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 November 2015, there are 14 full-time online MSW degree programs compared to 31 part-time programs.

FEATURED ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS (NO GRE REQUIRED)

FEATURED ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS (NO GRE REQUIRED)
SCHOOL DESCRIPTION
U of Southern California (USC) (T, A) Top-Ranked Program with Multiple Concentrations and Options
Simmons College (T, A) Top-Ranked Clinical Social Work Program with Specializations
University of Denver A Social Justice–Focused Online MSW
Fordham University An Online MSW with a Future-Focused Curriculum

Sponsored MSW 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.gov, 2012-13 Edition), the employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25% between 2010 and 2020. Bls.gov reports that this anticipated growth rate is faster than the average for all occupations they surveyed during the most recent edition of their Occupational Outlook Handbook.

FULL-TIME ONLINE MSW PROGRAMS (CSWE ACCREDITED)

Click on the School Name to Learn More About that School's Program(s)

1 These schools require students to make a limited number of visits to the campus during the program.

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
In Detail – Simmons College
Our partner Simmons College offers a traditional standing full-time online MSW program, SocialWork@Simmons, which can be completed in just 15 months. Currently, this is the shortest full-length online MSW program designed for traditional standing students. Visit the Simmons College page for more information.

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 to 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 (Schools are Listed Alphabetically)

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. Of the 14 schools listed below, Columbia University, Saint Leo University and the University of Alaska Anchorage have campus residency requirements.

 

As with all degree programs, admission requirements, student eligibility and tuition costs 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

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

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

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
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
Estimated Tuition: ~$35,340 + fees ($589 per credit hour)


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

Eligibility Restrictions: Program does not currently accept students from Alabama, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky or North Carolina.

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

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred
GRE: Not Required
Estimated Tuition: ~$27,450 + fees ($450 per credit hour)


California State University, Northridge: Department of Social Work

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Social Work – Online
Structure: Online with field education (no campus requirement)
Concentrations: Generalist with an emphasis on urban family practice
Website: School of Social Work

Program Information
Program Length: Full-Time program: 2 years (four semesters)
Program Start Dates: Fall admissions only

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 – students with a GPA between 2.5 – 2.99 are required to take the GRE
GRE: Only required for students with a GPA lower than 3.0
Estimated Tuition: ~$44,220 + fees ($737 per credit hour)


Columbia University: School of Social Work *Campus Visits Required*

Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Science in Social Work
Structure: Online with field education (students must visit the campus twice during the program for orientation and a final Capstone Integrative Project)
Concentrations: Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice; Social Enterprise Administration
Website: School of Social Work

Eligibility Restrictions: Program currently only accepts students from New Jersey and who live in the following metropolitan areas: New York City, Albany, Buffalo, and Syracuse (NY); Hartford and Stamford (CT); Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg (PA); Washington, D.C.; Miami/West Palm Beach (FL); Chicago (IL); San Antonio, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, and Houston (TX); San Francisco and Los Angeles (CA)

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

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: No Minimum GPA (Average GPA 3.5)
GRE: Not Required
Estimated Tuition: ~$83,400 + fees ($1,390 per credit hour)


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
Website: School of Social Work

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 admission only

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, otherwise students are required to take the GRE or MAT
GRE: Not required unless GPA is below 3.0
Estimated Tuition: In-state: ~$28,200 + fees ($470 per credit hour); Out-of-state: ~$31,020 + fees ($517 per credit hour)


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
Website: School of Social Work

Eligibility Restrictions: Program does not currently accept students from Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts and Washington

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

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0
GRE: GRE Required
Estimated Tuition: ~$28,500 + fees ($475 per credit hour)


Saint Leo University: School of Education & Social Services *Campus Visits Required*

Program Overview
Program Name: M.S.W. Advanced Clinical Practice
Structure: Online with field experience (note: students must visit the campus one weekend during the summer)
Concentrations: Advanced Clinical Practice
Location: Florida
Website: School of Social Work

Eligibility Restrictions: Program only accepts students who are residents and live in the following states: Florida, Georgia and Virginia

Program Information
Program Length: Full-Time program: 2 years (six semesters: Fall, Spring and Summer)
Program Start Dates: Fall admissions only

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 – otherwise students must take the MAT or GRE
GRE: Only required for students with a GPA lower than 3.0 (Minimum GRE score of 1000 for students who need to take the GRE)
Estimated Tuition: ~$27,900 + fees ($450 per credit hour)


Simmons College: School of Social Work

Program Overview
Program Name: SocialWork@Simmons
Structure: Online with field education (no campus visits required)
Concentrations: Clinical Social Work with specializations: Child and Family, Trauma and Interpersonal Violence, Mental Health and Addictions, Health and Aging

Request Information from our partner SocialWork@Simmons

Eligibility Restrictions: Simmons College’s online MSW program does not currently accept students from Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and North Carolina.

Program Information
Program Length: Accelerated Full-Time: 15 months (4 terms); Standard Full-Time: 2 years (6 terms)
Program Start Dates: Multiple start dates throughout the year

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0
GRE: Not Required
Estimated Tuition: ~$64,350 + fees ($990 per credit hour)


University of Alaska Anchorage: School of Social Work *Campus Visits Required*

Program Overview
Program Name: Distance Education MSW Program
Structure: Online with field education (note: traditional standing students must visit the campus twice during the program while advanced standing students must visit the campus once)
Concentrations: Advanced Generalist

Eligibility Restrictions: Program only accepts students from Alaska

Program Information
Program Length: Program can be completed in 2 years
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred
GRE: Not Required
Estimated Tuition: ~$26,226 + fees ($423 per credit hour)


University of Denver

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

Program Options
Program Options: Full-Time only
Program Length: 2 years and 3 months
Program Start Dates: January, March, June and September admission

Program Information
Number of Credits Required: A total of 90 credits
Field Education Requirements: A total of 1,080 hours
Instruction Methods: Outside of weekly, 90-minute collaborative learning sessions that require synchronous activity, all other instruction is asynchronous.

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 preferred, 2.5 required
GRE: Not Required


University of Louisville: Kent School of Social Work

Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)
Structure: Online with field instruction (no campus visits required)
Concentrations: Generalist program with the option to specialize in the following areas: Psychosocial Oncology, Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Military Social Work or Gerontology
Website: School of Social Work

Eligibility Restrictions: UofL’s online MSSW program does not currently accept students from Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon.

Program Information
Program Length: Program can be completed in 2 years (four semesters)
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 2.75 – students with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.75 are required to take the GRE or the MAT (below 2.5 are rarely considered)
GRE: Only required for students with a GPA lower than 2.75
Estimated Tuition: ~$42,840 + fees ($714 per credit hour)


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
Website: School of Social Work

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

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate coursework
GRE: Not Required
Estimated Tuition: In-State: ~$46,500 + fees ($750 per credit); Out-of-state: ~$51,150 + fees ($825 per credit)


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)

Request Information from our partner MSW@USC

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

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

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
GRE: Not Required
Estimated Tuition: ~$94,446 to $99,960 + fees ($1,666 per unit) (depending on FT or PT study)


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)
Website: School of Social Work

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

Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
GRE: GRE Required
Estimated Tuition: In-State: ~$40,500 + fees ($675 per credit hour); Out-of-state: ~$101,940 ($1,699 per credit hour)


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
Website: School of Social Work

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 and Tuition Costs
GPA: Minimum GPA of 2.75
GRE: Not Required
Estimated Tuition: In-State: ~$16,496 + fees ($249.94 per tuition hour) (full-time or part-time); Out-of-State: Full-Time: ~$37,411 + fees ($566.84 per tuition hour), Part-Time: ~$19,270 + fees ($291.97 per tuition hour)