nearly all receiving a new job or promotion after completing the program.
• All students have access to a designated Program Manager from the time they are admitted. The Program Manager offers ongoing support, allowing students to focus on studies and field education requirements.
• Graduates of the MSW program have excellent licensing examination pass rates, which supports the claim that the university offers strong preparation for practice.


24. University of Texas at Arlington - Arlington, TX


Programs Offered:

Advanced Year MSW, Fully MSW Cohort, Advanced Year 12 Months Full-Time MSW Cohort, and Advanced Year 16 Months Full-Time MSW Cohort

Advanced Year MSW Concentrations Offered:

Community & Administrative, Aging, Children & Families, and Mental Health & Substance Misuse

Fully MSW Cohort Concentrations Offered:

Community & Administrative, Aging, Children & Families, and Mental Health & Substance Misuse

Advanced Year 12 Months Full-Time MSW Cohort Concentrations Offered:

Community & Administrative, Aging, Children & Families, and Mental Health & Substance Misuse

Advanced Year 16 Months Full-Time MSW Cohort Concentrations Offered:

Mental Health & Substance Misuse

Program Details:

The University of Texas at Arlington is home to an excellent School of Social Work offering three pathways for its accredited MSW online programs.

The Fully Online MSW Cohort option features web-based learning presented by nationally- and internationally-recognized social work scholars. The fully online pathway offers part-time and full-time options. Students who study full-time can complete the program in one to two years, while part-time students take one to three years, depending on the number of credits needed to satisfy graduation requirements.

Students who pursue the Fully Online MSW program must complete one year of Foundational Courses, consisting of 27 credit hours. The foundation courses include Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Generalist Micro & Macro practice, Diverse Populations, and Foundations of Social Policy & Services. The Foundation year also includes 480 of field education hours.

Do you have a Bachelor of Social Work from an accredited social work program? Are you interested in pursuing a specialty in Community & Administrative Practice, Direct Practice in Aging, Direct Practice in Mental Health & Substance Misuse, or Direct Practice with Children & Families? If so, the Advanced Year Online 12-Month or Advanced Year Online 16-Month cohort option could be a great choice for you. These Advanced-Standing pathways feature 8-, 11-, and 16-week classes, depending on which specialty concentration you choose to pursue.

Students who qualify for advanced-standing options may be eligible to skip the foundational year coursework and begin studies in what is considered the second year of the program. The total number of credit hours each student earns in the online MSW program depends on the specialty concentration chosen.

Admission Requirements:

All prospective students seeking admission to the online MSW programs at the University of Texas-Arlington must fill out an online application at GoApplyTexas and submit transcripts from any post-secondary school attended. After transcripts are reviewed, applicants are notified if they meet the GPA requirements for quick admission, which is a minimum of 3.0 on the most recent 60 credits of coursework.

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in a non-social work specialty may apply for admission as a Traditional MSW student. Those with a BSW from an accredited program may be considered for Advanced Standing in the program. Candidates must also submit three letters of recommendation and a narrative essay.

Why Choose University of Texas at Arlington's Online MSW

• Out-of-state students enrolled in the online MSW programs at the University of Texas at Arlington are eligible for in-state tuition, which can result in savings of up to 45% on tuition costs!
• The university features experienced, dedicated faculty with a broad range of social work experiences, making it a great place to learn and earn a Master of Social Work degree.
• In addition to concentration offerings, students in the online Master of Social Work program at the University of Texas at Arlington may complete a graduate certificate online while enrolled in the advanced year of the program. Certificate options include Organizational Leadership, Administrative Leadership, Community Leadership, Policy Leadership, Military, Veteran, & Family Care, and Military Social Work.


25. Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL


Programs Offered:

MSW

MSW Concentrations Offered:

Migration; Leadership, Community, Advocacy, & Policy (LCAP); and Schools/Professional Educator’s License

Program Details:

Loyola University is home to another of our featured accredited Master of Soal Work online programs. The program follows a cohort model and takes eight consecutive semesters, including two summer terms, to complete.

This online MSW program offers flexible scheduling, making it easier for busy students to keep up with their regular commitments while pursuing a degree. The program incorporates synchronized “face-to-face" discussions via online platforms. The online discussions are an excellent way for students to develop professional relationships, mentorships, and networks with peers and faculty.

The Loyola University online Master of Social Work program features a 49-credit hour curriculum. The program includes two internships. Students in year one complete 400 hours of internship and upper-level students complete a 600-hour internship.

The first year of the program consists of Generalist MSW classes through which you will earn 26 credit hours. Generalist classes include Power, Oppression, Privilege, & Social justice, Integrated Micro/Mezzo/Macro Theory & Practice, and Research & Evaluation in Social Work Practice.

The second year of the program involves 23 credit hours of Advanced Coursework, including Advanced Micro-Level Practice and Advanced Mezzo & Macro Practice. Depending on the specialty track you choose to pursue, you may take classes such as Migration, Human Rights, & Social Justice (Migration Studies), Introduction to Alcohol & Other Drug Disorders (Certified Alcohol & Other Drug Counselors track), and The Exceptional Child (School/Professional Educator’s License track).

Admission Requirements:

To be eligible for admission to the online MSW program at Loyola University at Chicago, you must first complete an online application. You must submit official transcripts, a Statement of Purpose, and current resume/curriculum vitae.

Why Choose Loyola University Chicago's Online MSW

• Loyola University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Social Work in the nation.
• Loyola University’s School of Social Work has clinical partnerships with more than 800 agencies, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and schools where you can participate in internships and field experiences.
• The School of Social Work offers study-abroad opportunities for students in the MSW program online. These opportunities allow you to experience international social work theory, practice, and policy, which influences the profession both domestically and internationally.
• Students in the Loyola University online MSW program have access to several volunteer resources and opportunities. Through volunteer experiences, students develop communication and collaboration skills and develop a broader peer network.


26. University of Georgia - Athens, GA


Programs Offered:

MSW

MSW Concentrations Offered:

Micro Practice

Program Details:

The University of Georgia is home to one of the best online MSW programs in the nation. The program is designed with a cohort model and is typically completed in three years of full-time study.

This excellent accredited online MSW program offers a rigorous curriculum consisting of 60 credit hours, featuring a Micro Practice concentration. The Micro Practice specialization will prepare you with the knowledge and skills needed to provide advanced social work services focused on individuals, families, and populations in diverse settings. This specialization will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership positions in social work such as Counselor, School Social Worker, Child & Family Social Worker, Hospice Worker, and Forensic Social Worker.

Students earn 44 credits through online coursework in classes, including Assessment & Psychopathology, Social Work with Groups, Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals, and Evaluation of Professional Practice. The remaining 16 are completed from field education experiences. The program includes four semesters of supervised field education. All students complete at least 912 field education hours.

Admission Requirements:

The online MSW degree program at the University of Georgia is available to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any major. Interested candidates must complete a Graduate School Admissions application and official transcripts from any college or university ever attended. Additional required documents include a professional resume and/or curriculum vitae, a Narrative Essay, and three letters of professional recommendation.

Why Choose University of Georgia's Online MSW

• The MSW program at the University of Georgia is ranked among the best Public Master of Social Work Programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
• Graduates of the University of Georgia online MSW program have excellent employment rates. In fact, many graduates report being offered employment while completing field education experiences and pending passing their licensure examinations.
• The program's high retention rate suggests student satisfaction and success, making it an excellent choice for students seeking an online MSW degree.
• The Micro Practice specialization offered to online MSW program students provides students with the skills needed for professional leadership positions in social work. With dedicated faculty to guide you on your academic journey, you can make your dreams of being a leader in social work a reality at the University of Georgia.


27. University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa, AL


Programs Offered:

Advanced-Standing MSW and 60-Credit-Hour MSW

Advanced-Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Children, Adolescents & Their Families and Adults & Their Families

60-Credit-Hour MSW Concentrations Offered:

Children, Adolescents & Their Families and Adults & Their Families

Program Details:

The University of Alabama offers an excellent option for students seeking an online MSW program. The program is available in two options: Advanced Standing and a 60-Credit-Hour program. Both pathways offer two concentration options: Children, Adolescents & Their Families and Adults & Their Families.

The Children, Adolescents and Their Families concentration is designed for candidates interested in working with families across the lifespan. This pathway is a good option if you are interested in working in mental health settings or child welfare.

The Adults and Their Families pathway is an excellent concentration choice for students interested in working with adults or the elderly. Many students who complete this pathway work in adult mental health care settings or places that provide geriatric care services.

The 60-Credit-Hour Program has two start dates yearly. This program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. Coursework is offered online with minimal face-to-face skills labs on some Saturdays. In this pathway, you will take courses, including Social Welfare Advanced Policy Analysis, Human Behavior & Social Environment, Research-Informed Practice, and Social Work Practice in Child Welfare & Family Services.

The Advanced-Standing pathway is a 42-credit hour online MSW program that can be completed in three semesters. This pathway offers two yearly start dates. Students in the advanced-standing program complete professional foundation requirements through bridge courses, which include Research for Informed Practice, Components of Human Development & Social Systems, and Social Welfare Policies & Delivery Systems, Social Problems, & the History of Social Welfare.

Both programs include a minimum of 500 hours of practicum experience.

Admission Requirements:

Admission requirements for the accredited MSW online programs offered at the University of Alabama include the following. Applicants for the 60-Credit Hour pathway must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an overall 3.0 GPA or a 3.0 for the most recent 60 semester hours of coursework earned toward a completed degree. In addition to meeting the same admission requirements as the 60-Credit Hour pathway, candidates seeking Advanced-Standing must have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program and a minimum “B” average in all social work courses previously completed.

Why Choose University of Alabama's Online MSW

• The University of Alabama’s School of Social Work is ranked among the nation’s top graduate schools for social work programs by U.S. News & World Report.
• The online MSW program offers a low student-to-faculty ratio, making it possible for students to receive individualized instruction and support to promote success.
• The University of Alabama supports several Professional and Student Organizations for graduate social work students, encouraging collaboration, team building, and networking among students and alumni.
• Students in the online Master of Social Work program learn from experienced, dedicated faculty whose objective is to promote student success and positive outcomes. The program employs 39 full-time faculty members and 33-full-time staff members.


28. Portland State University - Portland, OR


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Macro Practice and Advanced Clinical Practice

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Macro Practice and Advanced Clinical Practice

Program Details:

Portland State University is home to the first online MSW program in the Pacific Northwest. The online learning model allows students flexibility in support of a healthy work, school, and life balance. The university offers Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW pathways. Students may choose to specialize in an Advanced Macro Practice or Advanced Clinical Practice concentration.

Although coursework is online and students directed, all students follow a course sequence as outlined in their Course Map. The Traditional MSW program features a 78-credit hour curriculum that is completed in two to three years, depending on whether you choose to enroll part-time or full-time. This pathway includes two field education internships totaling 900 hours.

The Advanced-Standing MSW pathway includes 46-credit hours of advanced social work curriculum and can be completed in as few as four terms. Students in the Advanced-Standing MSW program complete one 500-hour field education internship.

Some classes you will take in the online MSW program at Portland State University include Societal, community & Organizational Structures & Process, Skills for the Helping Process-Groups, Social Work Practice with Individuals & Families, and Advocacy & Empowerment.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates with a Bachelor of Social Work earned at a CSWE-accredited program within the previous five years may be eligible for Advanced Standing option. Advanced-Standing applicants will have a field evaluation from their BSW program indicating satisfactory completion of generalist field practice experience. All applicants must provide letters of recommendation, prepare an Admissions Essay, and a current resume.

Why Choose Portland State University's Online MSW

• Portland State University is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top universities in the Pacific Northwest.
• Portland State University’s main goal is to see students succeed. The university offers writing, and learning centers that online students can access either by campus visits or remote appointments and each student is assigned an advisor who guides them through the program from admission to graduation.
• Graduates of the online MSW program have excellent job placement ratings. Most report finding employment in an MSW position within just a few months of graduation.


29. University of Utah - Salt Lake City, UT


Programs Offered:

Standard MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

The University of Utah offers another of our featured accredited online MSW programs. The program is available with Standard and Advanced Standing options.

The Standard-admission MSW program begins in the fall semester of each year and is designed to be completed full-time in four semesters. This pathway features a 60-credit hour curriculum that includes classes such as Diversity & Social Justice: Reflexive & Ethical Social Work Practice, DSM & Psychopathology, and Community-Based Strategies for Social Change. Students in this pathway complete two field practicums, one each year, earning 900 supervised practice hours in a social work setting.

The Advanced-Standing MSW program has one start date each year, in the summer semester. The program, which includes 45 graduate credits and 500 hours of field education, takes three full-time semesters to complete.

Admission Requirements:

To be eligible to apply to the University of Utah online MSW program, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university. Candidates with a Bachelor of Social Work earned within the last seven years may apply for Advanced Standing. Applicants must submit official transcripts from any college or university attended. Transcripts should reflect a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

All prospective students must complete the prerequisites Human Development Across the Lifespan or Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Research Methods. Other application criteria include providing three professional recommendations, a Statement of Purpose, and a Social Work Practice Timed Case Study.

Why Choose University of Utah's Online MSW

• Graduates of the University of Utah’s online MSW program have excellent employment rates after completing the program. In fact, many students receive job offers before graduation while engaged in field education.
• MSW program graduates at the University of Utah have outstanding license examination pass rates, which indicates the program prepares students well.
• The University of Utah’s MSW program is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best Online Social Work programs in the country.


30. Baylor University - Waco, TX


Programs Offered:

Standard MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Standard MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Practice and Community Practice

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Practice and Community Practice

Program Details:

Are you searching for an online MSW degree program that supports your personal faith? If so, Baylor University could be a great option for you to consider. Baylor University offers an online MSW program designed to join professional social work practice with a faith-based approach to client care. The MSW program at Baylor has three start dates each year.

Baylor University offers online MSW program options that feature the same experiences as those available to residential MSW students. Depending on your previous college experience and degree, you may choose to apply as a Standard or Advanced-Standing MSW student. Additionally, you may choose to specialize in either a Clinical Practice or Community Practice.

The Standard MSW program is a 60-credit hour pathway designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The program offers part-time, full-time, and accelerated scheduling. Part-time students graduate in 32 months; full-time students graduate in 23 months, and accelerated students can complete the program in as few as 16 months.

The Advanced Standing MSW pathway consists of a 32-credit curriculum and offers part-time and full-time options. Part-time students typically take 20 months to graduate, while full-time students can complete the program in one year.

Standard MSW students begin the program with foundational courses focused on direct practice, community development, and administration. Once foundational courses are completed, both Standard and Advanced-Standing students choose whether to specialize in Community Practice or Clinical Practice and complete the specialist phase of the program with courses relevant to their chosen specialty.

Admission Requirements:

Eligible candidates for the Baylor University online MSW program will have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Advanced-standing applicants must have a BSW earned within the past five years. Applicants must submit high-quality letters of academic or professional recommendation, demonstrate strong written communication and critical thinking skills, and have a minimum 3.0 cumulative undergraduate grade point average.

Why Choose Baylor University's Online MSW

• The Baylor University MSW program offers small class sizes, making it possible for students to experience more individual attention from faculty.
• Baylor University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for being a Best National University, Military-Friendly School, and Top Social Worker School.
• Graduates of the MSW program at Baylor have excellent licensing examination pass rates.
• Baylor University’s online MSW degree program has a high retention rate, reflecting student success and satisfaction in the program.


31. Yeshiva University - New York, NY


Programs Offered:

Full-Time MSW, Part-Time MSW, and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

Yeshiva University offers an outstanding online MSW degree program. With options for full-time, part-time, or Advanced Standing paths, you can choose how fast to earn your degree. Part-time students typically take one course per semester and complete the program in five years. Full-time students graduate in as few as 2 ½ years, while Advanced Standing students can complete the program in only 18 months. Yeshiva University understands that life doesn’t always happen on a perfect schedule, and for that reason, students have the option of transitioning from part-time to full-time or vice versa, as needed.

The Yeshiva University MSW program offers opportunities to specialize in school social work, geriatrics, and military-focused contexts. To earn the Master of Social Work degree at Yeshiva University, students earn 60 credit hours, including core courses, advanced social work classes, and electives. Specialty electives, including Palliative Care: Social Work Practice with Serious Illness, Social Work Practice with Addiction, and Trauma-Informed Welfare Practice are among the classes students take.

Field experiences are designed to bring social work theory to life in real-world situations, preparing you for master’s level social work practice. Students complete a minimum of 600 field hours in both the generalist year and advanced year. Traditional students typically complete at least 1,200 field education hours and Advanced-Standing students complete at least 600.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates seeking admission to the Yeshiva University online Master of Social Work program must submit a Personal Statement, one letter of recommendation from an academic or professional source, and official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required. Additionally, applicants seeking Advanced-Standing admission must have a fieldwork evaluation from their BSW program.

Why Choose Yeshiva University's Online MSW

• Yeshiva University is known as one of the nation’s oldest institutions combining academic excellence and Jewish scholarship, making it an excellent choice for students of Jewish faith or those who wish to broaden their world view while earning an MSW degree.
• Yeshiva University graduates report high satisfaction rates with the MSW program and faculty. Many return to pursue doctoral degrees.
• Graduates of the online MSW program have outstanding pass rates on social work licensing exams.
• The university is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best Schools of Social Work in the nation.


32. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania - Edinboro, PA


Programs Offered:

Regular Two-Year MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

With a completely online format and no on-campus visits, the online MSW program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania is a great option for busy people. With three start dates each year, you can begin your journey to earning a Master of Social Work degree at a time most convenient for you.

This online MSW option is delivered in an asynchronous format, which means you can study when and where you want. Additionally, field education requirements can be completed in or near your home community. The university offers a two-year Regular MSW plan of study and a five-semester Advanced Standing MSW pathway.

The Master of Social Work program features a rigorous curriculum with classes, including Differential Assessment & Psychopathology, Trauma Theory & Interventions, Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment, and Addictions Assessment & Treatment. The Regular MSW program is a 60-credit program, including 27 foundation course credits and 33 advanced course credits. Students accepted into the Advanced Standing pathway may request a waiver of up to 27 credits for eligible coursework completed in their BSW program.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates seeking admission to the Edinboro MSW online program must submit a professional resume, two professional or academic references, a Personal Statement, and official transcripts from any college or university previously attended. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum of 21-semester credits within a liberal arts curriculum in math, physical and biological sciences, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences.

All applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If you have a Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program and meet all other admission criteria, you may be eligible for Advanced Standing.

Why Choose Edinboro University of Pennsylvania's Online MSW

• Based on positive feedback from students and alumni, the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania MSW degree was ranked by SR Education Group as one of the top online MSW programs in the country.
• Because Edinboro University is part of the SARA agreement (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement), you can enroll in their online MSW program no matter what state you live in.
• U.S. News & World Report recognizes Edinboro University of Pennsylvania as one of the best schools for online graduate education, supporting our belief that it is one of the best places in the nation to earn an online Master of Social Work degree.


33. Boise State University - Boise, ID


Programs Offered:

Full Program MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

If you want to promote social justice and equality and impact individuals and families through social work, Boise State University may be the perfect place for you! BSU offers an excellent online Master of Social Work program with options for traditional full program and advanced standing students.

The Full Program option consists of a 61-credit-hour curriculum. The curriculum is comprised of 43 credits of academic classes, seminars, and lab experiences and 18 credit hours of social work field practice. In this pathway, students earn a minimum of 1,000 field practice hours. Full-time students typically complete the program in two years, while part-time students usually take three years to graduate.

The Advanced-Standing MSW program is a 37-credit hour pathway. Students in this program complete 600 clock hours of field practicum. The Advanced-Standing option takes one to two years to complete, depending on whether you enroll part-time or full-time.

Foundation courses include Ethnicity, Gender, & Class, Social Dimensions of Human Behavior, Foundations of Social Welfare Policy, and Foundations of Research. Advanced courses include classes such as Evaluation & Treatment of Mental Disorders, Program & Practice Evaluation, and Program Leadership & Management.

Admission Requirements:

The Regular MSW Program is designed for students who have baccalaureate degrees in non-social work specialties. The Advanced Standing option is for students with a BSW from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program. Successful candidates will have a bachelor’s degree with strong liberal arts and social science course content or a BSW, a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 from the last two years of college coursework, and paid or volunteer social service practice experience. All applicants must submit a Personal Essay and letters of recommendation. Top applicants will be asked to participate in an admissions interview prior to a final acceptance offer.

Why Choose Boise State University's Online MSW

• Graduates of the Boise State University MSW program have excellent licensing exam pass rates, exceeding the national average.
• There is no out-of-state fee for students living outside of Idaho, making it more affordable for students in other states to earn an MSW at Boise State University.
• Boise State University’s MSW program has low attrition rates, suggesting student satisfaction with the program.
• The BSU online Master of Social Work program features renowned faculty known for their dedication to social work research, social justice, and equality.


34. Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, LA


Programs Offered:

60-Hour Fast MSW, 60-Hour Standard MSW, 60-Hour Extended MSW, Advanced Standing Fast MSW, and Advanced Standing Standard MSW

Program Details:

Louisiana State University’s online master’s degree in social work program offers six starts a year (two start dates for advanced standing students), allowing you to choose a time best suited for you to begin your studies. The program is typically completed in two years of full-time study or in 3 ½ to 4 years of part-time study. If you have the drive to be a full-time student, devoted to studies only, you may be interested in the 60-hour fast MSW, which can be completed in less than two years, or the advanced standing fast track which takes less than a year to complete.

Instead of a traditional semester-based format, this online MSW program features a 7-week module format. The program is designed for year-round attendance with one-to-two-week breaks between modules. Classes are asynchronous with guided deadlines, meaning you can work at your own pace.
To earn the Master of Social Work degree, you must complete 60 credit hours. Advanced Standing students are eligible to have 27 hours of foundation coursework waived, completing 33 advanced core courses.

12 credit hours are earned from field education courses, with students completing a total of 960 field education training hours. In this program, students can choose from single-format or block-format field education. Single-format education is two days weekly and completed over the course of four modules. Block format field education is 40 hours weekly for two modules.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to all LSU online MSW program pathways is the same. Interested candidates must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, have at least 12 credit hours in behavioral or social sciences and at least 9 credits in the humanities, and complete an introductory Statistics course with a grade of “C” or better. Applicants must submit official transcripts which reflect a minimum 3.0 on all undergraduate coursework and letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the candidate’s likelihood of success in the program and profession.

Why Choose Louisiana State University's Online MSW

• Louisiana State University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for having one of the best Master’s in Social Work programs and as one of the Best Public Universities in the nation.
• LSU’s School of Social Work has its own chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers. The association is committed to promoting and enhancing the quality of life of people from African ancestry through human services, research, and advocacy.
• Students in the MSW online program at LSU learn from respected faculty, renowned both nationally and internationally for their efforts to promote equality and justice to people of all ages and from all walks of life.
• Graduates of the online MSW program have exceptional pass rates for the state licensing examinations.


35. University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA


Programs Offered:

Regular Standing MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Regular Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Practice or Leadership Practice

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Practice or Leadership Practice

Program Details:

The University of Iowa offers a three-year, part-time online Master of Social Work program. Students are admitted into this MSW program every other year. The program is featured in a cohort model with small class sizes, making it easier for students to develop relationships with faculty and peers.

All coursework is delivered online. However, students meet with other students in the summer semester at the Summer Institute held at the university’s main campus and meet twice each year with their learning communities.

This online MSW program features both synchronous and asynchronous course delivery. Regular standing, non-BSW students complete 54 semester hours, including 900 field education hours. Advanced standing students complete 36 semester hours and 600 field practice hours.

Classes included in the University of Iowa online BSW curriculum include Social, Economic, & Environmental Justice, Development of Professional Use of Self, Engaging with Evidence, and Theory & Skills for Working with Organizations & Communities.

Admission Requirements:

To be eligible to apply to the online MSW program at the University of Iowa, you must live in Iowa or a bordering state. Candidates must have a BSW or 4-year/baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than social work. To apply, you must submit an MSW Statement of Purpose, MSW essay, official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, letters of recommendation, and a current professional resume.

Why Choose the University of Iowa's Online MSW

• The program features faculty actively involved in social work practice and research, making them great sources of information and academic guidance.
• The University of Iowa is recognized by U.S. News & World Report for excellence in 12 education categories, including Best Online Social Work Program and Best Graduate Programs.
• Nearly all graduates of the online MSW program pass their state social worker licensure exam on the first attempt.
• The university has high retention rates among students in the online master’s in social work program, indicating students learn and are satisfied with the school and program.


36. Aurora University - Aurora, IL


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Addictions, Child Welfare, Forensics, Gerontology, Health Care, Leadership Administration, Military & Veteran Social Work, and School Social Work

Program Details:

Do you desire to help others by finding solutions to issues that affect individuals, communities, and societies? If so, the Aurora University online MSW program could be a great option to help you make that a reality.

Aurora University offers MSW students a broad academic background for professional social work. You can choose from several concentrations, including Addiction Disorders, Child Welfare, Forensics, Gerontology, and Military & Veteran Social Work.

This online MSW program features a 60-credit hour curriculum with eight-week courses. In this traditional MSW program, you will take generalist and specialist social work classes as well as concentration-specific classes. Some classes you will take include Theories of Human Development, Social Work Perspectives on Psychopathology, Clinical Theory & Methods of Social Work and Welfare Policy & Institutions.

Depending on which specialty concentration you choose to pursue, you may take classes including Psychopharmacology of Substance Abuse Disorders, Effects of Trauma on Children, Forensic Social Work, Biology & Health of Aging, and Leadership & Organizational Behavior. Students also complete four field education internships.

Admission Requirements:

The online MSW program at Aurora University is available to applicants with a bachelor's degree conferred from a regionally accredited liberal arts program. Applicants must submit official transcripts, a professional resume, Personal Statement, and two letters of professional or academic recommendation.

Why Choose Aurora University's Online MSW

• Some of the Aurora University online MSW program courses use open education resources (OER). OER offers access to openly licensed, digital content to students free of charge in lieu of students buying textbooks.
• Students enrolled in the online MSW program work closely with expert faculty throughout the program and have access to digital features designed to replicate a small, campus-based experience.
• Graduates of the online Master of Social Work program have excellent job placement ratings. Many students receive offers of employment while completing their field education component, contingent upon graduating and passing licensing examinations.
• Students who complete the Aurora University MSW program have excellent pass rates on licensure examinations.


37. University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Charlotte, NC


Programs Offered:

3-Year MSW and 2-Year Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is home to another excellent online Master of Social Work program. The university offers a 3-Year MSW and 2-Year Advanced Standing MSW. Both pathways feature synchronous and asynchronous class sessions.

The mission of the UNC Master of Social Work program is to prepare students as social work leaders and professionals capable of implementing community-based, culturally informed practice, research, and policy. Students learn from dedicated faculty actively involved in measures to promote social justice through curriculum and societal intervention.

The 3-Year online MSW program is a 60-credit hour program, while the 2-Year Advanced Standing MSW program offers a 36-42 credit hour curriculum. Students study classes including Advocacy & Policy Change, Mental Health Assessment, Advanced Interpersonal Practice with Groups, and Social Work, Social Justice, & Diversity.

Students in both the 3-Year MSW online program pathway and 2-Year Advanced Standing pathway complete a total of 928 field education hours. Field education is completed in years two and three of the 3-Year program and years one and two of the Advanced-Standing program.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the University of North Carolina MSW online program requires meeting, at a minimum, the following criteria.

Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college. Although you may apply with a GPA less than 3.0, preference is always given to applicants with at least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate grade point average. In addition to submitting a complete admission application, you must provide three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and a Statement of Purpose. If you’re in the final year of an accredited BSW program or earned a BSW within the past seven years, you may be eligible for the 2-Year Advanced Standing MSW pathway.

Why Choose University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Online MSW

• The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s MSW program is ranked U.S. News & World Report as one of the top Social Work Graduate Programs in the nation.
• Graduates of the University of North Carolina MSW online program have excellent licensing examination pass rates, with most passing on the first attempt.
• Students in the UNC Master of Social Work program online report high satisfaction rates with course delivery options and faculty interaction. This is a positive reflection on the program, as distance learning education can be challenging without the right resources and or faculty guidance.
• The online MSW program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has great retention and graduation rates, reflecting student success and satisfaction.


38. Our Lady of the Lake University - San Antonio, TX


Programs Offered:

Foundation MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

If you want to become an agent of change and impact the world one person or family at a time, you may find the MSW program at Our Lady of the Lake University is an excellent way to make that happen. Our Lady of the Lake University offers an online Master of Social Work program with Foundation and Advanced Standing options. The program offers six start dates each year, making it possible for you to begin studies on your own timeframe. Both pathways offer online coursework and practicum experiences close to your home.

The Advanced Standing pathway is designed for students who have already accomplished an undergraduate degree in social work (BSW) from an accredited social work school. This pathway features a 30-credit hour curriculum and can be completed in as few as 12 months. The Foundation (Traditional) program offers a 57-credit hour curriculum that can be completed in two years.

The curriculum for the online MSW program includes classes such as Theories & Perspectives: Hispanic Children & Families, Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy & Services, and Social Work Research.

Students enrolled in the Foundation MSW pathway complete a total of 950 field practice hours. These hours are earned through three 150-hour internships in the foundation level of the program and 500 hours in the advanced level. Advanced Standing MSW students complete 500 field practice hours.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates seeking admission to the online MSW program must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Advanced Standing applicants must have a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program.

All applicants must complete an admissions application, submit official transcripts from accredited colleges and universities attended, provide a personal statement, resume, and three letters of academic or professional recommendation. Transcripts should reflect a minimum of 30 semester hours in liberal arts and at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA on all undergraduate coursework (or a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 semester hours of the BSW program.)

Why Choose Our Lady of the Lake University's Online MSW

• Our Lady of the Lake University has offered social work education programs since 1942, making the school a pioneer in social work education.
• The university is considered a military-friendly school, offering a 10% tuition discount to military members and their families.
• Our Lady of the Lake University’s MSW online program faculty are experts in the field. Many have earned national recognition and awards and have been published in industry-leading social work journals. Students benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the program’s faculty.


39. University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY


Programs Offered:

Regular Standing MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

The University of Kentucky is home to another excellent online Master of Social Work program. The university offers Regular Standing and Advanced Standing MSW placement options. The program has three start dates yearly, making it easier to choose a time that works best for you to start your degree.

The Regular Standing MSW program can be completed in as few as four semesters. It features a 60-credit curriculum, including 27 credits from foundation courses, 21 from advanced generalist courses, and 12 elective credits. The curriculum includes classes such as Understanding Theory in Social Work practice, Advanced Social Work Policy & Analysis, Psychopathology for Social Work Practice, and Poverty, Inequality & Injustice.

Students awarded Advanced Standing do not take foundation-level courses, therefore eliminating 30 hours from the 60-credit regular degree plan. The Advanced Standing MSW pathway is a 30-credit hour program that can be completed in only two semesters.

Regular standing MSW students complete three practicum courses, earning 300 hours of experiential learning and agency engagement in each, for a total of 900 field hours. Advanced standing MSW students must complete two practicum courses with 250 hours each, earning 500 field education hours.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the University of Kentucky online master’s degree in social work program is contingent upon meeting the following criteria. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all higher education institutions, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and an Ethical Dilemma Essay. Transcripts should reflect a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0. Candidates seeking Advanced Standing admission must have a Bachelor of Social Work earned at a CSWE-accredited program within the last seven years.

Why Choose University of Kentucky's Online MSW

• The University of Kentucky is recognized by U.S. News & World Report for having one of the Best Social Work schools in the nation.
• As a student at the University of Kentucky’s MSW program, you can take advantage of opportunities to increase your social work competencies by earning graduate certificates. You can choose from Child Welfare, Military Behavioral Health, Clinical Social Work, School Social Work, Substance Use Disorder, Gerontology, or Developmental Disabilities.
• Students in the University of Kentucky MSW online program have access to the universities Licensing Preparation Initiative. The Initiative is designed to ensure that you receive preparation for the licensing exam, including understanding laws and regulations associated with governance of social work practice. The LPI has had a profound effect, resulting in exceptional licensing pass rates for first-time test takers.
• Graduates of the University of Kentucky MSW program report high satisfaction rates with the program and its faculty.


40. California State University-San Bernardino - San Bernardino, CA


Programs Offered:

MSW

Program Details:

California State University at San Bernardino offers an online MSW program, referred to as the Pathway Distance Education Program. This program is an awesome opportunity for students unable to attend on-campus classes but who desire to earn a Master of Social Work degree.

The online Master of Social Work program is a full-time, three-year program. It offers a 60-credit curriculum. Coursework consists of classes, including Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Critical Topics, Social Work in the Global Perspective, Social Work with Alcohol & Drug Abuse, and Public Child Welfare: Policy & Practice.

Students complete two Generalist Fieldwork courses in the second year of the program, earning 480 field education hours. The third year includes two Advanced Generalist Fieldwork courses which include 300 field hours each. Altogether, students complete a minimum of 980 clinical practice hours in social work settings.

The online MSW program culminates with a research project focused on a social work practice topic. The project, referred to as the Culminating Experience, must reflect objective analysis of data supporting the student’s topic and will be presented to field personnel and faculty orally and in writing.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the online MSW program at CSUB is contingent upon first being admitted to California State University and then meeting admission requirements for the School of Social Work. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree earned at an accredited college or university and a 3.0 or higher grade point average for all undergraduate coursework. Favorable candidates will have an academic background in the liberal arts with preference shown to behavioral and social sciences. One year of paid social work-related volunteer service, internship, or employment is preferred; however, applicants with less than one year of experience may also be considered.

Why Choose California State University-San Bernardino's Online MSW

• California State University –San Bernardino’s MSW faculty are nationally renowned for their efforts to promote the profession through research and initiatives to support diversity and inclusion among all societal groups.
• Graduates of the Cal-State University at San Bernadino online Master of Social Work program have excellent licensing examination pass rates, indicating strong preparation of students for professional practice.
• The MSW online program at California State University-San Bernadino has high retention and student satisfaction rates.
• U.S. News & World Report ranks California State University at San Bernardino in several categories, including Best Value Schools, Top Performers on Social Mobility, Top Public Schools, and Top National Universities.


41. Campbellsville University - Campbellsville, KY


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Program Details:

Campbellsville University is home to another of our featured best online MSW programs in the nation. Campbellsville University offers Christian ideals of social work practice with a curriculum grounded in ethical practices and aligned with trauma-informed practice.

The university offers options for Traditional and Advanced Standing MSW admission. The Traditional MSW program features a 60-63 credit hour curriculum and can be completed in less than two years. The program includes Foundational Courses and Advanced Standing Generalist Courses. Foundation courses include topics such as Cultural Competency, Human Development, Research Methods, and Policy & Practice.

Traditional students complete the Foundational Courses and transition to the Advanced Standing Generalist Courses, which also make up the Advanced Standing MSW curriculum. These courses include Advanced Practice with Children & Families, Psychopathology, Leadership & Supervision in Social Work, and World Problems & Advocacy.

The Advanced Standing MSW program is an accelerated program preparing you with advanced social work knowledge and skills necessary to work with individuals, families, groups, populations, and at global levels. Advanced Standing students have the option to pursue a generalist degree or pursue a substance-use disorder, clinical, or faith-based specialty focus.

Per Council on Social Work Education, all MSW students will have a minimum of 900 documented hours of field practice by the end of the program. The online MSW program includes 450 hours of foundation-level field experience and 450 hours at the advanced level. Advanced Standing students may count practicum hours from their BSW program toward the required 900 field practice hours.

Admission Requirements:

Traditional MSW program applicants must have a baccalaureate degree in a non-social work specialty. Advanced MSW program applicants must have a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program with an overall grade point average of 3.0. Applicants for both pathways must submit official transcripts from the degree-conferring institution, and three letters of recommendation and may be invited to participate in an admissions interview.

Why Choose Campbellsville University's Online MSW

• Campbellsville University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top Regional Universities South and one of the best Graduate Schools for Social Work.
• The MSW online program at Campbellsville University has a low attrition rate, suggesting students are satisfied with the program and that they progress successfully.
• Graduates demonstrate excellent performance on state licensure examinations with most passing the exams on their first attempt.


42. Adelphi University - Garden City, NY


Programs Offered:

Part-Time MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Part-Time MSW Concentrations Offered:

Health Across the Life Course

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Health Across the Life Course

Program Details:

At Adelphi University in New York, you can combine your desire to make a difference in the lives of others with an advanced degree in social work and become an agent for advocacy and change. The program offers a blend of theoretical study and real-life training in social work settings to prepare you for a rewarding career in social work.

The university offers Part-Time and Advanced Standing MSW program options. Students in both pathways may specialize in a Health Across the Life Course concentration.

The Part-Time online MSW program offers a 64-credit curriculum, which is completed in three years. The Part-time MSW program offers classes including Human Behavior Theory for Social Work Practice, Issues in Social Welfare: History & Philosophy of Social Welfare, Inequality, Quality, & Social Justice, and Oppression, Diversity, & the Struggle for Human Rights. In this pathway, you will complete 950 field education hours, 475 in the foundation practice component of the program, and 475 in the advanced direct social work component.

The Advanced Standing online master’s in social work program is a 32-credit program that can be completed in as few as 15 months. In the Advanced Standing pathway, you will take classes including Organization Context for Professional practice, Social Work Assessment & Diagnosis, and Professional Development. Students in this pathway complete a minimum of 475 hours of field education in advanced social work practice. The number of field education hours is determined after BSW field experience is evaluated and determined eligible for transfer.

Admission Requirements:

Adelphi University’s College of Social Work evaluates admission applications based on values consistent with social work professional practice, prior academic performance, and volunteer human service experience (paid and/or volunteer). Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Those wishing to enter the Advanced Standing option must have a BSW. Candidates should submit official transcripts and have at least a 3.0-grade point average on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate studies. Applicants must prepare a Personal Statement, provide two letters of recommendation and submit a professional resume.

Why Choose Adelphi University's Online MSW

• Adelphi University has the honor of being ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Schools for Online Social Work degrees.
• Students in the MSW online program learn from distinguished faculty, including experienced educators, published researchers, and experienced social work practitioners.
• Graduates of the online Master of Social Work program at Adelphi University have excellent licensure examination pass rates for first-time test-takers.


43. University of Nebraska Omaha - Omaha, NE


Programs Offered:

Foundation MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Foundation MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Generalist

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Generalist

Program Details:

The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers Foundation and Advanced Standing MSW program options with an Advanced Generalist concentration. The mission of the university and Grace Abbott School of Social Work is to prepare students as highly qualified social workers, capable of serving people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds.

This online MSW program offers two start dates yearly, in the Spring and Fall semesters. The Foundation MSW program can be completed in seven semesters of full-time study. The Advanced Standing MSW option can be completed in as few as five semesters. Part-time options are available for students who cannot commit to full-time study.

The Foundation MSW program features a 63-credit hour curriculum, and the Advanced Standing option offers a 39-credit hour curriculum. Students take classes, including Institutional Oppression, Social Welfare Policy, Health/Mental Health Policies for Social Work, Planning for Social Change, and Evaluation of Social Programs.

The Advanced Generalist concentration of the online MSW program prepares students to engage in advanced social work practices providing mental health therapy to individuals and groups, research and program evaluation and leadership. The Advanced Generalist program will help you gain a deeper understanding of social work practice and develop enhanced critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency, provide Statement of Purpose, current resume, and three letters of academic or professional recommendation. Foundation program applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a non-social work field. Advanced Standing applicants must possess a BSW from a CSWE-accredited school of social work.

Why Choose University of Nebraska Omaha's Online MSW

• The University of Nebraska-Omaha's MSW program has maintained accreditation since 1940, reflecting a genuine commitment to offering high-quality social work education.
• The University of Nebraska’s School of Social Work employs renowned faculty experienced in a variety of social work concentrations, giving students access to a broad range of knowledge and experiences.
• Graduates of the online MSW program who return post-graduation surveys report excellent satisfaction rates with the program's delivery of content and student support.


44. East Tennessee State University - Johnson City, TN


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered

: Clinical Social Work

Advanced MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Social Work

Program Details:

The East Tennessee State University online social work master’s program is designed to prepare students for independent clinical practice. The university offers Traditional and Advanced Entry tracks with part-time and full-time study options.

The Traditional Entry track is a two-year full-time track or can be completed in four years of part-time study. The Traditional pathway offers a curriculum that consists of 63 credit hours. The Advanced Entry track can be completed in 12 months if you enroll full-time or two years part-time. This pathway features a 37-credit-hour curriculum.

Students study topics including Psychopathology and Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups.

All students in the online MSW program participate in field practicum courses. Traditional Entry students complete four field practicums which are 240 hours each, earning 960 field education hours. Advanced Entry students have two field practicums totaling 600 field practice hours.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates seeking admission to the East Tennessee State University online MSW program must complete an application for admission and submit the following documentation: All official transcripts from any post-secondary schools, three letters of reference, a current resume, and an admissions essay.

Why Choose East Tennessee State University's Online MSW

• The East Tennessee State University MSW program faculty have a broad range of expertise and experiences, which make it possible for students to have a wider view of what social work practice is truly like.
• East Tennessee University has its own Master of Social Work Student Association chapter, which promotes strong advocacy in both the social work department and the profession.
• Graduates of the ETU online MSW program receive ongoing support from the university as they transition to practice, including benefiting from job placement assistance.
• The university reports excellent social work license exam pass rates for graduates of the online Master of Social Work program.


45. Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD


Programs Offered:

Traditional MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Traditional MSW Concentrations Offered:

Urban Children, Youth, & Families and Addictions

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Urban Children, Youth, & Families and Addictions

Program Details:

Morgan State University offers another excellent online social work master’s program. The university offers prospective students options for Traditional or Advanced Standing entry and the opportunity to study a concentration focused on Urban Children, Youth, & Families and Addictions. The Traditional program can be completed in two, and the Advanced Standing pathway can be completed in two semesters.

The Traditional MSW pathway features a 60-credit curriculum. Classes in this pathway include Life Course Development & Issues, Social Welfare & Urban Economics, and Evaluation Research in Urban Social Problems, Services, & Interventions. Traditional MSW students complete 416 clock hours of generalist field education experience and 624 hours of specialized field experience, earning 1,040 field hours.

In the Advanced-Standing MSW program, you will earn 30 credits from classes including Psychopathology & Clinical Intervention, Urban Black Families & clinical Practice, and Organizational Policy & Leadership. The Advanced-Standing MSW program includes 624 hours of field practice experience.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants for the Morgan State University online MSW program must submit official transcripts reflecting a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, three letters of professional recommendation, a Personal Background Statement, Goal Statement, and resume, and participate in an admissions interview. Candidates with a baccalaureate degree in a non-social work field may be accepted into the Traditional MSW program and those with a BSW may apply for admission to the Advanced Standing MSW pathway.

Why Choose Morgan State University's Online MSW

• Morgan State University has its own Social Work Student Organization, designed to socialize students with others in the social work profession and provide students with opportunities to engage in community service.
• Morgan State University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Graduate Schools for social work.
• Graduates have outstanding state licensing examination rates.
• MSU offers job placement assistance for students in the online MSW program, ensuring a high employment rate among graduates of the program.


46. Widener University - Chester, PA


Programs Offered:

Regular MSW and Advanced MSW

Regular MSW Concentrations Offered:

Trauma

Advanced MSW Concentrations Offered:

Trauma

Program Details:

Widener University offers an exceptional master’s in social work online program. The university offers regular and advanced-standing admission for its online MSW program, which means you don’t have to have a BSW to begin your journey to becoming a Master of Social Work.

The online MSW program incorporates trauma in the central theme of all coursework, understanding that trauma is one of the most common causes of mental, emotional, and social challenges social workers address with clients.

The Regular MSW pathway is a 57-credit hour program. The Advanced Standing MSW curriculum features 36 credit hours. Core Curriculum includes classes such as Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Social Work in Prisons & Community Reintegration, and Grief & Loss Across the Life Cycle. Students also take advanced concentration courses, including Clinical Social Work Practice with Individuals, Organization & Program Development, and Treating Trauma.

Field Education is a vital component of the Widener University online MSW program. Students in the Regular MSW pathway complete a total of 1,100 field education hours, 420 in the generalist year, and 680 in the specialization year. Advanced-Standing students complete at least 680 field education hours.

Admission Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree earned within the last six years from a CSWE-accredited school, you can apply for Advanced Standing. Applicants with a non-social work baccalaureate are eligible to apply for the Regular MSW pathway. Students without a BSW must demonstrate a 3.0 undergraduate GPA; advanced-standing applicants must have a 3.3 minimum GPA in major coursework. Advanced-standing candidates will have a BSW field evaluation to determine eligibility as well.

Why Choose Widener University's Online MSW

• The Widener University MSW program features expert faculty who work closely with students, promoting positive student outcomes.
• Widener University MSW online program graduates have excellent pass rates on the Licensed Social Worker Examination.
• After passing the LSW exam and earning two years of supervised clinical practice, graduates are eligible to sit for the Licensed Clinical Social Work exam.
• Widener University’s online MSW program has low attrition rates, suggesting high student success and satisfaction.


47. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, AR


Programs Offered:

Advanced Standing

Program Details:

If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree and are ready to advance your career to the next level, the University of Arkansas may interest you. The university offers a 100% online Master of Social Work program that can be completed in just one year.

The online master’s in social work program is featured in a cohort model, providing peer networking and support opportunities. The program consists of a 39-credit hour curriculum and begins in the summer each year.

During the first semester, students take one bridge class, Evidence-Based Social Work, and three electives. Advanced social work classes and field internships begin in the second semester. All students participate in a year-long (22-week) internship to gain field experience. Internships are set up near your home and assigned and monitored by faculty.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates for the master’s in social work online program must first be admitted to the University of Arkansas Graduate School. Eligible applicants will have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program. Transcripts from the BSW program must reflect a minimum 3.0 grade point average for the last 60 credit hours leading up to the bachelor’s degree. You must provide a Personal Statement, write a Social Needs paper, complete a basic Statistics course, provide three letters of professional reference and participate in an admissions interview.

Why Choose the University of Arkansas's Online MSW

• Students in the master’s in social work online program at the University of Arkansas are assigned an academic advisor who mentors and guides them through the entirety of their program.
• Most students who return post-graduation surveys report finding employment in the field as an MSW within six months of graduation.
• The program has a high retention rate. High retention rates for college programs are a strong indicator of student satisfaction, staff support, and good student outcomes.
• Graduates of the online MSW program demonstrate excellent proficiency and high pass rates on social work licensure examinations.


48. Temple University - Philadelphia, PA


Programs Offered:

Regular MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Regular MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Practice with Individuals & Families and Macro Practice in Organizations, Communities & Policy Arenas

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Clinical Practice with Individuals & Families and Macro Practice in Organizations, Communities & Policy Arenas

Program Details:

If you are ready to pursue your degree as a Master of Social Work and aren’t afraid of hard work, Temple University’s online social work master’s program could be a great choice for you. At Temple, students in the online MSW program gain professional training in evidence-based practices and clinical skills needed to perform at the highest levels of social work practice.

The university offers regular and advanced standing admissions options. The part-time online MSW program makes it easier for working professionals to pursue a graduate degree on their own terms.

Depending on your academic history, you may complete the Regular Entry MSW pathway, which can be completed in two years full-time or three to four years part-time, or the Advanced Standing MSW, which can be completed in 12 to 18 months. The Temple online Master of Social Work program offers concentrations in Clinical Practice with Individuals & Families and Macro Practice in Organizations, Communities, & Policy Arenas.

The Regular Entry MSW pathway is a 60-credit program, and the Advanced Standing MSW is a 34.5 program. Regular Entry students complete two practicum experiences. The first field practicum is taken as part of the foundation curriculum and requires a minimum of 450 field hours. The second practicum is part of the advanced curriculum and includes a minimum of 600 clinical hours. Regular Entry students complete 1,050 field practice hours, and Advanced Standing students complete 600 field hours.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants seeking admission to the Regular Entry MSW must have a bachelor’s degree with a generous liberal arts foundation and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0. Candidates for the Advanced Standing admission must have a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program earned within the past five years and a minimum 3.25 GPA. Applicants apply using SOPHAS Express and must submit official transcripts, a resume or curriculum vitae, goal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Why Choose Temple University's Online MSW

• Temple University’s online MSW program features renowned faculty who are nationally recognized experts in areas such as incarceration, mental health, substance abuse, LGBTQ health, children and families, and disability.
• Temple University offers study-abroad opportunities for MSW students. Students who participate in this option may earn up to six credits in elective courses studying abroad.
• The Temple University MSW program is ranked as one of the top Graduate Schools for Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
• Graduates of the Temple University MSW online program demonstrate excellent licensure examination pass rates for first-time test takers.


49. Texas State University - San Marcos, TX


Programs Offered:

Foundation MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Foundation MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Practice Leadership

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Advanced Practice Leadership

Program Details:

Texas State University is home to another excellent master’s in social work online program. The university offers two fully online tracks: the Advanced Standing MSW track and the Foundation MSW track.

The Regular MSW track features a 62-semester-hour curriculum. The first year focuses on foundational knowledge and skills needed for general social work practice. The second year is geared toward advanced, specialized social work content.

The online Master of Social Work Advanced Standing pathway requires students to complete 36 semester credit hours. Credits are earned through classes such as Advanced Program Planning & Grand-Based Resource Development, Advanced Diagnostic Assessment & Intervention with Individuals, and Advanced Assessment, Leadership, & Supervision in Social Service Organizations.

Students in both MSW online pathways complete field internships, working in a social service agency under the supervision of a licensed master’s-prepared social worker. Foundation track students complete two internships. The foundation field internship is 360 contact hours, and the advanced field internship is 540 hours, giving these students 900 total field education hours. Advanced track students complete the final internship only, earning 540 field hours.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a departmental application, Statement of Purpose, current resume or CV, official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, and participate in an admissions interview. Candidates for entry to the Foundation pathway must have a baccalaureate degree with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.9 in the last 60 credit hours of coursework. Advanced Standing applicants must have a BSW and a GPA of at least 2.9 in the last two years of academic study, including all undergraduate social work courses, and the last 60 undergraduate coursework.

Why Choose Texas State University's Online MSW

• Graduates of the Texas State University consistently perform well on state licensing exams, which indicates the program prepares them for success.
• The Texas State University School of Social Work offers students, including those in the online MSW program, the opportunity to pursue interesting electives in topics such as international social work, social work with veterans, adventure therapy, spirituality, and diversity.
• The Texas State University online Master of Social Work program boasts of highly skilled, well-educated, and student-oriented faculty.
• TSU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Graduate Schools in the nation for social work study.


50. University of Louisville - Louisville, KY


Programs Offered:

Regular MSW and Advanced Standing MSW

Regular MSW Concentrations Offered:

Alcohol & Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health, Military Social Work, and Psychosocial Oncology

Advanced Standing MSW Concentrations Offered:

Alcohol & Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health, Military Social Work, and Psychosocial Oncology

Program Details:

The University of Louisville recognizes the need for qualified social workers prepared to promote social justice and initiate positive changes in their community and profession. With that in mind, the university offers one of the best online master’s in social work programs in the nation.

The online MSW program offered at the University of Louisville is designed to help students gain a broader understanding of social work methods and decision-making processes necessary to build strong communities and promote social welfare. The program offers several concentrations so you can customize your degree to align with what interests you.

The Regular MSW pathway is a 60-credit hour program that can be completed in four to eight semesters. The Advanced-Standing MSW program features a 30-credit hour curriculum and is designed to be completed in two to five semesters.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university to apply. Non-social work degree holders will apply for Regular MSW admission, and BSW degree holders will be eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing MSW. Candidates should submit official transcripts to the school along with two recommendation forms, an admissions essay, and complete an online application. Students seeking admission to the Advanced Standing MSW pathway must have a practicum evaluation to determine how many field education hours from their BSW program can be transferred.

Why Choose University of Louisville's Online MSW

• At the University of Louisville online social work master’s program, you will learn from nationally renowned, award-winning faculty, dedicated to your success as a master social worker.
• The university is considered one of the Best Graduate Schools for Social Work, per rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
• Graduates report high satisfaction rates with the program, course delivery, and faculty engagement.
• Graduates taking their state licensure exam for the first time have outstanding pass rates.


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5 IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING WHICH ONLINE MSW PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR YOU?


As you begin researching online MSW programs, you will likely have lots of questions come to mind. That’s a good thing as you want to choose the program that will best meet your academic needs and prepare you for your social work career. The following are some tips and five important factors to consider as you prepare to choose a program.

1. Is the Program Accredited?

As a healthcare professional and former college instructor, I cannot stress enough about the importance of choosing an accredited program. Look for online MSW programs accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.

2. How Much Time Can You Devote to School?

Some online Master’s in Social Work programs offer part-time and full-time options. Others may offer one or the other. Decide how much time you can devote to school and the commitment you can make to the program. Then, choose a program with a schedule that aligns with what you think you can do.

3. Does the Program Require Campus Visits?

Some online MSW programs are exclusively online. Other programs may require a few on-campus visits. Knowing what is required beforehand can help you decide which program fits your idea of a good schedule.

4. What Concentrations Are Offered?

One of the great things about earning a Master of Social Work is there are several options for specialty concentrations. A few examples include Administrative Leadership, Mental Health and Behavioral Disorders, Children, Youth, & Family, and Community Organization, Planning & Administration. Think about the type of work you want to do as a social worker and consider pursuing a specialization in your degree. Talk to admissions counselors and find out what concentrations their schools offer so you can apply to the schools that align with your professional goals.

5. What Kind of Field Experience Will You Have in the Program?

Field education is a vital part of any accredited social worker program, including accredited online MSW programs. It is during field education/practicum experiences that you get to interact with licensed social workers and clients in real-life settings. These experiences are essential for preparing you for independent social work practice. Therefore, as you search for the right MSW online program, you need to find out how much field education exposure the program offers, what type of settings you will complete your practicum in, and who arranges those experiences.



WHAT ARE THE BEST GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE MASTER’S IN SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS?


A priority for most students considering going back to college is knowing how they will pay for their degree program. While some people may choose to set up payment plans or take out loans, there are other options, such as grants and scholarships worth considering. The following are a few examples of some excellent grant and scholarship opportunities for students in online social work master’s programs.

1. A Place for Mom Senior Wisdom Scholarship

($2,000): The referral service for senior assisted living offers the “A Place for Mom Senior Wisdom Scholarship” to undergraduate and graduate students, like those in online social work master’s programs, who plan to work with aging populations.

2. National Association of Social Workers Foundation Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarships

(Up to $4,000): This scholarship is available to MSW students planning to work with Native American or Hispanic populations. Candidates must be members of the National Association of Social Workers in good standing and must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

3. Pride Foundation Social Work Scholarship

($4,000+): The Pride Foundation Social Work Scholarship is designed for social work students who are members of the LGBTQ community pursuing a bachelor’s master’s, or doctoral social work degree, like students in accredited online MSW programs.

4. American Addiction Centers Behavioral Health Academic Scholarships

($2,500-$5,000): This scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing addiction-related behavioral health degrees and careers, such as online MSW program students.

5. Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work MSW Scholarships

($1,000-$3,000): Phi Alpha Honor Society awards three scholarships to members in good academic standing and recognized for social work leadership and service within their local chapter.

6. Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

(Up to $15,000): This scholarship opportunity is open to candidates who have been actively involved in economic and social justice endeavors in the United States through volunteer work, political campaigns, and school-based activism.

7. Ima Hogg Scholarships

($5,000): The Ima Hogg Foundation offers scholarship opportunities to students in accredited graduate-level social work programs in Texas. Candidates must be recommended by the director or dean of the social work program and demonstrate commitment to providing mental health services to individuals in underrepresented communities in Texas.

8. The Roothbert Fund

: The Albert and Toni Roothbert Fund offers grants to support undergraduate and graduate students, like those enrolled in online Master of Social Work programs, motivated by spiritual values.



WHAT ARE SOME USEFUL RESOURCES FOR ONLINE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS?


There are many ways to gather information and learn outside the classroom. In addition to your lectures, textbooks, and field experiences, you can access several videos, books, and podcasts relevant to students in online MSW programs. The following are a few examples.

YouTube Videos

Social Work Q&A:

YouTube video host, Gabby, answers important questions about getting an MSW degree and shares her thoughts on good books, online MSW programs, and licensing.

MSW Application Tips:

In this video, find tips on what you need to apply to an MSW program, the grad school application process, and how to stand out in an admissions interview.

Preparing for your MSW Program:

In this YouTube video, learn tips and tricks to help you succeed in an MSW program. You’ll find tips from understanding cohorts and professors and how to plan your day to the importance of self-care.

Podcasts

Inside Social Work Podcast:

This podcast was designed to help social workers grow and develop their skills by hearing and relating to stories of other social work professionals.

NASW Social Work Talks Podcast:

This podcast is presented by the National Association of Social Workers. It explores topics designed to benefit social workers, practitioners, and experts.

Social Work Discoveries:

In this podcast, host Joseph, interviews social work researchers about their work and what other social workers can learn from their discoveries.

Books

A Trick of the Light:

This book is narrated through the voice of an eating disorder and details the struggles of an adolescent dealing with the disorder. This is an excellent book for social worker students as you learn to delve into the psyche of a teenager.

Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing & Advocacy:

The author of this book uses personal experiences promoting economic justice for women to outline strategies necessary to advance social change.

Breaking Night:

This book is a memoir of the author’s experience growing up as the child of mentally ill, drug-addicted parents and later becoming a New York Times scholarship recipient and Harvard University student. Readers will be inspired by the truth of human resilience, even in the face of trauma.



WHERE DO THE MAJORITY OF ONLINE MSW GRADUATES WORK? – TOP 5 WORK SETTINGS


Graduates of online Master of Social Work programs work in a variety of settings. The following are a few examples of places you may work after graduating from one of these programs and examples of the roles these jobs require.

1. Federal Executive Branch:

MSW jobs in federal executive branches include jobs with the Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, Department of Justice, and Department of Defense. These jobs include roles such as being eligibility workers, community outreach workers, program analysts, policy analysts, case managers, and clinicians.

2. State Government, Excluding Schools And Hospitals:

Social workers who work in state government facilities may deal with behavioral health, criminal justice, or child welfare. They may help form policies and develop programs to guide state-sponsored social services programs.

3. Local Government, Excluding Schools And Hospitals:

MSWs who work in local government offices may work as children’s services case managers or child welfare consultants. They may perform psychosocial assessments, suggest plans of intervention, and collaborate with other members of the social work team.

4. Individual And Family Services:

A few roles of social workers who work in individual and family services may assist in neglect or abuse cases, help place children in safe homes or environments, or facilitate the transition of the elderly to safe housing.

5. Community Food And Housing, And Emergency And Other Relief Services:

In Community Food and Housing, Emergency, and Relief Services, social workers provide counseling, assess the need for housing or rental assistance, and offer resources for healthcare and employment services.



WHAT IS THE TYPICAL WORK SCHEDULE AND WORK HOURS FOR ONLINE MSW GRADUATES?


The work schedule for graduates of online MSW programs varies, depending on where they are employed and the job title. For example, MSWs who work in government jobs may work typical office hours, which are Monday through Friday during the day. School social workers have the same schedule. Social workers who work with children and family services may work in an office or in field positions. Those with office positions usually have some type of administrative or leadership position that comes with favorable scheduling. MSW graduates who work in field positions may take call on nights, weekends, or holidays.



HOW MUCH DO ONLINE MASTER’S IN SOCIAL WORK DEGREE HOLDERS MAKE?


What Is The Starting Salary For New Online MSW Graduates?


New graduates of MSW programs online earn an average of $37,630 annually. This salary is equivalent to $18.08 hourly, $724 weekly, or $3,140 monthly.

Starting Online MSW Salary
Hourly$18.09
Weekly$724
Monthly$3,140
Annual$37,630
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Is The Average Salary For Online MSW Degree Holders?


The average annual salary of graduates of MSW online programs is $62,310. This is equal to $29.96 hourly, $1,198 weekly, or $5,190 monthly.

Average Online MSW Salary
Hourly$29.96
Weekly$1,198
Monthly$5,190
Annual$62,310
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


How Much Does The Salary Of Online MSW Degree Holders Grow With Experience?


As with most careers, degree holders who graduate from online MSW programs typically see increased income as they gain more work experience. For example, in as few as one to four years, you could see an increase in your salary of $10,000 or more, making approximately $47,630. In ten years’ time, you could earn approximately $76,920. MSW degree holders with twenty or more years of experience make an average annual salary of $86,820.

Level of Experience Hourly Weekly Monthly Annual
Entry-Level $18.09$724 $3,140 $37,630
1-4 Years of Experience $22.90 $916 $3,970 $47,630
5-9 Years of Experience $29.25 $1,170 $5,070 $60,840
10-19 Years of Experience $36.98 $1,479 $6,410 $76,920
20 Years or More Experience $41.74 $1,670 $7,240 $86,820
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Is The Total Average Annual Compensation (Salary + Benefits) For Online MSW Degree Holders?


One of the great things about healthcare careers is that they usually come with good benefits packages. Graduates of MSW online programs typically have benefit packages that include things like paid annual or sick time, medical, dental, and vision insurance, and retirement plans. These benefits can add tens of thousands of dollars to your total compensation.

For example, MSW degree holders who work in private industries earn an average annual salary of $62,440 and receive benefits averaging $26,379. This means total compensation for a master’s-prepared social worker in a private industry job is $88,819. On the other hand, MSWs who work for state and local governments earn approximately $61,560 yearly and have benefits of about $37,891. Therefore, they have total compensation of $99,451 on average.

Component Private
Industry
State and Local
Government
Paid Leave $6,573 $7,558
Supplemental Pay $3,109 $995
Insurance $6,928 $11,636
Retirement and Savings $3,020 $12,332
Legally Required $6,750 $5,470
Total Benefits $26,379 $37,891
Average Annual Salary $62,440 $61,560
Total Compensation $88,819 $99,451
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



AVERAGE SALARY FOR ONLINE MSW DEGREE HOLDERS BY STATE


The average income for graduates of online MSW programs varies from state to state. It is not uncommon for social workers who live in areas where the cost of living is higher, or there is a greater need for services, to earn more than those in other geographic areas.

For example, social workers with master’s degrees who live in South Dakota and Alabama make $47,260 and $50,450, respectively each year. MSWs with the same experience living in Oregon and California earn higher wages of $79,870 and $84,690. In Nevada, master’s-prepared social workers earn approximately $65,530.

State Hourly Weekly Monthly Annual
Alabama $24.25 $970 $4,200 $50,450
Alaska $29.00 $1,160 $5,030 $60,320
Arizona $29.23 $1,169 $5,070 $60,790
Arkansas $27.72 $1,109 $4,800 $57,650
California $40.72 $1,629 $7,060 $84,690
Colorado $28.10 $1,124 $4,870 $58,450
Connecticut $34.62 $1,385 $6,000 $72,010
Delaware $27.08 $1,083 $4,690 $56,330
District of Columbia $41.83 $1,673 $7,250 $87,000
Florida $28.09 $1,123 $4,870 $58,420
Georgia $26.30 $1,052 $4,560 $54,710
Hawaii $35.56 $1,422 $6,160 $73,960
Idaho $30.76 $1,231 $5,330 $63,990
Illinois $28.41 $1,136 $4,920 $59,090
Indiana $27.14 $1,086 $4,710 $56,460
Iowa $27.81 $1,112 $4,820 $57,840
Kansas $28.82 $1,153 $5,000 $59,940
Kentucky $26.70 $1,068 $4,630 $55,540
Louisiana $26.47 $1,059 $4,590 $55,060
Maine $28.32 $1,133 $4,910 $58,900
Maryland $30.08 $1,203 $5,210 $62,560
Massachusetts $30.89 $1,236 $5,350 $64,250
Michigan $28.55 $1,142 $4,950 $59,390
Minnesota $30.16 $1,207 $5,230 $62,740
Mississippi $26.35 $1,054 $4,570 $54,810
Missouri $24.68 $987 $4,280 $51,340
Montana $26.84 $1,074 $4,650 $55,830
Nebraska $25.88 $1,035 $4,490 $53,840
Nevada $31.50 $1,260 $5,460 $65,530
New Hampshire $32.81 $1,312 $5,690 $68,240
New Jersey $34.28 $1,371 $5,940 $71,310
New Mexico $29.00 $1,160 $5,030 $60,320
New York $29.65 $1,186 $5,140 $61,680
North Carolina $30.07 $1,203 $5,210 $62,540
North Dakota $26.72 $1,069 $4,630 $55,580
Ohio $27.94 $1,118 $4,840 $58,120
Oklahoma $25.39 $1,016 $4,400 $52,820
Oregon $38.40 $1,536 $6,660 $79,870
Pennsylvania $29.80 $1,192 $5,170 $61,990
Rhode Island $35.21 $1,408 $6,100 $73,230
South Carolina $27.34 $1,094 $4,740 $56,870
South Dakota $22.72 $909 $3,940 $47,260
Tennessee $25.44 $1,018 $4,410 $52,920
Texas $31.17 $1,247 $5,400 $64,840
Utah $32.63 $1,305 $5,660 $67,880
Vermont $27.41 $1,097 $4,750 $57,020
Virginia $27.61 $1,104 $4,790 $57,420
Washington $34.52 $1,381 $5,980 $71,800
West Virginia $26.36 $1,054 $4,570 $54,830
Wisconsin $28.37 $1,135 $4,920 $59,000
Wyoming $30.08 $1,203 $5,210 $62,560
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



AVERAGE SALARY FOR ONLINE MSW DEGREE HOLDERS BY METRO


As pay varies from state to state, you will see some variance in MSW income potential in different metro areas. An increased need for social workers in more densely populated areas is a main contributor to the wage differences in metropolitan areas. For example, the population in the St. Louis, MO-IL is approximately 304,709. Graduates of MSW programs online in this metro earn an average of $52,270 annually. Conversely, the population in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA metro is 3.973 million. MSWs in that metro make approximately $81,660 yearly.

Metro Hourly Weekly Monthly Annual
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $31.68 $1,267 $5,490 $65,890
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $31.94 $1,278 $5,540 $66,440
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $39.26 $1,570 $6,810 $81,660
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $30.23 $1,209 $5,240 $62,870
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $32.22 $1,289 $5,590 $67,020
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $31.16 $1,247 $5,400 $64,820
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL $29.91 $1,196 $5,180 $62,210
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX $31.32 $1,253 $5,430 $65,140
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $29.78 $1,191 $5,160 $61,950
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN $26.88 $1,075 $4,660 $55,910
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA $28.18 $1,127 $4,890 $58,620
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI $28.33 $1,133 $4,910 $58,930
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $37.34 $1,493 $6,470 $77,660
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $30.44 $1,218 $5,280 $63,310
St. Louis, MO-IL $25.13 $1,005 $4,360 $52,270
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN $28.30 $1,132 $4,910 $58,870
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $34.00 $1,360 $5,890 $70,730
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO $29.08 $1,163 $5,040 $60,480
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $47.28 $1,891 $8,200 $98,340
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD $30.80 $1,232 $5,340 $64,060
Springfield, MA-CT $26.58 $1,063 $4,610 $55,290
Kansas City, MO-KS $27.70 $1,108 $4,800 $57,610
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $27.20 $1,088 $4,710 $56,570
Cleveland-Elyria, OH $29.42 $1,177 $5,100 $61,200
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $30.03 $1,201 $5,210 $62,470
Memphis, TN-MS-AR $26.67 $1,067 $4,620 $55,480
Pittsburgh, PA $29.46 $1,178 $5,110 $61,280
Columbus, OH $28.49 $1,140 $4,940 $59,260
Rochester, NY $25.29 $1,012 $4,380 $52,610
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $38.88 $1,555 $6,740 $80,870
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $36.19 $1,448 $6,270 $75,270
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY $25.56 $1,022 $4,430 $53,160
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN $29.01 $1,160 $5,030 $60,340
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA $36.73 $1,469 $6,370 $76,400
Worcester, MA-CT $31.71 $1,268 $5,500 $65,950
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX $30.90 $1,236 $5,360 $64,270
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA $32.50 $1,300 $5,630 $67,590
Austin-Round Rock, TX $35.55 $1,422 $6,160 $73,940
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $26.54 $1,062 $4,600 $55,210
Oklahoma City, OK $26.26 $1,050 $4,550 $54,620
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV $31.44 $1,258 $5,450 $65,390
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $43.88 $1,755 $7,610 $91,270
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL $27.04 $1,082 $4,690 $56,240
San Juan-Carolina-Caguas, PR $16.54 $662 $2,870 $34,410
New Bedford, MA $31.76 $1,270 $5,510 $66,060
Chattanooga, TN-GA $28.49 $1,139 $4,940 $59,250
Knoxville, TN $22.79 $912 $3,950 $47,410
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC $26.23 $1,049 $4,550 $54,560
Jacksonville, FL $27.33 $1,093 $4,740 $56,840
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $50.77 $2,031 $8,800 $105,600
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $29.83 $1,193 $5,170 $62,040
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT $33.56 $1,342 $5,820 $69,800
Madison, WI $30.66 $1,227 $5,320 $63,780
Birmingham-Hoover, AL $26.10 $1,044 $4,520 $54,280
Salt Lake City, UT $34.84 $1,393 $6,040 $72,460
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN $27.92 $1,117 $4,840 $58,080
Richmond, VA $26.53 $1,061 $4,600 $55,190
Ann Arbor, MI $31.97 $1,279 $5,540 $66,500
Syracuse, NY $25.91 $1,037 $4,490 $53,900
Tulsa, OK $26.42 $1,057 $4,580 $54,950
Tucson, AZ $27.33 $1,093 $4,740 $56,840
New Orleans-Metairie, LA $25.58 $1,023 $4,430 $53,200
Urban Honolulu, HI $35.99 $1,440 $6,240 $74,860
Dayton, OH $28.56 $1,143 $4,950 $59,410
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR $28.78 $1,151 $4,990 $59,860
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI $28.29 $1,132 $4,900 $58,840
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA $27.00 $1,080 $4,680 $56,160
Toledo, OH $25.72 $1,029 $4,460 $53,490
Columbia, SC $27.10 $1,084 $4,700 $56,370
Albuquerque, NM $30.33 $1,213 $5,260 $63,090
Fort Wayne, IN $26.87 $1,075 $4,660 $55,880
Colorado Springs, CO $27.50 $1,100 $4,770 $57,200
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL $27.11 $1,084 $4,700 $56,390
Springfield, MO $23.25 $930 $4,030 $48,370
Jackson, MS $26.36 $1,054 $4,570 $54,830
New Haven, CT $34.88 $1,395 $6,050 $72,540
Raleigh, NC $32.79 $1,312 $5,680 $68,200
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA $30.13 $1,205 $5,220 $62,680
El Paso, TX $27.53 $1,101 $4,770 $57,270
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $37.53 $1,501 $6,510 $78,070
Charleston-North Charleston, SC $30.48 $1,219 $5,280 $63,400
Akron, OH $27.65 $1,106 $4,790 $57,510
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC $26.92 $1,077 $4,670 $56,000
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $32.00 $1,280 $5,550 $66,560
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA $25.04 $1,002 $4,340 $52,080
Reno, NV $32.16 $1,286 $5,570 $66,890
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ $32.11 $1,284 $5,570 $66,790
Boise City, ID $31.46 $1,258 $5,450 $65,430
Baton Rouge, LA $27.78 $1,111 $4,820 $57,780
Bakersfield, CA $34.12 $1,365 $5,910 $70,970
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA $30.93 $1,237 $5,360 $64,340
Fresno, CA $39.35 $1,574 $6,820 $81,840
Lexington-Fayette, KY $28.80 $1,152 $4,990 $59,910
Flint, MI $28.25 $1,130 $4,900 $58,750
Binghamton, NY $22.87 $915 $3,960 $47,560
Wichita, KS $29.90 $1,196 $5,180 $62,190
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC $27.86 $1,114 $4,830 $57,950
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL $27.56 $1,103 $4,780 $57,330
Salisbury, MD-DE $26.83 $1,073 $4,650 $55,810
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI $25.82 $1,033 $4,480 $53,700
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



JOB OUTLOOK FOR ONLINE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK DEGREE HOLDERS


What Is The 10-Year Job Outlook For Online MSW Degree Holders?


The 10-year job outlook for graduates of online MSW programs appears favorable. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, MSW degree holders can expect to see an increase in jobs by approximately 13.20% over the next decade.

+13.20%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Is The 10-Year Job Outlook For Online MSW Degree Holders In Your State?


Although the percentage increase in job rates varies from state to state, graduates of online master’s in social work programs can expect to see increases in job availability nationwide through the next decade. Alaska and Rhode Island expect between 4.76 and 6.25% increases, some of the lowest increases for the next ten years. Conversely, New York and Colorado anticipate some of the highest job rate increases with 28.68 and 33.73% increases, respectively.

State 10-Year Job
Outlook (2018-2028
Alabama +10.00%
Alaska +4.76%
Arizona +36.03%
Arkansas +16.67%
California +17.31%
Colorado +33.73%
Connecticut +9.96%
Delaware +17.86%
Florida +19.33%
Georgia +17.36%
Hawaii +18.39%
Idaho +20.41%
Illinois +5.90%
Indiana +18.62%
Iowa +19.42%
Kansas +8.92%
Kentucky +14.61%
Louisiana +11.56%
Maine +5.13%
Maryland +26.96%
Massachusetts +7.43%
Michigan +5.77%
Minnesota +14.11%
Mississippi +7.30%
Missouri +15.19%
Montana +14.75%
Nebraska +11.11%
Nevada +27.27%
New Hampshire +14.52%
New Jersey +11.66%
New Mexico +17.05%
New York +28.68%
North Carolina +11.53%
North Dakota +12.50%
Ohio +15.60%
Oklahoma +14.60%
Oregon +16.76%
Pennsylvania +17.19%
Rhode Island +6.25%
South Carolina +15.00%
South Dakota +10.34%
Tennessee +15.92%
Texas +18.45%
Utah +27.52%
Vermont +13.21%
Virginia +15.72%
Washington +16.05%
West Virginia +15.49%
Wisconsin +7.35%
Wyoming +17.65%
(Source: Careeronestop.org)



WHAT ARE THE TOP ORGANIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS FOR ONLINE MSW DEGREE HOLDERS?


Professional social work organizations and associations offer excellent opportunities for social work students and graduates to connect with like-minded professionals. They help social workers enhance their knowledge and skills through continuing education, advocacy, and leadership, which helps promote positive outcomes for the profession. The following are some of the top organizations and associations for graduates of master’s in social work online programs.

1. Association of Social Work Boards:

The Association of Social Work Boards provides services and support to the regulatory community of social work. The Board’s mission is to advance competent, ethical, and safe practice in social work.

2. Clinical Social Work Association:

The Clinical Social Work Association is a nationwide, member-based organization that provides essential products, services and professional support to Clinical Social Workers. Members benefit from free continuing education credits for seminars, networking opportunities with industry professionals and experts, and involvement in national legislation affecting social work matters.

3. National Association of Black Social Workers:

The National Association of Black social Workers is dedicated to empowering and enhancing the quality of life of people of African ancestry. The NABSW accomplishes these goals through human services delivery, advocacy, and research efforts.

4. School Social Work Association of America:

The School Social Work Association of America is a membership social work association dedicated solely to promoting the profession of school-based social work. The mission of the Association is to “enhance the social and emotional growth and academic outcomes of all students nationally and globally.”

5. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW):

The National Association of Social Workers is the largest member-based professional social worker organization in the world. The Association works to promote the professional development and growth of members, to advance social work policies, and maintain professional standards.



BONUS! 7 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING ACCEPTED INTO THE BEST ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS IN THE NATION


Now that you’re researching online MSW programs and learning the admission criteria for them, you may be wondering what you can do to improve your chances of acceptance. The following are seven tips to help improve your chances of getting into one of the best online Master of Social Work programs in the nation.

1. Write an Excellent Personal Essay/Personal Statement:

Your Personal Statement is weighed heavily during the application process. Your Personal Statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the faculty, staff, and admissions coordinators for the program. What you share and how you articulate your thoughts and feelings is carefully considered. Check out the school’s admission page and find directions for the Personal Statement and follow them! Discuss why you choose the school and its program, how you think this program can help you accomplish your goals, and why you have chosen to pursue a Master of Social Work degree.

2. Get Some Social-Work Related Experience:

If you do not have a BSW, you can still get experience in a social work setting. Consider volunteering or taking on a job in a setting that offers social work services.

3. Get Excellent Letters of Recommendation:

Anyone can write a letter, but not everyone is suited for writing a letter of recommendation to help you get into an online MSW program. You should be prepared with the names and contact information of three people, preferably academic or professional references, who can write a letter supporting your likelihood of success in the MSW program and why they feel you are a good candidate.

4. Make Sure Your Undergraduate Performance is Good:

Most online MSW programs require applicants to have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Keep in mind, this is usually the minimum, which means the higher your GPA, the more competitive your application. If your GPA is close to the 3.0 line or below, consider taking a few classes to help boost your cumulative average.

5. Prepare a Well-Written and Organized Resume or Curriculum Vitae:

No matter how much work or academic experience you have, if you don’t articulate that information in a professional manner, it could cause your application to be tossed. Be sure to keep your resume and CV up to date. Include special skills, professional and/or social work affiliations, and any honors you’ve earned. Make sure the contact information for references on your resume are correct.

6. Prepare for and Take Standardized Tests:

Some MSW schools have removed the requirement for standardized tests scores like ACT, SAT, or GRE. However, you can still take the tests and submit scores. If your undergraduate grade point average was less than 3.0, consider taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). The GRE tests quantitative and verbal reasoning and analytical writing skills. A good score on this test may help lessen the blow of a lower GPA and can add some good substance to your overall application.

7. Prepare for the Admissions Interview:

The admissions process for social work school can be quite competitive. Despite having many applicants, programs are limited to a certain number of students they can accept each year. To determine which candidates may be most successful, schools may use an admissions interview. Prepare for an interview by reviewing possible interview questions and thinking of ways to answer them. You may find it helpful to practice an interview with a friend or family member.



MY FINAL THOUGHTS – IS AN ONLINE MSW PROGRAM WORTH IT?


A career in social work may be one of the most rewarding careers you can find. If you have a desire to advocate for others, lobby for changes that affect society, and promote social welfare, this career could be a perfect fit for you. Throughout this article, I have addressed the question, “What are the best online master’s in social work programs in the nation?" and shared the 50 best accredited online MSW programs in the nation for 2023.



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


GENERAL


1. Is MSW A Good Degree?

If you want a long-term career working in a social service position, a Master of Social Work is a great degree. Although you can find employment in social work with a bachelor’s degree, many positions, especially upper management or administrative positions, require an MSW.


2. Can I Get My MSW Degree Online?

Yes, there are several online MSW degree programs, like the 50 best online MSW programs in the nation featured in this article.


3. Are Online MSW Programs Well-Respected?

Many online MSW programs are well-respected. If you seek accredited online MSW programs, the chances of finding one that is truly respected are more likely.


4. Do MSW Online Programs Have To Be Accredited?

Like many college programs, there is a chance that you can happen upon an online MSW program that lacks accreditation. My tip.... Don’t fall for it! Employers want to know prospective employees have what it takes to work in the capacity of their job title, and graduating from an accredited Master of Social Work program can help ensure that.


5. Are Campus Visits Required For Online MSW Students?

Although some campus visits may be required for online MSW programs, they are usually minimal. If your program requires a campus visit(s), it will usually be for orientation or face-to-face immersions that occur at some point at the beginning of the program.


6. Are There Any Online MSW Programs With 100% Online Classes And No Campus Visits?

Some online Master of Social Work programs do offer 100% online classes with no campus visits. If campus visits are a concern, be sure to clarify with an admissions advisor prior to committing to a program.


7. What Are The 5 Most Important Skills And Abilities I Will Gain In An Online Master Of Social Work Program?

You will learn many skills in an online Master of Social Work program. Perhaps the most important abilities and skills you’ll develop are active listening, boundary setting, self-awareness, social perspective, and empathy.


8. Are Online MSW Programs Hard To Complete?

Any graduate college program, like online MSW programs, can be difficult to complete. It takes determination and discipline to stay focused as an online learner. You can succeed, though! Commit to a schedule of studying and learning and remember to practice self-care.


9. Why Is An MSW Better Than A BSW?

Some people choose to earn a BSW and go no further with their academic preparation. However, an MSW provides greater opportunities for direct practice and lays the foundation for you to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.


10. Is It Necessary To Have A Bachelor's Degree In Social Work To Be Admitted Into The Online Master Of Social Work Program?

Typical admission for an online Master of Social Work program requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than social work, you will likely be eligible for the traditional MSW pathway. Candidates with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) may take advantage of advanced standing options, making the length of time it takes to earn the degree shorter.


11. Are There Any Online MSW Programs For Non-BSW Students?

Yes, many colleges that offer MSW online programs offer options for applicants with or without a BSW. Your current bachelor’s degree will determine whether you are admitted as a traditional MSW student or advanced standing.


12. Does The Online MSW Have A Residency Component?

All online MSW students must complete some type of field education/residency component. The number of hours are determined by state guidelines and the school offering the program.


13. Does The Online MSW Offer Concentrations?

Many online MSW programs offer concentration options. A few examples include Leadership & Social Change, Advanced Clinical Social Work, Children, Youth & Families, Mental Health with Adults, and Community Practice for Social Change.


14. Will The Online MSW Prepare Me To Become Licensed In My State?

An accredited online Master of Social Work program should prepare you to take and pass the licensure examination to become a licensed MSW in your state.



ADMISSION


1. Are MSW Online Programs Hard To Get Into?

Admission to accredited MSW online programs can be quite competitive. As you research programs that interest you, keep in mind that “minimum admission requirements” are just that.... minimum. You should strive to have a GPA higher than the minimum required, get some volunteer experience, and apply to more than one school.


2. How Many Online MSW Programs Should I Ideally Apply To?

There is no perfect number for how many online MSW programs you should apply to. However, most admission advisors suggest college applicants should apply to at least five to seven programs to improve the likelihood of receiving an admission offer.


3. When Is The Application Deadline For Online MSW Programs?

Each school that offers an online MSW program has deadlines for admission applications. Some schools accept applications on a rolling basis, while others have one or two deadlines each year. When you find a school that interests you, consult with an admissions advisor as soon as possible to be sure you know important dates and deadlines.


4. Will Applying Early Increase My Chances Of Admission Into Online MSW Programs?

Applying early is a great way to get the attention of the admissions team. Keep in mind, no matter how early you apply, an application is good only if it is complete. Be sure you know the deadlines for applications and make a follow-up call before the deadline to verify your application was received. An admission counselor is more likely to remember you if you make the effort to call instead of just sending an application and hoping for the best.


5. What Is The Admission Rate For Online Master Of Social Work Programs?

On average, the admission rate for online MSW programs is approximately 60%. This number may vary from one school to the next and is influenced by the number of available spots and whether an applicant meets all admission requirements.


6. Is There A Waiting List For Online Master’s In Social Work Programs?

Some online Master of Social Work programs have waiting lists. This is one reason I suggest applying to more than one program.


7. Can International Students Apply To MSW Online Programs?

Some online MSW programs accept international students, and some do not. Schools that do accept international students typically have additional admission criteria these students must meet, such as demonstrating English language proficiency. It is best to determine with each school whether they accept international students, as guidelines change from school to school.


8. Are GRE Or GMAT Scores Required For Admission Into Online Master’s In Social Work Programs?

Some schools that offer online MSW programs require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores. However, all do not. It is important to verify the admission criteria, such as submitting test scores, with an admission advisor at any school that interests you.


9. Are There Any Online MSW Programs That Do Not Require GRE Or GMAT Test Scores, Or Will Waive The GRE Or GMAT For Admissions?

Some online Master of Social Work programs do not require GRE or GMAT scores. Also, in some circumstances, schools that do request them may waive them for admission purposes. It is always best to confirm the requirements with someone from the admissions department to be sure you don’t leave anything out of your application.


10. What Is The Minimum GPA Required To Get Into Online Social Work Master's Programs?

Admission criteria are set by the schools that offer the programs. Therefore, the minimum GPA requirement for admission to online MSW programs may vary. When comparing the best online MSW programs in the nation featured in this article, we have found that most schools require students to have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 grading scale from their bachelor’s degree program.


11. Can I Get Into Online MSW Programs With A Low GPA?

While getting into an online MSW program with a low GPA may not be impossible, it is also not likely. Schools set admission criteria, including minimum GPA, to help find prospective students with a likelihood of success in their programs. If you have a low GPA, you should talk to an admissions advisor to find out your next steps to qualify for their program.


12. Is Work Experience Required To Be Accepted Into Online MSW Programs?

Some online MSW programs require work experience. For example, if you wish to apply for an advanced standing status, the school may require that you have a BSW and a minimum amount of social work employment history. If you have a non-social work bachelor’s degree, the school will likely review your work and/or volunteer history to determine eligibility.


13. Is There An Interview For Admission Into MSW Online Programs?

Some online Master of Social Work programs require all applicants to participate in an admissions interview. Others may invite candidates to participate in an interview to help determine who is the best fit for their programs.


14. How Many Prerequisite Courses Should I Complete To Get Into Online Social Work Master's Programs?

The number of prerequisite courses you need to get into an online Master of Social Work program varies, depending on the school’s curriculum and admission guidelines. Because one of the admission criteria for an MSW online program is having a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, chances are you have already completed most of the required prerequisites. As schools review your transcripts, they will look for credits earned in liberal arts competencies and humanities.


15. When Do I Need To Complete The Required Prerequisites For MSW Online Programs: Before Or After I Apply?

It is generally best to complete prerequisites before you apply. However, if you are enrolled in a program and taking prerequisites, don’t let that keep you from applying to an online MSW program. Just try to align your academic schedule so that you can complete prerequisite classes before the MSW program starts.



SCHEDULE


1. Typically, When Do MSW Online Programs Start?

MSW online programs start at different times. Some schools offer their programs once or twice yearly, while others offer several start dates each year.


2. Are There Any Online Master’s In Social Work Programs With Multiple Start Dates?

Yes, some accredited online MSW programs have multiple start dates each year.


3. Are Online Social Work Master's Programs Part-Time Or Full-Time?

Online Master of Social Work programs may be offered part-time or full-time. Some schools offer both options, making it easier for students to choose a schedule that best suits them. Others offer either part-time or full-time.


4. Are There Any Part-Time Online MSW Programs?

Yes, some schools offer their online MSW programs part-time. You can verify scheduling options with an admissions advisor at any school that interests you.


5. Can I Work Part-Time And Successfully Complete My MSW Degree Online?

Many students work part-time while completing an MSW online degree program.


6. Can I Work Full-Time And Successfully Complete My MSW Degree Online?

While it may be possible to work full-time and successfully complete an online MSW program, it will take careful planning. These programs tend to have a rigorous curriculum, which requires a lot of time studying. Also, field education hours take up a lot of time. So, if you plan to work while in the program, you should consult both your academic advisor and employer to develop a plan for your success in school and at work.



LENGTH


1. Typically, How Long Does It Take To Get An Online MSW Degree?

You can earn an online MSW degree in 12 months to four years, typically. Advanced-Standing or Accelerated programs are shorter, typically 12 to 18 months. Traditional programs usually take two years to complete full-time. If you enroll part-time, the programs take longer.


2. How Long Are The Classes In Online Social Work Master's Programs?

Colleges and universities schedule classes using different formats. Some classes in online Master of Social Work programs last a full semester while others schedule classes on shorter intervals.


3. What Are The 3 Best Ways To Complete My Online MSW Degree Faster?

There are a few ways to help you complete your online MSW degree faster. Three ways you can earn your degree faster are: take classes full-time, don’t skip any semesters (take year-round classes), and earn as many prerequisite or core course credits as possible before beginning the program.



COST


1. Typically, How Much Does It Cost To Get An MSW Degree Online?

Online MSW programs can cost anywhere from $17,000 to more than $50,000. The amount of time it takes to complete the program and the number of credits you need to earn the degree are the main determining factors of the total cost.


2. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For Online Master Of Social Work Programs?

The per-credit cost for Master of Social Work online programs varies, sometimes significantly. From my research on the top 50 online MSW programs featured in this article, the cost ranges from $350 to $595 per credit.


3. Is The Cost Of An Online MSW Degree Worth The Return On Investment (ROI)?

Online MSW programs cost between $17,000 and $50,000 (on average). Graduates of the programs earn an average annual salary of $62,310, which indicates the return on the investment for the degree is worth it.


4. Are Online Master Of Social Work Students Eligible For Scholarships?

Yes, there are many opportunities for scholarships geared toward MSW online program students. Schools, healthcare organizations, and private organizations fund different scholarships.


5. Are Online Master Of Social Work Students Eligible For Grants?

It is possible for students enrolled in accredited online MSW programs to receive grants to help pay for the program.


6. Are Online Master Of Social Work Students Eligible For Student Loans?

Online Master of Social Work students are eligible for student loans. Some students choose to apply for federally funded financial assistance, while others seek private loans.


7. Are Online Master Of Social Work Graduates Eligible For Loan Forgiveness Programs?

Yes, there are some programs that offer loan forgiveness programs for social work graduates. A few examples include Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge, and National Health Service Corps Repayment Program.


8. What Are The 3 Best Ways To Make My Online MSW Degree More Affordable?

One of the biggest concerns for prospective college students is the cost. While you can’t make schools change what they charge for their programs, there are a few things you can do to make it not seem so difficult to earn your degree. A few ways to make your online MSW degree more affordable are to apply for financial aid early, talk to your employer to see if they offer any type of tuition reimbursement programs, and start a savings account dedicated solely to your education.



PROGRAM DETAILS


1. What Is The Best Online MSW Program In The Nation?

The best online MSW program in the nation is offered at Columbia University in New York City, New York.

Columbia University - New York City, NY


2. What Is The Average Class Size In Online MSW Programs?

Although class sizes may differ from one school to the next, the average is 15-20 students per instructor in a classroom setting.


3. Do Online MSW Programs Follow A Cohort Model?

Some online MSW programs do follow a cohort model.


4. Typically, How Many Credits Do I Need To Earn To Get My Online Master Of Social Work Degree?

Typically, traditional MSW programs require 50-60 credits and advanced-standing programs have a 30-hour curriculum. However, the number of credits needed to earn an MSW online depends on which type of program you choose, how many credits you have going into the program, and whether you choose to earn an additional certification or pursue a specific concentration.


5. What Are The Total Number Of Courses In An Online Social Work Master's Program?

Online MSW students may take anywhere from seven (advanced-standing) to twenty classes. The number of classes you need is determined by an analysis of any previous college coursework, eligible transferable credits, and the minimum number of credits needed to earn the degree.


6. What Are The Hardest Classes In An Online Social Work Master's Program?

Opinions vary about which classes are hardest in an online Master of Social Work program. Many students say classes including Psychopathology and Human Behavior in the Social Environment are two of the hardest classes.


7. How Many Classes Do I Have To Take Each Semester In An Online Social Work Master's Program?

The number of classes you take each semester will depend on the study plan designated by the school. Part-time students may take one or two classes while full-time students may take four or five.


8. What Kind Of Computer Equipment And Software Is Required For Online MSW Students?

Online students need a good internet connection, a webcam to use for synchronous classes, a microphone, and good software like Microsoft Office Suite.


9. How Do Online MSW Classes Work? Do I Have To Be At My Computer At A Specific Time?

Online MSW programs may offer synchronous or asynchronous class delivery or a combination of both. Your instructor for each class will discuss how course content is delivered and if or when you need to attend synchronous class meetings.


10. What Type Of Support Do Online MSW Students Receive From Their School?

Online MSW students should receive the same support as students who choose to attend classes on-campus. As you research and choose schools of interest, it is good to ask questions about how you will communicate with instructors, what type of technical support is available, and who facilitates field education. All of these are support services that you need.


11. To Successfully Pass The Program, How Many Hours A Week Should An Online Master Of Social Work Degree Student Study?

At a minimum, online MSW students should spend three hours each week for every credit hour of classes being taken. For instance, if you are enrolled in 12 credit hours, you should spend a minimum of 36 hours each week devoted to studying.


12. What Are The 3 Most Important Things I Need To Do To Succeed In Online MSW Programs?

Three of the most important things you can do to succeed in online MSW programs include the following.

1. Designate a place where you will complete your assignments and study. Even if you don’t have an extra room to use for school, you can find a place in your home that you can use daily for schoolwork. Make sure it is free from distractions like family traffic, unnecessary interruptions, and noises.
2. Stay on task. It is much easier to succeed when you stay on track with your study plan.
3. Take care of yourself. No matter how much time you devote to being the “perfect student,” if you don’t take care of your mental and physical health, you may end up feeling fatigued and burned out, which could cause you to perform poorly.



13. Will My Online Master Of Social Work School Help Me Find An Internship Placement?

Most online MSW schools help find internship placements. Some schools may ask that you submit requests for placements you prefer, but the final decision is up to the school.


14. Will My Online Master Of Social Work School Help Me Find A Job Placement?

Good job placement rates following graduation from a school or program is a positive reflection on a school. So, for that reason, many schools of social work offer job placement assistance to students.



ONLINE VS. ON-CAMPUS


1. Is The Quality Of Education In Online MSW Programs Similar To On-Campus MSW Programs?

If you choose an accredited online MSW program, the quality of education should be the same as an accredited on-campus program.


2. Are Online MSW Programs Shorter Than On-Campus MSW Programs?

It usually takes the same amount of time to complete online MSW programs as it does on-campus programs.


3. Are Online MSW Programs Cheaper Than On-Campus MSW Programs?

In some cases, students in online MSW programs find their out-of-pocket expenses related to the program is less than that of on-campus students. Although the cost of tuition may vary a little, online students can save money on commuting to and from school, and the cost of eating out.


4. Are The Admission Requirements For Online MSW Programs Similar To Admission Requirements For On-Campus MSW Programs?

Yes, admission criteria for online and on-campus MSW programs is typically the same.


5. Is The Coursework In Online MSW Programs Similar To The Coursework In On-Campus MSW Programs?

The course requirements for online MSW programs vs. campus-based programs are the same. The difference is how course content is delivered.


6. Are Online MSW Classes Easier Than On-Campus MSW Classes?

For some MSW students, online learning is easier than on-campus learning. However, it truly is a matter of opinion. If you do well working in groups or participating in discussions to help you understand and grasp content, you may perform better in an on-campus program. Conversely, if you like to work independently and enjoy the benefit of a more flexible schedule, online learning could be a great option for you.


7. Do Online MSW Students Earn The Same Degree As On-Campus MSW Students?

Yes, if you graduate from an accredited MSW program, the degree is the same, regardless of whether the class was online or on-campus.


8. Do Online MSW Degree Holders Earn Similar Salaries As On-Campus MSW Degree Holders?

The method by which you obtained the MSW degree should not determine whether your salary is higher or lower. If you have an MSW degree conferred by an accredited school of social work, you should earn the same salary as peers who earned their degrees in on-campus programs.


9. Is The Demand For Online MSW Degree Holders Similar To That Of On-Campus MSW Degree Holders?

Yes, the demand for online MSW degree holders is the same as the demand for on-campus MSW degree program graduates.


10. What Are The 3 Major Differences Between Online MSW Programs And On-Campus MSW Programs?

The three major differences between on-campus and online MSW programs include how courses are delivered (in-person or online), where you complete field education (near your home or at sites close to campus), and the number of campus visits required.



SALARY


1. How Much Do New Online MSW Graduates Make?

New online MSW program graduates earn approximately $37,630 annually.

$37,630


2. On An Average, How Much Do Online MSW Degree Holders Make Per Hour?

The average hourly wage for online MSW degree holders is $29,96.

$29.96


3. On An Average, How Much Do Online MSW Degree Holders Make Per Month?

On average, the monthly salary for online MSW degree program graduates is $5,190.

$5,190


4. On An Average, How Much Do Online MSW Degree Holders Make Per Year?

The average annual income for graduates of online Master of Social Work programs is $62,310.

$62,310


5. What State Pays The Highest Salary For Online MSW Degree Holders?

California is the state with the highest MSW pay rate. In California, MSW online degree holders earn approximately $84,690 per year.

California
$84,690


6. What Metro Pays The Highest Salary For Online MSW Degree Holders?

The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California metro has the highest pay rate for online MSW degree holders nationwide. In this metro, online MSW program graduates earn an average of $105,600.

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
$105,600



CAREER


1. How Many Hours A Week Do Online MSW Degree Holders Work?

The number of hours you work as an online MSW degree holder will depend on where you work, your job title, and whether you work part-time or full-time. For example, part-time MSWs may work 20-30 hours each week. If you work full-time, you may work 40 hours every week. Some positions may require you to work overtime hours, especially if there is an emergency related to your specialty.


2. Are New Online Master Of Social Work Degree Holders In High Demand?

Yes, there is a demand for new MSW degree holders. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a continued increase in social worker jobs for at least the next decade.


3. What Are The Top 3 Reasons Behind The Demand For Social Work Master's Degree Holders?

There are several things that contribute to the demand for MSW degree holders. Replacement job openings created by retiring social workers or those transitioning to other professions, an increased awareness of mental health and addiction disorders that affect individuals, families, and populations, and the need to create and implement initiates to combat oppression, prejudices, poverty, and to advocate for social justice are among the top reasons for the need.


4. What Are The 3 Best Jobs For New Online MSW Degree Holders?

Three of the best jobs for online MSW degree holders are school social worker, foster care social worker, and human resources coordinator.


5. Are Online MSW Degree Holders Happy With Their Career?

Most sources report that graduates of online MSW programs are happy with their jobs.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).