The Catholic University of America’s (CUA) National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) offers an online MSW program with a concentration in clinical social work. This program is designed to train students for careers in mental health counseling and therapy, school social work, clinical work with families and children, community-based services for the elderly, and other fields that involve working closely with clients to help them manage social, mental, and emotional challenges. CUA’s program aims to prepare students for the Licensed Graduate Social Work (LGSW) exam, which is the first step towards obtaining licensure as a clinical social worker. Currently, 95 percent of the graduates from CUA’s MSW program pass the LGSW on their first attempt.
Learn More: Interview with Dr. Marie Raber – Associate Dean, MSW Program Chair and Associate Professor at CUA
“Our online MSW program is taught by faculty who are experts in their respective areas of social work…” Read more
CUA’s online MSW program takes approximately three years of part-time study to complete, and is comprised of both foundation level courses and advanced level courses. Class sizes are typically limited to 25 students to maintain a small student to faculty ratio. In addition, integrative field seminars are typically limited to 12 students. Small class sizes are designed to give students the opportunity to interact more closely with course instructors and to receive more individualized attention.
CUA’s online MSW program focuses on covering the most relevant and current issues that social workers encounter. Courses cover such topics as clinical work with individuals and families across the lifespan, diversity and multiculturalism, social ethics, and social welfare policy. Course offerings include Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Cognitive Behavioral Theory and Social Functioning, Social Welfare Policy and Services, and Human Development and Psychopathology.
(Please note: Currently, CUA is authorized to offer online programs to students in most states, but is still waiting on final approval from select states. Therefore, students should contact an admission advisor to confirm that they live in a state that is eligible for admission before applying.)
Field Education Requirements
Students in CUA’s online MSW Program complete two field education placements for a total of 1,080 hours of field education. Students in their foundational year complete field education with a generalist focus, which allows them to gain experience and skills in micro, mezzo, and macro social work. This helps to prepare students to work with a broad range of different populations. In their advanced year, students learn and apply more advanced clinical methods and skills. Both field placements also incorporate a seminar that allows students to share cases with faculty and their peers, and to discuss and receive feedback on their experiences.
The Field Education Office collaborates with students to help them find agencies where they can complete their field education requirements. Students are also able to propose field placement locations and if these locations match program standards, students can be matched to an agency of their choosing. Once students are matched to an agency, they must typically schedule and complete an interview at the agency to ensure that the placement will be a good match.
Students who wish to apply to The Catholic University of America’s online MSW program must submit a statement of purpose, a professional resume, three letters of recommendation, and transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
The Catholic University of America’s online MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Catholic University of America is also regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The Catholic University of America Online MSW Program: Overview
Department: National Catholic School of Social Service
Degree Types: Traditional Standing Only
Concentrations: Clinical Concentration
Program Structure: Online with field education (no campus visits required)
Instruction Methods: Program follows a cohort model but exceptions can be made in the event that a student needs to take some time off – program has year-round classes and the majority of instruction should be asynchronous
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Disclaimer: CUA is authorized to offer online programs to students in most states, but is still waiting on final approval from select states. Students should contact the school to confirm they accept students from their state of residence.
Program Information – Traditional Standing Students
Program Name: Online Clinical Master of Social Work (MSW)
Phone Number: (855) 295-5711
Field Education Requirements: A total of 1,080 hours (two practicums: 480 hours, 600 hours)
Number of Credits Required: 60 credits required to graduate
Program Options: Part-Time Only
Program Length: Program takes approximately 3 years to complete
Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission
GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred
GRE Information: Not Required
Tuition: ~$52,500 + fees ($875 per credit hour)