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Maryland Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 11% increase in positions for social workers from 2018-28, which translates to more than 81,000 new jobs. An online master's degree in social work can lead to a rewarding career in the growing social work field. Social workers aid clients with mental disorders, help them overcome difficult situations, and advocate for better social services.

This guide explores master's-level social work programs, social work licensure, and social work jobs in Maryland. The information below can help you decide whether a master's in social work fits your career goals and interests.

Employment Outlook for Social Workers in Maryland

Projected Job Growth and Average Salaries for Social Workers in Maryland
Social Work Career Job Growth (2016-26) Average Annual Salary
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers 15.8% $53,780
Healthcare Social Workers 9.7% $58,350
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 2.7% $59,280
Social Workers, All Other 3.8% $67,810
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 $68,000

Social Work Licensure in Maryland

The Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners offers licenses for different types of social workers. Bachelor's degree-holders can apply for the licensed bachelor social worker (LBSW) credential. A master's degree in social work qualifies graduates for the licensed master social worker (LMSW), licensed certified social worker (LCSW), and licensed certified social worker-clinical (LCSW-C) credentials.

In addition to earning a social work degree from a program with accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education, candidates for a Maryland social work license must pass the appropriate national examination from the Association of Social Work Boards.

LCSW candidates must complete 3,000 hours of supervised practice over at least two years. LCSW-C candidates need at least 12 academic credits of clinical coursework and 3,000 hours of supervised experience completed over at least two years.

For more social work licensing information in your state, check out this social work guide for Maryland.

Should You Earn an Online Social Work Degree in Maryland?

Online programs often attract students who need scheduling flexibility. Online master's in social work programs often appeal to bachelor's-level social workers looking to expand their career options without leaving their current job. Many distance MSW programs deliver all program components, apart from practicum hours, fully online. An online MSW is also a great choice for professionals who want to change careers, since many programs accept students who do not possess a bachelor's in social work.

Maryland students pursuing a social work degree can consider in-state schools to take advantage of resident tuition rates. Some institutions charge all online learners in-state tuition rates, regardless of where they live.

Online social work programs prepare students for positions like clinical social worker, child and family social worker, and mental health social worker.

Online social work programs prepare students for positions like clinical social worker, child and family social worker, and mental health social worker. Learners in MSW programs gain the assessment, evaluation, and intervention skills they need to work with groups, individuals, and families. Students may also build skills in specialized practice areas, such as substance abuse intervention, child welfare, disabilities, and trauma. A master's degree in social work qualifies graduates to become licensed clinical social workers, who treat emotional, psychological, and behavioral disorders.

In addition to developing hard skills, students in social work programs can network with classmates and instructors. Many schools offer job fairs and career advising to help students prepare to obtain employment after graduation.

Online Social Work Programs by Degree Level

Online Master's
  1. Salisbury University

Online Master's Social Work Programs in Maryland

Salisbury University

Based in Maryland, Salisbury University is a public institution that offers more than 60 academic programs. Students pursuing Maryland social work careers can choose from two master's-level options: a 62-credit standard program and a 32-credit advanced standing track.

The regular MSW program, for students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than social work, includes introductory courses on the basics of social work practice, philosophy, and ethics. The program requires also requires 440 more practicum hours than the advanced standing program, which comprises advanced social work courses and 672 field hours.

Students in either program complete the same 32-credit advanced curriculum. The majority of the curriculum is fixed, but students can choose an elective in substance abuse assessment and intervention or child welfare.

Online students enter the MSW program in the fall and complete the curriculum alongside a 20-student cohort. Salisbury offers all online courses year round, in seven-week blocks. At the beginning of the program, students participate in a mandatory online orientation to become familiar with the online learning platform. Students in the advanced standing program can graduate in 17 months, while learners in the regular program require three years.

Accreditation

  • Salisbury University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Salisbury University's master of social work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.

Admission

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Prerequisites: Courses in sociology, psychology, and statistics
  • GRE required?: No
  • Other Admission Requirements: The advanced standing program requires applicants to have two years of work experience and submit four recommendation letters.

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Year (In-State/Out-of-State): $7,264/$17,330
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $412/$746

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: Advanced standing MSW; regular MSW
  • Program Length: 3 years for 62-credit option; 17 months for 32-credit option
  • Information Relevant for Transfer Students: Students from non-MSW programs may transfer six credits. Transfer students must complete 30 credits and all field education requirements at Salisbury University.

Social Work Coursework

  • Tracks/Concentrations: N/A
  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 1,112 hours
  • Capstone/Thesis Required: No

Accreditation Information for Maryland Social Work Schools

School Name Graduation Rate1 Transfer-Out Rate1 Associate’s SW Program Bachelor’s SW Program Graduate SW Program CSWE Accredited5 US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking3 Net Price*1
Bowie State University 33% 27% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $11,663
Coppin State University 18% 22% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $9,407
Frostburg State University 49% 30% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $12,952
Hood College 71% 21% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $23,850
McDaniel College 68% 15% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $22,917
Morgan State University 32% 18% No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $14,654
Salisbury University 66% 18% No Yes Yes Yes #174 tie $16,683
University of Maryland, Baltimore N/A N/A No Yes Yes Yes #17 tie N/A
University of Maryland-Baltimore County 61% 25% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $14,137
Washington Adventist University 40% N/A No Yes No No Not Ranked $17,055

*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 Maryland 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).

Bowie State University*
14000 Jericho Park Rd
Bowie, MD 20715-9465
(301) 860-4000
http://www.bowiestate.edu

Coppin State University*
2500 West North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21216-3698
(410) 951-3000
http://www.coppin.edu

Frostburg State University*
101 Braddock Rd
Frostburg, MD 21532-1099
(301) 687-4000
http://www.frostburg.edu

Hood College*
401 Rosemont Ave
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 663-3131
http://www.hood.edu

McDaniel College*
2 College Hill
Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 848-7000
http://www.mcdaniel.edu

Morgan State University*
1700 E Cold Spring Ln
Baltimore, MD 21251-0001
(443) 885-3333
http://www.morgan.edu

Salisbury University*
1101 Camden Ave
Salisbury, MD 21801-6862
(410) 543-6000
https://www.salisbury.edu/

Student Review: “Salisbury University’s Bachelor of Social Work program has been incredibly rewarding. As a satellite student, I was able to attend hybrid classes at a times convenient for non-traditional students like myself, allowing me to continue working full time. My academic advisor and field placement coordinator worked with me to find a position that would suit my interests and goals, and I have had wonderful hands-on learning experiences. The professors I have had have been interesting and engaged, and found creative activities to challenge our critical thinking skills. The coursework, particularly within the final semesters, were rigorous and I feel prepared to sit for my licensure exam and begin working with clients. One area in which improvement could be made would be recruiting students, faculty, and staff from more diverse backgrounds and cultures. The coursework strives to incorporate cultural competence and diversity, yet my classmates and professors have been relatively culturally-homogenous.” – Student at Salisbury University
stars-5

University of Maryland-Baltimore*
620 W Lexington St
Baltimore, MD 21201-1627
(410) 706-3100
https://www.umaryland.edu

Student Review: “My experience at my university’s social work program was amazing. I had the chance to work with lots of influential people in the field and also had the opportunity to do social work internships and work with kids that were not getting the proper care they needed at home. My program was quite rigorous and involved a lot of work outside of the class setting, including internships and working with kids from different families and kids with behavioral issues, academic issues, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at University of Maryland and am glad I chose to do social work. I think this field is very under appreciated, but I am glad to be helping those individuals who need it most.” – Student at University of Maryland
stars-4

University of Maryland-Baltimore County*
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
(410) 455-1000
http://www.umbc.edu

Student Review: “I enjoyed my professors in the program, but I didn’t feel like it was as challenging as other programs. UMBC is a STEAM-heavy school, so they aren’t as focused on the humanities. This is especially hard on social work, as we were already a small program and almost considered an offshoot of UMB (the graduate school) instead of our own actual program. I felt the field placement team worked very hard to find suitable placements and loved having seminars monthly to discuss what was working and not working at field. Overall, I wouldn’t suggest it as a terminal degree program — I think another school would do a BSW better– but it did prepare me well to go into an advanced standing program.” – Student at University of Maryland-Baltimore County
stars-4

University of Maryland University College
1616 McCormick Dr
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
(410) 706-7790
https://www.umuc.edu/

Student Review: “My academic career at UMUC majoring in Social Work/Psychology was all over the board in terms of ratings. My likes included some of the most educated and experienced teachers in the field of social work and counseling psychology. I loved learning from someone who knew what they were teaching on a professional level. My dislikes included some teachers that were impossible to work with and no support or complaint box to file in. The opportunity the school gives active duty military and people at different stages in life is priceless. But having even one of the terrible teachers comes at a steep price.” – Student at University of Maryland University College
stars-4

Washington Adventist University
7600 Flower Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912
(301) 891-4000

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