Ohio – Featured Online Programs in Social Work

By: SocialWorkGuide.org Staff
Last Updated: April 2020

Social work students can focus on a specific issue to prepare to work with certain types of individuals. For example, social workers can help terminally ill patients, the elderly, children, criminal offenders, addicts, and veterans. These professionals offer suggestions for change, build programs, and connect individuals with resources.

Candidates can pursue clinical licensure to provide medical diagnoses. According to PayScale, licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) earn an average of $57,000 per year, which exceeds the 2017 average national income by more than $6,000. Additionally, social workers typically earn higher salaries as they gain experience. Licensed clinical social workers with 20 years of experience earn an average annual salary of $64,000, according to PayScale.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects social work positions to grow by 11% from 2018-28. These statistics indicate ongoing employment options for graduates pursuing social work jobs in Ohio, along with opportunities for salary increases.

Featured Online Programs in Social Work

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Online Social Work Degree Programs in Ohio

UniversityDegree Program
Union Institute & University – OHBachelor’s in Social Work (BSW)
Ohio State University-Main Campus – OHMaster’s in Social Work (MSW)
Case Western Reserve University – OHMaster’s in Social Work (MSW)

Employment Outlook for Social Workers in Ohio

Projected Job Growth and Average Salaries for Social Workers in Ohio
Social Work CareerJob Growth (2016-26)Average Annual Salary
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers16.0%$44,840
Healthcare Social Workers16.1%$52,910
Child, Family, and School Social Workers17.1%$45,030
Social Workers, All Other12.8%$51,490
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 Ohio

Ohio’s Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board requires candidates for the licensed social worker (LSW) credential to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in social work. LSW candidates must submit an $80 fee, undergo a criminal background check, and pass the bachelor’s or master’s exam from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Registration for each multiple-choice ASWB exam costs $230. Applicants must also view an online video about professional standards.

Candidates for the licensed independent social worker (LISW) credential must hold a social work master’s degree. Candidates should hold two years of post-master’s fieldwork comprising at least 3,000 supervised hours. Candidates for this Ohio social work license must pass the multiple-choice ASWB clinical or generalist exam; each exam costs $260. LISW candidates must also watch the professional standards video and pass a criminal background check.

Featured Online Programs in Social Work

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Should You Earn an Online Social Work Degree in Ohio?

Candidates for an Ohio social work license must hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s programs in the field cover methods and strategies for social work practice and may also address field-related policies and legal concerns. Learners often examine social work administration, community structures, cultural diversity, and human psychology.

Social work bachelor’s programs may require a practicum or internship, which can lead to employment opportunities after graduation. Students in bachelor’s programs gain knowledge, experience, and connections that can lead to professional success.

According to the BLS, Ohio boasts the fourth-highest employment for general social workers.

According to the BLS, Ohio boasts the fourth-highest employment for general social workers. The Southern Ohio nonmetropolitan area provides a high concentration of employment for mental health and substance abuse social workers. These numbers indicate growing opportunities for social workers in the state, especially considering the BLS projects social work positions to increase 11% nationally from 2018-28.

Social work degrees also qualify learners for positions that do not require licensure. For example, graduates can work as social and community service managers. For this profession, only four states offer higher employment levels than Ohio. Additionally, Ohio social and community service managers earn an average salary $1,540 higher than the national average for the occupation.

Resident learners often visit campus for seminars and events, while out-of-state students may engage with facultythrough virtual meetings.

Online students gain technological skills applicable to data management and research tasks. Licensed social workers may apply these skills when conducting client sessions online. Distance learners also gain experience with discussion boards and online group projects to prepare students for virtual client meetings.

In- and out-of-state learners can consider an online education in Ohio. However, social work program curricula typically reflect the state’s licensure standards, so students planning to work in other states should ensure their program meets state licensure requirements. Resident learners often visit campus for seminars and events, while out-of-state students may engage with faculty through virtual meetings. Out-of-state students can look for schools that charge all online learners the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

Online Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW) Programs in Ohio

Union Institute & University – Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Established in 1964, Union Institute & University hosts academic centers in Ohio, Florida, California, and Vermont. Known for its innovative focus on online and hybrid learning, Union offers specialized services for online learners, including writing center assistance, math tutoring, and career services.

Union’s CSWE-accredited bachelor of arts in social work prepares graduates for careers in social services, child welfare, mental health, addiction specialist, long-term care, and corrections. The 120-credit program emphasizes social justice, empowering students to enact positive social change through professional practice.

Students can complete Union’s online bachelor’s degree through full- or part-time study. Learners work closely with faculty mentors to understand key facets of clinical processes, public and private intervention techniques, community-based organizations, and the fundamentals of generalist practice.

Graduates can educate communities from an ethical standpoint, solve problems through clear communication, and apply disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry to view professional challenges through varied perspectives.


  • Union Institute & University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Union Institute & University bachelor of arts in social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).


  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
  • GRE required?: N/A
  • Other Admission Requirements: Essay


  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $545
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $748
  • Notes: Additional costs may include technology and certified learning assessment fees.


  • Online Social Work Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
  • Program Length: 4 years, 120 credits
  • Information Relevant for Transfer Students: Students can transfer up to 90 credits of college coursework or work experience.

Social Work Coursework

  • Tracks/Concentrations: Generalist practice
  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 400 hours
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: Capstone
  • Core Courses: Introduction to social work; human behavior and the social environment; generalist practice; ethical issues in social work; multicultural issues in social work; research methods in social work; social welfare policy and issues; social welfare policy analysis
  • In-Person Requirements: No

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes
  • Special Services Provided to Online Students: Writing center, math tutoring, career services, veterans services

Online Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Programs in Ohio

Ohio State University-Main Campus – Master of Social Work

Based in Columbus, Ohio State University is a public institution that offers many resources to online learners, including access to real-time writing center consultations, e-tutoring, peer financial coaching, career services, and 24-hour technical support.

Ohio State’s CSWE-accredited online master of social work (MSW) offers a traditional path and an advanced standing alternative program for students with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Advanced standing students can complete the 43-credit program in as few as three semesters. Traditional MSW students must complete 63 credits, typically graduating within two years.

The program prepares graduates for careers in mental health, substance abuse, and child and family services. The curriculum focuses on methods of intervention that help clients directly and through administration, advocacy, policy, and community action. Both tracks allow students to specialize in mental health and substance abuse or child and youth services.

Traditional students enter the program during the fall term, while advanced standing students typically begin in June or August.


  • Ohio State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Ohio State University’s master of social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).


  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Prerequisites: 10 credits of social science
  • GRE required?: No
  • Other Admission Requirements: N/A


  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $4,500-$5,000 flat rate for 12-18 credits/semester
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $764.50
  • Notes:


  • Online Social Work Programs: Advanced Standing MSW; Traditional MSW
  • Program Length: 1-2 years, 43 credits for advanced standing; 2-4 years, 63 credits for traditional
  • Information Relevant for Transfer Students: N/A

Social Work Coursework:

  • Tracks/Concentrations: Mental health and substance abuse; child and youth services
  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 896 hours
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • Core Courses: Integrative seminar on child and youth services; integrative seminar on mental health and substance abuse; evidence in social work practice; professional development; evaluating social work practice; advanced practice methods
  • In-Person Requirements: N/A

Student Support:

  • Technical Support: Yes
  • Special Services Provided to Online Students: Real-time writing center consultations, e-tutoring, peer financial coaching, career services

Case Western Reserve University – Master of Science in Social Administration

Located in Cleveland, Case Western University is a private, nonprofit institution dedicated to online learning. The school offers many free massive open online courses on topics such as leadership, entrepreneurship, and international law, in addition to fully online degree programs. CWRU supports online students through robust technical support, offering detailed orientations and ongoing mentorship.

A program of the School of Applied Sciences, CWRU’s CSWE-accredited master of science in social administration offers concentrations in children, youth, and families; community practice for social change; and mental health with adults.

Students entering the program with a bachelor’s in social work may qualify for CWRU’s advanced standing track. Students may qualify for full or partial advanced standing, transferring up to 24 credits into the program. Full advanced standing students typically need 36 credits and 1-2 years to graduate.

Students pursuing the 60-credit traditional track typically graduate in 2.5 years. The curriculum consists of 24 credits of foundational requirements, such as research methods in social work and social policy, and 36 credits of concentration coursework.


  • Case Western Reserve University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Case Western Reserve University’s master of science in social administration is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).


  • Minimum GPA: N/A
  • Prerequisites: N/A
  • GRE required?: No
  • Other Admission Requirements: Resume highlighting work or volunteer experience; essay


  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $1,517
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-State/Out-of-State): $1,517
  • Notes: Online students pay an additional $20 per credit


  • Online Social Work Programs: Master of Science in Social Administration
  • Program Length: 2.5 years, 60 credits. Timelines reduced for advanced standing students, depending on how many credits they transfer into the program.
  • Information Relevant for Transfer Students: Students with a bachelor’s in social work may apply up to 24 credits to the advanced standing track.

Social Work Coursework

  • Tracks/Concentrations: Children, youth, and families; community practice for social change; mental health with adults]
  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 1,050 hours
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • Core Courses: Research methods in social work; human development child and adolescent; human development adult; social policy; direct practice foundation methods and skills; macro and policy practice skills; theories of oppression and social justice
  • In-Person Requirements: No

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes
  • Special Services Provided to Online Students: Writing center online consultations, personal librarian, peer tutoring, technology orientations

Accreditation Information for Ohio Social Work Schools

SchoolGraduation Rate1Transfer-Out Rate1Associate’s SW ProgramBachelor’s SW ProgramGraduate SW ProgramCSWE Accred.5US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking3Net Price*1
Ashland University57%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$20,905
Bluffton University60%28%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$22,014
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus55%31%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$17,042
Capital University59%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$22,044
Case Western Reserve University81%N/ANoNoYesYes#9$29,140
Cedarville University70%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$23,403
Central State University22%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$9,676
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College16%19%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$6,530
Clark State Community College12%16%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$7,082
Cleveland State University39%36%NoYesYesYes#105 tie$15,377
Defiance College49%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$24,552
Edison State Community College16%20%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$7,515
Franciscan University of Steubenville76%18%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$25,003
James A Rhodes State College19%7%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$9,888
Lakeland Community College13%37%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$8,086
Lorain County Community College13%20%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$3,020
Lourdes University29%54%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$18,453
Malone University51%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$19,554
Marion Technical College14%N/AYesNoNoNoNot Ranked$7,901
Miami University-Oxford79%N/ANoYesYesYes#220 tie$21,775
Mount Saint Joseph University53%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$17,469
Mount Vernon Nazarene University58%29%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$19,417
North Central State College15%13%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$5,026
Northwest State Community College18%11%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$9,141
Ohio Dominican University43%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$20,491
Ohio State University-Main Campus83%10%NoYesYesYes#15 tie$18,215
Ohio University-Main Campus67%25%NoYesYesYes#75 tie$19,613
Owens Community College10%14%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$6,740
Sinclair Community College12%28%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$4,382
Southern State Community College19%22%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$6,468
Stark State College7%17%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$10,581
Terra State Community College8%17%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$6,236
Union Institute & University25%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$23,143
University of Akron Main Campus42%26%YesYesNoNo#174 tie$16,111
University of Akron Wayne College7%13%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$9,342
University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College21%28%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$11,910
University of Cincinnati-Clermont College24%17%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$12,763
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus60%23%NoYesNoYes#105 tie$19,739
University of Findlay55%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$22,001
University of Rio Grande39%32%YesYesNoYesNot Ranked$26,798
University of Toledo44%N/ANoYesYesYes#201 tie$14,722
Ursuline College44%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$15,062
Washington State Community College17%N/AYesNoNoNoNot Ranked$6,344
Wilberforce University30%N/ANoYesNoNoNot Ranked$16,456
Wilmington College47%N/ANoYesNoNoNot Ranked$21,715
Wright State University-Lake Campus42%N/AYesYesNoYesNot Ranked$7,455
Wright State University-Main Campus39%N/ANoYesYesNoNot Ranked$13,868
Xavier University71%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$28,111
Youngstown State University33%N/AYesYesYesYes#220 tie$10,117
Zane State College30%3%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$8,287

*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 Ohio 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).

Ashland University*
401 College Ave
Ashland, OH 44805
(800) 882-1548

Bluffton University*
1 University Dr
Bluffton, OH 45817-2104
(419) 358-3000

Bowling Green State University-Main Campus*
220 McFall Ctr
Bowling Green, OH 43403
(419) 372-2531

Student Review: “The courses that I took at Bowling Green State University that prepared me for a career in Social Work highlighted cultural sensitivity and diversity. These themes are essential for a social worker to understand in order to effectively work with a wide variety of people of all cultures, races, and ages. Hands-on activities were provided by the university that simulated real-world situations, such as domestic disturbances. In the classroom, modern sophisticated technology helped expedite the learning process. Additionally, BGSU offers many intern/volunteer programs to help psychology students broaden their experience. I had the opportunity to work with ‘Good Grief’ counseling that helped me interact and communicate with both parents and children.” – Student at Bowling Green State University

Capital University*
1 College Ave
Columbus, OH 43209-2394
(614) 236-6011

Case Western Reserve University*
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000

Cedarville University*
251 N Main St
Cedarville, OH 45314-0601
(937) 766-7700

Central State University*
1400 Brush Row Rd
Wilberforce, OH 45384-1004
(937) 376-6011

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
3520 Central Pkwy
Cincinnati, OH 45223-2690
(513) 569-1500

Clark State Community College
570 E Leffel Ln
Springfield, OH 45501-0570
(937) 325-0691

Cleveland State University*
2121 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
(216) 687-2000

Defiance College*
701 N Clinton
Defiance, OH 43512
(419) 784-4010

Edison State Community College
1973 Edison Dr
Piqua, OH 45356-9239
(937) 778-8600

Franciscan University of Steubenville*
1235 University Blvd
Steubenville, OH 43952-1763
(740) 283-3771

James A Rhodes State College
4240 Campus Dr
Lima, OH 45804
(419) 995-8320

Lakeland Community College
7700 Clocktower Dr
Kirtland, OH 44094-5198
(440) 525-7000

Lorain County Community College
1005 North Abbe Rd
Elyria, OH 44035-1691
(440) 365-5222

Lourdes University*
6832 Convent Blvd
Sylvania, OH 43560-2898
(419) 885-3211

Malone University*
2600 Cleveland Ave NW
Canton, OH 44709-3308
(330) 471-8100

Student Review: “Malone University’s social work program was a great experience. I felt that I was challenged enough to learn well. Professors were always available to give guidance and assist in anything we were having difficulty with. I don’t, however, believe that I was equipped with the right kind of skills to go out and just “do social work”. Frequently the professors would tell us, no matter what job you get, you’ll always be trained in how to do your job. Not so. My first social work job I shadowed a tiny bit but was never really trained on what I was expected to do. The social work program at Malone University didn’t prepare me well for this. In hindsight I probably should have chosen a different major, not because of the program but because of my own personality. I still think I learned so much in the social work program and my professors were some of the most intelligent and kind people I’ve ever met.” – Student at Malone University

Marion Technical College
1467 Mount Vernon Ave
Marion, OH 43302-5694
(740) 389-4636

Miami University-Oxford*
501 East High St
Oxford, OH 45056
(513) 529-1809

Mount Saint Joseph University*
5701 Delhi Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45233-1670
(513) 244-4200

Mount Vernon Nazarene University*
800 Martinsburg Rd
Mount Vernon, OH 43050-9500
(740) 392-6868

North Central State College
2441 Kenwood Cir
Mansfield, OH 44901-0698
(419) 755-4800

Northwest State Community College
22600 State Rte 34
Archbold, OH 43502-9542
(419) 267-5511

Ohio Dominican University*
1216 Sunbury Rd
Columbus, OH 43219
(614) 253-2741

Ohio State University-Main Campus*
190 N Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210
(292) 646-8600

Ohio University-Main Campus*
020 Chubb Hall
Athens, OH 45701-2979
(740) 593-1000

Owens Community College
30335 Oregon Rd
Perrysburg, OH 43551
(567) 661-7000

Student Review: “The social work program at owens was great. They were very eager to teach me. They had many different programs pertaining to things such as social work with children. The helped me to understand what was involved with social work but not only that. They helped me set up a resume with which to send to potential employers in the social work field and gave me information on hiring and internships at certain companies.” – Student at Owens Community College

Sinclair Community College
444 W Third St
Dayton, OH 45402-1460
(937) 512-3000

Southern State Community College
100 Hobart Dr
Hillsboro, OH 45133
(937) 393-3431

Stark State College
6200 Frank Ave NW
North Canton, OH 44720
(330) 494-6170

Terra State Community College
2830 Napoleon Rd
Fremont, OH 43420-9670
(419) 334-8400

The University of Findlay
1000 North Main St
Findlay, OH 45840-3653
(419) 422-8313

Union Institute & University*
440 E McMillan St
Cincinnati, OH 45206-1925
(800) 861-6400

University of Akron Main Campus*
302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH 44325-4702
(330) 972-7111

University of Akron Wayne College
1901 Smucker Rd
Orrville, OH 44667
(800) 221-8308

University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College
9555 Plainfield Rd
Blue Ash, OH 45236-1096
(513) 745-5600

University of Cincinnati-Clermont College
4200 Clermont College Dr
Batavia, OH 45103
(513) 732-5200

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus*
2624 Clifton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
(513) 556-6000

University of Rio Grande*
218 N College Ave
Rio Grande, OH 45674
(740) 245-7206

University of Toledo*
2801 W Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43606-3390
(419) 530-4636

Ursuline College*
2550 Lander Rd
Pepper Pike, OH 44124
(440) 449-4200

Washington State Community College
710 Colegate Dr
Marietta, OH 45750
(740) 374-8716

Wilberforce University
1055 N Bickett Rd
Wilberforce, OH 45384-1001
(937) 376-2911

Wilmington College
1870 Quaker Way
Wilmington, OH 45177
(800) 341-9318

Wright State University-Lake Campus*
7600 Lake Campus Dr
Celina, OH 45822-2952
(419) 586-0300

Wright State University-Main Campus
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
(610) 499-4000

Xavier University*
3800 Victory Pkwy
Cincinnati, OH 45207-1092
(513) 745-3000

Youngstown State University*
210 Lincoln Ave
Youngstown, OH 44555-0001
(877) 468-6978

Zane State College
1555 Newark Rd
Zanesville, OH 43701-2626
(740) 454-2501

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

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: /degrees/masters/online/
5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx