Online Master of Social Work | MSW Degree (2023)

Put your compassion to work for those who need it with an affordable and CSWE-accredited online MSW degree. Our expert faculty are trained to deliver a high-quality experience. Learn by doing through hands-on field work at a service agency in your area as you prepare to become a licensed social worker.

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An MSW Degree Made for Advocates Pursuing Licensure

Our practical master’s in social work curriculum equips you with the knowledge and experience you need to succeed in this rewarding field. This flexible and affordable program is made for working professionals. Through hands-on skill and knowledge building, you apply what you learn to make a positive impact on your community.

Prepare to make a difference across a spectrum of settings, including:

  • Child protective services agencies
  • Criminal justice, legal service and military organizations
  • Local, state and federal agencies
  • Home- and school-based programs
  • Hospitals and other health care settings
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment programs
  • Nonprofit, human rights and advocacy organizations

Next Session

Spring II (Mar 6, 2023)

Estimated Tuition

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    Data source: Economic Modeling, LLC (Emsi) /

    The pathway information provided through this website are based in part on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that is licensed by University of Massachusetts Globalfrom Emsi. While University of Massachusetts Global believes this data to be reliable as a whole, some of the data is based on estimates made by Emsi, when actual data is not available. Those estimates and the corresponding data may not be accurate.

    1. Change in employment projections 2019 - 2029

    2. Based on BLS Occupational Employment Statistics and updated quarterly

    3.University of Massachusetts Global does not guarantee a job to graduates upon completion of any program

    Master of Social Work Admission Requirements

    You do not need to hold a BSW degree in order to apply, and there is also no GRE requirement. Applicants to the MSW degree program must complete the formal application process with all required documents, which include:

    • Completed application
    • Written personal narrative that speaks to your motivations for choosing social work as an academic and career goal
    • Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions where coursework was completed or attempted
    • For more information please view the MSW Program Introduction Video

    Residency Restrictions

    This program is not available to residents of all states. Please contact a University Enrollment Coach for details.


    Only credits from regionally accredited institutions may be accepted in transfer. Failure to report any previous academic work at another college or university may be considered a violation of academic integrity.

    Graduate Level Exams

    This Master’s degree program does not require applicants to take costly exams like the GRE.


    Choose Your MSW Degree Path

    Finish your MSW degree in as little as one year.

    Choose from six start times per year to fit your busy schedule. Classes are available fully online with two pathways to complete the Master of Social Work degree: advanced standing and standard. If you qualify for the advanced standing pathway, you may complete the MSW degree in as little as a year. If you take the standard path, you may complete your program in two years.*The majority of our students are working adults with busy lives, so University of Massachusetts Global’s courses are designed to be both flexible and affordable. Find the best fit for you:

    Online Master of Social Work | MSW Degree (1)

    Advanced Generalist/Advanced Standing Option (AG/AS)

    Time to Completion: One year*

    Total Credit Hours: 39 credits

    Practicum: 600 hours of field placement practicum

    Online Master of Social Work | MSW Degree (2)

    Standard Advanced Generalist Option (SAG)

    Time to Completion: Two years*

    Total Credit Hours: 69 credits

    Practicum: 1000 hours of field placement practicum

    *Based on the average full-time, advanced-standing and regular-program students who successfully progress through the program.

    **Subject to approval.

    Curriculum Designed to Prepare You for Licensure

    Online Master of Social Work | MSW Degree (3)

    The online Master of Social Work degree curriculum is built to equip you with everything you need to pass the LCSW exam. Our curriculum is designed to satisfy all academic requirements for licensure in California, Washington, and many or all academic requirements in other states.

    Courses prepare you to understand the issues, services and policies that will be most relevant to the people you serve. Select three courses from a variety of electives to customize your Master of Social Work degree with the topics that you are most passionate about.


    • Course List
      SOWK 502Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families


      SOWK 503Social Work Practice with Groups, Communities, and Organizations


      SOWK 504Diversity and Social Justice


      SOWK 507Social Work Research


      SOWK 593Social Work Practicum Seminar l


      SOWK 594Social Work Practicum Seminar ll


      *SOWK 595Social Work Practicum Seminar lll


      Foundational Core Subtotal


      * If a student does not complete the required 400 practicum hours during the SOWK 593, 594, 595 course series, s/he will be enrolled in a required SOWK 597 Practicum Continuation course (0 credits) and required to pay a Practicum Continuation fee, per each course and session, until the student completes the total required hours and receives a P in the SOWK 593, 594, 595 courses. Students will accumulate hours toward their practicum requirements only when enrolled in SOWK 593, 594, 595, or 597.
    • Course List
      SOWK 601Family Violence


      SOWK 602Social Work Law and Ethics


      SOWK 603Social Work and Human Sexuality


      SOWK 622Advanced Generalist Practice I


      SOWK 623Advanced Generalist Practice II3
      SOWK 625Practice Evaluation


      SOWK 693Advanced Social Work Practicum Seminar I*


      SOWK 694Advanced Social Work Practicum Seminar II*


      SOWK 695Advanced Social Work Practicum Seminar III*


      *SOWK 696Advanced Social Work Practicum Seminar IV*


      Advanced Generalist Core Subtotal


      * If a student does not complete the required 600 practicum hours during the SOWK 693, 694, 695, 696 course series, s/he will be enrolled in a required SOWK 697 Advanced Practicum Continuation course (0 credits) and required to pay a Practicum Continuation fee, per each course and session, until the student completes the total required hours and receives a P in the SOWK 693, 694, 695, 696 courses. Students will accumulate hours toward their advanced practicum requirements only when enrolled in SOWK 693, 694, 695, 696, or 597.
    • Select four from the following:

      SOWK 630

      Child Welfare


      SOWK 631

      Social Work Practice with Adolescents


      SOWK 632

      Prevention and Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect


      SOWK 633

      Children and Adolescent Policy


      SOWK 634

      Family Policy


      SOWK 650

      Crisis Intervention and Trauma Response


      SOWK 651

      Social Work Response to Disasters


      SOWK 652

      Military/Veteran (SMVF) Social Work


      SOWK 653

      Social Work Practice with SMVF populations


      SOWK 654

      Death, Loss, & Grief


      SOWK 655

      Substance Abuse


      SOWK 656

      Sexual Abuse


      SOWK 657

      Mental Health and Mental Illness


      SOWK 658

      Healthcare Social Work I: Integrated Health Care Policy and Services


      SOWK 659

      Healthcare Social Work II: Social Work Practice in Integrated Health


      Social Work Electives Subtotal


      Total Credits


    • Accreditation
    • Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes
    • Licensure

    University of Massachusetts Global is accredited by the WSCUC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

    UMass Global's Master of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

    Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

    All Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) programs measure and report student learning outcomes. Students are assessed on their mastery of the competencies that comprise the accreditation standards of the Council on Social Work Education. All social work students are expected to master these competencies of social work practice during their professional training. A measurement benchmark is set by the social work program for each competency. An assessment score at or above that benchmark is considered by the program to represent mastery of a competency. This formis used to assist the CSWE in the evaluation of the program's compliance with the accreditation standards below:

    4.0.2: The program provides its most recent year of summary data and outcomes for the assessment of each of the identified competencies, specifying the percentage of students achieving program benchmarks for each program option.
    4.0.4: The program uses Form AS 4 (B) and/or AS 4 (M) to report assessment outcomes to its constituents and the public on its website and routinely updates (minimally every 2 years) it's findings.


    Social work licensure requirements are determined by each state. Please contact your state licensing board for the specific academic requirements or review this website for further information. While University of Massachusetts Global’s MSW program has been designed to satisfy all academic requirements for licensure in California and Washington, and many or all academic requirements for licensure in other states, it is the student’s responsibility to identify and comply with the licensing requirements in any state in which they plan to seek licensure. University of Massachusetts Global does not guarantee that completion of its program will result in a student achieving licensure.

    Learn from seasoned social workers.

    Our faculty and leadership are scholar practitioners with many years of field work under their belts. Whether learning online or in a hybrid setting, you’ll get the benefit of practicum experiences that prepare you to serve your community. University of Massachusetts Global’s program also includes supportive staff who will help you find and secure field placements in your area that align with your career interests.

    Meet Our Faculty

    arts-sciencesTobi DeLong Hamilton MSW, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.MSW Program Director and Associate ProfessorSpecialtySocial Work
    arts-sciences Sibyl Beaulieu, M.S.W. D.S.W.Director of Field Education/Associate Professor of Social WorkSpecialtySocial Work
    arts-sciencesEllen MacKenzie Ph.D., M.S.W.Associate Professor of Social WorkSpecialtySocial Work
    arts-sciencesKim Bundy-Fazioli, Ph.D., LCSWAssociate Professor of Social WorkSpecialtySocial Work

    Education is a treasure waiting for people to partake. There’s nothing more effective than getting a degree in a field you’re interested in and passionate about.

    Bill K. | Master in Social Work

    The structure of the program was a really good fit for me. After two other attempts to get my MBA– once in the ‘80s and again in 2009 – I was ready to get it done and I did at Brandman* . They have a great program and I would encourage everyone to go for it!

    Terry T. | MBA

    *Brandman University is now UMass Global

    Want More Information About Social Work?

    Dig deeper into this helping profession and explore its different career paths.


    More Social Work Resources

    Learn how a master's in social work can propel you forward.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Browse through frequently asked questions about the social work profession.

    How long does it take to become a social worker?

    It usually takes between four to six years to become a social worker. Aspiring social workers must earn their bachelor’s degree, and many continue on to earn a master’s degree as well.

    What degree do you need to be a social worker?

    To become a social worker, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in social work. Many employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in social work as well. Clinical social workers must have a master’s degreein order to practice. See more requirements.

    How do I become a licensed social worker?

    Social worker licensure requirements vary by state. Typically, obtaining your licensure includes achieving a minimum level of education, reaching a required amount of supervised practice time and completing an application. There are also optional and advanced licensures for specific social worker careers. You can learn more about requirements here.

    All Social Work FAQs

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