Structure of Hybrid MSW Programs: Blended versus Distance Education

On OnlineMSWPrograms.com, we classify any program with an online component that requires a student to visit the campus three or more times per year as a hybrid MSW program. From our research, there are currently 13 schools that offer hybrid MSW programs. Please note, while we have done our best to create a comprehensive list of schools that offer these programs, we did not include programs where the majority of classes were only offered on-campus.

The majority of schools offer programs designed for traditional standing students (12 out of 13). In addition, 9 of those schools also offer programs for advanced standing students (those who completed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE accredited undergraduate program). In addition, 11 of the 13 schools offer part-time programs while 7 schools offer full-time programs. Though the format of hybrid MSW programs varies by institution, we have bucketed programs into two main categories based on how they combine online and face-to-face instruction.

  • Hybrid and Blended MSW Programs: Typically, hybrid or blended programs follow one of two formats (although others do exist): 1) online courses with a reduced number of campus visits or 2) a combination of separate online and on-campus courses. For the former, classes may meet on-campus once a week, once a month (typically on the weekends), or even twice a semester (also typically on the weekends), with the rest of instruction taking place online. Programs that have separate online and on-campus courses may require students to take certain classes online or may only offer a limited number of classes online at this time. For the hybrid programs listed below, we have done our best to describe the structure of the program within each school listing.
  • Hybrid / Distance Education MSW Programs: With regard to MSW programs, the majority of programs that use the term distance education involve on-site instruction at an off-campus location. For example, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa has a distance education program designed for students on islands neighboring Oahu. Students attend classes at local sites and instruction is conducted in real-time via interactive television from the Manoa campus. For many distance education MSW programs, students attend classes on Friday evenings or all day Saturday.

In addition to coursework, all hybrid MSW programs require field education. For traditional programs, the number of hours required to graduate ranges from 900 to 1,200 hours depending on the university. Students typically complete two internships over four semesters. For advanced standing programs, the number of hours required ranges from 450 to 680 hours and students typically complete one or two internships over two to three semesters. Students in full-time programs should expect to work 16 to 20 hours per week to meet the graduate requirements.

Length of Hybrid MSW Programs: Full-Time and Part-Time Options

Students have several options when considering hybrid MSW programs and should find a program that fits their schedule and career goals. Typically, full-time programs do not recommend students to work full-time while pursuing their degree. Therefore, students who have other obligations that require them to work full-time while in school should really consider a part-time program.

Traditional MSW Programs:

  • Full-Time Hybrid MSW Programs: Typically take two years to complete and require 60 to 66 credit hours to graduate. Most programs start in the Fall and/or Spring semesters.
  • Part-Time Hybrid MSW Programs: Typically take three to four years to complete (depending on the program) and require 59 to 66 credit hours to graduate. Many part-time programs only have Fall admission, although some schools do have programs that start in the Spring or Summer.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs:

  • Full-Time Hybrid MSW Programs: Typically take one year to complete with classes in the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. The number of credit hours required to graduate ranges from 30 to 42 depending on the university. Most of the programs have Summer admission, although some programs do start in the Fall and Spring.
  • Part-Time Hybrid MSW Programs: Typically take two years to complete with students taking classes over five to six semesters. The number of credit hours required to graduate also ranges from 30 to 46 and programs start in the Fall, Spring and/or Summer semesters.
For students who are also interested in earning a MSW online with limited or no requirements to attend classes in person, we have compiled a comprehensive list of schools offering 100% Online MSW Programs, complete with program information and admission requirements.

CSWE Accredited Hybrid Online MSW Programs (Schools are Listed Alphabetically by State)

All schools listed below offer CSWE accredited hybrid MSW programs. This list contains schools that offer traditional and/or advanced standing degree programs as well as full-time and/or part-time programs. School information includes program options, description of the program(s), length of the program(s), admission information, field instruction requirements, and more. Information, especially student eligibility, tuition costs and admission requirements, are subject to change at any time; therefore, students should speak with an admission advisor to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information before applying.

Alabama

University of Alabama: School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Primarily online classes with limited face-to-face sessions and field education placements
Concentrations: Services to Children, Adolescents, and their Families
Degree Types: Traditional and Advanced Standing
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Master of Social Work Distance Education Programs
Program Length: Full-Time program can be completed in 1.5 to 2 years (Summer, Fall and Spring semesters); Part-Time program is approximately 4 years
Program Start Dates: May/June admission only

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students
Program Name: Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Distance Education Program
Program Length: Full-Time program can be completed in 3 semesters; Part-Time program is ~2 years
Program Start Dates: Spring or Summer admission (January and May/June) – students start by taking bridge classes before joining second year students
Admission Requirements: Students must have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program

Eligibility Restrictions: Most of the programs field agencies are located within Alabama, although it is possible to arrange for field education placements in neighboring states


California

California State University, Chico: School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Online and campus instruction with field education practicum placements
Concentrations: Advanced generalist social work practice with focus areas in Mental Health, Youth & Family Services and Gerontology
Degree Types: Traditional Standing Only
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: MSW Distributed Learning Program
Program Length: Part-Time program that takes 3 years to complete (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters)
Program Start Dates: Next cohort begins in Fall 2018 (admission every three years)


California State University, Long Beach (CSULB): School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid (Distance Education Program)
Structure: Classes are held on Saturday at specific locations throughout the entire course of the program. For the 2016-2019 cohort, classes will be held at Santa Rosa Junior College and Ventura County Community College, both in California.
Concentrations: Children, Youth, and Families
Degree Types: Traditional Standing Only
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Master of Social Work Distance Education Program
Program Length: Part-Time program that takes 3 years to complete with required courses in the Fall, Spring and two Summers (program follows a cohort model with a required sequence of courses)
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only


Colorado

Colorado State University: School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Online instruction with campus visits (twice per semester)
Concentrations: Advanced generalist social work practice with an emphasis on community
Degree Types: Traditional and Advanced Standing
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) in Social Work
Program Length: Part-Time program that takes 3 years to complete (three semesters per year)
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students
Program Name: Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) in Social Work – Advanced Standing
Program Length: Part-Time program that takes 2 years to complete (three semesters per year)
Program Start Dates: Spring admission only
Admission Requirements: Students must have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program within the last 7 years

Eligibility Restrictions: At least 450 hours of human services work or volunteer experience is required for admission into the program


Georgia

Valdosta State University: Division of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Combination of online courses with monthly visits to campus and a field practicum
Concentrations: Advanced Generalist Practice
Degree Types: Traditional and Advanced Standing
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Web Hybrid MSW Program
Program Length: Program takes 2.5 to 3 years to complete (length of program depends on which semester the student starts Fall versus Spring)
Program Start Dates: Fall and Spring admission

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students
Program Name: Web Hybrid MSW Program – Advanced Standing
Program Length: Full-Time: 1 year (three semesters: Summer, Fall and Spring); Part-Time: 1.5 to 2 years
Program Start Dates: Summer admission only
Admission Requirements: Program requires students to have earned a Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program within the last five years

Eligibility Restrictions: Field education requirements can only be completed in the 41-county region served by Valdosta State University


Hawaii

University of Hawai’i at Manoa: Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid (Distance Education Program)
Structure: Combination of different delivery methods including online, hybrid and on-site (at specific locations throughout Hawaii) with field practicums (note: students must visit the Oahu campus once a year)
Concentrations: Children and Families
Degree Types: Traditional and Advanced Standing
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Masters of Social Work Degree Distance Education Option
Program Length: Part-Time program takes 3 years to complete
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only (program admits students two out of every three years in cohorts)

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students
Program Name: Masters of Social Work Degree Distance Education Option – Advanced Standing
Program Length: Full-Time: 1 year (three semesters: Summer, Fall and Spring); Part-Time: 2 years (five semesters)
Program Start Dates: Summer admission only (program admits students two out of every three years in cohorts)
Admission Requirements: Students must have a BSW from a CSWE accredited school that was earned in the last seven years

Eligibility Restrictions: Students are required to travel to Oahu once a year to visit the campus


Kansas

Washburn University: School of Applied Studies – Department of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Campus program with selected online classes during foundation year with field practicums
Concentrations: Clinical Social Work
Degree Types: Traditional Standing Only
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Master of Social Work
Program Length: Full-Time: 2 years (five semesters); Part-Time: up to 4 years max to complete the program
Program Start Dates: Fall and Spring admission


Kentucky

Campbellsville University: Carver School of Social Work & Counseling

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Classes are on campus one night a week with online assignments, resources and media
Concentrations: Advanced generalist program influenced by Christian values
Degree Types: Traditional and Advanced Standing
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Hybrid Master of Social Work (MSW) Program
Program Length: Full-Time: 2 years; Part-Time: could be 4+ years depending on the number of courses taken at a time
Program Start Dates: January and August

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students
Program Name: Hybrid Master of Social Work (MSW) Program – Advanced Standing
Program Length: Full-Time: 1 year; Part-Time: could be 2+ years depending on the number of courses taken at a time
Program Start Dates: January and August
Admission Requirements: Students must have a Bachelor’s in Social Work from a CSWE accredited program


Maine

University of Maine: School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Online with a limited number of campus visits (two Saturdays per semester) with field education experiences
Concentrations: Advanced Generalist with electives
Degree Types: Traditional and Advanced Standing
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Online – Hybrid MSW Program
Program Length: Part-time program that takes 3 years to complete
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students
Program Name: Online – Hybrid MSW Program – Advanced Standing
Program Length: Part-time program that takes 2 years to complete
Program Start Dates: Summer admission only
Admission Requirements: Students must have a Bachelor’s in Social Work from a CSWE accredited program earned within the last 6 years


Michigan

Michigan State University: School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid (Blended Online Program)
Structure: A combination of on-campus, videoconferencing and online instruction with field education
Concentrations: Clinical Social Work
Degree Types: Traditional and Advanced Standing
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Students
Program Name: Statewide Blended Clinical MSW Program
Program Length: Part-Time program that takes 3 years to complete
Program Start Dates: Summer admission only

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students
Program Name: Statewide Blended Clinical MSW Program – Advanced Standing
Program Length: Part-Time program that takes 2 years to complete
Program Start Dates: Summer admission only
Admission Requirements: Students must have graduated from a CSWE accredited BSW program within the last six years

Eligibility Restrictions: Program is designed for Michigan residents who do not live within 50 miles of the East Lansing, Oakland or Saginaw campuses. Out-of-state students must live within 50 miles of the Michigan border


Texas

Baylor University: Diana R. Garland School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Primarily online instruction with two summer candidacy courses that are mainly on-campus
Concentrations: Clinical Practice (Children and Families) and Community Practice
Degree Types: Advanced Standing Only
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students
Program Name: Online MSW Program
Program Length: Full-time program that can be completed in 10 months
Program Start Dates: Summer admission only


Virgina

Virginia Commonwealth University: School of Social Work

Program Overview
Structure Type: Hybrid
Structure: Online with a limited number of campus visits with field education experiences
Concentrations: Clinical Social Work Practice
Degree Types: Traditional Standing Only
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information – Traditional Standing Students
Program Name: MSW Distance Education Program
Program Length: Part-Time program that takes 4 years to complete (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters)
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Eligibility Restrictions: Field education experiences can only be completed through community agencies in Virginia or the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C.