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CSWE Accredited Online MSW Programs: A Comprehensive Review

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For individuals who prefer using their natural abilities and talents to help other people, a human service profession is a great career path to pursue. Attending a CSWE Accredited Online MSW program will enable the individual to help people and communities through the knowledge and skills gained in the program. They help people and communities by handling various challenges and difficult situations.

A Master’s in Social Work also enables an individual to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

What You Need to Know about Online MSW Programs

An online Master’s of Social Work prepares individuals to venture into various human services professions such as child welfare, mental health, medical fields, military social work, advocacy, crisis and trauma support work, rehabilitation counseling, community service work, and substance abuse counselors among other social services.

Individuals gain the necessary expertise and credentials needed to begin a career in social work. The program allows people already in the social work field to advance their level of education while maintaining their current job positions. Earning a Master’s of Social Work enables an individual to work in many different capacities, from administrative functions to government or non-profit agencies to direct practice with individuals.

Similarities across Online MSW Programs

Online MSW programs have similar features, especially those accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Most require supervised fieldwork practices and synchronous online courses. The number of hours per online class will vary depending on the program’s specific requirements.

Most credit hours range from 60 to 65 credits, and on-campus visits are not compulsory in most programs.

How to Qualify for an MSW Program

To qualify for a Master’s of Social Work, an individual needs to have a Bachelor’s of Social Work and some experience in the field. A student interested in undertaking an MSW program should choose a program with faculty whose specialty best matches their interests. They should select universities that offer the concentration they are interested in, are cost-friendly, and, importantly, a program approved by their state licensure agency.

Related Resource: Top 7 Online Bachelor's in Social Work

CSWE Accreditation

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a recognized organization that oversees bachelor’s and master’s degrees programs in social work. They investigate, approve programs, site visits, and sign paperwork for the universities that offer master’s and bachelor’s degrees. It is essential to undertake a bachelor’s degree program in social work that is CSWE accredited because most employers in the social work industry only accept credentials from CSWE accredited programs.

For programs to be accredited by the CSWE, they must undergo an extensive review process. Social work educators assess the effectiveness of the classes in the program and the program’s values, policies, and mission. An effective MSW program incorporates training practices and core values such as ethics and human rights.

Selecting both an accredited university and a CSWE accredited MSW program is essential. This ensures that future employers will not question your educational credentials and ability to practice as a social worker.

Related Resource: Top 12 Jobs that Help People

Benefits of CSWE Accreditation

A CSWE accredited Master’s program in social work has numerous benefits. It makes the student’s skills and knowledge more recognizable, especially regarding employment criteria.

An individual must have an MSW from a CSWE accredited program to be a licensed social worker. Before undertaking any social work programs, individuals must ensure the program of their choice is accepted in the state where they want to practice social work. Not all social work programs are accepted or transferable in all states.

Cost of MSW Programs

The cost for online MSW and MSSW programs varies. The prices of different institutions vary depending on the programs offered, the faculty qualifications, and the training and fieldwork they offer.

A CSWE-accredited online MSW or MSSW is cost-friendly. It saves time, and individuals can continue working while pursuing their education.

Online MSW Programs that are CSWE Accredited

The programs below are online, and CSWE accredited. A few of the programs might require face-to-face sessions throughout the program.

A student should pursue a program that meets the licensing requirements in their states.

Boise State University (ID)

The university offers online MSW that requires only 37 credit hours. To be legible for application, a student must have a bachelor’s degree in social work from the last five to ten years and some work experience in social work. Full-time students are expected to complete the online program in two years, and part-time students complete it in three years.

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Boston University (MA)

Boston University is known for its social work program. Their online MSW has a specialization in Clinical Social Work. They enroll students throughout the year; a minimum of a 3.0 GPA is required. Most online classes are asynchronous, with “live” classes on Monday evenings. The program is completed within two to three years, depending on the student’s education and experience level.

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California State University, Northridge (CA)

The university offers an online MSW, which is entirely online except for fieldwork practices. The program completion takes only two years. To enroll, students are required to have a minimum of 2.5 GPA. But some positions require a 3.0 GPA and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. The program is also available to international students.

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Campbellsville University (KY)

Campbellsville University offers affordable and flexible social work programs; the programs are part-time, full-time, and some have advancement placement options. For full-time students, they complete the program within two years. Admission at the university requires students to have a minimum of 3.0 GPA. The university offers discounted tuition fees for active-duty students. The online MSW is not available in some states, such as Puerto Rico.

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Case Western Reserve University (OH)

Instead of offering an online MSW, the university provides an online Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA), with little difference from an MSW. It offers three concentrations in the program, community practice for social change, direct practice with families, and mental health for adults. The university provides scholarships to students with a GPA of 3.0.

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Catholic University of America (DC)

The social work program offered in this university infuses human rights and social justice theory classes with biblical principles. Students must have a 3.5 GPA in their social work courses for an advanced program. Two online courses are offered per semester; completion takes three and a half years.

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Columbia University (NY)

The programs are synchronous, but orientation and graduation visits to the campus are required. The program has two concentrations: social enterprise administration and clinical practices. A full-time program takes two years to complete.

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Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Enrollment takes place in the fall and spring semesters. The online MSW takes two years to complete, but the advanced program takes one year. Applicants must have a 2.8 GPA and a 3.0 GPA for the advanced program. Their online MSW program prepares students to write the national licensure exam and work in various respected jobs in social work.

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Fordham University (NY)

Fordham University’s online MSW program has a flexible structure. A student can finish the degree in 16 months, two years, and three years depending on their education and skills level. The program offered mainly focuses on advocacy and community practice.

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Indiana University (IN)

Indiana University offers an online MSW program with two concentrations: clinical practice and community practice. For admission, a student must have a bachelor’s degree that covers at least six courses on critical reading and thinking skills and behavioral health. Those undertaking full-time online classes can finish the program in two years and three years part-time. All classes are online.

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Louisiana State University (LA)

The online MSW is asynchronous, online, and can be completed with two years full-time, three years part-time, and advanced standing students in a year. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA. Undergraduate statistics courses and humanities are also needed, with a minimum grade of “C.”

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Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO)

The university offers a fully online MSW program with asynchronous and synchronous online classes. The program offers concentrations in mental health, children’s practice, and leadership management.

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Morgan State University (MD)

Morgan State University offers an online MSW program with a concentration in urban children and families. Classes are online, though some are synchronous like field practicums. A 3.0 GPA is required for admission, and their courses take two years to complete.

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New Mexico State University (NM)

New Mexico State University online MSW concentrates on social work field practices in the Southwest populations. The program is entirely online, with 60 credits completed in 24 months. The last two semesters focus on fieldwork. To enroll, a student should have a 3.0 GPA.

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Our Lady of the Lake University (TX)

The online MSW offered at Our Lady of the Lake university focuses on the lives of Hispanic families. Students with a bachelor’s in social work can apply for advanced standing to complete the program in two years. Other applicants must have a 3.0 GPA to complete the program in three years.

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Portland State University (OR)

Online MSW in Portland State is different from most universities. Students are required to work in groups to develop productive relationships. The classes are online, but some face-to-face online meetings are required. The online MSW program takes three years to complete, but for advanced standing students, it takes two years. The program specializes in leadership management and community practice. Students are expected to visit the university for two days each academic year.

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Rutgers University (NJ)

The university offers advanced standing and regular programs concentrating on clinical social work. Students can either study full-time or part-time. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required for the regular schedule, and a BSW is needed in the advanced standing programs. For internships, students should enroll in their local area.

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Salisbury University (MD)

The online MSW at Salisbury university has a direct practice specialization. The regular program is completed within three years, while advanced standing is completed within 17 months. To enroll, a regular student should have a 3.0 GPA. The university also offers scholarships.

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San Jose State University (CA)

All classes offered in the MSW program are online. A student can complete their required fieldwork in their residential area. Applicants should have a 2.5 GPA and have prior experience working with marginalized groups. The online program is completed within two years.

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University at Buffalo (State University of New York) (NY)

The University at Buffalo’s offers regular and advanced standing online MSW programs. The classes are synchronous and asynchronous. The program specializes in trauma-informed and human rights. Admission requires a 3.0GPA and a BSW for the advanced standing program. It takes three years to complete the regular program, while 17 months is all it takes to complete the advanced standing program.

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University of Arkansas (AR)

The online MSW program at the University of Arkansas is only offered to advanced standing applicants. Applicants are required to have a 3.0 GPA on their undergraduate studies. The program uses the cohort model comprising 39 credits of studying.

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University of Central Florida (FL)

The university offers both regular and advanced online MSW programs. Classes are seven weeks long. It takes three years to complete the traditional program and a year for the advanced standing program. The programs are both part-time and full-time.

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University of Denver (CO)

The online MSW program offered at Denver concentrates on trauma and mental health in the communities. Regular students complete the program within 48 months, while advanced students complete it within two years. Applicants need to have a 2.5 to 3.0 GPA to be legible for both programs. The classes are online-based.

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University of Houston (TX)

The online MSW uses the cohort model. Regular students can complete the program within three years, while advanced standing students can complete the programs in two years. The program specializes in behavioral health and clinical health.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (IL)

University of Illinois online MSW specializes in leadership and social change. Advanced standing and regular students need to have a 3.0 GPA to qualify.

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University of Louisville (KY)

The online MSSW offers mental health and guidance and counseling. Applicants need a 3.0 GPA. Regular and advanced students complete their programs in 3 and 2 years, respectively.

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University of Missouri (MO)

The online MSW takes three years (regular) and two years for advanced students. It concentrates on clinical health and policies. The tuition fee is low for online students, and applicants need a 3.0 GPA.

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University of New England (ME)

The online MSW program at the university concentrates on clinical and community practice. Enrollement requires a 3.0 GPA.

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University of New Hampshire (NH)

The online MSW in New Hampshire is only available to regular students. The program takes 28 months to complete. It concentrates on mental health and substance abuse.

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University of North Dakota (ND)

The university offers both regular and advanced online MSW programs. Both programs require a 3.0 GPA to apply.

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University of South Florida (FL)

The online MSW program follows the cohort model. The university also has an advanced standing online MSW, which requires a 3.0 GPA to qualify.

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University of Southern California (CA)

The university has regular and advanced standing online MSW programs that specialize in mental health issues. Traditional programs take 24 months to complete, while advanced standing programs take 12 months.

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University of Tennessee-Knoxville (TN)

The online MSSW uses a cohort model, in full-time and part-time, and advanced standing and regular options. Advanced standing students need a 3.0 GPA, while regular students need a 2.7 GPA.

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

The online MSSW program for the advanced standing students concentrates on administration and community practices. Applicants need a 3.2 GPA for the advanced standing program.

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Western New Mexico University (NM)

The university offers regular and advanced standing online MSW programs. Regular students should have a 2.75 GPA, and advanced standing students should have a 3.0 GPA and a BSW to be eligible for admission.

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Widener University (PA)

Widener university’s online MSW specializes in an advanced clinical curriculum which deals with trauma issues. The campus offers the LSW exams at the program’s end, and admission requires a 3.0 GPA.

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Pursue an Online MSW Program Today!

Social service careers are rewarding and help the student gain the proper education, thus earning the right skills to work in any advanced position in the social services. CSWE Accredited MSW programs are a guarantee to get a quality education.

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