Social workers provide various services to clients suffering from mental, emotional, physical, or social problems. They usually work for health and human services agencies and organizations. Social workers manage large client caseloads and ensure clients can access beneficial social services, resources, and therapeutic care.
These professionals need compassion, persistence, and healthy boundaries. Clinical social workers typically need a master of social work (MSW) and a professional license. Online MSW programs feature interdisciplinary coursework, core skills cultivation, and specialization opportunities.
Full-time enrollees typically need two years to complete an online master's in social work program. Candidates enrolled in accelerated programs or those with prior related coursework may finish sooner. Online social work master's programs can prepare students for supervisory or director roles.
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25 Most Affordable Online Master's in Social Work Programs 2021
The following list highlights the most affordable social work master's online programs of 2021. Prospective students can compare the schools and programs below to find the best fit for their professional goals. This list gets updated annually to reflect changes in social work education.
FSU's online master's in social work program accepts applications from graduates of a bachelor of social work (BSW) program as well as non-BSW degree-holders. BSW graduates enroll in the 39-credit advanced-standing program, which takes two years to complete. Non-BSW degree-holders enroll in the traditional three-year master of social work (MSW) program consisting of 61 credits.
Both programs enroll students on a part-time basis follow a 16-week delivery schedule. Advanced-standing students must complete at least 400 field education hours in a generalist practice arena at the time of application. Enrollees in the traditional BSW program need an upper-division 3.0 GPA or higher.
The MSW requires all students to complete field placements. Traditional BSW students complete two field placements, while advanced-standing enrollees complete just one field placement. MSW candidates fulfill field placement requirements locally after gaining their program coordinator's approval. The program prepares graduates for licensure and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
New Mexico State University-Main Campus
NMSU offers an advanced-standing online master of social work (MSW) program composed of 30 credits. Applicants need a bachelor of social work (BSW) from an accredited school. Most students graduate in one year.
Individuals with a non-BSW degree apply to the regular 60-credit MSW program. Also available online, the regular MSW accepts full-time enrollees only and offers a program of study that learners can complete in two years.
The MSW program requires all enrollees to undergo a field practicum experience. Advanced-standing students complete 500 hours of fieldwork, while regular MSW students complete 950 hours.
The curriculum includes coursework in mental health practice, human behavior and the social environment, policy analysis and change, and advanced practice with organizations and communities. MSW candidates must complete social work courses in sequence.
NMSU's social work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Tennessee State University
TSU offers a master of social work (MSW) program through the Mid-Tennessee Collaborative Master of Social Work (MTC-MSW) Program. Two other universities – Austin Peay State University in Clarksville and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro – also participate in the program. The MTC-MSW follows a hybrid delivery system with classes held in the evenings at each of the three participating campuses and online.
The MSW consists of 30 foundation credits and another 30 credits in the concentration area (advanced generalist practice). Students also complete 400 practicum hours during their foundation year and 500 practicum hours during their concentration year. The curriculum includes coursework in social welfare policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, empirical social work practice, and social policy analysis. The university's social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Applicants with a bachelor of social work can apply for advanced standing, which can significantly shorten the length of time it takes to earn the MSW. Applicants with a bachelor's degree in a non-social work field must complete all required foundation and concentration courses.
University of South Florida-Main Campus
USF's College of Behavioral and Community Sciences offers an online master of social work (MSW) accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Applicants with a bachelor of social work (BSW) can apply for advanced standing, while non-BSW degree-holders can apply to the regular MSW program.
Advanced-standing applicants need a grade of B or higher in all undergraduate social work courses and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must have earned the BSW within five years of applying to the program. Students can complete the 35-credit, advanced-standing MSW in three full-time or five part-time semesters.
The regular MSW track accepts applicants with an undergraduate 3.0 GPA or higher and a bachelor's degree in a non-social work area. Learners can complete the 60-credit program in eight semesters.
The MSW program follows a cohort model of education and includes up to 900 hours of field work. Students enroll in classes in social welfare policy development and analysis, psychopathology, diversity and social justice, and foundations of social work research and statistics.
CU offers a completely online master of social work (MSW) program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Applicants with an undergraduate degree in a non-social work field must complete the 24-credit standard generalist curriculum before enrolling in 36 credits of advanced coursework. Applicants with a bachelor of social work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited program can enroll in advanced courses immediately upon acceptance.
The MSW prepares graduates for an advanced generalist social work career with a concentration in rural practice. The advanced curriculum includes coursework in Appalachian culture, structures, and environment; rural research methods for social work; rural practice with communities and organizations; and human behavior and the social environment in a rural setting. MSW candidates complete field work requirements concurrently with coursework.
Full-time enrollees beginning the generalist program usually graduate within two years. Advanced students can earn the MSW after just one year of full-time enrollment. The program also accepts part-time enrollees.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The online master's in social work at UTRGV comprises 33 credits and accepts applications from graduates of an accredited bachelor of social work program. Applicants must have a minimum 3.2 GPA in all core undergraduate social work courses and show completion of a statistics class. The program leads to a master of science in social work (MSSW) with a concentration in administration and community practice.
MSSW courses follow seven-week delivery schedules. Most students graduate from the program after 12 months of continuous enrollment. The program focuses on developing leadership skills that enable graduates to improve the delivery of human services for at-risk Latino communities.
The curriculum includes coursework in advanced social work practice with organizations, policy analysis and development, macro assessment, and accountability and evaluation in macro practice. MSSW candidates must complete at least 500 practicum hours to earn the degree. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the MSSW program prepares graduates to take the exam for the licensed master social worker credential in Texas.
Simmons offers an accelerated online master of social work (MSW) program that students can complete in just 16 months. The program does not require applicants to hold a bachelor of social work (BSW) degree, but once admitted, they must follow a full-time plan of study. The 65-credit MSW program spans four, 14-week terms. The program requires students to enroll in four graduate-level classes each term in addition to completing 1,000 fieldwork hours.
The university also offers an advanced-standing MSW for BSW degree-holders. The program consists of 24 coursework and 13 fieldwork credits. Students take two classes each enrollment period and begin fieldwork placements after the first term. Advanced-standing enrollees complete 24 hours of clinical fieldwork each term.
The MSW curriculum covers subjects such as social welfare policy, assessment and diagnosis, social policy and social work in organizations and communities, and advanced clinical practice. Students complete field assignments in approved sites within their home community. Simmons' social work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Delaware State University
DSU's College of Health and Behavioral Sciences offers a 60-credit online master of social work (MSW) program that prepares graduates to sit for the field's entry-level licensing exam. The MSW is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and, to date, is Delaware's only MSW program. The college accepts applications from graduates of an accredited bachelor of social work (BSW) program as well as non-BSW degree-holders.
The program offers a concentration in advanced generalist social work practice. The 60-credit MSW consists of 30 foundation and 30 concentration credits. Graduates of a CSWE-accredited BSW program can transfer up to 28 credits toward the MSW degree.
The curriculum covers topics such as social welfare policies and services; engagement with and assessment of individuals, families, and treatment groups; human behavior and the social environment; and administration, management, and supervision. MSW candidates must maintain a 3.0 (or higher) GPA throughout the program to qualify for graduation. Non-BSW degree-holders complete 12 fieldwork credits, while BSW-degree-holders complete six fieldwork credits.
University of Central Florida
UCF's online master of social work (MSW) program maintains two tracks of study and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The traditional track comprises 62 credits and follows a three-year cohort model of education. The track accepts applications from graduates of a non-social work program. Applicants who earned a bachelor of social work (BSW) more than six years prior to applying must enroll in the traditional track.
The advanced-standing track welcomes applications from BSW degree-holders with a 3.3 or higher upper-division GPA. The 32-credit track takes 16 months to complete. The program also follows a cohort model of education. UCF offers both tracks on a part-time basis only. Courses follow seven-week delivery schedules. The MSW meets the educational criteria for social work licensure in Florida. Whenever possible, program coordinators place MSW candidates in fieldwork locations within an hour's drive from their residence.
California State University-Stanislaus
The master of social work (MSW) program at Stan State follows a hybrid format and comprises 60 credits. Full-time students can graduate from the program in 24 months (four semesters), while part-time enrollees can take as long as three years (six semesters). The program satisfies the academic requirements for clinical social work licensure in California and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Students enroll in classes in psychosocial assessment; advanced integrative practice with children, adults, and families; social welfare policy and services for social justice; and social work practice with trauma survivors. Fieldwork constitutes an integral component of the MSW degree. Candidates must complete four semesters of supervised clinical work in approved locations prior to graduating from the program. Students must also complete a culminating experience, which can be either a capstone project or a thesis.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
IUPUI offers an online master of social work (MSW) that students can complete entirely online. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited institution. The 60-credit MSW program prepares students for advanced generalist practice in communities, organizations, and societies. The program prepares students for social work licensure and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
Students complete 30 credits each of core and special practice coursework. The program offers specializations in areas such as mental health, addictions, and telebehavioral health social work. The curriculum includes coursework in diversity, human rights, and social justice; social policy analysis and practice; assessment in mental health and addictions; and community and global theory and practice.
Out-of-state enrollees complete fieldwork requirements locally after securing their program director's approval.
California State University-San Bernardino
San Bernardino, CA
CSUSB's 60-credit online master of social work (MSW) program takes three years to complete. The program prepares students for social work licensure in California and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Administrators often prioritize applicants with a strong academic background in behavioral and social sciences. However, applicants can possess a degree in any field. Applicants need an undergraduate 3.0 GPA or higher and preferably a full year of professional experience in the field.
The MSW program includes foundation and specialization coursework as well as two years of precepted fieldwork. Students complete at least 20 hours of fieldwork each week for a minimum of 1,080 hours by the end of the program.
Enrollees can specialize in a field such as child welfare or mental health, or work with a specific client population like the elderly or minorities. MSW candidates can also specialize in a social issue such as homelessness, domestic violence, or sexism.
Appalachian State University
Appalachian's online master of social work (MSW) program accepts applications from graduates of an accredited bachelor of social work program. Applicants need a 3.2 GPA or higher in their undergraduate social work courses and must have earned the degree within seven years of applying. The MSW program prepares students for licensure and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Most students graduate within two years.
The 33-credit MSW curriculum includes courses in advanced social work practice with children and adolescents, community social work practice, leadership in health and human service organizations, and program development and evaluation. MSW candidates can specialize in individuals and families or in community and organizational practice. Courses follow a hybrid delivery system with onsite classes held in the evenings. MSW candidates complete at least 500 practicum hours prior to graduating.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
The online master of social work (MSW) program at UA Little Rock accepts applications from Arkansas residents only. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and meets the academic requirement for social work licensure in Arkansas.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and an overall 3.0 GPA or higher. The 60-credit MSW degree includes 36 credits of foundation and concentration courses and six elective credits. Enrollees complete 18 fieldwork credits, or 1,200 practice hours.
The curriculum includes courses in assessment and differential diagnosis, social welfare policies and services, statistics for social work, and diversity and oppression. Students meet for five synchronous online sessions for each course every semester.
The MSW field coordinator determines appropriate field placements for each enrollee. Whenever possible, students are assigned to locations near their home. Most MSW candidates graduate from the program within three years.
WU offers a 66-credit online master of social work (MSW) degree for applicants with an accredited bachelor's degree in a non-social work field. Full-time enrollees typically graduate in five semesters.
Applicants with a bachelor of social work (BSW) earned within 10 years of applying usually qualify for the advanced-standing MSW program. BSW degree-holders can transfer up to 33 credits toward the MSW, which allows many to graduate in three full-time semesters.
The MSW curriculum includes field education hours. Non-BSW degree-holders complete at least 1,120 hours of fieldwork, while advanced-standing students complete 720 hours. Coursework covers subjects such as social policy and programs, dimensions of professional social work practice, clinical assessment and diagnosis, and qualitative and quantitative social work research.
Students can specialize in school or in healthcare social work or pursue a concurrent degree in law. WU's MSW degree is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and prepares graduates for initial licensure in the field.
UI's online master of social work (MSW) program follows a cohort model of education and has been continuously accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1951. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate 3.0 GPA or higher. UI currently accepts applications for the 60-credit MSW program only from residents of Iowa and bordering states.
MSW courses follow asynchronous and synchronous delivery formats and require enrollees to meet with other local students at least once each semester. MSW candidates must also attend a summer institute that runs 2-3 days at the university.
The curriculum includes coursework in organization and community practice; discrimination, oppression, and diversity; integrated social work theory and practice; and human behavior in the social environment. MSW candidates complete foundation (27 credits) and advanced classes (33 credits) in addition to fieldwork hours in approved sites within their geographical area.
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY
WKU's online master of social work (MSW) program focuses mostly on non-urban areas that comprise much of Kentucky and neighboring states. The College of Health and Human Services houses the MSW program, which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The college accepts applications from graduates of an accredited bachelor of social work (BSW) program as well as non-BSW degree-holders.
BSW-trained applicants usually enroll in the 33-credit advanced-standing program, while non-BSW degree-holders pursue the 60-credit traditional program. BSW degree-holders must complete the degree within seven years of applying to the MSW program.
The curriculum includes classes in rural community organization and development, social work clinical assessment and intervention, foundations of social welfare policy, and social work in diverse rural areas. MSW candidates complete fieldwork hours locally after securing their program coordinator's approval.
A liberal arts university steeped in Catholic tradition, Marywood offers a 60-credit online master of social work (MSW) program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Marywood participates in the Child Welfare Education for Leadership program, which means students who work at a county child welfare agency may qualify for tuition reimbursement.
Students begin the program by enrolling in foundation courses, including ethical issues in social work practice, human behavior, and social work research. As students advance in the program, they can choose a specialization by enrolling in electives and completing fieldwork assignments in their preferred practice area. Specializations include behavioral health, administration, or child and family studies.
Program coordinators work with MSW candidates to identify appropriate fieldwork placements within their home region. Students working in a social service agency may be able to complete fieldwork requirements at their workplace.
WVU offers a completely online master of social work (MSW) program through the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and prepares graduates for licensure in West Virginia. The program only accepts part-time enrollees.
Applicants with an accredited bachelor of social work (BSW) degree earned within eight years of applying to the MSW typically apply for the advanced-standing program. Graduates of a non-BSW program, or individuals who earned the degree more than eight years from the application date, apply for the regular-standing program. Advanced-standing students enroll in 36 credits and complete 600 fieldwork hours. Most learners graduate within two years. Regular-standing enrollees take 60 credits and complete 900 fieldwork hours. Enrollees typically graduate within three years.
The MSW curriculum includes coursework in assessment and diagnosis, practice with families and groups, organizational administration and leadership, and social welfare policy and programs. Students pay in-state tuition regardless of residency.
UMaine offers an online master of social work (MSW) program for state residents and applicants who live in Vermont and New Hampshire. Applicants with an accredited bachelor of social work (BSW) degree enroll in the advanced-standing program, while non-BSW degree-holders can apply to the regular program. The MSW program follows a cohort model of education and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program meets the academic criteria for social work licensure in Maine.
Advanced-standing enrollees complete 46 credits, 500 field hours, and graduate within two years. Students enrolled in the regular program take 63 credits, 900 field hours, and graduate within three years. While MSW courses typically run asynchronously, some classes include synchronous components that require enrollees to meet online at specific times. The curriculum includes coursework in psychopathology, generalist practice with organizations and communities, social policy, and social work research.
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
LSU's online master of social work (MSW) program comprises 60 credits for enrollees with an undergraduate degree in a non-social work field. Students complete a generalist year consisting of foundation classes and a specialist year featuring advanced coursework. Graduates of a bachelor of social work (BSW) program qualify for advanced-standing status and enroll only in specialist classes (30 credits). Advanced-standing students can graduate from the program in just 9-12 months.
The MSW offers thesis and non-thesis options and meets the academic requirement for licensure in Louisiana. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Classes follow seven-week asynchronous delivery schedules.
The curriculum includes coursework in social welfare history and policy, human diversity and oppression, differential diagnosis, and community and agency contexts for direct practice. Students complete fieldwork hours locally.
Eastern Washington University
EWU's online master of social work (MSW) program welcomes applications from graduates of an accredited bachelor of social work (BSW) program and non-BSW degree-holders. The MSW follows a cohort model of education and prepares students for the licensure exam in Washington. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Non-BSW degree-holders enroll in a 90-quarter-credit program (60 semester credits) and earn the MSW within two years. BSW graduates enroll in 51 quarter credits (34 semester credits) of advanced coursework only and can complete the program after one year of full-time enrollment. Part-time advanced-standing enrollees typically take 1.5 years to graduate.
MSW candidates enroll in classes in organizational and community practice, social work assessment and practice with individuals and families, human development in contemporary environments, and clinical diagnosis and evidence-based treatments. Students must present a comprehensive research project during their final semester to earn the MSW.
California State University-Northridge
CSUN offers an online master of social work (MSN) program with a focus on urban community practice. The program maintains a generalist approach that trains students to work and deliver services at the micro (individuals/families), mezzo (groups/community), and macro (society/policy) levels. The MSW program meets the educational criteria for state licensure and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree, preferably in the liberal arts, with an undergraduate 3.0 GPA or higher. The program requires applicants to have at least one year of professional experience. The MSW curriculum includes classes in psychosocial assessment and diagnostic formulation; family crisis, trauma, and grief; social work practice in multicultural contexts; and social welfare policy and services. For the program's culminating activity, enrollees submit a research paper and present a poster in a school-sponsored community event.
UB's online master of social work (MSW) program integrates current perspectives on human rights and trauma and prepares graduates for state licensure. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Students with an undergraduate degree in a non-social work field enroll in the traditional 60-credit MSW program. The program admits students on a part-time basis only and takes up to three years (nine semesters) to complete. Bachelor of social work (BSW) degree-holders enroll in the 35-credit, advanced-standing program that takes 1.5 years, or five semesters, to complete.
Some MSW courses include asynchronous and synchronous components, which professors explain at the beginning of each term. Out-of-state enrollees pay resident tuition only if they take all their classes online. The MSW curriculum includes courses in theories of human behavior and development, scientific methods in social work, social welfare policy and history, and diversity and oppression.
The online master of social work (MSW) program at Nazareth prepares graduates for New York state licensure and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students can pursue two tracks of study. The 60-credit traditional track accepts applications from graduates of an accredited non-social work undergraduate program. Individuals with a bachelor of social work (BSW) degree apply to the 36-credit, advanced-standing track.
Full-time MSW students enrolled in the traditional track typically graduate within two years, or four semesters. Part-time enrollees can take up to three years (with summer enrollment) to complete the program. BSW degree-holders can apply to the advanced-standing program only if they completed their degree within eight years from the application date.
Fieldwork comprises an integral component of the MSW program. Traditional-track students complete 900 hours of fieldwork, while advanced-standing enrollees complete 500 hours. Online students pay the same tuition as in-state residents regardless of residency.
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||Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates
||Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid
||Admission and enrollment rates
||Number of program options
|Online Enrollment Score
||Portion of learners taking at least one online course
Many entry-level social worker jobs require a bachelor of social work (BSW) or a bachelor's in a related field. However, clinical social workers usually need an MSW.
Social workers help individuals struggling with issues such as poverty, domestic violence, and mental illness. Social workers may provide emotional support, advocacy, and referrals to various resources.
MSW programs typically take two years to complete. However, enrollees with a BSW or related work experience may reduce their time-to-degree through transferring credits or qualifying for accelerated programs.
Counseling constitutes one aspect of clinical social work, but social workers assist in other ways. For example, they manage clients' cases and ensure access to medical and therapeutic treatments.
Career and Salary Outlook for Social Work
A large sub sector of human services, social work includes many subfields and career paths in the public health, medical, government, and nonprofit arenas. Many social workers provide direct services to clients, while others play administrative roles.
Child and family social workers support parenting improvements and perform interventions, including connecting families to various resources, advocating for and supporting children in schools, and finding other homes for children when necessary. Healthcare social workers typically help aging adults and their families adapt to the complications of aging. Mental health and substance abuse social workers connect clients struggling with addition to various treatment opportunities and resources.
Social work employment prospects look promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects social work jobs to grow 13% between 2019 and 2029, with careers in healthcare and mental health enjoying the best growth projections. Child, family, and school social work job prospects and salaries often depend on government funding. Social workers with advanced degrees or administrative positions often earn more than lower-level social workers.
||Median Annual Salary
|Less than $31,790
||More than $82,540
Accreditation for Social Work Programs
Programmatic and regional institutional accreditation status reliably indicate educational quality. The best social work master's online programs feature programmatic accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and originate in regionally accredited colleges or universities. Consult the Department of Education's accreditation database to verify school and program accreditation status.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation approves seven regional accrediting agencies, four faith-related national accrediting agencies, and one career-related national accrediting organization. Regionally accredited schools feature better academic standards and resources than nationally accredited schools. Although, students at either regionally or nationally accredited schools can qualify for federal financial aid.
Students should keep in mind that regionally accredited institutions typically only recognize academic work completed at other regionally accredited institutions, so credits from nationally accredited schools may not transfer.
Social workers obtain licensure from their state's social work board, so learners should understand social work regulations in the state and jurisdiction where they hope to work. In many states, such as Oklahoma, licensed social work associates (LSWAs) need a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program. Oklahoma LSWA candidates must also pass an Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam and submit evidence of ongoing supervision by an independent licensed social worker (LSW).
Oklahoma graduates of CSWE-accredited MSW programs usually meet degree requirements for provisional licensed master social worker (LMSW) licensure. LMSW candidates must also submit evidence of ongoing LSW supervision and pass the ASWB exam within 12 months of obtaining provisional LMSW licensure. More advanced licenses such as the LSW and licensed clinical social worker also require an MSW, plus additional professional experience.
LSWs seeking to work in a different state sometimes qualify for licensure by reciprocity in states with similar licensure requirements. Reciprocity licensure candidates apply to the new state's board and submit current licensure information.
Courses in a Social Work Master's Program
Online master's in social work programs typically entail 44-72 credits, depending on enrollees' prior coursework. MSW programs cultivate skills in social science research, analysis, assessment, and case management. Curricula vary based on specialization, although most programs include core courses in social work methods, policy, research, and field work.
Some MSW students pursue an advanced clinical practice track. Others focus on social work leadership and policy change. Specialized courses may include mental health policy and services, advanced child welfare, school social work, and family therapy. The courses below appear in many, but not all, online social work master's programs.
- Introduction to Social Work
- Typically completed during the first semester of an MSW, this core course provides an overview of social work-related problems, interventions, services, and organizations. Participants learn about the skills, roles, and training involved in various social work professions and agencies. The course helps MSW students understand how other course topics fit into larger social work systems, policies, needs, and approaches.
- Death and Dying
- This interdisciplinary social science course explores various impacts, beliefs, and practices surrounding death. Engaging students in self-reflection and discussion, the course discusses ideas and practices surrounding grief, healing, law, and ethics about death and dying. Essential learning for social workers who serve elderly clients and their families, the course emphasizes how social workers can help clients dealing with death.
- Diversity: Identities and Issues
- This introductory course provides an overview and prelude to more specialized diversity courses. Enrollees explore various social work approaches to diversity and examine historical, conceptual, constructivist, and strengths perspectives. Students learn about the many dimensions of identity difference and their social, cultural, and psychological implications. Enrollees critically examine their own biases and backgrounds and learn social work skills for honoring and bridging differences in ways that benefit clients.
- Child, Youth, and Family Services
- This elective course covers public policy and social service issues surrounding at-risk children and families. Participants learn about child abuse, neglect, and protection. The course explores various effective interventions from social service systems, focusing on how to reduce risk and help children and adolescents prepare for adulthood.
- Mental Health Policy and Services
- This elective course provides a comprehensive overview of mental health services and their evolution from federal and state social policies. The course critically analyzes the concept of normalization and the roles of mental health professionals and clients in policy and services. Enrollees also typically learn the history of U.S. mental health policy and practice.
MSW students can apply for various scholarships based on identity group, academic merit, community service, or financial need. See below for a sampling of scholarships available to eligible MSW enrollees.
Who Can Apply: Social work master's degree enrollees committed to working with American Indian, Alaska Native, or Hispanic/Latino populations may apply. Eligible applicants belong to the National Association of Social Workers and attend accredited MSW programs.
Amount: Up to $4,000
Who Can Apply: This scholarship goes to current or aspiring social workers planning to directly serve children and youth. Applicants must be enrolled in a related, one-year graduate program. Candidates need U.S. citizenship and residency in a state with a local NAJA chapter.
Who Can Apply: This NASW scholarship supports accredited MSW program applicants or enrollees interested in mental health practice serving the African American community. Eligible applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and must submit a biographical essay, two recommendation letters, and official transcripts.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship serves federally recognized Alaska Native and American Indian Tribe members enrolled in health profession programs. Recipients must serve a full-time clinical practice commitment after finishing their degree and clinical training.
Who Can Apply: NABSW provides several scholarship opportunities for African American NABSW members enrolled full time in accredited social work programs. Eligible applicants hold a minimum 2.5 GPA and demonstrate service and research interest in the Black community.