A master’s degree in social work is one of the most widely marketable degrees in higher education. Not everyone, though, has the ability to attend a traditional, on-campus graduate program. For those who already have significant time commitments in their lives, an online master’s in social work might just be what they’re looking for. Adjusting to the reality of today’s world, a large number of schools have begun offering graduate courses and degrees that align with the modern individual’s changing needs and time constraints. Because of the increasing number of options to consider, we have created our own unique ranking of CSWE-accredited online Master of Social Work programs to help narrow your search.

Our list takes into account the following criteria: Affordability (50%); Breadth of Concentrations (25%); and School Reputation (25%) according to U.S. News & World Report.

1) University of Texas – Arlington

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The online MSW program from the University of Texas Arlington offers students both full-time and part-time online MSW degree plans that range from 1-3 years in duration. UTA offers an accelerated full-time online for Advanced Standing students that can be completed in 12 months. The accelerated online program offers 8-week classes and is designed to meet the needs of highly motivated students. The accelerated online cohort program begins every fall semester. Slots are limited and competitive for the accelerated online program. UTA also offers a regular online full-time cohort program for Advanced Standing and Traditional students that can be completed in 16 months and 26 months, respectively. Classes in the regular online program are 16 weeks long and are designed for students who want to finish fast, but prefer 16-weeks model classes and a slightly smaller course load. The regular online cohort programs begin in the fall and spring semesters. In addition, UTA offers an online part-time cohort program.

UTA has expanded their online offerings to include three specialty areas: Direct Practice with Children and Families, Direct Practice in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Direct Practice in Aging. For students who prefer a mix of face-to-face and online classes, UTA’s hybrid cohort programs may be a good fit. There are two main specialty areas: Community and Administrative Practice and Direct Practice. The latter concentration includes: Direct Practice with Aging; Direct Practice with Children and Families; Direct Practice with Health; and Direct Practice with Mental Health. To be a second-year, or “advanced,” graduate student, students must have either a BSW degree, or have satisfactorily completed the first year MSW courses, including the first field placement. For the advanced field placement, the Office of Field Education facilitates the assignment to an agency or organization where the student must complete a total of 480 agency-based hours in one or two semesters. That is, students may choose to enroll in a “block” placement wherein they complete 480 agency-based hours in one semester, or may choose a “split” placement wherein the student enrolls in field for two consecutive semesters completing at least 240 hours each term in the same agency.

Estimated Program Tuition: $18,256 (in-state)

2) San Jose State University (San Jose, CA)

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San Jose State University’s Online MSW Program prepares students for professional practice that enables them to work competently with Latinos, other minority groups, and those communities, groups, families, and individuals who are disenfranchised, oppressed, and/or marginalized. It is this emphasis on transcultural practice that makes the program unique. This perspective further guides the school’s curriculum such that graduates of the program are committed to enhancing the well-being of individuals and their communities, building upon the strengths of diverse cultures, and advocating for social justice. The Online/Hybrid MSW Program is a 2-year program that requires continuous part-time enrollment (i.e., 2 academic courses and a field education course concurrently through the calendar year). In this program, academic courses are completed online (with asynchrounous sessions and synchrounous sessions usually on weekday evenings), and field education is completed in-person.

The course plan and field internship are scheduled throughout the calendar year. Courses per session, depending on subject matter and competencies covered, range from about 3 weeks to 11 weeks for academic classes, and as long as 24 weeks for field internship. Please consider interest in the Online/Hybrid Program carefully. There are some opportunities that are limited in this program. Specifically, the aging field of practice, the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program, and the PPSC Program (starting with incoming students Fall 2018) are not available in the Online/Hybrid Program. At the beginning of the MSW Programs, students develop a solid foundation in generalist social work practice to empower individuals, families, and communities in order to promote the well-being of communities of color, populations-at-risk, and groups that are disadvantaged, oppressed, or marginalized. In all MSW Programs, the advanced curriculum focuses on the Concentration of Transcultural Multi-Systems Practice. This builds upon the foundation curriculum and students become more competent in integrating theories, models, and professional values with transcultural multi-systems practice at micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Students identify a field of practice to study more in-depth such as (a) aging; (b) children, youth, and families, and (c) health/mental health.

Estimated Program Tuition: $14,352 (in-state)

3) University of Nevada (Reno, NV)

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University of Nevada’s Online MSW Program helps students gain the knowledge to address complex problems in diverse environments, including under-served rural communities. UNR’s mission is to create effective, ethical social work leaders and practitioners. The University of Nevada, Reno is a constitutionally established land-grant university emphasizing education that best serves the needs of the state, region and nation. UNR’s program is solely structured around advanced generalist practice (AGP), which prepares social workers to be more versatile for the diverse array of challenges and opportunities they may face in their careers. Social work is not an exclusive discipline. It’s not UNR’s aim to prepare rigid specialists. Social workers collaborate with many professions, including psychology, public health, education, business and medicine. Social work is changing, and UNR’s mission is to prepare agents of change. The program is intended to prepare students for any level of practice, including clinical social work.

The program is designed to serve different learning needs. The Advanced Standing Program is a 32-credit-hour program for students with a BSW degree, allowing for students to graduate in as few as 15 months. The Traditional Program is a 62-credit-hour program for students with non-BSW degrees. The foundation program also includes a three-day residency featuring time at the University of Nevada School of Medicine patient simulation facilities. The University of Nevada, Reno cares about the science side of social work. Their online Master of Social Work program relies on scientifically supported research and knowledge to prepare students for work across multiple disciplines. They also teach students how to drive change through innovative problem-solving. When one becomes a social worker, they must be prepared for anything. So UNR’s program is structured that way, too. Advanced generalist practice (AGP) is the perfect fit for Nevada’s unique urban and rural settings, particularly in areas with limited resources for social programs. The emphasis prepares Master’s in Social Work graduates for working in a variety of situations. Generalists have the advantage of being able to work autonomously with individuals, groups, couples and families, as well as serve as members of integrated multidisciplinary care teams.

Estimated Program Tuition: $16,485 (In-State)

4) University of Houston (Houston, TX)

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University of Houston’s Online MSW Program is a great option for independent, self-motivated learners requiring a flexible schedule. Students will be assigned to a cohort and take online classes with their cohort throughout the program. During this time, through discussion boards and innovative technology, students develop supportive professional relationships with their online classmates that enhance the learning environment and help establish a network of support throughout the educational process. While this program is designed to offer flexibility, courses are designed with firm deadlines and due dates for learning activities and assignments. Keep in mind all accredited MSW programs require students to complete a minimum of 900 clock hours of field work. Field placements are student learning opportunities which offer MSW students hands-on social work practice experience under the supervision of a degreed Master Social Worker. Online students work closely with the Field Education Office staff to identify qualified agencies in their area.

The Master of Social Work prepares students for professional social work by developing the skills needed to provide direct social services, and create programs that encourage the development of human potential. In this program, students will use innovative technology to establish a network of learning and develop supportive relationships with instructors and fellow students. 63 credits are required for completion of the degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. There will be approximately 25 students assigned to a cohort. Because this is a relatively small class size, students will receive individualized attention from instructors. Most interaction takes places between instructors and students through threaded discussions. However, some faculty may hold ‘live’ office hours or ‘live’ class meetings via webcam, similar to a video conference. Many courses will require group assignments, where students will have to work together. The University provides a learning platform that allows for synchronous group meetings utilizing audio and/or video technology.

Estimated Program Tuition: $24,064 (in-state)

5) Western New Mexico University (Silver City, NM)

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Western New Mexico University’s Online MSW Program is designed to help graduates gain the knowledge, values, and skills to practice social work in a variety of settings with people young and old. From counseling to case management and advocacy to intervention, WNMU graduates find fulfillment in applying their skills to improve the lives of the people they serve. WNMU’s MSW program is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. At the MSW level, social workers find fulfilling careers in private practice, hospitals, schools, government agencies, non-profit organizations, correctional facilities, community mental health clinics, nursing facilities, child welfare agencies, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, out-patient clinics, and more. Wherever people need help, social workers are there. WNMU emphasizes the core social work values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence in a caring and nurturing environment with small class sizes. WNMU courses are taught by professors who are licensed professional social workers; here, faculty have actually practiced social work, and they love to share their experiences in the classroom.

The social work department offers a wide range of electives to support student learning in their areas of interest. While students may select elective courses from any academic area, students may also take any of the social work electives in addition to social work workshop courses, which provide variety and focused learning experiences from semester to semester. Students don’t ever need to come to the WNMU campus. All courses can be taken from home/work, and the practicum can be done with an MSW in the student’s area. They would need to find and recruit that MSW, and WNMU’s Field Director will take it from there. Most students have used Skype, or something similar. Some courses are like that, with some of the students in various communities across the US sitting at their own computers. Some students are in New Mexico, and go to one of WNMU’s branch campuses to take classes, and they use Instructional Television. Once a week, there are classes for students in field. The student’s local MSW would work with the field director to set them up with a learning contract and responsibilities, just as if they were in town on campus.

Estimated Program Tuition: $20,008 (in-state)

6) Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)

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Arizona State University’s Online MSW Program prepares students to work with individuals, families, communities, and in the world at large to promote social justice and find practical solutions to social problems and pressing issues facing the most vulnerable in our society. The ASU School of Social Work is one of the largest and most diverse in the world and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE.) The online delivery of the MSW program provides a vibrant learning platform for engaging with ASU Social Work faculty who are experts in child welfare, health and behavioral health, community practice, administration, global social work, policy advocacy and innovative services for individuals, families, groups and communities. ASU also has expertise in gerontology, forensic social work, human trafficking, Borderlands issues, and several other areas. ASU’s expertise and attention to cultural diversity and the distinct populations of the Southwest are unique. ASU Online offers start dates every 7.5 weeks. There are 20 classes and 60 credit hours in the program.

The MSW program follows a set sequence of courses based on a broad range of social concerns and includes two professional seminars with synchronous elements designed for professional development. Along with their courses, students also participate in 960 hours of hands-on field education. Students work with the School of Social Work’s Field Education Office to find internship sites within their geographic region that meet school and CSWE standards. Pre-placement requirements will be arranged and monitored by the field agency. The Master of Social Work online program’s concentration in Advanced Generalist studies will focus on effective and culturally competent service practices across system levels, and strategies for change informed by research evidence. A social work career provides many opportunities to make a difference for those in need – through direct service to individuals, families, groups, and communities; developing innovative public and nonprofit programs; and creating more just social and economic policies. Students in the Online program culminate their experience with SWG 593 Applied Portfolio Project. This culminating course work is tied closely with the concentration year internship. Students must pass the course with a B or their degree will not be conferred.

Estimated Program Tuition: $25,992

7) Boise State University (Boise, ID)

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Boise State University’s Online MSW Program is designed to prepare students for advanced social work practice with individuals and families. All classes are offered online. Students learn clinical, organizational, and policy skills necessary for promoting social justice and equality, and enhancing the quality of life for all people. This program is offered online only with no in-person requirements and includes two options: The Two-Year Traditional Track and the One-Year Advanced Standing Track. The first option includes a year of Foundation courses, which emphasize knowledge, skills, and values needed for a strengths-based approach in both micro and macro social work practice. Students complete courses in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, social work research, and field practicum. The second year of the Traditional Track and the only year of the Advanced Standing Track feature Advanced courses, which focus on advanced professional direct practice with individuals and families. Interventions facilitate and enhance the quality of life for individuals and families in social systems of various sizes. Independent inquiry, commitment to promoting social and economic justice and equality, and commitment to individual and family well-being are emphasized.

Boise State requests that students be aware of the time commitment involved with their online programs. Before deciding on a part- or full-time schedule, they would like students to consider: “How much time do I have each week to devote to studying?” And “What other obligations currently require my time?” They also provide a time commitment guide to estimate study times. Field Practicum is a dynamic course that challenges students to apply social work practice knowledge, skills, and values within an organizational and community context. Field Practicum is a vital dimension of students’ graduate social work education. The hours of field practice prepare students to enter the work force as professional social work practitioners. Field Practicum affords experiential assessment and evaluation of students’ development in the process of becoming a helping professional. Students are provided opportunities to apply their academic and practice experiences in the reality of the agency-client-service matrix. Through the supervised field experience, students participate in, and become familiar with, the many components of the social work profession and its varied roles. The ideal field placement offers students a focus on the methods of direct practice, policy development and implementation, and other social work special projects and research activities.

Estimated Program Tuition: $30,195

8) University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)

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The University of Iowa’s online MSW program prepares social workers for leadership in the profession and for advanced social work practice in a wide range of settings. The program’s general focus is on family systems and social change, both domestic and international. Its primary goals are met through a set of professional foundation requirements and advanced courses which enable all students to understand the dynamics of human development and change; to understand the links between society’s structures and families; to acquire skills for working with individuals, families, small groups, and communities; and to learn how to enhance the responsiveness of human service organizations. In May 2018, the University of Iowa began its new 3 year, part-time, online MSW Program. The next opportunity for admission is May 2020, with applications available in September 2019.

To qualify students should: Live in Iowa or bordering states who because of geography or life circumstances cannot access the Sioux City, Des Moines, Quad Cities or Iowa City learning centers; be able to commit to both evening classes in real time using video conferencing, and asynchronous classes in which course work is done independently, adhering to deadlines; have the requisite grades; be willing and able to participate in a mandatory four day Summer Institute in Iowa City each year; be willing to work with the Online MSW Program Field Administrator to develop and secure practicum (internship) placement(s) in their own community; be interested in the Integrated Concentration, which is for people who want to be involved with a macro social work function/role; and show potential for being a successful online learner. The online program uses a cohort model in which approximately 25 students will build a learning community, engaging actively with University of Iowa faculty. Twice a year, students in their own geographic area will meet as a group with local social work practitioners. Prospective students are encouraged to talk to an advisor to get their questions answered.

Estimated Program Tuition: $21,916

9) California State University (Northridge, CA)

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The Online MSW Program from California State University (Northridge) is a collaboration between The Tseng College and the Department of Social Work in CSUN’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The program expands students’ career possibilities by offering a generalist approach. The curriculum also enables students to gain the skills and perspective to work at any level: individual/family (micro); group/community (mezzo); and societal/policy (macro). CSUN does not entrust its learning community to commercial providers. Rather, CSUN faculty and practitioners receive training and support to ensure instructional excellence. Students also benefit from the beginning-to-end support of the Tseng College’s professional Distance Learning staff. CSUN’s MSW degree prepares students for careers as direct service providers, administrators, community advocates, counselors, policy makers, researchers, supervisors and service workers in a wide variety of settings, including community and government organizations, health care centers, schools, and more. The online program is a two-year (four-semester), asynchronous, full-time program with the exception of a weekly synchronous field education class. This means that students do not have to be online at a specific time for the academic classes, but must attend a weekly, one-hour (synchronous) online field education class.

Online or off-campus, students admitted to the program are guaranteed enrollment in all required courses. What’s more, the complete and on-going support of a designated Program Manager, from application to graduation, frees them to focus on their studies and their field placement requirements. The cohort format of this program facilitates on-time completion of the degree through student interaction on weekly assignments, which also leads to the development of strong professional relationships. Students take two eight-week courses at a time for a total of 20 classes (60 graduate units), plus ongoing 16-week field education classes. Students will not be required to come to the CSUN campus or any other affiliate university campus during the four-semester online MSW program. Field hours will be 16 hours per week during the entire duration of the program. Students must be available for field placement Monday-Friday, from 9am-6pm. Evening and weekend field placements are unavailable. It is not possible for students to complete a field internship at their place of employment. Field placement days and times are determined by the CSUN MSW Field Education Department, based on agency needs, student schedules and employer approval. If offered admission to the CSUN Online MSW Program, students are required to successfully complete a field internship interview.

Estimated Program Tuition: $45,120

10) University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC)

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The UNC School of Social Work offers a 3-year distance learning MSW program as part of its highly esteemed social work offerings. Through innovative research that improves practice and enhances education, the UNC school of social work searches for solutions to the challenges of poverty, mental health, violence, and substance abuse. The School has a tradition of excellence in producing practitioners and leaders who are committed to public, private and nonprofit services and to the development of policies and programs that strengthen individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. The School’s curriculum supports the mission and recognizes the uniqueness of the region served, including concerns for disadvantaged, vulnerable, and oppressed individuals, families and communities. Classes provide rigorous and evidence-based content, and give students the opportunity to explore theory, learn intervention skills and engage in challenging dialogue with colleagues. Offered in the Triangle and in Winston-Salem for students who wish to complete the MSW over the course of three years, UNC’s distance learning option is ideal for students who need flexibility while earning their graduate degree.

In the first year of study: Students take two classes on Fridays each semester from 9am-5pm. (This is the only requirement in the first year for students working in human services.) Students not employed in human services must be involved in a volunteer experience to provide opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the Generalist Curriculum. In the second year of study: Students take two classes on Fridays each semester from 9am-5pm and complete the Generalist field education requirements which are: 16 hours of field education per week, along with a field education seminar every other Friday. In the third and final year of study: Students in the Triangle and Winston-Salem distance education programs must attend classes in Chapel Hill on Mondays and/or Tuesdays as full-time students once they complete the 32 hours of distance education study. In their 3rd year, students will complete their Advanced Curriculum requirements with Advanced Standing and 2nd year full-time students. Field work is undertaken at the same time as coursework. Students are admitted to the 3-year Distance Education programs each fall (August). Orientations generally begin in early August.

Estimated Program Tuition: $26, 095 (in-state)

11) University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND)

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University of North Dakota’s Online MSW Program develops students’ social work practice and leadership skills to help improve lives, redress injustices, improve systems, and prevent social problems and suffering. The Advanced Generalist emphasis prepares students for all practice settings, including clinical social work. Students are prepared to provide advanced social services to individuals, families and groups in your community; and to develop the skills needed for supervisory, management and program development positions. UND’s programs are especially tailored for students who work full-time and those who want a real connection to faculty and colleagues. The Distance Concentration involves online learning for students who have completed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited program while their Distance Foundation concentration is online learning for students without a B.S.W. but with a bachelor’s degree in a related field. The Department of Social Work at the University of North Dakota activities are guided by its mission statement “to advance knowledge and learning and to prepare competent, responsive, and ethical social workers who empower vulnerable populations, promote social justice, and are committed to serving diverse populations”.

While the majority of the program is offered online, students will need to come to campus to complete portions of the program. Students’ time on campus is designed to integrate, extend and apply the knowledge they’ve learned during their online courses. This time may include: Traditional classroom lectures; Hands-on labs or simulations; and Opportunities to interact with faculty and other students. Students participate in a 500-hour field placement to better serve their own community, and may be completed in their local community. As an online student in “live” online classes, they will: Interact with instructors and other students using web conferencing technology; See the instructor’s materials as though they were sitting in a classroom on the UND campus; and Participate in “live” class lectures, discussions or chat sessions, which are typically held at set times convenient for most students, such as in the evenings. In this manner, the class lectures, discussion and collaboration are conducted in a very similar fashion to traditional on campus classes. For most courses, if students miss a class they may review recorded classroom lectures and discussions accessible online at any time.

Estimated Program Tuition: $24,244 (in-state)

12) University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)

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The University of Alabama’s Online MSW Program prepares MSW students to make a difference in the lives of others. Regardless of their work schedule, students can earn their MSW through distance learning and join the community of alumni who are serving clients in Alabama, across the U.S. and across the world. The primarily online Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Courses are offered online and some courses require face-to-face skills laboratory sessions. UA offers two options for earning the MSW: the advanced-standing program and the 60-credit-hour program. Both options offer two concentrations. Children, Adolescents and their Families is designed for students interested in working with children, adolescents, and their families, especially in child welfare and mental health settings. Graduates may practice and take leadership roles in the areas of child welfare, family services, mental health, health care, substance abuse treatment, behavioral health, and other social service fields. Adults and their Families is designed for students interested in working with children, adolescents, and their families, especially in child welfare and mental health settings. Graduates may practice and take leadership roles in the areas of child welfare, family services, mental health, health care, substance abuse treatment, behavioral health, and other social service fields.

The Advanced-Standing Program is a 42-credit-hour program for only those who hold a CSWE-accredited BSW. It can be completed in three semesters when pursued full-time. One cohort of advanced-standing students begins every year in late May or early June and another cohort begins every year in January. All classes are primarily online, with face-to-face skills labs held on selected Saturdays at regionally convenient locations across the state of Alabama. Locations for the face-to-face skills labs will be determined based on enrollment. The 60-credit-hour program is for those who do not currently hold a CSWE-accredited BSW. It can be completed in two years when pursued full-time. One cohort of 60-credit-hour program begins every year in late May or early June and another cohort begins every year in August. The first-year and second-year classes will be primarily online, with face-to-face skills labs held on selected Saturdays at regionally convenient locations across the state of Alabama. Locations for the face-to-face skills labs will be determined based on enrollment.

Estimated Program Tuition: $23,640 (in-state)

13) University of Alaska (Anchorage, AL)

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University of Alaska Anchorage’s Online MSW Program is distance-delivered and is accessible to students across the state of Alaska. The courses are delivered using a variety of educational technologies, including Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, teleconference, and video conference. Although the MSW program is distance delivered, students and faculty are highly engaged in a community of collaborative learning. Most of the courses require students to attend regularly-scheduled, distance-delivered class sessions each week, which are typically scheduled in the evening from 5:00 – 8:45 pm. All students are required to attend a mandatory MSW program orientation on the UAA Anchorage campus in August of their admission year, as well as periodic MSW program intensives on the UAA Anchorage campus. The program orientation and intensives will be typically held over a weekend (Friday – Monday). Students are required to provide their own transportation, meals, and lodging for the orientation and intensives. Full-time students attend classes during summer, fall, and spring semesters for two years. Full-time students complete the foundation curriculum during the first year, followed by the concentration curriculum during their second year.

Full-time students complete two practicum placements in their home community: one is completed in the first year during fall and spring semesters and one is completed in the second year during fall and spring semesters. Part-time students attend classes during summer, fall, and spring semesters for four years. Part-time students complete the MSW program in four years with the foundation curriculum completed during the first two years and the concentration curriculum completed during the second two years. They complete two practicum placements in their home community: one is completed in the second year during fall and spring semesters and one is completed in the fourth year during fall and spring semesters. Students with a BSW degree from an accredited social work program, who are admitted with advanced placement enter the MSW program during the concentration curriculum, and they may attend full-time or part-time. Advanced placement students complete one practicum placement in their home community during fall and spring semesters.

Estimated Program Tuition: $17,604 (in-state)

14) University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)

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The University of Tennessee’s Online MSW Program was created to allow students to pursue a MSSW degree regardless of their physical proximity to one of the two campuses at the University of Tennessee. It’s important to note that whether students take classes on campus or online, the MSSW program is taught by the same professors, is held to the same high standards, and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The online program has the same flexible courses of study (part time, full time, and advanced standing), the same concentrations (Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice and Organizational Leadership), the same ability to pursue a certificate program, and the same field practice (internship) requirements. The only difference between the Online program and the traditional on-campus program is where a student takes classes. At the time of their application, MSSW students choose to complete either a clinical concentration or a macro concentration in order to focus their education to meet their professional goals. While there are some required courses that all MSSW students must take, the chosen concentration determines other courses a student will take while in the program.

Courses in the Online MSSW program are taught online through synchronous and asynchronous approaches. Real-time or synchronous courses will make extensive use of interactive video conferencing software and instructional media. (For the “live online” sessions, students log into a video conference session and hear from the professor live – and interact with other classmates at the same time. Live sessions are often conducted in the late afternoons or early evening.) Asynchronous features of the course will facilitate the use of online learning resources to enable information sharing outside predetermined time constraints. Having a computer (laptop or desktop) is a must for those in the Online MSSW program. Students will not be able to do everything that they need to do for classes on just a phone or tablet. Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice (EBIP) is a clinical concentration that provides advanced training in therapeutic interventions and group work. Organizational Leadership (OL) is a macro concentration that is based on the underlying principle of social and economic justice. The field practicum is the internship portion of the MSSW program and is a critical – and required – component of each student’s educational experience. The College offers field practicum opportunities with more than 400 agencies. These settings include schools, courts, hospitals, nursing homes, state agencies, homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and mental health centers.

Estimated Program Tuition: $24,644 (in-state)

15) Campbellsville University (Campbellsville, KY)

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Campbellsville University’s Online MSW Program allows students to advance their careers and take on a leadership role in the field of social work while learning how to work with individuals, families, communities and groups. The online Master of Social Work degree from Campbellsville University prepares students for career advancement so that they can move out of entry-level positions in the field. With a curriculum rooted in ethical and Christian ideals, the program helps students develop an advanced understanding of the practical and theoretical knowledge necessary for becoming a leader in social work. With theirr CSWE-accredited online MSW, students can pursue a career in a wide range of areas, including therapy and counseling, community mental health, child protection, the criminal justice system, public advocacy and home health. Students could also enter a career in the VA or while on active duty in the military as an addiction or substance abuse counselor. Through the foundation track curriculum of the program, students examine the basic skills required for performing general social work practice with individuals, families, communities and groups. The curriculum additionally addresses societal changes, influences and trends, as well as multicultural issues and religion.

The advanced standing track curriculum option equips students with the skills necessary to identify, assess and address current global social issues. Students also learn the theories, methods and techniques related to intervention with children and families. The curriculum covers other topics, such as psychopathology, change theory, community development and grant writing. With the clinical track curriculum, students focus on psychopathology, addictions, clinical diagnosis and psychopharmacology. Students also learn about clinical administration and the relevant ethics. Students can apply to complete just the advanced standing or clinical tracks if they have already completed the foundation track of the curriculum or have earned a BSW from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate social work program within the past seven years. Each track takes only one year to complete and consists of 30 credit hours. For those who do not already have a BSW, they will need to complete the full 60 credit hours of the program.
In addition, the fully online program gives students the opportunity to study whenever best fits their schedule. The degree’s faculty members also have real-life experience that they incorporate into the curriculum.

Estimated Program Tuition: $33,540

16) University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY)

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University of Wyoming’s Online MSW Program offers two graduate programs of study, both culminating in an MSW degree with a concentration in advanced generalist social work practice. The University of Wyoming’s MSW Program is a hybrid program consisting of face-to-face weekend classes, video conferencing, and some online course work. The MSW curriculum for both programs is carefully sequenced to provide students the necessary information to proceed to the next level of coursework. The Division of Social Work MSW program is a hybrid program. Weekday classes can be attended from any UW Outreach Center in the state as well as in person at the Laramie campus. In addition, there are five intensive weekends each semester at the Laramie campus. Field practicums can be arranged at virtually any agency around the state so students that live outside the Laramie region can attend their field practicums closer to home if they wish. Elective courses and field practicum placements are used to provide additional emphasis in selected areas. There is only one required summer class for the standard program, and two for the advanced-standing program. Required classes meet only on intensive weekends, not during the evenings. UW also offers electives during the summer, which can meet in person, online, or face to face.

The Standard MSW Program is designed for students who have an undergraduate degree other than a BSW degree. Students entering the Standard MSW Program begin their studies in the summer semester. Their first 34 credit hours are directed towards mastery of foundation courses and field practicum that help prepare students for entry into the advanced generalist concentration.The Advanced Standing MSW Program is designed for those students with a BSW degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program. Advanced Standing MSW Program students enter the program in the summer of each academic year, where they complete bridge courses which prepare them for continued study within the advanced generalist sequence. Students need to live close enough that they can get to Laramie for intensive weekends. UW now broadcasts their video classes anywhere in the country, so if students have access to internet, a computer or device with a camera and microphone, and are willing to travel to Laramie a few times per semester, they are able to enroll in the MSW program. If there is a need for a student to work, UW recommends they work part time only while in the program. UW finds that when students try to work full time, they either do not succeed in the program or they get very burned out.

Estimated Program Tuition: $15,660 (in-state)

17) Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)

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Virginia Commonwealth University’s Online MSW Program prepares students for advanced practice in either clinical social work or social work administration, planning and policy practice. The guiding principle in educating students is the promotion of a more just society that includes a commitment to the value of diversity and social work practice in a multicultural society. The VCU School of Social Work emphasizes critical thinking, self-awareness, data-based decision-making and ethical integrity. The VCU School of Social Work provides students with the same dynamic and rigorous education whether here on campus or studying from hundreds of miles away. The unique blend of online and in-person experiences provides distance education students the opportunity to complete the bulk of their course work online with only two mandatory on-campus meetings each semester. All distance education students complete internships on site at field agencies throughout Virginia or the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The internship opportunity provides students hands-on learning and networking necessary to open doors for future employment. Graduates of this program will be able to address personal and social problems; formulate, implement and evaluate policies and programs; engage in knowledge development for the profession; and influence community decision-making.

The educational program focuses on service to and empowerment of people who experience oppression or vulnerability due to inadequate or inequitable distribution of personal, social or institutional resources. Within this context, social work practice is defined as the application of professional knowledge, skills and values across a range of settings and populations for the prevention and amelioration of personal and social problems. The interactions among persons and their environments are the primary targets of social work practice. Services provided by social workers include the restoration, rehabilitation, maintenance and enhancement of optimal functioning of individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Knowledge for social work practice is based on analysis and critical application of qualitative and quantitative research from within the profession and related social, behavioral and biological sciences. Skill in professional practice is based on the differential application of theories and research findings about people in their sociocultural and organizational contexts. Skill is developed by the social worker through the educational process, self-critical practice and the use of supervision and consultation. Values in social work practice are articulated in the profession’s code of ethics and reflect the core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of each individual, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.

Estimated Program Tuition: $24,268

18) Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)

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Temple University’s Online MSW Program is about more than the skills students acquire — it’s about compassion and commitment to social justice and change. Temple’s Online Master of Social work (MSW) gives students the training and mentorship they need to make it happen. Temple’s skills-based curriculum offers clinical and macro concentrations, as well as health/mental health and child & family specializations. With Temple’s Online MSW, students are equipped to analyze problems and develop interventions through a systems perspective, considering the interaction of individual, family, community, organizational and policy factors. Temple’s Online MSW is built for working professionals who want the same high-quality education that Temple offers in its in-person programs. Temple’s Online MSW gives students the flexibility they need, thanks to a three-part learning structure: Live streaming course delivery featuring live chats, breakout rooms and discussion boards; Asynchronous online learning that allows students to complete work on their schedule; Local fieldwork practicum in one’s own community, driven by their interests and guided by Temple’s expert fieldwork advisors.

Perfect for students returning to the classroom while balancing work and family, classes are taught by the same expert faculty as in their on-campus classes, and designed according to best practices in online education. Featuring a low student-to-faculty ratio, Temple is able to offer personalized instruction and advising. The school’s strong community ties bring real-world issues and agencies into the virtual classroom. Online students have access to Temple’s libraries, writing center, career center, and other resources to help them hit the ground running. There is also an option to complete a dual MSW-MPH degree online. Thanks to the versatility of Temple’s Online MSW degree, graduates are prepared for leadership roles in government, schools, primary care clinics, nonprofit organizations, community organizing efforts and more. Temple MSW graduates can also tap into the 10,000-strong alumni network of national, regional and local leaders in human service and social change organizations—a powerful source of connections and expertise. The Online MSW program is a total of 60 credits completed part-time over three years. Students reserve Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST or Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST for live classes. Academic advising, group meetings and fieldwork sessions throughout the program may be scheduled on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Estimated Program Tuition: $32,160

19) Walden University (Minneapolis, MN)

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Walden University’s Online MSW Program helps students develop in-demand, foundational skills that can help them advance in their field. Walden University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and uses award-winning case study videos to facilitate students’ learning experience. Students choose from three degree completion options (Standard, Accelerated, and Advanced Standing) to align with their schedule, as well as four start dates throughout the year. The Standard option helps students balance their online MSW degree program with other life commitments by limiting their workload to one or two courses per term. The Accelerated option is an ideal choice if students can dedicate themselves to full-time studies. This option requires a strong time commitment, as students will take three courses in most terms. The Advanced Standing option is for students who already hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited program and graduated with a minimum GPA of 3.0— students begin their program with advanced-level courses.

Walden’s MSW curriculum features four concentration options from which to choose. The Advanced Clinical Practice concentration is designed for students who intend to become advanced social work practitioners providing services to individuals, families, groups, and communities. In this concentration, students learn to: Utilize appropriate advanced clinical knowledge, skills, and values to address the social service needs of clients; Evaluate intervention plans in order to choose appropriate options for individuals, families, groups, and communities; and Implement evidence-based practices to promote social change, social justice, and environmental justice. The Military Social Work concentration prepares students to address the needs of active military personnel, veterans, and their families. Because individual patients and their families face a unique set of challenges in accessing and receiving medical services, Walden offers a Healthcare concentration. Finally, Social Work with Children and Families prepares students for work in community social service agencies, child welfare agencies, and the juvenile justice system.

Estimated Program Tuition: $24,150

20) Edinboro University (Edinboro, PA)

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Edinboro University’s Online MSW Program prepares graduates to work in a wide range of practice settings. These include family-based and mental health agencies, addiction treatment centers, schools, medical and psychiatric facilities, rehabilitation and correctional facilities, hospitals, veterans’ agencies, foster care and adoption agencies, nursing homes, policy settings, within the military, and in private practice. Internship education is the signature pedagogy for the social work profession and is required for completion of the MSW program. Internship placements in the MSW Program are conducted concurrently with academic classes in order for students to incorporate their academic learning in the internship. Students in the Regular Two Year Program complete two placements, one in the Foundation Year (first year) and one in the Concentration Year (second year) for a minimum of 900 hours over the course of four semesters. Students in the Advanced Standing One Year Program complete one placement in the Concentration Year (second year) for a minimum of 500 hours over the course of two semesters.

Edinboro University recognizes that the work and family responsibilities of students do not always allow for full-time on-campus programs. Edinboro’s online students value the increased flexibility offered by their online course offerings. Night or day, any location with Internet access can become the classroom. Before enrolling into an online program with Edinboro University, they recommend that students consider the attributes of a successful online student and reflect on their own qualities to determine if Edinboro’s Online Campus is the right choice. Online learning offers some unique advantages over traditional classroom instruction. The nature of the online format often provides greater flexibility and convenience for students who have family and work commitments, as well as those restricted by their geographic location. Research indicates that the most successful online learners demonstrate a number of specific qualities. For those who identify with the following characteristics then they should consider enrolling into an online program or course: Independently Motivated; Rarely Procrastinates; Reads and Writes Well; Distraction Resistant.

Estimated Program Tuition: $30,600

21) Texas State University (San Marcos, TX)

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Texas State University’s Online MSW Program is an exciting opportunity for college-degreed people who are interested in pursuing a career based around improving society. Texas State’s MSW degree program is built on a liberal arts perspective. Their graduates perform extremely well on state licensing exams and have found employment across a wide variety of service delivery fields. The Texas State University School of Social Work offers the MSW program both on-campus and online. These degree offerings, regardless of delivery method, utilize the same textbooks and curricula and are taught by core faculty. The School of Social work also offers interesting electives in specific topics, such as health care, diversity, international social work, gerontology, spirituality, adventure therapy, work with veterans, and others. Texas State University’s Master of Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and graduates are eligible for state licensure.

Foundational courses include Human Behavior in Individual and Family Social Environments: This course presents individual and family dynamics across the life cycle, centering on human development, individual and group strengths, and the effects of cultural diversity. It enhances critical thinking and assessment skills about human behavior in social environments, and incorporates material on professional values, ethics, and social justice. Another foundation course is Human Behavior in Local and Global Social Environments. This course explores human functioning in the environment by studying families, groups, communities, organizations, and societies in local and global contexts. Through learning content on diversity, populations at risk, and social and economic justice, students build critical thinking and assessment skills using developmental and eco-systems frameworks. Another is Social Welfare Policy and Services. This foundation course studies the United States’ social welfare system, emphasizing how social welfare policies affect diverse populations. Topics include social welfare history; and policy development, implementation, evaluation, and values.

Estimated Program Tuition: $24,899 (in-state)

22) University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)

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University of Arkansas’ Online MSW Program is designed to prepare the bachelor’s-level social worker to practice independently and move into supervisory and leadership roles. The Online Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Program offers an online alternative for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and want to advance their education. It maintains as much flexibility as possible, allowing students time to schedule other responsibilities. Students will be able to “learn in place” wherever they live and still attend the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas as an online student.vThe one-year, full-time MSW program offers a curriculum that mirrors University of Arkansas’ on-campus program, but all of the classes are conducted online. Orientation is also online, and no campus visits are required. Just as in any other social work program, students gain practice in the field through internships that will be arranged in the vicinity of their current home. These internships will be set up and monitored by the faculty at the University of Arkansas School of Social Work to ensure a quality learning experience.

Student cohorts provide peer support and networking opportunities while courses allow students to work independently. For the fieldwork component, internships in current workplaces are considered (with restrictions) and average out to 22 hours per week. Students attend an internship Field Seminar each Tuesday evening, live via a virtual classroom. Completion of this degree can prepare the motivated student for a PhD program. A hallmark of the social work profession is to consistently seek out opportunities to advocate and fight for underrepresented and oppressed individuals in our communities, state, country and across the globe. To have a more just and equitable society everyone’s voice should be heard. However, faculty at University of Arkansas know that individuals who are disempowered are the least likely to speak up or be heard. As a result, UA’s staff feel it is their duty to continue to encourage social work practitioners, students, and allies to continue holding and creating space so that marginalized groups can be heard.

Estimated Program Tuition: $16,387 (1-year Advanced Standing track)

23) University of Louisville (Louisville, KY)

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The Online MSW Program prepares students to promote social justice and be positive change agents in the fast-growing field of social work, and empowering them to help others lead a healthier, more productive and safer life. The Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville has been educating social workers since 1936 and now offers a Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) degree completely online. The Kent School is committed to teaching the next generation of social workers. As a graduate of the MSSW degree online, students achieve a deeper, more complex understanding of social work, critically evaluating and contemplating the material while experimenting with the flexible application of the knowledge in a variety of contexts. Students’ skills and knowledge will focus around 1) children and families, 2) health and mental health, and 3) community and international practice. Within the MSSW online program, students have the option of choosing an online specialization in Psychosocial Oncology, Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Military Social Work or Gerontology.

The MSSW coursework focuses on helping students form methods and decision-making practices that promote social justice. The Kent School’s curriculum draws from various teaching methods and theories including Cognitive Flexibility Theory, Critical Thinking model, Bruner’s Spiral format, and Advanced Curriculum and Practice. There are two options for earning a Master of Social Work degree online: Regular 60-hr MSSW – starting every fall (one start per year) Current and future social work professionals who have a bachelor’s degree in any area of study other than Social Work can complete a 60 credit hours program and earn a Master in Social Work degree 100% online. Advanced Standing 30-hr MSSW – starts summer and fall (two starts per year) Social work professionals who have already earned a Bachelor of Social Work within the last seven years may enroll in the MSSW online degree and complete a 30 credit hours program starting in Fall 2014. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate coursework GPA of 3.0, and a minimum Social Work coursework GPA of 3.25. Although all courses are delivered online, MSSW Practicum Placement requires a total of 900 hours of supervised practice be completed in a social service organization in the student’s state of residence prior to graduation.

Estimated Program Tuition: $42,840

24) Delaware State University (Dover, DE)

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Delaware State University’s Online MSW Program has one concentration — advanced generalist practice. Accordingly, the program prepares students for advanced practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Having satisfied all of the program’s academic requirements, students leave the program with competencies allowing them to practice with and on behalf of Delawareans, and with clients throughout the region, across the nation and globally. Course offerings provide students an understanding of social, economic, political and interpersonal problems from a global perspective. Consequently, students comprehend the effects of problems, such as poverty, health disparities, racism and oppression on populations that live in parts of the world outside the United States. It is understood that these unique elements of the curriculum are congruent with the concepts and intervention principles that define the framework for all professional social work practice, that is, generalist practice. Therefore, students graduate able to generalize the knowledge, values and skills that underlie all social work practice in different settings with diverse populations experiencing multiple, complex problems. The MSW curriculum is grounded on the Department of Social Work’s five underpinnings.

Graduates of the MSW program possess the competencies needed to engage, assess, intervene and evaluate individuals, families, treatment groups, organizations and communities. They are able to evaluate the efficacy of interventions and programs, integrate theories of personality and adult psychopathology, address health and mental health disparities from a public health perspective, and understand and assimilate theories and practice principles that guide human service administration. Graduates are competent to practice with systems of all sizes in a wide array of settings—from traditional public social welfare and governmental agencies to small and medium size nonprofit organizations to private and for-profit entities. The foundation courses present a generalist perspective to social work practice and consist of fundamental content in human behavior and the social environment, social policies, research, practice and field practicum. The advanced courses build upon the core foundation year competencies and practice behaviors of acquired knowledge, values and skills and demonstrate the integration and application of both the core and advanced competencies in practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Estimated Program Tuition: $26,280

25) University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)

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The University of Missouri’s Online MSW Program can help students further their existing career in clinical practice or policy, planning and administration. For those who want to help individuals, families or groups maximize their opportunities for change, this may be the degree they’ve been seeking. Job titles of recent MSW graduates include: Adoption specialist; Cardiovascular social worker; Counselor; Family advocacy representative; Policy planning specialist; and Public health manager. The online master’s in social work is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required, however a field practicum involves supervised work at an approved agency. Students typically take two classes each semester. For those with advanced standing (i.e., they have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work within seven years of beginning MSW course work), they can complete the 39-credit-hour program in two years (six semesters). For those admitted with regular standing (i.e., having a bachelor’s degree in an area other than social work), they will need to complete 60 credit hours, which would most likely take three years (nine semesters).

The MU School of Social Work accepts applications for the online MSW from students in Missouri and contiguous states (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois). Students must reside within this region to maintain eligibility for the online MSW. Course work covers: Intervention with individuals, families, small groups and communities; Policy making and advocacy practice; Human behavior and psychopathology; Research in social work; and Management of social agencies. As a distance learner in a University of Missouri graduate program, students qualify for in-state tuition rates. Students choose from one of two concentration areas: advanced clinical practice or policy, planning and administration in human services. Completion of an approved college-level statistics course (e.g., SOC_WK 4310, STAT 1200, STAT 1300, ESC_PS 4170) with a grade of C- or higher is a prerequisite to admission to the program. Students will complete two practicums. The first (SOC_WK 7971) must be completed at an agency within Missouri or the contiguous states. The final practicum (SOC_WK 8971) may be completed at an agency in or outside of the region. Moving out of the region prior to the final practicum will result in program withdrawal. It is important to note that practicums must be completed Monday through Friday during normal workday hours (not evenings or weekends).

Estimated Program Tuition: $26,362

26) Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)

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Florida State’s online MSW program has both a traditional (three year) track for those with a bachelor’s in another area of study and an advanced standing (two year) track for those with a BSW. FSU’s online MSW programs are part-time to accommodate busy working professionals. Clinically focused to qualify students for social work licensure, the program includes two social work field placements and involves 61 credit hours. Students take two courses per semester online. Courses are 16 weeks, whie summer may have 12- or 13-week courses, depending on the year. The average completion time is three years. There are two mandatory weekends on campus for skill-building sessions (usually second and third semesters). FSU can’t guarantee that students can have placement in their place of employment, but will work with students to help them establish convenient field placements and suitable alternatives. The College of Social Work is committed to preparing the next generation of social work professionals through their BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. programs. The school shares the moral idea best expressed by one of the profession’s founders, Nobel Laureate Jane Addams: “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”

Advanced Standing is available to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution or students who are transferring from a CSWE-accredited two-year master’s degree program with one year of generalist studies field placement. The Traditional program is for students who hold a bachelor’s degree, but their degree is not in the social work concentration. Offering the first MSW of its kind in the country, FSU has the reputation and the experience to create a student-centric online experience where students get to know their peers, faculty, and professional staff. Students go through a widely recognized program and come out a career-ready professional capable of working in a number of areas. In addition to being part of an online program, FSU’s virtual learning environment, Canvas, helps students complete their degree from the comfort of their own home or anywhere they have a computer and an internet connection.

Estimated Program Tuition: $27,084

27) University of Maine (Orono, ME)

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University of Maine’s Online MSW Program prepares proficient and ethical social work professionals committed to social change in a variety of organizations, specializations, and professional roles. Beginning in 1991, the MSW Program has received continuous accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education and was reaccredited in 2012. Maine graduates go on to serve as social work clinicians, program planners, administrators, and community change agents in a wide range of public and private settings and systems. As a member of a diverse and dedicated community of students, faculty, field instructors, and alumni, students transform their commitment to improving the quality of life for people into professional knowledge and skills. They are poised for a successful and personally rewarding career promoting social change by providing services to individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. The University of Maine MSW program prepares students to qualify for social work licensure at the LMSW level (Licensed Master Social Worker) upon graduation. University of Maine graduates who complete specific clinical social work courses and appropriate supervised work experience in a clinical setting for at least two years following graduation are eligible to apply for licensure at the LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) level.

Students in the online program will enjoy courses taught by the same faculty who teach in the other MSW formats offered by Maine’s flagship university. Using state-of-the-art learning management systems, students will engage in the majority of classes without the need to be online at a particular day or time. These asynchronous classes will be supplemented by the field seminars that requires live interaction with other students from their home or workplace via the use of face-to-face technology. Field seminars will be scheduled after regular work hours. The field internship may be completed at qualifying organizations geographically convenient to students. The Regular Online and Online-Hybrid MSW Program consists of 63 semester credit hours. (Must be completed in three years). The MSW will be offered in several formats, in addition to the traditional on-campus format, over the next five years.The Advanced Standing Online MSW Program consists of 46 credit hours and is completed over two years. Students must be a recent BSW graduate from an accredited institution to be eligible for advanced standing. Advanced Standing Online MSW students begin their coursework during the summer with 6 credits of online MSW Advanced Standing Bridge Courses. The Advanced Standing students enroll in the advanced year classes after completion of the Summer Bridge classes.

Estimated Program Tuition: $27,657 (in-state)

28) University of Illinois (Urbana, IL)

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The University of Illinois’ online-hybrid iMSW program allows students to take online and blended (online/face-to-face) courses to complete their MSW degree. The face-to-face component meets four or fewer weekends per semester on the Urbana, IL campus or at the Illini Center in Chicago. The iMSW in Leadership and Social Change can be completed fully online, without ever coming to campus. The University of Illinois’ iMSW program prepares students for advanced social work practice and research in public and private agencies in two areas of concentration: Leadership and Social Change; and Advanced Clinical. Within the Advanced Clinical concentration, students choose a focus area: Mental Health; Health Care; Children, Youth and Family Services; and Schools. A total of 9 to 14 courses plus an internship are required for the Master of Social Work. Each class is worth four hours of graduate credit.

Students who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from an accredited social work program within the past seven years are considered to have met the foundation coursework requirements and, therefore, have 9 courses to complete and a one semester internship. For students who do not have a BSW, there is a 14 course requirement and a two-semester internship. The internship occurs near the end of the program and must be completed in the student’s area of concentration. The program’s smaller class sizes offer opportunities to work closely with instructors and faculty. In order to be eligible for Advanced Standing status, a student’s BSW degree must be from a CSWE-accredited program within the last seven years. Field education provides students with the opportunity to apply and integrate classroom theoretical concepts into a real-life practice setting. The School of Social Work uses a modified block placement model, called the Illinois Placement Plan, a unique feature of the program. In a block placement, students become totally immersed in the field placement experience. With the exception of the Field Seminar, students complete all coursework prior to starting their internship.

Estimated Program Tuition: $28,144 (in-state)

29) Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)

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Indiana University’s online MSW program prepares students to work in a broad range of practice settings, including community mental health agencies, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, employee assistance programs, family service agencies, and community service agencies, in such careers as: Geriatric case manager; Family service worker; Child protective services (CPS) social worker; Foster care social worker; Adult protective services agent; Youth services specialist; Developmental disabilities specialist; Clinical social worker; Alcohol and drug abuse specialist; and Hospital social worker, among many others. The Indiana University Online Master of Social Work includes foundation coursework in diversity, human rights, and social justice; social policy; and social work practice in organizations, communities, and societies. Students also explore specialized fields of practice, such as military social work, e-social work, telebehavioral health social work, mental health, and addictions. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the MSW offers the “advanced generalist” concentration, which prepares students for work in many areas.

When students enroll in an IU Online program, they take IU classes, taught by the same faculty who teach on their campuses. It’s the flexible, affordable way to get the IU education students deserve without putting their life—or career—on hold. As a student in an IU Online program, students have the opportunity to engage with and seek help from professors and peers, just as they would in a campus-based program. Students also have access to a variety of academic and other support services that they can call on when they need additional assistance. Online students are an important part of the IU community and the school is dedicated to ensuring they have the resources needed to thrive in their online program. No matter what field students are in, an IU degree or certificate can improve the chances of earning a promotion or pay raise. To graduate with the MSW, students must complete 60 credit hours. Requirements are broken down as follows: Social work core courses (30 credit hours); Special practice areas courses (30 credit hours). As graduates of the oldest university-affiliated school of social work in the nation, students will promote social and economic justice, build healthier communities and organizations, and shape social and economic policies.