Portland State University Online MSW Program

Portland State University (PSU) offers an online MSW program that focuses on Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations or Health Across the Lifespan. Currently, PSU only offers the program in a part-time format that takes 3 years to complete or an advanced standing option - full time, with students taking 6-10 course credits each term. PSU’s online MSW is designed to prepare students for careers in community leadership, advocacy, policy practice, and human services administration and/or integrated health and advanced practice within health care and aging settings.

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 Learn More: Interview with Lisa Hawash – Coordinator for the Online MSW Program at PSU
“The School of Social Work has a long, successful history (over fifty years!) and is a top-ranked school, nationally.” Read more

Course content for PSU’s online MSW program is identical to that of their on-campus program. PSU uses an online course delivery platform called D2L to deliver its 11-week long classes. Each online course typically requires about 6-8  hours of work per week. Students can largely decide when they complete the learning modules in each course, but are also required to participate in synchronous, virtual (via ZOOM) discussions with fellow students and course faculty on at least 1-2 times each term.

Students must attend one 2-day on-campus intensive every year, in late September (the beginning of the academic year). These on-campus intensives are composed of face-to-face instruction with faculty, discussions and community-building activities with classmates and technology training.

Students are required to complete two 500 hour internships for a total of 1000 hours of field education. To determine field placement sites, students and field faculty collaborate to find an optimal agency and supervisor.

Students who are currently employed at a social services agency or organization may wish to explore PSU’s Employed Social Worker Option, which is designed to allow students to complete one of their two internships at their current place of employment (restrictions may apply). Students are expected to spend 16 hours each week at their agency in order to fulfill the number of required hours, and must also participate in a bi-weekly seminar in their second year of the program during which they discuss their experiences with faculty and peers.

Admission requirements for PSU’s online MSW program are similar to those of their on-campus program. Applicants are expected to meet certain academic requirements and demonstrate a commitment to social service.

Portland State University’s online MSW program is fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). PSU is also regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Portland State University Online MSW Program: Overview

Department: School of Social Work
Degree Types: Traditional Standing Only
Concentrations: Community and Organizational Practice (Macro) and Health Across the Lifespan (Integrated Health)

Program StructureOnline with field education in student’s home community (note: students must visit the campus for a 2 day intensive at the beginning of year one and 1 day at the beginning of year two)

Instruction Methods: Program follows a cohort model with a pre-designed course sequence – students take 6-10 credits per term with year-round classes (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer). The majority of classes use asynchronous instruction, however, students will be required to periodically attend live classes to interact with professors and classmates (at least twice per term).

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Program Information – Traditional Standing Students

Program Overview
Program Name: Online MSW program
Phone Number: (503) 725-4712

Program Requirements
Field Education Requirements: A total of 1,000 hours (two internships: 500 hours each at different agencies)
Number of Credits Required: 78 quarter credit hours required to graduate

Program Length
Program Options: Part-Time Only
Program Length: Program takes 3 years to complete
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Admission Requirements
GPA: No minimum GPA – students with a GPA between 2.5-2.74 may be admitted conditionally
GRE Information: Not Required


Work Experience: The program is designed for applicants with at least one year of social work experience, but there is no minimum requirement

Program Information – Advanced Standing Students

Program Overview 
Program Name: Online MSW Program - Advanced Standing Option

Program Requirements 
Field Education Requirements: A total of 1,000 hours (two internships: 500 hours each at different agencies) 
Number of Credits Required: 78 quarter credit hours required to graduate

Program Length 
Program Options: Full-time 
Program Length: 12 months 
Program Start Dates: Fall admission only

Admission Requirements 
GPA: No minimum GPA – students with a GPA between 2.5-2.74 may be admitted conditionally 
GRE Information: Not Required


Work Experience: The program is designed for applicants with at least one year of social work experience, but there is no minimum requirement