With a high demand for skilled social workers over the next ten years, a degree from an accredited online college for social work is a great step for job security and career growth. 

walden university online msw tuition

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an 11% rise in the demand for qualified social workers between 2018 and 2028, representing 81,200 new positions. Similarly, related occupations are largely no different, with marriage and family therapists and psychologists expecting a 22% and 14% rise, respectively. So, it’s no surprise that a degree from an accredited online college for social work can hand you long-term job security. 

What Kind of Classes Will I Take With a Social Work Degree?

Many social work degree programs start with a foundation in mandatory courses, covering areas like social policy, ethics and diversity, the foundations of social work practice, research methods, and human behavior. You’ll typically be given a list of elective courses to choose from too. 

What Requirements Will I Need to Apply for a Social Work Degree?

There are a couple of routes into a career as a social worker. Some aspiring professionals will start by studying for a bachelor’s degree in social work, while others might complete an unrelated bachelor’s degree, before applying for a master’s program in social work (MSW). However, you’ll need to meet the entry requirements for the program. 

To be accepted into a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), you’ll usually need a high school diploma or GED. You’ll normally also need to meet GPA requirements, which tend to be between 2.5 and 3.0 (on a 4 point scale). Some institutions might ask for your SAT or ACT scores, copies of your official transcripts, personal statements, and your resume. 

What Are the Best Social Work Degrees?

Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each program is scored individually. It’s then compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking. Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online. To learn more, visit our methodology page. 


Liberty University

Liberty University specializes in online programs and is accredited by the SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges). What’s more, many programs have also been accredited by regulatory bodies in their respective fields – including this program in social work. For admission, you’ll need to fill out a high school self-certification form and provide official transcripts. 

Comprising 120 credit hours and taking around 3.5 years to complete on average, this Bachelor of Science in social work has accreditation from the CSWE (Council on Social Work Education). The program has also previously been named as a ‘Best Online College for Value’, specifically for this course, by guidetoonlineschools.com. 

This is reflected in the low cost of online tuition, at $390 full-time or $455 part-time. You’ll gain real-world experience through field placements, and the remainder of your work can be completed online at any time, through asynchronous learning. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Liberty University here.


Walden University

Founded in 1970, Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The institution also holds specialized accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education. Students can take both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work, with tuition for the master’s program running at $482 per credit hour. 

The Master of Social Work program accepts up to 30 transfer credits. It’s accredited by the CSWE and thus will prepare you for state licensure as a social worker. According to the program catalog, the curriculum features award-winning case studies and virtual reality (VR) scenarios that enhance your learning. There are three degree completion options to choose from: standard, accelerated, and advanced. 

The standard option limits your workload to 1-2 courses per term, allowing you to better manage existing work commitments. Accelerated students take 3 courses per term and study full-time, while advanced students must have a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minimum GPA of 3.0. This can lead to a reduced completion time. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Walden University here.


University of Utah

The University of Utah—and its online learning branch, UOnline—is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Students can choose from both fully-online and hybrid courses, with each student getting a personalized “plan to finish”. 

This Bachelor of Social Work is offered by the College of Social Work at UOnline. It’s a specialized curriculum that focuses on supporting marginalized communities, and it’s one of just 16 online BSW programs to have been directly accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. 

Tuition is offered at a flat rate regardless of whether you live in Utah or are an out-of-state student. You’ll pay a great-value $260 per credit hour, with all mandatory university fees waived given your online learning status. In total, 48 credit hours are needed for successful degree completion, plus completion of a practicum. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Utah here.


University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work offers a master’s program in this subject area. Like many institutions on our list, this program is accredited by the CSWE, creating graduates that are immediately ready to apply for state licensure to practice as a social worker. 

The University at Buffalo (UB) offers a nationally-ranked master’s program in social work, which, according to the program website, emphasizes “integrated trauma-informed and human rights perspectives.” Accredited by the CSWE, there is a 60-credit traditional path, plus a 35-credit advanced path for students with relevant, transferrable credits. 

Tuition for full-time students is $7,950 for NY residents and $12,515 for non-residents. Part-time students pay $745.01 per credit hour, or $1,125.01 per credit hour, respectively. While this is an online program, there are still some mandatory fees to be paid; these aren’t waived by this particular university, unlike UOnline, above. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University at Buffalo here.


University of North Dakota

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the University of North Dakota was recently named on a list of the Top 25 Most Innovative Schools by collegeconsensus.com. It’s the home of one of the largest multicultural, annual events in the country, with nearly 250 student clubs and organizations. 

UND offers two social work programs: the B.S. in social work, and the Master in Social Work. The bachelor’s program is a two to four-year program, comprising 120 credit hours, while the master’s program can be completed in between one to three years. If you’re an undergraduate with aspirations to study on a postgraduate level, UND provides a clear path to get you there. 

For the bachelor’s program, you’ll pay a total of $417.87 per credit as a resident of North Dakota, or $591.55 as a non-resident (inclusive of fees). The master’s program costs $516.76 per credit hour for residents, or $739.89 for non-residents. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of North Dakota here.


Rutgers University

As an online learner at Rutgers University, you’ll receive teachings from the same faculty as your on-campus peers. Class sizes are kept small and your curriculum is structured around real-world skills. The institution is nationally-ranked for its research and is a member of the Association of American Universities. Rutgers is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

The online Master of Social Work at Rutgers University is fairly unique in that you don’t need a GRE for admission into the program. As part of the curriculum, you’ll accrue 1,125 hours of practical fieldwork, with the option to tailor your studies with global study options. 

Tuition at Rutgers University is broken down into different rates depending on your school of study. Tuition for the Graduate School of Social Work is $900.00 per credit, with an additional $300.00 online program fee (per program). 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Rutgers University here.


Indiana University

Founded in 1820, Indiana University recently celebrated its 200th birthday, with nearly 700,000 living graduates. What’s more, since 1923, the Master of Social Work program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. It’s no wonder, then, that the university has been named on multiple rankings by the U.S. News & World Report

Indiana University offers the MSW Direct online program with a concentration in clinical and community practice. The degree has been named among the top-ranked master of social work programs in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report. You can estimate your tuition based on a requirement of 60 credits for degree completion. 

Upon starting your course, you’ll take foundation courses such as ‘Introduction to the SW Profession’, ‘Diversity, Human Rights, and Social Justice’, and ‘Social Policy Analysis and Practice’, plus a practicum. Concentration courses include ‘Clinical Theory and Practice’ and ‘Executive Leadership Practice’, with additional clinical experience. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Indiana University here.


Wayne State University

Located in the heart of Detroit, Wayne State University has a lot to be proud of. It’s been named one of the nation’s 50 safest campuses, with 18 varsity athletic teams, and more than 500 student organizations. In-state students pay $397.05 – $471.19 in tuition, while out-of-state students pay $909.40 – $1,083.52. 

The BSW at Wayne State University is offered fully online, with the exception of a 460-hour internship lasting for two semesters. You’ll be placed within a client-facing organization, gaining real-world experience that can be applied in the (virtual) classroom. A full program schedule can be found on the WSU website

For admission into the program, you will need a minimum GPA of 2.50. You’ll also need to submit a personal interest statement alongside your application, in addition to your official high school transcripts (or college transcripts where necessary). 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Wayne State University here.


Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In addition to offering both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work, EKU provides programs in a broad range of related fields, including certificates in addictions intervention, mental health, child and family services, leadership and management, and social advocacy and justice. 

The undergraduate program—the bachelor’s degree in social work—is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1977. You can choose from several start dates throughout the year, and as an enrolled student, you’ll receive free online career services and tutoring. While there are opportunities for practicum experiences, there are no mandatory campus visits needed. 

The bachelor’s degree program comprises 120 credit hours, with each credit costing $409.00 in tuition fees (or $250.00 for active duty military). You may also be able to transfer up to 90 credits.

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Eastern Kentucky University here.

IllinoisatUrbana Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offers online learning through ‘Illinois Online’. Students can choose from more than 90 online degree and certificate programs, with tuition being charged at a single rate, irrespective of state residency. Since 2010, the institution has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. 

The Master of Social Work (MSW) at Illinois Online provides a postgraduate route of study for students who may or may not have already gained a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). With a curriculum containing 20 courses, the program charges a flat rate of tuition at $598.00 per credit hour (estimated total cost $26,312). 

You may enroll in foundation and advanced courses, which may be fully-online or blended hybrid options. Hybrid courses use both online and face-to-face instruction, with campus-based courses taking place on weekends to minimize the disruption to your existing schedule as a distance learner. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Illinois at Urbana here.


University of Nebraska at Kearney

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK) has more than 30 online programs to choose from. Their graduate programs are highly regarded, having been ranked eighth in the country by U.S. News & World Report

UNK offers a minor in social work, comprising 24 credits, which can be paired with majors in nearly any other field. If you’ve an interest in social sciences, like psychology or sociology, or programs like criminal justice or public administration, the curriculums can complement each other well. 

You’ll take mandatory courses in social welfare, human service ethics, human behavior, social policy, and diversity and justice. You’ll also choose from electives that include disability studies, mental health issues, aging services, and child welfare services. The average tuition per credit is $375.00. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Nebraska at Kearney here.


Simmons College

Simmons boasts about having had the first school of clinical social work in the nation. Founded more than a hundred years ago along with Harvard University, the Simmons School of Social Work (SSW) offers some of the highest quality social work courses in the country. This includes real-world clinical experience to complement theoretical study, helping to prepare future graduates for their careers. 

The master’s program at Simmons leads to an MSW and is titled “[email protected]”. Taught fully-online, the curriculum is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and includes synchronous—real-time—classes, in addition to field experiences that take place within or close to your community. 

There are four program types to choose from. Advanced standing and accelerate’ are programs that can be completed in 16 months, while the typical full-time program lasts for 23 months. There’s also an extended option, lasting 32 months, for students who want to study part-time. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Simmons College here.


Troy University

Troy University was founded in early 1887, starting out as Troy State Normal School, an institution dedicated to training teachers for state schools. Today, the institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, with degree programs at associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. A number of doctoral degrees are also offered. 

Starting in August of each year, the B.S. in Social Work program comprises 120 credit hours and is taught fully-online. The program is structured into 9-week terms, with 57 hours general studies courses and 27 hours core requirements. A 27-hour social work professional program prepares you to start clinical practice. 

Tuition for this program at Troy University will cost you $338 per credit hour, with no separate rate for students who live out of state. For entry into the program, you’ll need to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4 point scale. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Troy University here.


Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for more than 50 years. As an online student, you’ll enjoy cheaper tuition than your on-campus peers, while utilizing the same experienced, full-time faculty members. 

Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers a B.S. in sociology. As part of your studies, you’ll analyze research in areas including human behavior, family relationships, race, social class, drug use, and income inequality. This program can lead to a career in social work, plus a range of other career paths. 

The program comprises 120 credits total, with each credit costing $470 when taken online. However, distance learners should be aware that this hybrid course is split into 7 weeks’ online study, plus 15 weeks’ campus study. You may be able to transfer up to 90 credits to reduce overall costs and program length. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Grand Canyon University here.


Arizona State University

According to its website, the School of Social Work at Arizona State University (ASU) is one of the largest in the world. It’s accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CWSE), meaning graduates are ready to pursue licensure in their state after completing the program. 

The curriculum for this master’s degree program includes 960 hours of mandatory, real-world experience. These are satisfied through two placements, which take place at different internship locations. ASU’s Field Education Office will help you to source locations that are located close to home, while still meeting standards set by the CSWE. 

Arizona State University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) has a total of 20 classes, with each lasting around 7.5 weeks, for a total of 60 credit hours. For a full breakdown of course costs, you can use the handy tuition calculator on the ASU website

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Arizona State University here.


Florida State University

Florida State University is an officially-designated preeminent research university, recently bringing in almost $250 million in grants and contracts, in a single year alone. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the institution was founded in 1851 and is the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state. 

The online MSW program at Florida State has previously been named the best of its kind in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. You can choose from either the two-year advanced standing social work program, for those holding a BSW, or the traditional three-year program if your bachelor’s degree is in another field. 

For entry into the traditional program, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses beyond the first 60 hours of your undergraduate studies. You’ll also need to submit your resume alongside a statement of purpose, though you aren’t required to have a GRE if you meet the waiver criteria

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Florida State University here.


Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Established in 1884, Northwestern State University is an affordable university that offers more than 40 online degree programs. The institution has been recognized in a number of national journals and college guides, and is ranked among the most military-friendly institutions in the country for veterans. 

NSU’s Social Work Department offers a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, which offers numerous credit transfer options directly into the university’s master’s degree in social work. The program has been ranked among several “Most Affordable” program lists by websites such as HumanServicesEDU.org and BestColleges.com. 

Undergraduate tuition is charged at a rate of $375.00 per credit hour for the first 12 hours, then $100 for every subsequent credit hour, making NSU highly affordable. Graduates pay a slightly higher rate of $475 for up to 9 hours, then $100 thereafter. As an online-only learner, you also pay no out-of-state fees. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Northwestern State University of Louisiana here.


University of Southern California

The University of Southern California (USC) is home to more than 20 academic schools and colleges. Not only is the campus sprawling, but it is also the largest private sector employer in Los Angeles. Founded in the early 1870s, USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. 

This online Master of Social Work (MSW) program follows a curriculum that’s identical to its on-campus counterpart. It’ll impart you with a number of social work techniques, which include early years interventions, leadership qualities, and prevention. You have the option of studying either full or part-time. 

Should you take the traditional program, you’ll complete 60 credits in as little as 16 months. Alternatively, the advanced standing program, available to those with a relevant bachelor’s degree, takes as few as 12 months and comprises 37 credits. Tuition varies based on the path chosen, but you can see a breakdown here

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Southern California here.


University of Houston

The Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) at the University of Houston is the only college of social work in the world to have a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. It’s also the previous place of study for New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown, who is today a member of faculty. 

When you start this program, you’ll undertake foundation studies in the first two semesters, comprising 16 credit hours. This will include practical fieldwork, giving you valuable experience early on in your program. The curriculum focuses on areas like economic, social, and political justice. As is the requirement for any accredited MSW program, you’ll take at least 900 clock hours’ worth of fieldwork. 

In the last several years, this program has also been named in at least five rankings for the best master’s programs. To get an idea of how much this program will cost, you can use the university’s tuition and fees calculator that’s located on the website

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Houston here.

Tennessee Knoxville

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Founded more than 100 years ago in 1794, UT Knoxville is part of the UT System, alongside UT Chattanooga, UT Martin, the UT Institute of Agriculture, and the UT Health Science Center. It’s a premier research institution and has been recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 

The only difference between the online and on-campus programs is where you physically take your courses. Both programs have the same part-time, full-time, and advanced standing courses of study, in addition to the same concentrations: evidence-based interpersonal practice and organizational leadership. According to GetEducated, who recently published new rankings, this program is one of the country’s top accredited social work master’s programs for affordability and value. As a graduate student, you’ll pay $700.00 per credit hour as an in-state student, or $775.00 as an out-of-state learner. A full breakdown of tuition costs and associated fees can be found on this useful PDF.

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Tennessee at Knoxville here.


Metropolitan State University of Denver

Officially opened in 1965, Metropolitan State University of Denver produces highly skilled graduates that drive the state’s economy; over 80% of graduates remain in Colorado, taking up employment throughout the state. Their mascot is Rowdy the Roadrunner, so it makes sense that students at the university are known as roadrunners, too. 

You can gain both a bachelor’s and master’s in social work through the Department of Social Work at MSU Denver. Both programs are taught fully-online, using both synchronous and asynchronous learning; that is, you’ll study for some courses at your own pace, while logging in at a specific time for others alongside your peers. 

There are four different tuition rates for the MSW program. Residents and non-residents pay differing levels of tuition, while the program costs also vary depending on whether you’re taking the mixed traditional course type, or opting for fully online course delivery. A full breakdown is available in this PDF from the institution’s website. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver here.


University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida offers fully-online programs through its e-learning platform, UCF Online. As recently as 2020, UCF Online has been named in two U.S. News & World Reports for their bachelor’s programs, in addition to being named on the 2020 Most Innovative ranking. 

Under the guidance of the Health Professions and Sciences College, you can enroll in the online Master of Social Work (MSW). Costs for tuition run at $487.45 per credit hour, with a total of 62 credit hours for course completion. Terms last for seven weeks. 

This program has been specifically designed for students who haven’t already gained a Bachelor of Social Work, or those who completed a BSW over five years ago. Lasting for nine semesters, the curriculum allows for clinical specialization, and provides you with the required placement hours to gain licensure after graduation. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Central Florida here.


University of California at Berkeley

At UC Berkeley Extension, the distance learning arm of this institution, you can choose from three online course types. “Live online” programs provide scheduled online sessions with an instructor and your peers, while “start anytime” programs allow you to set your own pace and work alone. “Fixed-date” options provide a start and end date, with self-study and collaborative courses making up the bulk of the work. 

At UC Berkeley, you can enroll in the post-baccalaureate program for counseling and psychology professions’. It’s designed for students or career changers who have already completed a bachelor’s degree, and who need undergraduate course prerequisites, or to boost their applications for postgraduate study. 

Within the curriculum, you’ll find numerous upper-division courses in psychology, which are suited to future study in the areas of counseling, social work, and psychology. Assistance is on-hand to help you work out the program of study that’s best suited to your career or further study aspirations. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of California at Berkeley here.


University of Texas at Arlington

UTA’s School of Social Work has been around for more than 50 years, with this program being the first one to be offered to prospective students. In 1970, it was given accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This was closely followed by a new bachelor’s degree (BSW) in 1979. 

The fully online MSW program at UTA’s School of Social Work provides you with a lot of choice. There’s an accelerated full-time program of study for advanced standing eligible students, plus several specialty areas. These are direct practice with children and families, direct practice in aging, and direct practice in mental health and substance abuse. 

While some institutions charge separate tuition rates for out-of-state students, only Texas residents who are residing within the state can apply to this program. However, it has been named in a Best Master’s in Social Work ranking by CollegeChoice on two separate occasions. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Texas at Arlington here.


University of Mary

The University of Mary has more than 50 years’ worth of experience in faith-driven adult education, in addition to over 25 years of providing online and evening education programs. Guided by Benedictine and Christian faith, their programs will help you meet your career goals, while letting you stand out as a servant leader. 

At the University of Mary, you can enroll in the Master of Science in counseling, clinical mental health counseling program. This can be completed in as few as 20 months, with most courses taught online; however, there’s a requirement for classes once per week on campus in downtown Bismarck. Tuition costs $590.00 per credit hour. 

Designed for working professionals or those looking for a career change, the program prepares you for professional licensure as a licensed associate professional counselor (LAPC), licensed professional counselor (LPC), and licensed professional clinical counselor’ (LPCC) within North Dakota. You’ll also learn how to integrate Christian values into your practice. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at University of Mary here.


Columbia College

Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for more than 100 years. Undergraduate tuition for online and evening classes runs at $375.00 per credit hour, or $250 for active-duty military. There are no fees or book costs. 

Prospective students with a keen interest in becoming social workers can pursue a human services major at Columbia College, through a number of programs. These include the Associate in Science in human services, Bachelor of Arts in human services, and Bachelor of Science in human services. 

For students who are already working in the field, with considerable existing experience, the BA program is recommended. With a focus on knowledge acquisition and skills development, the program could help boost your existing career. The BS program is more geared towards those who are only just entering the field, or who need more clinical experience to become confident; this program includes an internship. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Columbia College here.


Spring Arbor University

Established in 1873, Spring Arbor University is a Christian institution that weaves faith into its teachings to create well-rounded graduates. The institution has been named in over ten rankings for a number of disciplines within the past decade. 

Spring Arbor University’s BSW program can be completed entirely online, with no requirement to complete a residency. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and offers all students a program mentor throughout, who is also a member of faculty. 

This program has been ranked among the best 25 Christian colleges for social work degrees, in addition to ranking number 15 on a list of the Best Online BSW degrees for 2020 (GradReports). Program costs run at $587.00 per credit hour, which is the lowest rate offered by Spring Arbor for all other courses. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Spring Arbor University here.


Columbia University

According to U.S. News & World Report, Columbia University ranks in #3 in National Universities, #6 for Best Value Schools, and has won numerous other similar accolades. Operating for more than 120 years, the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) allows master’s degree students to specialize in a broad number of areas. 

In addition to completing their courses, enrolled students can join events, contribute to the Columbia Social Work Review, and win numerous student awards. Online students aren’t required on campus, but are welcome to visit for orientation, graduation, and other occasions. 

Every new online student will take an orientation to become familiar with the Learning Management System (LMS), and each will have access to live support specialists throughout their studies. You’ll also be joining peers who will start their courses at the same time, giving you a community of like-minded learners, even when you’re not setting foot on campus. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Columbia University here.


Our Lady of the Lake University

Founded in 1895, Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The institution has been named on numerous rankings by U.S. News & World Report, in addition to other college guidance websites. 

The online Master of Social Work at OLLU is offered via the Worden School of Social Service. It’s a CSWE-accredited program that will ensure you meet requirements for licensure after graduation, and there is an advanced standing option for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in social work. 

The advanced standing MSW comprises 30 credit hours and can be completed in less than two years. The foundation MSW has 57 credit hours for completion, and is geared towards students who hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field; this makes it ideal for those looking to change careers. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Our Lady of the Lake University here.


Capella University

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Capella University is an online college offering a range of programs at every level. In 2018 the student body comprised nearly 90% part-time learners, highlighting the suitability of this institution for working professionals who want to advance their education. 

Capella offers two programs in this specialty: the Master of Social Work (MSW) and Doctor of Social Work (DSW). While both courses can be taken online, there’s a practicum/internship forming part of the curriculum for each. The latter program focuses in more detail on theory, research, and leadership. 

Master’s tuition is $435 – $805 per credit, while doctoral tuition isn’t much higher at $540 – $800 per credit. You may also be eligible for a Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship that can contribute up to $10,000 towards the cost of your education, depending on your program. These needs-based awards don’t have to be repaid after graduation. 

Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Social Work at Capella University here.

Do Social Workers Need a Degree?

Social workers are responsible for helping connect families to social services, support children who are experiencing difficulties at home or in education, and support patients who have ongoing health problems. This is a specialist area requiring specific knowledge of social policies, ethics, and other important subject areas. As such, it requires several years of academic study and training to become qualified. 

This kind of knowledge must come from somewhere, which is why social workers require a bachelor’s degree in a related field. What’s more, social workers based within a clinical setting typically require a postgraduate qualification, such as a master’s degree. There’s also a requirement for licensure in the state in which you want to work. 

What Can a Social Work Degree Lead To?

Specific curriculums for social work degrees can vary from one university to another. However, a typical curriculum gives you knowledge in areas such as psychology, sociology, and public health management. You’ll be prepared to engage with the public and help to solve their social, personal, and emotional problems. 

As a result, one of the most popular career paths for a graduate with a degree in social work is to gain employment as a social worker. There is, however, a lot of scope for choosing the setting in which you work. For example, social workers are needed in hospitals, mental health inpatient facilities, geriatric care facilities, and community counseling organizations. There are also roles in numerous government agencies. 

Some of the roles open to you as a graduate with a degree in social work include mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, probation officer, social and community service assistant or manager, recreational therapist, behavioral disorder counselor, health educator, and social worker. 

How Long Does a Social Work Degree Last?

Most bachelor’s degrees in social work last for four years, with associate degrees lasting for around half this time; however, associate degrees in social work are often not sufficient for many employers. Master’s programs, on average, take around two years. 

Online programs are typically designed for those who have a busy schedule and can’t commit to full-time study. If you’re studying part-time, then these timeframes can differ. Additionally, bear in mind that many institutions offer advanced standing master’s degree programs that can reduce the amount of time taken to complete the program if you already hold a bachelor’s degree in social work. 

How Much Does a Social Work Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Services, the typical cost for a master’s degree is around $13,800 in a public university, or $36,300 in a private university. Online programs can again affect these figures, as studying online is often cheaper, in addition to frequently including no additional fees. You’ll also save on the coast of fees for room and board compared to students studying on-campus. 

If you’re studying online, then it’s common for tuition to be charged on a per-credit basis. Based on the colleges and universities contained within this article, the approximate cost per credit hour for the above institutions is anywhere from around $300 to $1,000. Out-of-state students often pay a higher rate of tuition, though many institutions charge a flat rate for all online students. 

What Is Social Work Licensure?

It’s likely that you’ll need to gain licensure for the state in which you want to practice as a social worker. These licenses verify that you’ve gained the needed education and experience to succeed in the role and work with clients. Licenses aren’t required in every state, but without a license, you might struggle to find a role compared to those who have them. 

As part of your licensure requirements, you’ll need to accrue a minimum number of clock hours of supervised work. Again, the amount required varies from one state to another; for example, in California, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) needs at least 3,000 hours, but the number is 4,000 in Washington. The best place to start is by reviewing the eligibility requirements for the Association of Social Work Board examination. 

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out The 20 Best Online Psychology Degree Programs and The 10 Best Careers for the Future