Online Master of Social Work (MSW) programs are offered by institutions of higher education across the United States, but many of these programs are restricted to only accepting students from particular states. Below, we have researched some of the best online MSW programs available to students in each state, eliminating the need for aspiring social workers to research prospective programs one by one. Simply select your state and discover the options available to you. All of the programs featured are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and all are available online.*
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Important Information for Students
There are several things students need to know when trying to find an online MSW program. Below are key questions students should ask while researching online programs. It is best to check with admissions advisers at prospective schools for the most up-to-date information.
Is the program CSWE accredited? The Council on Social Work Education is the leading national association of social work education programs in the United States. The CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is responsible for developing the standards that define social work education, and the CSWE’s Office of Social Work Accreditation administers a multistep accreditation process for schools of social work across the country. All of the programs included on OnlineMSWprograms.com are offered by schools accredited by the CSWE. Students must complete a CSWE-accredited program to be eligible for licensure as a licensed clinical social worker in the United States.
Is the program authorized to admit students in your state of residence? Every state has different requirements for universities to offer online programs to their residents. Some states have stricter criteria than others. In addition, some states only review applications at certain times each year. Therefore, these requirements can change over time. Students should consult an admissions adviser at prospective schools for their most up-to-date list of state restrictions.
Does the program meet state-specific licensing requirements? Graduates of MSW programs often pursue licensure after graduation. Licensing requirements are state-specific and determined by state licensing boards; consequently, they are different for every state. Students should research licensing requirements in their state of residence to ensure that the program they choose will meet those requirements. Otherwise, students may be required to complete additional coursework (or field internships) after graduation.
Does the program require campus visits? Some online MSW programs require students to attend on-campus sessions. These sessions are designed to allow students to meet faculty and classmates in person. However, programs that require students to attend on-campus sessions may not be ideal for students who have restrictions that do not allow them to travel. In addition, for some schools, the cost of these visits are not included in the tuition and fees. Therefore, students may have to pay for travel and hotel expenses for these visits themselves. (Note: On OnlineMSWPrograms.com, we classify any program that requires two or fewer visits to campus per year as an online program.)
Is the cost of tuition the same for in-state and out-of-state students? The answer to this question varies by university even for public and private institutions. While many schools do offer the same tuition rate for in-state versus out-of-state students, others do charge higher tuition (and fees) for out-of-state students. It is best to check with an admissions adviser for the most up-to-date tuition costs, as they often change.
About Online MSW Programs
The instruction in an online MSW program can be delivered in one of two modes: synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous instruction is typically delivered through live video conferences between professors and students, while asynchronous instruction can take the form of readings, learning modules or assignments that students complete according to their own schedule (provided, of course, that they meet all relevant deadlines). While some online MSW programs may rely solely on synchronous or asynchronous instruction, many leverage both methods to develop a program that offers students the benefits of real-time instruction and the flexibility of readily available course materials.
One similarity between all online MSW programs is the requirement for students to complete their field education at local health services agencies. These hands-on learning experiences can take the form of internships or practicums, a certain number of which for a certain accumulation of hours must be acquired in order for students to successfully complete the program. While many schools will assist students in finding field education opportunities at sites close to their homes or places of employment, others require students to find their own placements and to submit them for approval.
To learn more about the programs open to students in your state of residence, click on your state below.
All MSW programs require students to complete their field education at local health services agencies. Programs that are 100% online do not require students to visit campus. Programs that require two or fewer visits to campus per year are categorized as “online programs” here at OnlineMSWprograms.com.