Masters in social work online programs can be a great option if you’re looking to pursue a career in social work.
These programs are affordable, flexible and can help you land a job once you graduate. In this guide, we’ll cover some of the most important things to consider before signing up for an online MSW program as well as what it takes to get accepted into one of these programs.
MSW Online Overview
Masters in Social Work (MSW) is a graduate-level degree designed to prepare students for careers in social work. MSW programs are available at the Masters level, and can be completed online.
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Advantages of Masters In Social Work Online
Below are some of the advantages of MSW online programs:
- Flexibility. The flexibility of an online degree makes it a viable option for busy people who need to balance work, family, and school commitments. Online students can often complete their coursework on their own time and at their own pace
- Affordability. Online courses tend to be less expensive than campus-based ones because they do not require any special equipment or materials
Disadvantages of Masters In Social Work Online
There are some disadvantages to earning a master’s degree in social work online, however. The first is that it takes more time and money than the traditional route of going to school on campus. While you may be able to complete your master’s in one year with full-time study and without financial aid, it could take longer if you have a full-time job or other obligations that limit how much time you can devote to your studies.
Additionally, while many traditional universities offer scholarships for students who commit themselves to studying full-time at their institution, this is not generally the case with online programs; most will charge an additional fee for any part-time or non-residential status.
Distance learning also means that there are fewer opportunities for face-to-face interaction with classmates and instructors compared to those who attend regular classes on campus; however, this disadvantage may be outweighed by the convenience inherent in completing all coursework from home at any hour of day or night (as long as your computer has power).
Additionally, many schools offer study groups via email listservs or discussion forums where students can interact off campus while still benefitting from peer support (although some professors prefer private messages so that they can give individualized feedback).
Finally, some professionals recommend getting licensed through state agencies before pursuing an MSW degree—although this isn’t always necessary depending on what state(s) regulate social workers’ licenses.
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The best masters in social work online programs will have a curriculum that addresses current social issues, such as the opioid crisis and homelessness. The faculty should be experts in their fields with years of experience in the field. They should also be highly qualified to teach students, having completed advanced degrees themselves in areas like law, public policy, finance and management.
An accredited program is important because it shows that your degree will be accepted by employers and other institutions (including government agencies). A location closer to home may make it easier for you to attend classes or job shadow an agency worker when applicable. You’ll also want to consider cost since there aren’t any tuition waivers available for online programs—and sometimes travel expenses can add up if you’re commuting from far away each week!
The best schools offer coursework that goes beyond basic theories of human behavior; they help prepare students for real-world application of those principles through hands-on experience or internships at local nonprofits or hospitals (depending on what kind of focus area you choose).
Flexibility is key: It’s not uncommon for students who have no prior background knowledge about social issues – let alone how they impact society today – so they need options like part-time study options where possible so they don’t feel rushed into completing all required readings before moving onto an assignment due next week.”
As an online student, you’ll learn how to help people overcome mental illness, homelessness, prison sentences and addiction. You’ll also gain skills in helping victims of abuse overcome their traumatic experiences. Your coursework will prepare you to work with a diverse range of clients from all backgrounds.
The best online MSW programs are flexible, affordable and can help you land a job. Use this guide to find the right program for you.
We’ve got the answers you need to make an informed decision about your online MSW program.
If you’re thinking about earning a master’s degree in social work, it’s important to know what makes for a quality program. A top online MSW program should provide coursework that can help students understand how the field works and develop skills needed to succeed in their careers.
Top Schools Offering Masters In Social Work Online
The University of Denver is a private institution located in Denver, Colorado. The university has a large endowment and is ranked as one of the best research universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The school also ranks #1 for social work according to the same ranking source, making it an excellent choice for those pursuing a graduate degree in this field.
In addition to its reputation as an academic powerhouse, DU offers an online Master of Social Work program that provides students with instruction from faculty members who are experts in their fields—including mental health counseling and gerontology—as well as access to the full resources at DU.
Boston College offers a fully online MSW program that is designed to prepare you to become a licensed clinical social worker. The curriculum is designed for working professionals who are seeking advanced training in the field of social work.
The online MSW program at Boston College will allow you to continue your current job while completing your degree and allows you to receive your degree from one of the most prestigious schools in the world, which should help with future career opportunities.
- Grand Canyon University is a private Christian university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- GCU offers an MA in social work, which can be completed online or on campus. The program takes approximately two years to complete and requires 120 credit hours. Students will take classes in human behavior and social welfare policy, research methods, ethics and professional practice, and more.
- GCU also offers an MSW with a specialization in clinical mental health or in child welfare (only available on campus).
Wayne State University
- Wayne State University offers a MSW in Social Work that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program requires 60 credits to complete, and students take courses such as Child Welfare Practice I and II, Human Behavior and Social Environment, Research Methods in Social Work and Field Experience.
- The cost of tuition for this program is $445 per credit hour.
- Students may choose from two formats: hybrid or full-time online.
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Andrews University is a private, Christian university located in Berrien Springs, Michigan. The school offers an online MSW with a concentration in gerontology offered through the Department of Social Work.
Andrews University was founded in 1874 by Dr. George Ira Aldrich who had a vision for higher education that would prepare students for ministry and service to God’s Kingdom. Today, the school has over 3,900 undergraduate students from all 50 states and more than 65 countries around the world enrolled in its graduate programs (as well as undergraduate programs).
The Master of Social Work program at Andrews University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), one of only three institutions within Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine to hold this accreditation status.* This means that students who complete their online MSW degree may be eligible to sit for licensing exams throughout multiple states across America upon graduation.
Rutgers University is a well-known and respected university with both a strong reputation and good ranking. The MSW program at Rutgers University is offered online and is available to students who have completed an undergraduate degree in any field.
Students can enter the program as either a beginner or advanced student. Beginner students must complete 30 credits of coursework, while advanced students must complete 45 credits of coursework. All courses are taken online except for the final practicum experience, which must be completed on campus at Rutgers University’s location in Newark, NJ or Camden, NJ.*
The MSW program includes several required courses along with electives that allow you to tailor your studies further toward your own interests.*
If you’re interested in pursuing an MSW, consider an online program
Online programs are ideal for busy people who can’t make it to campus, or those who want to earn a degree while working.
Online social work programs are also a great option for students who can’t get to campus because of distance or other obligations. For example, if you’re living in the Midwest and have three kids under the age of five at home with you, traveling across town may not be feasible. An online program would allow you to work around this obstacle and still earn your MSW!
Finally, earning an MSW online is an excellent choice for people who do not have time available during traditional business hours due to their current employment situation: perhaps they have taken on additional responsibilities (like caring for elderly parents) or simply prefer being able to complete homework at night when everyone else is asleep so that there’s no disruption at home?
Whatever the case may be, an online MSW program will probably provide greater flexibility than its on-campus counterpart – allowing students like yourself more opportunities during normal working hours!
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What Can You Do With a Masters Degree In Social Work?
A Master’s Degree in Social Work is a great education for anyone who wants to help people. This degree gives you the skills, knowledge and expertise you need to become an effective therapist and make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it’s working with families or veterans, there are many interesting and impactful ways that you can use your MSW.
School Social Worker
The work of a school social worker is to serve the needs of students, parents and administrators within the public school system. As a school social worker, you’ll need to have an understanding of all aspects of young people’s development.
You will be responsible for helping students with mental health and substance abuse problems; assisting students who are at risk of dropping out; working with those who have special needs; and assisting families as they go through transitions such as divorce or death.
Family therapists work with families to help them deal with the problems they face. They assist families in improving their communication and problem-solving skills, so that they may better understand how their behavior affects others within the family system. Family therapists also help families understand how their behavior impacts themselves, enabling them to make decisions that benefit themselves as well as others in the family structure.
The profession of family therapy is an interdisciplinary field that integrates elements from psychology, sociology and social work into one holistic approach towards helping individuals improve their relationships with both close friends and extended relatives.
Psychiatric Social Worker
As a psychiatric social worker, you may provide mental health services to individuals and families in a variety of settings. You might work in a hospital, mental health clinic or private practice.
You may also work with children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. A psychiatric social worker often works closely with psychiatrists or other doctors to provide treatment for patients suffering from depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. You can expect to earn $40K per year as a master’s degree holder in this field—$60K if you’re licensed as well!
Medical Social Worker
Medical social workers are trained to provide a broad range of services to patients and their families. These may include:
- helping patients and their families cope with illness
- helping patients and families make decisions about treatment, care and finances
- providing emotional support for patients and their families during the illness process
- assisting in the legal aspects of medical care, such as handling insurance claims or other forms of reimbursement
Substance Abuse Counselor
As a substance abuse counselor, you’ll work with individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. You will provide counseling for them and help them in their recovery. This can include helping people find treatment programs and funding their treatment, as well as working with them on an individual level to stop using substances.
Mental Health Counselor
As a mental health counselor, you will provide therapy to individuals, families, and groups. Depending on your training and experience level, you may also provide support to patients and their families during crises or other difficult times.
As a mental health counselor, you may work with people who have experienced trauma such as sexual assault or domestic violence. Or if your client’s health has been negatively impacted by substance abuse or eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa), it’s likely that this is what brought them into treatment with you in the first place.
Veterans Affairs Social Worker
- Veterans Affairs Social Worker
You can work with veterans and their families to help them deal with mental health issues, substance abuse issues, medical issues and more. You may also help the veteran navigate the complex benefits system.
- Children’s Services Social Worker
This field deals with vulnerable children who have been neglected or abused. This could mean working with foster children or those in group homes while they await adoption.
- Mental Health Counselor/Therapist (LMHC)
As a LMHC you would specialize in counseling people who suffer from mental illness or addiction. If you want to focus on couples counseling then consider becoming an LMHC-MFT (Marriage Family Therapist).
A research assistant is a job title that can be held by someone with a masters degree in social work or any other related field.
A research assistant usually works under the supervision of a professor at an academic institution, helping them conduct research on topics such as social welfare policy, mental health services, and similar topics. Research assistants are not required to have PhDs or other advanced degrees in order to be hired for this position. They may also be called research associates or project staff members.
Research assistants are not paid very much money—typically between $20-$30 per hour. However, depending on your area of interest and experience level, you could potentially move up into higher-paying roles like program coordinator or administrative director once you gain more experience in the field!
Community Outreach Coordinator
As a community outreach coordinator, you’ll work with local organizations and businesses to coordinate outreach programs. You might also coordinate with government agencies, schools, religious organizations and other groups that want to help the community.
The goal of these programs is often to increase public awareness or raise money for a cause. For example, if there’s an outbreak of HIV/AIDS in your town, you might work with schools and local businesses to organize a charity race or bake sale aimed at raising money for research into vaccines against the disease.
Or maybe your city has recently suffered from heavy flooding — as part of its disaster relief efforts, your organization could be working on a campaign called “Clean Up Your Street!” where you go out into neighborhoods and clean up debris from damaged houses after storms hit them hard enough that they’re uninhabitable anymore (you’ll need some background knowledge about first aid before working on such projects).
What Can You Do With a Masters Degree In Social Work?
MSW is the highest level of education in the field of social work, and it is not a license. It is a professional degree, one that provides you with skills and expertise in particular areas of practice. While there are other master’s degrees that can be helpful to people entering their careers (for example, an MA or MBA), these will not be as useful to you if you want to work as a social worker.
A masters degree in social work (MSW) will not teach you how to become licensed or give you legal authority over any situation; instead, it allows students who have already earned bachelor’s degrees in fields such as psychology or sociology to pursue more advanced study in order to become qualified for employment with various government agencies or organizations focusing on mental health issues such as addiction rehabilitation centers or domestic abuse shelters.
We hope that this guide has helped you learn about the online MSW and social work programs available. Now it’s time to take action! Start by identifying your career goals and researching schools in your area. You may want to look at our list of top schools with an online MSW program, as well as our guide on how to choose an online master’s degree program.
Next, do some research on financial aid options available at each school so they can help make it possible for you get started on this exciting journey towards completing an advanced degree in social work from anywhere in the world!