Question: Are there any online MSW programs for non-BSW students?

Answer: Yes, the majority of online Master of Social Work (MSW) programs offer traditional standing tracks designed for students who have not earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW).

MSW programs designed for students who have not earned a BSW are typically referred to as MSW programs with a traditional standing track or a foundation year program. While these programs do not require a BSW, they do require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Online MSW programs with advanced standing tracks are designed for students who have completed a BSW from a CSWE accredited undergraduate program (other restrictions may apply).

Currently all online master’s in social work programs offer traditional standing tracks:

  • Total online MSW programs: 60 schools
  • Online MSW programs with a traditional standing track: 56 schools
  • Online MSW programs with an advanced standing track: 49 schools

(On, we classify any online MSW program that requires two or fewer visits to the campus per year as an online program. Online programs that require more than two visits per year are classified as hybrid MSW programs on the site as of March 2020.)

Traditional standing online MSW programs typically take about two years (for full-time programs) or two and a half to four years (for part-time programs) to complete. Most of these programs have curricula that require over 50 credit hours to graduate, and completion of 900 to 1,200 hours of field education (both credit hours and field education requirements vary by school). Some online MSW programs require students to make a limited number of campus visits per year.

Students can come from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Some students may have a background in psychology, sociology, justice administration, anthropology, women’s studies, communication.

More FAQs about Online MSW Programs

Last updated: April 2020