MSW - Master of Social Work

The Master’s in Social Work degree is designed for the most critical of problem-solvers. The social work practice involves more than just working with individuals in need of direction, it involves hands on application of research-oriented and evidence based practices.

Who is the MSW Degree Meant For?

Those that decide to join the field of social work may potentially find that actively finding solutions to issues throughout the community provides a great wealth of success and opportunity. This field requires that it’s professionals be dedicated to the betterment of society and those that reside in it.

This degree path is for individuals that have what it takes to seek out answers and apply able solutions in a variety of different settings. Not only is the Master’s in Social Work one of the most preferred degree paths for students, but it is also the minimum degree requirement for licensure in all states.

Master's of Social Work Typical Education Requirements

Most degree seekers choose a social-related field as an undergraduate path, including Sociology, Psychology, or Social Work. In order to become a licensed social working, students must obtain a Master’s degree in Social Work from an accredited university. For the License Masters Social Worker (LMSW) status, most state require that graduate take part in supervised work experience varying from 2-3 years in length.

Featured Online Master's in Social Work Programs

The following sponsored schools offer MSW degrees online, and are currently accepting applicants for their programs.

Social Work Licensure

Graduates that are interested in becoming Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) must also take part in a Social Work board exam throughout their respective state in addition to the previous requirements. Accreditation of social work programs is managed by the Council on Social Work Education. This partnership of more than 2,500 individual members work with social welfare agencies all over the country to ensure that accredited programs provide only the most relevant and applicable data to students taking part in the degree program.

Online MSW - Master's of Social Work

Master’s in Social Work degrees can be found in most online platforms. There are a few different paths for learners from varying backgrounds. Individuals that have 2 years of experience or more working in social services can find programs that may substitute work experience for an internship requirement.

Online Master’s in Social Work degrees are a flexible way for students to get the degree they desire without having to attend traditional courses.

Online MSW Typical Requirements

The online degree requirements for this major average out at about 65 degree hours over the course of 2-3 years at most universities. Courses are attended online, with most universities requiring 2 internships throughout the program or one internship for those that have more than 2 years of experience working in social services.

MSW Classes You Can Expect

Courses are structured similarly to traditional classroom settings, requiring classroom discussions, exams, and individual projects. Online degree programs give students the freedom to learn independently while still having access to the same references as traditional learning students. Within recent years, the respect for online degree programs from employers has grown at a tremendous rate. More students are leaning toward online options when choosing universities, making this degree more acceptable for hiring standards.

Human Behavior and Cultural Classes

Taking courses such as Human Behavior and the Social Environment can give learners a competent outlook at how people interact with their environment including the application of relationships and empathy. Cultural Intersectionality and Oppression outlines the differing aspects of racism and its causes, which allows those in the program to develop an unbiased understanding of racism throughout their communities. In such a diverse country, it is vital that students are given the tools and information to work with individuals from varying ethnicity and races.

Psychology and Clinical Therapy Classes

Since the Master’s degree in Social Work leads to working directly with the public, it is important that the practicing aspect of the program is well covered. Courses such as Clinical Practice with Individuals and Clinical Practice with Groups teach students of social work to use the proper cognitive or psychodynamic approaches to coaching patients in the field.

These courses also give professionals the right direction when working with groups of different backgrounds. Since social work involves both the knowledge of cultural diversity and practical application, most courses in online degree programs will focus on topics within the two fields. Social workers work with both individuals and groups as part of their daily responsibilities, so having the knowledge of both practices and blending them effectively may play a large role in how effective a social worker is while working in the field.

The Master’s in Social Work degree program is designed to implement research-proven techniques for professionals to apply in the field. Students in these structured programs are introduced to how humans directly interact with their environment so that they are prepared to learn and understand the concepts of working with the public.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Social Work?

With a Master’s in Social Work, graduates are likely to find that there are many opportunities for employment throughout the field. In any field that provides care to individuals, MSW’s are needed to ensure that patients are receiving proper and ethical care.

Where Social Workers Are Employed

Licensed social workers work in hospitals, retirement home, and even pediatric clinics, working with physicians and patients to determine proper courses of treatment. As an advocate for individuals suffering from addiction, a licensed social worker also works with individuals in rehabilitation facilities in order to keep them in touch with society and provide helpful resources for continued care even after their release.

Mental Health Social Work

Mental health patients rely on social workers to help them determine which paths to take on the road to their recovery. In clinical settings such as mental health facilities, social workers typically handle several patients that rely on their problem-solving skills and quick decision making to make a difference in their lives.

Licensed social workers are also found in areas in which childhood well-being is a factor. In schools and state departments, social workers are a main part of determining important education and life paths for children in need. In situations that involve child custody or visitation, social workers are an asset to the court. Regardless of which path is chosen, or if one has not been chosen at all, there are many different fields that rely on the expertise of social workers to assist with patients of differing needs.

Featured Online Master's in Social Work Programs

The following sponsored schools offer MSW degrees online, and are currently accepting applicants for their programs.

Consider a Related Public Health Program: 

MSW - Master of Social Work Degree Programs

Florida International University

Florida International University - MSW - Social Work - MSW - Master of Social Work - Traditional