Full-Time Online Master of Social Work Programs for Traditional Standing Students

Full-time online Master of Social Work (MSW) programs are designed for students who have the bandwidth and resources to attend graduate school on a full-time basis but do not have access to or want to attend a traditional campus-based program. The majority of full-time online MSW programs can be completed in approximately two years, compared with two and a half to four years for part-time programs. As of December 2017, there are 34 full-time online MSW degree programs compared to 28 part-time programs.


Featured CSWE-Accredited Online MSW Programs

OMSWP Competitive Table: Sponsored Programs
University Name Live Classes Offline Mobile App Field Placement
Services
No Campus Visit Required
Fordham University
Master of Social Work
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Baylor University
Master of Social Work
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Case Western Reserve University
Master of Science in Social Administration
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University of Southern California (USC)
Master of Social Work
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University of Denver
Master of Social Work
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Simmons University
Master of Social Work
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Sponsored Programs


For professionals who already work in a health services field and want to expand their career options, earning a MSW degree opens the door to advanced careers in the field of social work. In the United States, a MSW is required to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Earning a MSW online is also an option for individuals who are looking to change careers and want to enter a rewarding and growing profession. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of social workers is expected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026. The BLS continues to report that this anticipated growth rate is faster than the average for all occupations.


Structure of Full-Time Online MSW Programs

Unlike part-time programs, there is not a lot of variability between the different full-time online MSW programs. Students are required to complete 60 to 66 credit hours to graduate and half of the programs only have Fall admission (7 out of 14). The other 7 schools offer full-time programs that have multiple start dates per year. The full-time program curriculum usually follows one of two formats (although other formats do exist:

  • Four semesters over two years
  • Year-round classes over two years: six semesters or eight quarters

For programs that are four semesters long, students typically take 15 units per semester. Programs with year-round classes have lighter course loads since the credit hours are spread over a greater number of terms.

  • Class Structure: The majority of full-time online MSW programs use a cohort model where students enter and proceed through the program together as a group. Depending on the school, students may then have the option to select concentrations or electives during their second year in the program.
  • Types of Instruction Methods: The instruction method used, synchronous (i.e. students are required to be online at specific times for real-time classes) versus asynchronous (i.e. students can log in to complete lectures and view other class materials at their convenience), varies by program. For some programs, the majority of instruction is synchronous, while for others, the majority of instruction may be asynchronous. Some schools also use both methods depending on the class and instructor. For classes that have real-time instruction, students typically know ahead of time when they are required to be online.
  • Field Education: Students are required to complete 900 to 1,160 hours of field education, depending on the program. Most programs follow a similar format with students completing four semesters of field education: two internships that are each two semesters long. (Note: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania follows the quarter system and requires four quarters of field education). In order to complete the required number of hours, students should expect to work 16 to 20 hours per week at a local agency. In addition, most internships take place during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, when proper supervision is present.

Due to the course load and field education requirement that students must complete each semester, most full-time programs do not recommend students work full-time while pursuing their degree. Students should be aware that full-time online programs have the same standards and curriculum as the campus-based programs, and working full-time while enrolled as a full-time student is not advised.

(For students who have already earned a BSW from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program, we have compiled a comprehensive list of schools offering Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs complete with program information and admission requirements.)

CSWE Accredited Full-Time Online MSW Programs

The following schools all offer CSWE-accredited full-time online MSW programs designed for students who have not already earned a Bachelor of Social Work. On OnlineMSWPrograms.com, we classify any program that requires two or fewer visits to the campus per year as an online program. We do this to avoid any confusion around how schools name their respective programs.

As with all degree programs, admission requirements, and student eligibility are subject to change at any time; therefore, students should confirm the information below with an admission advisor before applying.


Arizona State University: School of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Social Work Program Online
  • Structure: Online with field instruction (no campus visits required)
  • Concentrations: Advanced Generalist

Program Information

  • Program Length: Program can be completed in 2 years
  • Program Start Dates: Fall and Spring admission

Eligibility Restrictions: Program does not currently accept students from North Carolina

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 in last 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of undergraduate coursework
  • GRE: GRE or MAT only required for students with a GPA lower than 3.2

Boise State University: School of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Online Master of Social Work (MSW) Graduate Program
  • Structure: Online with field work (no campus visits required)
  • Concentrations: Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families

Program Information

  • Program Length: Program can be completed in 2 years
  • Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring, and Summer admission

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred
  • GRE: Not Required

California State University, Northridge: Department of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Social Work – Online
  • Structure: Online with field education (no campus visits required)
  • Concentrations: Generalist with an emphasis on urban family practice

Program Information

  • Program Length: Full-Time program: 2 years
  • Program Start Dates: Fall admissions only

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE: Not Required

Columbia University: School of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Online Master of Science in Social Work
  • Structure: Online with field education (no campus visits required and a final Capstone Integrative Project can be in-person or virtually)
  • Concentrations: Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice; Social Enterprise Administration

Program Information

  • Program Length: Full-Time program takes approximately 2 years to complete
  • Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE: Not Required

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania: Department of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: MSW Program
  • Structure: Online with field internships (no requirements for online students to attend campus)
  • Concentrations: Family Social Work Practice

Program Information

  • Program Length: Full-Time program: 2 years (accelerated program with eight quarters – courses in the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer)
  • Program Start Dates: Fall or Spring admission only

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8, otherwise students are required to take the GRE or MAT
  • GRE: Not required unless GPA is below 2.8

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Fordham University: Graduate School of Social Service

Program Overview

  • Program Name: OnlineMSW@Fordham
  • Structure: Online with field internships
  • Areas of Focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy

Program Information

  • Program Length: The advanced standing program can be completed in eight months full time or 16 months part time, and the traditional program can be completed in 16 months full time, 24 months full time, or 32 months part time.

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.6

Louisiana State University: School of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: MSW Online program
  • Structure: Online with field education (no campus visits required)
  • Concentrations: Advanced Direct Social Work Practice

Program Information

  • Program Length: Program can be completed in 2 years
  • Program Start Dates: Six start dates per year

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE: GRE Required

Our Lady of the Lake University: College of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Traditional Master of Social Work (MSW) Program
  • Structure: Online with field work (no campus visits required)
  • Concentrations: Direct Practice with Hispanic Children and Families

Program Information

  • Program Length: Program can be completed in 3 years and 2 months
  • Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring, and Summer admission

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • GRE: Not Required

Simmons University: School of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: SocialWork@Simmons
  • Structure: Online with field education (no campus visits required)
  • Certificates Options: Trauma Practice, Mental Health Practice, Practice with Groups and Families

Program Information

  • Program Length: Accelerated Full-Time: 16 months (4 terms); Standard Full-Time: 2 years (6 terms); Advanced Standing: 16 Months
  • Program Start Dates: Multiple start dates throughout the year

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE: Not Required

University of Denver: School of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: MSW@Denver
  • Structure: Online with field placements (no campus visits or residency requirements)
  • Concentrations: Mental Health and Trauma (Clinical)

Program Information

  • Program Options: Full-Time only
  • Program Length: 18 - 27 months
  • Program Start Dates: January, March, and June admission

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 preferred, 2.5 required
  • GRE: Not Required

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University of New England - School of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Online Master of Social Work
  • Structure: Online with field work (no campus visits required)
  • Concentrations: Individual, Family, & Group Practice (clinical-based) and Organizational and Community Practice (policy-based)

Program Information

  • Program Length: Program can be completed in 3 years
  • Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring, and Summer admission

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE: No GRE Required

University of New Hampshire: Department of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Master of Social Work Online
  • Structure: Online with field education (no campus visits required)
  • Concentrations: Advanced Generalist with Electives: Health and Mental Health; Addictions and Substance Abuse; Children, Youth, and Families; Disabilities

Program Information

  • Program Length: Program takes 28-29 months to complete
  • Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring, and Summer admission

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate coursework
  • GRE: Not Required

University of Southern California (USC): USC Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: MSW@USC Traditional Online MSW Program
  • Structure: Online with field education experiences (no campus visits or residency requirements)
  • Concentrations: Families and Children; Health; Mental Health; Social Work and Business in a Global Society; Community Organization, Planning and Administration (COPA)

Program Information

  • Program Length: Full-Time: 2 years (four semesters); Accelerated: 3 years
  • Program Start Dates: Multiple Starts Per Year

Eligibility Restrictions: Program does not currently accept students from New Hampshire.

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • GRE: Not Required

University of Tennessee at Knoxville: College of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: M.S.S.W. Distance Education Program
  • Structure: Online with field placements (no campus visits or residency requirements)
  • Concentrations: Evidence Based Interpersonal Practice (Clinical); Management, Leadership and Community Practice (Macro)

Program Information

  • Program Length: Full-Time: 2 years (four semesters)
  • Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • GRE: GRE Required

Western New Mexico University: School of Social Work

Program Overview

  • Program Name: Masters of Social Work
  • Structure: Online with field instruction (no campus visits required)
  • Concentrations: Advanced Generalist with electives

Program Information

  • Program Length: Program takes 2 to 3 years depending on full-time or part-time enrollment
  • Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring, and Summer admission

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE: Not Required

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