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Florida Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

Earning a social work degree is the first step toward earning a Florida social work license. Candidates can earn these credentials in several areas, including mental health and family therapy. This variety allows individuals to serve their communities in ways that reflect personal priorities and interests.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a national projected increase of 11% in social work positions by 2028. This growth is based on details like an increase in elderly citizens and the growing availability of social workers for criminal offenders.

This page examines social work licensure and certification in Florida, including educational requirements and the professional skills these programs can develop.

Employment Outlook for Social Workers in Florida

Projected Job Growth and Average Salaries for Social Workers in Florida
Social Work Career Job Growth (2016-26) Average Annual Salary
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers 24.3% $44,100
Healthcare Social Workers 25.6% $50,950
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 22.9% $42,640
Social Workers, All Other 11.2% $64,810
Median Salaries for Social Workers by Degree Level (U.S.)
Bachelor of Social Work $49,000
Master of Social Work $52,000
Doctor of Social Work N/A

Social Work Licensure in Florida

Florida offers licenses for clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors, along with a certification for master social workers. All of these credentials require an accredited master's in a related field. For example, a certified master social worker must hold a social work master's degree accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

These credentials also require experience, which may include master's practicums, depending on the license or certification. Candidates also need supervised experience after graduation.

Certified master social workers need at least three total years of experience. Other credentials only require two years after graduation but specify numbers of hours for different purposes. For instance, clinical social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists must each complete 1,500 hours of in-person experience that relates to psychotherapy.

Florida social work licenses also require passing scores on designated tests. As examples, licensed clinical social workers take the clinical exam from the Association of Social Work Boards, and licensed mental health counselors must complete the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination.

For more social work licensing information in your state, visit this page on social work licensing in Florida.

Should You Earn an Online Social Work Degree in Florida?

Social work programs allow candidates to assist diverse groups of people. Candidates can work in schools, help married couples, or assist struggling addicts, and may also provide resources for special needs students, elderly citizens, and veterans. Other possibilities include careers in criminal justice, advocacy, and community service.

While in programs, learners can build skills for social work jobs in Florida. Coursework can address psychology, human behavior, and cultural diversity for establishing rapport and determining client needs. Programs can also hone quantitative and qualitative research skills to guide learners on common social work and advocacy practices. These skills also apply to careers outside of social work. For instance, historians perform research, and public relations specialists consider human behavior when constructing campaigns.

A social work degree-seeker can often complete a practicum or field component that provides professional practice. These experiences may occur at organizations near students' homes and can lead to career opportunities after graduation and licensure.

Some programs may also include a cohort delivery, in which learners can progress through programs in groups. This approach allows students to build relationships with social work candidates across the country.

Since Florida social work licenses require at least a bachelor's degree, any state resident who is interested in a social work career should earn a degree. Candidates should also consider studying online. This learning method familiarizes individuals with technology that they can use to bolster their professional research and perform online counseling sessions.

Florida residents can choose in-state programs to pay resident tuition. However, some online programs may not charge higher tuition for nonresident learners.

Online Social Work Programs by Degree Level

Online Associate
  1. Eastern Florida State College
Online Master's
  1. Florida State University
  2. University of South Florida-Main Campus
  3. University of Central Florida
  4. Saint Leo University

Online Associate Social Work Programs in Florida

Eastern Florida State College -- Associate in Science in Social and Human Services

A public state college located on Florida's Space Coast in Brevard County, Eastern Florida State College is a member of the Florida College System. The university has campuses in Melbourne, Palm Bay, Titusville, and Cocoa, plus an aerospace program at the Kennedy Space Center and a virtual campus that features online learning opportunities for students who require a more flexible degree format. The college offers almost 100 certificate and degree programs, including technical and career opportunities.

EFSC offers an associate in science in social and human services. Students in the program must choose a specialization in either aging services or domestic violence services. The curriculum prepares degree-seekers to pursue employment in social work, psychology, human services, gerontology, and related fields. Many graduates pursue a bachelor's degree after graduation and often end up in master's programs, expanding their career opportunities.

EFSC's online social work associate is an open-access program. Applicants can follow EFSC's standard admission process and are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to plan their courses. EFSC was the first college in the state to offer certificates in aging services and domestic violence, which are also available to students in the online social work associate degree program.

Accreditation

  • Eastern Florida State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Eastern Florida State College's associate in science in social and human services degree is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Admission Requirements: Applicants must complete an entry test to place them in the correct class levels and provide high school transcripts or certificate of completion for the GED

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $104/credit in-state; $406/credit out-of-state

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: ASSW
  • Program Length: 2 years

Social Work Coursework

  • Tracks/Concentrations: Domestic violence service or aging services
  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: No
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • Core Courses: Introduction to human services, basic counseling skills, introduction to crisis intervention, case management in human services, an introduction to group dynamics, ethics in human services

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes

Online Master's Social Work Programs in Florida

Florida State University -- Master of Social Work

Florida State University is a public sea-grant and space-grant research university in Tallahassee, Florida. It is also a senior member of the State University System of Florida. Founded in 1851, FSU's campus is the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida. Comprising more than 110 centers, facilities, institutes, and labs, FSU includes 16 different colleges, allowing degree-seekers a variety of degree opportunities, including a Florida social work degree.

A program that consistently ranks as one of the best online social work programs in Florida, FSU's master of social work degree uses both on-campus and online options. The program's rigorous curriculum prepares degree-seekers to pursue social work careers and certification opportunities after graduation.

The 61-credit curriculum, which includes social work courses and electives, is most often completed within two years. Degree-seekers can tailor the program to their career goals and personal interests by pursuing a concentration in either social leadership or clinical social work. FSU also offers an advanced-standing MSW, which bachelor of social work holders can complete within one year, as long as their BSWs from CSWE-accredited programs.

Accreditation

  • Florida State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Florida State University's master of social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • GRE required?: Yes, unless applicants are eligible for the GRE waiver
  • Other Admission Requirements: Admissions application, official transcripts, current resume, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $215/credit in-state; $720/credit out-of-state
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $480/credit in-state; $1,110/credit out-of-state

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: BSW, MSW, Ph.D.
  • Program Length: 2 years/61 credits

Social Work Coursework

  • Tracks/Concentrations: Clinical social work, social leadership
  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • Core Courses: The social work profession, human behavior and the social environment, social work practice, social welfare policy and services, social work practice with groups and communities, introduction to social work research
  • In-Person Requirements: No

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes

University of South Florida - Main Campus -- Advanced Standing Master of Social Work

A public research university located in Tampa, Florida, the University of South Florida belongs to the State University System of Florida. The fourth-largest public university in Florida, USF was founded in 1956. The USF system features three independently accredited institutions: USF Tampa, USF Sarasota-Manatee, and USF St. Petersburg. The main campus, USF Tampa, offers over 130 graduate, specialist, and doctoral programs and over 80 undergraduate opportunities in a variety of disciplines across 14 colleges.

USF Tampa's advanced-standing master of social work program features a rigorous application process and does not guarantee admission to all applicants who meet the minimum admissions criteria. The program follows a cohort model, meaning students study with the same group of peers from beginning to end. The program's focus on social work ethics and professional standards helps graduates pursue clinical social work positions working with families, individuals, groups, and communities.

Master's degree graduates can enroll in USF's Ph.D. in social work opportunity to further expand their knowledge and skills, which allows them to pursue more advanced Florida social work careers with higher salaries.

Accreditation

  • The University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College (SACSCOC).
  • The University of South Florida's advanced standing master of social work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in social work
  • GRE required?: No
  • Other Admission Requirements: Two admission essays, internship evaluation, resume, three letters of recommendation

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $105/credit in-state; $210/credit out-of-state
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $350/credit in-state; $430/credit out-of-state

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: MSW, Advanced Standing MSW
  • Program Length: 2 years/60 credits

Social Work Coursework

  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: No
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • In-Person Requirements: No

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes

University of Central Florida -- Master of Social Work

The University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, enrolls more students than any other university in the United States, with more than 66,000 students across nearly 160 countries and all 50 states, including Washington, D.C. Founded by the Florida Legislature in 1963 as the Florida Technology University, UCF provides support to the U.S. Space Program at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center. The university adopted its current name in 1978 and is now a space-grant university, though it offers courses across many disciplines.

Students at UCF can pursue a master of social work through a flexible online format. The program is offered through the College of Health Professions and Sciences and focuses on human rights, addiction and social welfare, and homelessness. The program caters to students who do not hold a bachelor of social work degree or who earned a BSW more than five years prior to enrolling in the master's option.

This nine-semester program features clinical specialization opportunities along with field placements that cultivate practical experience for degree-seekers. Graduates are prepared to pursue successful careers in social work.

Accreditation

  • The University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College (SACSCOC).
  • The University of Central Florida's master of social work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor of social work
  • GRE required?: Yes
  • Other Admission Requirements: Official transcripts, completed admissions application

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $105/credit
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $490/credit

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: MSW
  • Program Length: 2 years/62 credits

Social Work Coursework

  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • In-Person Requirements: No

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes
  • Special Services Provided to Online Students: UCF Online Connect Center, coaching

Saint Leo University -- Master of Social Work

A private, Roman Catholic, liberal arts university located in Saint Leo, Florida, Saint Leo University was established in 1889. Associated with the Holy Name Monastery and Saint Leo Abbey, the university was the first Roman Catholic college in the state and is one of the five largest Catholic colleges in the United States. Now featuring more than 40 education offices and centers, Saint Leo was one of the first American universities to provide distance learning opportunities to degree-seekers. Saint Leo began educating military service members in 1973 and today the university is a leader in educating active-duty service members.

Degree-seekers who pursue a master of social work degree at Saint Leo can choose which program format best fits their career and educational goals: the advanced standing full-time or part-time options, the master of social work three-year program, or the master of social work two-year program. Most students enroll full time in the two-year option.

Courses in this program explore social work practices in the military, review clinical practice for couples and families, explore ethical foundations of social work practice, and cover psychopathology. The online program is only available to students residing in Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, or Georgia.

Accreditation

  • Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College (SACSCOC).
  • Saint Leo University's master of social work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in social work, including statistics or research methods courses
  • GRE required?: Yes
  • Other Admission Requirements: Admissions application, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, 3-5 page goal statement, cohort agreement form

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $370/credit
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $510/credit

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: MSW, advanced standing MSW
  • Program Length: 2 years/62 credits

Social Work Coursework

  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • Core Courses: Human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policy, methods of social work practice with individuals and families, social work research methods
  • In-Person Requirements: No

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes
  • Special Services Provided to Online Students: Center for Online Learning

Accreditation Information for Florida Social Work Schools

School Graduation Rate1 Transfer-Out Rate1 Associate’s SW Program Bachelor’s SW Program Graduate SW Program CSWE Accred.5 US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking3 Net Price*1
Barry University 36% 47% No Yes Yes Yes #105 tie $24610
Florida A & M University 40% 4% No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $12075
Florida Atlantic University 46% 12% No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $13360
Florida Gulf Coast University 49% 15% No Yes Yes Yes #201 tie $12948
Florida International University 54% 6% No Yes Yes Yes #88 tie $11552
Florida Memorial University 39% 2% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $15635
Florida State University 79% 7% No Yes Yes Yes #38 tie $16737
Saint Leo University 45% 43% No Yes Yes Yes #174 tie $19466
Southeastern University 42% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $19679
St Petersburg College 33% 13% Yes Yes No No Not Ranked $7499
University of Central Florida 70% 8% No Yes Yes Yes #88 tie $14745
University of North Florida 23% 12% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $15249
University of South Florida 67% 6% No Yes Yes Yes #88 tie $11355
University of West Florida 51% 9% No Yes Yes Yes #220 tie $10759
Warner University 38% N/A No Yes Yes Yes Not Ranked $15545

*The net price is calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics by subtracting the average amount of aid (including grants and scholarships) from the total published cost of attendance for in-state/in-district students, which includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. To gain a better understanding of how to interpret the statistics discussed in this table, see our list of important definitions.

Directory of Florida Social Work School Programs

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Barry University*
11300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33161-6695
(800) 756-6000
http://www.barry.edu

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (Florida A&M)*
1500 S Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850) 599-3000
http://www.famu.edu

Florida Atlantic University*
777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
(561) 297-3000
http://www.fau.edu

Florida Gulf Coast University*
10501 FGCU Blvd S
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
(239) 590-1000
http://www.fgcu.edu

Florida International University*
11200 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-2000
http://www.fiu.edu

Florida Memorial University*
15800 NW 42nd Ave
Miami Gardens, FL 33054-6199
(305) 626-3600
http://www.fmuniv.edu

Florida State University*
222 S Copeland St
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
(850) 644-2525
http://www.fsu.edu

Saint Leo University*
33701 State Rd 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200
https://www.saintleo.edu

Student Review: “The Master’s program at Saint Leo University marketed itself to be friendly toward those people who had work and/or home obligations and couldn’t attend classes in person. It’s an online program with webcam classes and mandatory internships. I felt like the courses were not structured very well and did not build from one semester to the next. I also found that the program itself was very rigid with scheduling and deadlines, and was almost impossible for someone with a full time job. I received little to no help in locating a placement for my internship, even though I was assured through the application process that I would be able to complete my internship on the weekend. I did not find many helpful staff members in my time at Saint Leo. I learned some good social work skills, but I felt as though a social work program should have been better at communication and understanding.” – Student at Saint Leo University
stars-2

Seminole State College
100 Weldon Blvd
Sanford, FL 32773
(407) 708-4722
https://www.seminolestate.edu

Student Review: “Social Work at SSC is a very difficult curriculum, however, it was a fulfilling and pleasant experience. I liked that the teachers thought outside the box and they had different ways of thinking compared to ones that I had encountered. The classes were very in depth and it taught me how to deal with hard situations in a timely manner. The program had a couple of social workers come throughout the year to speak to us and shows us what they do. I took about half of the classes online and it was very easy since it left more time to study. This program showed us what it is truly like out on the field and taught us that you can never get too careful especially in the Social Work field. The program also helped me find the job that I have now working for the Government doing social work for them. Overall, I was satisfied with the program and I feel like it taught me a lot.” – Student at Seminole State College
stars-4

Southeastern University*
1000 Longfellow Blvd
Lakeland, FL 33801-6034
(863) 667-5000

St. Petersburg College
6021 142nd Ave N
Clearwater, FL 33760-2822
(727) 341-4772
http://www.spcollege.edu

University of Central Florida*
4000 Central FL Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-2000
http://www.ucf.edu

University of North Florida*
1 UNF Dr
Jacksonville, FL 32224
(904) 620-1000
http://www.unf.edu

University of South Florida*
4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL 33620-9951
(813) 974-2011
http://www.usf.edu

Student Review: “The social work program is an amazing opportunity at the University of South Florida; it has a warm community atmosphere and the most helpful professors and academic advisors I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. I went here for my undergraduate degree in social work and knew this was where I wanted to go back right away for the masters program. The professors are very helpful, I even worked on an undergraduate honors college research project with one of the professors. There are various opportunities and internships in the community that this college has connections with that have made me feel ready to enter the workforce upon graduation. The classes available have really opened my mind up to the biopsychosocial perspective as well as the NASW code of ethics and other important aspects of the social services field; and how to use them in the practical sense. I would highly recommend this program to anyone considering entering the career of social work.” – Student at University of South Florida
stars-5

University of West Florida*
11000 University Pkwy
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
(850) 474-2000
http://www.uwf.edu

Warner University*
13895 Hwy 27
Lake Wales, FL 33859-8797
(863) 638-1426

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-private-colleges/index.php?table=all
3. US News & World Report Social Work Best Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings
4. Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018: /degrees/masters/online/
5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx