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Online Social Work Masters Degree: Requirements and Universities

Online Social Work Masters Degree


Online Social Work Masters Degree: A social work masters degree is a great way to prepare for a career in this growing field. There are many options for an online social work master’s program and courses that can be completed at your pace and within your budget. This can be a challenging program but also very rewarding as it allows students to help people in need through counseling, advocacy, and other forms of assistance.



A social work degree is an undergraduate studying that leads to a degree in social work. It’s not as long or involved as a masters or doctorate, and it doesn’t require you to choose a specialty area like mental health or child welfare. Social workers have many options for careers after they graduate, including working in schools, hospitals and with families who need help improving their quality of life.

Social work masters degrees are graduate programs designed specifically for professionals who already have bachelor’s degrees but want to learn more about the field of social work and gain advanced training before entering a career path in the field . A social worker with an MSW will typically be able to earn higher salaries than someone with only an undergraduate degree.

Social work doctorates are doctoral programs designed specifically for professionals who already have master’s degrees but want to learn even more about the field of social work before entering into leadership roles within their organization or community center .

A person with a PhD may also choose to teach at institutions such as colleges or universities where they can share their knowledge of best practices while still gaining experience working directly with clients within their community center setting.

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Career Options

As a social worker, you may work in a variety of settings that include: hospitals and medical centers; mental health facilities; schools; non-profit organizations; government agencies; and private practice.

Some professionals choose to focus on specific populations such as families, children or seniors. Others choose to specialize in particular aspects of the field like prevention services or case management.

There are many options for social workers with Master’s degrees including clinical social work, counseling psychology, community organizing, nonprofit administration and mental health therapy.

To learn more about how you can apply your degree to these career paths visit our post about career options for MSW holders here.


Your curriculum has been designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your career. It is also designed to meet your individual needs, including those that will help you achieve your career goals and personal goals.

For example, if you are pursuing a social work master’s degree online, it is likely that one of your primary goals is to secure employment at a high-quality agency. In order for this goal to be achieved, there are certain things that must happen first:

  • You must complete all required courses within the timeframe set by each college or university (i.e., 120 days)
  • You must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA throughout the program

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Admission Requirements

When applying to a social work graduate program, you’ll need to supply the school with your academic transcripts, GRE scores and letters of recommendation.

You may also be required to take an entrance exam and provide a personal statement describing why you want to become a social worker. Additionally, every applicant should undergo a background check before entering the program.

Students who are just starting out in their careers can apply for entry-level master’s programs that focus on helping people enter the workforce after earning their undergraduate degrees.

Many of these programs require applicants to have completed at least 60 semester credits (or 90 quarter credits) of coursework in addition to submitting GRE scores; some may also request letters from employers or other references who can speak about your ability as an employee or leader.

Admission Criteria

Admission to the online social work masters program is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any field, as long as they have completed the required prerequisite coursework.

The GRE General Test is not required for admission to our online social work masters degree program, but those who wish to complete it will find that it can be helpful in demonstrating your ability to succeed academically at one of our top-ranked programs.

Those who don’t opt for this test may still be considered for conditional admission if their GPA and GRE scores are well above average for applicants in their field of study.

International students should note that some prerequisite courses must be completed in English language at an American undergraduate institution or through another approved course provider.

In addition, international applicants must submit proof of financial resources adequate enough to cover expenses related to working toward a degree at The Chicago School Online (TCSO).

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The coursework for this degree program is comprised of the following:

  • Introduction to Social Work (3 credits)
  • Culture and Diversity in Social Work Practice (3 credits)
  • Research Methods for Social Work (4 credits)
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Caring Science: Theory and Practice (3 credits) This course is only taught in fall semester. In spring semester you will take two electives instead. The electives are chosen by each student individually with his or her advisor, but they must be approved by the department chairperson prior to taking them. The two electives should compliment one another thematically; they should be related concepts that work together well as a set of related classes rather than being completely unrelated. For example, if someone was interested in working with children and adolescents at risk of homelessness, he or she might take Introduction to Human Rights/Social Justice and Child Welfare Law & Policy Elective 1 as their elective choices for spring semester; these both deal with human rights issues but from different perspectives.

Sample Requirements and Specializations

The social work master’s degree curriculum at [school name] includes the following courses:

  • Introduction to Social Welfare (required)
  • Research Methods for Social Work (required)
  • Social Work and Society (required, 1 credit hour)
  • Advanced Statistics for Social Workers (recommended)

If you’re interested in a specialization, there are two options: “Child Welfare” or “Social Gerontology.” The course requirements for each of these areas are slightly different.

Online Social Work Masters Degree programs prepare you for a variety of career options in the field of social work.

When you pursue a masters degree in social work, you’ll be prepared for a variety of career options. Social Work is a rewarding career that is constantly evolving and changing. It’s also one of the most popular professions in America today.

Social workers help people deal with personal problems, solve social issues and improve their quality of life while strengthening families, communities and societies at large.

Universities Offering Online Social Work Masters Degree

University of Nevada

The University of Nevada, Reno is an accredited online MSW program that offers a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. This program is designed for students who want to pursue advanced studies in social work and advance their careers as licensed clinical social workers.

The University of Nevada’s online MSW curriculum focuses on the theories, principles, and practices related to helping individuals and families overcome mental health issues such as substance use disorders, trauma or violence; help older adults age successfully; assist children in developing positive relationships with society; provide services to populations with disabilities; treat addictions such as gambling disorder or eating disorders (e.g., bulimia nervosa); provide community support services like housing assistance programs; teach skills training/life skills development workshops (e.g., grief counseling), etc.

Florida International University

Florida International University offers an online MSW program. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and available in a hybrid format, full-time format, or part-time format. Students may choose one of these options:

  • Four semesters in the online degree program (Fall and Spring terms plus two additional summer semesters)
  • Two years for Master’s in Social Work with a Concentration in Gerontology from Florida International University (with two summers)

The tuition for the online master’s program is $11,000 per academic year.

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

The University of Southern California (USC) offers a Master of Social Work program that prepares students to serve in a variety of settings, including clinical and administrative positions. The online MSW program provides students with the skills necessary to work with individuals, families and communities in order to promote social justice and prevent harm.

Students can expect to complete the 30-credit program within two years and be eligible for graduation upon completion. USC’s tuition is $480 per credit for residents in California; nonresidents pay $1,080 per credit.

The application process includes completing an application form, submitting official academic transcripts from all institutions attended and writing three essays related to your reasons for pursuing this degree at USC as well as your future career goals after graduation.

Students may also be required to submit letters of recommendation or other materials if requested by the Admissions Office. A personal statement is also required with each application packet sent out by USC’s Office of Graduate Admissions.

Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)

Oregon State University offers an online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, which requires 60 credits. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and available to students in the United States. Conditional admission is granted for students who have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university, with a GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4-point scale. Additional requirements include a personal statement or essay, three recommendation letters and proof of completion of one year of supervised field experience.

The MSW program focuses on social work practice within community settings with diverse populations experiencing poverty, violence and oppression; it covers topics such as human behavior and the life course; research methods; social justice issues; evaluation and policy analysis skills; diversity training methods; group work skills development; community organizing models; budgeting practices related to non-profit organizations working with low-income families (including single mothers); ethical dilemmas encountered while working with clients who are at risk due to substance abuse issues (elderly people living alone without access to transportation services after moving out from their homes due to financial problems).

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Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)

Arizona State University is a public research university in Phoenix, Arizona. It was founded as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe on March 12, 1885, when the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature passed an act to create a normal school to train teachers for the territory.

The campus consisted of Prescott Hall (1878–1903), designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; Grady Gammage Auditorium (1957); and Merrill Library (1960), designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes. In 1914, the school changed its name to Tempe State Teacher’s College, then finally Arizona State College in 1945. Condemning all “racial discrimination” and extending its commitment to diversity, ASU has grown predominantly due to non-white students making up more than two thirds of its student body.

Wayne State University (Detroit, MI)

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Wayne State University is offered completely online. This means that students who have a bachelor’s degree from any field can enroll in the MSW program without having to relocate to Detroit, MI.

The curriculum for this program is designed for students with no prior experience or training in social work. However, candidates with previous experience may still be eligible to apply; they will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In addition to their academic requirements, all MSW students are required to complete 2,000 hours of supervised fieldwork before graduation. Each cohort begins with 25 new students each year and meets once per week online through video conferencing software such as Skype™ or Zoom™.

Baylor University (Waco, TX)

  • Baylor University is a private Christian university in Waco, Texas. The school was founded in 1845 by the Republic of Texas and until the Civil War was located near Independence, Texas. It was relocated to Waco in 1886 after the Reconstruction era.
  • Baylor University is a member of the American Council on Education and the Association of American Universities.

Careers in Social Work

Social Worker

Social workers help people in many different ways. Some social workers work for the criminal justice system, for example, helping to get people out of jail and back on their feet. Others work with people in their homes or schools, helping them cope with difficult situations or providing them with support during times of crisis.

Many social workers are involved in healthcare systems, often doing things like assessing patients’ needs or arranging support groups for families dealing with a loved one’s illness or injury; still others may specialize in working with elderly clients who need assistance after losing their independence due to age-related illnesses such as dementia.

Social workers can also work in education settings—for example, helping at-risk students stay on track academically by connecting them to resources that provide tutoring services and other forms of academic support. And there are plenty more options!

Community Organizers

A community organizer works to improve the quality of life in their communities. They help people to organize themselves to fight for their rights. Community organizers often work with groups that are disenfranchised or marginalized, such as ethnic minorities or low-income people.

Community organizers use a variety of strategies to make change happen, including:

  • Identifying problems in their communities and finding solutions
  • Helping individuals access services that meet their needs
  • Creating opportunities for people to participate in government decision-making processes

Probation Officer

Probation officers are responsible for supervising people who have been convicted of a crime and placed on probation. In that capacity, they help guide their clients through the process of rehabilitation in an effort to reduce the likelihood that their clients will reoffend.

In order to become a probation officer, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in social work or another related field—and some states may require additional certifications as well as experience working with inmates in local jails or prisons.

The job duties of probation officers vary slightly from state to state, but most involve:

  • Reporting any criminal activity by your clients (including drug use)
  • Interviewing and monitoring new clients closely
  • Conducting home visits if necessary

Clinical Social Worker in Hospitals and Other Health Care Facilities

Clinical social workers are the front line when it comes to providing care and support for patients, families, and staff. They can assist with a variety of health-related issues like mental health, substance abuse, grief, chronic disease management, end-of-life care and discharge planning. Clinical social workers also provide patient advocacy for high acuity patients who need assistance navigating the healthcare system.


If you’re good at organizing and planning, administration might be a good career for you. Administration involves managing other people and projects. It’s not as hands-on as other social work careers, but there are still plenty of opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. For example, if someone needs help applying for disability benefits or applying for food stamps, an administrator could do that work on behalf of the client (instead of the client having to do it themselves).

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The administrator would also need to keep records on all of this activity and report their findings back to higher-ups within their organization so they can use them when making decisions about how best to serve clients’ needs in future cases.

This job tends to be done by people who want to work in nonprofit organizations specifically because these organizations don’t have profit goals or shareholders—so they focus more attention on providing services rather than operating efficiently with limited resources like businesses must do!

Educators and Researchers

You can also work as an educator or researcher. You may be asked to teach classes, give presentations, lead workshops or seminars and do research that helps develop new curricula. If you’re a researcher at a college or university, you will conduct your own studies on issues related to social work practice.

Youth Workers

The role of the youth worker is to help children and young people develop skills and confidence to make positive choices. They can work with children, young people and families in different settings including schools, community centres, residential units and youth clubs. Youth workers can help young people with a range of needs such as mental health issues or learning difficulties.

In school settings, youth workers are known as pastoral care workers or welfare officers. They may also be involved in activities outside school hours such as Outreach work which might include running clubs or projects at the weekends or evenings when the children are out of school

Home Visitor

Home visitors are social workers who visit clients in their homes. This can be done for a variety of reasons, but usually involves assisting the family with any issues that might be causing problems and/or preventing them from having a healthy home life.

Visits may be short or long, depending on what needs to be done. In many cases, visits are done in the client’s home where they can work alongside the client towards their goals as well as provide support on an ongoing basis. Visits may also take place in a community setting (such as at school or daycare) or even when providing services to multiple families at once (such as when working with children during after-school hours).

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Forensic Social Worker

If you’re interested in working with the mentally ill, and you have a passion for helping people who are dealing with legal issues, forensic social work might be right up your alley. Forensic social workers are often called upon to evaluate and treat mentally ill defendants who are accused of crimes. They also work with families of victims of crimes.

If this sounds like something that would interest you, here’s how you can become a forensic social worker:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited university program (BSW) or MSW.* Complete supervised clinical practice.* Earn an MSW from an APA-accredited program.* Pass the ASWB Clinical exam and complete 30 hours of relevant postgraduate supervised experience under an approved supervisor.* Complete continuing education requirements as specified by state licensing boards

There are many different kinds of social work careers.

Social workers are trained to help people navigate their lives, and there are many different kinds of social work careers. Social work is a broad field that includes many specialties related to helping people, such as:

  • Social welfare – Social workers in this field provide direct services to clients. These services include providing food, clothing and shelter; counseling families who are struggling financially; providing resources for affordable housing; aiding people with medical needs; preventing domestic violence or child abuse; or assisting victims of crime.
  • Child protection – Child protective services (CPS) investigates reports of child abuse or neglect. If they determine that children are at risk, CPS may take steps to remove them from the home until it’s safe for them to return.. This can involve placing them temporarily with relatives while their parent(s) receive treatment for substance abuse issues or mental health problems.

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We hope you’ve found this overview of online social work programs helpful, and that it has given you some ideas about where to start your search. Remember that even though the field is rapidly growing and offers many career opportunities, it can still be difficult to find a good program.

Therefore, make sure that any program you choose is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or its equivalent in your country. You should also check out their employment statistics and the schools they have partnerships with before enrolling.

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