Compare Online Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs - CSWE Accredited

2020 Accredited Online MSW Programs

Updated: December 2020
Note: factors comparing online MSW programs were created by 2U.

A master’s in social work from an accredited online program may help set you up for an exciting career change. This comprehensive list of online schools was curated to provide the most accurate and helpful information on all types of CSWE accredited master's in social work degree programs online. In order to help you find the best online MSW for you, we’ve listed all programs on five different factors, including GRE requirements and campus visit requirements.

  • Online Class Type
  • Traditional and Advanced Standing Options
  • GRE Requirement
  • Campus Visit Requirement
  • Field Placement Support

Online MSW Programs That Meet All Five Factors

Online Master of Social Work Programs Rankings
University Name Online Class Type Traditional and Advanced Standing Options? GRE Requirement Campus Visit Requirement Field Placement Support Number of Factors Met Learn More
Baylor University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@Baylor
Case Western Reserve University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 Online Social Work at CWRU
Fordham University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 OnlineMSW@Fordham
Simmons University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 SocialWork@Simmons
Syracuse University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@Denver
University of Denver
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@Denver
University of Southern California (USC)
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@USC

Sponsored

Online Master of Social Work Programs Rankings
University Name Online Class Type Traditional and Advanced Standing Options? GRE Requirement Campus Visit Requirement Field Placement Support Number of Factors Met Learn More
University of Southern California (USC)
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@USC
University of Denver
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@Denver
Fordham University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 OnlineMSW@Fordham

Sponsored Programs

Online Master of Social Work Programs Rankings
University Name Online Class Type Traditional and Advanced Standing Options? GRE Requirement Campus Visit Requirement Field Placement Support Number of Factors Met Learn More
Baylor University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@Baylor
University of Denver
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@Denver
University of Southern California (USC)
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@USC

Sponsored Programs

Online Master of Social Work Programs Rankings
University Name Online Class Type Traditional and Advanced Standing Options? GRE Requirement Campus Visit Requirement Field Placement Support Number of Factors Met Learn More
Fordham University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 OnlineMSW@Fordham
University of Denver
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 MSW@Denver
Simmons University
Master of Social Work
Live Both No No Visit Required Online Team Available 5/5 SocialWork@Simmons

Sponsored Programs

All Online Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs Accredited by the CSWE

Online Master of Social Work Programs Rankings
University Name Online Class Type Traditional and Advanced Standing Options? GRE Requirement Campus Visit Requirement Field Placement Support Number of Factors Met
Baylor University
Waco, Texas
Sponsored
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio
Sponsored
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
Fordham University
Bronx, New York
Sponsored
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
Simmons University
Boston, Massachusetts
Sponsored
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York
Sponsored
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
University of Denver
Denver, Colorado
Sponsored
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
University of Southern California (USC)
Los Angeles, California
Sponsored
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
Columbia University
New York City, New York
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana
Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 5/5
Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Boise State University
Boise, Idaho
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Morgan State University
Baltimore, Maryland
Some Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Texas State University, San Marcos
San Marcos, Texas
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
The Catholic University of America
Washington, D.C.
Not Live Both No No Visit Required No Team Available 4/5
University at Buffalo (SUNY)
Buffalo, New York
Some Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
University of Alaska - Anchorage
Anchorage, Alaska
Live Both No One Visit Each Year Placement Support Available 4/5
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
University of New Hampshire
Durham, New Hampshire
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Live Both No Some Visits Required Placement Support Available 4/5
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida
Some Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Western New Mexico University
Silver City, New Mexico
Some Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Widener University
Chester, Pennsylvania
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 4/5
Adelphi University
Garden City, New York
Some Live Both No Campus Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
Campbellsville University
Campbellsville, Kentucky
Not Live Both No No Visit Required No Team Available 3/5
Capella University
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Not Live Both No No Visit Required No Team Available 3/5
Delaware State University
Dover, Delaware
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Unspecified 3/5
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia
Not Live Traditional Standing Only No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
Humboldt State University
Arcata, California
Some Live Both No One to Two Visits Required Per Year Placement Support Available 3/5
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Denver, Colorado
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Placement Support Available Only for Colorado Residents 3/5
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Unspecified 3/5
Ohio University
Dover, Ohio
Not Live Both No No Visit Required No Placement Support Available 3/5
Our Lady of the Lake University
San Antonio, Texas
Not Live Both No No Visit Required No Placement Support Available 3/5
Portland State University
Portland, Oregon
Not Live Both No One Visit Required Per Year Placement Support Available 3/5
San Jose State University
San Jose, California
Some Live Both No Orientation Required Placement Support Available 3/5
Samford University
Birmingham, New Jersey
Not Live Both GRE Required if Below 2.8 No Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Live Traditional Standing Only No One Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
University of Houston
Houston, Texas
Not Live Both GRE Required No Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, Nevada
Not Live Both No One Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
University of New England
Biddeford, Maine
Not Live Both No No Visit Required No Placement Support Available 3/5
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee
Some Live Both GRE Required No Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
University of Texas - Arlington
Arlington, Texas
Unspecified Both GRE required if GPA for last 60 credits is under 3.0 No Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Not Live Advanced Standing Only No No Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia
Not Live Both No No Visit Required Student Must Identify Placement if Not on List of Approved Sites 3/5
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Not Live Both GRE Required if GMAT Not Taken No Visit Required Placement Support Available 3/5
Yeshiva University
New York, New York
Not Live Both No No Visit Required No Placement Support Available 3/5
California State University - San Bernardino
San Bernardino, California
Not Live Traditional Standing Only No One Visit per Year Placement Support Available 2/5
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
Not Live Traditional Standing Only GRE Required
if last 60 credits GPA is 3.2 or lower
No Visit Required Placement Support Available 2/5
California State University - Northridge
Los Angeles, California
Not Live Traditional Standing Only No No Visit Required No Team Available 2/5
Edinboro University
Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Not Live Both GRE Required
if GPA is below 3.0
No Visit Required No Placement Support Available 3/5
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida
Not Live Both GRE Required (unless conditions are met) Two Visits Required Placement Support Available 2/5
University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas
Some Live Traditional Standing Only GRE Required No Visit Required Placement Support Available 2/5
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Not Live Traditional Standing Only No No Visit Required No Placement Support Available 2/5
University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley
Edinburg, Texas
Not Live Advanced Standing Only No No Visit Required No Placement Support Available 2/5
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Some Live Both No Orientation Placements Must be in Rural Areas, Placement Process for Online Students Unspecified 2/5

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Why do we only list CSWE-accredited social work programs?

CSWE-accredited programs have been recognized by the educational community and the public as having satisfactory levels of performance, integrity and quality. With this accreditation, students can be confident when researching a potential, whether it be in person or online, that it may prepare them for the next steps in their careers. In fact, most state licensing boards require that social workers earn their degrees through CSWE-accredited degree programs

Even in states that don’t mandate it, CSWE accreditation can improve your chances of licensure and career options through its standardization of educational criteria. Employers may require or prefer their candidates to hold degrees from CSWE-accredited programs.

All Online MSW Programs - School Insights

Baylor University

Waco, Texas

5/5 Factors

Baylor University logo

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Program Name:
Master of Social Work

Standard MSW:
60 credits
Part-time: 36 months
Full-time: 24 months
Accelerated: as few as 16 months

Advanced Standing:
32 credits
Full-time: as few as 12 months
Part-time: 20 months

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Standard MSW:
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

Advanced standing:
Applicants must hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program at a regionally accredited college or university within the past five years.

Sponsored

CSWE Accredited

No Campus Visit Required

No GRE Required

At Baylor, your calling to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW) transcends career goals — it’s a selfless drive to make a difference in peoples’ lives locally and globally. As a student in Baylor University’s MSW online program, you will focus on service, justice, and empowerment as you work to become a culturally responsive and compassionate social worker.

The curriculum challenges students to think critically about how faith affects their clients and communities — and to understand and respect the diversity of human spirituality.

START DATES

January, May, and August

Address injustice from a strengths-based perspective.

Learn more from MSW@Baylor

Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, Ohio

5/5 Factors

Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service logo

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Program Name:
Online Social Work at CWRU

Traditional Track:
60 credits
Complete in as few as two and a half years

Advanced Standing:
24 credits
Complete in as few as two years

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Traditional Track:
GPA: Minimum GPA of 2.7
GRE Information: Not Required

Advanced Standing:
BSW Requirement: BSW must have been earned within the last seven years from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution with grades of B or better in all social work related courses.
GPA: Minimum GPA of 2.7
GRE Information: Not required

Sponsored

CSWE Accredited

No Campus Visit Required

No GRE Required

At Case Western Reserve University’s CSWE-accredited Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences—ranked No. 9 for social work in 20201 by U.S. News & World Report—students can earn their Master of Social Work (MSW) online.

The degree is can be completed in two or two and a half years, depending on the track. GRE scores are not required to apply.

START DATES

Fall, Spring and Summer

Lead lasting change in your community.

Learn more about Online Social Work at CWRU

Fordham University

The Bronx, New York

5/5 Factors

Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service logo

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Program Name:
Master of Social Work

Traditional Standing
60 credits
Full-time: As few as 16 months
Part-time: 24 or 32 months

Advanced Standing:
33 credits
Full-time: As few as 8 months
Part-time: 16 months

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Traditional:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 2.6 or above. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred.
  • 18 undergraduate liberal arts credits

Advanced standing:
You may be eligible for advanced standing if within the past five years you have either:

  • Earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Or completed one year of coursework through another CSWE-accredited MSW program.

Sponsored

CSWE Accredited

No Campus Visit Required

No GRE Required

OnlineMSW@Fordham features an integrated, forward-facing curriculum that prepares aspiring practitioners to deliver responsive services to both individuals and communities.

Delivered by the top-ranked Graduate School of Social Service, the program has an intuitive online campus with multiple interactive features that create an engaging learning environment with interaction between students and faculty.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.

START DATES

Fall, Spring, and Summer

Ranked top 25 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report1.

Learn more from OnlineMSW@Fordham

Simmons University

Boston, Massachusetts

5/5 Factors

Simmons University logo

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Program Name:
Master of Social Work

Traditional MSW:
65 credits
Accelerated: 16 months
Full-time: 24 months
Part-time: 32 months

Advanced Standing:
37 credits
Full-time: 16 months

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Traditional:
To apply, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university institution with at least a 3.0 (B) GPA grade point average. Relevant work or volunteer experience is also required.

Advanced Standing:
To apply applicants must have:

  • Earned a BSW within the past five years from a regionally accredited institution.
  • A grade of B or better in each BSW course, or a 3.3 GPA for all social work coursework.
  • An undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Sponsored

CSWE Accredited

No Campus Visit Required

No GRE Required

SocialWork@Simmons is the clinically focused online Master of Social Work (MSW) program from the nation’s oldest school of social work.

Students may choose from three certificates: Trauma Practice, Mental Health Practice, or Practice with Groups and Families.

START DATES

January, March, May, September and November

Simmons prepares you for success after graduation: 91%1 of MSW students passed their boards in 2018.

Learn more from SocialWork@Simmons
1Based on 2018 first-time ASWB Masters Exam test takers as reported by the Association for Social Work Boards, including graduates of Simmons' online and on-campus programs.

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

5/5 Factors

Syracuse University logo

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Program Name:
Master of Social Work

Traditional Track:
60 credits
Complete in as few as 36 months

Advanced Standing:
36 credits
Complete in as few as 24 months

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Traditional Track:
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred
GRE Information: Not Required

Advanced Standing:
BSW Requirement: BSW from an accredited program with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all social work course work.
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred
GRE Information: Not required

Sponsored

CSWE Accredited

No Campus Visit Required

No GRE Required

Syracuse University’s CSWE-accredited online Master of Social Work program is preparing the next generation of social work leaders through an emphasis on digital innovation and social justice. No GRE scores are required to apply, and the program offers Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks. Learn more.

START DATES

January, May and August

No. 1 private institution for veterans by the Military Times1

Learn More about Syracuse University's online MSW

University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

5/5 Factors

Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service logo

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Program Name:
Master of Social Work

Full-time Standard MSW
81-credit program

Full-time Advanced Standing:
54-credit program

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Traditional:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Advanced standing:

  • Hold a BSW from a regionally accredited college or university at any point in time.
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Sponsored

CSWE Accredited

No Campus Visit Required

No GRE Required

MSW@Denver is the online Master of Social Work program from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW), ranked among the top 20 graduate social work schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

The program prepares aspiring social workers to advocate for social change and provide trauma-informed services to individuals, families and groups impacted by oppression.

START DATES

Winter, Fall, Spring, and Summer

Earn a master’s from a top-ranked1 Graduation School of Social Work at DU.

Learn more from MSW@Denver

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

5/5 Factors

Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service logo

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Program Name:
Master of Social Work (MSW)

Traditional:
66 credits
Full-time: 4 semesters
Part-time: 6 semesters

Advanced Standing:
37 credits
Full-time: 3 semesters
Part-time: 5 semesters

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Traditional:
Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
No GRE Required.

Advanced Standing:
Must have completed a BSW from an accredited program within 5 years of the date of application.
Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
No GRE Required.

Sponsored

CSWE Accredited

No Campus Visit Required

No GRE Required

The MSW@USC is the online Master of Social Work program from the top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work1.

Designed for those who want to lead social change in their communities, the program prepares students to pursue professional licensure and work directly with people of all ages.

Online MSW classes taught by USC's award-winning faculty.

Learn more from MSW@USC

Columbia University

5/5 Factors
Columbia University’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, part- and full-time enrollment (part-time only for advanced-standing)
  • Concentrations in Advanced Clinical Social Work, Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Columbia University 96% 3% 1 year advanced, 2 - 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Tulane University

5/5 Factors
Tulane University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and Advanced Standing
  • Synchronous Course Delivery
  • Advanced Generalist, with Certificates Available in Disaster Mental Health; Trauma Studies and Family Practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Tulane University 85% 11% 16 to 32 months traditional, 1 year advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Boise State University

4/5 Factors
Boise State Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Concentrations advanced social work practice with individuals and families
  • Falls, spring and summer admission
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Boise State University 46% 40% 2-3 years traditional, 12-21 months advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

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Boston University (BU)

4/5 Factors
BU’s Online MSW Program
  • Three different tracks: traditional, human service experience and advanced standing
  • Asynchronous and synchronous coursework
  • Concentrations available in clinical and macro social work practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Boston University 88% 15% 2 years advanced, 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Indiana University (IU)

4/5 Factors
IU’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, part-time enrollment only
  • Asynchronous and synchronous instruction
  • On-campus orientation
Additional Factors1, 2
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Indiana University 43% 23% 1 to 2 years advanced, 2 to 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics
2 Indiana University’s graduation rate and percent of online graduate students numbers were calculated as an average of eight different campuses: Bloomington, East, Kokomo, Northwest, IUPU Fort Wayne, IUPU Indianapolis, South Bend and Southeast.

Louisiana State University (LSU)

4/5 Factors
LSU’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing enrollment options
  • Asynchronous instruction with seven week-long courses.
Additional Factors1, 2
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Louisiana State University 33% 95% 1 year advanced, 3 to 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics
2 LSU’s graduation rate and percent of online graduate students numbers were selected from the Shreveport campus - the only campus to offer master’s degrees.

Morgan State University

4/5 Factors
Morgan State Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Asynchronous and synchronous instruction
  • Concentrations in Urban Children, Youth, and Families and Addictions
  • Must Live in MD, DC, DE, or Parts of PA/VA/NJ to Apply
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Morgan State University 39% 13% 1 year advanced, 2 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Ohio State University

4/5 Factors
Ohio State Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Mainly asynchronous instruction
  • Concentrations in Mental Health and Substance Misuse, Child and Youth Services
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Ohio State University 84% 9% Advanced is 3 semesters, traditional is 2 to 4 years
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Rutgers University (RU)

4/5 Factors
RU Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Mainly asynchronous instruction
  • Concentration in clinical social work
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Rutgers University 67%2 17%2 3 years traditional, 4 semesters advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics
2 Information gathered is average from Camden, New Brunswick and Newark campuses.

Texas State University, San Marcos

4/5 Factors
Texas State Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Primarily asynchronous instruction
  • Advanced Practice Leadership
  • Alabama residents should check with school and licensing board before applying
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Texas State University, San Marcos 55% 16% 1.5 to 2 years advanced, 2.5 to 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

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The Catholic University of America (CUA)

4/5 Factors
CUA’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing, part-time enrollment only
  • Cohort model with year-round classes and asynchronous instruction
  • Concentration in clinical social work
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
The Catholic University of America 76% 15% 3 years traditional, 1.5 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University at Buffalo (SUNY)

4/5 Factors
SUNY Buffalo Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Blend of synchronous and asynchronous requirements
  • Concentration in evidence-based practice with a trauma-informed and human rights perspective
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University at Buffalo (SUNY) 76% 10% 3 years traditional, 1.5 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Alaska Anchorage

4/5 Factors
University of Alaska Anchorage’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Synchronous course delivery
  • Advanced Generalist
  • Must live in Alaska
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Alaska Anchorage 30% 43% 1 to 2 years advanced, 2 to 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Central Florida (UCF)

4/5 Factors
UCF Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing, part-time program
  • Concentration in clinical practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Central Florida 73% 32% 3 years traditional standing, 16 months advanced standing
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Louisville

4/5 Factors
University of Louisville Online MSSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Coursework primarily asynchronous
  • Generalist with your choice of advanced topics: Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health, Military Social Work, Psycho-Social Oncology
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Louisville 66% 19% 2 to 3 years traditional, 1 to 2 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of New Hampshire (UNH)

3/5 Factors
UNH Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, full-time only
  • Coursework is primarily asynchronous
  • Advanced Generalist with Electives: Health and Mental Health; Addictions and Substance Abuse; Children, Youth, and Families; Disabilities
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of New Hampshire 77% 17% 16 months advanced, 28 months traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of North Dakota

4/5 Factors
University of North Dakota's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Advanced Generalist Concentration
  • Synchronous course delivery
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of North Dakota 55% 50% 3 years traditional, 2 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of South Florida (USF)

4/5 Factors
USF Online MSW Program
  • Advanced and traditional standing
  • Concentration in clinical social work
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of South Florida 73% 21% 8 semesters traditional, 3-5 semesters advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

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University of Kentucky

4/5 Factors
University of Kentucky's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Advanced Generalist Concentration
  • Coursework primarily asynchronous
  • Conditional Authorization in IN, KS, ME, MS, NH, NM, UT, WI. Check with the school if you live in these states.
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Kentucky 66% 19% 1 year advanced, 2 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Missouri

4/5 Factors
University of Missouri's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Advanced Clinical Practice and Policy, Planning and Administration in Human Services
  • Coursework primarily asynchronous
  • Must Live in MO, IA, NE, KS, OK, AR, TN, KY, IL
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Missouri 69% 30% 2 years advanced, 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Northern Iowa

4/5 Factors
University of Northern Iowa's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Advanced Clinical Practice and Policy, Planning and Administration in Human Services
  • Coursework primarily asynchronous
  • Must Live in MO, IA, NE, KS, OK, AR, TN, KY, IL
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Northern Iowa 55% 50% 3 years traditional, 2 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Western New Mexico University (WNMU)

4/5 Factors
WNMU Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing programs
  • Fall, spring and summer admissions
  • Advanced Generalist
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Western New Mexico University 26% 68% Traditional standing 2-3 years, advanced standing 1.5 years or more
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Widener University

4/5 Factors
Widener Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, part-time only
  • Fall, spring and summer admissions
  • Concentration in clinical social work and trauma
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Widener University 63% 29% 3 years traditional, 2 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Adelphi University

3/5 Factors
Adelphi University Online MSW Program
  • Traditional, human services professionals, and advanced standing options
  • Advanced Generalist concentration
  • Synchronous and asynchronous instruction
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Adelphi University 70% 8% 15 months advanced, 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Campbellsville University

3/5 Factors
Campbellsville University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, full-time options
  • Asynchronous instruction
  • Advanced generalist, clinical social work
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Campbellsville University 40% 11% 1 year advanced, 2 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Capella University

3/5 Factors
Campbellsville University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, full-time options
  • Asynchronous instruction
  • Advanced generalist, clinical social work
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Capella University Not Available 100% Unspecified
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Delaware State University

3/5 Factors
Delaware State University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, full-time options
  • Asynchronous instruction
  • Advanced generalist
  • Working on SARA approval
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Delaware State University 40% Unspecified 1 year advanced, 2-3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

George Mason University

3/5 Factors
George Mason University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing
  • Asynchronous instruction
  • Advanced Generalist, focusing on social justice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
George Mason University 70% 13% Unspecified
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Humboldt State University

3/5 Factors
Humboldt’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, part-time enrollment only
  • Asynchronous and synchronous instruction
  • Generalist program that focuses on working with rural and indigenous communities
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Humboldt State University 52% 19% 2 years advanced, 3 to 3.5 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver)

3/5 Factors
MSU Denver’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, part- and full-time options
  • Mostly asynchronous instruction with some synchronous requirements
  • Concentrations in Individual and Families, Mental Health, or Leadership and Management
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Metropolitan State University of Denver 28% 7% 1 to 2 years advanced, 2 to 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

New Mexico State University

3/5 Factors
New Mexico State University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Asynchronous and synchronous instruction
  • Concentrations in Advanced Generalist Practice with Populations of the Southwest
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
New Mexico State University 47% 25% 1 year advanced, 2 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Ohio University

3/5 Factors
Ohio University Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Mainly asynchronous instruction
  • Emphasis on Service in Rural Environments
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Ohio University 64% 42% 2 years advanced, 10 semesters traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU)

3/5 Factors
OLLU Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Foundation MSW Program for students with no prior social work experience
  • Emphasis on work serving the Hispanic community
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Our Lady of the Lake University 37% 61% 3-3.5 years traditional, under 2 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

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Portland State University (PSU)

3/5 Factors
PSU's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Mainly asynchronous instruction
  • Concentrations in Health Across the Lifespan, Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Portland State University 49% 11% 3 years traditional, 1 year advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

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San Jose State University

3/5 Factors
San Jose State University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing
  • Blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction
  • Concentrations in Health and Mental Health; Children, Youth, and Families
  • California residents only
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
San Jose State University 65% 29% 2 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Samford University

3/5 Factors
Samford University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Mainly asynchronous instruction
  • Concentration in Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Some Location Exceptions, Check with School
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Samford University 76% 30% 2 to 4 years traditional, 1 to 2 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Temple University

3/5 Factors
Temple University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing only
  • Synchronous course delivery
  • Specializations in Children and Families and Health and Mental Health. Concentrations in Clinical Practice and Macro Practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Temple University 73% 12% 3 to 4 years traditional standing
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Houston (UH)

3/5 Factors
University of Houston
  • Traditional and advanced standing options/span>
  • Asynchronous and synchronous instruction
  • Concentration in Clinical Practice: Health and Behavioral Health
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Houston 59% 6% 2.5 years advanced, 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Nevada, Reno (UNR)

3/5 Factors
UNR Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Fall admissions only
  • Concentration in Advanced Generalist
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Nevada, Reno 58% 21% 1 year advanced to up to- 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of New England (UNE)

3/5 Factors
UNE’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Cohort model with asynchronous instruction
  • Integrated Clinical Practice Specialization
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of New England 63% 51% 16 months advanced standing, 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

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University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK)

3/5 Factors
UTK Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing options
  • Asynchronous and synchronous instruction
  • Concentration in Evidence Based Interpersonal Practice and Management, Leadership and Community Practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Tennessee at Knoxville 73% 13% 1.5 to 2 years advanced, 3 to 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Texas - Arlington

3/5 Factors
University of Texas Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Direct Practice with Children and Families, Direct Practice in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Direct Practice in Aging
  • Must live in Texas
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Texas - Arlington 49% 53% 12 to 16 months advanced, 2 to 4 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Utah

3/5 Factors
University of Utah's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing
  • Mental Health in Social Work
  • CA Residents Contact Licensing Board Before Applying
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Utah 70% 4% 2 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

West Virginia University

3/5 Factors
West Virginia University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Advanced Integrated Practice with Emphasis on Rural Service Delivery
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
West Virginia University 60% 25% 2 years advanced, 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Winthrop University

3/5 Factors
Winthrop University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Empowerment Practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Winthrop University Unavailable Unavailable 3 or more years traditional, 2 years advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Yeshiva University

3/5 Factors
Yeshiva University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Empowerment Practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Yeshiva University 83% 3% 1.5 years advanced, 2.5 to 5 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

California State University - Northridge (CSUN)

2/5 Factors
CSUN's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing, full-time enrollment only
  • Cohort model of coursework progression
  • Generalist concentration with an emphasis on urban family practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
California State University - Northridge 54% 17% 2 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Arizona State University (ASU)

2/5 Factors
ASU’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing only, full- or part-time options
  • Asynchronous and synchronous coursework
  • Advanced generalist concentration

Additional Factors1, 2

Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Arizona State University 63% 24% 2 - 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics
2 Arizona State University’s graduation rate and percent of online graduate students numbers were calculated as an average of five different campuses: Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Skysong, Temple, and West.

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California State University - San Bernardino (CSUSB)

2/5 Factors
CSUSB’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing part-time enrollment only
  • Cohort model with asynchronous and some synchronous coursework
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
California State University - San Bernardino 57% 17% 3 years
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Edinboro University

2/5 Factors
Edinboro’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, full-time enrollment only
  • Asynchronous coursework and instruction
  • Concentration in family social work practice
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Edinboro University 45% 72% 1 year advanced to 2 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Florida State University (FSU)

2/5 Factors
FSU’s Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing, part-time options
  • Majority of instruction is asynchronous
  • Concentration in clinical social work
  • Some Florida counties ineligible for online program
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Florida State University 93% 21% 2 years advanced standing, 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

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University of Arkansas, Little Rock

2/5 Factors
University of Arkansas, Little Rock's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional standing
  • Mix of Synchronous and Asynchronous Course Delivery
  • Clinical Social Work Concentration
  • Arkansas Residents Only
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Arkansas, Little Rock 39% 27% 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Iowa

2/5 Factors
University of Iowa's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing standing
  • Asynchronous cohort model
  • Advanced Generalist
  • Iowa and Surrounding Area Only
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Iowa 73% 25% 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley

2/5 Factors
University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley's Online MSW Program
  • Advanced standing
  • Administration and Community Practice, Direct Practice with Latino Individuals, Families and Groups
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley 46% 31% 1 year advanced
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Western Kentucky University

2/5 Factors
Western Kentucky University's Online MSW Program
  • Traditional and advanced standing
  • Advanced Generalist
Additional Factors1
Online Master of Social Work Program
University Name Graduation Rate Percent of Online
Graduate Students
Average Length of Program
Western Kentucky University 45% 49% 1 to 2 years advanced, 3 years traditional
1 Additional factor information retrieved from College Navigator - National Center for Education Statistics

Advanced Generalist Master’s in Social Work Online

What is an advanced generalist program?

Advanced generalist programs are designed for students who wish to engage in both micro and macro social work, and who want to learn about and gain training in a number of different social work fields.

In general, this type of program helps prepare students to implement interventions at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels, and to work with both individual clients and larger communities. In this way, advanced generalist programs may be considered an intermediate between direct practice/clinical social work programs, which typically focus on individual work with clients, and community planning and organization programs, which focus mainly on larger communities and macro-level change.

Prospective students who wish to enroll in an advanced generalist program should research the exact curricula and course offerings of the programs that interest them in order to choose a program that meets their academic and professional goals.

Curriculum Details for Advanced Generalist Programs

Accredited online advanced generalist programs have similar curriculum structure, courses, and field education requirements as on-campus programs. As with other types of MSW programs, advanced generalist programs are generally comprised of a core set of foundational courses, and a set of concentration or elective courses (also known as advanced standing courses). While course titles and content vary across programs, sample classes may include:

Foundational Courses:

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Human psychological, emotional, and social development across the lifespan. How humans interact with different social environments (ex. family, school and work settings, friends), and how these environments in turn affect human thought, behavior, and development.
  • Social Welfare Policy: The history of social services and social welfare policy in the United States. Current social work and welfare policies are analyzed from historical, political, and economic perspectives. How current policies affect social workers’ practice.
  • Foundations of Advanced Generalist Practice: The fundamental concepts, principles, and methods of working with individuals, groups, and larger communities to address a variety of common social, psychological, emotional, and cultural issues. Professional ethics, communications skills, and therapeutic methods are discussed and applied to different client scenarios.

Concentration/Elective Courses:

  • Social Work Practice in School Environments:
    • The principles and methods of social work practice in a school setting.
    • The different federal and state laws that impact school settings and school social work practice.
    • Understanding school communities as a whole, and how to work with students and school personnel to address different issues on and off campus that affect student learning.
    • How to counsel students at different grade levels and help them with such challenges as learning disabilities, bullying, poverty, truancy, and family conflict.
  • Advanced Clinical Practice with Families:
    • How social workers can help address common emotional, psychological, and social issues that family members face individually and as a unit.
    • Addressing spousal, parental, and sibling relationships, marital conflicts, different emotional disorders (ex. depression, anxiety) and how they affect the family unit, domestic abuse, and child neglect.
  • Advanced Clinical Practice with Older Adults:
    • How social workers can assist elderly individuals from multiple economic, social, and cultural backgrounds.
    • Helping elderly clients navigate the process of applying for government benefits, addressing elderly abuse.
    • Helping the families of elderly individuals manage long-term elderly care.

For a full list of online MSW programs with a clinical social work concentration, see our online LCSW degree programs page.

  • Community Planning and Administrative Leadership:
    • The essential concepts and theories of effective community planning and organization.
    • How to use structure, leadership, education, and program development to create positive change at the community level.

What’s a Cohort Model in Online Master’s in Social Work?

Some online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs use a cohort model of instruction where students enter as a group and take a predetermined schedule of classes. There are some online programs that have flexible scheduling that allow students to pick and choose which classes they take each quarter or semester. With the exception of programs that offer multiple concentrations or electives, where students have the option to customize their degree program during the advanced standing year.

Advantages of the Cohort Model of Instruction

A cohort functions as a student’s support group during the program, allowing opportunities to form closer bonds with their classmates, and often starts their professional network following graduation. In addition, several programs that use a cohort model have some class sizes and limit the number of students per cohort to create a cohesive student group. Finally, with a set curriculum of classes, students do not have to worry about getting the classes they need to graduate.

Disadvantages of the Cohort Model of Instruction

One disadvantage of the cohort model is that all classes in the program may not be offered every semester or quarter. Therefore, if a student needs to take a leave of absence for personal reasons, they may have to wait sometime before continuing their degree program. This is typically true for online MSW programs that only accept incoming students once a year. This is not as much of a concern for programs that have multiple start dates as there is a higher chance that courses will be offered more than one time per year.

For students who are considering attending a full-time online MSW program, we recommend asking an admission advisor what happens if a student needs to take some time off during the program for an unforeseen circumstance.


Synchronous VS Asynchronous Instruction

For students who are not familiar with the terms synchronous versus asynchronous, online programs typically use one of three methods for instruction:

  • Synchronous Instruction: Programs that use synchronous instruction methods require students to log on at specific times to attend classes in “real-time”. Some programs require students to log on for a set schedule of classes each week, while others may only require students to log on for real-time instruction a couple of times per semester. Students typically know well in advance when they are required to log on for classes.
  • Asynchronous Instruction: Programs that use asynchronous instruction methods do not require students to log on at specific times to attend classes. Students are given deadlines to watch lectures and complete assignments. For these programs, students can still interact with teachers and classmates through their school’s online learning portal.
  • Combination of Synchronous and Asynchronous Instruction: Several programs actually use both types of instruction method depending on the class and professor. Again, students typically know well in advance when they are required to log on for real-time classes.

Some students may prefer classes with synchronous instruction so that they may interact with professors and classmates. Other students may enjoy the flexibility of asynchronous instruction; however, it is important to stay on track and keep up with coursework and assignments.

For students who are not sure which method is right for them, we suggest reaching out to a couple of schools to ask more questions about the different methods.


Are there any online MSW degrees with a children, youth, and family counseling concentration?

Some online MSW programs have a concentration with a sub-specialization in children, youth and family counseling.

Social workers who work primarily with children and families provide a combination of social services and mental health support to their clients. For example, they may help families find the government support that they need (such as food stamps or child care benefits), while also diagnosing and treating clients’ mental, emotional and behavioral disorders as they face certain challenges such as poverty, divorce, or substance abuse struggles.

Accredited MSW Programs vs. Masters Programs in Counseling or Clinical Psychology

Master’s degrees in counseling or clinical psychology may also help prepare individuals to provide therapy to children and families. However, these types of programs differ from MSW programs in that they generally do not train students to help clients find and use social support systems within their community, as counselors and clinical psychologists generally focus on diagnosis and therapy.

For example, while a clinical psychologist might identify and treat a child’s depression and anxiety, licensed clinical social workers may provide similar therapy, while also assisting their clients in addressing such challenges as incidents of child or elder abuse or neglect, and finding resources or making referrals.

Become a Clinical Social Worker Social workers are on the front lines in counseling, mental health, substance abuse, child welfare, and crisis response. Consider supporting those in your community by furthering your education with an online masters in social work from the University of Denver. Earn your Master of Social Work online from the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Request more information from MSW@Denver!

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Coursework in Clinical Social Work MSW Programs with a Specialization in Child and Family Counseling

For the majority of these programs, the curriculum is divided into a set of core courses that cover certain social work fundamentals, and a set of concentration courses that cover the area of work that students would like to pursue post-graduation. Thus, in addition to foundational courses in human behavior, social work policy, and psychological diagnosis and treatment, accredited online programs that focus on child and family counseling typically have advanced classes that specifically address child and family issues.

While specific course titles and content may vary across programs, online clinical social work MSW programs with a specialization in child and family counseling may include classes such as:

  • Advanced Family Dynamics and Therapy: Understanding family dynamics and how healthy relationships develop within a family unit. Common conflicts that arise within the family unit and how they can be addressed holistically. The principles and essential methods of family and marital counseling, including relationship assessment and conflict mediation/resolution.
  • Clinical Practice for Adolescents: Common psychological, developmental, and social issues that adolescents face, and how the clinical social worker can support youth who struggle with such challenges. How to help adolescents develop effective action plans to accomplish their goals and address their challenges at school and within their families and social groups.
  • Policy, Planning and Research in Family and Youth Settings: How government policies affect families and child development, and the role the government should play in the maintenance of the family unit. The government resources that are available to parents and children, and how social workers can help clients apply for and receive the government support they need.
  • Identifying and Treating Child Trauma: The different types of trauma that children may experience, including child abuse, neglect, bullying, school violence, and family tragedies. How the clinical social worker can provide psychological support and address such mental and emotional issues as depression and anxiety. How to help families (and if applicable, school personnel) plan and implement effective interventions that help children overcome emotional, social, and psychological challenges.

Check out our online MSW concentrations page for a complete list of concentration options by program.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get an MSW?

Full-time MSW programs typically take two years to complete online, while part-time MSW programs may take two and a half years to four years to complete depending on the number of classes taken. Students with a BSW may complete an advanced standing MSW in as few as 12 months.

What are the differences between Online and On-Campus MSW programs?

Differences between online and on-campus MSW programs depend on the university. Generally, an online program is the same rigor as it’s on-campus counterpart, but the delivery method is different. Online programs are typically more flexible -- a student’s geographic location does not matter and they can complete coursework at their own pace.

Which MSW program is the best?

While searching for the best program for you, you may be considering a few factors, such as your personal interests, online options, and admissions requirements. We’ve listed some factors that might help you narrow down which program might be best for you.

Which programs don’t require GRE?

Admissions requirements vary depending on the university. Some traditional and advanced standing MSW programs require students to provide GRE test scores if a student’s GPA is low. There are also MSW programs that do not require the GRE or any other tests for admission - make sure to check requirements with the university.

What are the GPA requirements for MSW programs?

It depends! GPA requirements for MSW programs may vary depending on the school. Universities typically require a GPA of 3.0 or higher for most programs. However, make sure to check with the program as some programs require at least a 2.5 and if the student’s GPA is lower, the university may request a GRE score.

Can you study for a MSW without a BSW?

Students without a BSW may apply for a MSW if they meet the university’s requirements. Typically, MSW admissions program requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited school along with certain prerequisite courses, minimum GPA, and standard application documents, such as a personal statement, undergraduate transcript, and letters of recommendation.

What are the advantages of a MSW over a BSW?

A BSW helps prepare students for entry level social work. Professionals with a MSW typically enjoy greater career options in a chosen specialty. Many master’s programs offer opportunities to explore specializations such as substance abuse or public health.

What are the different licenses and certifications for MSWs?

Licensure typically depends on education specialization. Generally, professionals with a master’s can become a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) or become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). MSWs can also earn certifications in hospice and palliative care and as school specialists.

What does a typical MSW curriculum look like?

A typical curriculum covers core courses including foundations of social work, research methods, and human behavior. Students may also select electives and request field placement that aligns with their interests. The field work component gives students the opportunity to work in professional settings, such as hospitals and community centers.

What are the MSW concentrations?

Social work is incredibly broad and many professionals specialize in a particular field of interest. Some MSW concentrations include children, youth and family social work, administrative leadership, mental health and adult social work, community social work, and community organization.

Are there any internships available for MSW students?

MSW internships give students hands-on social work experience under the guidance and supervision of an instructor. It’s important to speak with the university’s field education department and ask if the university is partnered with any agencies as well as specific field education requirements for the program you’re interested in.

Is financing available for online MSW programs?

An online program doesn’t have to be a huge financial burden and there are some financing options available. Some employers give prospective students tuition assistance, universities offer scholarships, and there may be other student loan options available. It’s important to research as many options as possible and choose a program with a cost you are comfortable paying.

Who should consider a DSW?

If you currently hold an MSW or a master’s degree in a similar field, you may consider earning a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW). A DSW is an advanced degree that typically focuses on administration or clinical social work. It’s a good option for those interested in pursuing a leadership or management position.

What is CSWE Accreditation?

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a partnership of educational and professional social work institutions, social welfare agencies and private citizens. The CSWE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency in the United States for all social work education. CSWE accreditation signals that an undergraduate or graduate social work program satisfactorily meets the council’s standards for student competencies, institutional policies, curricula and more.

Specifically, CSWE accreditation entails:

  • Parity regardless of delivery: Accredited programs offer coursework that meet the same standards and criteria, regardless of their delivery in person or online.
  • Practical competency: CSWE-accredited programs have a proven track record of preparing their students to meet the practical challenges of professional social work practice.
  • Sound policy: Accredited social work programs pursue goals that reinforce the values of the social work profession.
  • Requisite curriculum: CSWE-accredited programs offer the courses necessary for students to receive adequate social work preparation.
  • Qualified licensure: Accredited social work programs grant degrees mandated by most state licensing boards for social work licensure.
  • Proficient employment: CSWE-accredited programs grant degrees required or preferred by employers of social workers.

Online MSW Factors

Online Class Type

- Live/Synchronous: Students are able to meet classmates and their professors, virtually, face-to-face, exchange ideas in real time and have live discussions.
- Not Live/Asynchronous: classes operate independently of set meeting times. Assignments will have designated due dates but each student is to participate on their own.
Live classes may offer a more realistic mirror of on-campus programs.

Traditional and Advanced Standing Options

Online learning is often sought after because of its flexibility and program option availability. We list programs with traditional and advanced standing options to help students choose a program based on their educational background.
Select the right program track for your needs.

GRE Requirements

Some graduate programs require the completion and passing score on GREs. However, other online graduate social work programs do not require a GRE for admission. We place precedence on these programs for admission processes that require one less step and measurement of future academic achievement.
Leave room for passion in your application with no GRE requirement.

Campus Visit Requirements

You are looking for online social work programs for a reason. Whether it's the flexibility that comes with the coursework or the learning environment. Required campus visits are typically paid for by you, the student, for on-campus courses, workshops or seminars. Programs that do not require on-campus visits allow you to attend top named schools from the comfort of your home or office.
You may find continued flexibility with no campus requirements.

Field Placement Support

Online MSW graduate programs that offer field placement teams to specifically meet the needs of online students across the country take priority in our list over those programs that do not. This service and resulting clinical experience is an integral part of your online master's in social work program for post-graduate licensure and practice.
Specialized understanding of your locale and field placements.

The order in which they are organized is determined by the amount of factors that each online MSW program has met: live classes, traditional and advanced standing tracks, no GRE requirement, no campus requirement and a field placement team available for online students. For any online master of social work degree program that meets the same number of factors, the universities are listed alphabetically. 

For example, since Boise University's online MSW program has no live classes, has traditional and advanced standing tracks, has no GRE requirement, needs no campus visits and has a team available for their online students, Boise meets three out of five factors. 

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This page was last updated in December 2020. If you have any questions or additional information, please email us at contactus@onlinemswprograms.com.