Top 20 Online Master’s of Social Work (MSW) Programs 2019

social worker

An online Master of Social Work degree prepares students to engage with populations spanning all cultures and ethnicities to assist them with various economic, mental health, and social issues. These professionals protect children and families in need of assistance and help them to approach challenges in their everyday lives.

These individuals also have the education and certification to diagnose and treat emotional, mental, and behavioral disabilities/issues. A Master of Social Work curriculum educates students in intervention, prevention, treatment, social justice, and therapeutic approaches to managing individuals and families.

Methodology Used To Determine Our Choices of the Best Online Master of Social Work Degree Programs:

This ranking was researched by collaborating a larger list of online Master of Social Work degrees, and the schools were chosen according to their student satisfaction according to retention rates and reviews on reputable academic statistics resources, as well as programmatic and regional accreditation. In order to earn a position on the ranking, the school had to have a broad social work curriculum that gives students general knowledge, as well as the ability to specialize their degree with elective courses or concentration options. The curriculum must also include adequate field experience opportunities in students’ communities or social work environments. And, finally, all schools considered for the purpose of this ranking are all accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

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INDIANA UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
The Indiana University online MSW is designed to prepare graduate students for a wide range of positions in community mental health agencies, employee assistance programs, family service agencies, and more. The curriculum has a strong foundation in social justice, human rights, and diversity, as well as specialized coursework. Their approach is a concentration deemed advanced generalist, which utilizes a broad focus with intricate specialty topics, some of which can be found below. The degree is affordable and allows students all of the flexibility they require to succeed. Indiana University offers students outstanding support academic and professional support services available throughout the program and beyond.

Campus Location: Bloomington, IN

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Mental Health and Addictions Practice: Individuals and Families
  • Diversity, Human Rights, and Social Justice
  • Military Social Work: Practice Principles for Working with Military Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families

Acceptance Rate: 78%

Retention Rate: 91%

Graduation Rate: 78%

LEARN MORE ABOUT INDIANA UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK (MSW) DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

University of Arkansas

Program Standouts:
This online school’s Master of Social Work is available solely as an Advanced Standing Program. The curriculum can be completed in one year if taken full-time. The internship opportunities are highly advanced and develop practical skills by placing students in agency-based positions in their communities. The University of Arkansas School of Social work utilizes evidence-based practice that focuses on critical thinking skills, in-depth research, community collaboration, and self-awareness. Students of the MSW program can look forward to working through real-world issues with their classmates and professors that will have a lasting impact on their local communities.

Campus Location: Fayetteville, AR

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Advanced Practice Using the Multi-System Course Perspective
  • Advanced Field Internship
  • Advanced Practice with Adults Using the MSLC Perspective

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Retention Rate: 82%

Graduation Rate: 62%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS’ ONLINE ADVANCED STANDING MSW PROGRAM

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LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
This online Master of Social Work from Louisiana State University is an accelerated distance education program with a 7-week course format that can be completed in 2 years if taken full-time. While the curriculum is intensive and rigorous, it still allows students flexibility in the asynchronous coursework. The program is available throughout the entire United States except in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York. There is an advanced standing option, as well, which can be completed in under a year for those who already have a Bachelor in Social Work. Both the traditional and advanced standing curricula are offered at a highly affordable tuition rate of $539 per credit hour, which is lower than many schools across the country.

Campus Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Social Welfare History and Policy
  • Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • Differential Diagnosis

Acceptance Rate: 77%

Retention Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 67%

LEARN MORE ABOUT LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY’S MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK ONLINE DEGREE

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UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

Program Standouts:
The University of Tennessee’s online Master of Science in Social Work provides distance education, or e-learning, students with two concentration options and three courses of study. Students can complete the social work curriculum through the Advanced Standing Program, the Full-Time Program, or the Extended Study Program. The Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice concentration emphasizes group work and therapeutic interventions at a clinical level for positions in private practices, prisons, hospitals, schools, and more. The Organizational Leadership concentration has a stronger focus on economic and social justice as well as management and policy skills that prepare them to work in government and non-profit agencies at a community level.

Campus Location: Knoxville, TN

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Program Options:

  • Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice
  • Organizational Leadership

Acceptance Rate: 76%

Retention Rate: 86%

Graduation Rate: 69%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE’S ONLINE MSSW PROGRAM

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VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Graduates from the Virginia Commonwealth University Master of Social Work distance education degree have only the most fabulous things to say about their program, such as the creative approaches to coursework. The curriculum is delivered through both synchronous and asynchronous schedules with options in full-time (2 years) and part-time (4 years) formats. Emphases in this degree include critical thinking, data-based decision-making, self-awareness, and ethical integrity, as well as social justice and the support of individuals experiencing oppression. Students learn the intricacies of approaching various populations in their environments, with respect to cultural and ethnic diversity, as well as mental health and economic statuses.

Campus Location: Richmond, VA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Retention Rate: 86%

Graduation Rate: 59%

LEARN MORE ABOUT VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY’S DISTANCE EDUCATION MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK

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UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO

Program Standouts:
The University of Nevada, Reno, a top research and development university in the United States, offers one of the only online Master of Social Work degrees that has an emphasis entirely around advanced generalist practice. The coursework is designed such that it allows graduates to approach the myriad of complexities and challenges within the field today. Concentration courses allow students to focus their degree in areas of their choosing, such as administration, intervention, or practice. Students are guaranteed to gain an in-depth, holistic, and dynamic understanding of advanced generalist practice in social work upon navigating this outstanding online degree.

Campus Location: Reno, NV

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Advanced Multi-Dimensional Assessment
  • Intervention Approaches with Individuals
  • Therapeutic Interventions with Families

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Retention Rate: 81%

Graduation Rate: 55%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO’S ONLINE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK DEGREE

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UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

Program Standouts:
The online Master of Social Work from this online school includes traditional and advanced standing options, as well as two concentration options. The University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work is highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the finest schools of its kind in America due to its innovative and modern approach to social work education. The coursework includes emphases in social justice and diversity, and faculty members have a vast amount of experience in supporting these ideals through community-based practice. Individuals applying to this program can look forward to small online class-sizes wherein they have a voice and a stance and can collaborate easily with professors and classmates.

Campus Location: Denver, CO

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Program Options:

  • General Curriculum
  • Mental Health and Trauma

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Retention Rate: 87%

Graduation Rate: 76%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER’S ONLINE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK

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SIMMONS UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
One of the significant benefits of Simmons University’s online Master of Social Work is the various pacing options through which students can complete their curriculum: traditional, extended, or accelerated. Despite their choice, the program provides a network of classmates, professors, professionals, and alumni who are the foundation upon which graduates start their careers in social work. There are five start dates throughout the year, giving applicants a considerable amount of flexibility in planning their academic career. The courses listed below are specialization classes that are intended to focus the degree in specific areas and align the curriculum with students’ interests and pursuits. There is also an Individualized Course of Study that can be designed by students themselves.

Campus Location: Boston, MA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Advocate for Children and Families
  • Provide Trauma-Informed Services
  • Work With Adults and Families Across the Life Span
  • Support Those With Mental illness and Substance Abuse Disorders

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Retention Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 65%

LEARN MORE ABOUT SIMMONS UNIVERSITY’S MSW ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM

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WESTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
This online school provides non-advanced standing online Master of Social Work that does not require applicants to have a Bachelor of Social Work in order to be accepted into the program. The Western New Mexico University curriculum includes a wide range of social work electives that can be taken in a way that can specialize in individual degrees in specific areas of the discipline. Students can design their own curricula, or they can take advantage of the degree plans already designed by instructors of the program. The MSW Field Practicum is a culminating, hands-on, experiential learning course that puts students directly into the field to learn with expert professionals in community-based social work environments.

Campus Location: Silver City, NM

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Interventions in School with SWK
  • Integrative SWK Therapies with Veterans and Families
  • Psychopharmacology for Social Workers

Acceptance Rate: 99.8%

Retention Rate: 50%

Graduation Rate: 23%

LEARN MORE ABOUT WESTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S OF SOCIAL WORK DEGREE

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RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Rutgers University is an American institution that has been holding a high degree of notability and prestige for generations, and, today, offers a 100% online Master in Social Work degree that rivals many other programs of its nature. The curriculum is designed mainly for self-disciplined students who can work and learn independently. However, the advisors and professors are still highly involved in the coursework and are readily available to assist with any challenges or problems that may arise. The asynchronous class structure allows for as much flexibility as individual students need. The Violence Against Women and Children Certificate includes specialized courses for students who are seeking to concentrate their degree in a more focused area, which many choose to do.

Campus Location: Newark, NJ

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Diversity and Oppression
  • Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Retention Rate: 92%

Graduation Rate: 80.8%

LEARN MORE ABOUT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY’S MSW 100 PERCENT ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

Program Standouts:
The Master of Social Work Online from the University of Louisville is an incredibly popular program to which students should apply early on because of its high demand among graduate degrees of this major. The curriculum involves highly in-depth approaches to techniques and practices in social work that require students to utilize a broad range of skills. However, the coursework is also designed in such a way that graduates have relevant knowledge to enter into any social work position. Some of the focuses of this program include health and mental health, children and families, and community and international practice. The specializations available in this master’s degree are incredibly unique and offered at very few other online schools.

Campus Location: Louisville, KY

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Program Options:

  • Psychosocial Oncology
  • Forensic Social Work
  • Mental Health
  • Alcohol and Drug Counseling
  • Military Social Work
  • Gerontology

Acceptance Rate: 72%

Retention Rate: 80%

Graduation Rate: 54%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUSIVILLE’S 100% ONLINE MS IN SOCIAL WORK

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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY

Program Standouts:
At this online school, students have distinctive opportunities to earn their Master of Social Work. The curricula are offered at accelerated rates and are designed specifically for students who have a Bachelor’s of Social Work to apply to their graduate-level education. Students in these programs learn how to work with groups, individuals, or in advanced practice with communities and organizations. Not only are these programs fast-paced, but the online Master of Social Work degrees are also some of the more affordable options on this ranking.

Campus Location:

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Program Options:

  • Administration and Community Practice
  • Direct Practice with Latino Individuals, Families, and Groups

Acceptance Rate: 82%

Retention Rate: 79%

Graduation Rate: 42.8%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY’S MASTER OF SCIENCE IN SOCIAL WORK ONLINE – ADMINISTRATION AND COMMUNITY PRACTICE (ADVANCED STANDING) DEGREE PROGRAM

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COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Students in Colorado State University’s online Master of Social Work degree engage in advocacy and welfare of communities while learning the complexities of working in diverse, transcultural environments. The fieldwork opportunities put students directly into the profession through social service agencies in their communities, wherein they are required to accrue 1,000 hours of experience. This accredited program has been well-established among council and agencies of social work for the last 20 years. Students have the opportunity to gain further specialization in their careers by obtaining one of the available graduate certificates, such as the Advanced Clinical Behavioral Health certificate or the Military and Veteran Culture certificate.

Campus Location: Fort Collins, CO

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Small Client Systems Skills Lab
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Theoretical Foundations for Social Work

Acceptance Rate: 81%

Retention Rate: 72%

Graduation Rate: 65.2%

LEARN MORE ABOUT COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK

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SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
San Jose State University’s online Master of Social Work is a continuous, part-time program that takes two years to complete. Students engage in rigorous classes alongside fieldwork experiences that put them directly into the social work discipline. The curriculum is well-designed so that it allows students to stay employed while completing the degree. The program includes a strong focus on promoting cultural perspectives and advocacy in economic and social justice. Students work directly with professors in research projects and experiences that drastically enhance their understanding of the social work field. This MSW is recognized as one of the most affordable online graduate programs of its kind.

Campus Location: San Jose, CA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Human Behavior and Social Environment I and II
  • Community Field Practicum
  • Policy Practice in Aging

Acceptance Rate: 55%

Retention Rate: 87%

Graduation Rate: 51.6%

LEARN MORE ABOUT SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MSW PROGRAM

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CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Case Western Reserve University offers an Online Social Work Master’s Degree through the Mandel School. This diverse degree educates students from all across the country and the world and is top-ranked by many different reputable sources. The program is designed such that it allows students to complete the fieldwork requirements in their current place of employment, as well as flexible coursework that accommodates positions of employment. Students work closely with one another and with their professors during the regular live virtual meetings that are delivered through a high-tech, immersive technological platform. The three concentration options take students into various specialized areas of the social work field.

Campus Location: Cleveland, OH

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Program Options:

  • Advanced Standing
  • Children, Youth, and Families
  • Community Practice for Social Change
  • Mental Health with Adults

Acceptance Rate: 36%

Retention Rate: 92%

Graduation Rate: 81.1%

LEARN MORE ABOUT CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE SOCIAL WORK MASTER’S DEGREE

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COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Columbia University is one of the most excellent online schools offering a Master of Social Work degree. The academic excellence of this online school can be seen reflected in the outstanding statistics listed below. There are six options through which students can complete their online coursework that vary in length. The various specialization options also include three different tracks. This online graduate degree gives students an excellent virtual environment within which to learn the complexities and minutia of masters level social work practice. Columbia offers online students a welcome place on the campus as well as hybrid coursework options, but the degree can be completed entirely online as well. Students can rely on a strong network of alumni, classmates, advisors, and instructors that support their academic and career goals throughout a lifetime.

Campus Location: New York City, NY

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice
  • Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming
  • Policy Practice
  • Social Enterprise Administration

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Retention Rate: 97%

Graduation Rate: 95%

LEARN MORE ABOUT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK

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BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
In the Baylor University online Master of Social Work, students have two options, or “phases,” through which they can concentrate their coursework—the Generalist Phase, which is a more broad approach to the discipline with course in direct practice, administration, and community development; the Specialist Phase requires that students choose a specialization in either Clinical Practice or Community Practice. The Clinical Practice specialization prepares students to utilize theories and methods to work on a micro-level with individual clients, while the Community Practice specialization prepares students to work in environments such as nonprofit organizations, congregations, and communities. Depending on their capabilities and past education, students can finish this program is as little as 12 months.

Campus Location: Waco, TX

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Program Options:

  • Standard MSW
  • Advanced Standing MSW

Acceptance Rate: 44%

Retention Rate: 89%

Graduation Rate: 72%

LEARN MORE ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE SOCIAL WORK GRADUATE DEGREE

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BOSTON UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
The Online Master of Social Work in the Boston University School of Social Work incorporates principles of social and economic justice into the coursework that gives the program a unique and exciting edge. Students are trained in working with families, groups, organizations, communities, and individuals, and the internships available put students directly into the social work field. There are three options through which students can obtain their degree, which also includes two choices of major: Clinical Social Work Practice and Macro Social Work Practice. Boston University is a well-decorated online school that has received recognition for its distance education delivery, as well as for its social work programs.

Campus Location: Boston, MA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Council on Social Work Education

Program Options:

  • Traditional MSW Track
  • Human Service Experience Track
  • Advanced Standing Track

Acceptance Rate: 33%

Retention Rate: 93%

Graduation Rate: 85%

LEARN MORE ABOUT BOSTON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE M.S. IN SOCIAL WORK DEGREE

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FORDHAM UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Fordham University’s online Master of Social Work is one of the most well-regarded and popular degrees of its kind in the nation. Through foundational and specialized coursework, the curriculum is designed so that students can immediately receive certification and licensure to practice upon completing their degree. Fordham provides two pathways to obtain a graduate degree: the traditional online program, which is for students who have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than social work, and the advanced standing program, which is for students who have a bachelor’s degree in social work or who have completed one year of a CSWE-accredited master’s program. The curriculum is flexible, yet focused, and has three start dates throughout the year.

Campus Location: Bronx, NY

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Council on Social Work Education

Program Options:

  • Traditional online MSW
  • Advanced Standing MSW

Acceptance Rate: 48%

Retention Rate: 91%

Graduation Rate: 80%

LEARN MORE ABOUT FORDHAM UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE IN SOCIAL WORK

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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Program Standouts:
One of the aspects of the University of Southern California’s online Master of Social Work that makes it unique is that students get to choose the department from which they would like to complete their degree. Aside from this concentration, the general coursework includes a focus on human behavior, policy and advocacy, science, and practice in the field. The degree is housed within the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, which has received glowing recognition from U.S. News and World Report. Students who have a Bachelor’s in Social Work are eligible for the advanced standing program, wherein they can finish their program in as little as one year (37 credits).

Campus Location: Los Angeles, CA

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Program Options:

  • Department of Adult Mental Health and Wellness
  • Department of Children, Youth, and Families
  • Department of Social Change and Innovation

Acceptance Rate: 18%

Retention Rate: 72%

Graduation Rate: 90.8%

LEARN MORE ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S ONLINE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK DEGREE

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Each of these twenty online colleges and universities will prepare students for a gratifying and fulfilling career as a social worker. Graduates go on to provide service and aid to underprivileged communities across the nation, making the world a better place every single day. There are options for students who have backgrounds in social work and for those who do not. Students should expect to complete rigorous, in-depth coursework as well as stimulating field experience courses that put them directly into the social work profession.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to have a Bachelor of Social Work to earn a Master of Social Work?

Some of the programs included in this ranking do require students to have a Bachelor of Social Work, which is called Advanced Standing programs. However, many of these online schools have Non-Advanced Standing or General degrees that do not require previous educational experience in social work. Advanced Standing Masters of Social Work are more expeditious programs that allow students to finish their coursework in much less time, given their knowledge of the discipline. Non-Advanced Standing programs follow a more traditional graduate degree curriculum and take the standard amount of time to complete, which is about 3 to 4 years.

Where will I work as a social worker?

Social workers can work in many different environments such as human service agencies, schools, private practices, hospitals, welfare agencies, and more. They will generally work with individuals or families and can often be found out in the community or in private homes. They can act as counselors, diagnose mental/emotional/behavioral disabilities, and create treatment plans. Social workers work incredibly hard, yet have an incredibly fulfilling career that provides a much-needed service in communities across the country and the world.

How much will I get paid as a social worker?

This depends on the environment in which the social worker is employed, but generally, they are paid around $47,000-50,000 per year. Some of the highest paying areas of social work are medical, school-based, substance abuse, and state agency environments. Some professionals go on to become speech pathologists, who make upwards of $70,000 per year, but this requires additional training in other areas. The rate of pay also depends on the agency or organization itself and how much it can provide its employees.

Will I have job security as a social worker?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the job security for social workers at around 16%, which is much faster than the average career or position of employment. These individuals are always in high demand to support underprivileged and oppressed communities that do not have adequate representation or aid from other resources. Also, because of the various environment in which social workers can be employed their job security is even more firm.

Do all social workers do the same thing?

All social workers assist individuals with economic, mental, emotional, behavioral, or substance abuse issues, but they can work in a vast amount of communities and with diverse ethnic/cultural groups. Some of the concentrations listed above include working directly with Latino families and individuals, for example, which would require the professional to understand and speak Spanish. Depending on their specialization as well, they will have varying responsibilities and duties in the diagnosis and treatment of their clients.

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Schools Previously Included on this Index:

  • Edinboro University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of North Dakota
  • California State University Northridge
  • Our Lady of the Lake University
  • Florida State University
  • Humboldt State University
  • Widener University
  • Portland State University
  • University of New England
  • California State University, San Bernardino