Your Best Guide for Getting a Masters in Social Work Online

The Department of Labor Projects in the U.S has predicted that the employment and demand for social workers will grow 12 percent between 2014 and 2024. This figure is significantly higher. The demand growth will be ignited by several factors, such as an increase in the need for social services and healthcare. The online master’s degree in social work will enable you to pursue a professional career in social work effectively with relevant credentials. 

A Quick Guide

This quick guide highlights the most essential questions and information regarding the social work profession, which includes scope, job figures, salary, education path, educational costs, and the most suitable institution to earn an online master’s degree in social work. Moreover, this guide also provides you helpful advice and in-depth knowledge. This will also allow you to decide which university or institute suits you the best. 

A guide is put together to assist the potential students and prospects to research and discover the suitable MSW program. In addition, accredited online MSW offers flexibility to individuals who want to pursue their master’s degree while working full time. It is also feasible for those who want to earn a master’s degree using a non-traditional approach. This guide also provides information about the employment outlook for this profession. 

Social Work as a Career

According to, social work enables you to develop and build the lives of people in a society. You can make a significant difference in people’s lives by helping them ease their hurdles and some issues. A great number of social workers become Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). It is recommended to earn a master’s degree in social work to become LCSW.  LCSW enables social workers to systematically diagnose behavior, mental health, and emotional disorders.

Let’s review available MSW programs.

Online MSW Programs

Here, we are going to discuss a few parameters necessary to be acknowledged before you plan to pursue an online MSW program. Almost all the universities and institutions offer an online master’s in social work degree with courses such as Advanced Generalist Practice with Treatment Groups and Advanced Generalist Practice with Individuals. Universities listed below are sorted based on the fees of the MSW degree and the number of available scholarships/fellowships. All the universities are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. 


University Tuition Fee ((Annual)
1 University of Missouri $6,384
2 University of North Dakota $7,273
3 University of Central Florida $7,311
4 Humboldt State University $7,650
5 University of South Dakota $8,116
6 University of Iowa $8,160
7 Boise State University $9,405
8 Capella University $9,874
9 California State University-San Bernardino $11,136
10 Western Kentucky University $12,019
11 University of Maine $12,054
12 Boston University $12,375
13 University of Arkansas $12,605
14 University at Buffalo $13,080
15 Western New Mexico University $13,204
16 Our Lady of the Lake University $13,605
17 The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley $14,666
18 Sacred Heart University $15,000
19 University of South Florida – Main Campus $15,864
20 Salisbury University $16,065
21 Indiana Wesleyan University Online – Adult Education $16,995
22 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania $17,040


Scope and positions for MSW Graduates

  • Mental health therapist
  • General social worker
  • Child and family social worker
  • School social worker
  • Healthcare social worker
  • Mental health social worker
  • Substance abuse social worker
  • Social work supervisor
  • Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW)
  • Medical social worker

Salary by Career


Career Average Salary
Mental health therapist $42,532
General social worker $44,327
Child and family social worker $40,146
School social worker $48,375
Healthcare social worker $56,789
Mental health social worker $47,792
Substance abuse social worker $47,287
Social work supervisor $53,620
Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) $55,613
Medical social worker $51,321


Points to consider while choosing an Online MSW Program

  • Options of admissions and enrollment
  • CSWE Accreditation
  • Structure of the course
  • Methods of instruction
  • Online placement support
  • Financial aid and tuition fee


MSW degree programs take a minimum of one year to complete. Online MSW program takes two years to complete for the students without a bachelor’s degree in social work. 

Council on Social Work Education Accreditation for Online MSW Degree

CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) accredited MSW programs are entrenched in a competency-based system of education. A few of the postulates are.

  • Differences in practices
  • Engaging diversely 
  • Professional behavior
  • Ethical demonstration
  • Advancing socio-economic, human rights and environmental justice
  • Engagement with policy practice, practice-informed research, and research-informed practice
  • Engagement with families, individuals, groups, communication, and organizational practices that involve intervening, assessing, and evaluating.

Reasons to get a master’s in social work

A master’s degree in social work is essential to practice as a clinical social worker or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). However, a few people choose to pursue a doctoral degree in social work to enhance their profile and credentials. You can also work in the social work profession with a bachelor’s degree, but a BSW (bachelor’s in social work) degree holder is not legally allowed to work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). 

Since various MSW degree programs are available online with affordability as discussed above, the students don’t have cost for room rentals or travel expenses. Another advantage of an online MSW degree is that out-of-state students can also pay in-state-tuition fees.