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Social Work Master’s Programs Online Guide

Earning your master’s in social work (MSW) can increase your career opportunities and is a requirement for advanced social work licensure. Due to the demand for flexible options, many of the nation’s top schools are now offering MSW programs online. These programs can help you qualify for social work licensure while deepening your knowledge and skills in the field of social work, whether your bachelor’s degree was in social work or another subject. This guide will help you learn more about the benefits of earning your master’s in social work online, determine whether a distance learning program is the right fit for you, and research online social work degrees with our exclusive ranking of the best online master’s in social work programs.

Table of Contents
On-Campus vs Online MSW Programs: Is an Online MSW Right for You?
Benefits of Completing a Master’s in Social Work Online
Social Work Licensing with an Online Master’s in Social Work
Top Online MSW Programs
Profiles of Top Social Work Schools with Online Programs
Frequently Asked Questions

On-Campus vs Online MSW Programs: Is an Online MSW Right for You?

There are many benefits to earning your MSW online, as well as a few drawbacks that prospective students should be aware of before committing to a program. Your first step should be conducting an honest assessment of whether distance learning is a good fit for your habits and learning style.

The overall flexibility of an online master’s in social work program demands that remote students have a good work ethic, the ability to meet self-imposed deadlines, and strong self-teaching skills. Although you can still expect many opportunities for interaction with your peers and professors, this style of learning might not be the best fit for those who prefer face-to-face interactions.

While the majority of overall coursework in an online social work degree may be completed remotely, any internship or practicum requirements will need to be completed on-site. However, in many cases, internships and practicums can be arranged in your local area. Most online MSW programs will offer you assistance in arranging internship and practicum opportunities that align with your curriculum and career path. Similarly, some courses may have scheduled lectures that are streamed live on certain days and times. As you research social work master’s programs online, you should be aware of any such requirements and make certain that you can arrange your schedule accordingly.

Additionally, some programs may require on-campus attendance for workshops, seminars, or conferences related to social work. Any such requirements are typically, though not always, scheduled during the summer semester. Prior to enrolling in a program, you should confirm any required campus visits and ensure that you can fit these requirements with your financial and personal obligations.

Benefits of Completing a Master’s in Social Work Online

There are many online master’s in social work options for you to choose from. The range of specialties available online – including such in-demand practice areas such as child and family social work, mental health and substance abuse social work, and school social work – is similar to the range found in on-campus programs. This means that you likely won’t have to compromise your career goals in order to complete your degree online.

Many MSW programs online feature asynchronous learning via courses that are streamed and available online at any time. While courses in this format still have due dates for assignments and exams, the ability to “attend” class on your schedule is a definite perk that allows you a high degree of flexibility.

Another benefit is the ability to study part-time, especially if you are already in the workforce. Many on-campus MSWs require or prefer full-time admissions. Online MSW degrees, in contrast, are generally designed for working professionals and commonly offer part-time study options. Many online MSWs also offer courses during the summer semester, which can allow you to earn your degree in less time.

Many, though not all, online MSW programs also offer advanced standing admissions to students who have a bachelor’s degree in social work. This means that if you have your BSW, you may be able to complete your MSW in as little as one year, compared to the typical two years required for an MSW. Don’t have your BSW? Don’t worry – many online programs also accept MSW students who majored in another subject, and most prerequisite courses are commonly found in the typical liberal arts curriculum.

Social Work Licensing with an Online Master’s in Social Work

The ability to qualify for your social work license based on completing a master’s degree in social work online is one of the most important considerations when evaluating programs. If your goal is to become a licensed master social worker (LMSW) or licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), important questions to ask about a program include:

  • Is the program designed to prepare students for licensure?
  • Is the program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)?
  • Does the program offer support for the social work licensing exams?

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits online master’s in social work programs in the same way as it accredits on-campus programs. This is a benefit since it means that an MSW program online can provide you with the same quality preparation for licensure and practice as an on-campus program. If you are planning to seek social work licensure using your online MSW, be sure to verify that the program(s) you are considering holds CSWE accreditation.

Finally, if you are considering earning an MSW degree online from a program that is located in another state, be sure to verify licensing requirements and differences between states. Both coursework and internship requirements for social work licensure can vary from state to state, meaning that an out-of-state program might not fulfill all requirements in the state where you wish to seek licensure.

Top Online MSW Programs

To help you find the help you find the best online MSW programs, we have created our own proprietary ranking of the best online MSW programs in the US. All of the programs on this list are not-for-profit and have been accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies that accredit four-year schools recognized by the US Department of Education. Regional accreditation is a crucial factor as it is a widely-recognized marker of quality education, a prerequisite for federal financial aid, and frequently a requirement for transferring credits between institutions. All regionally accredited online MSW programs are also accredited by the CSWE with one in candidacy status.

Our unique methodology weights such factors as the average cost per online credit hour, students’ overall graduation rate, and the percentage of the student body studying online. We also consider schools’ rankings in US News & World Report’s regional, national, and best social work program categories. Following the ranking table, you will find profiles of the top online master’s of social work programs with in-depth information on admissions and enrollment, tuition, required coursework, and more.

SchoolProgram RankAverage Online TuitionMinimum GPA for Acceptance% Grad Students Studying Fully OnlineGraduation Rate (Undergrad)% Tenured FacultyUS News Best Social Work Programs Rank
Florida State University1$5353.017%80%43%#38 tie
Colorado State University2$6193.029%67%44%#54 tie
University of Missouri3$3603.022%68%32%#59 tie
University of Alabama4$3753.026%69%32%#50 tie
Valdosta State University5$2932.566%36%36%#174 tie
University of Nevada Reno6$5253.012%54%49%#128 tie
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign7$5793.013%85%52%#17 tie
Austin Peay State University (Mid-Tennessee Collaborative MSW Program)8$7682.7559%38%61%
California State University San Bernardino9$4003.09%55%32%#128 tie
Campbellsville University10$5593.049%36%36%
Boston University11$8253.017%87%26%#10
University of South Dakota12$4513.039%55%32%#174 tie
University of Denver13 tie$9292.520%79%28%#17 tie
University of South Florida13 tie$5613.019%67%37%#88 tie
University of New England14$9203.052%58%18%#128 tie
Portland State University15$5582.759%48%26%#38 tie
University of Southern California16$1,8003.021%92%28%#17 tie
University at Buffalo17$1,0903.07%74%35%#24 tie
Texas State University18$5283.010%54%32%#147 tie
Rutgers University-New Brunswick19$9003.012%80%27%#17 tie
Northern Arizona University20$5753.048%53%27%
University of Arkansas Little Rock21$5233.017%30%60%#88 tie
New Mexico State University22$1,2323.026%45%42%#128 tie
University of Tennessee Knoxville23$1,1782.710%69%48%#38 tie
Boise State University24$4953.028%39%27%#105 tie
University of New Hampshire25$8083.012%78%44%#105 tie
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis26$626N/A10%46%21%#30 tie
Arizona State University27$7123.211%67%49%#30 tie
University of Texas Arlington28$1,5562.740%48%39%#34 tie
Columbia University29$1,564N.Av.1%94%28%#5 tie
Ohio State University30$8483.05%84%46%#15 tie
University of Houston31$6923.03%51%50%#24 tie
University of North Dakota32$6903.045%55%54%#147 tie
Loyola University Chicago33$1,007N.Av.15%75%22%#38 tie
Fordham University34$9213.06%80%72%#24 tie
Winthrop University35$9503.03%58%32%
California State University Northridge36$7522.52%50%28%#128 tie
Louisiana State University37$5093.09%68%48%#88 tie
Widener University38$8503.025%57%26%#147 tie
Tulane University39$1,0183.03%83%30%#38 tie
University of Louisville40$7143.012%53%35%#38 tie
Case Western Reserve University41$1,8822.76%82%39%#9
Humboldt State University42$5103.05%46%30%#128 tie
Simmons College43$1,060N/A63%74%12%
Sacred Heart University44$7503.027%60%13%
Western New Mexico University45$4393.067%20%22%#220 tie
Brandman University46$6402.559%N.Av.N.Av.
Temple University47$1,3203.08%71%20%#59 tie
Our Lady of the Lake University48$9072.555%39%11%#105 tie
Virginia Commonwealth University49$1,0303.06%62%22%#30 tie

Table Notes and References:
*Average online tuition is the average of in-state and out-of-state tuition rates for online students per credit hour.
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. College Factual: https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/
3. US News Best Social Work Programs: https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings

Profiles of Top Social Work Schools with Online Programs

Florida State University

florida state university logoFor those interested in earning an MSW degree online, Florida State University’s online master of social work offers two tracks: advanced standing for those who hold a bachelor of social work (BSW) and traditional admissions for those who majored in another subject. Both programs are part-time and clinically-focused, with an emphasis on licensure in clinical social work. To help students qualify for licensure, social work field placements are built into the curriculum. The 61-credit hour traditional admissions track takes an average of three years to complete and includes two required field placements. There are also two mandatory weekend visits to campus, which typically take place during the second and third semesters of study. The 39-credit hour advanced standing track takes an average of two years to complete and includes one social work field placement. No campus visits are typically required for advanced standing students. On both tracks, courses are taken on a 16-week schedule during the fall and spring semesters. 12- and 13-week summer semester courses are also available. On either track, students can prepare for a variety of social work specializations, including substance abuse, veterans affairs, and child welfare and family services.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 8,2401
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 1,4001
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 70%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.03
Other admission requirements: Non-BSW students must have 400 hours of generalist social work practice; all students must take the GRE

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $4443
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $4793
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $11,5531
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $6253
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,1113
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $25,9851

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW, Traditional MSW
Program length: Two to three years
First online program offered in: 2001-2002
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 72%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 28%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Clinical Social Work
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Introduction to the Social Work Profession; Social Work Practice – Individuals and Families; Social Work Research; Social Work with Groups and Communities; Evaluation of Practice; Social Welfare Policies and Programs; Graduate Field Instruction; Psychopathology; Clinical Practice; Advanced Seminar in Social Work Practice

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 81%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): 404
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 43%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): 12 years5

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $44,9006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 4.8%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 93%6

Colorado State University

colorado state university logoColorado State University maintains an online master of social work program that takes an advanced generalist approach to prepare students for careers as licensed social workers. The advanced generalist lens allows students to hone the skills and knowledge needed to develop and implement interventions at all levels of practice while expanding their research skills. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to social work and the use of community resources in promoting well-being. Students will complete approximately 1,000 field hours of supervised practice while completing the program. Distance education learners will receive assistance in securing field placement(s) in their local areas. Both advanced standing and traditional MSW tracks are offered. The advanced standing track, which is for those who hold a BSW, requires 40 credit hours to complete, while the traditional MSW requires 60 credit hours to complete. On either track, students must complete an on-campus classroom experience two weekends per semester. Concurrent with earning the MSW, students can also pursue advanced certificates in such subjects as conflict resolution and mediation, nonprofit administration, and PreK-12 school social work.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 6,6791
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 1,9371
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 40%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.07
Other admission requirements: Prospective students must have 18 undergraduate credit hours in social and behavioral sciences and meet nine credit hours of other prerequisites and 400 hours of human service and/or volunteer work; three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose are required.

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $6197
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $5677
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $12,0351
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $6197
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,3917
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $26,4301

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Higher Learning Commission
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW, Traditional MSW
Program length: Two to three years
First online program offered in: 1994-1995
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 47%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 53%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Advanced Generalist
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Principles and Philosophy of Social Work; Generalist Practice – Small Client Systems (+ Skills Lab); Theoretical Foundations of Social Work; Social Welfare Policy Analysis; Field Placement; Generalist Practice: Large Client Systems; Methods of Research; Advanced Generalist Practice with Individuals; Advanced Practice: Manager/Administrator; Macro-Level Social Work Practice Research; Advanced Generalist Practice with Communities; Advanced Practice: Social Welfare Policy; Advanced Practice with Families and Groups

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 44%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): 1164
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 44%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $45,0006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 2.8%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 93%6

University of Missouri

university of missouri logoThe online master of social work program at the University of Missouri can be completed 100% online with no required campus visits. Students complete at least one field practicum in an agency setting, which may be arranged in their local area. The traditional standing online MSW requires 60 credit hours to complete while the advanced standing online MSW requires 39 credit hours to complete. Both tracks allow graduates to pursue an emphasis in either clinical social work or policy, planning, and administration. Students will also take between six and nine credit hours of electives selected in consultation with their academic advisor. The University of Missouri School of Social Work, which was established in 1906, has a special focus on leadership and social and economic justice that seeks to address social inequalities and a better promote quality of life for all. The school also offers on-campus bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in social work. The faculty, doctoral, and post-doctoral students within the department of social work are regularly recognized for their scholarly and social contributions to the field.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 7,3621
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 1,6201
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): N.Av.
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.08
Other admission requirements: Students must reside in Missouri or contiguous states; three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume are required.

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $3608
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $8568
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $9,8281
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $3608
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,2708
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $24,8471

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Higher Learning Commission
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW, Traditional MSW
Program length: Two to three years
First online program offered in: 2001-2002
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 65%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 35%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Advanced Clinical Practice; Policy, Planning, and Administration in Human Services
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Professional Social Work Practice; Social Policy and Service Delivery in Social Work; Foundations of Human Behavior; Social Work Skills; Large Group Theory; Social Justice Seminar; Research Methods in Social Work; Graduate Field Practicum

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 100%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): 1554
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 32%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): Three years5

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: Yes
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $46,1006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 4.5%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 96%6

University of Alabama

university of alabama logoThe University of Alabama offers an online master’s in social work program that can be completed primarily online with some face-to-face skills lab requirements. Skills labs can typically be completed on the university’s main campus in Tuscaloosa or on select regional campuses; labs take place on designated Saturdays. Both traditional admissions and an advanced standing track are offered through distance learning. The traditional admissions track for those who do not have a bachelor’s in social work takes 60 credit hours to complete. The advanced standing track is for those who have a BSW from a CSWE-accredited school and takes 42 credit hours to complete. Through either of these accredited online MSW programs, students may choose to concentrate in either Children, Adolescents, and Their Families or in Adults and Their Families. Fieldwork is required on both tracks, with traditional MSW students completing 1,000 clock hours and advanced standing MSW students completing 500 clock hours. The University of Alabama School of Social Work was established in 1965 and focuses on preparing scholar-practitioners and researchers for meaningful practice. The University of Alabama also offers a hybrid online dual MSW/JD program as well as an online MSW/MPH program. Those seeking careers in research or academia may be interested in the school’s PhD in social work.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 5,1001
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 1,3261
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 55%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.09
Other admission requirements: Advanced standing students must meet grade requirements in undergraduate social work courses; all students must provide a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation.

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $3759
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $8459
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $10,7801
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $3759
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,7809
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $28,1001

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW, Traditional MSW
Program length: One-and-a-half to two years
First online program offered in: 2004-2005
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 64%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 36%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Children, Adolescents, and Their Families; Adults and Their Families
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Social Welfare Policy; Social Work Practice with Families; Social Work Practice with Groups; Social Work Practice with Communities; Research Informed Practice; Components of Human Development and Social Systems

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 60%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 32%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.5

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $42,7006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 5.7%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 93%6

Valdosta State University

valdosta state university logoValdosta State University offers a hybrid-online master of social work degree program that admits cohorts during select spring semesters. The MSW degree focuses on preparing students for clinical social work licensure and practice with diverse populations. The curriculum for the program follows the advanced generalist model to train students in both clinical and community practice using a variety of interventions in a wide array of settings. Students may also choose to take advantage of the program’s unique study abroad program to Mexico. Although no thesis is required to complete the program, an exit portfolio is required. Face-to-face classes in the hybrid model are held Friday evening and all day Saturday once per month. Hybrid-online students are required to complete two, year-long practicum experiences consisting of 16 to 18 clock hours per week. The hybrid-online MSW takes 60 credit hours to earn with traditional admissions. An advanced standing option is available for students who hold a bachelor of social work from a CSWE-accredited school. The advanced standing option requires 33 credit hours plus one year-long practicum.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 2,5951
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 1,7131
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 77%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 2.510
Other admission requirements: Undergraduate degree must have a liberal arts base; prerequisite courses must have a grade of “C” or better; minimum 800 combined GRE score or 390 on the MAT; statement of goals and three letters of recommendation required

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $29310
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $25810
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $6,6281
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $29310
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $92710
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $18,2921

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW, Traditional MSW
Program length: Three years
First online program offered in: 2011-2012
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 32%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 68%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: None
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Introduction to Professional SW Education; Human Behavior in Social Environment; Generalist Practice; Practice Skills Lab; Social Work Practice with Groups; Social Welfare Policy, Problems, and Services; Research and Evaluation Methods in Social Work; Advanced Social Welfare Policy and Practice; Psychopathology

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 100%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): 954
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 36%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: Yes
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $36,8006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 8.7%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 93%6

University of Nevada Reno

university of nevada reno logoThe University of Nevada Reno’s online master’s in social work focuses on preparing students for advanced generalist practice using a model that promotes social welfare in a variety of settings and models. The curriculum encourages collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches to social work interventions. Both advanced standing and traditional admissions are offered. The advanced standing pathway requires 32 credit hours to complete and is for those who hold a BSW. The traditional admissions pathway, which is designed for those who do not have a social work background, requires 62 credit hours to complete. Traditional students must complete a three-day residency on-campus. On either track, an emphasis is placed on reflective practice in the context of the client’s environment. After the initial year of foundational courses, students complete a concentration year in advanced generalist topics that better prepares them to become independent practitioners. The University of Nevada Reno also offers on-campus bachelor’s and master’s programs in social work.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 3,1621
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 3791
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 75%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.011
Other admission requirements: Course in statistics and research methods required; three letters of recommendation; essays supporting the MSW application

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $35011
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $74111
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $5,4671
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $70011
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,52911
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $19,6551

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW, Traditional MSW
Program length: Not provided
First online program offered in: N.Av.
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 45%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 55%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Advanced Generalist
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Advanced Multi-dimensional Assessment; Intervention Approaches with Individuals; Social Work Administration; Therapeutic Interventions with Families; Practice and Program Evaluation; Advanced Practicums; Integrative Case-Based Seminar – Advanced Generalist Practice

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 100%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 49%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: N.Av.
Live tutoring?: N.Av.
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $45,0006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 5.1%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 91%6

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

university of illinois logoThe University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a hybrid-online master of social work degree program – known as the iMSW – that offers preparation for clinical practice with concentrations in Advocacy, Youth and Family Services, Health Care, Mental Health, and School Social Work. The school offers both traditional admissions for those who do not have a bachelor’s degree in social work and advanced standing admissions for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work. On either track, face-to-face classes typically take place once per month on the Urbana-Champaign campus. A fully online MSW concentrating in Leadership and Social Change is also offered; only students who qualify for advanced standing admissions are considered for the fully online Leadership and Social Change MSW. Regardless of concentration or track, all students must complete at least one semester of internship/practicum. An on-campus dual MSW/MBA program is also offered through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a doctoral program in social work. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a renowned research institution and the School of Social Work hosts an award-winning faculty with research interests and practical experience across the field of social work.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 13,0191
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 1,6921
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): N.Av.
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.012
Other admission requirements: 20 undergraduate credit hours in social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and biological sciences; experience in human services; resume, personal statement, and three letters of recommendation required

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $57912
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,56412
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $18,2241
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $57912
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $3,24912
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $31,8111

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Higher Learning Commission
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW, Traditional MSW
Program length: Varies
First online program offered in: N.Av.
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 76%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 24%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Leadership and Social Change; Advocacy; Youth and Family Services; Health Care; Mental Health; School Social Work
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Generalist SW Practice Methods; Social Welfare Policy and Services; Social Work Research Methods; Human Development; Advanced Clinical Assessment & Interviewing; Field Practicum & Integrative Seminar; Mental Disorders; Social Work and the Law

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): N.Av.
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 52%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $57,6006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 1.7%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 94%6

Austin Peay State University (Mid-Tennessee Collaborative MSW Program)

austin peay state university logoAustin Peay State University offers a hybrid-online master of social work program that is offered in collaboration with Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee State University. Students from all three campuses enroll in the same hybrid MSW program, enlarging networking and learning opportunities. Both traditional admissions for students who do not have a BSW and advanced standing admissions for those who have a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program are offered. The traditional track takes 60 credit hours to complete, while the advanced standing track takes 30 credit hours to complete. Either track may be pursued on a full- or part-time basis. Both tracks concentrate on the advanced generalist approach to social work, preparing students to work across the social work spectrum. Students can choose to focus on specific areas of social work, such as clinical or administrative, during their fieldwork placements. In the hybrid-online model, many courses are offered online and students typically visit campus for traditional classwork once per week. Students who are willing to commit to employment with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) following graduation may qualify for the DCS Stipend Program, which offers generous financial assistance.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 8311
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 4901
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 80%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 2.75 (3.0 for Advanced Standing)13
Other admission requirements: GRE required; undergraduate coursework in the liberal arts; three letters of recommendation; personal essay

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $76813
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $44013
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $9,2151
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $76813
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $69913
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $21,7971

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW, Traditional MSW
Program length: One to four years
First online program offered in: N.Av.
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 30%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 70%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: None
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: MSW Practice; Human Behavior and the Social Environment; Research; Social Welfare Policy and Services; Social Justice & Equity for Multicultural Populations; Practicum

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 83%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 61%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $34,1006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 11.8%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 85%6

California State University San Bernardino

california state university san bernardino logoThe online MSW program at California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) takes a generalist perspective that places equal emphasis on micro and macro practice in social work. The fully online program is modeled after the on-campus program and is similarly designed to be completed within three years. The curriculum allows students to complete field placements, which will take place during each year of study, in their local area. The 90 quarter-hour program is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any field, though an academic background in behavioral and social sciences is given preference in admissions. Courses are offered in a 10-week format, which allows students to focus on select topics during any given quarter. Advanced standing is not currently offered for the distance education MSW at CSUSB. Those who are currently working for county or tribal children’s services agencies may be eligible for the distance education Title IV-E pathway program, which includes stipends to assist with the cost of education. CSUSB also offers an on-campus dual Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration program that thoroughly prepares future social workers for administrative and management positions in social service.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 2,2911
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 2061
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 37%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.014
Other admission requirements: One year of relevant full-time experience (may be waived); autobiographical statement; undergraduate coursework in social research methods, human behavior, and human physiology

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $40014
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,79014
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $8,3191
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $40014
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $2,05414
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $17,8231

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Traditional MSW
Program length: Three years
First online program offered in: N.Av.
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 45%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 55%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: None
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Foundation Micro Practice; Foundation Macro Practice; Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Birth Through Adolescence; Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Adulthood and Aging; Social Work Research; Foundation Field Work

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 38%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 32%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $44,8006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 5.7%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 89%6

Campbellsville University

campbellsville university logoCampbellsville University’s online master of social work program offers a traditional track for non-BSW students as well as advanced standing admissions for those with a BSW. The traditional track consists of a minimum of 60 credit hours, while the advanced standing track consists of 30 credit hours. All students will complete a total of 900 practicum hours; the field placements can be completed in the student’s local area. The curriculum follows an advanced generalist model, though a 30-credit hour concentration in clinical social work is offered. Clinical concentration courses include Psychopathology, Clinical Diagnosis and Behavioral Psychopharmacology, and Clinical Administration and Ethics. The Carver School of Social Work at Campbellsville University promotes the concept that social work is a helping profession that should assist in eliminating human suffering. Towards this aim, MSW students are encouraged to work to change institutions to meet community needs and to work to help clients uncover with their own strengths and connect them to available resources. Traditional, on-campus MSW tracks are also offered as well as a hybrid-online MSW option for those who seek more face-to-face interaction.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 9431
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 4621
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 67%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.015
Other admission requirements: 15 undergraduate credit hours in liberal arts; three letters of recommendation

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $55915
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $47915
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $12,2041
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $55915
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $47915
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $12,2041

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW; Traditional MSW
Program length: Two years
First online program offered in: 2013-2014
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 47%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 53%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Clinical Social Work
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Foundation Practicum; Human Development; Research Methods; Practice Foundation I – Individuals; Practice Foundation II – Families; Practice Foundation III – Communities; Practice Foundation IV – Groups; Cultural Competency; Policy & Practice

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 38%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): 514
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 36%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $32,4006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 13.5%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 89%6

Boston University

boston university logoThe Boston University School of Social Work offers an online master of social work with two concentrations to choose from, clinical social work or macro social work. The clinical concentration is designed for those seeking clinical social work licensure who wish to practice direct interventions and therapies. The macro social work concentration is for those who seek careers addressing the root causes of social problems while working with communities and institutions to promote positive change. There are three admissions avenues for prospective students: the traditional track for non-BSW students, the human service experience track for those with two years of human services experience but no BSW, and the advanced standing track for those who hold a CSWE-accredited BSW. On all tracks, students complete at least one field internship consisting of 1,000 clock hours. All tracks also focus on evidence-based practice while developing students’ research skills. While classes are held online, not all courses are asynchronous; students should be prepared to commit to attending live-streamed classes on Sunday and Monday evenings. The school offers rolling admissions with semester start dates in September, January, and May.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 14,7511
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 2,5081
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 75%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.016
Other admission requirements: Personal statement; resume; field evaluation (for Advanced Standing/HSE students only); three letters of reference; if no BSW, liberal arts background preferred

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $82516
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,53016
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $51,7161
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $82516
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,53016
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $51,7161

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW; Traditional MSW; Human Services Experience MSW
Program length: Two to three years
First online program offered in: N.Av.
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 66%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 34%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Clinical Social Work; Macro Social Work
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Clinical Practice with Individuals; Clinical Practice with Groups; Clinical Practice with Families; Intro to Macro Practice; Planning and Program Development; Community Organizing; Human Services Management

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 43%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 26%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $62,0006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 1.3%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 93%6

University of South Dakota

university of south dakota logoThe University of South Dakota’s online master of social work program focuses on preparing students to provide professional services to individuals and communities in South Dakota and the surrounding region. In addition to developing practice skills, students learn the fundamentals of administration and supervision, community development, advocacy, and policy analysis. Both traditional admissions and advanced standing admissions are available. Traditional students who do not have a BSW will complete 60 credit hours to earn the MSW. Advanced standing students who hold a CSWE-accredited BSW will complete 36 credit hours. The curriculum for both tracks takes an advanced generalist focus, which allows students to gain knowledge and experience in working with diverse communities across the micro, macro, and mezzo levels of practice. A traditional on-campus MSW is also offered. All students are provided with assistance in arranging appropriate field placements, which can be completed in the student’s local area. MSW students are expected to complete 250 hours of fieldwork each semester. Several social work-specific scholarships and grants are available to graduate students enrolled in the University of South Dakota MSW program.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 2,5381
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 9901
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): N.Av.
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.017
Other admission requirements: Statement of purpose; cover letter and resume; three letters of recommendation; APA-style paper focusing on social justice issues

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $45117
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $38017
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $8,8181
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $45117
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $68117
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $15,7861

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Higher Learning Commission
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW; Traditional MSW
Program length: One to two years
First online program offered in: N.Av.
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 52%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 48%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Advanced Generalist
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Diversity and Social Justice in Rural and Urban Communities; Practice-Informed Qualitative Research; Mental Health: Assessment and Treatment; Social Work Topics; Practice with Communities; Advanced Practice with Individuals, Children, and Families; Practice-Informed Qualitative Research; Advanced Field Education; Advanced Social Policy; Practice with Organizations, Administration, and Supervision

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): N.Av.
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 32%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $40,2006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 5.3%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 95%6

University of Denver

university of denver logoThe online master of social work at the University of Denver offers a unique concentration in mental health and trauma that prepares graduates to work with individuals, families, and communities facing related challenges. The program is grounded in social and economic justice with an emphasis on cultural responsiveness and offers traditional admissions as well as advanced standing admissions. On either track, students may choose to study either full-time or part-time. Traditional students will complete two internships, one each during the foundation year and the concentration year. Advanced standing students will complete an advanced internship during the concentration year. Both local and out-of-state students receive placement assistance in arranging internships that will fit their education and career goals. All classes take place online; live-streamed class times can be selected to fit students’ schedules. Start dates occur four times per year on a flexible rolling admissions schedule. The University of Denver also offers on-campus MSW programs at three convenient locations as well as a PhD in social work.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 5,8601
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 1,1721
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 78%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 2.518
Other admission requirements: Career goals statement; summary of experience; two letters of recommendation; resume

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $92918
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,37218
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $47,8231
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $92918
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,37218
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $47,8231

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Higher Learning Commission
Online social work programs offered: Traditional MSW, Advanced Standing MSW
Program length: 18 months to four years
First online program offered in: 2006-2007
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 53%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 47%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Mental Health and Trauma
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Advanced Standing Seminar; Power, Privilege and Oppression; Evidence for Practice

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 28%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): 14
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 28%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): Five years5

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: Yes
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $53,8006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 2%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 91%6

University of South Florida

university of south florida logoThe University of South Florida offers an online MSW program for advanced standing students who have earned a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program within the past five years. The online advanced standing program can be pursued full- or part-time. Courses are taken on a set sequence that is designed to steadily advance students’ knowledge and practice skills. Courses follow a cohort model, meaning students take classes with the same peers from semester to semester, encouraging networking and deeper interactions. While taking courses, students will also complete 20 clock hours per week in a field placement. Many courses are taken online asynchronously with no live instruction; however, select courses are live-streamed and require students to be logged in at set days and times. Students who do not have a CSWE-accredited BSW may be interested in pursuing admission to the on-campus MSW program. The University of South Florida also offers a dual Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health program for on-campus students, as well as a PhD program in social work.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 11,4001
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 2,1661
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 51%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.019
Other admission requirements: Must have a “B” or better in all undergraduate social work courses; three reference forms; resume; personal statement; essay on social problems

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $34819
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $43119
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $10,4281
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $77319
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $87719
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $21,1261

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW
Program length: One to two years
First online program offered in: N.Av.
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 59%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 41%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: None
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Psychopathology; Social Work Practices with Individuals; Social Work Practice with Couples and Families; Evaluations of Clinical Practice in Diverse Settings; Social Welfare Policy Development & Analysis; Field Instruction; Health, Illness, and Disability; Social Work Practice with Groups; Capstone Project

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): 100%2
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 37%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $41,8006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 5%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 91%6

University of New England

university of new england logoThe University of New England was the first institution of higher education in the US to establish a fully online, CSWE-accredited MSW program. The online MSW at the University of New England promotes dignity, social justice, and the potential for development at the individual and community levels. Both traditional and advanced standing admissions are offered. The traditional route requires 64 credit hours to complete, while the advanced standing route requires 35 credit hours. Students may choose to specialize in one of three areas: Clinical Practice; Community Practice; or Integrated Practice, which combines the core of both the clinical and community practice specializations. In all MSW online programs at the University of New England, students are taught how to advocate with and for individuals and communities while maximizing resources and human potential. Applications for admission are accepted on a rolling basis and students are admitted three terms per year (spring, summer, and fall). Courses are offered in eight-week terms, which allows students to focus on fewer courses at one time. The University of New England also offers on-campus and hybrid-online MSW options.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 4,0161
Number of graduate students enrolled in online programs (campuswide): 2,0881
Acceptance rate (Department of Social Work): 41%2
Minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.020
Other admission requirements: Advanced standing requires graduation from CSWE-accredited BSW program within the last seven years and coursework prerequisites; experience in human services preferred

Tuition & Aid

In-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $92020
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $92020
In-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $18,0881
Out-of-state tuition (per online credit hour*): $92020
Out-of-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $92020
Out-of-state tuition for academic year (on-campus, including fees): $18,0881

Notes:
*The cost per online credit hour does not include distance education fees or other expenses such as books and exam proctoring fees.

Academics & Faculty

Academics

Regional accrediting body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Online social work programs offered: Advanced Standing MSW; Traditional MSW
Program length: 16 months to three years
First online program offered in: N.Av.
Social work program accreditation: CSWE
Percentage of graduate students studying full-time (campuswide): 83%1
Percentage of graduate students studying part-time (campuswide): 17%1

Social Work Coursework

Tracks/concentrations offered: Clinical Practice; Community Practice; Integrated Practice
Fieldwork required?: Yes
Thesis required?: No
Core courses: Integrating Clinical/Community Practice Frameworks; Contemporary Theory of Social Work Practice: Individuals and Families; Advanced Social Work Practice with Families; Program Development and Community Practice; Administration and Supervision; Advanced Psychosocial Assessment; Community Organizing/Community Building

Faculty

Percentage of full-time faculty (School of Social Work): N.Av.
Full-time instructional faculty with PhD (online, campuswide): N.Av.
Tenured faculty (campuswide): 18%5
Average experience teaching online (campuswide): N.Av.

Student Support & Success

Student Support

Technical support?: Yes
Live tutoring?: No
Dedicated social work career center?: No

Graduate Statistics

Median salary six years post-grad (campuswide): $45,0006
Three-year default rate on student loans (campuswide): 2.2%1
Percentage of grads employed two years after graduation (campuswide): 96%6

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can I become licensed as a social worker with an online MSW?

Answer: An online master’s in social work that holds accreditation from the CSWE and meets the coursework requirements for the state in which you wish to become licensed will be treated in the same way as a degree from a traditional, on-campus program. Depending on state requirements and your degree’s focus, earning your master’s degree in social work online can lead to the Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) or the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) designation after you pass the appropriate exam(s).

Question: How do I know if online learning is right for me?

Answer: If you’re uncertain whether online learning is the right fit for you, some MSW online programs will allow you to audit an online course to test whether it’s a fit for your needs before officially enrolling. There are also a growing number of online learning portals, such as Coursera and Udemy, that offer free or low-cost courses in formats similar to those you will find in for-credit master’s programs.

Question: If my bachelor’s degree wasn’t in social work, can I still become a social worker with an online MSW?

Answer: Yes, you can! Although depending on your transcript you may need to take additional courses to broaden your social work background, many online MSW programs are designed to help students who majored in another subject prepare and qualify for licensure.

Question: How long does it take to earn an MSW online?

Answer: If you have an undergraduate degree in social work (BSW), you may qualify for advanced standing admission to a master’s program. With advanced standing, you can typically earn your MSW in one to two years of study. If you majored in another subject for your bachelor’s degree, an MSW will typically take two to three years to complete.

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Peterson’s: https://www.petersons.com/graduate-schools/
3. Florida State University: https://www.fsu.edu/
4. US News & World Report: https://www.usnews.com/education
5. College Factual: https://www.collegefactual.com/
6. Niche: https://www.niche.com/colleges/
7. Colorado State University: https://www.colostate.edu/
8. University of Missouri: https://missouri.edu/
9. University of Alabama: https://www.ua.edu/
10. Valdosta State University: https://www.valdosta.edu/
11. University of Nevada, Reno: https://www.unr.edu/
12. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: http://illinois.edu/
13. Austin Peay State University: https://www.apsu.edu
14. California State University San Bernardino: https://www.csusb.edu/
15. Campbellsville University: https://www.campbellsville.edu/
16. Boston University: http://www.bu.edu/
17. University of South Dakota: https://www.usd.edu/
18. University of Denver: https://www.du.edu/
19. University of South Florida: http://www.usf.edu/
20. University of New England: http://www.une.edu/