Masters in Social Work

115+ Online Masters in Social Work Programs

Guide to Online Masters in Social Work Programs

Social workers strive to ensure equality, change, and improvement of quality of life of each person and group in society. The Master of Social Work (MSW) is considered the terminal degree in this field, though some schools do offer a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) or PhD in social work for further study. The schools listed below offer accredited online masters degrees in social work or related fields.

University of Southern California – USC offers an online masters degree in Social Work. For this program students can specialize in families and children, mental health, military social work, or community organization planning and administration. The online program has the same curriculum and academic rigor as the on-campus program with the same full-time faculty.
Our Lady of the Lake University – Our Lady of the Lake University offers an online degree, Master of Social Work. This program has a mixture of traditional courses and supervised internship experience. It also gives students the opportunity of working with a team of faculty advisors who hold doctoral degrees and possess relevant practitioner experience.
Walden University – Walden University offers an online MS in Social Psychology. This program usually takes around 1.5 years to complete. Students will learn how to understand and apply psychological concepts and principles to contemporary and global issues and social change. Students also have the option of writing a thesis.
Post University – Post University's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program distinguishes itself from other MPA programs with its broad scope of focus. Instead of focusing on just the public sector, students attending Post University will study the private sector and military applications of administrative and organizational duties. This helps improve students to become more well-rounded and versatile.
Kaplan University – Kaplan University offers an online Master of Public Administration degree program that focuses on public value, ethical decision-making, innovation, knowledge base, finance, diversity and leadership. Courses include: Public Administration and Management, Leadership in the Public Sector, and Applied Research in Legal Studies.
Saint Leo University – With flexible hours and the convenience of completing assignments from your home PC, Saint Leo University's MS degree in Social Work is the perfect choice for students with busy or inconsistent schedules. Saint Leo was founded over 100 years and is currently among the largest independent universities in the US. Saint Leo's online programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Grand Canyon University – Grand Canyon University offers an online degree, MPA in Government & Policy. This program prepares students for careers in public service. The coursework gives students the opportunity to apply administrative skills in leadership, human capital development, policy, and governance within the public sector environment. Students choose between health care management and government and policy.
Ashford University – Ashford University offers online masters degree programs, Master of Public Administration and MBA in Public Administration. This program is for students who seek careers in federal, state of local government management. Courses include: Management Communications with Technology Tools, Organizational Behavior, Human Resources Management and Business Ethics & Social Responsibility.

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What types of masters in social work degrees/programs exist and what are they called?

Masters in Social Work, also known as MSW, is often the best choice for pursuing a career as a social worker. Many jobs require a master’s level education, but the subject does not have to be specifically in social work. The following subjects are related to social work and can help you achieve your career goals:

Masters in social work online degree rankings?

There are no official rankings for online masters degrees in social work. Any list you find online is arbitrary and not based on any real criteria. What you want to look for in a masters in social work online degree is proper accreditation. For this level of degree, it will most likely mean attending courses through a brick-and-mortar university or college. While you will not attend class daily on campus, the program is overseen by a traditional school with regional accreditation.

There are various types of accreditation to keep in mind when searching for an online school. You want your masters in social work program to be accredited by a regional or national source. Check your potential school’s accreditation at this site of the U.S. government and also ask a school advisor for the history of the school’s accreditation. Schools that are not valid may be accredited by organizations such as the Higher Learning Commission. It’s imperative you do your homework when finding an online masters in social work program to ensure your degree is worthwhile and will increase your career option and earning potential once you’ve completed it.

Transferring masters in social work degree school credits

Like traditional masters programs of any type, there is usually a cap put on how many credits a prospective school will allow. Many schools require a student to enroll and complete a certain amount of hours (usually between 12 and 24) before they will grant transferred credits to the student’s transcript. Transferring credits from a masters in social work program usually means you are cutting into the work you’ve done since not all of the credits will ultimately transfer. This is especially true after you’ve completed 12 hours in your masters in social work degree.

Online courses give you the power to take on as much or as little work as you can. There’s no reason to take a full load of classes if you do not think you will be able to manage them. Instead, set yourself up for success. If you want to transfer programs because yours is overwhelming remember another masters program will not be any easier, so cutting back to one or two classes is a smarter option. Always consult a school advisor before attempting to transfer credits since they can tell you where you are in the program and whether a transfer is financially worth it. You do not want to enroll in a new program, only to find out to have to complete an additional year of school to makeup for credits you already had.

What sort of career can someone with masters in social work have?

Hospice counselor – Hospice counselors work with both hospice patients and close friends and family members of the patient. It is an emotional job that is best suited for those who are compassionate and understand the anger and sadness that can come from patients and their family members who know they are dying soon.

Prison social worker – Many prisons have a social worker on hand to evaluate prisoners as they come in to the system and track their progress as hearings and appeals draw closer. Again, this is a position for a compassionate person who can make unbiased decisions on a prisoner’s mental state.

School social worker – In this position, you are usually employed by the district, not an individual school. You evaluate students who may have mental issues and speak to parents of troubled students. In some cases, a school social worker will also help the family seek outside services from a psychiatrist or psychologist.

What are the average salaries of a person with a masters in social work?

Hospice counselor – Hospice counselors earn about $58,000 per year. This can be more or less depending on the city in which you’re working and your duties. Some hospice counselors deal with the many patients, while others work exclusively with a few until the patients no longer need them.

Prison social worker – Prison social workers earn an average of $61,000 per year. This is a pretty good picture of what social workers make in this position, since it is usually mid-size to large prisons that have a social worker on the payroll. Working with more intense prisons can garner more money and positions like this can become available for social workers who have experience working in the system.

School social worker – The average salary for a school social worker is $58,000. This can go up for social workers that work with private schools. Some private schools have a social worker on campus around the clock. In these cases, you are usually dealing with gifted students and helping parents enhance and foster their child versus dealing with the mental health of students.

What is a masters in social work like when you earn your degree online?

Earning a masters in social work online is much like taking a conventional program, only you’re moving at your own pace. Instead of showing up for school a few times a week, your syllabus dictates that material should be studied each week and when quizzes and tests are. After registering for classes, you will have a website to go to. There you’ll create a username and password that allows you to log in and see the courses you are taking. Most schools operate under one web platform for all of their courses, so you’ll be able to view all of your courses and work on one site under various tabs.

Some classes have a messageboard, giving students the opportunity to chat and discuss the material they’re studying. Some professors choose to make this a participation grade while others just see it as a learning tool. Your syllabus will give you a clear look at how each professor breaks down grades and should also state whether the messageboard is a required portion of the course.