Structure of Hybrid MSW Programs: Blended versus Distance Education

Last updated: March 2020

A hybrid MSW program is a type of social work degree that mixes online and on-campus learning. On OnlineMSWPrograms.com, we classify any MSW program with an online component that requires a student to visit the campus three or more times per year as a hybrid program. There are currently over 15 CSWE-accredited schools that offer these types of programs. Please note, while we have done our best to create a comprehensive list of schools that offer these programs, we did not include programs where the majority of classes were only offered on-campus.

The majority of schools offer programs designed for traditional standing students (16). In addition, 11 of those schools also offer programs for advanced standing students (those who completed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE accredited undergraduate program). Various programs offer part-time options, full-time options, or both. Though the format of hybrid MSW programs varies by institution, you will typically see two main categories of hybrid programs based on how they combine online and face-to-face instruction.

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

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

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

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

Traditional MSW Programs:

  • Full-Time Hybrid MSW Programs: Typically take two years to complete about 60 credits.  Start times will vary by program.
  • Part-Time Hybrid MSW Programs: Typically take three to four years to complete (depending on the program) and require about 60 credit hours to graduate.  Start times will vary by program.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs:

  • Full-Time Hybrid MSW Programs: Typically take one year to complete with classes in the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. The number of credit hours required to graduate ranges from about 30 to 40 depending on the university. Start times vary.
  • Part-Time Hybrid MSW Programs: Typically take two years to complete with students taking classes over five to six semesters. The number of credit hours required to graduate typically ranges from 30 to 40 and programs starts vary.

For students who are also interested in earning a MSW online with limited or no requirements to attend classes in person, we have compiled a complete list of online masters of social work programs all 100% online, complete with program information and admission requirements.

CSWE Accredited Hybrid Online MSW Programs

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

California State University at Chico

School of Social Work

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

Chico, California

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 60+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Three recommendations
  • Transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Academic writing sample
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from California State University at Chico

California State University at Long Beach

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Long Beach, California

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 60

Concentrations:

Child and Youth Services

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Three recommendations
  • Transcripts
  • Interview
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from California State University at Long Beach

Colorado State University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Ford Collins, Colorado

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 60+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Three recommendations
  • Transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Colorado State University

Eastern Washington University

School of Social Work

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

Cheney, Washington

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 60

Concentrations:

Urban Children, Youth & Families, Military Social Work

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Completed GradCAS Application 
  • Essay Response 
  • Three (3) references 
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from Eastern Washington University

Metropolitan State University of Denver

School of Social Work

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

Denver, Colorado

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 60

Concentrations:

Children, Youth, and Families, Leadership and Management, 

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Three (3) references 
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from Metropolitan State University of Denver

Michigan State University

School of Social Work

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

East Lansing, Michigan

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 57

Concentrations:

Children, Youth, and Families

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from Michigan State University

Rutgers University

School of Social Work

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 60

Concentrations:

Children, Youth, and Families

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Introductory Statistics course completion 
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers University

The University of Alabama

The College of Continuing Studies

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 60

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Introductory Statistics course completion 
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from The University of Alabama

The University of Maine

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Orono, Maine

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 63

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Preferred 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from The University of Maine

Touro College Graduate School

School of Social Work

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

Brooklyn, New York

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 60+

Concentrations:

Military Social Work, Mental Health

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Two (2) or more letters of recommendation
  • Introductory Statistics course completion 
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from Touro College Graduate School

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Thompson School of Social Work and Public Health

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

Honolulu, Hawaii

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 4 years

Credits: 57

Concentrations:

Health and Mental Health, Children and Families

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Two (2) or more letters of recommendation
  • Introductory Statistics course completion 
  • GRE or TOEFL/IELTS scores
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from University of Hawaii at Manoa

University of Houston

Graduate College of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Houston, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 60

Concentrations:

Mental Health, Health Across the Lifespan Children, Youth, and Families

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Introductory Statistics course completion
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Houston

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Urbana, Illinois

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2.5+ years

Credits: 72

Concentrations:

Mental Health, Health Across the Lifespan Children, Youth, and Families

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Wyoming

College of Health Sciences

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Laramie, Wyoming

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 60+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Introductory Statistics course completion 
  • Human Biology course completion
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Wyoming

Valdosta State University

Dewar College of Education and Human Services

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Valdosta, Georgia

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 60

Concentrations:

Children, Youth, and Families Leadership and Management

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Prerequisite Satisfaction
  • VSU Medical Form
  • Verification of Lawful Presence
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Valdosta State University