Written By - Brandon Mario D'Souza

Edited By Darryl S.

Review & Contribution By Tracy C. Eidson

Pursuing advanced degrees is a common aspiration for those seeking significant professional growth in social work. Online Master of Social Work programs are ideal for busy professionals aiming to enhance their prospects. These programs provide a robust curriculum, equipping master’s students with skills to handle diverse responsibilities and specialize in child and family social work, mental health, or advocacy. Throughout the MSW program, one engages in a mix of academic coursework, fieldwork, and, in some cases, specialization tracks. This multifaceted approach ensures that graduates are well-prepared to address the challenges within the social work landscape.

online msw programs

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees in Social Sciences

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Online MSW Programs

There are many ways for students to zero in on the top online MSW programs. Some factors to consider are job placement and career services, higher graduation rates, strong faculty and staff, accreditation, flexible online options, reasonable admissions rates, ease of completing fieldwork, challenging programs, etc. Considering all these, we have created a list of the best Online Master of Social Work Programs:

<a href="https://www.onlinemasterscolleges.com/msw-programs/#Best">Find the Best Online MSW Programs</a>

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Ohio State University
190 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
Rutgers University
83 Somerset St, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Florida State University
222 S. Copeland Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32306
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
Indiana University, Bloomington
107 South Indiana Ave., Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Columbia University in the City of New York
West 116 St and Broadway, New York, New York 10027
University of Southern California
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
Boston University
One Silber Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Tulane University of Louisiana
6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118
Simmons University
300 The Fenway, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, Florida 33620
University of Denver
2199 S. University Blvd, Denver, Colorado 80208
University of Buffalo
12 Capen Hall, Buffalo, New York 14260
Fordham University
441 E Fordham Rd, Bronx, New York 10458
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Temple University
1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
527 Andy Holt Tower, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
University of Missouri
105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211
University of Kansas
Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd, Room 230, Lawrence, Kansas 66045
University of Houston
212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, Texas 77204
California State University, San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, California 92407
Louisiana State University
One University Place, Shreveport, Louisiana 71115

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Online MSW Programs

Understanding the landscape of Master of Social Work (MSW) programs involves recognizing the transformative potential they hold for individuals aspiring to advance their careers in social work. These programs go beyond traditional education, offering a dynamic curriculum to equip students with a comprehensive skill set and specialized knowledge. A significant aspect is the accessibility provided by many MSW programs through online platforms, catering to the needs of busy professionals managing various commitments. These programs are typically structured with around 30 to 45 credits, covering a diverse range of responsibilities within social work. It allows students to specialize in child and family social work, mental health, or advocacy.

While pursuing an MSW demands a notable investment of time and financial resources, the flexibility inherent in online programs accommodates the schedules of graduates juggling family or professional obligations. The programs often integrate academic coursework, practical fieldwork, and, in some instances, specialized tracks, ensuring that graduates emerge well-prepared to navigate the multifaceted challenges in the social work landscape.

Curriculum and Coursework in Online MSW Programs

Even though the faculty and program administrators can customize the curriculum of their Master of Social Work online program, there will usually be some similarities in the types of courses available to students. These courses will cover essentially the same concepts but have different names. Below are a few standard courses in a graduate Social Work program:

Social Work Practice

The foundational course equips students with the essential skills and knowledge required for effective social work practice. Emphasizing various intervention methods and ethical considerations, they learn to conduct client assessments, develop intervention strategies, and make ethical decisions within social work practice.

Human Behavior in the Social Environment

This course delves into the interplay between social, cultural, and economic factors influencing human behavior. Students gain insights into individual and group dynamics, exploring developmental theories, cultural influences, and the impact of social systems on behavior within diverse environments.

Social Policy and Advocacy

Focused on the formulation and effects of social policies, this course empowers individuals to understand and engage in social advocacy. They develop the skills necessary for influencing and contributing to policy change by examining policy analysis, advocacy strategies, and pursuing social justice.

Clinical Social Work Practice

Geared toward advanced clinical skills, this course prepares students for direct practice in therapeutic settings. They gain proficiency in providing effective clinical social work interventions through a comprehensive exploration of counseling techniques, therapeutic modalities, and mental health assessment.

Research Methods in Social Work

Introducing research methodologies relevant to social work, this course emphasizes the critical evaluation of social work interventions and practices. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, one learns data analysis techniques and gains the foundation for evidence-based social work practice.

Field Education/Internship

This experiential course allows one to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world social work settings. Through supervised internships, they develop skills, integrate theoretical concepts into professional practice, and navigate ethical considerations within diverse field experiences.

Some additional courses that one can find across institutions include:

  • Social Work Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • Diversity and Cultural Competence in Social Work
  • Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice
  • Child and Family Social Work
  • Mental Health and Psychopathology
  • Substance Abuse and Addictions
  • Community Organizing and Development
  • Macro Social Work Practice
  • Evaluation of Social Work Programs

Elective Courses

  • Advanced Clinical Interventions
  • Forensic Social Work
  • Aging and Gerontology
  • School Social Work
  • Healthcare Social Work
  • Military and Veterans Social Work
  • Global and International Social Work
  • Social Work and the Law
  • Leadership in Social Work Organizations
  • LGBTQ+ Issues in Social Work
  • Crisis Intervention and Trauma Response
  • Social Work in Disaster and Emergency Response
  • Art and Expressive Therapies in Social Work
  • Social Work with Refugees and Immigrants
  • Social Work in Sports and Recreation

Graduates of a Master of Social Work (MSW) program typically develop diverse skills that prepare them for professional practice in various social work settings. Here are some essential skills students acquire:

  • Clinical Assessment and Intervention
    Conduct comprehensive assessments of client’s needs and develop effective intervention plans.
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy
    Provide therapeutic support and counseling to individuals, families, and groups.
  • Case Management
    Coordinate and manage services to ensure clients receive appropriate and timely support.
  • Crisis Intervention
    Respond effectively to crises and emergencies, providing immediate support to distressed individuals.
  • Cultural Competence
    Understand and respect diverse cultures, identities, and backgrounds in social work practice.
  • Policy Analysis and Advocacy
    Analyze social policies and advocate for policy changes to address systemic issues.
  • Trauma-Informed Practice
    Understand the impact of trauma and integrate trauma-informed approaches into practice.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
    Collaborate with professionals from various disciplines to enhance holistic client care.
  • Evaluation and Assessment
    Assess the effectiveness of interventions and programs through evaluation methodologies.
  • Conflict Resolution
    Resolve conflicts and address interpersonal challenges within professional settings.

Online MSW Degree Types

There are different types of master’s degrees in social work; there are two primary types: Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Arts in Social Work (MASW). The Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) is less common but may also be offered by some institutions. Here’s a brief overview of each:

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work (MSW) is the predominant and widely acknowledged degree. This program furnishes students with a comprehensive foundation encompassing social work theory, practice, and research. Integral to the MSW experience are field placements, providing practical exposure. Moreover, it offers diverse specializations, such as clinical and macro social work, to cater to individual career aspirations.

Master of Arts in Social Work

The Master of Arts in Social Work (MASW) mirrors the MSW but emphasizes an academic and research-oriented approach. Its curriculum comprises coursework delving into social work theories, research methods, and policy analysis. Tailored for those inclined towards research or academia, the MASW opens avenues for a deeper understanding of social work within scholarly contexts.

Master of Science in Social Work

The Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) shares similarities with the MSW; the MSSW uniquely accentuates a robust focus on scientific and research-based aspects of social work. Its coursework spans social work practice, research methodologies, and potential specializations, providing a specialized trajectory for those inclined toward the scientific dimensions of the field.

Specializations in MSW Programs

Many MSW programs offer focused knowledge and skills, preparing graduates for impactful roles within their chosen areas of expertise. Each specialization opens doors to diverse career opportunities in various social work settings. Some of these are:

Clinical Social WorkThis specialization focuses on providing therapeutic services to individuals and groups, addressing mental health, behavioral, and emotional challenges. It also involves clinical assessments, counseling, and intervention strategies.Clinical Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor, Therapist, Psychiatric Social Worker, and Substance Abuse Counselor.
Macro Social WorkThis specialization emphasizes broader systemic change and community-level interventions. It involves policy analysis, program development, and advocacy for social justice. It also addresses social issues at the organizational and societal levels.Social Policy Analyst, Program Manager, Community Organizer, Nonprofit Administrator, and Policy Advocate.
Child and Family Social WorkThis specialization concentrates on issues related to children, youth, and families. It involves child welfare, adoption services, family counseling, and support for vulnerable populations.Child Welfare Worker, Family Therapist, Adoption Counselor, School Social Worker, and Juvenile Justice Counselor.
Medical Social WorkThis specialization integrates social work into healthcare settings, collaborating with medical professionals to address patients’ psychosocial needs. It involves counseling, support, and assistance with healthcare navigation.Medical Social Worker, Hospital Social Worker, Palliative Care Social Worker, Health Educator, and Patient Advocate.
School Social WorkThis specialization focuses on supporting students in educational settings. It addresses academic, social, and emotional challenges. It also involves collaboration with educators, families, and community resources.School Social Worker, School Counselor, Special Education Advocate, Educational Consultant, and Youth Program Coordinator.
Substance Abuse CounselingThis specialization is specialized in addressing issues related to substance abuse and addiction. It involves assessment, counseling, and support for individuals and families affected by substance use disorders.Substance Abuse Counselor, Addiction Therapist, Recovery Coach, Treatment Coordinator, and Prevention Specialist.
Geriatric Social WorkThis specialization concentrates on older adults’ unique needs and challenges. It involves supporting health, housing, and social connections for the elderly population.Geriatric Social Worker, Aging Services Coordinator, Hospice Social Worker, Care Manager for the Elderly, and Nursing Home Social Worker.

Timeline for graduation from Online Master of Social Work Programs

Incoming master’s students with experience in the field should expect to complete their online Master of Social Work degree in about 35 credit hours; those with little to no training in social work might need to complete up to 60 credit hours. Most Master of Social Work graduates will earn their degree in about two years. Those with advanced standing (due to having a bachelor’s degree in social work or enrollment in an accelerated program) may be able to reduce this time to as little as one year. In addition to the credit hour requirement, Master of Social Work graduates will also need to complete up to 1,000 hours of fieldwork before graduation.

1 Year MSW Programs Online

In today’s busy world, time is short, and tasks are long. Professionals that already have a job and a career are busy as well. Given all this, most people don’t want to spend many years trying to get an online MSW degree. Some universities will let students graduate from Master of Social Work online programs in 1-year. Here are some universities that offer one-year Master of Social Work programs online:

Online MSW Programs Admission Requirements

It is crucial for prospective students to carefully review the specific admission requirements of each MSW program they are interested in, as these requirements can vary. Additionally, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, as MSW programs often have a competitive selection process. Admission requirements for Master of Social Work (MSW) programs may vary between institutions but commonly include the following:

  • Educational Background
    • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
    • Some programs may specify a degree in social work or a related field.
    • GPA (Grade Point Average)
  • GPA (Grade Point Average)
    Minimum GPA requirements range from 2.5 to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Transcripts
    Official transcripts from all previous academic institutions attended.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Typically, two to three letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or professionals familiar with the applicant’s capabilities.
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
    A written essay outlining the applicant’s motivation for an MSW, career goals, and relevant experiences.
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    A detailed resume or CV highlighting academic achievements, work experience, and any relevant volunteer or community service.
  • Interview
    Some programs may require an interview to assess the applicant’s interpersonal and communication skills and commitment to the social work field.
  • Prerequisite Courses
    Completion of specific prerequisite courses, such as introductory courses in social work or related subjects, may be required.
  • Professional or Volunteer Experience
    Many programs prefer applicants with relevant work or volunteer experience in social services, healthcare, or related fields.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Score
    While some programs may not require the GRE, others may consider it part of the application process. Check individual program requirements.

Accreditation for Online MSW Programs

Accreditation is the process by which an independent organization certifies that a school’s curriculum meets a minimum level of quality. It confirms that a degree from an institution means something. But in addition to schools, specific programs can be accredited as well. The Council on Social Work Education, or CSWE[4], is the primary accrediting body for social work programs. Before applying to an online MSW program, future students should ensure the CSWE accredits the program. Without this accreditation, the MSW degree will be worth very little because obtaining licensure will be difficult, if not impossible. Additionally, obtaining financial aid will be challenging since most providers require recipients to attend an accredited program or institution.

Check out some top CSWE-Accredited Social Work Programs.

Online Master of Social Work Programs No GRE

Online Masters Programs provide the lift for careers. Social Work professionals who want to see their careers grow or become social work professionals choose online Master of Social Work programs. But in today’s world, universities have strict admission requirements. This is especially true for masters in social work online programs. Most universities want to see a GRE test score along with the applications. Luckily, some universities do not need a GRE score for their online Master of Social Work programs. Here are a few online Master of Social Work programs no GRE programs:

Free Online MSW Courses

There are no free accredited online MSW Programs. However, several sites offer free MSW courses one could pursue if one is not interested in obtaining a recognized degree. Some examples are:

CourseSocial Work Practice: Advocating Social Justice and Change [9]
Provided byClass Central
DescriptionThis course is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in social work practice, focusing on promoting social justice and driving systemic change. It aims to prepare social work graduates to actively contribute to advancing social justice, advocacy, and positive change within diverse communities and social systems.
CourseThe Arts and Science of Relationships: Understanding Human Needs [10]
Provided byCoursera
DescriptionIn this free course, participants gain insights into the dynamics of human relationships by exploring the intersection of art and science. The course typically covers various topics to enhance participants’ understanding of human needs and foster healthier connections.
CourseIntroduction to Social Work [11]
Provided byedX
DescriptionThis course serves as an entry point into the field of social work, providing participants with foundational knowledge and an overview of key concepts. The course typically covers various topics to introduce individuals to the profession and its core principles. One can gain insights into the ongoing professional development required in social work, including licensing, continuing education, and staying informed about evolving practices.

How to Pay for Online MSW Programs

Most prospective students are turned off by the prohibitive cost of online education. Thousands of dollars can be spent on online masters, making them unaffordable for most people. The high cost of graduate school makes financial aid programs available to students. Financial aid for an online master’s degree in social work includes:


Students with excellent academic track records can receive scholarships, which lower or eliminate their educational costs. When awarding scholarships, a funder considers the applicant’s academic record, professional background, and personal qualities.


Students in need of financial aid can apply for grants. In contrast to scholarships, grants are given out based on financial need rather than academic merit. Schools that provide need-based financial aid take into account applicants’ test results and grades.

Graduate Assistantships

In exchange for a student’s time and effort, certain universities offer teaching or research assistantships. A professor’s assistant may help with lesson planning or work with students in the lab and workshop, among other things. Assistantships can significantly lower the cost of a college education.

Student Loans

Student loans may be provided by the federal government, banks, and private lenders; however, borrowers must be willing to pay interest on any such loans they take out. It is also critical to remember that skipping or postponing payments will increase debt.


The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid [12], is required for anyone seeking federal financial aid and state and school-based financial aid.

It is worth noting that almost all forms of financial aid, especially government-based aid, will require attendance at an accredited school. To determine if a particular school is accredited, one can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions [13] to check a school’s accreditation status. Remember that the U.S. Department of Education does not accredited schools but recognizes independent organizations that provide accreditation of schools and programs.

Check out the 20 most affordable online MSW programs.

Scholarships for online MSW program Students

Paying for online master’s programs can be expensive. Online MSW programs are not immune to rising tuition costs. Here are a few scholarships for online MSW programs that can help fund a social work master’s program:

  • Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial MSW Scholarship [14]
    This scholarship honors the memory of Verne LaMarr Lyons, a prominent social worker and National Association of Social Workers (NASW) president. It is designed to support MSW students committed to advocating for African American communities. The award amount varies, providing financial assistance to deserving candidates pursuing their MSW degrees.
    Award: Varies
    Application Deadline: January, annually
  • Consuelo W. Gosnell Scholarships [15]
    Named after Consuelo W. Gosnell, a leading social worker and NASW executive director, this scholarship aims to assist MSW candidates who serve Hispanic and Latino populations. The scholarship provides financial support for educational expenses, fostering the advancement of culturally competent social work practitioners.
    Award: $4,000
    Application Deadline: March, annually
  • Paul & Daisy Soros Scholarships [16]
    The Paul & Daisy Soros Scholarships support outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants pursuing advanced degrees, including MSW programs. This scholarship recognizes exceptional achievements and aims to facilitate the academic and professional growth of individuals who contribute to society through their unique perspectives and experiences.
    Award: 30 scholars are provided $90,000
    Application Deadline: October, annually
  • Elizabeth J. Davis Scholarships [17]
    The Elizabeth J. Davis Scholarships support MSW students who exhibit exceptional dedication to social work and community service. Named after a distinguished social worker, this scholarship seeks to empower future social work leaders by providing financial assistance to deserving candidates pursuing their Master of Social Work degrees.
    Award: $1,000 to $3,000
    Application Deadline: February, annually

Careers & Salaries for Online MSW Graduates

MSW program graduates possess a diverse skill set that qualifies them for various rewarding careers in social work. They can explore roles in research, academia, administration, and various other areas within the broad field of social work. The demand for social workers continues to grow, providing ample opportunities for them to impact individuals and communities positively. Here are potential career paths for MSW graduates:

  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Medical Social Worker
  • School Social Worker
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Child Welfare Case Worker
  • Geriatric Social Worker
  • Policy Analyst/Advocate
  • Community Organizer
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • Private Practice Social Worker

MSW program graduates can choose from various fulfilling careers, each allowing them to make a meaningful impact on individuals and communities in need. Some occupations are explained below:

OccupationSocial Work [18]
SkillsCommunication, compassion, interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills.
Median Annual Salary$55,350
Job Growth (up to 2032)7% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionSocial workers are integral to supporting individuals and communities through diverse challenges. They identify those in need, thoroughly assess clients’ situations, strengths, and support networks, and establish personalized goals. Offering crucial support during life changes and challenges, such as illness or unemployment, social workers help clients adapt and navigate transitions.
OccupationHealth Education Specialists [19]
SkillsAnalytical, communication, instructional, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills. 
Median Annual Salary$59,990
Job Growth (up to 2032)7% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionHealth education specialists play a pivotal role in promoting well-being by assessing the health needs of individuals and communities. They craft impactful programs, materials, and events to educate people on various health topics, including managing existing conditions. By evaluating these initiatives’ effectiveness, health education specialists ensure the delivery of accurate and relevant information.
OccupationProbation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists [20]
SkillsCommunication, critical thinking, decision-making, interpersonal, and organizational skills. 
Median Annual Salary$59,860
Job Growth (up to 2032)3% (fast as the average)
Job DescriptionProbation officers and correctional treatment specialists play a crucial role in the criminal justice system by conducting interviews with probationers, parolees, and their associates to assess rehabilitation progress. They evaluate the individual circumstances of those under their supervision to determine the most effective rehabilitation strategies. 
OccupationSocial and Community Service Managers [21]
SkillsAnalytical, communication, managerial, problem-solving, and time-management skills. 
Median Annual Salary$74,240
Job Growth (up to 2032)9% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionSocial and community service managers are pivotal in facilitating positive community impact by collaborating with community members and stakeholders to identify essential programs and services. They take charge of the administrative aspects of these programs, ensuring alignment with stakeholders’ objectives.

Certification and Licensing Requirements for Online MSW Graduates

Master of Social Work (MSW) graduates can pursue various professional certifications to enhance their expertise and career opportunities. Here are some notable ones:

Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (ACHP-SW) [22]

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) offers this certification for social workers specializing in hospice and palliative care. Candidates need an MSW, relevant experience, and a passing score on the certification exam.

Certified School Social Work Specialist (C-SSWS) [23]

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) issued this certification for social workers in educational settings. Requirements include an MSW, school social work experience, and certification exam completion.

Certified Advanced Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-ACYFSW) [24]

 NASW offers this certification for social workers specializing in children, youth, and family services. Candidates need an MSW, relevant experience, and successful completion of the certification exam.

Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Social Worker (C-CATODSW) [25]

This NASW certification is for social workers specializing in substance abuse treatment. Requirements include an MSW, relevant experience, and passing the certification exam.

Social workers seeking employment in clinical social work, school social work, and similar fields need licenses. Each state issues its social work licenses and sets specific licensure requirements. Generally, a licensed social worker (LSW) needs to hold an MSW and meet supervised experience requirements, though some states only require a bachelor’s degree.

Social workers licensed in one state can often apply for a reciprocal license in other states, but reciprocity isn’t automatic. They may need to meet additional requirements, depending on the state. Learn more about social work licensure with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) [26].

Most graduates of an online MSW program will probably seek licensure after graduation. While the exact eligibility requirements vary by state, students can expect to possess the following elements for licensure:

  • Be of a certain minimum age, usually 21.
  • Possess sound moral character as defined by the state’s licensing authority.
  • Complete a licensure registration application and pay the requisite fee.
  • Possess a master’s degree in social work from an accredited or state-recognized institution.
  • Pass an examination, such as the ASWB.
  • Complete the required number of hours of supervised postgraduate clinical experience.

Almost all jurisdictions will require licensed social workers to take continuing education courses for license renewal. However, each state will have its requirements for the number of hours needed and the types of courses licensees should take. For example, some states require 20 hours each year, while others require 25 hours every other year. States may also require certain continuing education hours to be in ethics. Then there’s the fact that states differ in how they define an “hour,” such as a clock hour or a contact hour. To learn more, students should visit their state licensing board.

Resources for Online MSW Students

Students choose an online MSW program to grow their careers. However, networking with other social work professionals, organizations, and associations is also essential. By getting involved with the organizations, they can interact with other professionals to help them keep up with ongoing changes in the field and open up many career opportunities. Here are some resources to help one learn more about this field:

  • The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) [27]
    NASW is the largest social work association. Involvement with NASW can enhance professional growth through social advocacy policies. Members receive complimentary issues of the Social Work journal, discounts for continuing education, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance training, and access to conferences.
  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) [28]
    ASWB promotes continuing competence, ethical conduct, and ongoing professional development within the social work community. By upholding a Code of Ethics and engaging in collaborative efforts, ASWB contributes significantly to social work practice’s professionalism and ethical standards nationally and internationally. Through its commitment to excellence, ASWB continues to shape the landscape of social work regulation and uphold the values integral to the profession.
  • Social Work Policy Institution (SWPI) [29]
    The Social Work Policy Institution (SWPI) is a prominent organization dedicated to influencing and shaping policies within the field of social work. As a policy-focused institution, SWPI plays a crucial role in advocating for social justice, systemic change, and the overall improvement of societal well-being. Through extensive research, analysis, and collaboration with policymakers, SWPI aims to address pressing social issues and contribute to developing effective and equitable policies.
  • International Association for Social Work with Groups [30]
    The International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG) is a global organization committed to advancing the understanding and practice of social work with groups. Founded on collaboration, education, and advocacy principles, IASWG is a vital resource for social work professionals, educators, and researchers focusing on group work methodologies.
  • Council on Social Work Education [31]
    CSWE is the nation’s social work education accrediting agency, recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It has more than 2,500 members. Members are offered an annual subscription to the Journal of Social Work Education, monthly newsletters, and 10 percent off other CSWE publications.
  • School Social Work Association of America [32]
    SSWAA is known for developing the national social-emotional learning Common Core standards and fits for social workers interested in enhancing educational communities. SSWAA members can access practice tools, research findings, articles, and other valuable tools. Members also receive the biweekly newsletter, E-Bell.

FAQs About Online MSW Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an MSW degree?

An MSW degree, or Master of Social Work, is a graduate-level program providing advanced social work training. It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary for various roles within the social work profession. The program delves into social policy, human behavior, and diverse social work interventions.

Can I pursue an MSW degree online?

What careers can I pursue with an MSW degree?

Is obtaining an MSW worth it?

Can I work while pursuing an MSW degree?

Can I pursue an MSW with a non-social work bachelor’s degree?

What is the difference between clinical and non-clinical MSW tracks?

Can I pursue a Ph.D. in Social Work after completing an MSW?

What are field placements, and how do they work in MSW programs?

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