Top 25 Online Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Degree Programs

Social Work Degree Guide - Top Online MSW 2015By Kelley Jacobs

Earning a Masters of Social Work (MSW) opens doors for professionals in the field of social work in terms of better job prospects, higher wages, and the opportunity to work with a more diverse population. More and more professionals are enrolling in online MSW programs, allowing them maximum flexibility in their educational pursuits. The list below contains the top 25 MSW online programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the only organization which provides accreditation for MSW programs. Our ranking methodology is here.

Featured Program

Our Picks for the Top 10 MSW Online Programs

10. University of Southern California

School of Social Work

[email protected]

Los Angeles, California

USC Online MSW
In USC's MSW online program, coursework is offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

Points: 4

USC was the first elite research institution to offer an MSW online degree. Coursework is offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Students complete 1,000 hours of field education with 210 hours provided through a Virtual Field Practicum (VFP). The VFP is a unique practicum experience allowing students to practice their skills on an actor with supervision.

Tuition: $1,602 per unit

More Info

MSW Online Program Concentrations: Mental Health; Families and Children (sub-concentration available in School Settings); Community Organization; Planning and Administration (COPA); Health, Social Work, Business in a Global Society. The sub-concentration of Military Social Work is available to supplement any concentration.

9. University of New England

School of Social Work

Master's in Social Work Online

Biddeford, Maine

university of new england master's in social work online
This accredited MSW online program is available on a full- or part-time basis.

Points: 4

The Master's in Social Work Online at the University of New England is a highly ranked program available to students on a full-time or part-time basis. Students can earn their MSW completely online through asynchronous classes which allow students the freedom to study without set days/times. An Advanced Standing Track is available to students with an approved BSW, while the Traditional Track is available for those without a BSW. The program is currently offered to students in all 50 states and internationally.

Tuition: $830.00/credit hour

MSW Online Program Concentrations: Individual, Family, and Group Practice (IFG) or Organizational and Community Practice (OCP) are available concentrations. Students must select one for their course of study.

8. University at Buffalo – The State University of New York

School of Social Work

MSW Online Part-Time Program

Buffalo, New York

University at Buffalo MSW online part time program
MSW online courses at Buffalo include dual disorders, mental health and disability, social work and assessment, and more.

Points: 4

The University at Buffalo offers a part-time, online MSW program for those with and without a BSW. Depending on the students' interest, the program could be completed entirely online. For those with more flexibility, UB offers courses online, hybrid and in a traditional seated environment. Students are required to complete 2 field placements totaling 900 hours. UB is proud to integrate Trauma Informed and Human Rights (TI-HR) perspectives into their curriculum.

Tuition: $646.18-$992.18/credit hour

Examples of MSW Online Courses offered Here: Dual Disorders; Mental Health and Disability; Social Work and Assessment; Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect

7. University of North Dakota

Department of Social Work

Online Master's Degree in Social Work

Grand Forks, North Dakota

University of North Dakota Online Master's Degree in Social Work
UND's online MSW program requires 2 on-campus visits.

Points: 4

The University of North Dakota offers an online MSW program for those with and without a BSW (bachelor of social work). UND is currently ranked the #1 Most Affordable College for Online Social Work Degrees by While coursework is offered online, students without their BSW need to complete 2 on-campus visits to complete intensive lab sessions and those with their BSW need to come once. Students participate in live web classes offered on weekends and evenings when it is convenient.

Tuition: $517.72/credit hour

Examples of MSW Online Courses Offered: Advanced Generalist Practice with Organizations, Advanced Generalist Practice with Treatment Groups, and Advanced Generalist Tools for Policy.

6. Edinboro University

School of Graduate Studies and Research

Master of Social Work

Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Edinboro University Online Master of Social Work
Edinboro's accredited online MSW program focuses on family social work.

Points: 4

Edinboro University offers a 100% online MSW program with a family social work practice focus. This full-time program is presented in a cohort model for both Traditional and Advanced standing students. No campus visits are required for this program. Students admitted into the Advanced program will need to take between one and three prerequisite courses prior to starting the program.

Tuition: $442.00-$486.20/credit hour

Examples of MSW Online Coursework Offered: Family Diversity; Addictions Electives; Social Work Practice with Families

5. Texas State University

School of Social Work

Online MSW Program

San Marcos, Texas

Texas State University Online MSW Program
TSU's accredited MSW online program requires a 600-hour practicum.

Points: 4

Texas State University offers a part-time online MSW program. Courses and materials are identical for both the traditional classroom and the online program. Advanced Track students with an approved BSW can graduate with their MSW in just over 2 years. A 600-hour practicum is required for graduation. Coursework includes Social Work Intervention in Drug Addiction and Abuse and Advanced Social Policy and Social Justice.

Tuition: $301.21-$650.68/credit hour

Concentrations: Only the Administrative Leadership Concentration is available online.

4. Simmons College

School of Social Work

[email protected]

Boston, Massachusetts

Simmons College Socialwork at Simmons Online
Simmons' accredited MSW online program offers advanced standing for those with a BSW meeting specific criteria.

Points: 5

[email protected] allows MSW students to pursue their degree on a full-time or part-time basis. An Advanced Standing program is available for those who have earned a BSW (meeting specific criteria) in the last 5 years. Simmons offers small online classes taught live by School of Social Work faculty, allowing students to participate in real time and actively engage in their instruction.

Tuition: $990.00/credit hour

More Info

MSW Online Programs Concentrations: There are 4 clinical specializations including Child and Family; Trauma and Interpersonal Violence; Mental Health and Addictions; and Health and Aging. Students are not required to select a concentration.

3. University of Louisville

Kent School of Social Work

Master of Science in Social Work

Louisville, Kentucky

University of Louisville Online Master of Science in Social Work
U of Louisville offers a highly-ranked MSSW online.

Points: 5

The online MSSW program at the University of Louisville is a top ranked program by US News & World Report. Students are able to complete their degree completely online following the same curriculum as their traditional classroom educated counterparts. Some courses are offered synchronous to allow students to actively engage with faculty and peers. The program offers a Standard option for those without a BSW and an Advanced Standing option for those with an approved BSW.

Tuition (as reported by University): $714/credit hour. The Active Duty Military tuition rate is $250/credit hour.

MSW Online Program Concentrations: Psychosocial Oncology; Mental Health; Alcohol and Drug Counseling; Military Social Work; and Gerontology

2. University of Tennessee-Knoxville

College of Social Work

Online MSSW Program

Knoxville, Tennessee

UT Online MSSW Program
Our #2 accredited MSW online program supports both full- and part-time study.

Points: 5

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville offers both a full-time and part-time 100% online MSW program. Students are part of a cohort and courses are both synchronous and asynchronous to allow opportunity to interact with peers in real time. No campus visits are required. Students in the Traditional program complete 1,024 hours of field experience as part of the degree requirements while Advanced standing students need to complete 672 hours. Students can also earn Program Certificates in areas which include the Gerontology Program, School Social Work Licensure, Trauma Certificate and Veterinary Social Work Program.

Tuition: $634.00-$1,660.00/credit hour

MSW Online Program Concentration: Evidence Based Interpersonal Practice (EBIP) and Management, Leadership, and Community Practice (MLCP).

1. Western New Mexico University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work Online

Silver City, New Mexico

Western New Mexico University Master of Social Work Online
WNMU's accredited online MSW program features coursework in rural social work policy, understanding the rural community, and more.

Points: 5

Western New Mexico University offers both an Advanced Standing and Non-Advanced Standing MSW program that are entirely online. The Advanced Standing program for those with an approved BSW takes approximately one year to complete. Both programs require fieldwork which allow for experience with issues in Native American practice, Hispanic culture, and cross border practice.

Tuition: $249.94-$291.97/credit hour

Examples of Online MSW Program Coursework Offered: Rural Social Work Policy; Understanding the Rural Community; Advanced Psycho-Social Approaches for Rural Practice

This concludes our ranking of MSW online programs. You are welcome to use our award badge for your publication or promotion. A high resolution version of the award badge can be found here.

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About the Author

Kelley Jacobs is a Midwest business consultant and former program evaluator. Past experience includes qualitative and quantitative research, survey development and statistical analysis. With 15 years in social service, Kelley is passionate about helping others and giving back to the community.

Filed under: MSW Programs Online, MSW Degree Online

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