No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens
The social work profession takes this approach – it is less of a job and more of a calling. Social workers attend those in need by helping, caring, and treating the elderly, the homeless and unemployed, those with disabilities, abused children, those addicted to drugs, the terminally ill, and juvenile delinquents for example.

The social work field can encompass many different options. There are careers in courts, mental health centers, family agencies, inpatient units, senior centers, healthcare careers, administrative positions in organizations and agencies, and academic positions like researchers and professors to name just some.

In today’s fast-moving, tech-savvy society the necessity for convenient, flexible, and online degrees is growing. In the world of social work, schools are rising to the challenge to educate men and women in the 21st century for the 21st century. An online Master of Social work is worth considering. Demand is growing and it’s a good time to enter the field, earn a promotion, or work on professional development.

What is the job prospects for social work?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for a social work teacher or researcher is $67,500. Now is an ideal time to earn a Master’s in Social Work. The BLS projects overall employment of social workers to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026. With a Master in Social Work in hand from an accredited university, you will set yourself up for a satisfying career.

What are some potential jobs that open up with an MSW?

  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Child welfare/family services
  • Veterans affairs/services to military personnel
  • Private practice
  • Government agencies or NGOs
  • Corporations or high-profile businesses
  • Hospitals, clinics, and outpatient care settings
  • Internationally focused organizations/practices
  • Medical/Public Health
  • Correctional Social Work

How do I choose the best school for an online MSW?

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the nation’s authoritative accrediting agency for social work. Look for schools and programs that are CSWE-accredited. The CSWE offers accreditation only to schools that meet its high standards and pass a variety of steps overseen by the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation. The schools on our list are CSWE-accredited, which translates for you to a program that is trustworthy and puts a high premium on field education.

In addition to looking for accreditation keep your eyes out for competitive tuition rates, great career/student services, job search support, and field placement assistance. Also be aware of the fact that some schools require a residency (which is noted in this top 20 list). Also, the online delivery of the curriculum may impact your decision: asynchronous, synchronous, or a combination.

What are some different types of MSW programs?

In addition to accreditation, school resources, convenience, and affordability the actual degree-type may impact your decision. There are clinical MSW programs that focus on serious illness, substance abuse, and domestic conflict, for example. Clinical programs have curriculums that include the use of evidence-informed approaches to intervention and treatment in a variety of settings. Non-Clinical social workers usually work on a consulting basis as opposed to in a clinical setting. A minimum of a BSW is required for non-clinical work. An MSW is required for clinical work and earns a higher salary. In addition to these broad differences are many different concentrations and specializations.

Methodology

We’ve searched through the nation’s online programs and found schools with accredited programs, high academic reputations, and affordable tuition. We collected data using reliable sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, payscale.com, and each school’s website and scored the reputation, quality, and cost of each school to create this list. 

This following ranking was calculated based on these percentages:

  • Cost per Credit Hour – 30%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio – 15%
  • Average Mid-Career Salary – 25%
  • Retention Rate – 15%
  • Percentage of Graduate Students – 15%
  1. MERIT: 100.0
    • Location: New York, NY
    • Cost per Credit: $1564
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 8,170  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 6 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

    King George chartered Columbia University in 1754. As one of the nine colonial colleges, CU’s experience, tradition, and reputation are among the best. A founding school of the Association of American Universities, CU is known for research and academic rigor.

    Columbia University has always been at the front of the pack. Their online Master’s in Social Work is simple, convenient, fully-online, and quality. The MSW can be earned in one of five ways: Two-Year Program, Advanced Standing, Reduced Residency, Extended Program, or Transfer Program. Within those, there are two specializations/concentrations, Advanced Clinical Practice or Social Enterprise Administration as well as two fields of practice: Family, Youth & Children’s Services or Health, Mental Health & Disabilities.

    CU’s MSW is synchronously delivered and orientation, all coursework, and your final capstone are completely online. An element worth noting at CU is the academic support. The Office of Advising assigns you a local social work professional to serve as your advisor.

    This is factored into your 60-credit program as the face-to-face component with a professional in the real-world and beautifully complements the curriculum. Along with courses in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, you are required to log 1,200 hours in the field.

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  2. MERIT: 99.1
    • Location: Denver, CO
    • Cost per Credit: $947
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 5,765  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    The University of Denver is a private school set in the majestic Rockies on a 125-acre campus arboretum. In such a beautiful setting, students enjoy high-quality academics and many outdoor extra-curricular options. UD is known for Business, Law, Social Work, and Communication.

    UD offers an online MSW through their nationally-recognized Graduate School of Social Work. As a CSWE-Accredited program, the [email protected] curriculum takes a social justice approach. Depending on your previous coursework and experience you can complete the program is as little as 18 months (60 credits and one internship), or two years (90 credits and two internships). The field work is arranged with local professionals in where you live, making the online option preferable and convenient.

    Online delivery includes live online classes with UD faculty. The particular focus on [email protected] is a foundational curriculum and concentration in Mental Health and Trauma. Regardless of the setting you work in or plan to work in, the degree will train you to “help individuals, families and communities combat injustice and oppression.”

    Admission is straightforward and requires a Bachelor’s and a preferred 3.0 GPA (2.5 will suffice) and takes place in January, March, June or September.

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  3. MERIT: 97.6
    • Location: Bronx, NY
    • Cost per Credit: $935
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 9,599  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    Fordham University is a private, research university in the Jesuit tradition. The School is known for its academic rigor, excellent internships, service, and research. Rooted in the liberal-arts, Fordham offers a great variety of degrees and has produced 168 Fulbright Scholarships since 2003.

    Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) offers a fully-online, CSWE-accredited MSW degree. The program comes in two forms: the traditional MSW or the streamlined. The traditional MSW is 66 credits and can be completed in 16 to 32 months depending on if you choose accelerated, full- or part-time option. If you hold a BSW you are eligible for the streamlined MSW. This can be completed in eight to 16 months.

    Through a cohort-style program that are four concentrations offered: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy. With the knowledge and applied skills practiced through your field experience, you will be prepared for day one of your new job.

    The Fordham experience includes local field placement, live classes, 24/7 student support, and personal guidance. Admission priority (not final) deadlines for summer cohorts is January 21st and for fall cohort is May 21st.

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  4. MERIT: 97.4
    • Location: Boston, MA
    • Cost per Credit: $1060
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 1,739
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 8 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

    Simmons University was founded in 1899 as a liberal-arts school for women. With a mission to “ be the “global expert in educating women for their own empowerment and for leadership,” Simmons offers a liberal arts education focused on research and scholarship. The University offers over 60 majors and programs.

    The online clinical MSW at SU is housed in the oldest school of clinical social work in America, the Simmons School of Social Work (est. 1904). The CSWE-accredited program features a foundational core of classes in racism and oppression, human behavior, and assessment and diagnosis.

    Built on that social justice core, the 65-credit MSW then branches into five concentrations: Advocate for Children and Families, Trauma-Informed Services, Health and Aging, Individualized Studies, or Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Disorders. Since the degree is fully online you will engage in live classes and your field placement is fulfilled as locally as possible. There are two placements required for a total of 1120 hours. The Simmons online MSW can be earned at your pace as well—accelerated, full-time, or part-time.

    The degree program can be completed in as little as 15 months. All in all, a Simmons MSW will provide you with a trusted, top-notch, and convenient clinical MSW that can be applied across many settings.

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  5. MERIT: 93.6
    • Location: Camden, NJ
    • Cost per Credit: $900
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 5,489
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as some other accrediting bodies.

    Academics and research are key to Rutgers University’s success and reputation. With a rich tradition going back to 1766, Rutgers offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and 400 graduate programs. Rutgers has over 300 research centers, RRspends $712 million in research annually.

    Rutgers offers an online MSW that provides all the major benefits of a traditional on-campus Rutgers degree: excellent reputation and education, competitive tuition, small classes, and incredible faculty. The MSW degree is fully-online, can be taken accelerated (if you have a BSW), part-time, or full-time.

    Rutgers digital platform puts you personally in touch with faculty and students and you will be connected with local professionals wherever you live. The curriculum features courses in Psychopathology, Social Welfare Policy and Services, and Field Education Practicums. You also have the option to add an online Violence Against Women and Children certificate. If you choose the additional emphasis you will not extend the time to complete your degree—the certificate is embedded in regular MSW curriculum.

    The CSWE-accredited program does align with New Jersey licensure standards. Out-of-state students are recommended to check their own state requirements. Admission is convenient and doesn’t require a GRE.

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  6. MERIT: 92.6
    • Location: Baton Rouge, LA
    • Cost per Credit: $539
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 25,444  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College was founded in 1853 as a military academy. LSU is now a large, public, and flagship institution of the Louisiana State University System. The most popular majors are Business, Engineering, Education; Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

    The School of Social Work at LSU offers an affordable and flexible MSW. Admission to the program is simple and doesn’t require a GRE. There are six start dates and the program can be taken accelerated (BSW required), part-, or full-time. The accelerated program can be completed in as little as nine months, while the full- and part-time online MSW takes two to four years respectively.

    The CSWE-accredited curriculum covers the fundamentals of social work such as child welfare, diversity and oppression, and substance abuse treatment through seven-week courses with a week off in between. The fieldwork placements are locally arranged with the university’s considerable network.

    Please note, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York do not accept LSU’s online MSW program. Perhaps the most favorable reason to consider LSU is the cost. The $539 per credit for both in- and out-of-state residents is the third most inexpensive on our list.

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  7. MERIT: 91.5
    • Location: Cleveland, OH
    • Cost per Credit: $1390
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 5,150
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

    Case Western Reserve University is a private university located in Cleveland, Ohio. CWRU is known for health sciences, biological sciences, business, and engineering. The University is a member in the Association of American Universities and has been recognized for research and innovation.

    The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences offers a flexible online MSW to fit our modern, mobile lifestyle. The Mandel School is nationally recognized (#9) by U.S. News and World Report. The MSW is fully-online, no campus visits required at all and utilizes  Zoom Video Communications. This technology promotes real-time, live interactions with faculty and students.

    There are three concentrations available, Children, Youth and Families, Community Practice for Social Change, and Mental Health with Adults. The program is also available in an accelerated form, where BSW grads can have up to 24 credits applied to the degree leaving only 36 to complete the MSW. The CSWE-accredited curriculum fulfills licensure requirements and prepares you to excel on day one of your new position or career.

    Admission doesn’t require a GRE and there are scholarships available. Another distinction includes a study abroad option with the Children, Youth and Families concentration.

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  8. MERIT: 90.5
    • Location: Boston, MA
    • Cost per Credit: $1137
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 18,080  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    The abolition movement in the 19th century inspired the founding of Boston University. The School is now a premier private research university. BU offers over 250 fields of study through 17 schools. BU is a member of the Association of American Universities and known for law, medicine, and science.

    The online MSW at BU comes in two options: Clinical Social Work Practice or Macro Social Work Practice. There are three tracks to complete your MSW. The first is a traditional track, completed with 65 credits and two field experiences. All field work in BU online MSW programs are arranged locally where possible. The second way is the Human Service Experience Track.

    If you have two years of commensurate work experience you qualify.  This 65-credit track can be completed in 2 ½ years (nine semesters) and requires one 1000-hour field experience. The third way to complete the MSW is the Advanced Standing Track.

    This 43-credit track involves one field experience and can be completed in one and a half years. All tracks must be completed in a maximum of six years. The degree is available in the states, but at this time is not open to international students or those in U.S. Territories.

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  9. MERIT: 89.3
    • Location: Champaign, IL
    • Cost per Credit: $1013
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 33,955  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is the flagship of the UI System. As a large, public research university (34,000 undergraduates), UIUC offers a plethora of academic, extracurricular, and student activity options. UIUC is known for Engineering, Business, Social Sciences, Communication, Agriculture.

    The School of Social Work at UIUC has a mission to “prepare tomorrow’s leaders to be advocates for, and agents of, social change.” There are two online options for earning your MSW at UIUC, the iMSW Hybrid and the iMSW in Leadership and Social Change (LSC). Either option can be completed in an accelerated fashion or part- or full-time.

    The Advanced Standing option is 44 credits and you must have CSWE-accredited BSW degree within seven years. while the traditional program is 72. The LSC prepares social workers to lead in management, grant writing, policy advocacy, and other areas of macro practice. If you are looking for an online Clinical MSW, the iMSW Hybrid program provides excellent options, though does require three to four campus visits per semester.

    Within the iMSW Hybrid there are four areas of clinical focus: Mental Health, Health Care, Children, Youth and Family Services, and Schools. Admission requires a bachelor’s and does not require a GRE. The programs are open to international students.

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  10. MERIT: 89.1
    • Location: Tallahassee, FL
    • Cost per Credit: $625
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 33,008  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

    Florida State University is so much more than a football powerhouse. The University has a rich history stretching back to 1851 and is known for amazing research, criminal justice programs, a very high student retention (93 percent), and more. FSU offers a vast array of studies with over 300 degrees.

    The online MSW option at FSU is convenient and affordable. The cost is one of the most affordable on our top 20 at $625 per credit. This cost is 50 percent less than others on the list. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked FSU among the top 25 “Best Value” colleges.

    Quality doesn’t suffer either as FSU adheres strictly to CSWE high standards. The degree is not fully online as there are two on-campus requirements. The typical pacing for this degree is three years at two courses a semester. With courses in all the fundamentals and a local field placement (not guaranteed) you will be prepared to work in a variety of settings, public or private.

    The CSWE-accredited online program puts you in line for a clinical social work license after graduation. Admission includes a bachelor’s degree, 3.0 GPA, and a GRE score. If you have a BSW you qualify for the accelerated online MSW option.

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  11. MERIT: 87.8
    • Location: Richmond, IN
    • Cost per Credit: $573
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 33,429
    • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

    As the flagship campus of Indiana University’s eight campuses, Indiana University in Richmond has a lot to offer. IU over 500 degree options (120 online options) to choose from and research is a high priority. IU is a member of the AAU. Popular majors are Business, Public Administration, Informatics, Exercise Science, and Psychology,

    The Online MSW at IU is a generalist concentration. The program supplies you will a foundation in diversity, human rights, social justice, social policy, and social work practice in organizations, communities, and societies. The CSWE-accredited curriculum prepares you to work in a variety of settings and roles: family service worker, youth services specialist, alcohol and drug abuse specialist, hospital social worker.

    Through IU Online you can conveniently and affordably earn that promotion or start a social work career. The tuition is the fifth lowest on our list (for in-state residents) leaving you a good ROI. Since the program is 100 percent online you’ll be able to continue working, should you choose, and the three practical experiences required in the 60-credit program are arranged locally.

    You will also gain access to 24/7 resources and IU’s extensive library. Requirements for admission essentially includes bachelor’s, no GRE, and no minimum GPA.

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  12. MERIT: 87.7
    • Location: Tempe, AZ
    • Cost per Credit: $786
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 42,427
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Post Baccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies

    Arizona State University is a large, public metropolitan research university in Tempe, Arizona.  ASU is recognized as an innovative university and has more Fulbright scholars than Cornell, UC Berkeley, Duke, and UCLA. ASU is also known for excellent academics is one of the more selective colleges.

    The ASU School of Social Work MSW prepares graduates to be agents of change in our society. The MSW Advanced Generalist program is 20 classes and 60 credits. The online format is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning. The faculty are the same as traditional face-to-face teachers.

    At ASU the SSW faculty have expertise in gerontology, forensic social work, human trafficking, borderlands issues, and several other areas. In addition to coursework, you engage in several practical experiences (arranged locally) and must complete the capstone Applied Portfolio Project in tandem with your final internship.

    Overall, the quality is vouched for by ASU’s adherence to CSWE standards. Admission requires a bachelor’s, GRE scores, and a minimum of 240 hours of volunteer/work experience in social services during a 6-month period within the past five years. All in all, an ASU MSW is that great combination of quality, price, and convenience.

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  13. MERIT: 86.4
    • Location: Louisville, KY
    • Cost per Credit: $714
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 15,546  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

    The University of Louisville is a large public research university located in Louisville, Kentucky. UofL has three campuses and 12 colleges and schools. The University is known for health-related research and training with The University of Louisville School of Medicine.

    Since 1936 the Kent School of Social Work has trained men and women to make a difference in their communities and country. The online Master of Science in Social Work draws upon the rich tradition and experience of the School with the same expert faculty as traditional brick-and-mortar education. The MSSW is 60 credits (30 for Advanced Standing) and fully 100 percent online.

    The 60-credit degree can be completed in two to four years while the Advanced Standing program can be one to two and a half. Both options utilize a curriculum rooted in social justice and features classes such as Cognitive Flexibility Theory, Critical Thinking model, Bruner’s Spiral format, and Advanced Curriculum and Practice. You are required to fulfill 900 hours of fieldwork.

    If you are from out-of-state, U of L is likely to be an option as most states accept the program. Admission does require a GRE and bachelor’s among others.

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  14. MERIT: 84.6
    • Location: Arcata, CA
    • Cost per Credit: $510
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 7,862  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree
    • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commissions as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    Humboldt State University at the end of the Redwoods in Arcata, California. HSU is a public institution and part of the 23-campus California State University system. Founded as a teachers school in 1913, the School now offers Bachelor’s and Master’s through the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the College of Natural Resources and Sciences, and the College of Professional Studies.

    The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at HSU focuses on a generalist approach applied in settings with Native American peoples and rural areas. The Online MSW is a CSWE-accredited part-time or advanced standing program. The pacing is typically three and half years for the standard MSW and two years for the advanced standing program.

    Through the Distributed Learning (DL) Program in the Department of Social Work, you focus on interactive web-based learning that is networked with professionals, students (typically 25 per class), and faculty. Fieldwork is locally planned when possible. You are required to visit campus for orientation and then once a year in January for a “January Intensive” around MLK Jr. Day.

    The cost and value of an HSU Online MSW is one of the best. Tuition is low at $510 per credit and half of all students receive scholarship or stipends to help with their studies.

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  15. MERIT: 84.2
    • Location: Tampa, FL
    • Cost per Credit: $550
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 31,772  
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    The University of South Florida is a large, public university with the main campus in Tampa, Florida and others in St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee. USF is known for Engineering; Business, Biological Sciences, student service, active student life, and several green initiatives.

    Knowing a few USF points-of-pride can help you see the advantage of their online MSW. USF students have a higher total pass rate on the Clinical Association of Social Work Boards licensing exams than the national average and 70 percent of students have a job ready before graduation.

    The Online MSW at USF is designed as an Advanced Standing degree and to qualify you need a BSW from an accredited school within the last five years. No GRE is required for admission. Once enrolled you enter the program in a cohort.  You can complete the CSWE-accredited program at your pace as a part-time or full-time student. The USF online support staff responds quickly to challenges.

    After completing your core social work classes with the same faculty as on-campus students, you participate with a coordinator for your field placement. USF offers a strong network of 350 community partnerships and over 1,000 field instructors.

     

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  16. MERIT: 84.1
    • Location: Los Angeles, CA
    • Cost per Credit: $1863
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 19,170
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice, Doctor’s degree – other
    • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

    The University of Southern California was founded in 1880. USC is now globally respected and is known for innovation, research, athletics, and an active student life. The University has outstanding graduate studies with 17 professional schools.

    The Online MSW option at USC is one of the highest in terms of choice and quality. The Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work was the first private elite school to offer an MSW. The [email protected] is aimed at instilling a drive to excel and a lead in the social work field, from public organizations to private practice.

    Fully CSWE-accredited and delivered by the same recognized faculty as the on-campus option. You have options as well. The traditional option includes 60 credits, while the accelerated takes 37 credits. Within the MSW programs, you choose a focus, either Adult Mental Health and Wellness, Children, Youth and Families, or Social Change and Innovation.

    You then have the option to further hone your focus or area to a program track, either Military or School Social Work: The Social Change and Innovation option also allows further emphasis in Community Development and Social Change or Social Work and Business. That being said, the quality at USC is one of our best in terms of reputation.

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  17. MERIT: 82.6
    • Location: Houston , TX
    • Cost per Credit: $948
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 37,215
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    The University of Houston is the third largest university in Texas. As the flagship of the four-school UH System it offers many undergraduate and graduate degrees, including many doctorate degrees. UH was ranked #5 by U.S. News and World Report for their online graduate programs.

    UH’s Online MSW adds to an already stellar reputation for online graduate programs. The Online MSW curriculum is built on a strong foundation of professional social work, social economic, and political justice, and critical thinking skills. The degree is available as a full- or part-time 63-credit or a 38-credit (Advanced Standing) program.

    There is required fieldwork in the foundation as well as advanced portions for a total of over 1000 hours. Once you are admitted (applications are reviewed on a rolling basis) enter the program in a 25-student cohort. You then choose either Macro or Clinical as your method of social work and then a specialization in Health and Behavioral Health, Political Social Work, Social Work Practice with Latinos, or Individualized.

    Classes are both synchronous and asynchronous. Since the University is a  member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) the program is accessible in most states.

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  18. MERIT: 80.2
    • Location: Campbellsville, SC
    • Cost per Credit: $559
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 3,704   
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    Campbellsville University is a private Christian university located in Campbellsville, South Carolina. Founded in 1906 as a boys school for Baptists, the University is now a co-educational institution open to any denomination. CU offers Bachelor’s to Doctorate and is known for Business, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Social Work.

    The CSWE-accredited online MSW at Campbellsville could be a perfect fit. Fully online, flexible, affordable, and taught through a Christian worldview. With the increasing demand, changing technology, and evolving demographics (increasing aging and minority populations), a social work degree is a dependable investment.

    The Online MSW at CU is one of the lowest costs at $559 per credit. It is available for those who’ve earned their BSW as an Advanced Standing track or for those without a BSW a standard clinical track. The Advanced Track focuses on relevant theories, methods and techniques related to intervention with children and families. The clinical track emphasizes psychopathology, addictions, clinical diagnosis and psychopharmacology. 

    Either way, the 60-credits prepare you to enter the field for the first time through foundational curriculum and advanced professional experiences. The Online MSW can also work to help you adapt to our changing society or earn a promotion.  

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  19. MERIT: 80.5
    • Location: Richmond, VA
    • Cost per Credit: $1039
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 23,663   
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Two but less than 4 years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    Virginia Commonwealth University is located on 150-acres in the downtown Richmond. VCU is a research university, classified as a R1-Doctoral University with Highest Research Activity by Carnegie Classification. The most popular majors include Business, Visual and Performing Arts, Psychology, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Homeland Security.

    The School of Social Work at VCU was founded in 1917. The SSW is one of only 39 in the nation to offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The fully-online Master of Social Work utilizes the same faculty as traditional brick-and-mortar social work programs.

    There are both asynchronous and synchronous elements in the delivery. The full-time traditional 60-credit online MSW takes two years. You will specialize in clinical social work. You can also enroll part-time and complete the MSW in four years. With VCU’s location in Richmond there are ample and outstanding professional internships should you be from the area. VCU has over 500 community partners. If not, the Office of Student Success will help connect you with a local social work professional to fulfill fieldwork requirements.

    Another notable feature of a VCU online degree is student testimony regarding student resources and mentorship through their unique Peer Mentor Program.

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  20. MERIT: 79.7
    • Location: Philadelphia, PA
    • Cost per Credit: $975
    • Total Undergraduate Students: 29,580   
    • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
    • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Two but less than 4 years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as several other accrediting bodies.

    Temple University was established in 1884. It is now one of the largest in American and known globally for its professional schools: law, medicine, podiatry, pharmacy, dentistry, and architecture. Temple places a high value on research and is also noted for their Health Care system.

    Choosing Temple for your online MSW means you’ll have access to their rich tradition, experience, and network. In the competitive world of social work, knowing that Temple has a 10,000-strong alumni network that can help you connect to a job is reassuring.

    The Online MSW is offered with clinical and macro concentrations, as well as health/mental health and child & family specializations. As for the curriculum at Temple, the online MSW is 60 credits and can be completed in a part-time format in three years. The digital platform at Temple features live chats, breakout rooms and discussion boards. All learning is asynchronous and you’ll need to pace at least one evening of live classes per week. There is one residency requirement at the beginning of the second year.

    An education in social work at Temple also means you are part of a CSWE-accredited program that is connected to the SARA network as well. Fieldwork is arranged in your local community.

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