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The 36 Most Affordable Online MSW Programs

Online MSW programs align skills in emotional intelligence, communication, organization and problem-solving with a passion for helping individuals, groups and communities. Students seeking to become clinical social workers must have a master’s degree along with two years of supervised experience in clinical settings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Students may come into these programs with a variety of academic backgrounds in economics, political science, psychology or sociology. Most online MSW programs offer supervised practicum and internship opportunities. Graduates from online MSW programs are prepared for professional roles in mental health and substance abuse, healthcare, education, and child and family settings.

Professional social workers curated a 2019 median level pay of $50,470, with a job outlook of 11% over the next 8 years. Although those numbers are progressive and promising, it is imperative to align professional and academic goals with a realistic budget. The difference between the most expensive and the cheapest online MSW programs can be upwards of $96,400. If you are ready to enhance clinical and management skills and work towards the credentials to diagnose and treat disorders, take into account every block to build that dream into a reality.

GetEducated has surveyed 88 online MSW programs from 64 regionally accredited schools to create this “Best Buy” list. These rankings represent the most affordable options across the United States. Review and compare fully researched options before taking the next step in an academic career.

Average Cost (In-state): ~$44,200
Least Expensive: Western New Mexico University ~$19,537.20
Most Expensive: University of Southern California ~$115,905

Our data-driven research creates a truly reliable system of scientific rankings. There are no fancy formulas here. We meticulously calculate total full-time tuition—including any fees—for the most accurate total cost. Our rankings cannot be bought, and therefore factually showcase the cheapest online MSW programs. The online social work degrees listed above the gray dividing line are official 2020 “Best Buys” and cost less than the national average.

36 Most Affordable Online MSW Programs

RankSchool / DegreeStatePriceNote
1
Western New Mexico University
(NM)
$19,537.20
$23,446.20
In-State
Out-of-State
2
University of Nevada - Reno
(NV)
$20,512.50
$29,363.00
In-State
Out-of-State
3
New Mexico State University
(NM)
$23,970.00
$15,000.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
4
The University of Alabama
(AL)
$25,200.00
All Students
5
The University of West Florida
(FL)
$27,000.00
All Students
6
University of Nebraska at Omaha
(NE)
$27,110.30
$41,915.30
In-State
Out-of-State
7
Texas State University
(TX)
$27,114.22
$53,278.22
In-State
Out-of-State
8
Delaware State University
(DE)
$27,400.00
All Students
9
University of Missouri-Columbia
(MO)
$27,547.80
All Students
10
University of South Dakota
(SD)
$27,948.00
All Students
11
University of Central Florida
(FL)
$30,221.90
All Students
12
Boise State University
(ID)
$30,425.00
All Students
13
Southern Utah University
(UT)
$30,560.88
$80,780.08
In-State
Out-of-State
14
Florida State University
(FL)
$31,084.00
$42,125.00
In-State
Out-of-State
15
Metropolitan State University of Denver
(CO)
$31,356.00
$42,836.00
In-State
Out-of-State
16
University of Northern Iowa
(IA)
$31,476.00
All Students
17
Concord University
(WV)
$31,490.00
All Students
18
Saint Leo University
(FL)
$32,220.00
All Students
19
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
(LA)
$32,340.00
All Students
20
University of Houston
(TX)
$33,047.00
$65,933.00
In-State
Out-of-State
21
Indiana Wesleyan University
(IN)
$33,540.00
$25,155.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
22
Campbellsville University
(KY)
$34,290.00
All Students
23
Indiana University Online
(IN)
$35,115.00
$42,960.00
In-State
Out-of-State
24
Northern Arizona University
(AZ)
$35,574.00
All Students
25
California State University-San Bernardino
(CA)
$36,000.00
All Students
25
Aurora University
(IL)
$36,000.00
All Students
27
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
(PA)
$37,536.00
$43,806.00
In-State
Out-of-State
28
West Virginia University
(WV)
$37,860.00
All Students
29
Humboldt State University
(CA)
$38,250.00
All Students
30
Brescia University
(KY)
$39,420.00
All Students
31
Morgan State University
(MD)
$40,000.00
All Students
32
University of North Dakota
(ND)
$40,266.60
All Students
33
Ohio University
(OH)
$40,796.00
$41,974.00
In-State
Out-of-State
34
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
(TN)
$42,000.00
$46,500.00
In-State
Out-of-State
35
Western Kentucky University
(KY)
$42,420.00
$15,000.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
36
University of Kentucky
(KY)
$43,092.00
All Students
NOTE: The following schools did not make our Best Buy ranking but are also great online options.
School / DegreeStatePriceNote
Virginia Commonwealth University
(VA)
$44,460.00
$72,420.00
In-State
Out-of-State
California State University-Northridge
(CA)
$45,167.00
All Students
Brandman University
(CA)
$45,540.00
$27,600.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
University of Louisville
(KY)
$45,840.00
All Students
Walden University
(MN)
$46,104.00
$39,452.40
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Northcentral University
(CA)
$46,330.00
$32,800.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Salisbury University
(MD)
$47,430.00
All Students
Capella University
(MN)
$47,700.00
$43,080.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
(MN)
$48,000.00
$43,200.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
University of New Hampshire
(NH)
$48,457.50
$53,107.50
In-State
Out-of-State
George Mason University
(VA)
$48,660.00
All Students
Ohio State University
(OH)
$50,412.50
$50,447.50
In-State
Out-of-State
Sacred Heart University
(CT)
$50,535.00
All Students
Dominican University
(IL)
$51,000.00
All Students
Our Lady of the Lake University - San Antonio
(TX)
$55,509.00
$50,236.50
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Boston University
(MA)
$55,790.00
All Students
Widener University
(PA)
$57,058.00
All Students
Winthrop University
(SC)
$58,500.00
All Students
Widener University
(PA)
$59,674.00
All Students
Rutgers University
(NJ)
$60,000.00
All Students
Daemen College
(NY)
$60,320.00
All Students
Temple University
(PA)
$61,170.00
All Students
University of New England
(ME)
$61,980.00
All Students
Catholic University of America
(DC)
$63,425.00
All Students
Fordham University
(NY)
$65,134.00
All Students
Simmons College
(MA)
$70,713.00
All Students
Baylor University
(TX)
$85,600.00
All Students
Case Western Reserve University
(OH)
$91,020.00
All Students
University of Southern California
(CA)
$115,905.00
All Students

14 Program is no longer accepting new students.

Accreditation Note: To qualify for a ranking, a program must be regionally accredited. Additional programmatic accreditation is noted in the rank table.

5 Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
12 State Restriction Note: This program is only available in fewer than 15 states.

Rankings Note: These online college rankings are based on a GetEducated Summer 2020 review of regionally accredited online MSW programs. Total cost includes full-time tuition and fees and was valid at the time of collection and specific to the online learning program. School profiles for the Request More Information in our directory may reflect a slightly different cost based on different editorial update schedules. The published cost is an estimated sticker price for the entire online degree including fees. Actual costs may vary by student. Factors such as transfer credits, prerequisite courses, professional licensing and financial aid availability will affect final cost.

Editorial Note: Online schools do NOT pay to be included in any GetEducated online degree ranking. These rankings are editorially independent, open to any regionally accredited or candidate college that offers a master’s degree that is available at least 80 percent through online learning and that is open to enrollment by the public. If your online college is regionally accredited and not currently reviewed by GetEducated, please contact us for inclusion.

These rankings of the cheapest online schools for social work may NOT be re-posted online or reprinted in any format without a license from GetEducated ®. Consumer finance bloggers and writers can contact our editors for a free custom article on the best online MSW programs for use on your website. Our mission: Help consumers GetEducated ® about the best online colleges for cost and credibility.

GetEducated.com is a consumer group that publishes online college rankings and online university ratings along the dimensions that matter most to online students themselves: affordability and credibility. Our mission:

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